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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (July 16, 1905)
he Omaha Illustrated Bee
Entered Second Class at Omaha rostofflce Published Weeklj bj-The Bee Publishing Co. Subscription, 2.50 Ter Year.
l NUMBER 318.
JULY IB. 1005. '
The Lost La.igk
11 Til STORY
Bjr G. W. HORNUNO.
Author of "The Shadow of the Hope," "The Rogue's March,"
"A Bride from the Bush," "Stingaree Stories." "Dead Men Tell No
(Copyright, IKtt, by Chrls gcrlbner's Sons )
W.rsSTTiTIt'T IC 5 I
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Tenth Raffles Story
8 I hare bad occasion to remark elsewhere, the pick of our
exploit, from a frankly criminal point of view, are of least
use for the comparatively pure purposes of these papers.
They might be appreciated In a trade Journal (If only that
want could be supplied) by skilled manipulator! of the Jimmy and
the large light bunch, but as records of unbroken yet insignificant
success they would be found at once too trivial and too technical.
If not sordid and unprofitable into the bargain. The latter epithets
and worse have Indeed already been applied, if not to Rallies and
all his works, at least to mine upon Rattles, by more than one
worthy wlelder of a virtuous pen. I need not say how heartily I
disagree with that truly pious opinion. So far front admitting a
single word of It, I maintain it is the liveliest warning that I .am
giving to the world. Raffles was a genius and he could not make
it pa1 Raffles had Invention, resource, incomparable audacity and
a nerve In ten thousand. lie was both strategian and tactician,
and we all now know tlie difference between the two. Yet for
months he had been hiding like a rat in a hole, unable to show
even his altered face by night or day without risk unless another
risk were courted by three Inches of conspicuous crape. Then thus
far our rewards hni oftener than not been no reward at all. Alto
gether it was a very different story from the old festive, unsus
pected club and cricket days, with their noctes ambroslanae at the
And now, in addition to the eternnl peril of recognition, there
was yet another menace of which I knew nothing. I thought tio
more of our Neapolitan organ-grinders, though I did often think of
the moving rage that they had torn for me out of my friend's
strange life in Italy. Raffles never alluded to the subject again,
and for my part I had entirely forgotten his wild ideas connecting
the organ-grinders with the Camorra and Imagining them upon his
own tracks. I heard no more or It and thought as little, as I say.
Then one night in the autumn I shrink from shocking the sus
ceptible for nothing but there was a certain house in Palace Gardens,
and when we got there Rallies would pajss on. I could see no soul In
sight, Bo glimmer in the windows. But Raffles had my arm, and on
we went without talking about it Sharp to the left on the Nottlng
III11 side, sharper still up Silver street, a little tacking west and south,
a plunge across High street and presently we were home.
"Fajamas flrst," said Raffles with as much authority as though
It mattered. It was a warm night, however, though September, and
I did not mind till I came In clad as he commanded to find the auto
crat himself still booted and capped. He was peeping through the
blind and the gas was still turned down. But he said that I could
turn It up as he helped himself to a cigarette and nothing with it.
'May I mix you one?" said I. '
"What's the trouble?" ' -
"We were followed." -
"You never saw It"
"But you never looked round."
"I have an eye at the back of each ear. Bunny."
I helped myself and fear with less moderation than might have
been the case a miuute'before.
"So that was why" '
"That was why," said Raffles, nodding; but he did not smile and I
put down my glass untouched.
"They were following us then!"
"All up Talace Gardens."
"I thought you wound about coming back over the hill."
"Nevertheless one of them's in the street below at this moment"
No, he was not fooling me. He was very grim. And he had not
laken off a thing; perhaps he did not think It worth while.
"Plain clothes?" I sighed, following the sartorial train of thought
. iiV .r-y'B $A
i m m r-' n iajujM...lj . iT"""- t ii T .iiTnr r nn i u ailliilih
THE COUNT'S GREAT CARCASS SPRAWLED UPON THE TABLE.
But It's no use speculating. I must find out" "Then I beg yours," said I, "but the fact Is Mr. Maturin has had
"How can you?" one of his bad nights, and I seem tb have been waiting hours for milk
"He won't stay there all night" to make him a cup of tea." -
"Well?" . This little fib (ready enough for a Raffles, though I say it) earned
"When he gets tired of it I shall return the compliment and follow me not only forgiveness, but' that obliging sympathy which Is a branch
"Not alone," said I firmly.
