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Mystery of the Silver Dagger By RANDALL PARRISH Author of “The Strange Case of Covendish" Illustration* by A. Weil Copyright, by Hsadsll Parrish CHAPTER IX—Continued. —l4 “Say, where the h—l have you been? What is this, a double-cross, Wal dron?” "What you mean?" ejaculated the other. “By Gott! It Is rather you I should ask why you not tell me the truth?” "Tell you! What the devil have I got to tell you? Don’t get funny with me. You sent me a note this morning, didn’t you?” "Sure I did.” "Well, then, why didn’t you meet me? D—n It, I’ve been hunting you all day long. What’s the Idea? Come, blurt It out, beYore I wring your d—n Jew neck.” Waldron spread his hands, and lifted his shoulders In an expression more eloquent than words. "What a man! You cuss me. but not wnit to bear why this all was so. You sit down, and I tell you. Then maybe you tell me something also.’’ Harris stared at him, then sank Into the vacant chair opposite, still scowl ing angrily across the table. A waiter paused at his elbow expectantly, and. In response to something said, the thief jerked out n surly answer. "No. I don't want anything to eat. Bring me some whisky—a half pint— with a little water. Yes, that’s all; now get out of here." At this moment Frnncols returned with our final course, obliging us to appear Indifferent to the quarrel rag ing beyond tne curtains. Both men must have lowered their voices, for our ears caught nothing of what was -♦aid. It seemed to me the waiter was unusually slow in rearranging the table. “There, that will do. Francois," I broke out, at last. Impatiently. "We will want nothing else at present. When I need you again I will ring. That Is the hell. I presume.” "Oul. M’sieur.” "All right; then leave us alone for a while.” Neither one of us touched n tiling, the coffee growing cold In the cups, as we endeavored to distinguish what was going on at that second table out In the main dining room. I came around beside her, to where I could peer out also beneath the curtain fold, and thus gaiti glimpses of tin* two men. They were talking earnest ly. but had lowered their voices, until they were nearly Inaudible amid the din of the place. The anger and threat had gone out of both voices ; but only oc casionally could we weave together words into an understandable sen tence; these came to us detached, un related, as the surrounding noise ceased suddenly, or the music came to a pause. "You didn’t get It! Then who the b—l did? Me, I should say no; why I never knew the old man had even slipped him the dough. That d—n girl rode down with him. Of course I do; I saw them go out together; that’s why I thought I was playing safe to keep away. Somebody has played us for suckers. If you had kept your d—n mouth shut we’d a-had It easy.” Waldron broke In, stung by tills last taunt Into elevating his voice. “What you mean, I keep my mouth shut? So help me, Moses, I tell no body.” "The h—l you didn’t! You blabbed the whole thing to Daly. He told me so himself. That’s what I was doing last night, bluffing him out” "I tell Daly? Where you git that stufT? I ain’t seen Daly for three year. Was he in this deal? Why you not tell me of Daly before?” "Tell you! I never knew it until he told me." A waiter brushed past him, bearing a tray, striking against one shoulder as he passed. Harris glanced up with a snarling oath, and, before I realized the danger, his eyes must have caught a glimpse of me beneuth the draped curtain. Instantly the fellow was on his feet, all else forgotten In a swift wave of passion. "There’s the guy now!” he burst forth. "He’s hiding In that booth; I saw him. Come on, and we’ll have the stiff cough up yet!” I drew back swiftly, pushing the girl behind me. There was no place In which to hide, no chance for escape. Perhaps I could explain, hut, if not, then I must fight. The two came plunging through the opening and faced us, the heavy curtains drop ping behind them and shutting out all view beyond. Harris, inflamed by drink, glared about as though doubt ing the evidence of his own eyes, hut his expression was that of savage hatred. "H—l. if they ain’t both of’em here! Say, this Is rich. So you two are In cahoots, hey? Thought you’d play me for a d—n fool, did you. Daly? Well, I’ll show you what you’re up against— you and yer girl. Come now. where’s that boodle?” "I know nothing about It, Harris.” "You’re a Mar. This dame went away with Alva in his car. I saw her go out with him. You cough up, both of you, and be d —n quick about It. or you’ll never get out of here with out a hole through you. You think you can double-cross me; I’ll show* you a trick of my own J” He was reaching for his gun. It must have caught In his pocket, though I wasted no time. It was his life or mine, and I gripped the empty wine bottle on the table and smashed a vicious blow at his head. He went down like a log, his body half project ing through the curtains, while I wheeled about barely In time to meet the mad bull rush of Waldron. The Knssian could not have been armed, for he came at me with bare hands, his grip like that of a bear. For an Instant he had me