Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, April 09, 1922, SOCIETY EDITORIAL, Image 17

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    tiu: pec., omaha. Sunday, april 0. 1022.
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The WANTED MAN by Harris Dickson
In ,
h to
bl as
fed a
o go
put goes
ut a
OV nprnmita tidtt of M MarmUm, in
MuHutppi, art twt U, i uait
Ptrmtngton, ou-n4 by Maf. Knnih
and l annum, property of Ceo. Bob
Ctayum, tollnu ing a bittar ewf, 6ti.
Clayton hat flM to Stkunantn, Canual
Amartra, utth hi urn ,W, Mimm re
br4 on a mvuorwuj mtata afW ima
yeari and j .e tuvry ffixni M-rai da-l
friir4 a, a hum inn him. LnrU Aa. Mnl.i
i f j . . ,
imiiw, ios fo aiurmion uw
warn Stuart, but it grartad to toUly Km
impaeU tha youth it an imnounr. Bar,
ham, Maf. Stork' bmulijul dauthuf, and
hmr auati Adalaida, u-ia of Hon
Katilly, a jeaUms crania, kta a trrtt at
tha I. on Oak uuh a myiMrtaui ) -
man ia iowe ariiA Barbara, rho hat, totd
him tha it' AJaUUa." bncla Nat rwvaU
hu tmnUinnt rtgnrdvtg Stuart, with tha
ratal i liar bora gram Miutrt, ulio it tha
tnyttrrinu honenan, coldly uhn ha ar
rive, lit ctotpi hir in hu ormj and lo
an pa hun tha trllt a faUahoodthal tha
it mumiad. Tha tirtt Ua at BatiUy ap
proarhat. Unci fiat bobt up again mnd
thit lima rarognUtt Stuart, u-ko pita him
mom or "Adalaida" and arrongm m
randaavoMt in an old grovryaid near Urn.
it'nfion, L'nela IS at trirt vainly to da
Uvar tha not to Adalaida and finally by
ptittak hand it to Horian with toma
thar Utttrt. Tha madly jealout hutband
confront tha innocant AdeUxida, ten
finally tallt him to ak Barbara.' Bar.
bora appra.
" That Not la Minal "
WHILE Nat was Umbering up for an
other beat h aaw Razilljr glanoa
acala at tha hedxa. then rush to the
steps and snatch bis rifle. Wbera
vpon old Nat rose Uka a quail and resumed
hia departure.
Instead of cbaslnf tha runaway Nat, Mr.
Tlorlan ItaxUly went bounding up tha back
steps and raced along tha vast hallway of
Bennington House. From afar off Adelaide
beard him coming, liar door stood slightly
ajar, and through Its crack she saw bis
Insane fury. Never had Pierian seemed so
maddened, and Adelaide thought of fleeing
across tha ball to take refuge with Barbara,
Too lata. Tha demented husband might
eatch her. Of course, she could clear herself
If he would only listen; and the terrlflod little
figure hesitated as she glanced about for a
biding place. No. She must face him, be
aim, and gain time. Like many volatile
women, Adelaide got excited over trifles, but
eould summon the most amazing composure
to meet an actual danger. Frightened as she
was, sba sat down quickly at her dressing
table and became occupied with some Intri
cate rearrangement of hair. A mouthful of
hairpins would serve as her pretext for
llence while Florlan talked himself out
Then sha could handle him.
Her door opened violently, and Adelaide
. first saw tha muzzle of a rifle; not that
Florlan planned to threaten her, but tha
weapon chanced to be In his hand. Then'
Florlan himself towered like a god of venge
. ance upon her threshold. One moment he
glared In crushing stillness before producing
tha proof as he accused her:
, Madame, here's a note from your lover."
Adelaide bad meant to be self-contained, to
bold her temper as well as her tongue, but
when French met French she sprang up with
face as white as his was red, and exclaimed'
" My lover! You Insult me! "
"Spare your theatricals, madam e," he
nocked. " I've caught you. Read that! "
" Let ma sea It! " She held' out her hand
Cor tha note, but ha snatched it away.
