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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (May 1, 1910)
- THH OMAHA SUNDAY BEK: MAY 1. 1010. ' )
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CHOOK. CHOOK CHOOK J CHOOK 0F WATE R! SHARP KNIFE A CHAFING DISi
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5 ET IT DOWNn "HI COFFEE ANDA ' (N0W.GO GE"f ff THE PEOPC'EirpETE ' WAKE UpTl
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(Cupyi-isht, 1H10, by Bobbs-Merrlll Co.)
III'TKH XV1II- Contlnnt'd.
I looked at her, at the lines around her
eye, ut the drawn look about her mouth.
Then I held out my hand. "Afraid!" I
mid, as nlm kx.v me hers. "There Is
nothing In Clod's fci'een earth I am afraid
of, save of trouble for you. To ask ques
tions would be to Imply a link of faith.
I ask you nothing. Isome day, perhupu,
you will come to me yourself and let me
The noxt moment 1 was out In the
Ktildcn MunKhiiie: the birds were Kinging
carols of Joy: I walked dizzily through
rainbow colored clouds, pant the twin,
cherubs now, swinging on the gate. It
aa a new world Into which 1 Mopped
from the Carter farm house that niorniiii,',
for i had kiju'd hei !
II Al'lKH XIX.
AT TUK TAKLK NKXT.
1 McKnight and Hotchklxs wero buonter
lng slowly down the road as I caught up
with them. As usual, the little nuui u
but.y with bonio ahslruse imnlul prob
lem. "The Idea Is this," he as tiiyuic, his
1 brows knitted In thought, "If a left-handed
man, standing In the position of the man
In the picture, Khould 'jump fiom a car,
would ho bo likely to sprain his light
ankle? When a right-handed man pre
pares for a leap of that kind, my theory
Is that he would hold on with his right
hand, and alight at the proper time, on his
right foot. Of course"
"1 Imasme, although I don't know," in
terrupted McKnlght, "that u man either
ambidextrous or one-aimed. jumping
from Ut Washington Flier, would be more
likely to lund on his hmd."
"An how," I interposed, "what differ
ence, docs It make whether Sullivan used
one hand or the otherY due pair of hand
cuffs will pAit both hunUd out of coiu
inlbsl.in." As usual when one of his pet theories
was attacked, liotchklss looked aggrieved.
"My dear air," he expostulated, "don't
you understand what bearing this has on
the eu-e.' How wus the murdered man
lyiut! when he wus found?"
"On his buck," I said promptly, "h- nd
toward the engine."
"Vciy well," he retorted. " Hid what
then? Your heart lies under your fifth In
tercostal space, and to reach it right
handed blow would have struck e.Unr
dov. n or directly in.
"Hut, gentlemen, the point of iiHi.irieo
for the stiletto, was below the htail,
striking up. As Harrington lay with his
he-ad toward the engine, a person In the
uUlo must have ustd the left hand."
Mciv night's eyes sought mine and he
winked at me solemnly as 1 unostenta-tluu.-ly
transferred the hat I was carrying
to my right hand. Uni( training has
latgely counterbalanced heredity In my
ie, but I still pitch ball, play tennis and
curve with my left hand. But liotchklss
was too busy with his theories to notice
We were only Just In time for our train
back to Baltimore, but McKnlght took
advantage of a second's delay to shake
the station agent warmly by the hand.
"I want to express my admiration for
you," he said beamingly. "Ability of your
order is thrown away here. You should
have been a city policeman, my friend."
The agent looked a trlflo uncertain.
"The young lady was the one who told
me to keep still," he said.
McKnlght glanced at me, gave the
agent's hand a final shake, and climbed
on board. But I knew perfectly that he
had guessed the reason for my delay.
lie was very silent on the way home,
llntchkihs, too, had little to say. lie was
reading over his notes intently, slopping
how and then to make, a penciled addi
tion. Just befor-j we left tho train Htchey
turned to me. "I suppose It was the key
to the door that she tied to the gate?"
"I'robably. I did not ask her."
"Curious, her locking that feilow in," he
"You limy defend on it, there was a
good reason for it all. And 1 wish you
wouldn't he so Lusplcious of motives,
Hlch," 1 said warmly.
