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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 26, 1905)
The Mmterg of the Feather rem gallon
HF.SITATE a little before setting down
lure the record of the last nf those adven
tures In which Enoch Voyce shared. That
hesitation arises from the fad that the ad
venture was so strange and so nut of the
common, and Involves the tilling of no ex
traordinary a story; nmn over. It concern
people who live at this moment, :ind whose
Identity, for obvious reasons, I clothe In other names
More than a yiar had elaped since our visit to the
quiet old city of Koemlnster, Hnd I had achieved some
thing of my amhltlon hy setting up a modest establish
ment In the neighborhood-of Regent stret; that small
auburb thnt had m-en niy advent Into the photographic
world knew me no more. And Knorh Voyce that man
of mystery, and my good friend had accompanied me
and occupied a tiny room In niy house, under the very
It wai on one hot August morning, when people were
for the most part out of town, and business was conse
quently slack, that, looking out of the, window of my
tudlo Into the street, 1 saw a cab stop and Inspector
Clair get out. Remembrance of old happenings In his
company swept Into my mind at once, and It was with
some eagerness that I welcomed him. The man seemed
to be In a great hurry, and had kept his cab waiting.
Enoch Voyce Joined us even as we began to speak of t;ie
object of the Inspector's visit.
" You're a bit above my line Just now, Mr. Rntten
bury." began the Inspector, " but I should like you to
do the business for me. If you will, for old times' sake."
"Is It In the country?" I asked hesitatingly, aa I
thought of possible clients.
" No; In London." replied Clair. " Rather a sordid
business, but mysterious, and rather out of the ordinary.
A man hat been killed In a house In Lambeth. No one
even knows his name or where he came from. He's one
of that great shifting population of a big city, here to
day and gone tomorrow. Only In this case he's been ar
rested on his Journey, as It were, by the hand of death."
This seemed rather poetical for the Inspector, but I
was Interested. I begged that he would proceed, while
I got my apparatus ready.
" The man, though poorly dressed, was evidently of
a superior class, as compared with those with whom he
had. been associating, fclowevcr, In spite of that, he had
got down as low as Wicks' Rents, Lnmlirth; had taken
a room In one of the wretched houst s there, and had lived
there for two or three days. l.ast night he was found
there, done to death, and with the weapon a heavy poker
from the fireplace lying beside him."
"Any clew?" asked Enoch.
"Two," replied the Inspector slowVy, "a scrap of
paper In one of his pockets; In one of his clinched hands
"A feather!" we both exclaimed at once.
Tim Inspector appeared gratified by our surprise. He
nodded and pursed up his lips.
" A feather," he repeated, " a small thin curled
feather, some three Inches In length a white feather.
I should say from a boa belonging to a woman; though
never could such a feather have come from nothing
worn by a woman In Wicks' Rents. However," contin
ued the Inspector, rising to his feet, " we'd better go to
the place; we cantalk on the way. As you lire bringing
your camera, and as our friend, Mr. Voyce. Is, I hope,
accompanying us, I'll dismiss my hansom and call a cab."
If there are In Loudon any worse places than Wicks'
Rents, Lambeth, I should like to see them. I remember
that we went through a low archway and found our
selves In a squalid court, with houses on either side and
the high wall of a factory at the end. I remember that
there were frowsy women and scowling men at the door
ways, and a little knot of people gathered about one door
way In particular. The Inspector thrust himself through
that knot, being made way for eagerly and even slavish
ly, and we came Into the place where the man lay dead.
A couple of constables guarded the door, which was closed
Immediately we had got Inside.
He was not a peasant sight, that dead man. He had
only been discovered an hour or so before; the doctor'
d already reported that he had been dead since the
oils night. The blow that had killed him had been
ed with much strength and subtlety, and had Ilt-
nrushod in the side c his head; he must have died
Instant. He lay, a huddled heap, against the
. table near which he had doubtless been standing.
He ws a man of about 40 years of age, with hair
going a little gray at the temples. His clothes were old
and shabby; his face, even though smoothed by death,
showed the stains of dissipation, and suggested, too, that
the man had fallen from something better. While we
looked at him we spoke In hushed tones, as though the
dreadful thing at our feet could hear us.
