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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 23, 1916)
RED CLOUD, NEBRASKA, CHIEF
TflE Broken Coin
A Sf ory of Mystery and Adventure
y EMERSON HOUGH
From ihe Scenario &K
Kitty Gray, newspaper woman, flmln In
a nirlo hIkid lirtlf of n broken coin, tlio
mutllntcil Inscription nn wliluh iitouhch
hor nirliiHlly nml lends linr, nt tlio nnlcr
of her innniiMliiK editor, to bo to the prin
cipality of (Irrir.lioffon to tilcco out lliu
tory niiRBritiMl by thn Inscription. Hlio In
followed, (inil on nrrtvnl In Grctstliorfcn
liar ndvonturca whllo clmnlnff tho Bvcrut
of tho broken coin bonln.
The King of Gretzhoffen.
"You majesty does ino honor."
It was with simple dignity that tho
young Amorlcnn girl spoko theso
words to tho monnrch in whoso proa
onco flho found horsolf fresh from hor
"Wo could not too much honor bo
charming n. representative of your
grout country, my dear young lady,"
"Do not misunderstand mo, your
majesty," resumed tho young woman.
"It ia moro than posslblo I havo boon
brought beforo you under falso pro
tonscs. I am not a person of rank,
am Indeed but a prisoner tnltcu yonder
by outlaws. I J ut for tho wit of my
sorvant I think I might havo been held
for a ransom."
"It woro largo ransom would bo fit
for such hostago na yoursolf, ma
domoiacllo. Whutovcr it was it would
havo been paid, bad wo but known!"
"I thank you, sire. PcrhapB thcro
will bo no futuro need. In Booth, from
tho way tho bandit chloftaln looked on
another of our party, I would rathor
think ho would prefer him to myself
"Whom do you mean?"
"The Count Frederick, Biro."
"Again tho Count Frederick! . Ho
oeraa always to como into my affairs."
Tho annoynnco in tho king's faco was
"Ho has been much concorncd in
"I must explain? Slro, I camo to
your country only in my professional
capacity I had no more urgent er
rand than to find tho half of n certain
missing coin. Tho other half had como
Into my possession by chance. It waa
my faucy "
"What, n broken coin? You inter
est mo. Madomoisollo, I felt from tho
first moment that eventually wo would
find sotno common ground of interest.
A coin a broken coin I know of
somo bucIj thine mvaolf. Thorn am
current storlea about It. Seo, I havo !
It, for my good friond Frederick seems
for somo strango reason to havo a
ffjcy for it himself. Would you like,
then, to seo it?"
Kitty's eyes flashed In eagcrncBs.
"Above all things, Biro! It would
comploto my happiness to boo It."
"Thou you shall, assuredly."
Ho bowed in somewhat adiposo gal
lantry aa sho extended her hand to
ward tho pudgy palm In which lay the
oujuci wiucu ior ucr nuiu sucn inter
est. In a glanco sho mnv tho identity
of tho missing half. Tho remaining
words of tho inscription thoy woro
there, sho wub sure. "Torturo cham
ber trcaBurca of tho king;" it waa
plain to her. Theso two pieces of
motal jolnod would represent a story
worth tho having.
"Do you not deslro it, then?" Tho
olco of tho monarch carried a cer
"Deslro it, your majesty! I should
deslro nothing bo much in all tho
world. With both halves In my hand
sire, I Bhould feel that tho world
"Why not gratify that wish then,
madomoisollo? Listen. Count Fred
erick desired tills very trinket for n
lady, ho Bald. Hero Is a lady who do
Blroa It for herself. Why should wo
not glvo it hor why should wo not
havo right as good as his?"
"You canuot moan it for mo?"
"But yea, precisely! And listen, my
dear young lady. Thoro Is something
about this broken coin which begins
to annoy mo. Count Frcdorlck is al
ways referring to it for one reason or
another ho has Bomo motive which
I cannot divino. Now, of lato I havo
bad abundant troubles, many persona
who importune mo. In theso sorioua
times, tho people being so discontent
ed, we have matters of moro Impor
tance than to triflo with this trinket,
as I say. You desire It. It borcB
mo. Who bettor than yourself Bhould
own It if you like?"
