Part 4 out of 6
the same time."
Mr. Dana thanked Quincy for his defence of his daughter from further
insult and perhaps injury.
"I've been in a good many scraps myself, Mr. Sawyer. For seventeen
years I was a member of the detective squad in Boston. I resigned
because of injuries received in a fight with some bank robbers," and
he pointed to the crutches beside his chair, "and although they
wanted me to stay at police headquarters I wouldn't hang onto a job I
couldn't do to my own satisfaction."
"I hope your daughter will have no further trouble with Mr. Wood."
"No danger, Mr. Sawyer. She is going to boarding school very soon to
finish her education. Why, Mary, we have been very remiss. Can you
not offer Mr. Sawyer some refreshment?"
Mary smiled and ran from the room.
"You'll be lonely without her," remarked Quincy.
"Yes, certainly, but I shall not be alone. It's a secret as yet, but
the fact is I'm going to marry a young lady who lives in Westvale,
part of Eastborough, you know, and I don't wish to force Mary to live
with a step-mother. I think they would agree all right, but my plan
will prevent any possible unpleasantness. I love them both too well
to make them, and myself, unhappy."
Some dainty cakes, fruit, and cold well water were served in the
dining room. Quincy ate slowly, but his thoughts were not about the
food. He had shown little interest in the Fernborough girls with the
exception of those in the families of his relatives and closest
friends. But he was nearing the susceptible age, when, to a pure-
minded boy, a girl playmate, by some mysterious transformation,
becomes an object of admiration, and even veneration. That delicious
mystery that surrounds young womanhood was attracting him. Mary was
the cause of his newly-awakened interest, and soon a strong
friendship sprang up between the two.
When Hiram heard that Quincy had got the best of young Bob Wood he
ran back to the store and told his partner.
"Say, Strout, you can run the store for an hour or so. I must tell
Mandy. She'll be 'mos' tickled to death."
Mr. Strout's disgust was shown in both voice and manner when Abner
Stiles came in.
"Say, Abner, is it true that Sawyer boy licked Bob?"
"I should say so," said Abner. "He must have got an all-fired
trouncing, for his face looks like a raw beefsteak, an' one of the
fellers said he'd been spittin' blood."
"Them Sawyers is brutes," was Mr. Strout's comment. "I hope to the
Lord that he is the last one of that brood to come to this town.
Their money's the best part of 'em, but it ain't any better, when you
come to that, than other folkses."
Quincy and Tom spent one more year at Andover. When they parted from
the old school it was with feelings of deep regret.
"I could be happy here for ten years more," said Quincy.
"So could I," replied Tom. "But, after all, this is only a narrow
path in the world of knowledge. Harvard is but a street and when we
get out into the world I suppose we shall find a boulevard."
"I'm going to look down upon the world before I investigate its
thoroughfares," remarked Quincy.
"What do you mean?"
"I shall visit Fernborough for only a short time this summer, a few
days in which to see the folks, and then I shall go to the White
Mountains. I'm going to stand on the top of Mount Washington, and
look down on the busy hives of men."
Tom knew Quincy had received a letter from Mary, saying that she and
her aunt intended spending the summer at Fabyans, and he felt that
Quincy, being near Mary, would probably be on a higher pinnacle than
any mountain could supply, and the "eternal hills" would become
objects of secondary importance. But, Tom wisely refrained from
mentioning these thoughts, for lovers do not seek confidants unless
help is needed.
Quincy found Fernborough but little changed, During the fourteen
years that he had been a resident of, or a visitor to, the town there
had been but little to disturb its serenity. Goldsmith's "Deserted
Village" could not have had a better record for unbroken placidity.
The wrestling match between young Quincy and Bob Wood had been an
incentive to some animated conversations at meal times and at the
grocery, but the "locals" in the _Fernborough Gazette_ had never
risen above the usual level of,
Hal Prentiss has bought a Jersey cow,
Strout and Maxwell have a new wagon,
William Jones has painted his fence green,
Sol. Peters cut twenty tons of hay from his lot on the Center Road,
Mrs. Jerusha May is visiting her daughter Hannah at Westvale,
And more of the same kind, interesting to a rural community but
considered inconsequential by those conversant with more exciting
But Fernborough was destined to have its share of important events,
which incidentally interfered with the well laid plans of both Quincy
and Mary for the vacation in the mountains.
For the first time in the town's history newsboys went through its
streets, calling out "All about the Murder at Cottonton," and
offering for sale copies of the _Cottonton Journal_. The boys held up
the papers so the headlines in large type could be seen. The word
"Fernborough" caught the eyes of those attracted by the word "Murder"
and the copies were soon disposed of, obliging many intending
purchasers to share the news with those who had been fortunate enough
to obtain copies.
Quincy was in Mason Square when the newsboys arrived and he purchased
a paper. He glanced at the headlines and saw a name that caused him
to utter an exclamation of astonishment. He did not stop to discuss
the matter with any of the large crowd that had been collected, but
whipping up his horse soon reached Mary's home. Leaving the animal
standing in the yard he burst into the sitting room crying loudly,
"Why, what is the matter, Quincy--are you hurt?"
"No, but something has happened in Cottonton and they sent newsboys
over here with the papers."
"Somebody living in Fernborough must be mixed up in the affair," said
Mr. Dana, who was sitting in his rocking chair near the window.
"I should say there was, decidedly so. Sit down, and I'll read what
"THE MURDER AT COTTONTON
"A YOUNG MAN NAMED ROBERT WOOD, A NATIVE OF FERNBOROUGH, ARRESTED AS
THE CRIMINAL AND LOCKED UP WITHOUT BAIL. ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR THE
"Bob Wood, he was the one who insulted you, wasn't he?"
"Yes, father, but that was a long time ago," said Mary. "Do let
Quincy read the rest of it."
"A brutal murder was committed last night at the Ellicott Mills,"
Quincy continued. "The unfortunate victim was Mr. Samuel Ellicott,
the treasurer and principal owner. He was found sitting at his desk
with his head crushed in. The blood-stained implement of destruction
has been discovered. Robert Wood, Jr., a native of the adjoining town
of Fernborough, has been arrested and held without bail. Young Wood
has been an employee at the mill, but had aspired to the hand of Mr.
Ellicott's only daughter Mabel. Mr. Ellicott was firmly opposed to
the match, and, with the view, probably, of forcing the young man to
leave the city, had discharged him from his employ. Mr. Ellicott was
busily engaged in making preparations for pay day, which occurs to-
day, and was alone in his office at the time. There seems to be no
doubt of the guilt of the accused. His cane was found in Mr.
Ellicott's office and must have been used to inflict the murderous
blows which have deprived Cottonton of one of its most enterprising
and respected citizens."
"What do you think of that, Mary?" asked Quincy.
"I don't know yet. What do you think, father?"
"The case has no mystery--no charm for the detective's mind. I was
thinking that naughty boys who plague little girls often become
wicked men. Now, what do you think?"
Mary did not answer at once. When she did speak it was the result of
deliberation. In a small way she had often tried to help her father
out in solving some of the mysteries that had come up in his line of
work, and now the detective instinct in her was strongly aroused as
Quincy knew it would be.
"Quincy and I both know the young man,--not pleasurably, I'll admit,"
she said, finally. "Everybody thinks him guilty, but we have no right
to join the multitude without cause. He may be innocent. It would be
a double victory to repay an enemy with kindness, and, perhaps, save
an innocent man's life."
"Just what I thought you would say," cried Quincy. "I feel too that
there is a chance that Wood is not the one. But what can we do?" he
"First, you must go and see Bob Wood's father, Quincy, and tell him
that I am going to investigate the affair, with my father's help. But
tell him he must be quiet about it. If we are to accomplish anything,
it must be done without any one knowing we are interested in the
matter. Father and I will look over all the papers that have reports
of the trial, and, perhaps you had better attend the trial yourself, and
make careful notes, for the papers do not always get things just
straight. Then, I want to see Miss Mabel myself, and see what she
"But, why do you wish to do all this, Mary?" said Mr. Dana. "It
strikes me as being a simple case of a very brutal murder, and one in
which there is no doubt that the authorities have got the right man."
"I don't believe him guilty, that's all."
"That's an opinion,--not a reason."
"I know it, but woman's intuition often comes nearer to the truth
than man's judgment."
She threw her arms about her father's neck, and her eyes looked down
into his, "You'll help all you can, won't you, father?" she pleaded.
"Well, I have nothing else to do, and this affair awakens my
interest. But from what I know of the case now, I think they have the
"You're a dear, good father to help," and she gave him another
embrace and a kiss.
The next day there was a preliminary meeting which Quincy attended at
Mary's request. It was with difficulty that Mary waited until he made
"The principal witness was Gustave Pinchot, the night watchman. He
heard loud voices but as Mr. Ellicott was quite deaf he did not
attach much importance to that. Pinchot didn't see anyone come in or
"Couldn't Bob Wood prove an alibi?"
"Hardly, for he testified that he went to the office that evening,
and Miss Ellicott said that he told her he was going."
"No alibi--and no evidence yet," said Mr. Dana.
"It's coming," said Quincy. "Mrs. Larrabee with whom Wood boarded
testified that he had a heavy oaken staff and that he took it with
him when he went out that evening because he had sprained his ankle."
"Did Mr. Wood acknowledge that the staff was his?"
