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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (July 23, 1916)
fHE OMAHA SUNDAY BEE: JULY 23, 1916.
Author of "Th Winf. of th Morning," "Tin Pill.r of Light,"
"Tho Terms of Surrender, " "Number 17," Etc.
Rv' LOUIS TRACY- NeWlaosl from th Serl. of Photoplays of the Sam Nam.
Oy tUXJKJU iAiH R.l,l by Path.
' Copyright, 1916, by Louis Tracy.
' The tenth marquis of Castleton
found the transition from the grime
of the Flainfield steel works and the
snualor of a fifth-rate American
boarding house to the ordered mag
nificence and trim beauty of an Eng
lish aristocrat s surroundings a good
deal more trying than he expected.
Granted good health and a true zest
in life, it is questionable whether pov
' erty is not a far happier state than
riches for the average man or womau.
At any rate, once the.legal formalities
" connected with the succession to the
title wer gotten over, the newly
fledged marquis found himself bored
to weariness by the ceremonious state
in which he was compelled to live.
iLife a big London hotel was pleas
ant enough. The great establishments
i which cater for the passing guest
used to be patronized so extensively
by Americans before the war that
their methods and ways had been al
most unconsciously adapted to trans
atlantic standards. Even when the out
. break of hostilities replaced the flood
of ordinary visitors with army of
ficers and their relatives, the atmos
phere of the hotel did not change.
Then, weather permitting, there was
always the infinite variety of old Lon
don to fill the daylight hours, while
scores of theaters offered rival at
tractions for the evening.
It ,was only when the stalwart
young marquis traveled to his coun
try seat in the Midlands, and endeav
ored to make himself at home among
a people whom he felt that he ought
to consider as his own kith and kin,
that his troubles really began. He was
awed into submissive silence by a
most superior estate agent. His ten
ants insisted on regarding him as a
humorist merely because he spoke
with an American accent. He was
frankly afraid of the portly butler,
who seemed to watch every mouth
ful he ate, and disapprove in silent
horror of his table manners. '
Thus, the butler blanched visibly
when his lordship broke two eggs
into a glass tumbler and mixed them
therein a la mode Americaine. Next
.morning, John tried to eat an egg
in the English fashion, and made a
horrible mess on the tablecloth. He
felt he ought to apologize to his own
servants, yet was conscious of the
irritating fact that the American
method of eating boiled eggs was the
right and sensible one, whereas the
British system of juggling with a
hot eggshell and a small spoon de
manded three generation! of train
: to - t:v:v- - N
' In a word, the new peer had hardly
settled down into a strange yet in
creasingly pteaaant environment be
for the call of the blood made itself
It and be returned to the United
It must be remembered that he
. could not ignore either the message
given by the revivalist preache.r
Branton, or the serious purpose which
life seemed to have brought hand-in-
hand with great wealth and high
octal position. He thought therefore
he could deal with certain problems
mora effectually to the land of his
birth than in a country whose people
' and waya were as yet distinctly tor
elgn. In returning to America he it
cided to drop the title, and thus avoid
the snobbery which beset the path
of marquis even in a land of de
mocracy. Hence, it was as plain John
Burton that he re-entered New York.
This reversion to type waa easy, be
cause the passport he obtained on go
ing to England with the lawyer who
first brought the newa of hi patri
mony was made out, of course, in his
correct name as a citizen of the United
State. ' ' '" ....---
r Ha did not. go back to Plalnfleld.
Such a course, aa John himself put it
iterscly, would be simply looking for
trouble, but he , rented a beautiful
house in a town of greater aize and
more varied social conditions New
York, in other words ana there de
liberately set himself to read, improve
'his manners, and study eugenic prob
lems. Unfortunately, his own strength
of character and innate self-reliance
prevented him from seeking the serv-,
ices of an experienced mentor. What
John really needed was the kindly sa
gacity of a man of the world.. But he
was too independent either to seek
such aid or yield to its direction if it
were available. So. like every other
' headstrong nature, he paid in full for
a devly bought experience.
