Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Green Mummy by Fergus Hume

Part 3 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.5 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

with his overcoat and assisting him into the trap, which had been
hastily sent for to the Warrior Inn. All the time Braddock
talked and scolded and gave directions and left instructions,
until every one was quite bewildered. Lucy and the servants all
sighed with relief when they saw the trap disappear round the end
of the road in the direction of Jessum. In addition to being a
famous archaeologist, the Professor was assuredly a great
nuisance to those who had to do with his whims and fancies.

For the next two or three days Lucy enjoyed herself in a quiet
way with Archie. In spite of the lateness of the season, the
weather was still fine, and the artist took the opportunity of
the pale sunshine to sketch a great deal of the marsh scenery.
Lucy attended him as a rule when he went abroad, and sometimes
Mrs. Jasher, voluble and merry, would came along with them to
play the part of chaperon. But the girl noticed that Mrs.
Jasher's merriment was forced at times, and in the searching
morning light she appeared to be quite old. Wrinkles showed
themselves on her plump face and weary lines appeared round her
mouth. Also, she was absent-minded while the lovers chattered,
and, when spoken to, would return to the present moment with a
start. As the widow was now well off as regards money, and as
her scheme to marry Braddock was well on the way to success - for
Lucy had duly reported the Professor's attitude - it was
difficult to understand why Mrs: Jasher should look so worried.
One day Lucy spoke to her on the subject. Random had strolled
across the marshes to look at Hope sketch, and the two men
chatted together, while Miss Kendal led the little widow to one

There is nothing the matter, I hope," said Lucy gently."

"No. Why do you say that?" asked Mrs. Jasher, flushing.

"You have been looking worried for the last few days."

"I have a few troubles," sighed the widow - "troubles connected
with the estate of my late brother. The lawyers are very
disagreeable and make all sorts of difficulties to swell their
costs. Then, strangely enough, I am beginning to feel my
brother's death more than I thought I should have done. You see
that I am in mourning, dear. After what you said the other day I
felt that it was wrong for me not to wear mourning. Of course my
poor brother and I were almost strangers. All the same, as he
has left me money and was my only relative, I think it right to
show some grief. I am a lonely woman, my dear."

"When my father comes back you will no longer be lonely," said

"I hope not. I feel that I want a man to look after me. I told
you that I desired to marry the Professor for his possible title
and in order to form a salon and have some amusement and power.
But also I want a companion for my old age. There is no
denying," added Mrs. Jasher with another sigh, "that I am growing
old in spite of all the care I take. I am grateful for your
friendship, dear. At one time I thought that you did not like

"Oh, I think we get on very well together," said Lucy somewhat
evasively, for she did not want to say that she would make the
widow an intimate friend, "and, as you know, I am quite pleased
that you should marry my step-father."

"So pleasant to think that you look at my ambition in that
light," said Mrs. Jasher, patting the girl's arm. "When does the
Professor return?"

"I cannot say. He refused to fix a date. But he usually remains
away for a fortnight. I expect him back in that time, but he may
come much earlier. He will come back when the fancy takes him."

"I shall alter all that, when we are married," muttered Mrs.
Jasher with a frown. "He must be taught to be less selfish."

"I fear you will never improve him in that respect," said Lucy
dryly, and rejoined the gentlemen in time to hear Random mention
the name of Don Pedro de Gayangos.

"What is that, Sir Frank?" she asked.

Random turned toward her with his pleasant smile.

"My Spanish friend, whom I met at Genoa, is coming here

"With his daughter?" questioned Mrs. Jasher roguishly.

"Of course," replied the young soldier, coloring. "Donna Inez is
quite devoted to her father and never leaves him."

"She will one day, I expect," said Hope innocently, for his eyes
were on his sketch and not on Random's face, "when the husband of
her choice comes along."

"Perhaps he has come along already," tittered Mrs. Jasher

Lucy took pity on Random's confusion.

"Where will they stay?"

"At the Warrior Inn. I have engaged the best rooms in the place.
I fancy they will be comfortable there, as Mrs. Humber, the
landlady, is a good housekeeper and an excellent cook. And I
don't think Don Pedro is hard to please."

"A Spaniard," you say," remarked Archie idly. "Does he speak

"Admirably - so does the daughter."

"But why does a Spaniard come to so out-of-the-way a place?"
asked Mrs. Jasher, after a pause.

"I thought I told you the other day, when we spoke of the
matter," answered Sir Frank with surprise. "Don Pedro has come
here to interview Professor Braddock about that missing mummy."

Hope looked up sharply.

"What does he know about the mummy?"

"Nothing so far as I know, save that he came to Europe with the
intention of purchasing it, and found himself forestalled by
Professor Braddock. Don Pedro told me no more than that."

"Humph!" murmured Hope to himself. "Don Pedro will be
disappointed when he learns that the mummy is missing."

Random did not catch the words and was about to ask him what he
had said, when two tall figures, conducted by a shorter one, were
seen moving on the white road which led to the Fort.

"Strangers!" said Mrs. Jasher, putting up her lorgnette, which
she used for effect, although she had remarkably keen sight.

"How do you know?" asked Lucy carelessly.

"My dear, look how oddly the man is dressed."

"I can't tell at this distance," said Lucy, "and if you can, Mrs.
Jasher I really do not see why you require glasses."

Mrs. Jasher laughed at the compliment to her sight, and colored
through her rouge at the reproof to her vanity. Meanwhile, the
smaller figure, which was that of a village lad leading a tall
gentleman and a slender lady, pointed toward the group round
Hope's easel. Shortly, the boy ran back up to the village road,
and the gentleman came along the pathway with the lady. Random,
who had been looking of them intently, suddenly started, having
at length recognized them.

"Don Pedro and his daughter," he said in an astonished voice, and
sprang forward to welcome the unexpected visitors.

"Now, my dear," whispered the widow in Lucy's ear, "we shall see
the kind of woman Sir Frank prefers to you."

"Well, as Sir Frank has seen the kind of man I prefer to him,"
retorted Lucy, "that makes us quite equal."

"I am glad these new-comers talk English," said Hope, who had
risen to his feet. "I know nothing of Spanish."

"They are not Spanish, but Peruvian," said Mrs. Jasher.

"The language is the same, more or less. Confound it! here is
Random bringing them here. I wish he would take them to the
Fort. There's no more work for the next hour, I suppose," and
Hope, rather annoyed, began to pack his artistic traps.