"Only yesterday you were tho suspic
ious one." he retorted, and we lapsed into
H was late when we got to Washing
ton. One of Mis. Kloptoii s email tyran
nies was exacting punctuality ut meals,
and. like several other tilings, 1, respected
:t. There tire always some concessions
that should be made in return for faith
So, as my dinner hour of " wua long
past, McKnlght and 1 went !o a little
restaurant down town wheru they have a
very decent way of fixing chicken a la
King, liolchkiss had departed, economi
cally bent, for a small hotel whete lie
lived on tho Auierlcun p!au
"1 want to think some things over," lie
said iu response to my Invitation to din
ner, "and, unyhow, there's no use dinins
out when I pay the funic, dinner or no Um
i.cr, where 1 am flopping."
. Tim day had be. u hoi, and the fii.-t
floor dining room was sultry In 0f
the palms and funs which attempt, d to
Siinuiato the crduie uud breezes of ilia
It was crowded, too. with a typical sum--nitr
night crowd, and. after sitting for a
f-vv minutes in a yw clirriiig corner. w
pot up and went to llio smaller dining
loom upnaiis. Here It was not so wa.tn.
and we i-etllid ourselve. comfortably by u
Over in a comer half a dozen boy on
their waback to school we're tagging u
per. pil ing walur, a proceeding so exactly
to MeKiiighfa tate that lie insisted on
going over to Join them. lut Uielr table
was full, and somehow that hind of fun
bad lost its point for me"
Jv'ol far Xro.n us a very aiout. mid.lls-
aged man, apoplectic with the heat, was
elephunilnely Jolly for the benefit of a
bored looking girl across the table from
Mm, and at the next table a newspaper
woman ate alone, tho last edition propped
against the water bottle before her, her
hat, for coolness, on the corner of the
table. It was a motley Bohemian crowd.
I looked over the room casually, while
McKnlght ordered the meal. Then my at
tention was attracted to the table next to
outs. Two people were sitting there, bo
deep in conversation that . they did not
notice us. The woman's face was hidden
under her hnt, as she traced the pattern of
the cloth mechanically with her fork. But
tho man's features stood out clear In the
lisht of tho candles on the table. It was
"He shows the strain, doesn't he?" Mc
Knlght said, holding up the wine list as If
ho read from It. 'Who's the woman?"
".Search me." I replied, in the same way.
When the chicken came, I still found my
self gazing now and then at the abstracted
couplo near me, Evidently the subject of
conversation was unpleasant. Uronson
was eating little, the woman not at all.
Finally he got up, pushed Ills chair back
l oislly, thrust a bill at the waiter and
The woman sat still for a moment; then,
an apparent resolution to make the best
of It, she began slowly to cat tho meal
But the quarrel had taken away her ap
petite, for the mixture in our chafing dish
was hardly ready to serve before she
pushed her chair back a little and looked
around the room.
1 caught my first glimpse of her face
then, and 1 confess it' started me. ft
was the tall, stately woman of the On
taiio. thrt woman I had last seen cower
ing btsido the loud, blood streaming from
a cut over her eye. I could see the scar
now a little affair, about an inch long,
gleaming red through its layers of pow
der. And then, quite unexpectedly, she turtnd
ai.il looked directly at me. After a min
ute's uncertainty, she bowed, letting her
eyes rest on mine with a culmly Insolent
Hare. Shu glanced at McKnight for a
ment, then bnc kto me. When she looked
away again I breuthed cashr.
"Who is It?" asked McKnlght under
"Ontario." I fornix! it with my lips
rather than said It. McKnlght's eyebrows
went up and he looked with Increased In
terest at the hlaek-govv tied figure. x
I ate llttlx after that. The situation
ment, then back t' me. When she looked
lli'H was it won. an v i.o could. If she
wthh.d. ui.il had any Motive for so doing,
put nie in jail under a capital charge.
A woid tiom her to the police, and polite
surveillance wo :!d bccoVne active Interfer
ence. Then, too, she could say that she had
been me, Just pfter the wreck, with a
young woman from the murdered man's
cur, and thus prohubly bring Alison West
into the eai.e.
It is not surprising, thou, that I ate
little. Tha woman across seemed in no
hurry to go. She loitered over a demi
tasse, and that finished, sat with her elbow
on tho table, her chin in her hand, look
ing darkly at the changing groups In the
The fun at the table where the college
boys sat began to grow a little noisy;
the fat man, now a purplish shade, am
bled away behind his slim companion; the
newspaper woman pinned on her business
like hat and staled out. Still the woman
at the next table waited.