"He did finally. He injured his case by saying, at first, that he
didn't take it with him, but Mrs. Larrabee's testimony knocked that."
"Is that all the testimony against him?" inquired Mary.
"Oh, no," continued Quincy. "Wood made a damaging statement that will
make it go hard with him. When he asked Ellicott for his daughter's
hand, the old man got mad and threatened to kick him out. Then the
judge asked Wood what he said when Ellicott threatened him and the
young fellow incriminated himself by saying that he told Ellicott if
he did that he would not live to do it again."
"Did it appear that he had been kicked out?" inquired Mary.
"No; and Wood denied it as well."
"And you saw his father, Quincy? What did he have to say?"
"He's all broken up, but says that his son is innocent."
"Of course, that's to be expected," said Mary, and then continued, "I
saw Mabel Ellicott yesterday. She's in love with him, sure, and of
course does not think him guilty. She told me, though, that Bob Wood
had said to her that if she were an orphan there would be no
objection to their marriage."
"That would probably go against him, if the prosecution calls her at
the trial, and she testifies to that. But, what do you really think
about it, Mr. Dana?" asked Quincy.
"I have my suspicions, but I am not going to mention them yet. You
two young people are taking hold of the matter in good shape, and I
want to see what you can do about it; but, although, I do not say
that Wood is not guilty, I do say that I doubt if the government has
sufficient evidence to convict him."
* * * * * * *
Mary became so interested in the case that she decided not to go to
the White Mountains for the summer, and Quincy also remained in
Fernborough, helping Mary as much as he could. Often they would go
off on long tramps in the surrounding country, and once Quincy went
to Boston and was gone several days. That they procured some evidence
was clear from the satisfied remarks made by Mr. Dana, who approved
of the lines on which they were working.
Although they had made some headway they were not ready to present
their theories when the time came for Bob Wood's trial. Many thought
him innocent, but the jury were of a different opinion, and brought
in a verdict of murder in the first degree.
The day after the close of the trial, the district attorney of
Normouth County was sitting in his office opposite the Court House.
He was preparing his address opposing the granting of a new trial,
which he knew would be proposed the next day by the counsel for the
He had gone over the evidence time and time again. He was a
conscientious man. He felt that the law of the State had been defied--
had been outraged--and yet within his heart was that natural feeling
of sympathy and pity for the unfortunate being for whom but a few
short weeks of life remained, and he could not help regretting the
part he had been obliged to take in convicting the young man.
At that moment, a clerk entered and said that a young lady wished to
see him. In obedience to the direction given, the clerk withdrew; the
door was opened again, and a blue eyed, fair-haired girl entered.
Standing near the district attorney's desk, she said:
"Mr. Harlow, as there is no one here to introduce me, I will
introduce myself. My name is Mary Dana. My father is, or rather was,
a detective for seventeen years in Boston, but our present abiding
place is the town of Fernborough. In the city he often used to tell
me of the cases on which he was working, and I would try to solve
them with him. Robert Wood lived in Fernborough, and from the day of
his arrest I have been much interested in the case, and with the help
of my father and a friend of mine, Quincy Adams Sawyer, the son of
the former governor, I have been trying to find the man who murdered
Mr. Ellicott,--for I have never believed that Robert Wood was the
guilty person." She smiled, and added, "Detectives, I believe, are
more often interested in strengthening evidence, and bringing about
imprisonment and executions than they are in trying to prove people
"But, my dear young lady," said the district attorney, "the young man
whom you speak of has already been proved guilty by a fair-minded
jury. There seems to be no question of his being innocent, and, after
the jury have returned their verdict it is rather late to still try
to prove him not guilty."
"What I have to tell you I think is important. Can't you spare me a
"I have a luncheon engagement in half an hour, and can give you
twenty minutes, but it will do no good, I am sure. Won't you sit
down?" and Mr. Harlow placed a chair for her near his desk.
"Thank you," said Mary, as she seated herself, "I will be as brief as
possible. I have read of many murder cases, but I believe I never
knew of one in which there was more conclusive evidence against the
person accused than in this instance. When I first took up the case,
my father did not think there was a possible loophole of escape for
him; but the truth does not always appear on the surface. Then,
jurors get wrong impressions. Witnesses are often prejudiced.
Sometimes the judge is not impartial. Then there are coincidences
which are fatal so far as appearances go, but which can be
The district attorney nodded, somewhat impatiently, and fingered his
"The day after the murder I called on Mabel Ellicott, primarily to
ask her some questions about Robert Wood, but I also had a chance to
see the body of her father, and to examine the wound upon the
murdered man's head. I decided that Mr. Ellicott had been struck with
something else beside the oaken staff which, covered with blood, was
found near his chair. In fact, I found in the wound certain foreign
substances which could not have formed part of an oaken staff.
"That was a clue, but I told it only to my father and Mr. Sawyer. It
led us to look for something else. I must confess that a week passed
without our discovering anything to bolster up my opinion. Finally,
it occurred to me that perhaps the foreign substances I had found in
the wound might have been on that part of the cane that comes in
contact with the ground. But we will drop that for the present.
"Back of the mill is a piece of sunken ground. During the night,
after Mr. Ellicott was murdered, there was a heavy fall of rain, and
this piece of sunken ground was covered with water to the depth of
several inches, in some places, at least six. I do not mean that the
rainfall was so great, but the water ran down from higher elevations
until it made, what appeared to be, quite an extensive pond.
"Mr. Sawyer and I made several circuits of this temporary pond; why,
I could not exactly tell you. A detective, I have been told, can
seldom tell why he examines certain objects so closely, but something
seemed to draw me towards that improvised lake.
"While looking at the water, I saw something which projected several
inches above its surface, and I had a curiosity to know what it was.
Mr. Sawyer put on a pair of rubber boots, and waded out to it, lifted
it from the water, and found it to be a large, irregular shaped stone
weighing at least ten pounds, which he brought back to me. He then
went back and splashed round in the pond with the hope of finding
something else of interest, but could discover nothing.
"I wondered how that stone came to be in the middle of that pond, and
we devoted several days after that to an examination of the
surrounding country. Back from the mill, some four or five hundred
feet away, was a ledge of rock. We, that is Mr. Sawyer and I, for I
forgot to tell you my father is now a cripple and could only help us
with his advice at home, examined its surface very carefully, using a
magnifying glass and, to my great satisfaction, I finally located a
place into which the stone found in the pond fitted nicely.
Evidently, then, the stone had been detached for some purpose, and
that purpose having been accomplished, the stone had been thrown into
The district attorney looked at his watch again and betrayed signs of
"Pardon me, Mr. Harlow, but would you not rather lose a dinner than
send an innocent man to his death?"
"You still have ten minutes," was the district attorney's reply,
"But, I cannot see the connection between what you are relating and
your idea that Robert Wood is not guilty."
Mary continued her narration.
"I asked Mr. Sawyer to examine the tools and implements in the mill
workshop and he found a pickaxe, one point of which had been
subjected to rather rough treatment. I naturally connected that
pickaxe with the ledge of rock that had been found in the pond.
"An examination of the night watchman's quarters followed. Mr. Sawyer
could discover nothing until he came to a small cupboard which was
locked. Locks, however, do not keep detectives, or criminals either,
from making further investigations. In the cupboard, he found a coil
of rope. There was a certain peculiarity about that rope of which I
will speak later.
"After that Mr. Sawyer loafed around the mill quite a good deal in
the evenings and became acquainted with Mr. Pinchot the night
watchman. He is a French Canadian. He told Mr. Sawyer that his
parents lived in a small town near Montreal, that they were both
quite old and he was their only living son, although he had five
sisters, all working in the States.
"He had saved some money, and as his parents had a farm, and needed
his assistance, he had resigned his position and the day following
the murder was to have been the last one at the mill. He had
withdrawn his resignation when told that the law would require him as
a witness, and has continued in service.
"Mr. Sawyer then made a trip to Boston and found that Mr. Pinchot had
not intended to go to Canada but had been making inquiries as to when
a steamer would sail for France. He had been told he would have to go
to New York. Am I taking up too much of your time, Mr. Harlow?"
"It makes no difference now. I am too late for the dinner. Pray
"While in the city Mr. Sawyer called upon the architects who drew the
plans for the Ellicott Mills. I mean the original plan, for many
changes have been made in the interior. He procured a copy of this,
and we found that when the mill was first constructed, the part used
by the treasurer at the time of the murder had been the receiving
room for raw materials. I next made an excuse for us to visit the
mills one Sunday and we investigated the second story of the mill.
The floor was covered with grease and dirt and was black with age. I
got upon my hands and knees and, with my magnifying glass, examined
every foot of the floor.
"For a long time, my search was not rewarded, but, finally, I found a
white place in the wood. A splinter had been detached. With a knife,
I scraped the dirt from the floor. My search was rewarded. I had
found a trap door! Its former use was apparent. On the wall, above
the trap door, was a stout hook. Upon this hook the tackle had been
put and goods lifted from the receiving room to the story above."
"Well what does all this lead up to?" asked the district attorney.
"I will show you very soon, now, Mr. Harlow. If you remember, the
safe at the mill was found open the morning after the murder but had
been closed and locked by the superintendent. This was a very foolish
thing to do, as the combination had been known only to the treasurer,
and it was several days before it was opened by an expert sent by the
manufacturers. It was then found that the money drawn by Mr. Ellicott
for the payroll, some three thousand dollars, had disappeared."