Kitty stood looking at him, scarce
believing what he said. King Ml
ohaol went on:
"Two things Interest mo today, my
dear lady. First, how to quiet my
people; tho second, to discover boiuo
fashion which shall keep you horo in
our own country, interested and use
ful. I am convlncod of your own wis
dom, your own Justice your own ex
perience in your land as to law and
liberty and Justice. Bomotlmoa out of
tho mouth of a woman a lady of
rank, of oxporlonco ono might learn
tho better how to carry on tho duties
of a Btatc."
"And tho duties of tho state would
coflYicHr. sx ay
dlnposo your majesty wholly to tho
good of Ills people?"
"Precisely. It Is na I would havo
said It, mademoiselle You Americans
Kitty took from hln hand tho broken
bit of motnl and regarded It thought
fully. "I thank you moro than I can toll,
your majcflty," said sho, soberly. "It
Bhall bo my mission to find out for
your peoplo tho uncompleted messago
of this coin "
A silver bell sounded afar In tho
hall, announcing tho approach of a
servant. An official of tho palaco en
tered and stood motionless noar tho
"What then, Andreas?"
"Tho Count Frederick of Gretzhof
fen; tho Count Sachlo of Grahaffcn."
"Let them enter, Andreas."
Both gentlemen bowed dooply na
thoy entered and ench klsse'd tho
royal hand respectfully Kitty Ig
nored Count Sachlo and bowed but
coldly to Count Frederick.
Count Frcdorlck, In whoso mind
seemed to linger but scant remem
brnnco of any unpleasant scenes In
which ho had llgurcd, smiled now, and
nfter tho American fashion, na he
fannied, held out his hand.
Kilty could not rofuso it. Quickly
sho shifted tho broken bit of coin
from hor right hnntl to hor loft
quickly, but not bo quickly na to es
cape tho keen eyes of tho man who
faced her now.
"Count Sachlo, you nro wolcomo
from your kingdom to ours. I bollovo
you havo never heard of tho young
American of distinction who has como
among us of Into you havo not mot?"
Kitty looked calmly at tho count
and mado no reply.
"Pns encore, votro majesto," replied
Sachlo In tho common languago used
P "' lllllllllllllllHillllllllB
The Man Listened Respectfully and
Took the Missive.
at court with Btrangcra present. "Not
yet." Ills faco flushed deeply as ho
"Ah, very well, thon it Is time. At
tho ball perhaps wo shall all bo pres
ent. Mndomolsello, your invitation
Bhall como from ub duly."
Kitty took this to bo her dismissal,
and with deep thanks and tho best
curtsy sho could muster, bowed her-
Bou irom tno room, nrtor to bo es
corted by a gravo official to hor car.
Defore the Ball.
In her hotel, albeit something of a
subject of gossip, na alio herself could
not but know, Kitty felt herself at
least safo from any such occurrences
na of lato had bcon hor lot. Roleau
still was missing.
It waB tho morning of tho great
black und white bnll whon Kitty, hor
gown finally in hor own possession,
stood beforo tho tall mirror in hor
rooms to glvo It its final proving.
Tho cuso on hor dressing table now
held but a fow slmplo rings and
broochca, trifling things which had
been given hor or which from tlmo
to tlmo sho had purchased for her
self Tho only thing of valuo which lay
upon tho tablo was something which
sho most wished to conceal, and not
to display. Tho broken coin how
could Bho make suro that It would bo
Kitty swiftly conceivod a plan which
she fancied would afford greator safo
ty for tho cherished coin. Thero was
at hand no machinery of coromony,
even hnd Bho been familiar with it.
"Tho simplest way la tho best," said
bho to herself, hor llpa compressed.
Sho sat at hor desk and Inclosed
tho broken coin in a doublo shoot of
papor. Upon ono Bhcot Bho wrote
theso fow words:
"Your Majesty, tho young American
woman so honored with this gift neks
Its satokoeplng for a Uttlo tlmo."