.". Oddly enough, he fancied he would
fain a good deal in deportment if he
took dancing lessons. Without asking
anyone's advice, he went to the first
dancing academy whose sign caught
his eye. Therein fortune played him
a scurvy trick, because in all that
great city he could hardly have fallen
into worse hands than those of-Prof.
Moretti. a tall, swarthy, slenderly
built Italian who blended a certain ex-
; pertness in his art with a crafty and
uesigning nature that sought victims
lmong his wealthier pupils.
One night John had been to a the
ater and had seen some new play
which presented a psychological prob-
'1cm from an unfamiliar angle. On re-
turning home, feeling restless, he de
cided to smoke and think out a per
plexing situation on the lines sug
gested by the dramatist. He entered
ihe library, a favorite room wherein
he could always secure a certain
"measure of privacy.
It was his habit, when deply moved,
"to pace back and forth in front of a
spacious fireplace. But the floor was
:fichly carpeted, and his movements
were so silent that when a slight rasp-
ing sound came from the dining room
which was on the same level but
across the entrance hall be became
aware of it instantly. " .. .
. At first he gave the matter little
'heed. The midnight noises of a still
) house are curious and often inexplic
able. The wind, a mouse, the snapping
of a fiber in a piece of dry furniture,
the crumbling of mortar behind a
; wainscot these and many other quite
normal agenciea will attract the wake
ful car. John, however, could not re
main under a delusion when he dis
tinctly beard a window raised stealth
ly, H awiftly switched off the light
in the library, opened the door as
7 noiselessly as possible, and crept on
tiptoe across the parquet flooring of
".the hall. v ;
.;. The dining room dcor stood ajar. A
flood of moonlight rendered the in
terior sufficiently visible for objects to
be distinguished with clearness. John
caught a side-long view of a man fur'
tively examining: the silver on the side
board. The raised window told the
rest of the story.
It was easy to calculate the distance
for an effective spring. Before the
would-be thief well knew what was
happening, the outraged owner of the
house had him pinned to the floor.
Incidentally, the marauder had re
ceived such a blow on the jaw that he
was knocked into momentary insensi
bility. Thereupon John picked him
up, first running his hands lightly over
the man's clothes to make sure he was
noncarrying a revolver. Then he car
ried the burglar into the library, put
him in a chair near the table, and
switched on the light. Without further
ado, he went to the telephone and
called for the police station.
' Busy," said the exchange operator,
but I'll call you just as soon as they
"All riant." said John, turning: his
attention to the captive, who showed
jigns ot reviving.
On the table stood a plate of daint
ily made sandwiches and a glass of
milk. John's habits were irregular
at timea, and his servants had orders
to leave some light refreshment avail
able at night in case he felt sleepless
and decided to ait up and read.
The burglar a face invited scrutiny.
Its general exoression aooke of in
tellectuality and gentleness. The chin
was weak, the forehead lofty, the nose
straight and well-formed, the mouth
flexible and tender aa a -woman's.
Otherwise, the man was an unsavory
object. His clothes were those of the
poverty-stricken, and his person was
unkempt. John noticed that his hands
were well shaped and obviously un
used to hard work.
When the man recovered his wits, a
singular thing happened. His eyes
seemed to be fascinated by the sight
of the food. With a sublime indiffer
ence to all other considerations, he
stretched out trembling fingers,
grabbed a sandwich, and ate it vora
ciously. John let him do it, and
watched him. Then he swallowed
some of the milk, and seized another
sandwich. At that moment the tele
phone bell rang. The metallic jangle
startled the thief into full conscious
ness. He gazed up at John with a
dawning look of terror that was pitiful
in its abasement Evidently, he under
stood what the ring of that bell meant
But he did not stop eating. Un the
contrary, he was only more eager to
devour the rest of the food on the
plate. John watched him with increas
ing amazement The bell rang again.
tie picked up the receiver, dui put u
back on its hook; then he moved
closer to his prisoner and gazed at
' You re a poor sort ot tntet, ne
said. (By this time the man had
emptied the plate.) "What you seem
to want ts a restaurant, were you
hungry? Was that why you were try
ing to steal?" ., ...