throttled, scnraely able to breathe, my hands pinned help lessly in the grasp of his arms. But brute strength was all he possessed, brute strength and ferocity. The bot tle wns crushed out of my fingers, yet I wriggled partially free, und got one hand twisted Into his whiskers, jerk ing his head back, and side-wise, until the strained neck threatened to crack, and he had to release his grip to protect himself. It was all over In a minute, but hot while it lasted: I know we struck ugainst the girl, throwing her to her knees; I know the fellow stumbled over Harris’ legs, giv ing me a chance to drive home one fist square Into his face. I heard him rip out a Hebrew oath, and saw blood staining his lips. I tried to break away from him, but It was no use; yet the effort opened his guard for a swift uppercut, and I let him have it straight to the chin. He crashed back across the table, und hung there dungling, arms outsoread and head In a broaen dish. Berore I could strike again, or even recover my breath, the curtains werp thrust violently aside, nnd the head-waiter, hacked by a half dozen subordinates, came tumbling In over Harris’ inert body. Even as they stared about. I helped the girl to her feet, and faced them. "What happen here. M'sleur? What happen?” shrieked the excited French man. “You keel ze men? What?” "No; they’re Just knocked out. A little private affnlr, that’s all," I said, too exhausted to spent* clearly. “See "What Is This, a Double-Cross, Wal dron?” here, M'sleur,” and I thrust the first bill I could reach Into his hand. "Hush this up, will you, and let the lady and me get out of here.” lie dashed about frantically, wring ing his hands and gesticulating. “Oul, oul! Eet shall be so. ' There ees to be no trouble, no police. Ze men attack you, M’sieur Daly—l see eet all; you protect ze Madame. There be no noise, no peestal—hien ! Fran cois, Jules, you will help ze lady an’ ze gentleman to go—quick.” The two waiter-guardians held hack the curtains for us to pass through. The main dining room was not as dis turbed as I anticipated It might be. As we came forth and made our way down the aisle under escort, we were gazed at curiously, but no demonstra tion followed. A ?roup of waiters stood before the outer door, evidently collected there to prevent any alarm from reaching the outside. To the signal of Francois these stepped aside, permitting us to pass through Into the vestibule. 1 assisted my companion Into her coat, and then hastily struggled Into my own. She was pale, but her eyes met my own bra%’ely, and her hand touched my arm as we went up the step=:. Above, all remained quiet and dark. "What next?” I asked. "I believe there are taxis around the corner.” “Hood; I would prefer riding to walking, myself. Where do you wish to he taken?” "Back to the hotel, please.” In the sernl-darkness of the cab I felt her hand touch mine gently, as though half afraid. “Oh. I was so frightened—so sorry to have brought you there. It was all iny fault. The Russian had a knife.” “Yes, I know; I caught a glimmer of it, but he went down and out for the count before It could be used. There Is nothing to worry over now.” "They did not get the money?” "No, that is clear enough. Some body got the bulge on them, and they are very properly sore. You heurd Harris swear you left with Alva." "Harris knows nothing about It; you must believe me.” “I Intend to—certainly as against Harris." ELBEBT COUNTY THXBOWZ: ELBERT COUNTY BANNER She may not have been altogether pleased with my answer, for she said no more until we drew up at the hotel entrance. She wailed while 1 settled with the chauffeur, and we crossed the wide pavement together. “It may he best for you not to come in; one never knows.” “This Is not a final parting, I hope?" “Perhaps so, perhaps not. You do not wholly trust me. Some day I mean you shall. Good-night.” I felt her hand In mine. Just for a moment; then the doors opened uud closed, leaving me alone. CHAPTER X The Proof of Murder—The Back Room of Costigan’s I watched her through the glass doors until she vanished among the crowd in the lobby. I could not per mit her to go away like this; to get beyond my sight and knowledge—yet I hesitated too long, until she had merged Into the swirling crowd and was lost. It was indeed a strange feeling of loneliness which swept over me in that moment. Never before had I felt such depth of interest in a woman, or experienced such regret at parting. With no apparent effort, seemingly ut terly indifferent, she had nevertheless become lntwined with my life, her presence u necessity for my happiness. The soft pressure of her body, tlie touch of her bond, was Intoxication; the glance of her eyes sent the warm blood pulsing through my veins. She hud become to ine an inspiration, a memory to dream over, a hope no longer to he resisted. This was strange, so strange as to l»e beyond understanding. I argued it with myself, but to no result. The fact would not he denied. Here was an unknown woman, original and , beautiful, to he sure, yet one whose very Identity was shrouded In mys tery. To all appearances she was ac tively engaged In conspiracy against the government