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THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE
* , <• RINEHART Df*tWC#T SYNOPSIS. Tnnes spinster and guardian of , W 1 m,r Hulsi'V. established summer Sunnyside. Amidst nu- | headquai' ■ *' ,, servants deserted. rrMiSS Junes locked up for the night. As Mlss ./‘rued bv a dark figure on the •he was ■«Ml d a'gyed a terrlble night. "r1f"?‘la„ s' filled with unseemly noises. T*1 the morning Miss Innes found a ,n lee Milk ruff button in a clothes stranK* lln(?.r,r„,le and Halsey arrived "ARl'Ye-h ltailev. The house was awak Wia 1, r- voiv.-r shot. A strange man ene'1 J .. | s)„,t to death in tile hall. f'. , ,,, he the bodv of Arnold Arm LtT’ee u' ose banker father owned the *tron^v , ' ,"sr Miss Innes found Hal ™u,ntrr„ , r ;,n tin- lawn. He and Jaek ttL" ,ddisappeared^ The link ruff Soon nnsteriously disappeared. h *XI ..son and the coroner arrived riertrud'e re', ealed that she was engaged ^ Tank ltailev. with whom she had Miked in tie billiard room a few mo S hef.re the murder. Jamieson told ELn* in. that she was hiding evidence * * , U, imprisoned an intruder In einn" riinm. The prisoner escaped dnwn a o' .mil' chute. It developed that the "ntri. !• t- ''as probably a woman Ger v - • .. ;■ • led. for the intruder Lo s nr,a, of « bare foot. Gertrude re HJ,IP loie.e with her right ankle InruSn* «1 \ nef?ro found the other half Of wbkt proved to be Jack Bailey’s euff button. CHAPTER VIII.—Continued. "Undoubtedly. Why, what could It be but flight? Miss Innos, let me re construct that evening, as I see It. Bailey and Armstrong had quarreled at the club. 1 learned this to-day. Your nephew brought Bailey over. Prompted by jealous, insane fury, Armstrong followed, coming across by the path He entered the billiard room wing—perhaps rapping, and be tng admitted by your nephew. Just inside he was shot, by some one on the circular staircase. The shot tired, your nepln w and Bailey left the house at once going toward the automobile house. They left by the lower road, which prevented them being heard, and when you and Miss Gertrude got downstairs everything was quiet.” I “But—Gertrude’s story,” I stam mered "Miss Gertrude only brought for ward her explanation the following morning I do not believe it. Miss Innes. It is the story of a loving and ingenious woman.” "And -this thing to-night?” "May upset my whole view of the case We must give the benefit of every doubt after all. We may, for Instance, (..me back to the figure on the porch; if it was a woman you saw that night through the window, we might start with other premises. Or Mr Inn. s explanation may turn us in a new direction. It is possible that he shot \rnold Armstrong as a burg lar and then fled, frightened at what he had dune. In any case, however, I feel confident that the body was here when he left. Mr. Armstrong left the club ostensibly for a moon light saunter, about half after eleven o'clock it was three when the shot Was fired.'' I leaned back bewildered. It seemed to me that the evening had been full of significant happenings, had I only held the key Had Gertrude been the fugitive in the clothes chute? Who wras the man on the drive near the lodge, and whose gold-mounted dress tog-bag had l seen in the lodge sitting room? n was late when Mr. Jamieson Anally pot up to go. I went with him to tin* door, and together we stood locking out over the valley. Helow lay tie' villip.' of Casanova, with its Old World houses, Its blossoming tret's and its peace. Above on the hill acr<l ■ Hi \ alley were the lights of the CireenwoimI club. It was even pos sible to ; the club hiph ],lay the curving row of paral lel lights that marked the carriage wad I; ors that I had ht'tird about tmt' back of drinking, of and otice, a year ago, of a suicide ;,i !t*r those very lights. 11 on left, taking a short cm to t!,, village, and I still stood tb<*!'e It must have been after 11, an(* t*1' 1 ■ not.onous tick of the big t airs liehind me was the D"ly « ■ Chen l was conscious ,;i 1 "tie w as rtiiining up the i Ve 1,1 ‘ minute a woman darted |DI° 'he ana of light made by the nd ea ght me by the arm. 1 Rosie in a state of col a|,s'' ' t'ror, and, not the least _ aportant, clutching one of my Coal i*- I silver spoon. 