1 " Unless we can get finger prints, or can find some
motive for the crime there's not much chance of discov
ering who struck the blow," whispered the Inspector.
" He was obviously too poor to rob; and, so far as I can
find out from my men, he was not known In the neigh
borhood. Of course, It may have been a quarrel; but
then the man had kept himself much to himself during
the three days he had been here."
I took photographs at the Inspector's request of the'
rusty poker and of the woodwork of a broken chair that
had been overturned. More than that, I photographed
that scrap of paper that had been found In the man's
pocket and which bore only two or three words, without
signature. The words were scrawled in what was evi
dently a disguised hand; much as though some one had
held a pen at full length of an unsupported arm and had
dashed down the words anyhow. Thy words were these:
" Since you threaten me, I will meet you at the time
you suggest. Hum this."
I saw also, spread out on the broad palm of Inspector
Clair, the feather a slight thing that a breath would
blow away. It had been found caught between the fingers
of the dead mansomething at which he had snatched
n itnderhtan'D this storr from the begin-
Q UNDERSTAND this story from the begin
ning, your thoughts must Journey to the
clouds or, rather, some hundreds of feet
above them. And these- clouds must be sail
ing along the Baltic sea, a little off tae
coust of 8weden. In the clear atmosphere
above them a balloon was idly drifting, with
a brilliant sun streaming upon the great
silk gas bag. It carried one passenger. He was an aero
naut by profession, by name Frankel.
Such is the first scene. The second was taking place
at the same time, only a thousand feet below. In the park
of e rich landowner, on the little Island of Oland. That
day the rich landowner of Oland was celebrating his silver
wedding. Around his house the lovely grounds were
thronged with guests. People of all sorts filled the will
kept lawns people from stately homes In Sweden and la
borers from the village, worklnginen employed by their
host. And among these, radiant and happy, moved the
daughter of the house, laughing aud chatting with all
allkt regardless of purse or title.
A mile to the east a black speck sank slowly through
a gray white bank of cloud. For awhile It passed unno
ticed, until some one, pointing, asked: " What is that?"
All eyes now turned to the sky. Some said the speck
must be bird, perhaps a golden eagle. But none felt
sure, until at last ths thing slowly resolved Itself Into a
Now they could see the aeronaut moving In the basket.
He seemed to be In difficulties, for a stream of sand shot
out suddenly from one of the bags suspended outside the
wicker car. Then he lowered a long rope, shouting Tor
them to catch the rope and to drag the balloon Into the
A dozen men sprang to obey, and between them the
balloon was brought safely to the ground. A young man
sprang nimbly from the car. Hat In hand, he bowed re
spectfully to the landowner and his wife.
"My name la Frankel," he began, "and I must ask
your pardon for appearing in this unceremonious fashion.
But my balloon was damaged, and I had to descend
whether I liked or not."
The landowner replied that be was welcome, and
pressed him to Join In the keepfng. up of his silver wtd
dmg. The aeronaut was charmed. IVrhaps the pretty
girl that his host Introduced as " my daughter " had not
a little to do with his pleasure.
At any rate, be staid. And. at eny rate, he talked
most of the afternoon with the girl. Moreover, before the
etei.lng was ended be had accepted his host's Invitation
. ,i Mnd a few days wKh them.
Today the young aeronaut is married to the daughter
of the rich landowner of Oland.
mmbm miriiW wife
i l ?r IJJ PfSi ' WW iff
probably as he filed. And, as the Inspector suggested. It
coiil. 1 scarcely have come from anything belonging to a
woman of that neighborhood.
While I was ut work there came a tap at the door,
and a constable thrust In his head. The Inspector crossed
the room to him and they whispered together for a mo
ment. I thought that I heard another voice, break in also.
Then the burly form of the Inspector filled, the doorway,
and he stood with his back to us. talking to some one
outside. And that some one had the clear, quiet voice
of a lady, and I heard the voice distinctly.
" One dot s not like to think of any one dying so sud
denly," said the visitor. " I am known here the people
all know me and if I can do anything "
"Nothing, I'm afraid, my lady," replied Inspector)
Clair. " And It's not a sight that a lady like yourself
would care to look on not a pretty sight."
" I am not nfrald," said the clear voice again.