of Chile, in a crime against human life. She was unques tionably the authorized agent of a gang of revolutionary plotters—1 lmd witnessed their reception of her as one of their own, and could not doubt the evidence of my own eyes. She had borne them Instructions, and stood In their midst, in secret conclave, speaking ns one having authority. More than that. even, she had refused to deny this connection, to reveal her name, or acknowledge any other pur pose. She had used me t«» further her ends, whatever they might he. prey ing upon my personal Interest in her, ami yet refusing to lift a single fold of this curtain of mystery. What could it mean, but that she was secretly ashamed to |>ermlt of my full understanding? The thought of the stolen money, the murder of Alva, recurred to me; the invitation I lmd overheard for her to accompany him on his fatal trip, and her accept ance; the positive assertion of Harris that she had done so; her confessed knowledge that the money had actual ly been given Into the possession of the Chilean captain; the nature of the weu|H>n with which he had been killed; her remaining in New York In stead of returning to Washington. I could not blot these things out, no matter how hard I endeavored to reconcile them with her denials. 1 trusted her; I would continue to trust tier aguinst the world, yet deep down in my heart lingered a question un answered. If she was honest, square, actuated by some worthy purpose, why did she still refuse to confide in me! Surely I had been sufficiently tested— and she knew who I was. If she was the sister of a classmate whom I knew and loved, what necessity remained for the concealment of her name? What, indeed, except shame at tlie part she was playing in this sordid drama of life? Some of my earlier suspicion had been eradicated, for now It was clearly demonstrated that it could not have been her knife which had pierced Alva’s heart. Whatever else I might believe against her. this evidence no longer existed, for she still wore the dagger in her hat. Pecu liar as the design was, the weapon locked in my valise, which I had picked up blood-stained on the floor of the car. was not hers; It had been wielded In Its deadly work by some other hand. Hut whose? Did she know'? Did she even suspect the as sassin? Was she even now endeavor ing to conceal his identity? These questions were unanswerable; I could only partially drive them back by memory of the girl herself: It was impossible to recall her vividly to mind, and yet associate her with so foul a crime I was still immersed in such thoughts, mentally struggling for her honor, and my own justification, when I finally attained the quiet of my room. I was squarely up against a stone wall; there was no light perceptible anywhere. Neither Harris nor Wal dron was guilty of this crime; they were obliterated from further con sideration. These two worthies had undoubtedly done their best, but bad been outgeneruled by some one else; and. whoever that other might be, he bad made a clear get-away, leaving not even a lurking suspicion behind him. It was the Job of a master-thief, an expert in crime—or else had been accomplished through the blind luck of some one whose very Identity cloaked any possibility of suspicion. (TO BE CONTINUED.) It Is a poor policy to buy hooks for the sake of the colored covers, or tc make friends .*?r the sake of their clothes. When love meanders down the ave nue common sense sneaks up aD alley. In Suits and Coats * Circular Lines Noted in the New Garments lor Fall. Stitcheries Accentuate the Flartnfl ! Outlines; Cape Effects in Evi dence in 8leeves. Among the suits and coats which have been added to the original early fall collection of one New York house are several which make a point of the flared acceut, observes a fashion cor respondent. These effects are not produced In a flagrant manner, hut In the same easy fashion that character izes all the productions of this house. Lovely soft fabrics of the pile family are chosen in the makeup of u great many of the garments, with the finest quality velvet employed In the In stance of the more dressy type of wrap or suit. Stitcheries are utilized to advan tage on several of the coats and suits, the design In many Instances follow ing the outline of a sleeve or of an 1 Interestingly cut side, back or front section. In the Instance of the flare mode, the lines of stitchery are op- 1 plied in such a manner ns to accentu- i ate this effect Many of the models are deriva tions of imports. One coat Is con- , spicuous for the original handling which has been given the sleeves. I Cape sides falling from the shoulders to the waistline almost entirely con cenl the sleeves. Sable fitch Is the J fur chosen to fashion the collar for 1 this coat. One of the most striking number* Is a Jenny coat for evening wear developed In American Beauty chlf foil velvet, the fronts treated with ; alternate bands of mole and gold brocade, the color scheme being most effective. A wide fold of the mn- I THOUGHT FOR EARLY AUTUMN This costume for early fall suggests a skirt Slightly longer than the cur rent mode. Soutache braiding and dull gold