Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 18, 1916)
nXx&zr L -w;
RED CLOUD, NEBRASKA, CHIEF
The Broken Coin
A Stony of Mystery and Adventure
y EMERSON HOUGH
From the Scenario by
Novillxed From thu Motion I'lcluro Drnnm of (lie Sumo Name. Produced by tlio
Unlvcrmil Film Manufacturing Company.
Kitty Orny, newnpnpor woman, finds In
It curio Hlmp hnlf of ft broken coin, tho
mutllnttMl limcrlptlun on which uroUMH
Imr curiosity nnd lend hor. nt thu order
of her tnannKliHC editor, to go to the prln
clpnllty of (Jretr.hoffon to iileco out tho
lory BtiRKrited by thu Inscription. Him la
followed, and on nrrlvnl In Uri-tzhorfon
her ndvnnturrs whllo clmnlntf tho accrut
of tho broken coin begin.
The Virtue of Necessity.
"He is killed I" cried Kitty Orny, no
he stood, still uncortnln na to tho re
sult of Count Frederick's dcBpcrato
leap toward tho moving train. "I can
Out presently sho did look both oho
and Koloau passing not forward on tho
train but to tho rear of tho car which
thoy occupied. Amazed, they caw
Count Frederick struggling to tils foct.
"Now, Rolcau," sho cried, "wo must
be quick! If the count Iibb taken this
desperate chanco It was for somo des
perate purpose back of it. Ho knows
about tho coin wo must got It beforo
lie does, and that means at onco."
"How shall that bo dono, excel
lency T" said Itoloau, puzzled for Just n
"I havo It I" sold Kitty, aa they hur
ried doopor into tho car that thoy
might not bo nocn by Count Frederick.
"Walt I will send a mcasago to him
we will ask him to walk Into our
She seatod herself for a moment
and hastily wrote a fow lines on a pago
of her note book, smiling as sho did
"Tlonst" she laughed. "I am now
a loador in Grahoffon diplomacy. Does
ot my writing scorn formal?"
"We send it forward by tho guard?"
"Yes, Roloau, get him quick glvo
him this money wo will wait hero in
the drawing room near to tho front
door of our car. Tho guard must not
toil him who wo arc."
Cut CToa as thoy waited, Intent on
the success of this somowhat trans
parent ruse, Kitty heard tho step ot
tho guard bohlnd her, and turned. Yea,
Uartel of Grahoffon was with him, u
puzzled expression on his faco, tho
noto still in his hand.
"It was this lady sent mo, monsieur,"
explatncd tho guurd, nnd, witnessing
tho stiff surprise of nil concerned, was
willing enough to stop aside and leave
explanation to others.
"Indeed," said Bnrtel nnd himself
would hnvo been equally glad to cs
capo, for thero was no ono In thu world
whom ho less oxpected or less desired
to Bee than this young American who
now faced him smiling.
"You hero? How can It bo possible,
mademoiselle?" said ho. "Did you fall
from the sky?"
At ho Bpoko any shrewd pickpocket
would hare known in which pocket bo
had coacoalod tho coin; for uncon
sciously his hand droppod over it.
"Others also!" smiled Kitty Gray,
and pointed through tho rear window
of the car to the flat on which Count
Frodorick stood. Ho cvon now waB
turning to paBB forward into tho
An exclamation passod from Itartel's
lifts. "Heaven protect us," said ho,
"the thing 1b bewitched!"
Ho turned and disappeared onco
moro lu tho forward part of tho train.
For a moment Kitty thought of follow
ing him, but concluded that ho would
mako no attompt to conceal tho coin.
Since ho was so nearly nt his destina
tion ho would contlnuo to keep It on
hla person. Thoreforo sho turned to
the roar of tho car.
"Monsieur lo Comto Frederick!" sho
oxclalmod now, greotlng tho tall flguro
which approached her. "You couio un
announced." Count Frederick gazed at her for n
moment In somowhat open admiration.