On a nearer view, Don Pedro proved to be a tall, lean, dry man,
not unlike Dore's conception of Don Quixote. He must have had
Indian blood in his veins, judging from his very dark eyes, his
stiff, lank hair, worn somewhat long, and his high cheek-bones.
Also, although he was arrayed in puritanic black, his barbaric
love of color betrayed itself in a red tie and in a scarlet
handkerchief which was twisted loosely round a soft slouch hat,
It was the hat and the brilliant red of tie and handkerchief
which had caught Mrs. Jasher's eye at so great a distance, and
which had led her to pronounce the man a stranger, for Mrs.
Jasher well knew that no Englishman would affect such vivid
tints. All the same, in spite of this eccentricity, Don Pedro
looked a thorough Castilian gentleman, and bowed gravely when
presented to the ladies by Random.

"Mrs. Jasher, Miss Kendal, permit me to present Don Pedro de

"I am charmed," said the Peruvian, bowing, hat in hand, "and in
turn, allow me, ladies, to introduce my daughter, Donna Inez de

Archie was also presented to the Don and to the young lady, after
which Lucy and Mrs. Jasher, while not appearing to look, made a
thorough examination of the lady with whom Random was in love.
No doubt Donna Inez was making an examination on her own account,
and with the cleverness of the sex the three women, while
chatting affably, learned all that there was to be learned from
the outward appearance of each other in three minutes. Miss
Kendal could not deny but what Donna Inez was very beautiful, and
frankly admitted - inwardly, of course - her own inferiority.
She was merely pretty, whereas the Peruvian lady was truly
handsome and quite majestic in appearance.

Yet about Donna Inez there was the same indefinite barbaric look
as characterized her father. Her face was lovely, dark and proud
in expression, but there was an aloofness about it which puzzled
the English girl. Donna Inez might have belonged to a race
populating another planet of the solar system. She had large
black, melting eyes, a straight Greek nose and perfect mouth, a
well-rounded chin and magnificent hair, dark and glossy as the
wing of the raven, which was arranged in the latest Parisian
style of coiffure. Also, her gown - as the two women guessed in
an instant - was from Paris. She was perfectly gloved and
booted, and even if she betrayed somehow a barbaric taste for
color in the dull ruddy hue of her dress, which was subdued with
black braid, yet she looked quite a well-bred woman. All the
same, her whole appearance gave an observant onlooker the idea
that she would be more at home in a scanty robe and glittering
with rudely wrought ornaments of gold. Perhaps Peru, where she
came from, suggested the comparison, but Lucy's thoughts flew
back to an account of the Virgins of the Sun, which the Professor
had once described. It occurred to her, perhaps wrongly, that in
Donna Inez she beheld one who in former days would have been the
bride of some gorgeous Inca.

"I fear you will find England dull after the sunshine of Lima,"
said Lucy, having ended a swift examination.

Donna Inez shivered a trifle and glanced around at the gray misty
air through which the pale sunshine struggled with difficulty.

"I certainly prefer the tropics to this," she said in musical
English, "but my father has come down here on business, and until
it is concluded we shall remain in this place."

"Then we must make things as bright as possible for you," said
Mrs. Jasher cheerfully, and desperately anxious to learn more of
the new-comers. "You must come to see me, Donna Inez - yonder is
my cottage."

"Thank you, madame: you are very good."

Meanwhile Don Pedro was talking to the two young men.

"Yes, I did arrive here earlier than I expected," he was
remarking, "but I have to return to Lima shortly, and I wish to
get my business with Professor Braddock finished as speedily as

"I am sorry," said Lucy politely, "but my father is absent."

"And when will he return, Miss Kendal?"

"I can scarcely say - in a week or a fortnight."

Don Pedro made a gesture of annoyance.

"It is a pity, as I am so very pressed for time. Still, I must
remain until the Professor returns. I am so anxious to hear if
the mummy has been found."

"It is not found yet," said Hope quickly, "and never will be."

Don Pedro looked at him quietly.

"It must be found," said he. "I have come all the way from Lima
to obtain it. When you hear my story you will not be surprised
at my desire to regain the Mummy."

"Regain it?" echoed Hope and Random in one breath.

Don Pedro nodded.

"The mummy was stolen from my father," he said.



It was certainly strange how constantly the subject of the
missing mummy came uppermost. Since it had disappeared and since
the man who had brought it to England was dead, it might have
been thought that nothing more would be said about the matter.
But Professor Braddock harped incessantly on his loss - which was
perhaps natural - and Widow Anne also talked a great deal as to
the possibility of the mummy, being found, as she hoped to learn
by that means the name of the assassin who had strangled her poor
boy. Now Don Pedro de Gayangos appeared with the strange
information that the weird relic of Peruvian civilization had
been stolen from his father. Apparently fate was not inclined to
let the matter of the lost mummy drop, and was working round to a
denouement, which would possibly include the solution of the
mystery of Sidney Bolton's death. Yet, on the face of it, there
appeared to be no chance of the truth becoming known.

Of course, when Don Pedro announced that the Mummy had formerly
belonged to his father, every one was anxious to hear how it had
been stolen. The Gayangos family were established in Lima, and
the embalmed body of Inca Caxas had been purchased from a
gentleman residing in Malta. How, then, had it crossed the
water, and how had Don Pedro learned its whereabouts, only to
arrive too late to secure his missing property? Mrs. Jasher was
especially anxious to learn these things, and explained her
reasons to Lucy.

"You see, my dear," she said to the girl on the day after Don
Pedro's arrival in Gartley, "if we learn the past of that horrid
mummy, we may gain a clue to the person who desired possession of
the nasty thing, and so may hunt down this terrible criminal.
Once he is found, the mummy may be secured again, and should I be
able to return it to your father, out of gratitude he would
certainly marry me."

"You seem to think that the assassin is a man," said Lucy dryly;
"yet you forget that the person who talked to Sidney through the
window of the Sailor's Rest was a woman."

"An old woman," emphasized Mrs. Jasher briskly: "quite so."

Lucy contradicted.

"Eliza Flight did not say if the woman was old or young, but
merely stated that she wore a dark dress and a dark shawl over
her head. Still, this mysterious woman was connected in some way
with the murder, else she would not have been speaking to

"I don't follow you, my dear. You talk as though poor Mr. Bolton
expected to be murdered. For my part, I hold by the verdict of
wilful murder against some person or persons unknown. The truth
is to be found, if anywhere, in the past of the mummy."

"We can discover nothing about that."

"You forget what Don Pedro said, my dear," remarked Mrs. Jasher
hastily, "that the mummy had been stolen from his father. Let
us hear what he has to say and we may find a clue. I am anxious
that the Professor should regain the green mummy for reasons
which you know of. And now, my hear, can you come to dinner

"Well, I don't know." Miss Kendal hesitated. "Archie said that
he would look in this evening."