Bho added no signature, but on the
onvclopo tho best tho Hotel Rltz
could furnish her Bho wrote a slmplo
address: "For tho King, at tho Koyal
Palaco, to bo delivered at twelvo mid
In fault of hotter messenger, Kitty
telephoned now to tho bureau of tole
grupha and asked for a reliablo ines
Bonger. Whon prcaonlly ho came she
entrusted thla missive to him with
oxpresa instructiona that ho should
leavo it in tho hands of some chosen
Borvnnt of tho king who would bo
suro to deliver It nt tho hour of mid
night of that very day.
Tho man listened respectfully, took
tho mlsslvo, and started for tho door.
Passing, ho almost ran ngalnst a gen
tlemnn in the hall, and dropped his en
velopa na ho did bo.
"Your pardon," exclaimed tho gen.
tlcman, raising hla hat; and himself
picked up tho onvclopo. Tho messon
gor did not notlco his fingers quickly
closing upon It, feeling It hero and
thero aa ho presented it to tho bearer.
Itcllovod now of this caro, and sat
isfied that hor plan would provido for
tho safety of thla prized possession
for that night at IcaBt Kitty pussed
on to other rnattcra.
Of what use, after all, waa half thla
coin, whllo tho Count Frederick Btlll
retained tho other half taken from
her by force, by vlolencn?
Sho stood for a tlmo, her fingers nt
her lips, engaged In thought. "I am
going direct to Count Frederick him
self and ask him for tho other half
of thu coin. Ho knows tho king has
given mo I1I3 half perhaps ho will re
lent und let mo match tho king's half
of tho Gretzhoffen coin."
With her to think waa to act. A
half hour later, ready robed for tho
street, sho waa In her car and on her
way to tho palaco of Count Frederick.
They know hor at tho count's palaco
now or thought they knew her and
bo no questions wero asked when sho
applied at tho door Pending tho com
ing of tho count, who waa nt homo, aa
sho learned, Bho was shown to a re
ception loom close to tho entry door.
As sho sat hero, sho heard footatepa
approaching, heard voices In conver
sation. Sho know that Count Freder
ick waa thero, but not alono.
Kitty listened shamelessly for now
Indeed all waa fair in war for hor In
caso llko thla.
Sho heard Count Frederick nddroaa
hla companion aB "My Lord Mlnlater,"
and again aa "Danlalaw," bo know that
it waB none other than tho prlmo min
ister of Gretzhoffen with whom ho
"My friond." sho heard a hard, in
clsivo voice declaro, "this ball tonight
la tho crowning mistake of the entire
year. It may mean tho ruin of Gretz
hoffen. I tell you, Count Frederick,
revolution la In tho air. The peoplo
uro demanding tho answer to all tholr
sufferings, to their poverty, their
anxieties. That an8wer, If wo do not
tme every means to chango it, surely
will be written red!"
"Hut what plan do you propose, my
lord minister? What can I do?"
"Ono thing. Let mo bo blunt and
brief havo tho king sober tonight! I
shnmo to say thoso words but thoso
are my words to you. Havo our mon
arch whom wo revorenco aoher to
night! if the peoplo bco him drunken,
If thoy find him careless, Indifferent,
In times llko thla pouf! revolution.
I tell you, and tho answer written with
tho pen of blood."
Count Frederick apparently paused
at this. Thcro was n hint of Bomo
thing suppressed In his voice when at
length ho did reply.
"My lord minister, I'll see tho king!"
Kitty thought that now they clnsped
hands. She heard tho prlmo minister
departing, each giving tho other for
mul words of courtesy.
Now Bho heard Frederick calling to
"Ilublnoff, Franko any of you ras
calswell, you, Ilublnoff. Go at once
to tho apartments of the Count Sachlo
and nsk him it ho will join mo at
Kitty, still trembling in suppressed
oxcltcmcnt, waited yet longer beforo
declaring horself. Sho hoard Prorinr.
lck pacing up and down In tho room,
muttering to himself heard also after
an lntermlnablo Interval tho footsteps
of another In tho hall heard Freder
ick greet him.
"Ah, Sachlo, you nro welcome in
deed. Wo havo nows for you, my
friond nows that may go well with
"Command mo, my doar Frcdorlck."
"I ask you, my dear Sachlo, to do
an easy, pleasant and Interesting task.
It Is no moro than to go this after
noon,, to win In some fashion into the
prcsenco of King Mlchncl tho Second,
our beloved monarch whom wo both
rovorenco! and thon and thoro, by
what means shall seem most expedi
ent, to induce him to drink moro wino
than ever ho did in ono day in his ltfo."