1 'ting into the darkness , i ' ■,:!1 holding the plate. 1 got J ,h“ house and secured the P' tle-n | stood and looked down • i she crouched trembling sgiitist the doorway. . Il- ! a>,<< d, didn’t your young la,‘‘ ’• hi. meal?” .. peak. She looked tit i ‘( !: ’t111 held l wasn't so ■' **: thank H aven, it 1 ‘[ ' !lnil then she stared at your dcs-.e to have I,'.’,1"' for him,** l went on u *, 6 U(‘xl 'hue, you might take iiilie ; T ‘■'1,ua' R'a more easily ’lotted and je8B pensive." h‘!lV 11 ’ :i young man—not here.” K. h('r breath now, as 1 had Ug,.,| , v'°tth]. "i—i have been bid hi a *hW* M|S8 id bn -i !S< 'ou out °f the house »d lack again?" i asked. ntlvD beKi‘» to cry-not si 'Pped h1 ?° sily> hysterically. 1 Hit ber giving her a good “What in the world is the matter with you?” I snapped. “Has the day of good common sense gone by! Sit up and tell ine the whole thing.” Rosie sat up then, and sniffled. “I was coming up the drive—” she began. \ou must start with when you went down the drive, with my dishes and my silver,” I interrupted, but, seeing more signs of hysteria, 1 gave in. Very well. You were coming up the drive—” I had a basket of—of silver and 1 dishes on my arm, and 1 was carrying the plate, because—because I was afraid I d break it. Part-way up the road a man stepped out of the bushes, and held his arm like this, spread out, so I couldn’t get past. He said—he said ‘N'ot so fast, young lady; I want you to let me see what’s in that basket.’ ” She got up In her excitement and took hold of my arip. It was like this, Miss Tnnes," she said, and say you was the man. \\ hen he said that, I screamed and I ducked under his arm like this. He | caught at the basket and I dropped it. ; 1 ran as fast as I could, and he came after as far as the trees. Then he stopped. Oh, Miss Innes, it must have been the man that killed that Mr. Armstrong! ” Don t be foolish," I said. "Who- I ever killed Mr. Armstrong would put j as much space between himself and this house as he could. Go up to bed now; and mind, if I hear of this story being repeated to the other maids, I shall deduct from your wages for every broken dish I find in the drive." I could fancy Liddy's face when she missed the extra pieces of china—she had opposed Rosie from the start. If Llddy once finds a prophecy fulfilled, especially an unpleasant one, she never allows me to forget it. it seemed to me that it was absurd to leave that china dotted along the road for her to spy the next morning; so with a sudden resolution, 1 opened the door again and stepped out into the darkness. As the door closed behind me I half regretted my impulse; then I shut my teeth and went on. I have never been a nervous wom an, as I said before. Moreover, a min ute or two in the darkness enabled me to see things fairly well. Beulah gave me rather a start by rubbing un expectedly against my feet; then we two, side by side, went down the drive. There were no fragments of china, but where the grove began I picked up a silver spoon. So far Rosie's story was borne out; I began to won der if it were not indiscreet, to say the least, this midnight prowling in a neighborhood with such a deserved ly bad reputation. Then I saw some thing gleaming, which proved to be the handle of a cup, and a step or two farther on I found a V-shaped bit of plate. But the most surprising thing of all was to find the basket sit ting comfortably beside the road, with the rest of the broken crockery piled neatly within, and a handful of small silver, spoons, forks and the like, on top! I could only stand and stare Then Rosie's story was true. But where had Rosie carried her basket? And why had the thief, if he were a thief, picked up the broken china out of the road and left it, with his booty? It was with my nearest approach to , i nervous collapse that I heard the fa- ] miliar throbbing of an automobile en- J Sine. As it came closer I recognized the outline of the Dragon Fly, and S knew that Halsey had come back. Strange enough it must have ; seemed to Halsey, too, to come