"I shall ask Mr. Hope also, my love. Don Pedro is coming and his
daughter likewise. Needless to say Sir Frank will follow the
young lady. We shall be a party of six, and after dinner we must
induce Don Pedro to relate the story of how the mummy was

"He may not be inclined."

"Oh, I think so," replied; Mrs. Jasher quickly. "He wants to get
the mummy back again, and if we discuss the subject we may see
some chance of securing it."

"But Don Pedro will not wish it to be restored to my father."

Mrs. Jasher shrugged her plump shoulders.

"Your father and Don Pedro can arrange that themselves. All I
desire is, that the mummy should be found. Undoubtedly it
belongs by purchase to the Professor, but as it has been stolen,
this Peruvian gentleman may claim it. Well?"

"I shall come and Archie also," assented Lucy, who was beginning
to be interested in the matter. "The affair is somewhat

"Criminal, my dear, criminal," said Mrs. Jasher, rising to take
her leave. "It is not a matter I care to mix myself up with.
Still" - she laughed - "you know, why I am doing so."

"If I had to take all this trouble to gain a husband," observed
Lucy somewhat acidly, "I should remain single all my life."

"If you were as lonely as I am," retorted the plump widow, "you
would do your best to secure a man toy look after you. I should
prefer a young and handsomer husband - such as Sir Frank Random,
for instance but, as beggars cannot be choosers, I must content
myself with old age, a famous scientist, and the chance of a
possible title. Now mind, dear, to-night at seven - not a minute
later," and she bustled away to prepare for the reception of her

It seemed to Lucy that Mrs. Jasher was taking a great deal of
trouble to become Mrs. Braddock, especially as the Professor's
brother might live for many a long day yet, in which case the
widow would not gain the title she coveted for years. However,
the girl rather sympathized with Mrs. Jasher, who was a
companionable soul, and fond of society. Circumstances condemned
her to a somewhat lonely life in an isolated cottage in a rather
dull neighborhood, so it was little to be wondered at that she
should strive to move heaven and earth - as she was doing - in
the hope of escaping from her solitude. Besides, although Miss
Kendal did not wish to make a close companion of the widow, yet
she did not dislike her, and, moreover, thought that she would
make Professor Braddock a very presentable wife. Thinking thus,
Lucy was quite willing to forward Mrs. Jasher's plans by inducing
Don Pedro to tell all he knew about this missing mummy.

Thus it came about that six people assembled in the tiny pink
parlor of Mrs. Jasher at the hour of seven o'clock. It required
dexterous management to seat the whole company in the dining
room, which was only a trifle larger than the parlor. However,
Mrs. Jasher contrived to place them round her hospitable board
in, a fairly comfortable fashion, and, once seated, the dinner
was so good that no one felt the drawbacks of scanty elbow room.
The widow, as hostess, was placed at the head of the table; Don
Pedro, as the eldest of the men, at the foot; and Sir Frank, with
Donna Inez, faced Archie and Lucy Kendal. Jane, who was well
instructed in waiting by her mistress, attended to her duties
admirably, acting both as footman and butler. Lucy, indeed, had
offered Mrs. Jasher the services of Cockatoo to hand round the
wine, but the widow with a pretty shudder had declined.

"That dreadful creature with his yellow mop of hair gives me the
shivers," she declared.

Considering the isolation of the district, and the narrow limits
of Mrs. Jasher's income, the meal was truly, admirable, being
well cooked and well served, while the table was arrayed like an
altar for the reception of the various dishes. Whatever Mrs.
Jasher might be as an adventuress, she certainly proved herself
to be a capital housekeeper, and Lucy foresaw that, if she did
become Mrs. Braddock, the Professor would fare sumptuously, for
the rest of his scientific life. When the meal was ended the
widow produced a box of superfine cigars and another of
cigarettes, after which she left the gentlemen to sip their wine,
and took her two young friends to chatter chiffons in the tiny
parlor. And it said much for Mrs. Jasher's methodical ways that,
considering the limited space, everything went - as the saying
goes - like clockwork. Likewise, the widow had proved herself a
wonderful hostess, as she kept the ball of conversation rolling
briskly and induced a spirit of fraternity, uncommon in an
ordinary dinner party.

During the meal Mrs. Jasher had kept off the subject of the
mummy, which was the excuse for the entertainment; but when the
gentlemen strolled into the parlor, feeling well fed and happy,
she hinted at Don Pedro's quest. As the night was cold and the
Peruvian gentleman came from the tropics, he was established in a
well padded arm-chair close to the sea-coal fire, and with her
own fair hands Mrs. Jasher gave him a cup of fragrant coffee,
which was rendered still more agreeable to the palate by the
introduction of a vanilla bean. With this and with a good cigar
- for the ladies gave the gentlemen permission to smoke - Don
Pedro felt very happy and easy, and complimented Mrs. Jasher
warmly on her capability of making her fellow-creatures

"It is altogether comfortable, madame," said Don Pedro, rising to
make a courtly bow. In fact, so agreeable was the foreigner that
Mrs. Jasher dreamed for one swift moment of throwing over the
dry-as-dust scientist to become a Spanish lady of Lima.

"You flatter me, Don Pedro," she said, waving a wholly
unnecessary fan out of compliment to her guest's Spanish
extraction. "Indeed, I am very glad that you are pleased with my
poor little house."

"Pardon, madame, but no house can be poor when it is a casket to
contain such a jewel."

"There!" said Lucy somewhat satirically to the young men, while
Mrs. Jasher blushed and bridled, "what Englishman could turn such
a compliment? It reminds one of Georgian times."

"We are more sober now than my fathers were then," said Hope,
smiling, "and I am sure if Random thought for a few minutes he
could produce something pretty. Go on, Random."

"My brain is not equal to the strain after dinner," said Sir

As for Donna Inez, she did not speak, but sat smiling quietly in
her corner of the room, looking remarkably handsome. As a young
girl Lucy was pretty, and Mrs. Jasher was a comely widow, but
neither one had the majestic looks of the Spanish lady. She
smiled, a veritable queen amidst the gim-crack ornaments of Mrs.
Jasher's parlor, and Sir Frank, who was fathoms deep in love,
could not keep his eyes off her face.

For a few minutes the conversation was frivolous, quite the
Shakespeare and musical glasses kind of speech. Then Mrs.
Jasher, who had no idea that her good dinner should be wasted in
charming nothings, introduced the subject of the mummy by a
reference to Professor Braddock. It was characteristic of her
cleverness that she did not address Don Pedro, but pointed her
speech at Lucy Kendal.

