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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 7, 1918)
THE BEE: OMAHA, SAT I'll tf Y, DECEMBER 7, 1918
The Abandoned Room
By Wadsworth Camp
CHAPTER XVII. "it's deep enough in the center
Who Crept in the Private Staircase. he a"swered.
The odd. moumfui rrvino- 1nr it. I fallow around -the edges:
jj crying lost it
self in the restless lament of the
wind. The thicket from which it
seemed to issue assumed in the pal
lid moonlight a new unfriendliness.
Instinctively the six men moved
closer together. The coroner's thin,
tones expressed his alarm:
"What the devil was that? I don't
really believe there could be a
woman around here."
. "A queer onel" the detective
The district attorney questioned
Bobby and Graham.
"That's the voice you heard from
"Perhaps not so far away."
Dr. Groom, hitherto more cap
tured than any of them by the im
minence of a spiritual responsibility
fnr the mystery of the Cedars, was
the iirst now to reach for a rational
.:.;b.na;ion of this new phase.
"We mustn't let our- fancies run
away with us. The coroner's right
for once. No excuse for a woman
hiding in that thicket. A bird, may
be, or some animal " .
"Sounded more like a human be
ing," Robinson objected.
The detective reasoned in a steady
unmoved voice: "Only a mad wo
man would wander through the
woods, crying like that without a
special purpose. This man Paredes
has left the house and come through
here. I'd guess is was a signal."
"Graham and I had thought of
that," Bobby said.
"Ilowells was a sharp one," Rob
inson mused, "hut he must have
gone wrong on this fellow. He
'phoned me the man knew nothing.
Spoke of him as a foreigner who
lolled around smoking cigarets and
trying to make a fool of him with
a lot of talk about ghosts."
"Hovvells," Graham said, "mis
judged this case from the start. He
wasn't to blame, but his mistake
cost him his life."
Robinson didn't answer. Bobby
saw that the man had discarded his
intolerant temper. Fram that change
"Then he knew we were after
him," Groom said.
Rawlins nodded and ran his light
along the shore. A few yards to
the right a ledge of smooth rock
stretched from the water to a grove
of pine trees. The detective arose
and turned off his lifht.
"He's blocked us," se said. "He
knew he wouldn't leave his marks
on the rocks or the pine needles.
No way to guess his direction now."
Dr. Groom cleared his throat.
With a hesitant manner he recited
the discovery of the queer light in
the deserted house, its unaccount
able disappearance, their failure to
t::id its source.
"I was thinking," he explained,
"that Paredes alone saw the light
give out. It was his suggestion that
lie go to the front of the house to
investigate. This path might be
used as a short cut to the deserted
house. The rendezvous may have
Rawlins was interested again.
"How far is it?"
"Not much more than a mile,"
"Then we'll go," the detective de
cided. "Show the way."
Groom in the lead, they struck off
through the woods. Bobby, who
walked last, noticed the faint mes
sengers of dawn behind the trees
in the east. He was glad. The
night cloaked too much in this
neighborhood. By daylight the
empty house would guard its secret
less easily. Suddenly he paused and
stood quite still. He wanted to call
to the others, to point out what
he had seen. .There was no
question. By chance he had accom
plished the task that had seemed so
hopeless yesterday. He had found
the spot where his consciousness
had come back momentarily to re
cord a wet moon, trees straining in
the wind like puny men and a figure
in a mask which he had called his
conscience. He gazed, his hope re
treating before an unforeseen disap-
he drew a new hope. He accepted i pointtnent, for with the paling moon
it as the beginning of fulfillment of
his prophecy last night that an acci
dent to Howells and the entrance of
a new man into the case would give
him a fighting chance. It was clear
ly Paredes at the moment who filled
the district attorneys' mind.
"Go after him." he said shortly to
Rawlins. "If you can get away with
it bring him back and whoever you
find with him."
"I'm no coward, but I know what's
happened to Howells. This isn't an
ordinary case. I don't want to walk
into an ambush. It would be safer
not to run him down alone."
"All right," Robinson agreed, "I
don't care to leave the Cedars for
the presecnt. Perhaps Mr. Graham-"
But Graham wasn't enthusiastic.
It never occurred to Bobby that he
was afraid. Graham, he guessed, de
sired to remain near Katherine.
