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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 15, 1905)
54? Wings of
Dy LOUIS TRACY
Copyright, INI), by Edward J. Clodo
Then he turned to Iris.
"I think," ho said, "that your father
should take you on board the Orient,
Iris. There you may perhaps llnd
some Hultablo clothing, eat something
and recover from the exciting events
of the morning. Afterward you must
bring Sir Arthur ashore again, and we
will guide lilin over the Island. 1 tun
sure you will find much to tell him
The baronet could not fall to note
the manner in which these two ad
dressed each other, the fearless love
which leaped from eye to eye, the calm
acceptance of a relationship not to be
questioned or gainsaid. Robert and
Iris, without spoken word on the sub
ject, had tacitly agreed to avoid the
slightest semblance of subterfuge as
unworthy alike of their achievements
and their love.
'Tour suggestion is admirable." cried
Sir Arthur. "The ship's stores may
provide Iris with some sort of rig-out,
and an old friend of hers Is on board at
this moment, little expecting her pres
ence. Lord Vcntnor has accompanied
me in my search. Ilo will, of course,
AiMruthor Hushed a deep bronze, but
Iris broke in:
"Father, why did he come with you?"
. Sir Arthur, driven into this sudden
squall of explanation, became digni
fied. "Well, you see, my dear, under the
circumstances he felt an anxiety al
most commensurate with my own."
! "But why, why?"
Iris was quite calm. With Robert
near, she was courageous. Even the
perturbed baronet experienced a new
sensation as his troubled glance fell be
fore her searching eyes. Ills daughter
had left him a Joyous, heedless girl.
He found her a woman, strong, self re
JIant, purposeful. Yet he kept on,
choosing the most . straightforward
jnoans as the only honorable way of
clearing a course so beset with unsus
"It Is only reasonable, Iris, that your
aflianeod husband should suffer an ag
ony of apprehension on your account
and do all that was possible to effect
"My alllancpd husband?"
"Well, my dear girl, perhaps that Is
Iiardly the correct phrase from your
point of view. Yet you cannot fall to
remember that Lord Ventnor"
"Father, dear," said Iris solemnly,
1)iit in a voice free from all uncertain
ty, "my nfllaneed husband stands here!
."Wo plighted our troth at the very gato
of death. It was ratllled in the pres
ence of God and has been blessed by
lilm. I have made no compact with
Lord Ventnor. He is a base and un
worthy man. Did you but know the
truth concerning him you would not
mention his name in the same breath
jwlth udne. Would he, Robert?"
"He advised by me, Sir Arthur, and
you, too, IrLs," he said. "This is no
hour for explanations. Leave mo to
deal with Lord Ventnor. I am content
to trust the ultimate verdict to you, Sir
Arthur. You will learn in due course
all tout has happened. Go on board,
Irl3, Meet Lord Ventnor as you would
meet any other friend. You will not
marry him, I know. I can trust you."
"I am very much obliged to you,"
murmured tho baronet, who, notwith
standing his worry, was far too experi
enced a man of tho world not to ac
knowledge tho good sense of this ad
vice, no matter how ruillanly might bo
tho guise of tho strange person who
"That is settled, then," said Robert,
laughing good uaturedly, for he well
knew what a weird spectacle he must
present to tho bowlldered old gentle
man. Even Sir Arthur Deane was fascinat
ed by the ragged and hairy giant who
carried himself so masterfully and
. helped everybody over the stile at tho
right moment. lie tried to develop tho
change la the conversation.
"By the way,'' ho said, "how camo
you to bo on the' Slrdnr? I hnvo a list
of all tho passengers and crow, and
your name does not appear therein."
"Oh, that Is easily accounted for. I
shipped as a steward In tho name of
"Robert Jenks! A steward!'
"Yes. That forma soino part of tho
Iris rapidly gathered the drift of her
"Come, father," sho cried merrily.
"I am aching to seo what the ship's
stores, which you and Robert pin your
faith to, can do for mo In tho shape of
garments. I have tho utmost belief In
tho British navy, nnd even a skeptic
should bo convinced of its infallibility
if II. M. S. Orient Is aula to provide a
Sir Arthur Deano gladly availed h im
pel f of the proffered compromise. Ilo
assisted Iris into the boatL though that
iUe y Ming pers n was far better
able to suppnrt him, and a word to the
olli.-or In command sent the gig llyinj;
back to the ship. Anstruther during a
momentary delay made a small reiitUMt
on his own account. Lieutenant Play
don. nearly as big a man as Robert,
dispatched a note to his servant, and
the gig speedily returned with a com
plete assortment of clothing and linen.