"Well, we'll see; we'll see at once," said Raffles, rising. "Out with
the gas, Bunny, while I take a look. Thank you. Now wait a bit
yes! He's chucked It; he's off already, and so am I!"
But I slipped to our outer door and held the passage.
"I don't let you go alone, you know."
"You can't come with me In pajamas.
"Now I see why you made me put them on!"
"Bunny, if you don't shift I shall have to shift you. This Is my
very private one-man show. But I'll, be back In an hour there!"
"By all my gods." '
I gave in. How could I help giving In? lie did not look: the man
that he had been,, "but you never knew with Raffles, and I could not whimpered, never loosening
have him lay a hand on me. I let him go with a shrug and my bleas-inx, grasp of the door and
lng, then ran into his room to see the last of him from the window. , standing tight against the
The creature in the coat ' and boots had reached the end of our other t wall. "But he's
little street where be appeared to have hesitated,' so that Baffles was sleeping like a baby now."
just in time to see which way be turned. And Raffles was after him "I must see him."
at an easy pace, and had himself almost reached the corner' when my- "He gave strict orders
attention was distracted from the alert nonchalance of his gait I was that you should not."
marvelling that it alone had not long ago betrayed him, for nothing "I'm bis medical man
about him was so unconsciously characteristic, when suddenly I real- and I"
lzed that Raffles was not the only person In the little lonely street . "You . know what he
Another pedestrian had entered from the other end, a man heavily is," I said, shrugging; "the
of the business of the man at the door. The good fellow said that he
could see I had been sitting up all night and he left me pluming my
self upon the accidental art with which I had told my very necessary
tarradiddle. On reflection I gave the credit to Instinct' not accident,
and then sighed afresh as I realized how the influence of the matter
was sinking into me, and he heaven knew where! But my punishment
was swift to follow, for within the hour the bell rang Imperiously
twice, and there was Dr. Theobald on our mat in a yellow Jaeger suit
with a chin as yellow Jutting over the flaps that he had turned up to
hide his pajamas. ' m ' t
"What's this about a
bad night?" said he.
'He eouldn't sleep and
he wouldn't let me,". I
be the last time, I warn
you! I know what he said
and you don't"'
The doctor cursed me
built and clad with an astrakhan collar to his coat on this warm night least thing wakes him, and
even to the loathly arrows that had decorated my person once already and a black slouch hat that hid his features from my. bird's-eye view, you will If you Insist on
for a little aeon. Next time they would give me double. The skilly His steps were the short and shuffling ones of a man advanced In years seeing him bow. It will
was In my stomach when I saw Raffles' face. and In fatty degeneration, but of a sudden they stopped beneath my
"Who said it was the police, Bunny?" said he. "It's the Italians, very eyes. I could have dropped a marble Into the dented crown of
They're only after me; they won't hurt a hair of your head, let alone the black felt hat Then at the. same moment Raffles turned the cor-
cropping it! Have a drink and don't mind me. I shall score them off ner without looking round, and the big man below raised both his
before I'm done." hands and his face. Of the latter I saw only the huge white mus- , under his fiery mustache.
"And I'll help you!" tache, like a flying gull, as Raffles had described it for at a glance I "I shall come up dur
"No, old chap, you won't This Is my own little show. I've divined that this was his arch-enemy, the Count Corbuccl himself. ing the course of the morn
known about It for weeks. I first tumbled to It the day those Neapoli- I did not stop to consider the subtleties of the system by which lng," he snarled,
tans came back with their organs, though I didn't seriously suspect the real hunter lagged behind, while his subordinate pointed the quarry "And I. shall tie np
things then; they never came again, those two, they had done their like a sporting dog. I left the Count shuffling onward faster than be- the bell," I said, "and If It
part That's the Camorra all over, from all accounts. The Count I fore, and I Jumped Into some clothes as though the flats were on fire, doesn't ring he'll be sleep
told you about Is pretty high up in it by the way he spoke, but there if the Count was going to follow Raffles in his turn then I would follow ing still, but I will not risk
will be grades and grades between him and the orcan-grinders. I the Count in mine, and there wo14 be a midnight procession of .us waking lm by coming to
shouldn't be surprised if he had every low-down Neapolitan ice-creamer through the town. But I found no sign of him in the empty street and the door again."