"Yes, I remember," said the district attorney, "the thief was never
found, and with the more important matter of the murder on our hands
little attention was paid to the loss of the money. It was clear from
the start that Robert Wood had nothing to do with it, because
revenge, not robbery was his motive. But, what does all this mean
that you are telling me?"
"I forgot to state, or, rather postponed saying it, that the coil of
rope that was found in the cupboard had a noose in one end of it, and
that in Mr. Ellicott's wound I found small particles of stone. I
summed up the case thus: Pinchot plotted to steal the money drawn for
payday and to kill Mr. Ellicott if it became necessary. He lifted the
trap door, having thrown the noose in the rope over the hook in the
wall. Mr. Ellicott was quite deaf and did not notice the opening of
the trap door or the man's descent by means of the rope. He used the
stone because he could throw it away and no weapon could be found.
The murderer saw the oaken staff. He knew that Mr. Ellicott had a
visitor that evening so he used the staff to complete his deadly work
and left it behind as a witness against an innocent man. He took the
money from the safe, drew himself up by the rope, closed the trap
door, locked up the rope and threw the stone into the pond. In France
he would be safe to spend the proceeds of his crime. A nice bit of
circumstantial evidence, is it not?"
"Then you believe in circumstantial evidence, Miss Dana?"
"In certain cases. But I think it would render the community just as
safe, and be more just to the accused if, in cases of circumstantial
evidence where there is the least doubt, the sentence should be
imprisonment for life with a provision in the law that there should
be no pardon unless the innocence of the life convict was
conclusively proven. When a murderer is taken red-handed, I would not
abate one jot or tittle of the old Mosaic law--an eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth, a life for a life. But you know that many
murderers of whose premeditated guilt there could be no doubt have
been much more leniently dealt with by our judges and juries than
those caught in the coils of circumstantial evidence."
"Where is the watchman now?" asked the district attorney.
"Here in Cottonton, but he is intending to leave to-night for New
York, I found out this morning. Of course, he was not able to leave
before this as he had to stay in the vicinity, being a witness at the
trial, but his leaving so soon now simply seemed to confirm my
suspicions, and I thought it time to bring the matter to your
"Miss Dana," said the district attorney, rising, and holding out his
hand to her. "I have done the best I could to convict Robert Wood of
the murder of Samuel Ellicott, because I really believed him guilty,
and my oath of office bound me to do my duty; but, if he is innocent,
I believe it as much my duty to right the wrong done him. You have
built up a careful case, and I myself shall ask for a stay of
sentence until after this new evidence can be presented to the Grand
Jury. I believe you have saved an innocent man, and I feel your
future as a great detective is assured."
It was unnecessary for Mr. Harlow to apply for stay of sentence in
the case of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts _vs._ Robert Wood.
Within an hour after Mary Dana had left the district attorney's
office, Gustave Pinchot was under arrest, and, sitting in the same
chair which Mary had occupied, was confessing his crime.
The day that Robert Wood was discharged, with no stain upon his name,
Quincy and Mary took her father to Cottonton. At the prison they met
Robert's father who had come to take his son home. He was profuse in
his thanks to Mr. Dana, for to him he considered his son's escape
from death was due.
"You are wrong, Mr. Wood," said Mr. Dana. "Your son owes his life not
so much to me as to my daughter here, and to Mr. Sawyer. She
practically worked up the case herself; I made but few suggestions,
and it was at her request that Mr. Sawyer made certain investigations
that fitted in with her own ideas and made success possible."
"Miss Dana," said young Robert, "a year ago I insulted you, and was
properly treated for my words and actions by Mr. Sawyer. I owe you
both an apology which I now make and ask your forgiveness. But for
you, and Mr. Sawyer, I should have died a felon. You have, indeed,
heaped coals of fire on my head."
Mary answered, "That was forgiven long ago, but if you wish my
forgiveness you have it freely. How does Miss Ellicott feel now that
you are declared innocent?"
"She came to see me this morning and we are to be married as soon as
possible, and I am to become the treasurer of the mill. She will own
three-quarters of the stock."
When Mr. Strout learned that Robert's release was due to the
exertions of Mary and Quincy he sniffed and exclaimed:
"Folks in love will do all sorts of things. She's gone on that young
Sawyer, and she only started in on the thing so she could have a
chance to traipse around the country with him. He'll come back here
for her some day, and her market'll be made. All I hope is that he'll
take her to Boston, or some other foreign place to live an' we shall
see and hear the last of 'em."
The newspapers gave much space to the near approach to miscarriage of
justice in the Wood's case, and many editorials were written on the
fallacy of allowing circumstantial evidence to carry as much weight
as it did. But what was spoken of most was the clever detective work
of Mary Dana. She was the recipient of congratulatory letters for her
work from all parts of the country, and the press could not say too
much in her praise.
Mary received a most flattering offer to join the Isburn Detective
Bureau in Boston. Mr. Irving Isburn, the proprietor of the world-wide
known agency, had for more than fifty years been engaged in solving
mysteries and apprehending offenders against the law. His success had
been phenomenal, and if his agency had been called "The Scotland Yard
of America" it would have been a derogation rather than a compliment.
He had surrounded himself with the most expert men and women in the
profession, and in a letter to Mr. Dana he said he considered Miss
Dana would be a most important and valuable acquisition to his staff.
Mr. Dana, however, decided that Mary was too young to start business
life, so she was sent to Boston to boarding school for a year. At the
expiration of that time she joined Mr. Is burn's staff, and soon that
gentleman wrote her father that in certain lines of investigation she
With the coming of autumn, after Bob Wood's release, Quincy and Tom
started in on their four years at Harvard. They had passed their
entrance examinations without conditions, so the few days in the last
of September, spent so anxiously by many of the freshman class in
trying to make up conditions given them the spring before, allowed
Quincy and Tom to live in Arcady until the portals of the temple of
learning were ajar. Rooms were engaged at Beck Hall, and the young
men began their inspection of the classic city on the Charles.
"This city is on the square," remarked Tom. "Lafayette, Central,
Putnam, Harvard, Brattle, and some more on the East side I suppose."
"The college is on the square too," said Quincy, "as long as Dr.
Eliot is Prexie."
College life has been depicted many times in books, and Quincy and
Tom's four years probably contained few events that had not had their
counterparts in the lives of other young Harvard men. They joined
many clubs and societies the initiation ceremonies being, in reality,
a mild form of hazing.
Quincy and his chum were not goody-goody boys, but they had mutually
pledged each other that they would lead temperate lives and refrain
from all dissipation that would prejudice their standing as students.
Quincy saw Mary frequently, and, after she was employed by Mr.
Isburn, they talked over some of the most interesting of Mary's
In their college life, Tom and Quincy were unsuspecting, and became
the butt of many good-natured and some unkind jokes. On one occasion
they were invited to join a theatre party. It was a variety or
vaudeville show and ended with a pantomime, the closing scene in
which was a skating carnival.
When the skaters came on, the members of the theatre party rose in
their seats and pelted the performers with paper snowballs made hard
by the liberal use of paste. The police were called in. Quincy and
Tom had taken no part in the snowballing but, as examination showed
their pockets were full of the substitutes for the natural product,
they were adjudged as guilty as the others.
One evening Quincy and Tom went to the theatre together. During a
pathetic speech by the heroine the clang of a big cow bell was heard.
The audience vented its displeasure in hisses. Again came the
clangour and all eyes were turned towards the unconscious youths,
Quincy and Tom. Again were the policemen called in. Two young men who
sat behind Quincy and his friend were accused of causing the
disturbance. They indignantly denied any knowledge of it and left the
theatre threatening a suit for damages. Further investigation by the
minions of the law discovered the bell fastened to the hat-holder
beneath Quincy's seat, while the string that served as a bell pull
was under Tom's foot. Denial of such strong circumstantial evidence
was useless and Quincy and Tom promised to cause no further
annoyance. On their way home in the car they discussed the situation.
"It's Dupont and Kidder that put that up on us, and we must get
even," said Tom.
"But how?" was the question.
A week later Tom purchased tickets for a whole row of seats at one of
the principal theatres, explaining that they were for a large theatre
party. Dupont and Kidder had been recipients of complimentary tickets
which entitled them to seats in the middle of the row. They expected
that Quincy and Tom and other students would complete the party. Not
so, as events proved. Dupont and Kidder, immaculately dressed, had
for companions two waitresses at a well-known Cambridge cafe, two
Harvard Square hairdressers, and a number of individuals whose dress
and general appearance indicated physical strength rather than mental
powers. Dupont and Kidder went out at the end of the first act and
did not return.
The next time that Tom met Fred Dupont he asked,
"Do you believe in the Declaration of Independence?"
"My great-grandfather signed it," said Dupont proudly.
"How does it read?" asked Tom--"something about men being born free
and equal--a barber's as good as a millionaire's son--isn't it?"
"It's all right," replied Dupont, "Kidder and I only took one bell to
the theatre, but you kindly supplied us with two. Nothing's too good
for us at that cafe now, and we've invited Kitty and May to go to the
theatre with us to-morrow night."
"It's no use, Quincy," said Tom. "Dupont and Kidder took their
medicine as patiently as we did, and they liked it so well they're
going to have more of it."