"I'll go, if you like," Dr. Groom
. It was probable that Graham's in
stinct to stay had sprung from serv
ice rather than sentiment. The man,
it was reasonable, sought to protect
Katherine from the Cedars itself and
from Robinson's too direct methods
of examination. As an antidote for
his unwelcome jealousy Bobby of
fered himself to Rawlins.
"Would yott mind if I came, too?
I've known Paredes a long time."
"What do you think of that, Raw
But the detective stepped close j
and. whisperedjn the district attor
"All right," Robinson said. "Go
' with 'em, if you want, Mr. Black
burn." And Bobby knew that he would
go. to help, but to be watched.
The others strayed toward the
house. The three men faced the
entrance of the path alone.
"No more loud talk now," the de
tective warned. "If he went on tip
toe, so can we."
Even with this company Bobby
shrank from the dark and restless
forest. With a smooth skill the de
tective followed the unfamiliar path.
From time to time he stooped close
to th; ground, shaded his lamp with
his hand and pressed the control.
Always the light verified the pres
ence of Paredes aKead of them.
Bobby knew they were near the
stagnant lake. The underbrush was
thicker. They went with more care
to limit the sound of their passage
amonff the trees. And each mo
ment the nhvsical surroundings of
the pursuit increased Bobby's doubt
of Paredes. No ordinary impulse
would brine a man to such a place
in this black hour before the dawn
particularly Paredes, who spoke
constantly of his superstitious na
ture, who advertised a thorough
paced fear of the Cedars. The Pana-
matnian s decision to remain, nis
lack of emotion before the tragic
succession of events at the house
hi attemnt to enter the corridor
iust before Bobby had gone himself
to the old room for the evidence, tin
desire to direct suspicion against
Katherine. finally this excursion in
rsnonse to the eerie crying, all
suggested a definite, perhaps a dan-
' gerous purpose tn the Drain oi ine
serene and inscrutable man.
They slipped to the open space
about the lake. The moon barely
distinguished for them the flat, mel
ancholy stretch of water. They lis
tened breathlessly, t There was no
sound beyond the normal stirrings
' ' of the forest. Bobby had a feeling,
similar to the afternoon's, that he
was watched. He tried unsuccess
fully to penetrate the darkness
cro6s the lake where he had fan
cied the woman skulking, The de-.
iective's keen senses were satisfied.
"Dollars to doughnuts they're not
here. They've probably gone on.
I'll have to take a chance and show
the light again."
Fresh footprints were revealed in
the narrow circle of illumination.
Testifying to Parades' continued
stealth, they made a straight line
Jo the water'a edge. Rawlins ex
claimed: "He stepped into the lake. How
deep is it?"
The black surface of the water
seemed to Bobby like an apaque
kIess. hiding sinister things. Sup
pose Paredes, instead of coming to
S rendezvous, baa been led?
and the bent trees survived that very
figure on the discovery of whose na
ture he had built so vital a hope;
and in this bad light it conveyed to
him an appearance nearly human.
Through the underbrush the trunk
of a tree shattered by some violent
storm mocked him with its illusion.
The dead leaves at the top were like
cloth across a face. Therefore, he
argued, there had been no conspir
acyagainst him. Paredes was clean
as far as that was concerned. He
had wandered about the Cedars
alone. He had opened his eyes at
a point between the court and the
Rawlins turned back suspiciously,
asking him why he loitered. He con
tinued almost indifferently. He still
wanted to know Paredes' goal, but
his disappointment and its meaning
When they crept up the growing
light exposed the scars of the de
serted house. Everything was as
Bobby remembered it. At the front
there was no decayed wood or veg
etation to strengthen the doctor's
half-hearted theory of a phosphor
The tangle of footsteps near the
rear door was confusing and it was
some time before the three men
straightened and glanced at each
other.knowmg that the doctor's wis
dom was proved. For Paredes has
been there recently; for that matter,
might still be in the house. More
over, he hadn't hidden his tracks,
as he could have done, in the thick
grass. Instead he had come in a
straight line from tthe woods across
a piece of sandy ground which con
tained the record of his direction
and his continued stealth'. But in
side they found nothing except
burnt-out matches strewn across the
floor, .testimony of their earlier
search. The fugitive had evidently
left more carefully than he had
come. The chill emptiness of the
deserted house had drawn and re
leased him ahead of the chase.
"I guess he knew what the light
meant," the detective said, "as well
as he did that queer calling. It
complicates matters that I can't find
a woman's footprints around here.