In the town upon my tracks! The organization's incredible. Then ' no sign in the Earl's Court road, that looked as empty for all its length And vth that I shut
do you remember the superior foreigner who came to the door a few save for a natural enemy standing like a waxwork with a glimmer at It In his face. I was im-
davs afterward? You said he had velvet eyes. . . his belt
"I never connected him with those
"Of course you didnt, Bunny, so
you threatened to kick the fellow
downstairs, and only made them
keener on the scent It was too late
to say anythjng when you told me.
But the very next time I showed my
nose outside I heard a camera click
as I passed, and the fiend was a person
with velvet eyes. Then there was a
lull. That happened weeks ago. They
had sent mo to Italy for identification
by Count Corbuccl."
"But this Is all theory," I ex
claimed. "How on earth can you
"I don't know," said Raffles, "but
I should like to bet Our friend the
bloodhound is banging about the cor
ner near the pillar box. . Look through '
my window, It's dark in there, and tell
ma who he Is."
The man was too far away for
me to swear to Ms face, but he wore
a covert coat of un-English length and
the lamp across the road played stead
ily on his boots. They were very yel
i low and they made no noise when he
took a turn. I strained my eyes, and
all at once I remembered the thin
soled, low-becled, splay yellow boots
of the insidious foreigner with tha
soft eyes and ths brown-paper faco
whom I bad turned from the door as
a palpable fraud The ring at the
nell was the first I had heard of him,
there had been no warning step upon
the stairs and my suspicious eye had
searched his feet for rubber soles.
Officer," I gasped, "have you seen anything of an old
gentleman with a big white mustache?"
The unlicked cub of a common constable seemed to eye
me the more suspiciously for the flattering form of my ad
"Took a hansom," said be at length.
A hansom! Then he was . not following the others on
foot; there was no guessing his game. But something must
be said or done.
"He's a -friend of mine," I explained, "and I want to
overtake blm. Did you hear where he told the fellow to
A curt negative was the policeman's reply to that and If
ever I take part In a night assault at artus, revolver versus
baton in the back kitchen, I knew which member of the Met
ropolitan Tolice Force I should like for my opponent
proving, as Raffles had
said, but what would It
profit me If some evil had
befallen him? And now I
was prepared for the
worst. A boy came up
whistling and leaving pa
pers on the mats. It was
getting on for 8 o'clock,
and the whisky and soda
of half-past 12 stood un
touched and stagnant in
the tumbler. If the worst
bad happened to Raffles I
S II I I m II T - ri inn 1 I I nil inn iihmiiii.i
"I GOT A CRACK ON THE HEAD."
felt that I would either
never drink again or else seldom do anything else.
Meanwhile I could not even break my fast but roamed the fiat in
If there was no overtaking the Count, however, It should misery not to be described, my very linen still unchanged mv cheeks
be a comparatively simple matter in the case of the couple and chin now tawny from tiie unwholesome night How long would
on foot, and I wildly hailed the first hansom that crawled It go on? I wondered for a time. Then I changed my tune: how long
Into my ken. I roust tell Raffles who It was that I had seen, could I endure It?
The Earl's Court road was long and the time since he van- It went on actually until the forenoon only, but my endurance
Ished in it but a few short minutes. I drove down the length cannot be measured by the time, for to me every hour of it was an
of that useful thoroughfare with an eye apiece on either pave- arctic night Yet it cannot have been much after 11 when the riug
ment, sweeping each as with a brush, but never a Raffles came at the bell, which I had forgotten to tie up after all. But this
came Into the pan. Then I tried the Fulham road, flrst to was not the doctor; neither, too well I knew, was it the wanderer re-
the west then to the east nd in the end drove home to the " turned. . Our bell was the pneumatic one that tells you If the touch
nui as ooia as orass i ma not reaiiae my lnaiscretlon until be light or heavy; the hand upon it now was tentative and shy.
i uau pa m me man ana was on tne stairs, names never
dreamed of driving all the way back, but I was hoping now
to find him waiting up above. He had said an hour. I bad
remembered it suddenly. And now the hour was mora than
up. But the flat was as empty as I had left It. The very
FOCO TEMPO, POCO TEMPO."