Then he told Quincy what Dupont had said.
"The victory's ours," cried Quincy. "That shows that Americans, rich
or poor, are democratic at heart. All that keeps them apart is the
foolish idea that the possession of money lifts them above their
fellows. Put them on a money equality, and only the very exclusive
ones will care about the colour of their blood. It was a good lesson
for Dupont and Kidder whose fathers are wealthy men, and they have
wisely profited by it."
"Then you don't believe in social castes?" said Tom.
"Why should I? My father married a poor girl and I don't expect to
find my wife on Beacon Street or Commonwealth Avenue."
After Tom had asked his question the thought came to him that if
Quincy had believed in social distinctions on account of wealth he
would not have chosen the son of a cotton weaver as his boon
companion, but it was too late to take back the question, and Quincy
had answered it.
The four years of study were at an end. Quincy was loaded with
scholastic honours while Tom's prowess has been most effectually
shown on the ball team and in the 'Varsity Eight, which came near
winning a trophy for the Crimson.
Just before Class Day, Quincy went into the office of Sawyer,
Crowninshield, Lawrence & Merry to see Harry Merry about some matters
connected with his income.
"Quincy, I am glad to see you," exclaimed Mr. Merry. "I was on the
point of sending a messenger out to Cambridge to have you come right
in. Something very strange has happened this morning and it may be a
question which even your friend Miss Dana may find worthy of her
skill in attempting to solve."
"What is it, Uncle Harry? There is nothing I love like a mystery, and
Miss Dana often talks her cases over with me."
"This is a mystery in which you and your mother in England may be
greatly concerned; but before letting her know anything about it I
think it better to find out what it really means. For you to
understand the matter clearly, I will have to go back a number of
years. In your father's will your grandfather and Dr. Paul Culver
were named as executors. After a while the doctor wished to resign,
and as you know I was appointed in his place."
"Yes, and you have always done more than your duty, and I am truly
grateful. But, pardon me for interrupting you. Please go on."
"To make myself thoroughly familiar with all the details of my trust,
I went over all the old accounts. When your father and mother started
on that unfortunate trip to Europe, your father took with him some
English gold, some bank notes, and, to last him for his further
expenses while abroad, five bills of exchange, each for two hundred
pounds, Sterling, a total of about five thousand dollars. These bills
of exchange were drawn by his bank here in Boston, and in favour of
the bank's agents in London. About six years ago I changed the
deposits of your trust account to another bank. Until then I had
always kept that five thousand still intact, as it was drawing fair
interest, and as, you may not know, your mother has always had an
idea that your father was not drowned. But, when I changed the
account, it seemed foolish to leave that money still there, and as
the bills of exchange had never been presented for payment, I had no
trouble in having them cancelled, and receiving the money.
"But, and here is where the important part of the matter comes in for
you, one of those bills of exchange, drawn over twenty-three years
ago, has to-day been returned to the bank here in Boston from the
"Why, Uncle Harry," cried Quincy, "what can it mean? Is it possible
that my father is still alive? I can't understand it, I am
bewildered," and strong man as he was he was unnerved.
"Calm yourself, Quincy," said Harry Merry, "I am afraid that would be
entirely too good news to be true, but at least it must mean that
your father's body was found some time or other, and probably the
bill of exchange got into the hands of some dishonest person who has
"Have you got it here?"
"Yes," and Mr. Merry handed a paper to him.
"Is the signature that of my father?" asked Quincy turning the bill
over, and looking at the various endorsements on the back.
"I am not sure. If I were, there would be one great question solved,
for he would never have put his name to it, of course, until he was
ready to cash it. In a way it looks a little like his writing, but it
may be, and I think it is, a rather bungling forgery. It is more than
likely that in the wallet in which he kept the bills of exchange he
may have had some papers to which he had signed his name, and the
signature was copied from that."
"I want to show this to Miss Dana," said Quincy, "perhaps she can
help me solve the problem. Have you got any paper with my father's
signature to it?"
"Wait a few minutes, and I will see if I can find any in the old
After a good quarter of an hour, which to Quincy seemed as though it
would never end, Mr. Merry came back, covered with dust, but with the
required paper in his hand.
"A lawyer should never destroy a paper," said Mr. Merry, "and I am
glad to say this firm never does. Here is a letter your father wrote
to your grandfather nearly thirty years ago, and is dated from
Mason's Corner. Take it, and the bill of exchange with you. I hope
you can solve the mystery, and let's pray it will turn out to mean
that you are Quincy Adams Sawyer, Junior; but, my boy," and Harry put
his hand on Quincy's shoulder, "do not build too many air castles on
it. If you do, I am afraid you have a bitter disappointment before
Quincy immediately called on Mary Dana, and had a long talk with her
about the matter. He told her all his conversation with Harry Merry
and showed her the bill of exchange, and the signature of his
father's which he knew to be genuine. After examining them both Mary
"In many ways, this looks like a very clever forgery. The characters
are all made the same as in the signature to the letter,--notice the
peculiar little twist to the S in the word Adams, but your father
wrote a very firm, strong hand, and the writing on the bill of
exchange is weaker and a little shaky. That is undoubtedly due partly
to the fact that the signature on the bill of exchange is written
with a very fine steel pen, while that in the letter was written with
a quill. But, what makes me doubt the genuineness of the signature is
this,--although the characters are practically the same on the two
pieces of paper, your father's name in the letter is the writing of
an educated man, that on the bill of exchange looks like the efforts
of a man unaccustomed to write, probably through ignorance, but
perhaps due to the fact that he has not held a pen for a long time."
"But, Mary," asked Quincy, "how are we going to find out about it,
how can we learn who did sign it?"
"There are the endorsements on the back. They are the only clues.
Below your father's name appears that of Jonathan Drake; then that of
Agostino Tombini, and, below that, Macquay Hooker. There is also the
stamp of the London bank. Where the bill of exchange was cashed does
not appear. It is evident, however, that the last person who signed
it before it reached the bank in London was Macquay Hooker. We will
cable London now, and in the morning will have an answer. Be in to
see me early, but, if I were you, I would hold myself in readiness to
leave for Europe at a moment's notice. Is your work all finished at
"Yes, I had my last examination yesterday, and I should leave for the
summer in a few days. Class Day is all that keeps me now, but I am
perfectly willing to recall the invitations I have sent out, and can
leave at any time."
On his return to his rooms Quincy told Tom what had happened.
"I had been intending to speak about our going abroad anyway this
summer," said Quincy. "It's the style for college boys after being
graduated to go to Europe. I want to see my mother and aunt, too. To
be sure, I have had nice long, loving letters from them, and I've
kept them fully posted as to my doings, but that doesn't quite come
up to seeing them. Now, with this mystery on my hands, with all it
may mean to me, I must go anyway. Will you come along with me?"
"If dad don't mind, I'll go."
"We'll run down to Fernborough for a day or two to say good-bye, if
there is time, and you can see your father about it."
At ten o'clock the next morning, Quincy entered the office of the
Isburn Detective Bureau.
"I have good news for you, Quincy," said Mary. "I have found out from
London that Macquay Hooker is a banker in Rome, and I have cabled
him, asking who the other two endorsers are. We should receive a
reply by noon at the latest."
A good half hour before noon a messenger boy came in and handed Mary
an envelope. She scanned the cablegram quickly, and handed it over to
Quincy. It read, "Tombini banker, Drake American consul, Palermo,
"You see," said Mary, with a smile, "matters are simplifying
themselves considerably. I shall cable now to Drake at Palermo, and
find out what I can about the original signer of the bill of
exchange. This is Wednesday. The Gallia sails from here to England on
Saturday. You had better engage passage, and make arrangements to go
then. Come back late this afternoon, and I will tell you what has
developed in the meantime."
After engaging a stateroom for Saturday, Quincy returned to
Cambridge, packed what things he needed for a couple of days, and
with Tom came back to Boston, intending to go to Fernborough on the
late train in the evening.
"The answer has just come," said Mary, when Quincy saw her later in
the day, "but, I am sorry it is not as satisfactory as I could wish.
Mr. Drake is away from Palermo at present, and beyond the fact that a
Quincy Adams Sawyer had registered at the consulate about a month ago
and has since left the town, they seem to know nothing about the
"Well," said Quincy, "we have a starting point anyway, and more than
we had in Bob Wood's case in the beginning. I shall go directly to
Fernborough Hall to see my mother for a day or so, but I think I will
not mention the real reason for my trip abroad until I have found out
more. I will tell her that Tom and I are anxious to get to the
continent as soon as possible, and that we will return to England
later on. Then we will go down through Italy to Sicily, and start in
there tracing the signer of that bill of exchange."
"I think that is the best plan," said Mary. "In the meantime I will
keep in close touch with Mr. Merry here, and if another one of those
bills of exchange comes in I will cable you, care of your bankers in
London, the names of the endorsers."
"Mary," said Quincy as he took her hand at parting, and held it
perhaps a little longer than was really necessary, "I can't thank you
for all you have done for me. I am truly grateful, and wish there
were some way in which I could show you my true appreciation."
"Your thanks are all I want. Besides, you may be the means of
bringing a very clever criminal to justice," and the smile left her
face as she said it, "for I am afraid that is all you will find. You
must not hope too much for what seems the impossible."