"Listen," said ho nt length. "Why
should wo mako any three-cornorod
light of this at a moment such na this,
whon so much Ib at stake? Why should
wo not unite against yonder man, ti
common enemy, who has what wo both
desire? Beyond belief wo aro lucky
that wo aro both hero allvo. Yonder
man has tho coin I know that as
well as you do. In half an hour ho
will bo freo. Onco in Grahoffeu with
tho coin, ho may wavo farowoll to us
and all our hopes. Como, mademoi
selle, shall wo bo enemies or allies?
You are wise enough to boo what I
"Yea! And I suppose you to bo
nportBman enough to play fair with
ub at least. You havo not always
"That," Bald Count Frederick alow
ly, the rod blood mantling hla dark
skin, "1b tho bitterest cut I have known
in all my lite. I havo asked your for
glvonoBB boforo now havo told you it
was my man alono who offered you
violence not I. On tho contrary, I
havo admired your own courage and
rusourcofulncBs all tho way through,
K Booma to mo you well havo evened
any offenao I over gave to you."
'"At least," Bald sho, "ono good turn
deserves another, and we have HtUo
tltno to talk. Well, then, will you con
tlnuo to light fair If I Join you na ally
ngalnat Urahoffen In thla case?"
"It la agreed," aald Count Frederick,
"ycBl And let fortune Inter dctormlno
between us ua to which of ua ulti
mately Bhall own tho coin. Whcro ia
"Ho passed forwnrd but now," sold
Thoy turned onco moro to nook tho
guard. Onco moro ho led thorn for
wnrd. Thla tlmo thoy all took con
cealment hack of a door which Uartel
mimt pasa as ho loft tho train.
Nervous, eager to bo off tho train
and into safety na Bonn na might bo,
Uartel was oarly in hurrying hla lug
gage to tho door, and hlmaclf followed
It even beforo tho train was coming
to its stop at Grahoffun town. Ho
passed by tho placo of concealment of
tho threo conspirators, and hearing
somo Blight sound turned to sco tho
faco of Count Frederick ntarlng
straight nt him to feol at tho Bamo
tlmo tho Iron arm of Ilolcau cast about
his neck. Tho Blnowy Augers of Count
Frederick supplemented tho assault of
his man, and between these two Uartel
was helpless. Ho felt a hand rilling
hla pocketa, hut as for himself could
mako no outcry. Just na tho train
slowed up at tho entrance into tho
yardu, they Hung him to tho lloor,
whcro ho lay limp.
"I havo It," cried Count Frodorick,
and held up tho Grotzhoffen half coin
beforo Kttty'B eyes. Ho placed it then
in his own pocket.
"Why not givo it to Itoloau as an
impartial third party?" asked Kitty
Count Frederick caught tho chal
lenge and responded to it.
"Very well," Bald ho. "Roleau him
self shall bo tho lord high keeper of
tho coin until further orders. Uut look
As ho handed Roleau tho coin, ho
nodded now to tho window, behind
which could bo seen tho ranked sol
diery of Grahoffon, filling tho spaco of
tho Btntlon platform. Apparently thoy
had been summoned to receive tho
agent ot tho king.
Thoy passed back swiftly to the rear
of tho train, and uo it enmo to a stop
all threo of them dropped off on tho
farther sldo. Whllo tho olllclnls nnd
tho Boldlery wcro searching tho train
tho fugitives wero making their way
off to tho mountain side where thero
seemed at least some alight chnnco
of escape from discovery.
Tho grind of tho wheels under the
brakes had hardly ceased when n high
ofllclal of tho court of Grahoffon
sprang aboard tho train, looking this
way und that expectantly, peering
through tho windows and doors of
conch uftcr coach. Uut ho did not find
tho man ho sought Hurrying through
tho last car ot tho train, at last ho
hnlf-atumbled ovor tho limp form of
Uartel lying on tho lloor whero Ro
leau's arm had flung him, neck nnd
"Quick hero!" ho called out. "Hero's
murder but by whom? Whero havo
thoy got to? After them, men!"