I would llsteu at the door. He
It's the fellow," I said, returning to Raffles, and I described bis might come over the roof, and eventually some one did, but now it
Raffles was delighted.
"Well done, Buuny; you're coming on," said he. "Now I wonder
if he's been aver here all the time or If they sent htm over expressly?
You did better than you think In spotting those boots,. for they can
only bar been mad In Italy, and that looks liko the special envoy.
The owner of the hand f had never seen before. He was young
and ragged, with ono eye blank, but the other ablaze with some fell
excitement. And straightway he burst into a low torrent of words, of
which all I knew that they were Italian, and therefore news of
Raffles, if only I had known the lani;uaee!- But dumb show mleht
light that had encouraged me. pale though It was, as I turned help us somewhat, and in I dragged him, though against Lis will, a
tho corner in my hansom, was but the light that I myself had new alarm in his one wild eye.
left burning In the desolate passage. "yoa capita?" he cried when I had him Inside and had withstood
I can give you no conception of the night that I spent the torrent.
"No, I'm bothered if I dol'M athiwered, guessing his question fronj
bis tune. '
"Vrstro amico," he repeated over and over again; and then, 'Toco
tempo, poi'o tempo, poco tempo!"
For once in my life the classical education of my public school
Most of it I hung across the sill, throwing a wide net with
my ears, catching every footstep afar off, every hansom bell
further still, only to gather In some alien whom I seldom even
landed in our street. Then I would llsteu at th
was broad daylight and I flung the door open In the milkman's face, days was of real value. "My pal, njy pal, and no time to be lost!" I
translated freely and flew for my hat.
"Eeco, sinnore!" cried the fellow, snatching the watch from my
waistcoat pocket and putting one blac k thumb nail on the long hand,
the other on the numeral 12. "Mezzoglorno pooo tempo poco tempo!"
And again I seized his meaning that It was twenty past 11 and ws
which whitened at the shock as though I had ducked him In bis own
"You're late." I thundered as the flrst excuse for my excitement
"Beg your pardon," said he Indignantly, "but I'm half an hour be
fore my usual time."
must be there by 12. But where, but where? It was
maddening to be summoned like this and not to know what
had happened nor to have any means of finding out But my
presence of mind stood by me still, I was improving by seven-league
strides, and 1 crammed my handkerchief betweeu the druni and
hammer of the bell before leaving. The doctor could ring now till
be was black in the face, but 1 was not coming, and he need not
i half expected to find a hansom waiting, but there was none,
ind we ltad gone some distance down the Earl's Court road before
we got one; in fact we had to run to the stand. Opposite is the
church with the clock upon It, as everybody knows, and at sight of
the dial my companion had wrung his hands. It was close upon
the half hour.
"Poco tempo pechisslmo!" he wailed. "Bloomburee Ske-warr,
he then cried to the cabman "nuuierro trentotto!"
"Bloomsbury Square," I roared on my own account "I'll show
you the house when we get there, only drive like be-d d!"
My companion lay back gasping In his corner. The small glass
told me that my own face was pretty red. t
"A nice show!" I cried; "and not a word can you ell me. Didn't
you bring me a note?"
I might have known by this time that he had not still I went
through the pantomlme'of writing with my linger on my cuff. But
he shrugged and shook his head.
"Nlente," ald he. '.'Una quistlonc dl vita, dl vita!"
"What's that?" I snapped, my early training come in again.
"Say it slowly andante rallentando."
Thank Italy for the stage instructions In the songs ono used
to murder! The fellow actually understood.
"Una qulstione dl-vlta." .
"Or mors, eh?" I shouted, and up went the trap door over our
heads. ' ,
"Avantl, avantl, avantH" cried the Italian, turning up his one
"Hell-torleather," I translated, "and doublo fare if you do It by 12
But in the streets of London how is one to know the time? In the
Earl's Court road It had not been half -past and at Barker's in High
Btreet it was but a minute later. A long half mile a minute, that v?aa ,
going like the wind, and Indeed we bad done much of it at a gallop.