On their way to Fernborough that evening, Quincy and Tom decided it
would be best not to mention the real object of their going to
Europe, so Mr. Chripp thought it was only a pleasure trip. He did not
object to his son going,--but he made one condition, that Tom should
visit the village in old England in which he was born and bring him
back a picture of the little thatched cottage in which Mr. Chripp had
lived until the tales of high wages and better prospects in America
had drawn him from his native land.
Quincy had said good-bye to all his relatives, friends, and
acquaintances except Mr. Obadiah Strout. That gentleman should have
no reason to say he had been snubbed.
When Quincy entered the store Mr. Strout was weighing some butter.
Quincy noticed that the wooden plate and a sheet of thick paper were
put on the scales before the butter was cut from the tub.
"Well, what can I do for you, Master Sawyer?" said Strout when the
customer who had paid thirty cents a pound for butter including wood
and paper had departed.
"I came to say good-bye. I am going to Europe."
"I s'pose you'll like England with its 'ristocrats and kings so well
that you won't come back to these ordinary United States."
Quincy knew that Mr. Strout wished he would stay in England, so he
"Oh, no. I'm coming back sure. I know a little about weighing
groceries and I've decided to come back and go into business."
"What good will your book larnin' do you then?"
"For one thing, they teach something besides dead languages in
colleges nowadays. I studied moral philosophy, which points out the
difference between right and wrong, between honesty and dishonesty,
between fifteen ounces of butter and one ounce of wood and paper, and
sixteen ounces of butter to the pound."
With this parting shot, Quincy joined Tom in front of the store and
they started for Boston, from which port the _Gallia_ was to sail two
"Do you believe in dreams, Aunt Ella?"
"No, Alice, I do not."
"Not if they come true?"
"Only a coincidence. If they don't come true are you willing to
acknowledge that all are unreliable? Or, if some prove true do you
consider them all reliable? You can have either horn of the dilemma."
"What causes dreams, Aunt Ella?"
"Usually what's on your mind. Your brain doesn't wake up all at once
and dreams flit through it until it gets full control."
"What if a person dreams the same thing three nights in succession?"
"That proves nothing. When my first husband died I dreamed for a
month or more that he was still alive and that I must wake him at a
certain time because the morning he died he was to take a train at an
early hour. You make your own dreams."
"But supposing you see something in your dreams that you never saw
before--that you never knew existed until you viewed it when asleep?"
"What have you been dreaming, Alice?"
"You won't laugh at me?"
"I promise not to laugh, but I won't promise to believe."
"If my husband is dead," said Alice, "he is dead and I shall never
see him again in this world; if he is still living, he is somewhere
in this world, and it's my duty to find him."
"I will agree to that," assented her hearer, "but you know that I
have no faith that he is alive. Just think, twenty-three years have
passed away and you have had no word from him. Out of deference to
your feelings, Alice, I had put off making my will since Sir Stuart
died until yesterday. It is now signed and in my lawyer's hands. It
is no secret, I have left all I possess to your son Quincy."
"Why did you do that?"
"I promised his father that he should have it, but as I think he will
never come to claim it, I gave it to his son, as he or you would do
if it was yours. Now, your dreams have put some idea into your head.
Where do you think your husband is?"
"I don't know what country it is, but, in my dreams, thrice repeated,
I have seen him standing in a grove of trees filled with fruit--
lemons and oranges they appeared to be."
"Did he speak to you or you to him?"
"He looked at me but gave no sign of recognition. I called his name,
but he did not answer me."
"That proves what I said. You are always thinking about him, and your
mind made up your dream."
"Where do lemons and oranges grow?"
"In so many countries that you would have to go round the world to
visit them all." She thought to herself, "they don't grow in the
"You speak of twenty-three years having passed. That's not so long. I
have read of sailors being away longer than that and finally
returning home. Men have stayed in prison longer than that and have
come out into the world again. Why, Quincy is only fifty-three now."
"And I'm seventy--an old woman some think me, and others call me so,
but if I were sure that by living I could see Quincy again, I'd
manage some way to keep alive until he came."
"You are just lovely, Aunt Ella, and I love you more than ever for
those words. I believe that Quincy wants me to come to him--and I am
"My dear Alice, I'm sure the only way you will ever see Quincy is by
going to him, for he can never come to you."
The next day Alice spent in studying the cyclopedias and maps. She
estimated the cost of a six months' trip to the citron groves of
Europe and America. For a week she pondered over the matter.
Then something occurred that led her to make up her mind definitely.
She had the same dream for the fourth time. She awoke screaming, and
shaking with terror. Her aunt was awakened and ran to her room.
"What is it, Alice? Dreaming again?"
"Yes, the same and yet different. I saw a big man raise a club and
strike Quincy on the head. He fell and I awoke."
Aunt Ella grew cynical. "Why didn't you wait long enough to see the
effect of the blow?"
"Oh, Auntie," and Alice burst into tears. "What shall I do?"
"I know what I'm going to do. I shall send for Dr. Parshefield and
have him give you a sleeping potion."
The next day Alice began making preparations for her journey. Aunt
Ella's arguments and appeals were in vain.
"I must go," said Alice. "Where, I do not know, but God will direct
"God won't do anything of the kind," exclaimed Aunt Ella.
Her patience was exhausted. Then her manner changed. She accepted the
inevitable, and did all she could to help her niece. One thing she
insisted upon, and that was that Alice should have a companion. One
who could speak French and German was found and Alice started upon
her quest into, to her, unknown lands.
"BY THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE DANUBE"
Alice did not tell Aunt Ella where she was going. To have done so
would have led her aunt to say that it was foolish to go there, for
although she aided Alice in getting ready for her journey she was
decidedly opposed to it. In fact, in her own mind she called it "a
wild goose chase." But she had learned that Alice had an indomitable
will and she fully realized that further argument and opposition were
Alice went on board the boat at Dover with some foreboding. She had
read and had been told of the rigours of the Channel passage and her
experience was equal to the descriptions. Had it not been for the
presence of Babette, the maid so wisely provided by her aunt, her
journey might have ended at Calais, or even before. She had a horror
of the water and it was with a sense of great mental and physical
satisfaction that her feet touched solid ground again.
They went to Paris, but spent no time in the gay city. Their
objective point was the south of Italy, and then the island of
Sicily. Did not the guide books say that Sicily was the home of the
orange and the lemon?
They would stop a short time in each important town. Carriages were
taken from day to day and inquiry was made at the principal groves in
the near vicinity of the towns. Then trips were made into the
country, but everywhere Alice's questions were answered in the
negative. She was allowed to talk to the labourers, by the aid of an
interpreter, but none had any remembrance or had heard of any such
man as she described.
At only one grove, near Palermo, was she refused admittance. The
proprietor, Silvio Matrosa, said he had no authority to admit
strangers. Besides, two of the men had been fighting and one was so
seriously injured by a blow upon his head by a club, that he had been
sent to the hospital and it was thought he would die. Under the
circumstances "Would the ladies excuse him?" and Alice was obliged to
give up her search in that direction.
She had been so impressed with the reality of her dreams that she had
thought she could easily recognize her husband's surroundings, but
she confessed to Babette, who was sympathetic and engaged eagerly in
the search, that she had seen no place that resembled the scene of
More weary wandering without result followed, and so intent was she
on the object of her search that the beauties of "Sunny Italy" were
lost upon her. The weather was hot and enervating and Babette
suggested that her mistress should go to Switzerland and rest before
continuing her search. Alice consented, but when they reached Vienna
she was too ill to proceed farther. Babette was at home in Vienna for
she could speak German, and she soon learned that the Hospital of St.
Stephen's would give her mistress the rest and medical treatment that
her condition required--for she was on the verge of nervous
prostration. The discomfort of travelling was not the cause of her
physical break-down for Aunt Ella had told her "that nothing was too
good for a traveller" and every comfort and convenience that money
could supply had been hers. Her mental disquietude had produced the
physical relapse. She had been so confident of the truth of her
dreams, and that some power, she knew not what, but which she trusted
implicitly, would lead her to her husband, that her disappointment
was more than her strained nervous system could bear.
After a week's rest, although unable to rise, she called Babette to
her bedside. "I wish to send word to my aunt in England but I do not
feel able to sit up and write. I will dictate, you can write, and I
will sign it."
Then Babette wrote:
"MY DEAR AUNT ELLA: Confession, they say, is good for the soul. My
body is weak to-day and so Babette is writing my confession. I have
been to Sicily and all over the southern part of Italy, but no
success has come to me. If Quincy had been in one of those orange or
lemon groves he could not have lived there for so many years; the
work is too hard, and he was never used to manual labour. So, as soon
as I am able, I am coming home. I will never trouble you with any
more dreams. I believe, as you do, that they are products of
imagination. I am not sick, only tired out, and naturally, at first,
very much disheartened. I shall be with you very soon, never more to
leave you." ALICE.
"P. S. As soon as I am able to take a drive I am going to view the
attractions of this city--which Babette says is even more beautiful
than Paris. I must see 'The Beautiful Blue Danube,' and I must hear
Johann Strauss's orchestra. They will be the only happy memories of
my fruitless journey."
Nothing marred the pleasure of the trip on the _Gallia_ and young
Quincy and Tom could not have been happier than they were when the
great steamer made its way up the Mersey towards its Liverpool pier.
A few hours only in the great bustling city and then they were off to
find the house in which Tom's father was born and lived. It was near
Chester, that modernized reminder of the old Roman days, and on their
way to Fernborough Hall.