Uut now Bomo sort of nnawcr to their
questioning camo In n about from tho
statlnn platform. Somcono was point
ing beyond tho train up tho mountain
side. Tho ofllclal sprang forward.
"After thorn, men! They must havo
dono this," cried ho. "They hnvo what
A band of mounted men an Instant
later rodo out of tho Btntlon in full
pursuit of tho fugitives. They raced
down tho road, toward a brldgo which
spanned tho stream ahead.
"Look jonder, excellency!" ex
claimed Rolcau at length, na ho turned
nnd faced down tho slope to gazo at
thoRO pursuers. "They will cut ua olf
on ahead. Ivook they nro riding for
He lookod thla way and that, na tho
threo paused uncertain. At last his
oyca fell upon a vaBt bowlder that lay
near by tho edgo of tho rldgo upon
which they Blood. Ho cast a swift
glanco below, lining up tho courso of
tho bowlder Btrnlght down to tho
brldgo below. Bracing himself, ho
throw hla shoulders ngalnat tho bowl
der, exorcising ovory ounce of hla own
Tho advancing soldiery heard tho
roar of tho coming stone, saw how im
minent wna tho danger from it, but
Bomo of tho riders woro already at
tho brldgo itself aa it struck. It
crashed through tho timbers aB if
thoy hnd been straw. What had been
tho bridgo was a ruin. Horses, ridera
all wero carried down into tho
"Como, now," cried Kitty's compnn
Ion to hor onco moro ns they saw tho
pursuit arrested. "On ahead thero
may bo a hotter plnco wo may yot
got through if wo hasten."
At longtb, well-nigh spent, thoy
flung themselves down In this placo of
greater security. Far bolow thoy
could sco mounted men still coming.
Count Frederick and Rolcau mado
I such sllont answer na thoy could. Bach
drew liln wenpon nnd prepared It for
whnt might noxt ensue.
"Wo con hold thorn for n llttlo
time," aald Count Frederick, Judicially,
"Uut wo must not loses our cnuso
Ib too good to bo lost!" exclaimed Kit
ty. "I will not yield to fato I will
not give up! If I myself could esonpo
perhaps I could get to Grotzhoffen at
Inst und bring back holp for you, if
you could wnlt long enough."
"It Is u good plan," said Count Fred
erick, suddenly. "Thero Ib danger In
It, but not so much for you na for
cither of ua. You nro good on your
feet, mndemolsello what shall I
Uut Kitty hnd mado her own re
solve. Ilolcau extended hla hand to
hor. Sho took tho coin Into her pos
session, uiiBecn by Frederick. A mo
ment latpr alio waB speeding awny,
crouching, attempting to cut In ahead
of tho mounted mon below.
King Michael to the Rescue.
In Grctzhoffon capital matters bad
gono ill enough thla day. Tho popu
laco waa on edgo with oxcltcmcnt
over tho mysterious murder.
Tho prefect of pollco wnB furious
over tho results of tho day's work. Ho
know that for somo tlmo ho hnd been
under tho king's simpleton for laxncss
In tho administration of hla ofilco nnd
felt that It was tlmo to mako somo
example, to produco Bomo proof of his
"You, Anselm, you Du Urock," ho
ordored two of his most trusted men
"go out find theflo peoples wo must
hnvo them In our own hands. Turn
night Into dny and day into night un
til you havo them onco moro. Tho
girl la with them bo Buro of that
find her nnd you will find Holeuu, tho
answer to nil theao riddles."
Theso membcra of hla staff, thua ad
jured, inndo their way out, nono too
happy nt the task assigned them, for
they know well enough that now they
wcro to copo with nctlve bralna and
nctlvo bodies. Learning that tho ca
capo of tho accused had been mado by
tho railway train, for a tlmo thoy hung
about tho stntlon In search of further
nowa. Thoy spent Bomo hours thero
Band of Mounted Men an Instant
but departed Just too soon to welcome
tho return of ono of tho fugitives they
sought nono leaa than Kitty Gray
Snfa from Immediate pursuit, Kitty
paused for a llttlo rest and a llttlo
food. What should alio do? For a
tlmo oho was undecided, but presently
her resolution was made.