"You'd better finish the rest of the
milk," said John. . ' . ,
The man lazed uo with a flicker of
astonishment on nis eyes, nowever,
he took the milk and set down the
emptied glaaa. "... . .
"Now, I'm ready," h muttered.
"Guess you better bring along those
cops. You're a white man, and I'm
glad I didn't get clear with any of
your stuff. But they'll put me away
for five years, just the same. A poor
devil like me hasn't got .a dog a
chance." ; , '
"Why do you say that?" John in
quired. . ,
"Because it's the cold, hard truth,
waa the atolid answer. . ;
. John drew up a cnair ana sai aown.
rTell me," he said.
Vnn're nnt o-nino- to olav the mis
sionary act, I hope? I'm through with
it There waa a minister in my last
prison, and he seemed to reel Off a
straight spiel. But it didn't pan put
worth cent when I tested it in actual
fact So, back I go to the penitentiary,
and that' all there is to it"; i.
The man's words sounded hard and
defiant, but they held an undertone
of sadness and despair, t t
"That a for me to oeciae, sam jonn
firmly. "There' rio fearful hurry
about it anyhow. You're not a real
expert at thia game, you know. See
what you can do with an honest story.
But eliminate the limeiigni anu siow
music it won t go., -,-your
name?" ; . . . .
"Gentleman Joe. It'a a nickname,
and not a very good one at that but
it's the only one I've known for seven
"" . . .... ....... r :
"try dsck eigni, wu. ,. - . .
"U.11 i vnu must have it. when I
graduated from Yale and entered the
F irst National bank in my home town,
I was known to quite a crowd of peo
ple as Joseph Lawrence Drake. I waa
engaged to be married, too, to as nice
a girl as ever lived. Now, look at
me. a nice mess s "
So it would seem," said John dryly,
w.ll what's the use? Go ahead,
get busy with the telephone.",, - .
"You make me tired," said John.
"Yale, a bank, and a pretty gtrii
That's a good start for a play. . ,
It's God' truth, anyhow, . protest
ed Drake flrcely. "You won t believ
it. perhaps, but my nrsi oreax
about through Gertrudes motner.
She was suffering from tuoercuiosis,
but could be cured if given proper
attention. The family was not well
fixed financially, so l neipea a on
not much, but enough to reduce the
of my waa. i wieu i
things up in a poker game, si an
occurred in one night. I deiioeraiey
joined a fast set, drank heavily that
evening, played a crazy game, lost
all the time, and gave an I. O. U.
Th. Knit- who took it came to
the bank next day and shoved it in
at my window. , I asked for time, but
he raised nis voice ana '" "
come across there would be trouble.
I lost my nerve I never waa a cast
iron proposition, anyhow and prom
ised to meet him that evening with
the bills. When an opportunity of
fered, I took the money from the
drawer. Then began the easy slide.
Erasures, false balances, wild plung
ing to get out of the mess, and an ex
amination of my book by a bank in
spector. Almost before I - knew
where I was, I heard a judge giving
me two years. And during those two
years in jail 1 never forgot Gertrude's
shriek through the court house wheu
i . in f ,1,1 - . , , ''..-; J
fir - :w V'
sir, iv. -1 r ! V : ' , :, . 1 ..V :r; 1
Z 4K T Vi4
: :-t RV '.(,! i
MORETTI FORCES GERTRUDE
TO AGREE TO TRAP BURTON.
she heard my sentence.
been all in ever since."
'How about the next five years?
"What do you thlnkr satd Drake
d! A . -l .
witiciijr. 1 1 nun UVGDH 1 igiuiiu m
man. it taught me to be a sure-
enough criminal. A cellmate put me
up to a few wrinkle but we didn't
make much (how in the profession.
We were let out together, were grab
bed on our first job, and I was sent
up again this time for five years.
The minister got hold of me during
that time, and I promised, with God's
help, to go straight But it wa hope
less. It always is.