"I do hope your father will return with that mummy," she
observed, after a dexterous allusion to the late tragedy.

"I don't think he has gone to look for it," replied Miss Kendal

"But surely he desired to get it back, after paying nearly one
thousand pounds for it," said Mrs. Jasher, with well-feigned

"Oh, of course; but he would scarcely look for it in London."

"Has Professor Braddock gone to search for the, mummy?" asked Don

"No," answered Lucy. "He is visiting the British Museum to make
some researches in the Egyptian department."

"When do you expect him back, please?"

Lucy shrugged her shoulders.

"I can't say, Don Pedro. My father comes and goes as the whim
takes him."

The Spanish gentleman looked thoughtfully into the ire.

"I shall be glad to see the Professor when he returns," he said
in his excellent, slow-sounding English. "My concern about this
mummy is deep."

"Dear me," remarked Mrs. Jasher, shielding her fair cheek with
the unnecessary fan, and venturing on a joke, "is the mummy a

"Yes, madame," replied Don Pedro, gravely and unexpectedly.

At this every one, very naturally, looked astonished - that is,
all save Donna Inez, who still preserved her fixed smile. Mrs.
Jasher took a mental note of the same, and decided that the young
lady was not very intelligent. Meanwhile Don Pedro continued his
speech after a glance round the circle.

"I have the blood of the royal Inca race in my veins," he said
with pride.

"Ha!" murmured the widow to herself, "then that accounts for your
love of color, which is so un-English;" then she raised her
voice. "Tell us all about it, Don Pedro," she entreated; "we are
usually so dull here that a romantic story excites us

"I do not know that it is very romantic," said Don Pedro with a
polite smile, "and if you will not find it dull - "

"Oh, no!" said Archie, who was as anxious as Mrs. Jasher to hear
what was to be said about the mummy. "Come, sir, we are all

Don Pedro bowed again, and again swept the circle with his
deep-set eyes.

"The Inca Caxas," he remarked, "was one of the decadent rulers of
ancient Peru. At the Conquest by the Spaniards, Inca Atahuallpa
was murdered by Pizarro, as you probably know. Inca Toparca
succeeded him as a puppet king. He died also, and it was
suspected that he was slain by a native chief called
Challcuchima. Then Manco succeeded, and is looked upon by
historians as the last Inca of Peru. But he was not."

"This is news, indeed," said Random lazily. "And who was the
last Inca?"

"The man who is now the green mummy."

"Inca Caxas," ventured Lucy timidly.

Don Pedro looked at her sharply. "How do you come to know the

"You mentioned it just now, but, before that, I heard my father
mention it," said Lucy, who was surprised at the sharpness of his

"And where did the Professor learn the name?" asked Don Pedro

Lucy shook her head.

"I cannot say. But go on with the story," she continued, with
the naive curiosity of a child.

"Yes, do," pleaded Mrs. Jasher, who was listening with, all her

The Peruvian meditated for a few minutes, then slipped his hand
into the pocket of his coat and brought out a discolored
parchment, scrawled and scribbled with odd-looking letters in
purple ink somewhat faded.

"Did you ever see this before?" he asked Lucy, "or any
manuscript like it?"

"No," she answered, bending forward to examine the parchment

Don Pedro again swept an inquiring eye round the circle, but
everyone denied having seen the manuscript.

"What is it?" asked Sir Frank curiously.

Don Pedro restored the manuscript to his pocket.

"It is an account of the embalming of Inca Caxas, written by his
son, who was my ancestor."

"Then you are descended from this Inca?" said Mrs, Jasher

"I am. Had I my rights I should rule Peru. As it is, I am a
poor gentleman with very little money. "That," added Don Pedro
with emphasis, "is why I wish to recover the mummy of my great

"Is it then so valuable?" asked Archie suddenly. He was thinking
of some reason why the mummy should have been stolen.

"Well, in itself it is of no great value, save to an
archaeologist," was Don Pedro's reply; "but I had better tell
you the story of how it was stolen from my, father."

"Go on, go on," cried Mrs. Jasher. "This is most interesting."

Don Pedro plunged into his story without further preamble.

"Inca Caxas held his state amidst the solitudes of the Andes,
away from the cruel men who had conquered his country. He died
and was buried. This manuscript," - he touched his pocket - "was
written by his son, and details the ceremonies, the place of
sepulchre, and also gives a list of the jewels with which the
mummy was buried."

"Jewels," murmured Hope under his breath. "I thought as much."

"The son of Inca Caxas married a Spanish lady and made peace with
the Spaniards. He came to live at Cuzco, and brought with him,
for some purpose which the manuscript does not disclose, the
mummy of his father. But the manuscript was lost for years, and
although my family - the De Gayangoses - became poor, no member
of it knew that, concealed in the corpse of Inca Caxas, were two
large emeralds of immense value. The mummy of our royal ancestor
was treated as a sacred thing and venerated accordingly.
Afterwards my family came to live at Lima, and I still dwell in
the old house."

"But how was the mummy stolen from you?" asked Random curiously.

"I am coming to that," said Don Pedro, frowning at the
interruption. "I was not in Lima at the time; but I had met the
man who stole the precious mummy."

"Was he a Spaniard?"

"No," answered Don Pedro slowly, "he was an English sailor
called Vasa."

"Vasa is a Swedish name," observed Hope critically.

"This man said that he was English, and certainly spoke like an
Englishman, so far as I, a foreigner, can tell. At that time,
when I was a young man, civil war raged in Peru. My father's
house was sacked, and this Vasa, who had been received hospitably
by my father when he was shipwrecked at Callao, stole the mummy,
of Inca Caxas. My father died of grief and charged me to get the
mummy back. When peace was restored to my unhappy country I
tried to recover the venerated body of my ancestor. But all
search proved vain, as Vasa had disappeared, and it was supposed
that, for some reason, he had taken the embalmed body out of the
country. It was when the mummy was lost that I unexpectedly came
across the manuscript, which detailed the funeral ceremonies of
Inca Caxas, and on learning about the two emeralds I was
naturally more anxious than ever to discover the mummy and
retrieve my fallen fortunes by means of the jewels. But, as I
said, all search proved vain, and I afterward married, thinking
to settle down on what fortune remained to me. I did live
quietly in Lima for years until my wife died. Then with my
daughter I came to Europe on a visit."

"To search for the mummy?" questioned Archie eagerly.