fringe combine smartly for the simply cut navy serge. SEPARATE SKIRT STILL IN VOGUE In Various Combinations of Blouses, Garment Serves to Make Dif ferent Costume. We huve gone all around the cycle, and ure back to the separate skirt again. Some declare that sport clothes are responsible for the return of the separate skirt, but women gen erally will welcome this old friend, no matter who or uhat Is lesponsihle for \he vogue. This lias been a se.aHou of sweaters —wool nnd silk and sleeve less; and for wear with these gar ments. skirts have been fashioned from tlunnel. when the severely tailored type demanded, bu* mostly from silk of every conceivable weave nnd color. The skirts were never so attractive, both In design and material, to say nothing of comfort. The silken styles of the summer sen- l son give way to those of fall, and If j one doubts the popularity of the sum mer styles, one has hut to look ut the skirts for fall showing, nnd she will j see all the old friends, fashioned In new materials. Plaids that were used • earlier in the gume have given way to stripes, and every kind of stripe that ; could originate in the bra'n of man has resulted. Roman, pin. blazer, em broidery, herring hone, and others too numerous to mention, all are here, and plaited to bring the darker stripe Into prominence. Combinations of plaits, too, ore used to vary the monotony of the plaited idea. Large and small plaits In combination with the knife variety are to be found In the same skirt, and often the material will be Its own combination, the bottom of the ! * terlal set on a low line at the back Is attaches! to the sleeves, an Indi vidual silhouette resulting. The same material In the same color fashions n delectable suit, the skirt section of the Jacket adopting a circular contour, accentuated by the application of self cords. Sump tuous gray fox In generous manner makes the collar and cuffs. THE CRAZE FOR MONKEY FUR | The craze for monkey fur still is at its height after two years. Here is a Parisian coat of Astrakhan which is trimmed most modishly—and ex pensively—with monkey fur. The new style in fur is to have a com paratively small armhole and snugly fitting sleeve. TO HAVE LINGERIE RIBBONS Novelty May Be Crocheted From Pale Pink, Blue or White Mercerized Crochet Cotton. Lingerie “ribbons" crocheted from pale pink, blue or white mercerized crochet cotton are Inexpensive, wash well, nnd keep soft and flat after laundering Make a chain the length required, allowing something for work ing up. At the end of tin* chain, turn and make a single crochet In the tenth chain from the needle. Then make four chains and fasten them down with n single crochet 1n the fifth stitch along the original chain, nnd continue doing this ovler nnd over again until you are hack to the start of the orig inal chain. This gives a double row of chains fastened together In every fifth stitch —dainty nnd durable for threading lingerie. Gift sets may be made with the ends finished with tiny j balls crocheted of the cotton. A Distinctive Blouse. White crepe de chine and white georgette In combination fashion n blouse In the waist line. The blouse proper is developed in georgette, the heavier fabric forming n panel nt the front as well as the Peter Pun collar, j Contrast is afforded In the slim strands of clre ribbon which hold the fullness b ; at the sides. - ■' ■ Yellow and Henna Shades r: Yellow and henna shades lead In trimmings. 7r • garment fashioned so that the stripes run around instead of up und down, forming a border- Separate skirts of Roshanara crepe, , i made tunic fashion, are to he had : | for afternoon uffulrs nnd to he worn : | with georgette blouses, and most of i the barred silks that found favor for sports attire are to he had In the , darker shades for foil. The separute ■ skirt has one advantage. In that vari i ; ous combinations of blouses serve to . i make a different costume. Belts and Sashes. A new slogan, might be. "It Is the lielt that makes the gown.” for in many instances all else Is pluin, nnd the winding around the waist becomes the center of the design of the whole frock. All sorts of fancy ribbons and ; brocades ure brought Into play for j this form of decoration. Then there are cords galore, and strings of beads and metals to be used for girdles. Any one of them is a thing of beauty all by Itself, and Its association with the gown brings both Into relief with a i fascination one cannot fall to appreci ate. For the Top Coat. No substitute has been found for the camel’s hair polo coat, and those outer coverings will continue to be u feature of the full wardrobes. Sev eral new shades are being developed, however, and heaver, opossum and caracul nnd other furs will be used for collars and cuffs, A new Scotch camel’s hair coat comes in gray, tan I and some high shades. I Makes Hard Work Harder A bad back makes a day's work twice as hard. Backache usually comes from weak kidneys, and If headaches, dizziness or urinary dis orders are added, don’t wait—get help 'before the kidney disease takes a grip—before dropsy, gravel or Bright’s disease sets In. 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