"I've been out now a month. ' I
tried to get a job in an office. The
boss wouldn t even listen when 1
told him something of my record. I
made a break tt a laborer itunt, but
th foreman looked at my hands and
saw they were soft So he turned me
down. I couldn't even sit in the park
that a cop didn t come along and
tell me to get a move on. The few
dollars I had when I left the cooler
soon melted. My heart simply burnt
with hate against everybody in the
world. . I was an outcast and felt
like one. Tonight I saw your place,
, "What about Gertrude?"
Drake started, and his worn face
lighted with a sort of dignity. '
"Guess I've done my worst against
her already," he laid. "I wasn't go
ing back into her Hie, poor girl I"
The man bent forward and hid his
face in the thin, nervous.1 delicate
hands which provided such a copi'
oua indexe to his character.
For a long time a silence, broken
only by Drake's sobs, reigned in the
room. Then Burton said quietly; ,
Lift ud your head. Joe Drake; and
begin to imagine yourself .a man
main I I am going to give you a
chance. You'll leave here tonight with
some money in your pocket and a new
hope in your heart Meet me tomor
row at 11 o'clock outside the Atlantic
hotel, and I'll take you to an out
fitter's. Get yourself fixed up by a
barber earlier. Then, with some de
cent clothes on your body, you'll feet
cleaner of soul. I am taking a chance,
but I'll risk it I .want a secretary
who will attend to a heap of routine
business which doesn't interest me.
Mind vou. I intend to trust you. You
will no longer beGentlemsn Joe,' but
osepn Lawrence uraxe, ucnucman.
See that you don't betray my confi
dence.. , .!?. , ,' c . .
The other sprang to his feet almost
delirious with joy and gratitude.
Oood (jodl do you really mean
it?" he cried in a voice cracked with
emotion. - . ' - "
I shall not go back on word I ve
said," and Burton'a outstretched hand
gave earnest of his intent. ' ,
Drake broke down utterly. As one
n dream he pocketed the few bills Bur
ton handed him; his eyes were so
blinded with tesrs that his benefactor
had to lead him through the door and
across the hall. ; "
GERTRUDE BROOKS I1EARS THE DOOM OF A JAIL SENTENCE
V PRONOUNCED UPON HER SWEETHEART.
; CHAPTER IV.
i n uancing uiri. ;
A fortnight later. Burton - remem
bered that, he was somewhat in ar
rears with his dancing lessons, and
arranged to give an afternoon to
teaching his rebellious feet the in
tricacies of the valse a deux temps and
the turkey trot those sure and cer
tain credentials in the inner shrine
of high society. He ordered his car
and sought his secretary's approval
of the garb donned for this auspisious
occasion. Drake, now as elegantly at
tired as his master, looked him over
critically and pronounced him O. K.
. " v..' .u - .1. : p' u. : A
"Walk down Fifth avefitrS in that
rig about 4 o'clock any fine day and
the girls will say, 'Myl who'a the
duke?" , : -.' - ,
Burton smiled. Drake! of course.
did not know that he wa addressing
a vertiable marquis. Thus far, John
had managed to keen that part of his
dramatic history a secret :
1 he two young men went oat to
gether and entered th car. By evil
chance, a mean-looking, shifty-eyed
man, who had "crook" written on
him in nature's unkindest script hap
pened to be seated on a bench near
the entrance to the house. He eyed
the two with envious interest But
his expression changed, to one of
blank amazement when he - caught
sight ot the secretary. . :
Lould you beat itr he murmured
to himself. Gentelman Joe, by all
that's holy I And togged up regardless,
too. Now, what do you know about
tnatr V-,'.1; V'' vOvv.. "
The oecuoants of the car paid no
need to tire loafer, i hey were wniriea
to the center of the city, and the au
tomobile drew up outside a fetching
looking building which; announced
flamboyantly to all the world that
this and none other was "Prof. Mo
retti's Dancing Academy.". Nor did
they know that the professor himself,
aavisea Dy pnone ot Burton s in
tended visit was watching through
a window,, and evidently keenly anx
ious that this particular patron should
arrive. -1 , - : : i , ' ;
When the . ear stopped. - Moretti
turned to a sale hut strikingly hand
some girl who seemed to be one of
his . assistanta. she was disengaged.