They found it uninhabited. The thatched roof was full of holes and
the interior showed the devastation that wind and water had worked.
Tall weeds filled the little garden and the general effect was dismal
"It won't do to take Dad a picture of this old shanty," said Tom.
"Perhaps we can find a house that looks like it," Quincy suggested.
They had no difficulty in doing that, for the same architectural
plan, if the design be worthy the name, had plainly been followed in
the construction of many cottages. They found one with the roof
covered with moss and a garden full of old-fashioned flowers, and
several views were taken with Quincy's camera.
"It's cheating in one way," said Tom, "but it would break Dad's heart
to see a picture of his old home as it really is--so we'll show him
one as it ought to be."
"And as it shall be," said Quincy. "It won't cost much to fix it up,
all but the moss, and that will come on it in time. You get a man,
Tom, find out the cost of renovating the house, and I'll pay the
bill. So will the sense of untruthfulness be removed from our
sensitive feelings." This was quickly arranged, for work, with the
pay in advance, was a delectable possession in those parts.
When they reached Fernborough Hall, and Quincy was told of the search
on which his mother had started out, he pretended to agree with his
aunt that it was useless, and the height of folly, but from that
moment hope sprang up within him, that, by some miracle, his father
was still alive. He did not confide his hopes to Aunt Ella, and gave
her no inkling of the real reason for his trip to Europe.
"It would make me very happy to know that my father was living," he
said, "but after so long a time it seems foolish to think it, does it
not? When do you expect mother home, Aunt Ella?"
"The letter was written a month ago from Vienna, but, unfortunately,
she did not give her address. If she were well, she should have been
here before this. I have an idea that she may have gone to
Switzerland on her way home, and charmed by its scenery, or forced by
her weak condition, has remained there. Stay here for a week with
your friend, and perhaps some word will come."
"No, Auntie," said Quincy, "Tom and I will run over to Vienna, and if
we don't find her we will push on to William Tell's republic. We will
write you often--Tom one day and I the next."
"I have often wondered," said Quincy to Tom two days later as they
were on the cars speeding to Vienna--"I have often wondered," he
repeated, "how my mother could let me go away and stay away from her
for fourteen long years. That she loves me, her letters show plainly.
She says often that I am all she has in the world, but she never sent
for me to come and see her nor did she ever come to see me. How do
you explain it, Tom?"
"Very easily. That disaster at sea and the loss of your father has
given her a horror of the ocean which she cannot overcome. She fears
to trust herself or one she loves to its mercies again. Perhaps we
can't understand her feelings, but you must respect them."
"I do," replied Quincy. "I have never doubted her love for me, and
your theory, perhaps, explains her failure to manifest her love more
On the train they made a most agreeable acquaintance and regretted
their inability to accept his invitation to visit him. His name was
Louis Wallingford. He was an American, born in Missouri. He had been
a reporter, then editor. His passion was music and he had forsaken a
literary life for that of a musician. He had joined an orchestra much
in demand at private parties given by the wealthy residents of St.
Louis. At one of these, he had become infatuated with the daughter of
a railroad magnate who counted his wealth by millions. A poor
violinist, he knew it was useless to ask her father for his
daughter's hand. The young lady's mother was dead. The father died
suddenly of apoplexy, and Miss Edith Winser came into possession of
the millions. Then he had spoken and been accepted. Conscious that
her husband, talented as he was, would not be accepted, without a
hard struggle, by the upper class, they decided to live in Europe.
He had found a deserted chateau on the borders of Lake Maggiore.
Money bought it, and money had transformed it into an earthly
Paradise. The building, of white marble, was adapted for classic
treatment, and Greek and Roman art were symbolized therein.
The chateau contained a large music room and a miniature theatre in
which Mr. Wallingford's musical compositions and operas were
"I have just come from Paris," said Mr. Wallingford, "where I have
made arrangements for six concerts by my orchestra which will play
many of my own pieces. Can you not be in Paris in a month and hear
"Tell him your story," whispered Tom to Quincy, and he did so.
Mr. Wallingford was deeply interested.
"If you find both your father and mother, they deserve another
honeymoon. Bring them to Vertano and in the joys of the present we
will make them forget the sorrows of the past."
"I am afraid," said Quincy, "that such good fortune would be more
"Come with your mother and friend then," said Mr. Wallingford as he
left them to change cars.
They went to the Hotel Metropole in Vienna. Quincy consulted his
"Everybody lives in apartment houses in Vienna, so this book says.
The question is, in which one shall we find my mother and her maid?"
"All we can do," said Tom, "is to plug away every day. Keep a-going,
keep asking questions, keep our eyes and ears open, and keep up our
"Your plan is certainly 'for keeps,' as we children used to say. Come
along. Your plan is adopted. Have you written Lady Fernborough? 'Tis
Many days of fruitless travel and the young men began to despair of
success. Quincy was debating with himself whether it would not be
better to give up the search for his mother, and follow up the clue
about his father. He felt that every day was precious.
"I have an idea, Quincy," Tom said one morning. "Perhaps your mother
is quite sick and has gone to a public hospital or a private one of
"That's a fine idea, Tom. We'll begin on them after breakfast."
The sharp reports of gun shots and the softer cracking of pistols
"What's that?" cried Quincy.
"Some men are on a strike. They had trouble with the police last
night and this morning's paper says the strikers have thrown up
barricades. Probably the police and soldiers are trying to dislodge
The firing continued, and from their windows the soldiers and people
could be seen moving towards the scene of disturbance.
"Let's go out and see what is going on," said Quincy.
"Let's stay in and keep out of trouble," was Tom's reply. "It is the
innocent bystander who always gets shot."
"I'm going down to the office to find out about it," and Quincy took
his hat and left the room.
Tom was suspicious of his intentions and followed him. Quincy had
left the hotel and was walking rapidly towards the scene of
disturbance. Tom ran after him, and kept him in sight, but did not
speak to him. At first he felt offended that Quincy had not asked him
to go with him. Then he reflected: "I virtually told him in advance
that I wouldn't go. He's his own master."
They were nearing a street from which came the sounds of conflict--
loud cries, curses, and the reports of firearms. Tom ram forward to
prevent Quincy from turning into the street. He was too late--Quincy
had turned the corner. Tom, regardless of danger, followed him. He
started back with a cry of horror. Quincy had been shot and was lying
upon the sidewalk, the blood streaming from a gun-shot wound in his
right arm. Tom took him up in his arms, as though he had been a
child, and returned to the safety of the unexposed street.
As he lay Quincy upon the sidewalk and took out his handkerchief to
make a tourniquet with which to stanch the flow of blood, he cried:
"Oh, Quincy, why did you walk right into danger?"
As he uttered the words, a man who was standing nearby, whose dress
and swarthy face proclaimed him to be a foreigner, stepped forward
and grasped Tom roughly by the arm.
"What did you call that young man," asked the stranger, his voice
"I called him by his name--Quincy."
"Quincy what? Pardon me, but I have a reason for asking."
"His name is no secret," said Tom, as he twisted the handkerchief
tightly above the wound. "I can't understand your interest in him,
but his name is Quincy Adams Sawyer."
"Thank Heaven," exclaimed the man. "And thank you," he added,
grasping Tom's hand--"Is he English?"
"No, we're both Yankees, from Fernborough, Massachusetts."
The man knelt beside Quincy and gazed at him earnestly. He looked up
"I could bless the man who fired that shot. My name is Quincy Adams
Sawyer and this young man is my son!"
Tom's surmise had been correct. Alice did not improve and a long stay
at the Hospital became necessary before the return to England would
"What's that noise, Babette?" asked Alice.
"There must be a riot somewhere," was the reply. "The soldiers are
marching past. They are fighting in a street nearby."
Alice said no more. What had she to do with fighting and bloodshed?
Her suffering was greater than any bullet could inflict. She fell
into a doze from which she was awakened by a loud cry from Babette.
"Oh, Madame, a carriage has just stopped here, and they are bringing
a wounded man into the Hospital. There are two men with him--one
looks like an Englishman or American."
"Go down, Babette, and see if you can find out who they are. I should
be glad if I could be of help to one of my own countrymen."
It seemed a very long time before the maid returned. When she did,
the usually self-confident Babette seemed dazed. She did not speak
until her mistress asked:
"Did you find out anything?"
"They are all Americans, Madame. A young man and his friend; the
older man is the father."
"No, the young man's."
"Did you learn their names or where they are from?"
Babette sank upon her knees by the bedside.
"Oh, Madame, I am so happy."
Alice regarded her with astonishment.
"Happy! Happy because a young man has been shot. You must have a
bloodthirsty nature, Babette."
"It isn't the shooting, Madame. It's the name."
"The name? What name? You are nervous, Babette. You must lie down and
rest. I keep you up too late nights reading and writing."
"Oh, Madame, how can I say it? Can you bear it?"
"I have borne suspense for twenty-three years. I can bear much. What
is it you would tell me?"
"You know, Madame, I said the older man was the young man's father.
They both have the same name."
"That's not uncommon, especially in America. The young man is called
Junior. Sometimes when they are very proud of a family name they
number them. Supposing my husband were living, and my son had a son,
named after himself, the little boy would be Quincy Adams Sawyer
"Madame, I must tell you. The father and the son bear the name of
Quincy Adams Sawyer!"