Count Sachlo laughed loud and long.
"For what purposo, my good Fred
erick?" ho inquired at length.
"For a plain and doflnlto purposo!
Listen. As you know, I havo bad my
eyes on tho throno of Gretzhoffen slnco
tho death of tho old king. That throne
la rightfully mlno, and will bo mlno.
This land Is full of dlscontont like
your own, yonder. The peoplo com
plain. They are on tho very vorgo of
revolution at thla moment. Thla great
ball tonight tho thought of its ex
ponso has enraged our peoplo. Now,
If tonight they seo our beloved mon
archwhom wo both rovorenco In hla
usual or moro than hlo usual stato of
Intoxication thon thoro'a tho match
to tho powder mill. Tho revolution is
begun. Tho explosion ia mndo. It
will be too lato, thon. Tholr wrath
ngalnst tho weak Michael dissipat
ing, wasting their substunco for them
will bo unappoasable. For th rest
At the Black
I havo made my plans. My own regi
ments will bo faithful. Thu regiments
of tho king aro none too faithful. Tho
banditti of tho desort nro with ub. To
morrow thcro will bo a now king in
Grotzhoffen, and thnt king will bo
Frederick tho First."
Kitty Hllppod from tho room. Tho
hall waa empty. An Instant later sho
was out of tho great entry and passing
to her car.
At her hotel onco moro alio hurried
to hor room. Hero waa somewhat to
bo dono. Sho know tho plot now nil
wna plain aa to tho Intentions of Fred
crick in regard to tho kingdom of
Gretzhoffen and to the monnrch who
held tho throne.
"Your majesty," Bho wrote In hor
rolling hand now, "tho young Ameri
can bo much honored by your gift
which la returned to your caro at mid
night tonight hna by chanco learned
of a plot to injure your majesty and to
injuro tho kingdom of Gretzhoffen aa
well. Truat her to explain when op
portunity shall come. Meantime havo
tho word of ono who la Bollcltoua for
your safety. Drink no wino. Beware."
Onco moro sho telephoned to tho
bureau of telegraphs, called for a mes
senger, and sent her slmplo missive to
Having dispatched her messages,
Kitty Gray eat nlono onco more in her
room. Thero camo to her mind onco
more tho reflection that now sho had
not even ono portion of tho broken
coin. As to that which had gone to
tho king, sho felt fairly sure that she
might regain it. As to that which had
been taken from her by forco by Count
Frederick, Bho waB far aa over from
"Tho simplest way is tho best," said
sho onco mpro. "I'll go back there
"I was not so fortunate as to find
monsieur the count at homo before,"
Bho explained to tho attendants who
met her nt tho door.
"Monsieur tho count has gone out
A sudden resolution en me to Kitty's
mind even us a sudden flush enmo to
"So? Then I will wait hla coming.
If you please, tho apartmenta of mon
sieur tho count."
Tho innn left her, and sho closed the
door. An Instant later Bho was at work
turning over the articles on tho
dresser, peering hero and thero, look
ing this way and that and unsuccess
fully. Dut meantlmo tho attendant who
had left her, anxious to bo of scrvlco
to his master, sent out posthasto to
summon Count Frederick to hia re
turn. Ho met tho count himself, and
yet another attendant, upon tho point
of entering tho palace. The newcomer
was talking to tho count excitedly.
"Excellency, I tell you the woman
Is outwitting you. Sho Bent her half
the coin this very morning sent It to
tho king by special messenger. I saw
It I felt it In tho envelope, I am suro.
Thero la somo plot afoot And I
brought tho nowa aa soon as possible,
but have searched for you long."
"Como," said Frederick, and ho
hastened tho moro when ho met tho
messenger advising him of Kitty's
presonco in tho palaco.
Her Bcarch still uncompleted, Kitty
hoard footsteps npproachlng, and
turned desperately llko somo trapped
animal. Thoro waa no escape tho
narrow window, aa she know, was two
stories abovo tho court below. And
oven ns sho stepped to tho door sho
met thero the smiling, snrdonio faco
of Count Frederick hlmaelf.