Several other , couples wer pirouet
ting on the waxed floor, a fox trot
being the item" of the moment but
this tutoress had clearly been kept
in reserve. Moretti now turned on
her with a gleam of excitement in his
dark, sinister-looking eyes, "'which,
though large and brilliant, were set
too cloaely together.- .'
"Hurry up," he said emphatically.
"Rush jnto some pretty clothes. This
fellow just coming in has money to
burn. You're to be his partner, see?
Do you get me?" , sv.
; The girl smiled languidly. She understood.-
She was merely ,a pawn in
the game. It was her business to at
tract, to please, enven to entice. Her
employer provided Paris frocks for
such special occasions, and paid her
fairly well into the bargain. The im
plied contract was a sordid one. She
could not help that.: It was a hard
world; Hut she had to live.
Moretti, who could be both gracious
and superficially distinguished in
manner when he chose, received Bur
ton and his secretary with much unc
tion.. He rallied John playfully on neg
lecting hia lessons and reminded him
that he was losing money each time
he tailed to keep an appointment.
"That doesn't make any difference,"
said John indifferently. . "When you
feel you want a check, just let my
secretary know and he will attend
A maid took his hat and stjck, and
Moretti moved away by his side. At
that instant the door opened and the
girl who was to act as instructress
came in. Charming and svelte aa she
had looked in her ultra-fashionable
gown. She glanced idly from the two
men to the secretary, who happened
to be standing somewhat apart. .
. Simultaneously he light of recogni
tion dawned in herMace and Drake's.
It waa thus, after seven bitter year
of. separation, that "Gertrude", met
once more her old-time fiance. She
saw the gladness die out of the man's
eyes, to be succeeded by a dull misery
and shame that went to her woman's
heart Moving forward, with swift
grace, she held out her band. -"Joe,"
she whispered, "is it really
your, - - ... . ' "
. "Ye. Gertrude," he said adly.;"j
am overjoyed at aeeing you; yet ' 1
want to sink into the earth."
Her feminine tact came to the res
cue. .. .' ... r.: vi. ,
"Oh, don't let us begin to weep
about the past the very moment we
meet," she said, with well-assumed
lightness. "We are both alive, any
how, and that is something to be
thankful for." , ; . ; "
"la it?" muttered .her downcast
lover. ''I wonder!" -
By this time Moretti' bad noticed
the deeply' interested talk between
the two. He frowned. John's careless
remark had enlightened him as to
Drake's Dosition. Smothering his an
noyance, he called Gertrude, intro
duced her to her partner and succeed
ed in giving her a significant nudge;
Drake effaced himself ' ss. his em
nlover whirled awav in the dance: He
went out, and to his surprise found" that
he was frankly delighted at having
encountered Gertrude. He waa walk
ing down the street holding his head
high and indulging in day dreams.
when that aame doubtful-looking per
son who had noticed his departure in
the car met hlra face to face, '
.Drake would have passed.' but the
other stepped deliberately in front of
him and greeted him effusively. Clear
ly, the secretary was startled.. He
ignored the outstretched hand,' and
tried to Dass on with a casual nod. But
this disreputable acquaintance grabbed
turn by the arm, ana a noarse-oice
murmured in his ear: '. .-. ,
"'Sink me Joe. if I ain't tickled to
death to find an old Dal so well fixed.
You ain't goin' to try and put it over
that you have torgotten wau-eyea
Bill, your old' side-kick, are you ?
Come and have a drink. There's things
you and I have to talk about'' '. .
Drake, ot course, should have defied
this ghoul. But the fatal weakness in
his character which had first led to
his downfall now urged him to tem-
Jiorize. He thought it best to yield
or the time. Some show of cordiality,
and the gift of a few dollars, might
send Bill on his way rejoicing. He
glanced at hit watch with a pretense
of consulting it. , -. ;
"I find 1 have five minute to spare,
Bill,", he said.- "Come along! Let's
find a saloon in a side street. If s as
much as my job's worth to be seen
drinking in public at this hour of the
"Goin' straight, eh?" chuckled Bill.