"No, sir. I had given up all hope of finding that. But chance
placed a clue in my hands. At Genoa I came across a newspaper,
which stated that a mummy in a green case - and a Peruvian mummy
at that - was for sale at Malta. I immediately made inquiries,
thinking that this was the long-lost body of Inca Caxas. But it
so happened that I was too late, as already the mummy had been
sold to Professor Braddock, and had been taken to England on
board The Diver by Mr. Bolton. Chance, which had pointed out the
whereabouts of the mummy, also brought me at Genoa into relations
with Sir Frank Random" - Don Pedro bowed his head to the baronet
- "and, as it appeared that he knew Professor Braddock, I
thankfully accepted his offer to introduce me. Hence I am here,
but only to hear that the mummy is again lost. That is all," and
the Peruvian gentleman dramatically waved his arm.

"A strange story," said Archie, who was the first to speak, "and
it certainly solves at least one part of the mystery."

"What is that?" demanded Mrs. Jasher quickly.

"It shows that the mummy was stolen on account of the emeralds."

"Pardon me, but that is impossible, sir," said Don Pedro, drawing
up his lean figure. "No one but myself knew that the mummy held
two emeralds in its dead hands, and I learned that only a few
years ago from the manuscript which I had the honor of showing

"There is that objection assuredly," replied Hope with composure.
"Yet I can hardly believe that any man would risk his neck to
steal so remarkable a mummy, which he would have a difficulty in
disposing of. But did this assassin know of the emeralds, he
would venture much to gain them, since jewels can be disposed of
with comparative ease, and cannot easily be traced."

"All the same," said Random, looking up, "I do not see how the
assassin could have learned that the jewels were wrapped in the

"Humph!" said Hope, glancing at De Gayangos, "perhaps there is
more than one copy of this manuscript you speak of."

"Not to my knowledge."

"The sailor Vasa might have copied it."

"No." Don Pedro shook his head. "It is written in Latin, since
a Spanish priest taught the son of Inca Caxas, who wrote it, that
language. I do not think that Vasa knew Latin. Also, if Vasa
had copied the manuscript, he would have stripped the mummy to
procure the jewels. Now, in the newspaper advertisement it
stated that the bandages of the mummy were intact, as also was
the verdant case. "No," said Don Pedro decisively, "I am quite
of opinion that Vasa, and indeed everyone else, was ignorant of
this manuscript."

"It seems to me," suggested Mrs. Jasher, "that it would be best
to find this sailor."

"That," remarked De Gayangos, "is impossible. It is twenty years
since he disappeared with the mummy. Let us drop the subject
until Professor Braddock returns to discuss it with me." And
this was accordingly done.



Three days went by, and Professor Braddock still remained absent
in London, although an occasional letter to Lucy requested such
and such an article from the museum to be forwarded, sometimes by
post and on other occasions by Cockatoo, who traveled up to town
especially. The Kanaka always returned with the news that his
master was looking well, but brought no word of the Professor's
return. Lucy was not surprised, as she Was accustomed to
Braddock's vagaries.

Meanwhile Don Pedro, comfortably established at the Warrior Inn,
wandered about Gartley in his dignified way, taking very little
interest in the village, but a great deal in the Pyramids. As
the Professor was absent, Lucy could not ask him to dinner, but
she did invite him and Donna Inez to afternoon tea. Don Pedro
was anxious to peep into the museum, but Cockatoo absolutely
refused to let him enter, saying that his master had forbidden
anyone to view the collection during his absence. And in this
refusal Cockatoo was supported by Miss Kendal, who had a
wholesome dread of her step-father's rage, should he return and
find that a stranger had been making free of his sacred
apartments. The Peruvian gentleman expressed himself extremely
disappointed, so much so, indeed, that Lucy fancied he believed
Braddock had the green mummy hidden in the museum, in spite of
the reported loss from the Sailor's Rest.

Failing to get permission to range through the rooms of the
Pyramids, Don Pedro paid occasional visits to Pierside and
questioned the police regarding the Bolton murder. From
Inspector Date he learned nothing of any importance, and indeed
that officer expressed his belief that not until the Day of
judgment would the truth become known. It then occurred to De
Gayangos to explore the neighborhood of the Sailor's Rest, and to
examine that public-house himself. He saw the famous window
through which the mysterious woman had talked to the deceased,
and noted that it looked across a stony, narrow path to the
water's edge, wherefrom a rugged jetty ran out into the stream
for some little distance. Nothing would have been easier,
reflected Don Pedro, than for the assassin to enter by the
window, and, having accomplished his deed, to leave in the same
way, bearing the case containing the mummy. A few steps would
carry the man and his burden to a waiting boat, and once the
craft slipped into the mists on the river, all trace would be
lost, as had truly happened. In this way the Peruvian gentleman
believed the murder and the theft had been accomplished, but even
supposing things had happened as he surmised, still, he was as
far as ever from unraveling the mystery.

While Don Pedro searched for his royal ancestor's corpse, and
incidentally for the thief and murderer, his daughter was being
wooed by Sir Frank Random. Heaven only knows what he saw in her
- as Lucy observed to young Hope - for the girl had not a word to
say for herself. She was undeniably handsome, and dressed with
great taste, save for stray hints of barbaric delight in color,
doubtless inherited from her Inca ancestors. All the same, she
appeared to be devoid of small talk or great talk, or any talk
whatsoever. She sat and smiled and looked like a handsome
picture, but after her appearance had satisfied the eye, she left
much to be desired. Yet Sir Frank approved of her stately
quietness, and seemed anxious to make her his wife. Lucy, in
spite of the fact that he had so speedily got over her refusal to
marry him, was anxious that he should be happy with Donna Inez,
whom he appeared to love, and afforded him every opportunity of
meeting the lady, so that he might prosecute his wooing. All the
same, she wondered that he should desire to marry an iceberg, and
Donna Inez, with her silent tongue and cold smiles, was little
else. However, as Frank Random was the chief party concerned in
the love-making - for Donna Inez was merely passive - there was
no more to be said.