And almost before I knew whut had happened the
Inspector had drawn iback and the woman was in the
She was, I th(nk, the most beautiful creature I had
ever seen; and site was beautiful ki a fashion that had
always appealed to me. She had the fuce almost of a
pictured saint; great dark eyes, imd the tenderest mouth
imaginable, and dark hair flowing buck from a broad
Almost before we knew what was happening she was
on her knees beside that wreck of humanity. I saw the
inspector step forward to itrevent her, but she waved him
"I'm not afraid," she said again. "This man was
something better than his fellows. Somewhere in the
past for which he must be Judged some woman must have
loved him; for that cause alone a woman should be be
side him now." She looked up and glanced from one to
the other of us. " You have no clew?" she asked.
" None, my lady," he said, shaking his head. " We
are Investigating matters now taking photographs of fin
" Will that give a clew?" she asked quickly.
" We hope so," said Clair brusquely. " Now, my lady,
I must really ask you to leave us; this Is no place for
you," he added.
She rose to her feet; she stood for a moment or two
looking down at the dead man. Then, with her head
bowed, she went out of the room, and the door closed
behind her. I ventured to ask In a whisper who she was.
" Lady Blesswick," -replied Clair. " Done a heap of
good down here among these people, one way and ungth
cr. They fairly worship her. I've found her In places
where I would scarcely have ventured alone myself," he
went on, In a hushed voice, " but, aa she Rays, she's not
afraid. She's given her life to it for several years now."
My part of the work ended, of course, with the ful
fillment of my duties as photographer. I left Inspector
Clair to make arrangements for the removal of the body.
And here I may mention that the case fell naturally
by the verdict of the Jury of " murder against some per
son or persons unknown," Into the category of mysteries
left In the hands of the police. In due course I handed
over the piiotographs to Inspector Clair, aH the same time
hinting to him that with my Improved position I did not
care to mix myself In such matters In the future.
Curiously enough, Enoch Voyce had refused to ex
How to Get Small Waist Without Lacing
OUR waist must not be more than twenty-
Yl three inches. Empire styles are In and the
I tortures of the empire corset are at hand
I unless you want to be In style and at the
same time be comfortable.
To lace or not to luce Is the -question of
the hour. One must have the twenty-three
inch waist, yet one must not lace. The
doctor says you must not laee--the modiste says the waist
must be twenty-three Inches, and round and the solution
of the whole problem lb s in diet and In" exercise.
The empire corset has come back and, unless the
women of today are willing to suffer agonies to be
squeezed and laced until their digestive apparatus Is
shoved out of place, their waist compressed, and their
heart, and lungs affected they will have to go into train
ing or out of style and the one seems to many as bad as
the other. The new corsets are round walsted, extremely
high In the belt line, extremely small, and extremely
round. To get into one would force a healthy girl to lie
down and let her maid place one foot on her buck and pull
the strings until she can bear It no longer until the waist
is pinched aud the abdomen compressed to the point of
agony und beyond the possibility of eating.
French Inshl Upon Torture.
It Is terribly unhealthy to lace the corsets tightly but
the French insist upon It and the way they wear them is
to squeeze the lower part Just as tight as possible, then
unlace the three top boles and lace them loosely with
another cwrd. leaving the bust free making It possible to
breathe, but not to move.
To keep the waist round and high they lace the cortets
tightly. Then around the waist they si girdle of linen
and bones, which is tightly hooked a in. with this
instrument of race suicide and unheal k place It will
stay In spite of the efforts of naturo btain air and
exercise for the vital organs.
But it is possible to have the twenty
combined with grace and comfort and V
aid of the maid or the instrument of
make the waist line extremely small wi
The ancient Greek and Spartan warrior
Mp and shoulders, and beautifully iu)
by the good old method of diet and ex
exactly what the sensible society woinel
icing at all.
en of gre;,:
lists did it
and that is
press any opinion In r gard to t'.ie murder. Once or twice
I had endeavored to sound him by suggesting, for In
stance, that there might have been a quarrel between
the dead man and another; and Enoch Voyce had nodded
arid shrugged his shoulders. Or, again, I had suggested
that this might be a case" of a mere matter of vengeance
long delayed something that came out of the better past
of the man, and had dogged his footsteps since; and again
Enoch Voyce had nodded and shrugged his shoulders.