"That's good. That's the right lay.
I'm glad to hear it."
He accompanied the words by a
hearty slap on the back, but if the hap
less pigeon which this hawk had
marked as legitimate prey could only
have peered info the man's mind he
would have found registered there the
sdditional comment: "Yes, you arel
Not if I know it, anyhow." .
The two selected a saloon in one
of those doubtful neighborhoods which
other reason why he should fulfill
Wall-eyed Bill's behests.
A strange episode in John Burton's
life moved on now to its predestined
dose with the merciless swiftness of
a Greek tragedy. Wholly unaware of
the two sordid situations which were
developing. Burton's own acts con
tributed to the denouement. On the
one hand, he obtained the money
from the bank, and actually set his
secretary to check the bills and see
if the amount was right; on the other,
his kindly nature led him to take
the pretty but sad-eyed dancing girl
for more than one airing in his car.
He grew to like her. When away
iivm aiorcm sne.Decame natural and
seem to be associated with fashion- j unaffected. The forced gayety of the
able thoroughfares in much the same
way that barnacles cling to a snip.
Drinks were ordered. Drake insisted
on paying, but Bill did not seem to be
short of money, and paid the waiter.
Poor Drake tried to impress his
companion with the responsibilities of
his new position, hoping that the text,,
"Go thou and do likewise I" might take
root in even such unpromising soil.
When all was said and done, his heart
warmed a little to one who had been
his companion in the
mental torture of orison life.
A third and a fourth supply ot liquor
was consumed. The talk grew confi
dential. In half an hour the unfor
tunate Drake was nearly drunk.
At that unlucky crisis, a row sprang
uo in the bar. The bartender inter
fered, and, in the course of the melee,
was thrown violently against Drake,
who, hardly conscious ot what was go
ing on. assumed that he had been at
tacked. In a gust of anger he snatched
a bottle from the counter and strucK
the bare-headed man a violent blow.
The other fell at once, with blood
streaming from his scalp. '
The original row was now in full
swing, and no one paid any particular
heed to the bartender's misfortune.
Drake was still waving the bottle in
drunken fury when his associate led
him to a back door and into an alley.
There the jailbird took the bottle from
Joe s hand, and threw it away, torcing
the other to accompany him. .
The two men presented a curious
spectacle as they reached the main
street the one, fashionably dressed,
having almost collapsed as he came
into the fresh air, while thcother, an
obvious ruffian, was apparently play
ing the part of the Good Samaritan. .
Drake never knew how he got home.
He managed to creep to his room, and
pleaded illness for the rest of the day.
Next morning, when he met Burton at
breakfast, the latter was kindly solicit
ous as to his healh. Drake nearly
yielded then. " He was bitterly con
scious of his' fall from grace, but re
nlved tn make amends, and had re
covered his poise when he was called
to the telephone. . ;
The croaking Voice of Wall-eyed
Bill came over the wire:
Nice" mess you got into yesterday,
didn't vou?" it said.
' "What do you 'mean?" inquired
"Huh I I like thatt Forgotten ev
erything, have you? Sorry, old sport,
but it's mv dutv to stir your gray mat
ter. Hike out into the park, and meet
me near the fountain in half an hour.
And watch your step? It's the chair
for you this time if you ain't mighty
careful I -.-
Making some excuse to his em
ployer, Drake went out. And the time
came all too soon when hit prison
friend" showed him 4 newspaper with
the acare heads: "Bartender Slain in
Saloon Brawl I Murderer Unknown!
Makes Good His EscaDel"
The black type ' danced before
nrak'e'i eves. He was terrified.
- "How does "this concern me?", he
, "You!" cackled Bill." "You croaked
that guy I Up to now npbody but me
xnowa you uonc n, mu am t kuu,
to aaueal on vou. Joe. You believe
that, don't you?" ..- ,
."What are you giving me? de
manded Drake thickly. '-
Bill' manner changed instantly.