"I will try It," said alio to herself.
"I will go to tho palaco direct. I will
seo If I can get access to tho king!"
And thither, forsooth, sho did turn
.Rank by rank of tho gunrd Bho
passed by this way or that, wheedling
them, threatening then, bribing them,
until bho found herself within tho
doora of tho palaco.
"Mademoiselle, ngnln!" exclaimed
King Mlchaol. "Welcome, then." Hla
mottled faco did Indeed express grati
fication at Boeing her onco moro.
Kitty first mndo npology for hor
disordered apparel. "I ask your ma
jesty's pardon," said Bho, "for my
plight. I nm euro of my welcomo only
bwauso of tho news I bring I am
from tho front tho war!"
"Tho front tho war mndemolsello,
whnt do you mean? What war? Wo
uro not at war!" Hut even as ho spoko
tho blood shrank back from his faco.
"Thero is war, your majesty, If 1
may say It," rejoined tho young girl.
"Yonder nt tho edgo of tho neutral
lands, thla Bldo ot Grahoffon, men aro
'lighting. Their army la out they havo
besieged our people"
"Our peoplo7 Who nro our poo
plo?" "Two only ono a friend of your
majesty anothor of my own."
"Nono losa than Count Frodorick of
Grctzhoffon ia thero boslegcd nt a llt
tlo pnaa lu tho mountains. With him
Is Rolcau, my servant, whom you do
not know. Horsomon wcro all about
them whon I loft. Thoy wero holding
tho llttlo pass as boat thoy could."
"But what caused all thlB why
woro thoy besieged?"
"Your muJeBty, It la because thoy
want what oolongs hero In Grctzhoffon
they covet tho Grotzhoffen coin."
"Tho coin? What coin? Impossi
ble! I have It myBolf at loaat a
hnlf of It, mademoiselle."
"You your majesty how enn that
bo? For boo, I myself havo it I lied
with It to get safety for It."
King Michael's wits wcro not quick
enough to meet this sudden demand
"It travels, that coin I would not
bcllovo that you could havo It. So now
thoy think ho haa It and havo cov
eted It? Shall yondor rulllan Cortls
law toko from ub that which la oura?
No, mndcmolBcllo, you are right! You
aro it faithful mcsBengcr to bring us
this news. Listen. I myself will go to
"Your majesty apcaka aa a king,"
said Kitty Gray.
Pompously, tho leas rapid for his
avoirdupois, King Mlchaol turned now
to tho halla.
"Call out tho guard!" ho command
ed. "Sound tho buglca now und bring
mo my officers hero. Quick, equip me,
you mon wo inuBt rldo tho troops
Tho word pnBscd quickly. Within
tho half hour Iron hoofs rang on tho
pavements of GretzhofTen avenuo as
tho guard, their sovereign at their
head, rodo out at speed.
I.oft In the enro of ono of tho house
hold women, Kitty waa shown to a
room of her own, where sho might
tho bettor arrango hor apparol nnd
dl8poso horsolf for rest. Sho did
not know nnythlng of Sachlo's pres
onco In tho palace indeed, Michael
himself had not been awaro of that;
but that crafty Individual, readily
enough learning what was meant by
nil this excitement, himself Bped nway
from tho palaco oven beforo tho guard
On tho mountain aldo whero thoy
had been left, Count Frederick and
Rolcau, onco master nnd man, now
partners elbow to elbow in n com
mon cause, lay and looked down.
As they looked they saw tho ad
vanco of tho troops below them halt
ed. Why waa this?
"Surely," chuckled Rolcau uncon
cerned, "wo havo beaten their wholo
army, tho two of us! Aro they uo
braver than that, theso mon of Gra
hoffcn!" "Something has happened below
thero," rojolned Count Frederick. "Wo
could not hold out against their forcos,
and it Ib not fear that haa halted
Thoy turned In tho other directing,
gazing across tho edgo of tho plain
along tho upper Gretzhoffcn roadway.