Sometimes Hope came to dine at the Pyramids, and on these
occasions Mrs. Jasher was present in her character of chaperon.
As Miss Kendal was helping the widow to marry Professor Braddock,
she in her turn did her best to speed Archie's wooing. Certainly
the young couple were engaged and there was no understanding to
be brought about. Nevertheless, Mrs. Jasher was a useful article
of furniture to be in the room when they were together, for
Gartley, like all English villages, was filled with
scandalmongers, who would have talked, had Hope and Lucy not
employed Mrs, Jasher as gooseberry. Sometimes Donna Inez came
with the widow, while her father was hunting for the mummy in
Pierside, and then Sir Frank Random would be sure to put in an
appearance to woo his Dulcinea in admiring silence. Mrs. Jasher
declared that the two must have made love by telepathy, for they
rarely exchanged a word. But this was all the better, as Archie
and Lucy chattered a great deal, and two pair of magpies - Mrs.
Jasher declared - would have been too much for her nerves. She
made a very good chaperon, as she allowed the young people to act
as they pleased, only sanctioning the meetings by her elderly

One evening Mrs. Jasher was due to dinner, and Hope had already
arrived. No one else was expected, as Don Pedro had taken his
daughter to the theatre at Pierside and Sir Frank had gone to
London in connection with his military duties. It was a bitterly
cold night, and already a fall of snow had hinted that there was
to be a real English Christmas of the genuine kind. Lucy had
prepared an excellent dinner for three, and Archie had brought a
set of new patience cards for Mrs. Jasher, who was fond of the
game. While the widow played, the lovers hoped to make love
undisturbed, and looked forward to a happy evening. But there
was one drawback, for although the dinner hour was supposed to be
eight o'clock, and it was now thirty minutes past, Mrs. Jasher
had not arrived. Lucy was dismayed.

"What can be keeping her?" she asked Archie, to which that young
gentleman replied that he did not know, and, what was more, he
did not care. Miss Kendal very properly rebuked this sentiment.
"You ought to care, Archie, for you know that if Mrs. Jasher does
not come to dinner, you will have to go away."

"Why should I?" he inquired sulkily.

"People will talk."

"Let them. I don't care.

"Neither do I, you stupid boy. But my father will care, and if
people talk he will be very angry."

"My dear Lucy," and Archie put his arm round her waist to say
this, "I don't see why you should be afraid of the Professor.
He is only your step-father, and you aren't so very fond of him
as to mind what he says. Besides, we can marry soon, and then he
can go hang."

"But I don't want him to go hang," she replied, laughing. "After
all, the Professor has always been kind to me, and as a
step-father has behaved very well, when he could easily have made
himself disagreeable. Another thing is that he can be very bad
tempered when he likes, and if I let people talk about us - which
they will do if they get a chance - he will behave so coldly to
me, that I shall have a disagreeable time. As we can't marry for
ever so long, I don't want to be uncomfortable."

"We can marry whenever you like," said Hope unexpectedly.

"What, with your income so unsettled?"

"It is not unsettled."

"Yes, it is. You will help that horrid spendthrift uncle of
yours, and until he and his family are solvent I don't see how we
can be sure of our money."

"We are sure of it now, dearest. Uncle Simon has turned up
trumps after all, and so have his investments."

"What do you mean exactly?"

"I mean that yesterday I received a letter from him saying that
he was now rich, and would pay back all I had lent him. I went
up to London to-day, and had an interview. The result of that is
that I am some thousands to the good, that Uncle Simon is well
off for the rest of his life and will require no more assistance,
and that my three hundred a year is quite clear for ever and ever
and ever."

"Then we can marry," cried Miss Kendal with a gasp of delight.

"Whenever you choose - next week if you like."

"In January then - just after Christmas. "We'll go on a trip to
Italy and return to take a flat in London. Oh, Archie, I am
sorry I thought so badly of your uncle. He has behaved very
well. And what a mercy it is that he will require no more
assistance! You are sure he will not."

"If he does, he won't get it," said Hope candidly. "While I was
a bachelor I could assist him; but when I am married I must look
after myself and my wife." He gave Lucy a hug. "It's all right
now, dear, and Uncle Simon has behaved excellently - far better
than I expected. We shall go to Italy for the honeymoon and need
not hurry back until we - well, say until we quarrel."

"In that case we shall live in Italy for the rest of our lives,"
said Lucy with twinkling eyes; "but we must come back in a year
and take a studio in Chelsea."

"Why not in Gartley?" Remember, the Professor will be lonely."

"No, he won't. Mrs. Jasher, as I told you, intends to marry

"He might not wish, to marry her"

"That doesn't matter," rejoined Lucy, with the cleverness of a
woman. "She can manage to bring the marriage about. Besides, I
want to break with the old life here, and begin quite a new one
with you. When I am your wife and Mrs. Jasher is my
step-father's, everything will be capitally arranged."

"Well, I hope so," said Archie heartily, "for I want you all to
myself and have no desire to share you with ,anyone else. But I
say," he glanced at his watch; "it is getting towards nine
o'clock, and I am desperately hungry. Can't we go to dinner?"

"Not until Mrs. Jasher arrives," said Lucy primly.

"Oh, bother -!"

Hope, being quite exasperated with hunger, would have launched
out into a speech condemning the widow's unpunctuality, when in
the hall below the drawing-room was heard the sound of the door
opening and closing. Without doubt this was Mrs. Jasher arriving
at last, and Lucy ran out of the room and down the stairs to
welcome her in her eagerness to get Archie seated at the dinner
table. The young man lingered by the open door of the
drawing-room, ready to welcome the widow, when he heard Lucy
utter an exclamation of surprise and became aware that she was
ascending the stairs along with Professor Braddock. At once he
reflected there would be trouble, since he was in the house with
Lucy, and lacked the necessary chaperon which Braddock's
primitive Anglo-Saxon instincts insisted upon.

"I did not know you were returning to-night," Lucy was saying
when she re-entered the drawing-room with her stepfather.

"I arrived by the six o'clock train," explained the Professor,
unwinding a large red scarf from his neck, and struggling out of
his overcoat with the assistance of his daughter. "Ha, Hope,
good evening."

"Where have you been since?" asked Lucy, throwing the Professor's
coat and wraps on to a chair.

"With Mrs. Jasher," said Braddock, warming his plump hands at the
fire. "So you must blame me that she is not here to preside at
dinner as the chaperon of you young people."

Lucy and her lover glanced at one-another in surprise. This
light and airy tone was a new one for the Professor to take.
Instead of being angry, he seemed to be un usually gay, and
looked at them in quite a jocular manner for a dry-as-dust

"We waited dinner for her, father," ventured Lucy timidly.

"Then I am ready to eat it," announced Braddock. "I am extremely
hungry, my dear. I can't live on love, you know."

"Live on love?" Lucy stared, and Archie laughed quietly.

"Oh yes, you may smile and look astonished;' went on the
Professor good-humoredly, "but science does not destroy the
primeval instincts entirely. Lucy, my dear," he took her hand
and patted it, "while in London and in lodgings, it was borne in
upon me forcibly how lonely I was and how lonely I would be when
you married our young friend yonder. I had intended to come down
to-morrow, but to-night, such was my feeling of loneliness that I
considered favorably your idea that I should find a second
helpmate in Mrs. Jasher. I have always had a profound admiration
for that lady, and so - on the spur of the moment, as I may say -
I decided to come down this evening and propose."