It was a relief when the meal was over.
We got our hats and were about to leave
the room, when a waiter touched me on
"I beg your pardon, sir," he said, "but
iho lady at the table near the window,
tho lay In black, sir, would like to speak
I looked down between the rows of tables
to where the woman sat alone, her chin
still resting on her hand,? her black eyes
still Insolently staring, this time at me. .
"I'll have to go," I said to McKnight
hurriedly. "She knows all about that af
fair and she'd be a bad enemy."
"I don't like her lamps," McKnlght ob
served, after a glance at her. "Better
Jolly her a little. Goodby."
THE NOTES AND A BARGAIN.
I went back slowly to where the woman
sat alone. She smiled rather oddly at I
trew near, and pointed to the chair Bron
son had vacated.
"Sit down, Mr. Blakeley," she said, "I
am going to take a few minutes of your
"Certainly." I sat down opposite her
and glanced at a cuckoo clock on the
wall. "I am sorry, but I have only a
few minutes. If you" She laughed a
little, not very pleasantly, and opening a
small black fan covered with spangles,
waved it slowly.
"The fact Is," rho said, "I think we are
about to make a bargain."
"A bargain?" I asked incredulously. "You
have a second advantage of me. You know
my name" I paused suggestively and sha
took the cue. .
"I am Mrs. Conway," she said, and
flicked a crumb off the table with an
The name was rcarcely a surprise. I
had already surmised that this might be
the woman whom rumor credited as being
Bronson's common law wife. Rumor, I
remembered, had said other things even
less pleasant, tilings which had been
brought out at Bronson's arrest for for
gery. "We met last und'-r less fortunate cir
cumstances," she was saying. "I have
be. n fit for nothing since that terrible
day. And you you had a broken arm, I
"I still have It." I said, with a lame
attempt at Jocularity; "but to have es
caped at all- was a miracle. We have
much, indeed, to be thankful .for."
"I suppose we have," she said carelessly,
"although sometimes I doubt it." She was
looking somberly toward the door through
which her lato companion had maelo his
"You sent for ,me " I said.
"Yes, 1 sent for you." Hie roused her
self and sat erect. "Now, Mr. Blakeley,
have you found those papers?"
"The papers? What papers?" 1 parried.
I needed time to think.
"'Mr. Blakeley," she said quietly, ."I
think we can lay aside all subterfuge. In
thu first place let me refresh your mind
about a few things. The Pittsburg police
are looking for the survivors of tho car
Ontario; there are three that I know of
yourself, the young woman with whom
Mu left the scene of the wrck, and my
kelf. The wreck, you will admit, was a
fortunate one for you."
1 nodded without speaking.
"At the time of thu collision you were
In rather a hole," she went on, looking at
npywlth a disagreeable smile. "You were,
if I - remember, ucctised of a ' rather
atrocious crime. There was a lot of cor
roboiatlve evidence, was there not? I
sceiu to remember a dirk and the murdered
man's pocketbook in your possession, and
a few other things that were well, rather
I was thrown a bit off my guard.
"You remember also," I said quickly,
"that a man disappeared from the car,
taking my clothes, papers and every
thing." "I remember that you said so." Her tone
was quietly insulting, and I bit my Up
at having been caught. It was no time to
mnke a defense.
"You have missed one calculation," t
said coldly, "and that is, tho discovery of
tho man who left the train."
"You have found him?" She bent for
ward, and again I regretted my hasty
epe.ch. "I knew it; I said so."
"Wc are going to find him," I asserted,
with a confidence I did not feel. "We can
produce at any time proof that a man
left the Flier a few miles beyond the
wreck. And we can find him, I am posi
tive." 'Tlut you have not found him yet?" She
was clearly disappointed. "Well, so be it.
Now for our bargain. You will admit
that I am no fool."
I made no such admission, and she
"How flattering you are!" sho said.
"Very well. Now for the premises. You
take to Pittsburg four notes held by the
Mechanics' National bank, to have Mr.
Gllmore, who Is ill, declare his indorsement
of them forged.
"On the Journey back to Pittsburg two
things happen to you: you lose your cloth
ing, your valise and your papers, Including
tho notes, and you arc accused of murder.
In fact, Mr. Blakeley, tha circumstances
were most singular, and the evidence
well, almost conclusive."
I was completely at her mercy, but I
gnawed my Up with irritation.