The man also brought a dressing case,
with the result that a dip in the bath
and ten minutes In tho hands of an ex
pert valet made Anstruther ti new man.
Acting under his advice, the bodies
of tho dead were thrown Into the la
goon, the wounded were collected In
the hut, to be attended to by the ship's
surgeon, and the prisoners wore parad
ed In trout of Mir Jan, who identltled
every man and found by counting
heads that none was missing.
Robert did not forget to write out a
formal notice and fasten It to the rock.
This proceeding further mystified tho
olliceis of the Orient, who had gradual
ly formed a connected Idea of the great
flirht made by the shipwrecked pair,
though Anstruther squirmed Inwardly
when lie thought of the manner in
which Iris would picture tho scene.
As It was, he had tho llrst Innings, and
he did not fail to use the opportunity.
In the few terse words which the mill
taut Briton best understands he de
scribed the girl's fortitude, her unllag
glng cheerfulness, her uncomplaining
readiness, to do and dare.
When he ended, the first lieutenant,
who commanded the boats sent In pur
suit of the Hying Dyaks-tho Orient
sank both sampans as soon as they
were launched summed up tho gener
"You do not need our admiration,
Captain Anstruther. Each man of us
envies you lrom the bottom of his
"There Is an error about my rank,"
ho said. "I did once hold a commission
in tho Indian army, but I was court
martialed ami cashiered in Hongkong
six months ago. I was unjustly con
victed on a grave charge, and I hope
some day to clear myself. Meanwhile
I am a mere civilian. It was only
Miss Deano's generous sympathy
which led her to mention my former
rank, Mr. Iiaydon."
Had another of the Orient's twelve
pounder shells suddenly burst in the
midst of tho group of olllcers It would
hnve created less dismay titan this un
expected avowal. Court martialed!
Cashiered! None but a service man
can grasp the awful significance of
those words to tho commissioned ranks
of the army and navy.
Anstruther well know what he was
doing. Somehow ho found nothing hard
in the performance of these penances
now. Of course the ugly truth must
bo revealed tho moment Lord Ventnor
hoard his name. It was not fair to tho
good fellows crowding nround him and
offering every attention that tho frank
hospitality of tho British sailor could
suggest to permit them to adopt the
tone of friendly equnllty which rigid
discipline if nothing else would not al
low them to maintain.
Tho first lieutenant by reason of his
rank was compelled to say something.
"That is a devilish bad Job, Mr. An
struther," he blurted out.
"Well, you know I had to tell you."
Ilo smiled unnffectedly at tho won
dering clrclo. He, too, was an officer
nnd appreciated their sentiments. They
were unfolgnedly sorry for him, n man
so brave and modest, such a splendid
type of the soldier and gentleman, yet
by their common law an outcast Nor
could they wholly understand his do
moanor. There was a noble dignity in
his candor, a conscious innocence that
disdained to shield Itself under a par
Tho first lieutenant again phrased
the thoughts of his Juniors.
"I and every other man In the ship
cannot help but sympathize with you.
But whatever may bo your record If
you were an escaped convict, Mr. An
struther no one could withhold from
you the praise deserved for your mag
nificent stand against overwhelming
odds. Our duty is plain. We will bring
you to Singapore, where tho others will
no doubt wish fo go Immediately. I
will tell tho captain what you have been
good enough to acquaint us with. Mean
while we will give you every assistance
and or attention In our power."
A murmur of approbation ran
through the little circle. Robert's fnce
paled somewhat. What first rate chaps
they were, to be sure!
"I can only tliank you," ho said un
steadily. "Your kindness is more try
ing than adversity."
A rustle of silk, tho intrusion into the
Intent knot of men of a young lady in
a Paris gown, a Paris hat, carrying a
Trouville parasol and most exquisitely
gloved and booted, made every one
"Oh, Robert, dear, how could you? I
actually didn't know you!"
Thus Iris, hewitchlngly nttlred, was
gazing now with provoking admiration
at Robert, who certainly offered nlmost
as great a contrast to his former stato
as did tho girl herself. Ho returned
her look with interest.
"Would any man believe," ho laugh
ed, "that clothes would do so much for
"What a left handed compliment!
But come, dearest. Captain Fitzroy
and Lord Ventnor have come ashoro
with father and me. They want us to
show them everything! You will ex
cuse him, won't jni'V . i ,,,, , , ,
a seraphic smile i.t tl.. o'.'tcis.