" 80 this Is what you've been doing! This
Is why you've been taking long rides? Meet
ings at the lake? With a criminal "
Hush, Florlan, hush! People will hear
" 1 want them to hear! Tha whole worldl
I shall proclaim It! -
"But listen to me, listen "
"Why listen? Can I not read? Can I nol
aee? " Ha tossed tha rifle on their bed, kicked
bis helmet into a corner, and moved, crouch
ing, toward her, with convulsive fingers
working like a strangler'a "Did yon meet
Btuart Clayton?"
" I'm not sure, I "
" Not sure? Mon Dleu! Madame Is not
sure! " This set Razilly wild again, ruffling
. his hair and raving like a madman; which
bad tha effect of steadying Adelaide as he
whirled and thrust his face Into her own.
"Madame, I command you to tell the
She threw back her bead and laughed
hysterically. "How can I tell tha truth,
until "
" No, mon Dleu! Tou cannot tell the truth."
"Not until I see the note," she finished.
"Ahl His note. From his dear hands!
No! I tear It up! I trample it under my foot!
I spit upon ltl " But Florlan did not tear nor
spit; ha only trampled, and struck tragic atti
tudes, until Adelaide knew that he was run- ,
ning short of breath. So she reached out
. - again and said, almost quietly, " Give me the
' note."
"There! Take it!"
He folded his arms and devoured her face
as she received her condemnation. It might
well have been a laundry list, for Adelaide
never batted an eye nor showed a tremor of
guilt while sha tried to decipher tha scrawl.
He grew impatient, he flung apart his arms.
i "Well! Weill Have you no defense?1"
"What Is this word, Florlan?" she in
quired, with the tip of a polished nail point
ing out the puzzle.
" That? " he answered scornfully. "Thoss
words are plain. 'Our last meeting.', What
about your last meeting? "
" It's too funny," she chuckled. Of
course, this is 'our last meeting,' but It
Books more like ' one lost mutton.' Florlan,
really you must complain to the poetofflce
authorities. This note is not for me."
Not for your' His dark eyes contracted
to a keen little point, sharp as his question,
" Tou think to trick me like a fool? . See!
There's your name, A-d-e-l-a-l-dVe." He
turned over the envelope and showed the
address. Now, Madame, no more of your
lies. Did you meet him?"
"I? Tell you a lie? Now, I tell you .
nothing.". Adelaide fronted him defiantly,
and repeated, " Nothing! Nothing!"
" Tou will tell me! . I must And out!"
" Then find out for yourselfor ask Bar
bara." The husband fumed In helpless rage. He
eould not strike her, nor shoot, nor choke;
and even his muddled senses realised that
no human power could force Adelaide to talk.
" Madame," he said, " It Is shameful to in
quire of strangers, but I shall ask Barbara" -
They both turned as Barbara's voice
I came to them from the opposite room. " Oh,
dorian." she called, " did yon speak to mar .
aT, Pasters, jr." Adli4a anr4
aul.'kly. " Dn torn hr, plraaa. pScata,1
Now MivUn h lhl A4lt(t'i rwliU'
sue tu DMuly ona, that aha w cUlitf
dip hlp.
rW!r h4 gt A I'.Ma Into tmuMe ui
mut i't her out. 9o ha hurried ia (heir
opan dunr and looked In with tha question;
What (lid you want U ak maT
O, ItarUra, IWirhara, do lall him
An arrncKt leaiura aaaled hia wife's Up,
M (ha hustand turned to Itarhara:
"I hva tncrceptad thw love oot for
Mm. TUallly, n4 "
" Give it to me." Whether he would or no,
Barbara took it from him.
"And I ipust know
"Hush! Wait."' she ordered, while Florlan
squirmed and obeyed until Barbara had read
It through, then calmly stuffed the note Into
her pocket.
" Pardon me." He reached forward. " But
I will keep that."
"Indeed you will not This Is mine." -
"Tours? Ha! That's good. Excellent!