"The straight spiel," he growled.
"Puttin' up the unconscious act, are
you? Don't you do it : If I split,
there' twenty fellers who saw you in
that saloon, an' would pick you out
of a crowd. That guy is dead all
right and you killed nim. It dont
make no difference to me, one way
or the other, but you'll have to toe
the line and do as I tell you, or I'll
put myself right With the cops and
you go to -the chair for sure.'
Drake had to accept the lamentable
truth. . '
."I haven't much money, 'he fal
tered. "I've been at work only a
couple of weeks, but I might scrape
up a hundred dollars -.
The other laughed derisively.
"Search me I" he guffawed. "That
rich guy you're living -with can cut
up better n that. Now, here's my
offer. Take it or leave it. The next
time he has a lot of dough in the
house, put me wise and I'll pouch it.
It's dead easy. No one will ever sus
pect you, and I'll get away west.
Now. don't cut up rough about it.
You can't help yourself . It's the only
thing to do." s, v
The . unhanov. secretary saw no
Other way out of,the difficulty. Sick
with despair, he gave in. just as on
that first evil day he had helped him
self to the bank's money, believing
he would ' repay the "loan" by the
proceeds of a fortunate gamble, he
salved hia conscience now by the re
solve to work hard, save every cent,
and repay Burton in course of time.
He knew that within the next few
days . his employer would withdraw
from the bank a fairly large sum with
which to purchase a, amall estate in
the; country whither to retire for a
week-end when weary pf the noise
and heat of the city. - So, having
made the . wretched compact, he
Crushed it out of sight until the time
was rine fnr ita execution.
Being restless and Unstrung, how
ever, he sought bertrude. Hut on
calling at her home a cheap apart
ment nouse in the suburbs, he found
that she was not at home. Walking
back, he saw Burtons car approv
ing. He recognized it at ' once, of
course,- and waa apeculating aa to
what business had brought hia em
ployer to that part of the city when
he noticed that Burton was accom
panied by a-lady. The two were
aeated in the closed limousine. . .
So Drake repressed his first intent
and did not signal the chauffeur. As
the car passed, he waa astounded by
th discovery that Burton'a compan
ion wa none other than Gertrude,
th demon of jealousy whispered an-
Ballroom deserted her. She was lust
a shy, wistful, and delightfully timid
young woman. In a word, her attri
butes were those most calculated to
appeal to a man of Burton's tempera
ment. Unfortunately the girl did not con
fide in him altogether. Had she done
so, at least one chapter of this his
tory would never have been written.
But she was proud, and would not
miseries and j "k ,ort 'P' while the Peri: i
ence of by-gone years had hardened,
her to the extent of believing that a
man seldom gave disinterested as-,
sistance to a woman, especially a
j woman who was young and pretty.
Moreover, Moretti held her in
cruel bondage. The crafty Italian;,
knew that the girl's mother was now
in imminent danger of death unless
she was sent speedily to a sanitarium
in the west. If Gertrude fell in with'
his plans, he promised her a sufficient
sum of money to relieve her of all
anxiety in this respect. But, if she re
fused, she thereby condemned her
mother to the grave and herself to
penury, as she would be dismissed in
stantly from her post in the academy
and was unfitted by lack of training1
to fill any other position. She ar
gued, too, as Drake had done, tliut
Burton was rich, and would suffer
little if any inconvenience from the
loss of a few thousand dollars, i
share of which ill gotten plunder
would fall to her. Life as she had
known it had , mercifully calloused
For all that, she-loathed the under
taking, though she could not nerve
herself to be candid with her friend,
and. tell him of Moretti's wretched1
scheme. The upshot of these despic
able plots came when the young mil
lionaire received the following letter ;,
"Dear Mr. Burton: I am in terrible
trouble and want your advice. Will;
you come to- me this evening? Sin
cerely, GERTRUDE BROOK."
. "The Anthrop, Apartment 24."