But the next hundred yards took us five minutes by the next clock,
and which was one to believe? I fell back upon my own old watch
(It was my own), which made It eighteen minutes to the hour as we
swung across the Serpentine bridge, and by the quarter we were In
the Bayswater road not up for once.
"Presto, presto," my pale guide murmured. "Affretatevl avantl!"
"Ten bob If you do It," I cried through the trap, without the
slightest notion of what we were to do. But it was "una qulstione dl
vita," and "vostro amico" must and could
only be my miserable Raffles.
What a very godsend is the perfect
hansom to the man or woman In a hurry! It .
had been our great good fortune to jump Into
a perfect hansom, There was no choice; we
had to take the flrst upon the rank, but It
must have deserved its place with the rest
nowhere. New tires, superb springs, a horse
in a thousand and a driver up to every trick
of his trade! In and out we went like a fast
half-back at the Rugby game, yet where the
traffla was thinnest there were. we. And
how he knew his way! At the Marble Arch
he slipped out of the main stream, and so
into Wigmore street, then up and in and out
on until I saw the gold tips of the Museum
palisade gleaming between the horses' ears
in the sun. Flop, plop, plop; ting, ling, ling;
bell and horseshoes, horseshoes and bell,
until the colossal figure of jC. J. Fox In a
grimy toga spelled Bloomsbury Square, with
my watch still wanting three minutes to the
"What number?" cried the good fellow
' overhead. "
"Trentotto, trentotto," said my guide,
' but be was looking to the right, and I bun'
'died him out to show the house on foot I
bad not half a sovereign after all, but I
flung our dear driver a whole one Instead,
and only wish that it had been a hundred.
Already the Italian had his latchkey In
the door of 38, and In another moment we
were rushing up the narrow stairs of. as
dingy a London house as prejudiced coun
tryman can conceive. It was panelled, but
, It was dark and evil-smelling, and how we
should have found our way even to the
stairs but for ah unwholesome Jet of yellow
gas in the hall I cannot myself imagine.
However, up we went pell-mell to the right
about on the half landing, and so like a
whirlwind Into the drawing-room a few
steps higher. There the gas was also burn
ing behind closed shutters, and the scene Is
photographed upon my brain, though I can
not have looked upon it for a whole Instant .
as I sprsng In at my leader's heels.
This room also was panelled, and In the
middle of the wall on our left his hands
lashed to a ring-bolt high above his head, his toes ' barely;
touching the floor, his neck pinioned by a strap passing through
smaller ring-bolts under each ear and every inch of him secured on
the same principle, stood, or rather hung, all that was left of Raffles,
for at the first glance I believed him dead. A black ruler gagged hLm,
the ends lashed behind his neck, the blood ujon it caked to bronze la
the gas light And In front of him, ticking like a sledgehammer, Its
only hand upon the stroke of 12, stood a simple, old-fashioned grand
father's clock but not for half an instant longer only until my guide
could hurl himself upon It and send the whole thing crashing into tha
comer. An ear-splitting report accompanied the crash, a white cloud
lifted from the fallen clock, and I saw a revolver smoking in -a visa
screwed below the dial, an arrangement of wires sprouting from the
lt.il itself, and the single hand at once at its zeultb'and in contact with
"Tumble to It Bunny?"
He was alive; these were his words; the Italian bad the blood
caked ruler In his hand, and with bis knife was reaching up to cut the
thongs that lashed the hands. He was not tall enough. I seized and
lifted hlin up, then fell to work with my own knife on the straps. And
Rbiiles smiled faintly upon us through bis blood stains.
"I want you to tumble to it," be whispered; "the neatest thing in
revenge I ever knew, and another minute would have fixed it. I've
teen watting for it twelve hours, watching the clock round, death at
the end of the lap! Electric connection. Simple enough. Hour band
ouly O Ird!"
We had cut' the last strap. He could not stand. We supported
blm between us to a horsehair sofa, for the room was furnished, and
C begged him not to speak, while bis one-eyed deliverer was at the
ioor before Raffles recalled him with a sharp word in Italian.
"He wants to get me a Mnk, but that can wait" said be la
flrmer voice. "I shall enjoy.it the more when I've told you what hap
pened. Don't let blm go, Bunny; put your back against the door, lie's
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