Rut nt last one day, more than a week after our visit
to Wicks' Rents, he made a suggestion which nt that
time did not appear to have any connection with the
murder. Indeed, It' was purely a business suggestion.
" Why don't you ask Lndy Ulesswlck to give you a
sitting?" he demanded in his. abrupt fashion one day.
" She is connected with all sorts of charitable affairs,
meets royalty occasionally, and Is generally well known.
It may lead to business for you. Why not write and ask
her to give you a complimentary sitting?"
t I did not suppose for a moment that she would ac
cede to any request of mine. However, at Enoch's sug
gestion, I mentioned that I had had the pleasure of meet
ing her under grewsotne circumstances at the time of the
discovery of the murder of an unknown man In Wicks'
Rents, Lambeth. And to my surprise she replied at once,
in a formal but cordiHl note:
"Lady Blesswick presents her compliments to Mr.
Rattenbury, and begs to thank him for his offer. She
will willingly place herself in his hands for a photo
graph, although Bhe scarcely likes to Impose on Mr. Hat
tenbury's kindness In the matter. Boon after ll1 on
Wednesday next would suit her."
I showed .the note to Enoch Voyce, who examined It
critically and remarked that the writing showed force
of character. To my surprise, too, he lingered over taat
ordinary note for some time, screwing up his lips and
his eyes ovtr it, and putting his head more on one side
than ever. However, he said nothing, and the day came
which was to bring with it Lady Blesswick.
She came simply and quietly dressed. She expressed
her thanks to me for having suggested that I should take
her photograph, and at the same time a little polite won
der that the photograph should be worth the trouble.
Also, sh apologized for having brought with her her
maid; they were going on together somew.here else after
wards. Resides, this maid was her confidential attendant,
and she seldom went anywhere without her.
The maid was, I think, the grimmest looking woman
I ever .have seen. Some 50 years of age, with hair that
whs beginning to turn gray and with a mouth that was
simply one stern, straight line; with eyes of the fiercest
and the brightest, and with ever a Jealous gaze upon
her mistress. Hut what attracted me most at that mo
ment, especially having In mind the fact of the murder
In Wicks' Rents, suggested to me again by the presence
of Lady Blesswick, was the fact that this elderly maid
wore a white feather boa.
I remember that I first noticed It as I stood, after
pot-lng Lady Blesswick, and waiting the few momenta
necessary for the exposure.
Lady Blesswick was an Ideal sitter, her calm, (beauti
ful face never moved. My eyes strayed from ttiat for
a moment to the maid, who was holding her mistress'
cloak. And then It was that I saw the boa, and remem
bered In, a hash the feather that had been clutched tightly
In the dead man's hand.
FASHION'S DECREE OF TWENTY-THREE INCH
WAIST CAN BE OBEYED BY EXERCISING
The modistes admit that the golf girls and the basketball
girls or many of them slip into the twenty-three inch
girdles with astonishing ease, anck wear the empire corsets
with but a tug or two even though they wear medals for
prowess in strength and agility.
They understand exercise and they understand the art
of eating the right thing in the right amounts.'
Exercises for Lessening Figure.
To make the waist little there are three important
exercises. The first Is a bending one. Seat yourself and
bend forward until you touch your toes. Repeat seventy
five times. This Is the rowing exercise.
For the second exercise remain seated, tlfrow up your
hands and bend backward. Rcteat fifty times.
For the third exercise remain seated and bend from
side to side. Saw this side and that side until your aipa
feel limber. This is a great waist reduction exercise.
There are exei-ls-s for reducing the weight which are
to be taken us one stands erect. Bend from side to side,
lifting the arms at the same time. Hold a fan In your,
hands to assist in the bending operation. But on your
corset before you try this exercise.
The second curst t exercise 4s taken with the fan In
both hands. Lift It high above your head. Bend back
ward so as to keep the arms raised, at the same time bend
our body back as f ir as you can with your corset on.
Tins is fine for reducing the wulst line.