Tho honor is mine, mademoiselle!"
said ho with ley politeness. "True, I
bad not expected you."
Shamefaced, confused, for onco un
ablo to raako any explanation, Kitty
could but stand and stare at him. An
instant later she heard the click of tho
lock and the passing of footsteps In
tho hall onco moro. Sho was alone!
Sho was a prisoner!
Sho sat alone, helpless, unanswered
In Bplto of her pounding on tho door,
her cries for help, until sho was utter
ly weary until tho shadcB of night
Sho looked at hor watch. The hour
was npproachlng eleven. Tho great
black and whlto ball was now In prog
ress nt tho winter palace across tho
Sho went to tho window and looked
out into tho night All tho court was
dark save ono window dlroctly below
hor on tho opposite side, fifteen foot
below, ton feot across tho narrow
courtway. Even aa she looked down
and White Ball
at it sho saw a face thrust out a faco
upturned towards hor
"Roleau!" sho exclaimed "Can It
be posslblo? Roleau, help mo!" Kitty
extended her nrms nppcnllngly "I am
a prisoner hero they have locked mo
in thero Is no way out. Help mo!"
Roleau's own prcsenco In tho palace
sho did not ut tho moment undertake
to oxplaln. As a matter of fact, ho
had but that day come In from tho
camp of tho banditti, whero ho had
"Walt," ho cried. "I will show you."
An iron grating, with the stairs of
a lire escape, led down dlroctly In
front of Roleau's window. Ho camo
out upon this, braced hla lega acrosa,
and back under the rail, and held out
hla mighty anna.
"Jump," ho cried; "It la safe."
An instant later sho wna on tho Iron
grating and Into the window, and Ro
leau, gaunt, unshaven, smiling, hor
friend and rescuer, had led her to tho
"Come," ho snld, and without paus
ing for nny discussion, ho hurried out,
"It is lato, Rolenu." whispered Kitty
back to him. "It la eleven o'clock.
Tho king goes to tho great ball at
midnight Hurry. I must bo thero.
In his own apartments that evening
Michael the king had passed tho tlmo
In somewhat preoccupied fashion. Left
alone, and hence unhappy In hla coun
sels, ho welcomed the announcement
of tho chamberlain who advised him
of the presenco of the Count Sachlo of
Grahaffcn, who wished to pay his com
pliments to the king,
"Come then, my dear count. ' said
Michael to him. "You aro vory wel
come at this hour. You will havo a
glass of our own vintage 1 havo a
cask of Lucoyen which Is quite worth
"With all my heart," said Count
Tho attendant removed the cork
from tho bottle reverently, poured
slowly, gently, the amber fluid Into
tho tall glasses upon the table. It was
at that moment that King Michael be
thought him of a certain messago
handed to him but left until now un
opened, lie frowned as ho looked at
tho word. Irreverent when addressed
to royalty, and urging hnsto. "Im
portant." Ia it so? What shall I do,
my dear count? Throw It away?"
Count Sachlo east a glanco upon tho
"Your mnjesty," said he, "It Is In '
tho hand of a lady. By no means
throw away any letter a woman
writes to you and by no means write
ono yourself. Am I not good coun
sel?" Smiling. King Michael broke open tho
small hotel seal, frowning aa he did so
at what seemed to him unduo familiar
ity on tho part of someone, he knew
not who. nut aa his eyes ran over
tho fow lines of tho message hla ex
prosslon suddenly changed. Tho worda
remained deeply written on hla mind.
"Your majesty young Ameri
can , drink no wine."
Count Sachio looked on respectfully,
his glass urrested, naturally venturing
no comment King Michael mado no
effort to turn tho conversation. Ho
left hla wino untastcd!
"Indeed, our peoplo also aro grow
ing In audacity," went on Count Suchlo
presently. "Hut I pledge your maj
esty a long and happy reign." Ho
raised his glass and waited.
"Drink heartily, good Count Sachlo,"
said King Michael. "Aa for myaelf, I
havo dined but lately, aa I Baid. Tho
doctors say dreadful things to mp.
You excuse me?"
He had poured but a small portion
in bis own glass, and raised hla band
Sachlo waa obliged to admit to
Count Frederick, whom now ho early
sought that ho doubted tho full suc
cess of his errand.