But do you expect me to believe It? You are
hiding my evidence.
In his lucid intervals even Florlan must
have known better than to exasperate Bar
bara Stark when she turned such magnificent
ayes upon him. But tha blind husband could
not see, for he ranted Insufferably: "You
women have made up this tale! I've been
watching you. I've seen you whispering to
gether, and "
" Shut up, Florlan! - Don't try to make
yourself a bigger fool than God made you.
Hush! and listen. I have been meeting Mr,
Stuart Clayton. Adelaide has gone with
me "
The Creole shrugged his shoulders and
sneered: " Tell that to an imbecile. He ad
dresses his note to my wife."
"Ha did not Intend to. Mr. Clayton be
lieved my name to be Adelaide."
" Indeed!" From one to the other Florlan
smiled in scorn until Barbara's lips grew
white, although she strove to control herself
and explain:
" I misled Mr, Clayton, in sport This dear
girl had nothing to do with It," and Barbara
put an arm around her friend.
" Your pretty story won't go," Florlan
marled. "Not with me. I know women.
You two are lying to protect a fugitive who
dares not show his face. But I saw him at
tha lake, and 111 get him before night 111
get him! I'll get him!"
- Bareheaded and distracted as a wqn
Florlan rushed from the room and went tear
ing through the hallway, while Adelaide
clung to Barbara.
"O, Barbara, Barbara, what will we do?"
"Nothing," she answered calmly. "Hell
chase himself around until he cools off. But
I must And Uncle Nat and send a message to
Mr. Clayton."' 1
Though she had scoffed at Florlan's
threats, Barbara feared all fools as being
dangerous, and her prank might cause a
tragedy if this unhaltered Idiot should blun
der into Stuart Clayton. After reading his
note over and over, she Inferred that Clayton
must be waiting near to receive an answer,
and Nat would know the place. But the
Negro had evaporated into thin air, and she
did not want Razilly to hear her calling for
him. Instead of shouting she hurried around
and questioned everybody, everybody except
Razilly himself; who alone could have told
her how old Nat went driving through the
Cherokee roses.
For a brief and harrowing suspense Uncle
Nat had remained crouched behind the pro
tection of his hedge, getting more scared as
the infuriated Razilly glanced toward him
and grasped his rifle. At which old Nat
glanced toward the big woods and grabbed
bis hat In token that be meant to leave.
With a wide, wide world outspread before
him, the stampeded Negro had no particular
destination; he was traveling for his health.
At first he broke toward the denser woods,
then changed his mind and dodged back; by
that route he must cross half a mile of pas
ture where the sights of a rifle could cover
every inch of his way. Instead of making
a fair target in the open, Nat ran behind the
clumps of Cherokee roses which flanked the
driveway, skipped over to a patch of briara
and thence proceeded elsewhere.
Tha shortest distance between two given
points ia a straight line, and when he began
to think at all Uncle Nat hewed to this line,
for the old Fearna graveyard where his sole
friend would be waiting. For some two hun
dred yards his course lay parallel with tha
public road, which he avoided because Mr.
Razilly might overtake him on the filly.
He also avoided Mr. Josh Walker's store
- .- "K,f 1 V-ra mt mnd think.
rM"'.-uir Nas i.ri lit
v-7 VX L-'v xi'y. VaJ
that fronts tha road and raced through the
woods at the rear, where Mr. Josh couldn't
sea him. Up to this point old Nat's legs
were exclusively engaged in tha business of
departure, his mind being unengaged. It re
quired no prophet to foretell what would hap
pen to him if he remained at Bennington,
But now ha began to consider what was liable
to occur at the graveyard if ha told Mr,
Stuart that Miss Adelaide's husband had got
his note. This "-nght applied the
air brakes, and Nat slowed down to a full
stop. .
"Huh!" ha grumbled. "Jes da mlnlt I
glimpsed dat automobile I got a hunch dat
somethln' was flxln' to take place."
On account of Mr. Razilly he could not go
back home. And he dared not pester Mr.