A cloud of dust was advancing Bwift
ly. "Who goea thero, master?" Bald
Roleau. "Aro they men of this king
dom or of our own?"
Tho oyca of Count Frederick kin
dled at tho Bight. "By tho Lord!"
Bnld ho, "tho girl haa won! Now thoy
nro coming It is pollco duty for
neither of theso, but array against
nrmy! Will It bo war, or peace?"
In tho event, It proved to bo pcaco.
Tho counsol of Count Snchlo pre
vailed. Cortlslaw'a Inborn prudence
hold back hla hand oven now, angered
na ho wna at thla falluro to eocuro pos
session of tho coveted coin on which
ho counted bo surely to mend hla own
waning fortunes. Ho sont forward a
band of trumpetera with a whlto Hag
for a parley. Thoy met tho ndvnnclng
forces of King Mlchnel. Thero wero
explanations, npologlc3. Within nn
hour after tho dust cloud first had
been discovered, Count Frederick was
slinking tho hand of his own monarch
and making such explanations as ho
might of thla sceno of turbulence.
"Thero wero two of ua only, your
majesty," said bo, laughing, nnd point
ing up tho mountain Bldo to tho steep
rldgo they had left. "Two, bealdo tho
"Yea, ycB alio came sho brought
tho news. You owo your Bafoty to her,
Tho pourparler at length ended, tho
two bodies of nrmod men aalutod, each
dipping tta banner to tho other. And
bo, with much Bounding of trumpets,
each turned back in Its own direction.
Tho leaders of each army turned back
as well to nrobleina of their own. Thn
coin was now in Grctzhoffon or half
Later Rode Out In
'.''' s ' vvyfc'y-'' jS' Jy
of it at least. Precisely aa much could
bo Bald for Grahoffon. The old king,
Cortlslaw, was slinking in his wrath
nnd humiliation that ho had but hnlf
The Torture Chamber.
As for tho young American herself,
sho had remained theso hours alono in
tho palaco of tho king.
Tho palace, as sho now reflected,
waa moro nearly deserted than over
she had seen it. Tho household staff
seemed disorganized. Fright had
caught hold of till. Tho most conflict
ing rumors went thla way nnd that.
"I wonder," suld Kitty Gray to her
self after a tlmo, us sho sat alone "I
Now, what alio wondered had to do
with certain questions which sho long
had had in her own mind.
'"Cruclatl cam did 'cam mean
'camera 'chamber' torturo cham
If so, whoro was that torturo cham
ber? Was it under the battlements yon
der, or here In the paluce Itself?
Where had the old king concealed his
Sho rang tho bell and summoned
onco moro tho woman of the palaco
who thuB far had cared for her at the
"Margot." said ahe, "talk to me. 1
havo traveled far and am weary. I am
distressed nervous perhaps. Talk to
"Wo aro all distressed, excellency,"
said tho woman. "Wo know not what
there may be yonder. Perhaps this
moment the two kingdoms may bo at
war. But what can I do to make your
excellency moro comfortable?"
Sho was willing enough to curry fa
vor with a favorite of the king.
"Toll mo Margot," demanded Kitty
Gray, "about this country here. I nm a
stranger from u far country, and I
know very llttlo of this land and of
its customs. Is it an old land, this of
"Moro Immemorlally old, your excel
lency, than most people havo ever
dreamed of. Tho first klnga of Grotz
hoffen dato back bo far In history that
almost they merge into myths. Tho
oldest kingdoms of Europe aro not so
old as this llttlo ono."
"Does tho history of thla country
dato back so far as tho middle ages?"
"Oh, easily. Wo are very old,"
"Thoso also woro tlmea of war and
bloodshed, wero thoy not? Why, Mar
got, in thoso daya they tortwed pris
oners, did they not?"
"Not only prisoners, excellency, but
many others. If a king wished newa
or money, if an ofllclal wished confes
sion of a crime If a bishop desired
confession of faith from a heretic the
torturo chamber waB the placo to get
"Ilut not hero, Margot surely not
"Theso very walls saw It, excellency,
"But that wna long ago thoso places
woro all wiped out and forgotten ages
"Destroyed? Indeed, not. Do not
tho people of thla country nhvays pro
servo their monuments, their museums
of weapons, their chambers of horrora?