There is one wuIhi exercise which is excellent. It
consists of waist compression. I.ay your bands on euch
fcide of your belt line and press hard. Compress your waist
with your linger tips and keep on pressing. You will sexm
have a wui.-i which you can almost span. Try the hip
exercises. Hop up and down. Jump aud skip, keeping the
feet on the move as If you were dancing. In a Utile while
your waist will grow less as your shoulders and hips grow
broad. The chest will till out. but 'the b. It line will be
small like that of a runner. Runners always have a tiny
little belt line. A professional athlete tan wear a belt of
which a society girl would be proud.
Pinching Will Reduce Fat.
Women a hose waist nit.tsurc thirty Inches would do
Meli to study the new methods. Io not try to compress
your belt line within the limits of a twenty-three inch
Of course, the mere suggestion was absurd. I dis
missed It with a shudder at once. I told myself that this
gentle lady had. on in errand of mercy, happened to
come Into the room where the man had been done to
death. And now her maid was wearing a boa of which
doubtless there were a thousand replicas In London at
that moment. With a feeling of Indignation against
myswlf, 1 squeezed the bulb and closed the shutter. The
next moment I was bowing to Lady Blesswick, who was
smiling and thanking me. And nt the same moment I
jaw that Enoch Voyce was gallantly relieving the maid
of the cloak and was assisting Lady Blesswick with It.
Enoch' Voyce went downstairs with them. Return
ing In a couple of minutes, he closed the door of the
studio and stood there with his back to It. I knew taat
something was wrong, or that he suspected something,
by his manner.
" Rattenbury," he said at last, " can you stand a
" ( think so," I replied.
He advanced from the door and came close up to me
and spoke In a low tone.
"One of the women who went out of this room mis
tress or 'maid killed that unknown man In Wicks' Rents,"
I thought again of that feather boa. and I must con
fess I laughed. The idea was so palpably absurd
Enoch Voyce suddenly opined his hand and displayed on
the palm a small, white feather.
" I got it Just now when I was taking the cloak from
the maid," he said.
" But, my dear Voyce," I remonstrated, " how many
feather boas do you think are being worn In Loudon at
this moment? Why, the Idea would never have suggested
Itself to Jou if you had not seen Lady Blesswick In that
room with the dead man."
Enoch Voyce seated himself on the table near which
I stood and spread out the feather on his palm and looked
at it. Still looking at It he went on to explain what was
in his mind.
" Now, my dear Rattenbury, I do not think you can
accuse me of Jumping at conclusions," he said. " You
doubtless will remember that In the dead man's posses
sion was found a note, which the writer had requested
the man to burn, making the appointment with him
which doubtless was to mean his death. You have a
photograph of that letter and I have carefully examined
It. You will remember that It begins with the word
Since.' The capital letter Is peculiarly shaped a long,
firm outline, quite different from the rest of the note,
suggesting to my mind that the Idea of disguising the
writing came Into the mind of the writer after the note
was begun. Now, in that other note making the appoint
ment for the photograph to be taken, that same capital
letter again appears at the beginning of the sentence
'Soon after 11.' And, so far as I can Judge, those letters
"Then what do you suggest?" I asked. In an awe
' I scarcely know what to suggest," said Enoc'.i. " It
may be the maid; that is the more likely solution of the
mystery. I would suggest that, back in the past, this
man had had some power over the mistress. I seem to see
the grim, determined maid striking him down when he
threatens the Woman she loves. The fact that the first
note was written in a disguised hand and that the second
waist line, rather try to make your waist so small that you
can wear a little belt without injury.
The woman who has rolls of fat around her belt line
would do well to pinch off these rolls. This is called Jap
anese massage, linch the rolls of fat until they disappear.
They will go away If you pinch them well night and morn
ing. Pinch until you feel it. The fat will forget to form
new rolls and the old wrinkles will melt away. You can
hire some one to do it for you if you prefer. But It is
reully best to do It yourself.
The empire waist is the short, high waist. But the new
round corsi t has a little round waist Just about at the belt
line. If you want to wear a little high empire waist, or a
long empire coat with its little, short waist, right up In
under the arms, you will need to have a little, round
The thin woman looks adorably graceful In this high
short waist, witli the bust tied with a sash. But the stout
woman is a sight. And tills means that the stout woman
must diet, bend, and exercise.
Diet That Will Make Waist Small.