Stuart by telling him of the husband's de
nunciation as a scoundrel, an infernal hound,
and a low dog. Mr. Stuart favored his pa
too much for old Nat to risk giving him such
information. Gen. Clayton used to snort fire
when something pestered him, and Nat had
. no yearning to get caught in a graveyard
with the son of a man who snorted fire.
'''Huh!" he pondered. "Dese whits folks
Is contrivin' to mix ma up In dis. Reckon I
better tell Mister Stuart somethln' nice, den
- travel long wid him."
Under these precarious circumstances it
seemed prudent to first take a look at Mr.
Stuart and make sure that he was not snort
ing fire. Ignorant people maintain that a
negro does not think; but Nat was thinking,
thinking mighty fast He had already blun
dered within a hundred yards of the ceme
tery, entirely too close for a colored person
who had prepared no tale to make him wel
come. Ha had also been approaching in the
direction .from which he was expected, and
the fire snorter might see him first. So Nat
determined to flank tha graveyard from the
southwest, and take Clayton's measure be
fore Clayton took his scalp. ' '
The maneuver presented no difficulties!
He accomplished a wide detour through the
underbrush before he began sneaking up
behind the graveyard wall and crawling
through a tangle of vines with his hat in his
hand. Tha place looked uncannily lonesome,
and haunted, and scary. When Nat lifted
his bushy head to recotmolter, every hair
stood up with Its Individual case of grave
yard bristles.
H expected to find Mr. Stuart sitting like
a ghoul on a tomb. But he did not He only
saw the crumbling wall of brick and mortar,
broken by growing roots, saw tha toppling
headstones under the shade of funereal
cedars, and the ground dank with matted
periwinkles. Nobody was in sight, and Nat
got mighty anxious to glimpse some human
person wearing store bought clothes..
Graveyards, as a merry habit, were hot
the form of dissipation which appealed to
Uncle Nat Stark. Even In the brilliant noon
day, when bright with flowers and flapping
with the wings of sculptured angels, Nat
would never choose a graveyard for solitary
visiting. And now, when night wta falling,
this patch of cedared scariness made him
wish for company.
The old Fearne burial ground bad been
deserted for half a century, and he always
passed It in a hurry, passed on the far side
of tha road, and watched over his shoulder
every minute. The Fearne family were ion
extinct, its last member by suicide, and Nat's
black face looked ashen as he poked It above
the wall. He stood Up and called, "Mister
Stuart!" his muffled voice rousing no answer
except a creepy lot of whispering among th
"Ugh! He ain't come ylt Reckon I'll git
out o' here an' wait fer him In de road."
At the crucial moment when Nat began
setting one foot behind the other to maks
his sneak he heard a thud, like a clod of dirt
dropping on a coffin, and rolled his eyes fear
aomely toward it
" Dat you, Mister Stuart? " It wasn't and
mn placa ta
ttda by ttda
utith mold t ring msn
manta of daath.
Nat dreaded to Imagine who else It might be.
Another clod dropped. Cold shivers chased
each other through him, and Nat wished
himself safe at Bennington, with Mr. Raxlllv
choking him half to death.
At a single glance ha selected tha nlgheat
path out of that graveyard and started to
run, when a horse nickered and raised its
" Da Stockln'footl " ha gasped. " Mister
Stuart, whar Is you? "
No human voice replied, and Nat broke
through the briars to where the sorrel stood
hitched in a thick clump of myrtle. No rider.
He stared all around, squinted under tha
.cedars where that crazy Fearna woman lav
In her sunken grave. " Mister Stuart! Mis
ter Stuart!" he quavered, and tha cedars
shuddered at such unwonted disturbance.
"Huh!" Nat groaned. "Mister Stuart
done come, an' gone gone."