"Leavo him then to mo," ex
claimed Frcdorlck "ho never falls to
do as I ask. Make ready for tho ball
time presses now. 1 myself will
hasten to see tho king befoie bo leaves
for tho winter palaco."
Frederick, making urpont excuses
now to entor tho apartments of tho
king after his arrival, found the mon
nrch In tho same apartment, stolidly
regarding tho now empty bottlo of
A certain idea came to tho brain
of Michael, tho king, as ho now ac
knowledged tho visit of. Count Fred
orlck nt bo lato nn hour. If this
messago had warned him not.fco drink
wine then thero must bo someone in
tho wDrtd who wished him to driak
wine. Why? Who was thnt person?
Might It not bo this man here Count
Frederick tho man whom really ho
feared? If bo, would not feigned In
toxication serve well to discover tho
Reasoning thus, King Michael with
small exertion of histrionic nrt man
aged to glvo an excellent Imitation to
hla friend of a monnrch far gone in
wine. Frederick, pleading fntlguo and
thirst, plied him farther, and Michael
apparently yielded, using still such
arts aa served him for tho timo be
ing. When, not too long beforo tho ap
pointed hour of midnight, Frcdorlck
left tho palace, ho left behind him as
he was assured, a monarch hopelessly
So the lights flamed on nt all tho
windows of tho Winter palaco.
Suddenly tho music broke, crashed
and swept Into tho national air. A
murmur went nbout! Tho king! Tho
danccra hastened back to tho sides
of tho room. All eyes turned toward
tho great entrance
Under tho festooned llngB, escort
ed by his uniformed officers, himself
wearing all his decorations nnd garbed
as a king should he, thcro appeared
Xing Michael of Gretzhoffen.
Tho hour of midnight struck. Tho
eyes of moro than ono man on tho
great dancing floor Including thoso
or Count Frederick of Gretzhoffen
looked nt the king amnzed. Hero waa
no staggering monarch, maudlin In hla
cups, como to mako a bpectaclo of
himself before hla peoplo. No, ho
walked straight as any And behind
him from tho street thero camo not
shouts of derision, but something of
welcomo, of confldenco a pitiful ex
pression of a peoplo willing yet long
er to enduro a king.
At tho king'a hide, hor hand on his
arm, thero walked the flguro of a tall
and beautiful woman, arrayed aa
wero all thoso othcra present in a
costumo of black and white a tnll
young woman whom not many of thoso
present recognized. A few passed tho
word, "Tho American!"
Tlio music of tho royal anthem
ceased. An instant and tho orchestra
broke out onco moro In tho sensuous
strains of a southern waltz. King
Michael ns yet did nut dance, but ha
gnvo word that tho bnll should pro
ceed. A uniformed officer of tho court
now approached Count Frederick as
ho stood not far removed from the
"Monsieur, tho count," said ho de
ferentially, "I havo had for some
hours in my possession this package
which 1 havo not opened. It Is markod
to bo presented to his majesty at mid
night here. Do you think it should be
Even as they Bpoko the king him
self, accompanied, In accordanco with
his request, by the young woman who
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She Heard Frederick Calling to His
had entered with him, approached
Count Frederick. Ho raised a hand to
beckon to .tho official.
"Your majesty," whispered Kitty
Gray, "that Is tho package which I
myself sont you thU morning tako it
quickly I marked it for you at mid
night." "Shall I optm it for your majesty?"
Count Frederick bent forward polite
ly. "No," said Michael. "I know the
ono who sent It Let herself open it
Kitty broke tho slmplo seal upon
tho plain envelope In which sho bad
enclosed tho coin that morning. She
smiled at Michael radlautly now, and
at Count Frederick, though not ra
diantly. The danco swept on, tho crash of
reed and brass filling tho arched dome
of tho great salon. In through the
great doors camo tho cries of those
not splendidly garbed, thoso who
stood without tho palaco "Long live
Rut tho king stood curiously renard-
ing tho chango in expression which
ho snw on thov faco of tho young
"Well, then, madomoisollo?" said he
(TO BDl CONTINUED.)
' vtiwiog- e
1 tm Mi i i . ' -mwy
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