across me in the middle of the night, with j the skirt of my gray silk gown over . my shoulders to keep off the dew, holding a red and green basket under one arm and a black cat under the other. What with relief and joy, I be gan to cry, right there, and very near ly wiped my eyes on Beulah in the excitement. CHAPTER IX. Just Like a Girl. "Aunt Ray!” Halsey said from the gloom behind the lamps. ‘ What in the world are you doing here?” "Taking a walk,” I said, trying to be composed. I don't think the an swer struck either of us as being ri diculous at the time. "Oh, Halsey, where have you been?” “Let me take you up to the house.” He was in the road, and had Beulah and the basket out of my arms in a moment. I could see the car plainly now, and Warner was at the wheel— Warner in an ulster and a pair of slippers, over heaven knows what. Jack Bailey was not there. I got in, and we went slowly and painfully up to the house. We did not talk. What we had to say was too important to commence there, and, besides, it took all kinds of coaxing from both men to get the Dragon Fly up the last grade. Only when we had closed the front door and stood facing each other in the hall did Halsey say anything He slipped his strong young arm around my shoulders and turned me so I faced the light. Poor Aunt Ray! he said gently. And I nearly wept again. "I—I must see Gertrude, too; we will have a three-cornered talk.” And then Gertrude herself came down the stairs. She had not been to bed evidently; she still wore the white negligee she had worn earlier in the evening, and she limped somewhat. During her slow progress down the stairs I had time to notice one thing: Mr. Jamieson had said the woman who escaped from the cellar had worn no shoe on her right foot. Ger trude's right ankle was the one she had sprained! The meeting between brother and sister was tense, but without tears. Halsey kissed her tenderly, and 1 no ticed evidences of strain and anxiety in both young faces. “Is everything—right?” she asked. "Right as can be,” with forced cheerfulness. I lighted the living room and we went in there. Only a half hour be fore I had sat with Mr. Jamieson in that very room, listening while he overtly accused both Gertrude and Halsey of at least a knowledge of the death of Arnold Armstrong. Now Hal sey was here to speak for himself: 1 should learn everything that had puz zled me. “1 saw it in the paper to-night for the first time,” he was saying. "It knocked me dumb. When I think of this houseful of women, and a thing like that occurring!" Gertrude’s face was still set and white. "That isn’t all, Halsey," she | Was Conscious That Some Jne ..unni. j kp the ~ ' . e. ■ Hilt,' WM' said "You and—and Jack left almost at the time it happened. The detective here thinks that you—that we—know something about it." "The devil he does!” Halsey's eyes were fairly starting from his head. "1 beg your pardon. Aunt Ray, but—the fellow's a lunatic.” "Tell me everything, won't you, Hal* sey?” 1 begged. "Tell me where you went that night, or rather morning, and why you went as you did. This has been a terrible iS hours for all of us.” He stood staring at ine, and 1 could see the horror of the situation dawn ing in his face. ”1 can't tell you where 1 went, Aunt Ray,” he said after a moment. "As to why, you will learn that soon enough. Rut Gertrude knows that Jack and I left the house before this thing—th!e horrible murder—occurred.” "Mr. Jamieson does not believe," Gertrude said drearily. "Halsey, if the worst comes, if they should arrefft you, you must—tell." "1 shall tell nothing,” he said with a new sternness in his voice. "Aunt Ray, it. was necessary for Jack and me to leave that night. 1 cannot tell you why—just yet. As to where wo went, if I have to depend on that as an alibi, I shall r >t tell. The whole thing is an absu. a trumped-up charge that cannot possibly be seri ous." lias Mr. Hailey gone back to the city,” I demanded, “or to the club?’’ “Xeitlier,” defiantly; “at the present moment I do not know where he is.” “Halsey," I asked gravely, leaning forward, “have you the slightest sus picion who killed Arnold Armstrong? The police think he was admitted from within, and that he was shot down from above, by some one on the circular staircase." “I know’ nothing of it,” he main tained; but T fancied I caught a sud den glance at Gertrude, a flash of something that died as it came. As Quietly, ns calmly as I could. 1 went over the whole story, from the night Liddy and 1 had been alone up to the strange experience of Rosie and her pursuer. The basket still stood on the table, a mute witness to this last mysterious occurrence. “There is something else," I said hesitatingly, at the last. “Halsey, I have never told this even to Gertrude, but the morning after the crime 1 found, in a tulip bed, a revolver. It— it was yours, Halsey.” For an appreciable moment Halsey stared at me. Then he turned to Ger trude. My revolver, Trude!” he exclaimed. “Why, .lack took my revolver with him. didn't he?” "Oh, for heaven's sake don’t say that,” I implored. "The detective thinks possibly Jnck Hailey came back, and—and the thing happened then.” "He didn't come back," Halsey said sternly. “Gertrude, when you brought •down a revolver that night for Jack to take with him, what one did you bring? Mine?” Gertrude was defiant now. "No. Yours was loaded, and I was afraid of what Jack—might do. I gave hint one I have had for a year or two. it was empty.” Halsey threw up both hands de spairingly. “If that isn't like a girl!” he said. "Why didn't you do what I asked you to. Gertrude? You send Iiailey off with an empty gun, and throw mine in a tulip bed, of all places on earth! Mine was a 38 caliber. The inquest will show, of course, that the bullet that killed Armstrong was a 38. Then where shall I be?" “You forget,” 1 broke in, "that 1 have the revolver, and that no one knows about it.” Hut Gertrude had rlstn angrily. “1 cannot stand It; it is always with me," she cried. “Halsey, I did not throw your revolver into the tulip bed. I—think — you — did—it—your si if!” (TO RE CONTINUE!?.) A Burglar's Text Book. The police of New York found upon a burglar, arrested by them, a treatise on safe-cracking ttiat is said to be the most remarkable document that has ever fallen Into their hands. The con tents are so well compiled that the police unhesitatingly declare the au thor a past grand master in his pro fession, and, according to Popular Mechanics, are somewhat anxious tc find out just how many copies are In circulation throughout the country. For the most part the manuscript is in the yegg code, a lingo freely used by thieves the country over. It de scribes the two kinds of safes recog nized by the profession, namely, the fireproof and the burglar proof, assert ing, however, that there is no genuine burglar proof safe, and that kind that are drill-proof are only called so by courtesy. Minute directions for cracking a safe are given, together with diagrams to illustrate tho treat ise Guilt Revealed. “Johnny, do you smoke cigarettes?' I d-d-do it 1 1 tittle, sir,” stammered Johnny, jaling beneath tho tan of the ba.-tfcball field. The boss fixed him with his eagle eye "Then gimme me one.’' he said. “1 left mine o% the bureau. ’ klTCHEN Cabinet I£ST of all la It to preaerva everythin* In a pure, •till heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving and for every breath a scng. Do Two Things at Once. The wise housekeeper plans to make every uiluute and bit of work count She scorns the Idea that It Is lmpossl ble to do two or three things at once By doing an extra amount when once started at a piece of work one may save a great deal of time, than by making two Jobs of it. When preparing pastry for a pie. a larger quantity may be mixed except the water, which may be added when used. When making a custard, leave the sugar out, and make enough to re serve a cupful to which add mustard salt nnd pepper, and you have a salad dressing. The sugar may be added and I he flavor desired and the custard Is made. By doubling n cake recipe and ba king half in gem pans nnd the rest In n loaf. Change the flavoring, have one spiced, the other some other flavor. One fire bakes all and the cake will keep If put Into n tight tin box. A nice sauce may convert these sniue