Uncle Nat Stark didn't hanker to visit this
graveyard at all. He had approached It with
slow, respectful pace, using every trick of
woodcraft to avoid making a noise. But he
didn't seem to care how much fuss he made
in getting out He whirled to leave and hia
foot caught In a vine, which started him off
with a Jump. After that Nat kept Jumping
and thrashing through the tangle until he
scrambled into the public road, hit the ground
running, and never looked behind. There
was nothing behind him that Nat craved to
see. Ahead of him lay Mr. Walker's store,
and he aimed to get there before something
that he didn't want to see might catch him.
Like a comet at the apex of his dust tall, tha
duck legged sprinter rounded a bend in the
road, and modified his orbit so as Just to
graze the front of Mr. Walker's atepa.
As everyboy knows, Josh Walker keeps a
general mercantile shack oh the east side of
the main highway. In summer time Mr. Josh
himself can always be seen upon its narrow
gallery, or In winter huddled beside a tiny
stove set among tha sawdust for expectoral '
convenience. At this lonesome moment no
body sat upon, Walker's gallery, where Nat
hoped to greet companionship and protection.
Something else must have happened. Maybe
Mr. Stuart had coma up there to confer with
Mr. Walker, and they had gone inside where
folks couldn't aee him.
Already Nat heard voices raised in disputa
tion; twice he caught the name of " Clayton,"
mentioned in a tone which indicated that the
owner of it was not present ' These argu
ments at Walker's store were rarely impor
tant, for its patrons always wrangled; yet
they might know something about where
Mister Stuart had gone, and Nat itched to
find out
With a quick swerve he took the side track
and turned In south of the store to listen at a
window. Inside the bristly chinned proprie
tor was maintaining auch hot debate against
Mr. Sam McGillicutt and Bud Shocky that
none of them noticed a head which raised
itself above their window sill. After catch
ing a firm grip old Nat drew himself up until
hia white eyes searched the Interior. Mr.
Clayton was nowhere In the store, but Nat
saw all the other folks, and could even hear
snatches of what they said.
" It's mighty funny," Mr. Josh contended,
" comln' home after twenty years got ar-'
rested Washington detectives. What you
reckin that Clayton feller done? "
The paralyzed Negro let go h'ls clutch of
the window sill and dropped upon the ground. ,
" Mister Stuart 'rested. Lawd! Lawd!"
Now he understood the sorrel abandoned .
in the graveyard; the constables In the auto
mobile; the nippers, and Nat also remem
bered his hunch.
" Dar now! Dey done grabbed Mister Stu
art; done grabbed him."
Nothing eould hive hindered Uncle Nat
from going into Walker's store to hear the
harrowing details. Yet he took the precau
tion of circling around to the front and
trolling In from the direction of Bennington.
" Howdy, Mister Josh! Howdy, Mister Mao,
Mister Bud." He spoke politely. "How's
ev'ybody? Please gimme a dime's worth o'
tobacco; an' major say what's de news?"
Each ten cent purchase at Josh Walker's
emporium carried with It a bonus of free
information. Josh played no favorites and
held back no gossip on account of race, color,
or previous condition of servitude. With a
dime plug of tobacco In hand, Nat presented
his credentials and learned that the whole
entire United States government had been
hunting that Clayton feller that the Presi
dent's high detectives had Just grabbed him
that he was being aken to Washington
city in an automobilethat the President
himself had come after him with many sen
sational deductions from these established
" Anyway, it's a cinch they got him," Josh
Walker elap4 bis counter meat Miphalle
ally aa ha ummrd HP tha statistics.
"Terlivea! Pat's da tiaad's tronr." Unela
Nat contributed hia mit a. "Ir waa de
him white mn abut I aa4."
Tou? Tou aaw 'mV All Ihnw gnealp
mongers rmadrd round tha tiaarn, who now
monopoliaed lha spotlight. "Whare'd you
mo Vra? What did lbr leek Ilka?"
"Ca'aa I aaad 'am, wid my own eyas, Klgnt
at majur'a cat. Pay 'anllad wid ma 'bout
was Muter Wunrt Claytoa asms back home."