They walked off t v.etlur
"Jimmy!" i,ncd a fit mid-dilpuni
to a lanky youth. "She's got on voui
Meaning that IrN had tansucked tin
Orient's theatrical wiir.lro'te an 1 politic
ed on tho swell outfit of the principal
female Impersonator in the ship's com
ORD VENTNOR was no fool.
While Iris was transforming
herself from a semlsavage con
dition Into a semblance of an
chic Parlslenne, Sir Arthur
Deane told the earl something of the
state of affairs on the Island.
His lordship, a handsome, saturnine
man, cool, Insolently polite, counseled
patience, toleration, even silent recog
nition of Anstruther's undoubted
claims for services rendered.
"She is an enthusiastic, high spirited
girl," ho urged upon his surprised hear
er, who expected a very different ex
pression of opinion. "This fellow An
struther Is a plausible sort of rascal, a
good man in a tight place, tooJust the
sort of fire eating blackguard who
would fill tho heroic bill where a fight
is concerned. Hang him, he licked me
Further amazement for the shipown
er. "Yes, It's quite true. I interfered
with his little games, and he gave me
the usual reward of the devil's apothe
cary. Leave Iris alone. At present
she Is strung up to an Intense pitch of
gratitude, having barely escaped a ter
rible fate. Let her come back to the
normal. Anstruther's shady record
must gradually leak out. That will dis
gust her. Ho is hard up cut off by bis
people and that sort of thing. There
you probably have the measure of his
scheming. He knows quite well that
he can never marry your daughter. It
is all a matter of price."
Sir Arthur willingly allowed himself
to be persuaded. At the back of his
head there was an uneasy conscious
ness that it was not "all a matter of
price." If it were he would never
trust a man's face again. But Vent
nor's well balanced arguments swayed
him. The courso indicated was the
only decent one. It was humanly im
possible for a man to chide his daugh
ter and flout her rescuer within an hour
of finding them.
Lord Ventnor played his cards with
a deeper design. Ho bowed to the In
evitable. Iris said she loved his rival.
Very well. To attempt to dlssuado
her was to throw her more closely into
that rival's arms. The right courso
was to appear resigned, saddened, com
pelled against his will to reveal the
distressing truth. Further, he counted
on Anstruther's quick temper as an
active agent. Such a man would bo
the first to rebel against an assumption
of pitying tolerance, ne would bring
bitter charges of conspiracy, of un
believable compact to secure his ruin.
All this must recoil on his own head
when tho facts were laid hare. Not
even tho hero of tho Island could pre
vail against the terrible Indictment of
tho court martial. Finally, at Singa
pore, thrco days distant, Colonel Cos
tobell and his wife were stnylng. Lord
Ventnor, alone of those on board, knew
this. Indeed, he accompanied Sir Ar
thur Denno lnrgely in order to break
off a somewhnt trying entanglement
He smiled complacently as he thought
of tho effect on Iris of Mrs. Costobell's
Indignant remonstrances when the bar
onet nsked that Injured Jndy to tell tho
girl all that had happened at Hong
kong, However, Lord Ventnor was most
profoundly annoyed, nnd ho cursed
Anstruther from tho depths of his
heart But ho could see a way out
Ho came ashoro with Iris and her
father. The captain of tho Orient also
Joined the party. The three men
watched Robert and tho girl walking
toward them from tho group of offi
cers. "Anstruther Is a smart looking fol
low," commented Captain PItzroy.
"Who la he?"
Truth to tell, tho gallant commander
of the Orient wbb sccrotly amazed by
Ihe metamorphosis effected In Robert's
fppearanco slnco ho scrutinized him
Kirough his glasses.
Poor Sir Arthur said not a word, but
nis lordship was quito at eoso.
"From his name and from what
Deane tells me I bclievo ho Is an ox
officer of tho Indian army."
"Ah! He has left tho service?
"Yes. I met him last In Hongkong.0
"Then you know him?"
"Quito well, if ho Is tho man I Im
ngine." "That Is really very nico of Ventnor,"
thought the shipowner. "Tho last thing
I should credit him with would bo a
Meanwhilo Anstruther was reading
Iris a littlo lecture. "Sweet ono," he
explained to her, "do not allude to mo
by my former rank. I am not entitled
to it Somo day, please God, it will bo
restored to me. At present I am a
plain civilian, nnd, by tho way, Iris,
during tho next few days say nothing
about our mine."
"Oh, why not?"
"Just a personnl whim. It win please
"If It pleases you, Robert, I am satis
fled." (Continued on Sixth Page,)
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