"Now for the bargain." She leaned over
and lowered her voice. "A fair exchange,
you know. The minute you put those four
notes In my hand thnt mlnuto tho blow
to my head has caused complete forgntful
ness as to the events of Hiut awful morn
ing. I am the only witness, and I will be
silent. Po you understand? They will
call off their dogs."
My head was buzing with the strango
lieks of the Idea.
"Hut," I said, striving to gain time, "I
haven't the notes. I can't give you what
I haven't got."
"You have had the case continued." she
said sharply. "You expect to find them.
Another thing," she added slovly, watch
ing my face, "if you don't get them soon,
Uronson will have them. They have been
offered to him already, but at a prohibitive
"But," I said, bewildered, "what Is your
olieet in coming to me? If Bronson will
get them anyhow"
She shut her fan with a click and her
face was not particularly pleasant to look
"You are dense," she said Insolently. "I
want those papers for myself, not for
"Then tho idea Is," I said. Ignoring her
tone, "that you think you have me Mn a
hole, and that If I find those paper and
give them to you you will let m.. nut. As
I understand it. our friend Uronson, under
those circumstance's, will also be in a
"The notes would be of no use to ymi
for a limited length of time." 1 went on,
watching her iiuriowly. "If they are not
turned over to the state's attorney wlihin
a reasonable time there will have to he a
nolle pros that is. the case will simply
lie dropped for lack of evidence."
"A Week would answer, I think," she
suid slowly. "You will do It. then?'
I laughed, although 1 was not u.-p"cially
diet rf ul.
"No, I'll not do it. I etperr to cum
across the notes any time now, end 1 ex
pect Just as certainly to turn them over
to the state's attorney when I get them."
bhe got Up suddenly, pushing her chair
buck 'With a noisy grating sound thai
turned many eyes t iid us.
"Vou re u'.ore of a foul than I thought
you," she sneered, and left me at the
CHAPTER XXI. ,
I confess I was staggered. The people
at the surrounding tables, after glancing
curiously In my direction, looked away
I got my hat and went out in a very
uncomfortable frame of mind. That she
would inform the police at once of what
she knew I never doubted, unless possibly
she would give a day or two's grace In the
hope that I would change my mind.
I reviewed the situation as I waited for
a car. Two passed me going In the op
posite direction, and on the first one I saw
Bronson, his hat over his eyes, his arms
folded, looking moodily ahead. Was it
Imagination? or was tho small man hud
dled in the corner of the rear seat Hotch
kissT As the car rolled on I found myself
smiling. The alert little man was for all
the world like a terrier, ever on the scent,
and scouring about in every direction.
I found McKnight at the Incubator, with
his coat off, working with enthusiasm
and a manicure file over the horn of his
"It's the worst horn I ever ran across,"
he groaned, without looking up. as I came
In. "The blankcty-blank tiling won't
He punched It savagely, finally eliciting
a faint throaty croak.
"Sounds like croup," I suggested. "My
sister-in-law uses camphor and goose
grease for It; or how about a spice poul
tice?" But McKnight never sees any Jokes but
his own. He flung the horn clattering Into
a corner, and collapsed sulkily Into a
"Now," I said, "if you're through mani
curing that horn, I'll tell you about my
talk with the lady In black."
"What's wrong?" asked McKnlght lan
guidly. "Police watching her, too."
"Not exactly. The fact is, Rich, there's
the mischief to pay."
Stogie came In, bringing a few additions
to our comfort. When he went out I told
"You must remember," I said, "that I
had seen this woman before the morning
of the wreck. She was buying her Pull
man ticket when I did. Then the next
morning, when the murder was discov
ered, she grew hysterical, and I gave her
some whisky. The third and last time I
saw her, until tonight, was when she
crouched beside the road, after the wreck."
McKnlght slid down In his chair until
Ms weight rested on the small of his back,
and put his feet on the big reading table.
"It Is rather a facer," he said. "It's
really too good a situation for a common
place lawyer. It ought to be drainutizod.
You can't agree, of course; and by refus
ing you run the chaneo of Jail, nt least,
and of having Alison brought into public
ity, which Is out of the question. You
say she was at the Pullman window when
"Yes; I bought her ticket for her. Gave
her lower eleven."
"And you look ten?"
' I.owc r ten."