Aftxr MKillllrutt and Hud Bhvky had
' akd all tha fool questions they reuld think
of Mr. Joan Walker employed hia vacuum
pmceM to xtre-t tha continent remainder
from old Nat drawing out all lha facta that
hia wltnrte doalred to glva up, with plenty
mora facia whkb ware not an.
N'ow! 1'va got tha straight of It!" Mr.
Joh congratulated hlmaelf,
While Nat navr rhlrped about lha eorrel
In tha graveyard nor lha flv dollar bill in
Ma pocket, ha molded puhllo opinion at
Walker'a emporium, and old Jh hlmaalf an
nounced: "Well! tha only thing we don't
know la. what did they git hint for? Must
hi something big. Them Claylona never was
.The conference at Walkar'a flora had be
fore It only the following facta: that a Mar
tnlon tenant had told another Negro who
Informed Bud Hhorky that lha Prealdent of
the Untied States' marshnla had rushed off
with Mr. Stuart Clayton In an automobile;
but tha wise Mr. Walker could give Nat no
satisfaction aa to when or where Mr. Clayton
had been arretted.
For a guiluless and garrulous Negro tha
aforesaid Nathaniel Stark at Umea knew how
to button up hia Up and glva hia tongue a
holiday. Thla waa ona of tha tlmee. After
Josh Walker felt satisfied that ha had
pumped Nat dry, all three members of tha
conference watched him shuffle out of the
store and go plodding along tha big road
toward Bennington.
" Totln' tha news to major," laughed Josh
The load of the news waa heavy, and duck
legged Nat proceeded northward, waddling
like a flabby person, tha gist of whose inte
rior Information has been removed. And not
one of tha white men auspectad him of har
boring a proclivity to deceive. All three of
them would have testified that Uncle Nat had
pulled hia freight direct for tha front atepa
of Bennington House, where Major Stark
was sitting.
Yet the shrewd old Negro did nothing of
the kind. While digesting the tattle absorbed
at Walker's store, he put two and two to
gether, making nineteen, and concluded that
Mr. Stuart roust have got tired watting for
him at the graveyard and had started toward
Bennington on foot when tha government
constables grabbed him. This theory tallied
with the Clayton impatience and accounted
for his sorrel being left behind.
" I bettor git dat hoss," he thought, " befo'
any mo' humbug rises up."
Beneath the Inquisitive eyes of Mr. Walker
Uncle Nat steered a straight course down tha
middle of the big road, but no farther than
the bend where a patch of briars concealed
him. There he executed his famous stunt of
dodge and disappear, and began a counter
march under cover to the graveyard. If any
body had confidentially advised Josh Walker
that Nat Stark would venture alone, to the
Fearne graveyard when the sun waa lesa
than an hour high, tha experienced Mr.
Walker would have anickered and obaerved
that his informant didn't know a darn thing
about niggers. As a matter of fact Uncle
Nat himself would never have believed It If
' he had not been present as a witness.
Buoyed up by his excitement, he failed to
realize where he was going, or to get genu
inely scared until It was all over. He would
not have recognized himself, walking straight
to the sorrel horse, mounting, and proceeding
cautiously through the woods until well out
of hearing of the store. Then he got nerv
ous, dug his heels into the sorrel, and gal
loped until he struck tha forks of tha road
, which led to Marmion.
" Now den. Mister Sorrel, I reckin you kin
go de rest o' de way by yo' own se'f."
At the forks he climbed down, secured tha
bridle beneath tha stirrup leathers, and
slapped the sorrel on the rump. He had seen
Mr. Scurry do the same thing and knew that
theJiorse would go home alone. Than Nat
chuckled to himself: "Anyhow, dey won't
'rest Mister Stuart's hoss."
His gallop from the graveyard' to Marmion
forks did not greatly increase the distance
between Nat and Bennington. With light
feet and a lighter heart ha started home, for
It had Just soaked Into his bushy head that
he could now return without danger of being
massacred by Mr. Razilly. This blessed
thought failed to hit him with the Original
volley of information received at Walker's
store. Ha had than neglected to grasp ona
big outsandlng fact namely: that in putting
a certain white man behind the bars hia com
pensating government had likewise let down
the bars that shut a certain Negro out of
Bennington. All that Nat need do was to
rush with his news of Clayton's arrest and
Mr. Razilly would forget everything else.