"Oh," Lucy clapped her hands, very well satisfied with the
unexpected news, "and have you?"

"Mrs. Jasher," said the Professor gravely, "did me the honor to
promise to become my wife this evening."

"She will become your wife this evening?" said Archie, smiling.

Braddock, with one of those odd twists of humor which were
characteristic of him, became irascible.

"Confound it, sir, don't I speak English," he snapped, with his
eyes glaring rebuke. "She promised this evening to become Mrs.
Braddock. We shall marry - so we have arranged - in the
springtime, which is the natural pairing season for human beings
as well as for birds. And I am glad to say that Mrs; Jasher
takes a deep interest in archaeology."

"And, what is more, she is a splendid housekeeper," said Lucy.

The temporary anger of the Professor vanished. He drew his
step-daughter towards him and kissed her on the cheek.

"I believe that I have to thank you for putting the idea into my
head," said he, "and also - if Mrs. Jasher is to be believed -
for aiding her to see the mutual advantage it would be to both of
us to marry. Ha," he released Lucy and rubbed his hands, "let
us go to dinner."

"I am very glad," said Miss Kendal heartily.

"So am I, so am I," replied Braddock, nodding. "As you very
truly observed, my child, the house would have gone to rack and
ruin without a woman to look after my interests. Well," he took
the arms of the two young people, "I really think that we must
have a bottle of champagne on the strength of it."

Shortly the trio were seated at the table, and Braddock explained
that Mrs. Jasher, being overcome by his proposal, had not been
able to face the ordeal of congratulations.

"But she will come to-morrow," said he, as Cockatoo filled three

"Indeed, I shall congratulate her to-night," said Lucy
obstinately. "As soon as dinner is over, I shall go with Archie
to her house, and tell her how pleased I am."

"It is very cold for you to be out, Lucy dear," urged Archie

"Oh, I can wrap up warmly," she answered.

Strange to say, the Professor made no objection to the excursion,
although Hope quite expected such a stickler for etiquette to
refuse permission to his stepdaughter. But Braddock seemed
rather pleased than otherwise. His proposal of marriage seemed
to have put him into excellent humor, and he raised his glass
with a chuckle.

"I drink to your happiness, my dear Lucy, and to that of Mrs.

"And I drink to Archie's and to yours, father," she replied. "I
am glad that you will not be lonely when we are married. Archie
and I wish to become one in January."

"Yes," said Hope, finishing his champagne, "my income is now all
right, as my uncle has paid up."

"Very good, very good. I make no objection," said Braddock
placidly. "I will give you a handsome wedding present, Lucy, for
you may have heard that my future wife has money left to her by
her brother, who was lately a merchant in Pekin. She is heart
and hand with me in our proposed expedition to Egypt."

"Will you go there for the honeymoon, sir?" asked Hope.

"Not exactly for the honeymoon, since we are to be married in
spring, and my expedition to the tomb of Queen Tahoser cannot
start until the late autumn. But Mrs. Braddock will come with
me. That is only just, since it will be her money which will
furnish the sinews of war."

"Well, everything is arranged very well," said Lucy. "I marry
Archie; you, father, make Mrs. Jasher your wife; and I suspect
Sir Frank will marry Donna Inez."

"Ha!" said Braddock with a start, "the daughter of De Gayangos,
who has come here for the missing mummy. Mrs. Jasher told me
somewhat of that, my dear'. But I shall see Don Pedro myself
to-morrow. Meanwhile, let us eat and drink. I must go down to
the museum, and you - "

"We shall go to congratulate Mrs. Jasher," said Lucy.

So it was arranged, and shortly Professor Braddock retired into
his sanctum along with the devoted Cockatoo, who displayed lively
joy on beholding his master once more. Lucy, after being
carefully wrapped up by Archie, set out with that young man to
congratulate the bride-elect. It was just half-past nine when
they started out.

The night was frosty and the stars twinkled like jewels in a
cloudless sky of dark blue. The moon shone with hard brilliance
on the ground, which was powdered with a light fall of snow. As
the young people walked briskly through the village, their
footsteps rang on the frosty earth and they scrunched the snow in
their quick tread. The Warrior Inn was still open, as it was not
late, and lights shone from the windows of the various cottages.
When the two, following the road through the marshes, emerged
from the village, they saw the great mass of the Fort bulking
blackly against the clear sky, the glittering stream of the
Thames, and the marshes outlined in delicate white. The fairy
world of snow and moonlight appealed to Archie's artistic sense,
and Lucy approving of the same, they did not hurry to arrive at
their destination.

But shortly they saw the squarely fenced acre of ground near the
embankment, wherein Mrs. Jasher's humble abode was placed. Light
shone through the pink curtains of the drawing-room, showing that
the widow had not yet retired. In a few minutes the lovers were
at the gate and promptly entered. It was then that one of those
odd things happened which would argue that some people are
possessed of a sixth sense.

Archie closed the gate after him, and, glancing right and left,
walked up the snowy path with Lucy. To the right was a leafless
arbor, also powdered with snow, and against the white bulked a
dark form something like a coffin. Hope out of curiosity went up
to it.

"What the deuce is this?" he asked himself; then raised his voice
in loud surprise. "Lucy! Lucy! come here!"

"What is it?" she asked, running up.

"Look" - he pointed to the oddly shaped case - "the green mummy!"



Neither Lucy nor Archie Hope had ever seen the mummy, but they
knew the appearance which it would present, as Professor
Braddock, with the enthusiasm of an archaeologist, had often
described the same to them. It appeared, according to Braddock,
that on purchasing the precious corpse in Malta, his dead
assistant had written home a full description of the treasure
trove. Consequently, being advised beforehand, Hope had no
difficulty in recognizing the oddly shaped case, which was made
somewhat in the Egyptian form. On the impulse of the moment he
had proclaimed this to be the long-lost mummy, and when a closer
examination by the light of a lucifer match revealed the green
hue of the coffin wood, he knew that he was right.

But what was the mummy in its ancient case doing in Mrs. Jasher's
arbor? That was the mute question which the two young people
asked themselves and each other, as they stood in the chilly
moonlight, staring at the grotesque thing. The mummy had
disappeared from the Sailor's Rest at Pierside some weeks ago,
and now unexpectedly appeared in a lonely garden, surrounded by
marshes. How it had been brought there, or why it should have
been brought there, or who had brought it to such an unlikely
place, were questions hard to answer. However, the most obvious
thing to do was to question Mrs. Jasher, since the uncanny object
was lying within a stone-throw of her home. Lucy, after a rapid
word or two, went to ring the bell, and summon the lady, while
Archie stood by the arbor, wondering how the mummy came to be
there. In the same way George III had wondered how the apples
got into the dumplings.