Alice regarded her as if affrighted. Then she leaped from the bed and
cried: "Bring me my clothes, Babette. My husband and son! We three,
brought together by the hand of God once more."
The revulsion was too great. The pent-up agony of twenty-three years
dissolved in a moment. Alice fainted and fell into Babette's arms.
A PERIOD OF TWENTY-THREE YEARS
It took hours for the overjoyed wife and mother and the long-lost
husband and father to tell their stories. Alice's was told first, and
was followed by young Quincy's recital of his life at Fernborough,
his four years at Harvard, and the story of the returned bill of
exchange leading him to Europe, and his search for his mother in
Vienna which ended with such happiness for all. Finally, the father
"On the night of the collision, after seeing you safely started in
the life-boat with the last of the passengers, Captain Hawkins
thought of a small boat on the upper deck which had been overlooked
in the general scramble to get away from the doomed _Altonia_.
Shouting to me to follow him, the Captain rushed up the ladder to the
railing, and together we started to lower the boat. It was raised
about three feet above the deck, being held in position by two
supports shaped like a letter X. I had already loosened the ropes on
my side, and then tried to kick out the support nearest me. It stuck,
and finally I got down on my hands and knees thinking I could force
it out better in that position. The water was steadily pouring in at
the ship's side, and it was only a question of a few minutes before
the _Altonia_ would founder. Finally I gave one mighty push, the
support gave away, the boat came down upon me like a ton weight,--and
that was the last I knew until I awoke in a large room full of single
beds, and a kindly faced old priest told me I was in the Hospital of
San Marco, Palermo, Sicily.
"My God, the shock when I found that my sleep,--for such it was to
me,--had lasted over twenty-three years! What thoughts went through
my mind! Had you, Alice, been saved or lost? If saved, were you still
living, and my son, whom I had never seen, was he living? Were Aunt
Ella and my father and mother and my sisters still alive? I was
roused from my revery by the good Father Paolo.
"He told me that the week before he had been summoned to the death-
bed of an old seaman, Captain Vando, who had confessed that over
twenty years before, while sailing from Boston to Palermo, two days
after a very bad fog, he had picked up at sea a small open boat in
which were two men, both of whom at first seemed dead. One, it was
Captain Hawkins, was beyond all help; he was frozen to death,--frozen
to death, Alice, in an effort to save my life, for, besides my own
coat, his was found tucked around me.
"After hours of work, I was brought back to life,--but a life worse
than death. The Captain told Father Paolo that my mind was a blank, I
could remember nothing of my past, I did not know my name. Then
temptation came to Captain Vando. He took from me my belt, in which I
had some English gold, a few English bank-notes, and the five bills
of exchange, each for a thousand pounds. The latter he did not dare
to dispose of, but the money he appropriated to his own use. He soon
found I could be of no use to him on ship-board, so, on his arrival
at Palermo, he sold me to a rich planter, for a hundred lire, and I
was put to work in the orange groves.
"Captain Vando in his confession told Father Paolo that he still had
my belt containing the bills of exchange, and before his death he
delivered these over to the priest. After the Captain's death, Father
Paolo went to Signor Matrosa, who, when confronted with the facts,
admitted I had been sold to him, and that I was known under the name
of Alessandro Nondra, but he told him that I had been mixed up in a
fight, and had received such a bad wound that I had been sent to the
hospital. One of his managers, an Italian, had married an English
girl, and they had a daughter with light hair, and blue eyes. It
seems I had been sent to his house one day with a message, and when I
saw his daughter, I cried out, 'Alice, Alice,' and caught the girl in
my arms. Her father was so enraged that he picked up a gun lying near
at hand, and gave me such a terrific blow on the head that I was
knocked senseless. I remember nothing of it, but mistaking Anita for
you was, undoubtedly, my first approach to my former consciousness.
That scene was probably the one which you saw in your dream, Alice,
and to think that afterwards you should be so near me in Palermo, and
neither of us know it!
"At the hospital the doctors found that the blow on my head had
caused but a comparatively unimportant scalp wound, but, in dressing
it, they found that at some earlier time my skull had been crushed.
They performed the delicate operation of trepanning the skull, and
when I came out from the effects of the ether, my mind was in the
same state as it had been twenty-three years before.
"After that my recovery was rapid. Father Paolo made Signor Matrosa
pay me thirty-three hundred lire as my wages for the many years I had
worked for him, and I gave a thousand of it to the manager's
daughter, to whom, in a way, I owed my return to my natural self.
The rest I gave to Father Paolo for the use of his church.
"Luckily, in my belt that Captain Vando had appropriated was my
passport. I went to the United States consul at Palermo, Mr. Drake,
had the passport vised, and got him to cash one of the bills of
exchange for me. Suddenly, one day, the thought came into my mind,
had you, Alice, thinking me dead, married again? I decided to find
out before the announcement of my return to the land of the living
could be spread broadcast, and I persuaded Mr. Drake to keep back the
information from his official report for a while, at least. This he
was able to do easily, as he was on the point of going away for a
vacation of a few months, and the other members of the consulate knew
very little of my case.
"I decided to continue bearing the name of Alessandro Nondra for a
while, at least, and I knew I could make a living in some way when my
present funds were exhausted. How I regretted the cashing of that
bill of exchange, because I knew it would eventually lead to my
discovery; but I was so changed, with my iron-gray hair, and Van Dyke
beard, that I felt I could escape detection until I knew whether my
wife still waited for me or not.
"I decided to make my way north to Ostend, and would cross from there
to England, where I felt sure I could find some news of you, or Aunt
Ella. I stopped off here in Vienna for a day or two. When I heard my
son called by name this morning I could not resist, and instead of
finding my son alone, I have also found his mother, my wife."
Quincy gloried in his wife's faith and constancy. Alice, while she
rejoiced in her husband's return bewailed his lost opportunities.
"Think what you have lost, Quincy. You might have been President."
"If I have escaped that I shall not regret my long imprisonment."
"Why, Quincy, would you have refused a nomination?"
"Many are called, but few are chosen. I have never cherished any such
ambition. I am not in love with politics and I detest the average
politician. Our country produces few statesmen and it never will
until the civil service law is made applicable to legislators and to
high officials. We have much to learn from China in this respect."
Telegrams had been sent to Aunt Ella and Mr. Wallingford apprising
them of the happy reunion. From the latter came a message extending a
hearty invitation to come to Vertano.
Young Quincy's wound though painful, and particularly uncomfortable,
was not serious. Tom was his constant companion and attendant while
Quincy passed nearly all his time with his wife. She improved rapidly
and their departure was delayed only until young Quincy's wound was
"You now have a longer name than ever," his mother said to him one
"How's that? It's too long now. What must be added?"
"Why, now that your father is alive, you are Quincy Adams Sawyer,
"I am more than willing to make the addition, mother, and hope it
will be many years before I am obliged to shorten it."
When they reached Vertano but three days remained before the
departure of Mr. Wallingford and his orchestra for Paris, but during
that time there were drives through the beautiful country, boat rides
upon the lake, rehearsals by the orchestra and the performance of an
operetta written by Mr. Wallingford in which he, his wife, and seven
children took part.
"Shall we go to Paris?" asked Alice.
"Certainly," said Quincy. "We owe Mr. Wallingford the return courtesy
of our attendance at his six concerts."
The trip across the channel did not possess so many terrors for Alice
with her husband and son for company, but she was glad when they
stepped upon land at Dover.
"I shall never love the water," she said.
They reached London in the afternoon too late to take the train for
Heathfield in which town Fernborough Hall was situated. A telegram
was sent to Aunt Ella informing her of their safe arrival in London,
and that they would be with her the next day.
"What can I do to amuse you this evening, Alice?"
"Sit down and let me look at you, I have so much time to make up."
"They give _Martha_ at the opera to-night--it is my favourite--full
of the sweetest melodies in which I substitute Alice for Martha.
Quincy and Tom would like to go, and I have another reason which I
will tell you after the first act."
Alice's curiosity was aroused and she expressed her desire to go.
After the first act, Alice turned an inquisitive face to her husband.
"What was your other reason for coming here to-night?"
"Don't you think Catessa is a fine tenor?"
"He has the most beautiful voice I ever heard," Alice replied.
"I know him. He is an old friend of mine. I'm going behind the scenes
to congratulate him personally."
"Did you meet him in Italy?"
"No--in Fernborough, Massachusetts."
"Why, Quincy, what _do_ you mean? There were no Italians in
"He is not an Italian. He's a Yankee. Look at his name."
"That's Italian surely."
"It's only his Yankee name transposed. Aren't you good on anagrams?"
"Certainly, I'm not. Please tell me."
"Do you remember a young man in Fernborough with consumption whom I
sent to a sanatorium in New York?"
"Yes, Mr. Scates."
"You've hit it. Mr. Arthur Scates, or A. Scates for short. Now look
at that Italian name again."
"I am doing so, and it looks just as foreign as ever."
"Agreed, but Catessa contains just the same letters as A. Scates,
only they are arranged differently."
After the second act, Quincy visited Mr. Scates in his dressing room.
The tenor insisted on Quincy and his party taking supper with him at
his hotel after the opera. He offered to repay the cost of his
treatment with interest.
"No," said Quincy, "I do not need it, and will not take it. Use it to
help some poor artist."