small cakes Into a delicious pud ding If one has need of a dessert in a burry. Steam the cakes In a sieve over the teakettle. In cooking potatoes, prepare enough for several meals, even two days. Be move some for a salad after cooking, mash some of the rest, and as mashed potato may be reheated In a double boiler, the second day, it will pay to prepare a large supply. In sewing this rule works ns well. Cut out a number of garments at a time, for It saves time In the end. Often It Is the "getting at” a thing which Is the hard part. So by doing a double amount we do not fritter our time by going from one piece of work to another, and we accomplish more with less worry and wear on the nerves. It is simply being forehanded Home Ideas. A compressed yeast cake If a part Is used and no one wishes to save It, may he kept for a week by Immersing it In the flour bln or salt or cormneal Keep an old teaspoon In the soda and baking powder cans, a tablespoon in the coffee can and a measuring cup In the sugar box. * HREE were Invited, her* come nine. Water the porridge that all may dine.’ Banana Sponge. A cold dess rt which 19 neither elaborate nor expensive, serves ad mirably for every day use: Line a mold, first dipped In cold water, with thin crosswise slices of banana and fill with the following mixture: Ml* one-half cupful of cornstarch, one fourth of a cupful of sugar, and one fourth of a teaspoonful of salt. Add gradually one-fourth of a cupful of cold milk. Add to four cupfuls ot scalded milk, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken, and after ward occasionally. Cook In double boiler 15 minutes. Add one teaspoon ful of vanilla and the whites of thres eggs beaten until stiff Chill thorough ly, remove from mold, and garnish Sweet Potato Cases. Wash and bake six large sweet po tatoes. When done, cut a small hole In the top of each and scoop out the entire inside, ''ash first In a sauce pan over the fire, adding two table spoonfuls of butter, a generous quan tlty of cream, salt and pepper, and beaten whites of two eggs. Fill up the skins with the mixture, set back In the oven, and serve hot. Eggs on Tomato Toast. Stew some tomatoes, adding shredded green peppers, chopped on ion, salt and pepper. When smooth spread on buttered toast; cook eggs in the shell long enough to hold their shape, and lay one on each piece of toast Serve at once. Cucumber Potato Salad. One qunrt of boiled, sliced potatoes, ►wo sliced cucumbers, three small on ions, sliced, one cupful of chopped pe cans, one-half cupful of browned ba con, one tablespoonful of sugar; add salt, pepper and vinegar to taste lood. Household Hints. Clean the enameled bathtubs ami sinks with a cloth dipped In kerosene Nothing does the work better. Kggs should be covered and kept from air as the shells are porous and bacteria easily pass through them Asbestos. More than four-tifths of the world's supply of asbestos cctses from the province of Quebec. In what Is known as the serpentine belt. running through the counties of Thetford. 'oleralne. Robertson and Uroughton ibout 100 miles from Montreal. While he history of the Industry dates back (i IS(7. it has only expanded to its re.ont proportions during the Iasi ■w >car3 The province has already ,-aduced over $2."> OhO.OOO worth of us i : tot a lit' is i*uw iissr-’.gici 000. Ohi' KEPT TAB ON ’EM. Tom—Skinner always employs tw® lawyers. Jack—What for? Tom—Ho gets business advice from one and then consults the other about how much ho ought to pay of the flrat one’s bill. SLIGHT BLEMISHES, Gwcndolln—Do you think he i* handsome? Yvonne—Ylss, he’s perfect, ’ceptta'l dat he's bowlegged an’ crosseyed. WAS A SIN ANY TIME, Mrs. Wise—1 told the next-door neighbor today that It was a sin to play the piano on Sunday. Mr. Wise—Why did you mention Sunday? THE HORRID THING nth.*// / » Margaret—How did you enjoy your dip In the ocean this morning with Jack? . Nan—Not at all; he simply hugged the shore! OBEYING THE DOCTOR Parson Drown—What yo' got dat freemometer on do Uoor, fo, Mrs. Srnif? Mrs Smith—Well, you see. parson, de doctor were heal) an it were hang ing on de wall an’ he done said It *ere too high.