' This missive reached him while he
Was actually working the combination,
of the safe to place the money in it
with which he was going to purchase!
the country estate: Drake was watch-!
ing him, and, in a fever of agonized
remorse, was on the point of confess
ing everything, but the telephone belli
rang, and Burton was summoned.
He left Gertrude's letter on the'
table. Drake, hardly knowing what he I
was Moing, glanced at the handwrit-!
ing, which, somehow, seemed famil-l
iar. Then he read, and his better in-1
stincts were forthwith submerged,
v If Gertrude was minded to be that'
sort, why should he worry because'
her favored sweetheart was robbed
of a few thousand dollars? But he
Could not bear to meet Burton again,'
and left some excuse with a servant
as to a pressing engagement
. Hence, he did not know that the
real estate agent through whom his
employer was acquiring the country'
property had asked that the money
should be brought to his office that1
night to close the deal and thus, fore
stall ether negotiations. Burton re
turned, took out the roll of bills, put
them in his pocket, closed the safe,
and-went away in his car. After call-,
ing at the agent's office, he went on
to the Anthorp, which was really
" He was shown in, and found Ger-i
trude alone in an apartment so well
furnished that, had he given the least!
thought to the matter he might well
have been suspicious.
The girl was very pale and exceed
ingly nervous. Her talk was rambling
and she seemed ready to drop in a
faint Indeed, -Burton was so alarmed
as to her condition that he turned to'
search for some water. '
At that Instant. Oertrude bractd hersalf
for a supreme effort. She tore her blouse
ott one shoulder, let down her hair and
screamed loudly. Her astounded visitor had
Juat turned on his heel vheo a door opened
and llorettl ran In. The Italian held a re
volver, and his ferocious expression seemed
to show that he would not scruple to use It.
"So I've ceug-ht you, you woman stealer!
Tou!" he shouted! "But you can't cot away
with this sort of thing here. . Your night's
work will cost you dear."
But he had not counted on the moral or
physical force of the man he meant to victimise.
John stared coolly back at him and at
the wild-eyed, distracted-looking girl. Then
he dropped his handkerchief to the door.
He had noticed that Moretti was standing
oh a narrow rug, which stretched to his
own feet. Stoopinr, as though tp pick up;
the handkerchief, John caught the corners
of the rug and tugged violently. As he
foresaw, tt slipped essiiy over the polished
floor, and Moretti was thrown so violently
that his skull hit ths floor with a force'
which disposed of him tor the rest of ths
Without a word to the cringing tlrl. Bur-,
ton went out. He drove home, and entered'
the house quietly. He wss thinking of go
ing straight to his room when ths sound
of a pistol shot brought him quickly to the
; Arrived there, he found Oralis with a re
volver In hia hand, and a man lying in
front of the open safe -
Burton faced Drake and then the Whole
truth came out Drake' made a full con
fession. He told how he had been tempted,
and had fallen, how a' furious squabbls
had taken place when Wall-ayed Bill dis
covered that ths safe was smpty, and
had accused him of having "double-crosssd" 1
him. In the straggle that followed. Drake
asa anoc sill with the lsttsr's unl
Bo the troubled philanthropist, who Im
agined at first that the faithful secretary
hod merely snot a burglar, was faced now
with a- double record ot Intsndsd treachery
by two people -whom he had befriended.
He moved to the telephone and called -for
the police. As Drake hesrd ths fatal s
number, he shuddered and burst out sob
bing, knowing full wsll how his reoord
would go . against v him whsn brought to
trial. But ho could hardly believe his own,
ears when bo heard Burton aay at the'
"To had better send a man around to
my house, rvo shot a burglar!"
Drake would have broken out Into a pre
teetatlon of graUtuds, but Burtoa repulsed'
"Oet out of my sight r ke srowled soera
fully. "I never want to see or hear el1
you aaaln." . .
The unhappy wretch slunk s ot ths1 N
room, and the man of great wealth was lefti
alone with a corpse. i
Truly, he might well ask lumsaltl
"Is humanity la th grip ot eTui" ..
- -' a nsarawiM - Tf ' '-v. '
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