It was one o'clock when Quincy and his party reached their hotel.
"Did you enjoy yourself, Alice?"
"I had a delightful evening. But how happy you must feel to know that
your money saved such a precious life."
"I do," said he. "Good deeds always bring their reward. See what I
got--twenty-three years hard labour in an orange grove."
"Hush, Quincy. There is no possible connection between the two
"I disagree with you. I think I am the connection, but I don't really
think one caused the other."
"I should say not. You are not often cynical."
"I am not, dear. Only when one does a good deed he must not expect to
be repaid in exactly his own coin."
"Did Mr. Scates offer to repay you?"
"He did, and I told him to give it to some poor fellow who needed
"Quincy, I don't know which to admire most. Your good heartedness, or
your ability to make one sum of money perform many good actions."
The home coming to Fernborough Hall was a sad contrast to the
pleasure of the evening before. They found Aunt Ella in bed with two
doctors in attendance. Though weak, and failing fast there was no
diminution of her mental powers. She expressed a wish to see Quincy
"Quincy, your wife's faith has made a new woman of me. I have always
wished to live for ever, I had such a fear of death and uncertainty
as to the future. My fears are all gone.
"The same Power that put me in this world and has given me so many
blessings, with some sorrows, so that I would properly appreciate the
blessings, will take care of me in the next. I have never been a
wicked woman, but often a foolish one. The most foolish thing I have
ever done was to doubt the faith your wife had that you were still
alive. She's an angel.
"Give me a sup of that wine, Quincy," she continued, "I haven't
smoked a cigarette since I promised Alice I wouldn't. Wasn't that
self-denial? Now, there's a very important matter that needs
attention. I told you when you married Alice that when I died you
should have everything. Don't interrupt me. Believing you were dead I
made a new will and left everything to your son."
She drew a paper from under the bedclothes.
"Here it is. Burn it up. The other one is in the hands of my
solicitor in London."
Quincy laid the will upon the bed.
"Aunt Ella, I shall not burn the will nor destroy it. I am satisfied
with the disposition of your fortune. I should have been equally well
satisfied if you had possessed other heirs. But, did you leave your
property to Quincy Adams Sawyer Junior?"
Aunt Ella's eyes snapped with some of their old fire.
"I've got it right. I have described my heir so carefully that there
can be no mistake. Don't you imagine that there is a chance for you
to break my will."
There was a smile on her face as she spoke, and Quincy smiled to show
that he did not misunderstand her pleasantry. As he turned to go,
Aunt Ella called:
He approached the bed again.
"Another sip of that wine. I always liked wine--but not too much of
She beckoned to him to come nearer. "Quincy, I want you, before you
go away to have the fish cleared out of the lake. Stuart wouldn't let
me do it, and since he died I have kept them as a tribute to his
memory. He said to me, when the name dies out, let the fish die too.
The name is near death, and the fish must go. Now, send Alice to me."
When she came, she bent over and kissed her aunt tenderly.
"Alice, I wish you were going with me. You know what I mean, dear. I
hope you will have long life and great happiness to make up for what
you've gone through. You have your husband back again. I am going to
mine, Robert and Stuart. There is no marriage or giving in marriage
there--only love. Quincy is going to look after the fish in the
Aunt Ella lingered for a week, then passed quietly away while asleep.
She was laid beside Sir Stuart in the family vault, and the name
Fernborough lived only as that of a little country town in New
At the funeral Quincy met his sister Florence who looked upon him as
one raised from the dead.
"I did not forget you, Quincy, for my first-born bears your name."
Linda, Countess of Sussex, came with her husband the Earl, and her
daughter, the Lady Alice Hastings, a tall, statuesque blonde, in her
"I've something wonderful to tell you," said the Countess to Quincy
and his wife. "My daughter is soon to be married, but not to one of
our set. Her choice has fallen upon Mr. John Langdon, an American.
He's very wealthy, and is coming to England to live. Isn't that
romantic--so out of the usual."
"America loses every time," said Quincy. "First our girls and their
father's money, and now our men and their money. In time, England
will form part of the great American nation."
"You mean," said the Countess, "the great English-speaking nation,"
and Quincy bowed in acceptance of the amendment.
The probating of the will, making arrangement for the sale of
Fernborough Hall, and providing for the payment of the proceeds and
annual income to Quincy Jr. caused a long delay, for English law
moves but little faster than it did when Jarndyce brought suit
Quincy Jr. and Tom were thrown on their own resources during the long
wait. London was their resort, and, to them, Scotland Yard and its
detectives, the most interesting part of the city.
When the party finally embarked, by a coincidence, it was on the
_Gallia_ which had brought young Quincy and his companion to England
seven months before.
No storms or heavy fogs were met upon the way, and the party was
landed safely in New York.
O. STROUT. FINE GROCERIES
During the summer that the foregoing events were happening in Europe,
Mr. Hiram Maxwell, in the little New England town of Fernborough had
a serious accident happen to himself the effects of which were far
reaching, and finally affected many people.
In unloading a barrel of sugar from a wagon, it slipped from the skid
and fell upon his leg causing a compound fracture. He was taken home,
but when the doctor was called he advised his immediate removal to
the Isaac Pettingill Free Hospital for he was afraid an amputation
would be necessary. Unfortunately, his fears proved to be true, and
Hiram's right leg was amputated just below the knee.
"That Hiram's an unlucky cuss," said Mr. Strout to his hearers one
evening at the grocery. "But think of me. This is our busy season and
with everything piled onto me I'm just about tuckered out. What help
will he be stumbling around on crutches?"
"Can't he have a wooden leg?" asked Abner Stiles.
"Yes, of course he can. An' if you lost your head and got a wooden
one in its place you'd be just as well off as you are now."
This remark caused a laugh at Abner which he took good-naturedly.
When Mr. Strout was out of sorts he always vented his spleen on
"Well," said Benoni Hill, "I'm awful sorry for Hiram with a wife and
children to support. Of course his pay will go right on, bein' as
he's a partner."
"I don't know about that," said Strout. "That's for the trustees to
decide, and I've got to decide whether I'll do two men's work for one
"He would for you," Abner blurted out.
"If you think so much of him, why don't you come in and do his work
for him?" said Strout.
"When you were going to buy this store, and Mr. Sawyer got ahead of
yer, yer promised me a job here as pay for some special nosin' round
I'd done fer yer--but when yer got in the saddle you forgot the
feller who'd boosted yer up. When a man breaks his word to me onct he
don't do it a second time. That's why," and Abner went out and
slammed the door after him.
Mr. Strout was angry, and when in that state of mind he was often
lacking in prudence in speech.
"That comes of turning a place of business into a resort for loafers.
If I owned this store outright there'd be a big sign up somewhere--
'When you've transacted your business, think of Home Sweet Home.'"
"I reckon that's a hint," said Benoni Hill, as he arose and put on
his hat. "You won't be troubled with me or my trade in futur'. There
are stores in Cottonton jus' as good as this, and the proprietors are
He left the store, and one by one the "loafers" followed him as no
one had the courage to break the silence that fell upon the company
after old Mr. Hill's departure.
Mr. Strout, left alone to close up the store, was more angry than
"What cussed fools. I was hitting back at Abner and they thought the
coat fit and put it on. They'll come round again. They won't enjoy
tramping over to Cottonton for kerosene and molasses."
The store was lighted by kerosene lamps resting on brackets. It was
Mr. Strout's custom to take them down, blow them out, and replace
them on the brackets. One was always left burning, as Mr. Strout said
"so burglars could see their way round."
Mr. Strout's anger rose higher and higher and there was no one
present upon whom he could expend it. He grasped one of the lamps,
but his hold on the glass handle was insecure and it fell to the
floor, the lamp breaking, while the burning oil was thrown in every
direction. He wished then that some of the "loafers" were present to
help him put the fire out. There was no water nearer than the pump in
the back yard. He grabbed a pail and started to get some water. He
forgot the back-steps and fell headlong. For some minutes he was so
dazed that he could do nothing. The glare of the fire lighted up the
yard, or he would have had difficulty in filling the pail. When he
returned, he saw that the fire was beyond his control. He could not
go through the store, so he climbed the back yard fence and made his
way to the front of the store crying "Fire" at the top of his voice.
It seemed an age to him, before anyone responded. He felt then the
need of friends, neighbours--even "loafers" would have been
A bucket brigade formed, but their efforts were unavailing. As the
other lamps were exploded by the heat new inflammable material was
thrown about. In a quarter of an hour the whole interior was in
flames, and in an hour only a grim, black skeleton, lighted up by
occasional flashes of flame, remained of Strout and Maxwell's grocery
Next morning comment was rife. Mr. Strout had told how the fire was
caused but there were unbelievers.
"I think the cuss set it on fire himself," said Abner Stiles to his
employer, Mr. Ezekiel Pettingill.
"Be careful, Abner," was the caution given him. "It don't do to
accuse a man of anything 'less you have proof, an' your thinkin' so
ain't proof." Mr. Strout went to Boston to see the trustees. The
insurance was adjusted and Mr. Strout was authorized to proceed with
the re-building at once. During the interim orders were filled from
the Montrose store. Fortunately, the stable and wagon shed were some
distance from the store, and had not been in danger.
The new store was larger than the old one, and many improvements, in
Mr. Strout's opinion, were incorporated in the new structure. He