McKnlght straightened tip and looked
"Then she ' thought you were in lower
"I suppose she did, if siie thought at
"But listen, man." McKnlght was glow
ing excited. "What do you figure out of
this? The Conway woman knows you have
taken the notes to Pittsburg. The piob
abllttles are thut she followed you thic,
on (he chance of an opportunity to get
them, either for Bronson or herself.
"Nothing doing during the trip over or
during the day In Plttsbuig; but she learns
tho number of your berth as you buy It at
the Pullman ticket office In Pittsburg, and
she thinks she sees her chance. No one
could have foreseen that that drunken fel
low would have crawled Into your berth.
"Now, I figure It out this way: She
wanted those notes desperately do a still -not
fur Uronson, but to bold ovr bis
head for some purpose. In the nlghV(
when everything is quiet, she slips behind
the curtains of lower ten, where the man's
breathing shows he Is asleep. Didn't you
say he snored?"
"He did," I affirmed. "But I tell you'
"Now keep still and listen. She gropes
cautiously around In the darkness, finally,
discovering the wallet under the pillow.
Can't you see It yourself?"
He was leaning forward, excitedly, and t
could almost see the gruesome tragedy ha
"Sho draws out the wallet. Then, per
haps she remembers the alligator bag, and
on the possibility that the notes are there.
Instead of in the pocketbook, she gropes
around for it. Suddenly, the man awakes
and clutches at the nearest object, perhaps
her neck chain, which breaks. She drops
the pocketbook and tries to escape, but he
has caught her right hand.
"It is all in silence; the man Is still
stupidly drunk. But he holds her In a
tight grip. Then the tragedy. She must
get away; in a minute the car will he
aroused. Such a woman, on such an er
rand, does not go without some sort of a,
weapon, In this case a dagger, which, un
like a revolver, is noiseless.
"With a quick thrust she's a big woman
nnd a bold ono sho strikes. Possibly
Hotchklss is right about the left-hand
blow. Harrington may have held her
right hand, or perhaps she held the dirk
In her left hand as she groped with her
light. Then, as the man falls hack, and
his grasp relaxes, she straightens and at
tempts to get away. The swaying of the
car throws her almost into your berth, nnd,
trembling with terror, she crouches b'hlnd
the curtains of lower ten until everything
Is still. Then she goes noiselessly back to
"It seems to fit partly, at least." I said.
"In .the morning when she found that the
crime had been not only fruitless, but 't
she had searched the wrong berth nd
killed tho wrong man; when she ss W me
emerge, unhurt, just as she was bracing
herself for the discovery of my dead body.
Then she went Into hysterics. You
member, I gave her some whisky.
"It really seems n tenable theory. But,
like the Sullivan theory, there are one op
two things thut don't agree with the rest.
For one thing, how did the remainder of
that chain get Into Alison West's posses
sion?" "She may have picked it up on the floor."
"Weil admit thai." I said; "and I'm i
sure I hoiio so. Then how did the mur
dered man's pocketliiujk get into tho seal
skin bag? And the dirk, how account for
that, ond the blood stains ' '
"Now what's the use," asked McKnlght j
nggiievedly, "of my building up beautiful
theories for you to pull down? Weil take
It to Hotchkis.s. Maybe lie can tell from
the blood stains If the murderer's flnyer
nails were square or pointed." j
"Hotchkiss is no fool," I said warmly,
"t'nder all his theories there's a good
hard layer of common sense. And we must
remember. Rich, tliHt neither -of our
theories Includes the woman at Ir. Van
Kirk's hospitul, that the charming picture
on have Just drawn dm s not account for
Alison West's connection with the case, or
for the bits of telegram in the Stilfcvun
fellow's pajama pocket. You are like
the man who put the clock together; you ve"i
got half of the winks left over."
"Oh, go home," said McKnight, disgust
rilly. "I'm tut Kdgar Allan Poe. V'jat s
the use of coming here and asking me
things If youie ho particular?"
With one of his quick changes of mood,
be picked up the guitar.
"Listen to this," ,e said. "It is a
Hawaiian song ubout a fat ludv, oh,
Ignoiaut one: and how she fell off her
Hut for all the lightness of the woids,
the voice that followed me down the stair
was anything but cheery.
T.'re V K"lv In Balu did dwell.
Who had for lila daughter a inunstioue
he sang In his clear tenor. 1 psused on the
lower flood- and listened J' had ktopued
;it)g as abruullv i, h. ,i h. oi.
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