What are you going to eat while you are changing
your figure from a long, flat, straight front to that of u
little1, round waist line? You are going to diet, but when
and bow? If you really are In earnest about dieting, go
out to the first fruit stand and buy some fruit. No matter
what kind. Just so it In- agreeable to your taste and accept
able to your digestion. Don't eat pineupplc if it distresses
you; don't try bananas if they go itgainxt you. Get some
thing that agrees with you well.
A woman alio is dieting f- r a little waist gets up in
the morning and eats pears. She has a breakfast consist
ing of one roll and half a cup of coffee. From that time
on until tt o'clock at night she eats fruit. Nothing else.
Not as much as a swallow of water nor a sip of tea. not
as much us a nibble at a cracker, nothing at all except
fruit, of which she has a tin.- stock on band.
For dinner she eats soup, all the vegetables she can
hold, and a bit of meat. It keeps up her strength and feeds
her bruin. She lias all the fruit she wants to tat in the
evening. The result is apparent. From being a heavy
weight she has tome down to lie diuin ami though by no
means a bantamweight she is only fairly stout. Blie will
keep on until she Is slender, actually slender.
note wj In the second person suggests to my mind that
both may have been written by i t,,, confidential maid
The wearing of that feather boa, from which she could
not possibly know that a tiny feather hair been snatched
on two occasion, confirms me in tint susmfloin On
the other hand, the p, in may hive had to do With .,p
maid only and the mistress be utterly Ignorant of the
whole hfT.ilr. In any cae I should like you to take a
photograph of that first word In the sentence In the
second note. I should :ke. If possible, to compare the
two accurately. Can It be done?''
I Informed lilm thnt I could take a photograph of the
second letter on gelatin, so that he could actually place
the one c.ip.tal Jettir o r the other and see to what x
tent they tlittd. So Intcristed was I in the matter that
I st to Work at once, and was able later In the day to
complete the xperlnietit. Anil when standing beside Enoch
Voyce I placed the gelatin letter over the photograph
of the note found In the possession of the dead man, our
silence showed that his surmise had been correct, and
that the letter "8" In each case was absolutely alike.
I felt a little faint, I must admit, as I made the dis
covery. " We will take the photographs when they are com
pleted to Lady Blesswick ourselves," said Enoch, quietly.
" Pi any cnse.she must know what we have discovered."
I remember that Intirvlew well. We were shown Into
a room where Lady Blesswick sat writing. She rose
to receive us. and was altogether gracious. I remember
that I saw with a pang thinking It possible thnt she
might be connected with that awful tragedy In some way
that she had a pretty child ; fair haired boy clinging
to her skirts.
She was pleased to admire the photographs much,
kneeling beside the boy, and making a beautiful picture.
With her head close against the child, she showed the
photographs to him. I would have been glad then to be
well out of the matter; birt I knew that we must go on.
Enoch Voyce gently suggested that we had something
of Importance to communicate to her and that the c'.illd
should be setkt away. A sudden still look came into her
face. She bowed and saw tae child out of the room.
Then, when the door was chsed, she faced us quietly.
She seemed to know In that moment what she had to face
and she took It quite bravely; there was no appeal In
Briefly enough Enoch Voyce told acr what we had
.discovered. Of the feather found In the hand of the dead
man, so exactly like a fcuNicr from a boa worn by her
" I gnve her that. It belonged to me," broke In Lady
Blesswick, in a low voice.
Of the comparing of the two Initial letters In the two
notes; of the extraordinary fashion in which thtiy fitted;
of Enoch Voyce's own suspicions which I heard then for
the first time that that dramntlc entry of Lady Blesswick
Into the wretched room in Wicks' Rents, Lambeth, was
something more tlian accidental.
"I kilhd him," she said, quietly, after a pause
" Gentlemen " she raised those wonderful eyes and
looked at us as a prisoner might look at her Judges
" years ago, when I was little more than a child, he
come Into my life and did me the greatest wrong a man
may do a woman. Slowly, by God's grace, I got away
from him; slowly, along tho thorniest path that ever a
woman trod, I fought my way to the things the sweeter,
brighter things for which God had meant me. I met and
married a good man. I have little children who think
there Is no woman In the world so good and so holy as
their mother. That the bitterness has remained I need
not tell you. I have plunged down Into tho depths, from
the height to which I have won, to drag back and save,
other lost souls; that reparation, at least, I havo made.