She may have kept to the grass and
this marked-up path, for, since I
don't believe in banshees. I'll swear
there's been a woman around, either
a crazy woman, wandering at large,
who might be connected with the
murders, or else a sane one who sig
nalled the foreigner. Let's get back
and see what the district attorney
makes of it."
"It might be wiser not to dismiss
the banshees, as you call them, too
hurriedly," Dr. Groom rumbled.
As they returned along the road
in the growing light Bobby lost the
feeling he had ot being spied upon. j
The memory of such, an adventure j
was bound to breed something like ;
confidence among its actors. Raw
lins, Bobby hoped, would be less un
friendly The detective, in fact,
talked as much to him as to the doc
tor. He assured then; that Robin
son would get the Panamanian un
less he proved miraculously clever.
"He's shown us that he knows
something," he went on. "I don't
say how much, because I can't get a
motive to make it worth his while
to commit such crimes."
The man smiled blandly at Bobby.
"While in your case there's a mo
tive at least the money."
"That's the easiest motive to un
derstand in the world. It's strong
er than love." '
Bobby wondered. Love had been
the impulse for the last few months'
folly that had led him into his pres
ent situation. Graham, over his
stern principles of right, had already
stepped outside the law in backing
Catherine's efforts to save Bobby
So he wondered how much Graham
would risk, how far he was capable
of going himself, at the inspiration
of such a motive.
(To Be Continued Tomorrow.)
Boi.ds of Matrimony Become
Irksome to Three Couples
Ella Camenzind filed suit for di
vorce from Charles B. Camenzind. to
whom she was married in Crawford
Neb., July, 1917. She says he is
worth $50,000 and so she asks $20,000
alimony. Cruelty is the ground for
Louie Vonier alleges cruelty in his
divorce suit against Grace Vonier.
The couple were married in Febru
Jack Sims charges desertion in a
suit filed against Delia. The couple
have three children.
George Brandeis Wins
Blue Ribbons with His
Horses at Chicago
Fashion Plate, a five-gaited saddle
gelding owned by George Brandeis
of Omaha, won second place in the
class for five-gaited saddle geldings
at the International Stock show, in
Chicago, Thursday evening. Fashion
Plate was purchased for. Mr. Bran
deis in Woodbury, Ky., last fall by
Tom Quinlin and is one of the best
known saddlers in the country, hav
ing competed at nearly all the big
shows for several years past.
Princess McDonald, also owned by
Mr. Brandeis, won in the walk-trot-canter
classes for mares, at the same
show, both Wednesday and Thurs
Prince Alexander Will Give
Approval to Union of Slavs
Pans, Dec. 5. Prince Regent
Alexander of Serbia has received a
delegation from the national coun
cil of the Jugo-Slav peoples, which
presented an address demanding the
union with Serbia of all Serbians.
Croatians and Slovenes formerly un
der the domination of Austria
Prince Alexander assented to the
proposal, according to Belgrade advices.
HOW IN STOCK
I HEAR THEM
THE GREAT LEADER
OF OUR ALLIES
Our boys are now following the
great leader of our Allies "ovej
there," fighting the battle of the
United States, fighting without
thought of being heroes but fight
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may not be tortured, burned and
mutilated. Fighting against the
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No greater heroes nor braver men
ever fought on the battle-field3 ol
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You need iron in the blood ! Every
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Surgical Institute in Buffalo, N. Y.
" Iron-tic" is a form of iron readily taken up by the blood, the blood
cells get round, rich-red jn color, the cheeks are pink, the appetite
.improves, and one feels full of " snap "-" pep "-" vigor "-instead ot
tired before the day is half done. The eyes taKe on a tusxer ana me
body feels that tingle which one gets from a cold bath. If you want to
try this new " Iroh-tic" Tablet send 10 cents to the Surgical Institute in
Buffalo, N. Y., and obtain a trial package. This 20th-century Iron tonic
is sure'tc do you good. Druggists sell "Iron-tic" for sixty cents
Keep the Home
I'm Sorry I Made
Lights Out March
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A Little Bit of
Indianola Fox Trot
May Time Waltz
When the Great
Red Dawn Is
100,000 Records in Stock
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Phone Douglas 4163
806 So. 16th St.
Vfie Cfiristmas Store for 6veryocfy
Friday, December 6, 1918-
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