Hotfoot Nat hustled while the news waa hot
Where foresight fails It Is easy to review
the disaster with omniscient hindsights and
prophesy how It could hava been avoided.
Clayton's plan of campaign waa sound
enough, but his strategic key got lost when
the enemy captured his courier.
All of his plans were progressing smoothly
up to the time when his go-between had ,
seated himself on the Bennington steps and
remarked to Miss Barbara, " Mighty warm,
ain't It?," For on the instant when Uncle
Nat began diplomatic operations to deliver
the note Stuart Clayton waa leaving Mar
mion for the old Fearne graveyard, where ha
expected a reply. Clayton and Bart Scurry
were then pushing their way on foot through
a thicket to where the sorrel stood hitched.
The men talked earnestly, and when they
reached the horse Clayton paused.
" Well, Bart,M he said, with an air of relief,
" we are getting to the end of this businesa
The marshals will probably coma tonight
They know I'm here."
" They ought to know it," answered Scurry;
" the fat one has asked enough questions of
our tenants. Thought maybe they'd show
up some time today." .
"No," Clayton shook his head, "I don't
look for them until after dark. Keep your
eyes peeled, and don't move ten feet from
that phone. This Is Monday, the 18th; that
long distance call Is due today."
"Think it'll come through all right?"
Scurry seemed doubtful.
" I think so. Tha man who la to aend It la
not being watched, And, Bart take down
every word. There may be important news
today." ,'
Never before had Bart Scurry mixed up la
auch a mrs, frankly, ha didn't Ilka It.
Kurly arid big fa.4 aa ha waa and flfty-cne
yrara old, Ihe notion of dnrialng about under
cover made him Mrvoue, Vor nineteen yara
ha had mamaied lha Marmion pUinlittlon
with honoety and stifvea, but managed II In
th eppn, where averv man might arrutinlse
every Irammrlinn, Although devotedly loyal
to lha Claylona, 8'urry hated thla mtetinua
homecoming, with all Ita aubterfunea. and '
tha uneaalnraa thai followed. Yet, no matter
what hia private felng miisht ha, he would
carry out ordera lo the vet y letter. Now ha
leaned against a sapling and listened, .
"Bart," lha younger man guthered up his
bridle, I'm rldlnt toward tha old Kcarne
graveyard and shall return In perhaia an
hour by tha lake read. H-nd a man In the
forka If you think It a dangeroua for ma 10
coma home."
Aa lha boea waa about to rid Scurry
alopped him and offered a blue barreled forty
four, butt first.
" Tou forgot thin," he sold.
" I meant lo leave It"
" Taln't no way to tell what might coma
up? I'm afraid."
" No. Bart," Clayton pushed back the weap
on. " If I ahould run sitohs tha marnhals
they'll only be doing their duty, and I couldn't
run Ilia risk of killing one."
"That'e eo," Hurt admitted: "but I'd hate
to aee 'em get ou. Better lemma go with
" Thanks, old man." The horaeman leanod
down and grasped his managcr'a hand., " I've
got to chance thla alone. So long."
When Stuart Clayton declined tha pistol
and rode away unarmed, It waa not of federal
officers that he was thinking, but of another
man, a husband, who must In no event be
Matters were atlll progressing without a
hitch. At the minute when old Nat at Ben
nington aeemed Just on tbo brink of perauad
lng Mra. Razilly to come and aelect her pup
young Clayton turned hia back upon Scurry
and rode away from Marmion, leaving hia
manager In the underbrush.
Lake Marmion is one of those abandoned
coils which the Mississippi river casts aside
in Us contortions through tha valley. Placid
water reflects the mossy beards of many a
cypress, gives back the greenery of cane-
brakes, and duplicates, star for star, tha bril
liant southern nights. For a mile Clayton
followed a road which skirts the lake, then
branches southward toward Vicksburg, while
ita northern fork turns to the left and runs '
on past Bennington. Here he took the north
ern fork, then thought It wiser to leave tha
highway and reach hia objective by footpaths
through the woods.