And It was on such an errand that 1 came face to face
again with the man I had so much reason b dread."
She paused and put her hand to her throat, as though
she were choking. Speaking always in that suppressed
voice, she yet Bpoke with a note of passion that
" Once again he stood before me lit that room and
threatened what he would do. The money' with which I
could have supplied him to buy Ills silence was nothing;
he did not, want that. He would go to my husband and
tell him the whole story. He' would shame me In the
eyes of my children. He would make my name a byword
among decent men and women. In his foul hatred of me
and of what I hud become, he struck at me, and I seized
the first weapon that was at hand to protect myself."
Again she was silent, again she mastered herself wily
a great effort for her final words.
" When I struck him down," she said. In a whinner,
" I seemed to put into the blow all that I suffered, all
that I feared, all my loathing of the man. He never
stirred after that, and I was frightened and came away.
That is all."
Enoch Voyce moved across the room and dropped
something Into the fire. I knew that It was the packet
containing the photograph of the first note and the gela
tin film of the second, and that second note Itself.
" Lady Blesswick," he said, simply, waving a hand
towards the fireplace, " there goes the record of the
crime. And Just In that way It goes from Our minds."
When we looked back, as we were crossing the
threshold of the room I saw Lndy Blesswick kneeling,
with Iter face hidden In her hands. I closed the door
silently and came away.
" For the future, my dear Rattenbury," said Enoch
Voyce that night, as we sat together in my studio, " let
us confine ourselves to the portrayal by photography of
the more or leas Interesting people who come here from
motives of vanity. In your position you can well 'afford
to do so, and It is less harrowing to the nerves and
Remembering thnt figure I had seen upon Its knees
that day, and remembering certain other adventures that
have been duly chronicled, I felt that I could cordially
agree with him.
.eeesss esesss eesees sscsss
The Level Crossing
A Motor Car Experience
sxBOUT the middle of lust April a powerful
automobile might have been seen whizzing
along one of the straight, hedgeless roads
leading to Havre. In front, driving the car,
sat a man clad in a heavy fur coat, his faoe
half hidden by a motor mask. Beside him
sat a woman, and two others also sat behind,
their thick white veils streaming In the
wind. The driver wus Sir Duncan Hay of I'eebles. Two
of the ladies were his sisters, und the third was a friend.
I'ast Tancarvllle, seventeen miles from Havre, the road
led through an avenue of trees. Overhead the thick
branches met, forming a long, gloomy, green and brown
tunnel, hiding from view everything but the white road.
Down this the car rushed, raising a cloud of dust, while
the thick trunks of the trees danced by In wild confusion.
It was exhilarating to travel at such speed. Not a soli
tary pedestrian was In sight so there was little danger.
And no speed regulations troubled the conscience of the
Halfway down .the avenue a gleam of steel flashed In
Sir Duncan's eyes. Evidently they were approaching u
level crossing. In France such places are not prqtected
by gates, nor is a man employed to warn the wayfarer of
approaching trains. Oblivious of danger, Sir Duncan
approached the crossing at full speed. Suddenly a shrill
whistle Bounded above the rattle of the car's machinery.
A cry of terror burst from one of the women as the heavy
rumble of an approaching train fell on her ears. Sir
Duncan heard It also. Despairingly he Jammed on the
Another shrill whistle arose, and through the trees a
train burst Into view. The cur swerved In answer to the
brakes, but Homing could stay Its mad rush to destruction.
With a fearful t rash It hurled itself against the engine.
The rain came to a standstill, and from t lie engine
descended a white faced driver. As he rushed toward the
wrecked car his hands wire raised in horror. It seemed
well nigh Impossible that any one Could have escaped.
His eye caught the prostrate form of a woman lying a
few yards from (he Wrei k. He wondered if she were
As lie bent over her be saw her open her eyes. Then
she sit up, and with a cry of Joy be helped her to rise.
But there were others. They at h-asl must nave been
killed or badly Injured. They also, however, nad risen and
were standing, with torn clothes, contemplating the car,
now a crumpled mass of iron and smoldering wood.
The same n.f bt the four who bad escaped death almost
by a miracle 1ft Havre for Bout humpton, no doubt glad
to arrive in t country . where the level crossings are se
curely guard d.
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