Do they not tako a certain prido in
that? MonnrchB oven of today know
tho secret8 of tho old torturo cham
bcra In thla land, and porhapa In many
"I could not havo believed It! And
bo thero waa bucu a place hero, in thla
"Surely. I can glvo warrant for ev
ery word I havo told you, excellency.
Tho tradition la that tho old torturo
chamber of Gretzhoffcn waa ovor yon
derunder tho corner tower ot tho
palace whcro tho embattleraentB ran
in. Thero Ib a corridor which leads
yonder, down below, Into tho vaults.
I would not go thero for all tho world.
Fow of us know tho way, Indeed I
havo never been thero. Wo folk of
Grotzhoffen palaco wo aro wiso
onougn not to ask too many questions,
or to learn too many truths. Uesldoa.
should dlo with terror to thluk of
what spirits must haunt such n ninro
But, excellency," sho concluded, "let
ua speak of moro pleasant thlnga."
Counts His Dead.
"Would you take me yonder, Mar
got?" asked Kitty.
Tho woman crossed herself devoutly.
"Not on my life!" said she. "Never
in tho world! If It bo true that tho
chambers aro there, let others prove
tho truth. I do not know."
"It was but a fancy," Bald Kitty,
turning to her couch and feigning
weariness. "I will call you, Margot."
Kitty listened until her footfalls had
qulto died awny; then, Bwlftly, Bho en
gaged herself upon tho errand which
all this tlmo sho had been planning.
Sho stole from her own npartmonta
into the hall, passed along It toward
tho farther comer whero stood tho tow
er, until sho camo to another stair.
Arrived upon this floor, Bho found her
self unnoticed that part of tho pal
aco was deserted.
Truating only to a general aenao
of direction, sho passed on and down
finding her own way through the
labyrinth of passages, until at length
sho had reached tho subterranean
vaults which lay beneath tho main ed
ifice of tho palaco building.
About her now lay dampness, si
lence. Tho gloom of it all woighed
heavily upon oven her stout soul, used
as Bhe was by this tlmo to torrors.
Uut still sho pushed on, the llttlo can
dle which sho had brought with her
lighting tho gloom at least faintly.
Sho could not tell now whcro sho
was. Only thero camo to her tho
vnguo conviction that if thero wore
secrets in tho palace this waa tho
way to find them. Therefore Bho fol
lowed such passageways as opened
from time to tlmo ahead.
Thero wcro walla of rock now on
each Bldo of her, whether of heavy
masonry or Hewn granite sho could
not toll, her light flickered bo faintly
on them. Uut at length Bho found her
self nt tho end of tho winding pass
agoway. A heavy door stood boforo
Kitty flashed her light thla way and
that to seo if sho could find traco of
any other visitors. Tho dust of tho
floor lay unbroken. Dust, flno, impal
pable lay on tho great metal latclict
of tho door Itself. Thero was a lock,
"Yonder at the Edge of the Neutral
Lands, Men Are Flghtlnal"
yea, a vnst nnd curaborsomo affair ot
iron. Sho tried It. It did not yield.
Whoro then was tho key, If thero was
With no special plan, sho cast hor
light hero and thero along tho wall.
Sho found at last, near to tho Jamb of
tho heavy door, an Iron prong project
ing from tho wall, on It a vast and
rusty bit of iron the key.
With all hor strength sho twisted
tho great key. At length alio felt tho
lock turn, yield. Ono moment aho
halted, and then throw hor weight
ngalnat tho door, it ewung open, si
lently. Sho found hcraolf within.
Had anyone, whether friend or foe,
been near to Kitty Gray at that timo,
they would havo heard her sudden -Y
scream of mortal torror would have
seen hor fall 'and crumplo, in a limp
heap, on tho floor,
(TO Bfi CONTINUED,)
Powered by Open ONI