This proved a simple matter. Nobody had
seen him coming, and few stragglers ever
ventured near the ill reputed burying ground.
He dismounted, hitched his sorrel, and sat on
a fallen tombstone waiting for old Nat
In the vicissitudes of his active life young
Clayton had accomplished a variety of things,
and many of them were exceedingly well
dona But sitting and waiting waa not head
lined upon his catalogue of virtues. Even
during a few rare Interludes of tranquillity
he found himself unable to lounge at ease
while his plans developed. Now he had
scarcely sat down before he sprang up, and
reseated himself only to rise again. He
strode to the north wall, he gazed toward
Bennington; he whirled to the south wall,
glanced in that direction, and strode back.
It was a solemn place to sit and think,
among tha eternal shadows, side by aids
with moldering monuments of death. And
Clayton thought most solemnly of his motive
for seeing Adelaide; he must right himself
and set his honor clear. Both these ladles,
especially Miss Stark, must understand that
ha thought of Adelaide as being free. Nor
could he permit MaJ. Stark to imagine that a ,
Clayton had pressed attentions upon a mar
ried guest beneath the roof at Bennington.
; Much evil might be gossiped of him when ha
1 was gone, but this hideous thing should never
be said. If he failed to see Adelaide then ha
would tell Miss Stark.
Meanwhile, where was old Nat? Why had
he not come? Clayton got up and listened;
then ha sat down again and looked at his
watch two minutets and eleven seconds had
passed. Human nature could endura it no
longer. Even tha most patient of Claytons,
whose sweetheart had Just told him that sha
was married, could not sit forever on a tomb
stone waiting for a lazy Negro to turn up.
This particular Clayton never waited for
things to turn up; he always snatched a
spade and began digging. His next recon
nolssance carried him beyond the north wall
and out to the roadside along which ha ex
pected Uncle Nat. The Negro was not la
sight He must be coming Just around tha
bend, so Clayton ventured farther to meet
him taking care to meet no one else.
In the dusky stretoh of highway which ha
could now see there appeared no duck legged
patriarch, and Clayton chanced it to tha
next bend. Then he kept adventuring and
chancing, going nearer and nearer to Ben
nington. His recollections of Bennington house were
chlldllshly vivid to Stuart Clayton. During
his long exile In Central America there was
never a time when the homesick boy could
not shut both eyes and see all things as thay
used to be, the roadway, the bayou winding
through a pasture, the clumpy hedge of
Cherokee roses, and tha smooth cut lawn
which lay beyond; the broad steps, the whlta
pillars, the expanse of gallery. Among thasa
familiar surroundings ha might easily hava
found his way In the dark.
By going through the pasture on his left
and following a bayou he would coma out
behind the Cherokee hedge at the south aide
of the house; and he chose this route for his
approach. He climbed tha fenoe and kept
behind the hedge, precisely as old Nat had
done at the agile beginning of his departure;'
except that Clayton traveled In tha opposite
direction and stopped where Nat had started,
at the broken panel in the fence. A faint
trail, worn by Nat and the dogs, had led him
there. Here he could see a part of the front
gallery, and if the devil had laid a trap to
snare a lover It eould not have been mors
craftily set. In the house and about tha
grounds nobody stirred; he saw no ona ex
cept Dr. Humphreys on the gallery, placidly
smoking his pipe.
As he approached under cover of the hedge
Clayton did not observe Mrs. Razilly. After
her stormy Interview with Florlan tha flut
tered creole had come out into the open, in
plain view, where no ridiculous husband
could raise another scene. That's how it
happened that she now sat beneath an arbor
of wistaria In the narrow side yard between
hedge and house, while Razilly fed his grouch
by peering through a lace curtain at the par
lor window, and glowering upon his wtfa
tContoiud N?st .-iunday.)
Cop, right, i'-'i.