Far and wide spread the marshes, flatly towards the shore of the
river on one side, but on the other sloping up to Gartley
village, which twinkled with many lights on the rising ground.
Some distance away the Fort rose black and menacing in the
moonlight, and the mighty stream of the Thames glittered like
polished steel as it flowed seaward. As there were only a few
leafless trees dotted about the marshy ground, and as that same
ground, lightly sprinkled with powdery snow, revealed every
moving object for quite a mile or so, Hope could not conceive how
the mummy case, which seemed heavy, could have been brought into
the silent garden without its bearers being seen. It was not
late, and soldiers were still returning through Gartley to the
Fort. Then, again, some noise must have been caused by so bulky
an object being thrust through the narrow wicket, and Mrs.
Jasher, inhabiting a wooden house, which was a very sea-shell for
sound, might have heard footsteps and voices. If those who had
brought the mummy here - and there was more than one from the
size of the case - could be discovered, then the mystery of
Sidney Bolton's death would be solved very speedily. It was at
this moment of his reflections that Lucy returned to the arbor,
leading Mrs. Jasher, who was attired in a tea-gown and who looked

"What are you talking about, my dear?" she said, as Lucy led her
towards the arbor. "I declare I was ever so much astonished,
when Jane told me that you wished to speak to me. I was just
writing a letter to the lawyer who has my poor brother's property
in hand, announcing my engagement to the Professor. Mr. Hope?
You here also. Well, I'm sure."

Lucy grew impatient at all this babble.

"Did you not hear what I said, Mrs. Jasher?" she cried irritably.
"Can't you use your eyes? Look ! The green mummy is in your

"The - green - mummy - in - my - arbor," repeated Mrs. Jasher,
like a child learning words of one syllable, and staring at the
black object before which the three were standing.

"As you see," said Archie abruptly. "How did it come here?"

He spoke harshly. Of course, it was absurd to accuse Mrs. Jasher
of knowing anything about the matter, since she had been writing
letters. Still, the fact remained that a mummy, which had been
thieved from a murdered man, was in her arbor, and naturally she
was called upon to explain.

Some suspicion in his tone struck the little woman, and she
turned on him with indignation.

"How did it come here?" she repeated. "Now, how can I tell, you
silly boy. I have been writing to my lawyer about my engagement
to Mr. Braddock. I daresay he has told you."

"Yes," chimed in Miss Kendal, "and we came here to congratulate
you, only to find the mummy."

"Is that the horrid thing?" Mrs. Jasher stared with all her
eyes, and timidly touched the hard green-stained wood.

"It's the case - the mummy is inside."

"But I thought that the Professor opened the case to find the
body of poor Sidney Bolton," argued Mrs. Jasher.

"That was a packing case in which this" - Archie struck the
old-world coffin - "was stored. But this is the corpse of Inca
Caxas, about which Don Pedro told us the other night. How does
it come to be hidden in your garden?"

"Hidden." Mrs. Jasher repeated the word with a laugh. "There is
not much hiding about it. Why, every one can see it from the

"And from the door of your house," remarked Hope significantly.
"Did you not see it when you took leave of Braddock?"

"No," snapped the widow. "If I had I should certainly have come
to look. Also Professor Braddock, who is so anxious to recover
it, would not have allowed it to remain here."

"Then the case was not here when the Professor left you tonight?"

"No! He left me at eight o'clock to go home to dinner."

"When did he arrive here?" questioned Hope quickly.

"At seven. I am sure of the time, for I was just sitting down to
my supper. He was here an hour. But he said nothing, when he
entered, of any mummy being in the arbor; nor when he left me at
the door and I came to say good-bye to him - did either of us see
this object. To be sure," added Mrs. Jasher meditatively, "we
did not look particularly in the direction of this arbor."

"I scarcely see how any one entering or leaving the garden could
fail to see it, especially as the snow reflects the moonlight so

Mrs. Jasher shivered, and taking the skirt of her teagown, flung
it over her carefully attired head,

"It is very cold," she remarked irritably. "Don't you think we
had better return to the house, and talk there?"

"What!" said Archie grimly, "and leave the mummy to be carried
away as mysteriously as it has been brought. No, Mrs. Jasher.
That mummy represents one thousand pounds of my money."

"I understood that the Professor bought it himself."

"So he did, but I supplied the purchase money. Therefore I do
not intend that this should be lost sight of again. Lucy, my
dear, you run home again and tell your father what we have found.
He had better bring men, to take it to his museum. When it is
there, Mrs. Jasher can then explain how it came to be in her

Without a word Lucy set off, walking quickly, anxious to fulfill
her mission and gladden the heart of her stepfather with the
amazing news.

Archie and Mrs. Jasher were left alone, and the former lighted a
cigarette, while he tapped the mummy case, and examined it as
closely as the pale gleam of the moonlight permitted. Mrs.
Jasher made no move to enter the house, much as she had
complained of the cold. But perhaps she found the flimsy skirt
of the tea-gown sufficient protection.

"It seems to me, Mr. Hope," said she very tartly, "that you
suspect my having a hand in this," and she tapped the mummy
coffin also.

"Pardon me," observed Hope very politely, "but I suspect
nothing, because I have no grounds upon which to base my
suspicions. But certainly it is odd that this missing mummy
should be found in your garden. You will admit that much."

"I admit nothing of the sort," she rejoined coolly. "Only myself
and Jane live in the cottage, and you don't expect that two
delicate women could move this huge thing." She tapped the case
again. "Moreover, had I found the mummy I should have taken it
to the Pyramids at once, so as to give Professor Braddock some

"It will certainly be an acceptable wedding present," said Archie

"Pardon me," said Mrs. Jasher in her turn, "but I have nothing to
do with it as a present or otherwise. How the thing came into my
arbor I really cannot say. As I told you, Professor Braddock
made no remark about it when he came; and when he left, although
I was at the door, I did not notice anything in this arbor.
Indeed I cannot say if I ever looked in this direction."

Archie mused and glanced at his watch.

"The Professor told Lucy that he came by the six train: you say
that he was here at seven."

"Yes, and he left at eight. What is the time now?"

"Ten o'clock, or a few minutes after. Therefore, since neither
you nor Braddock saw the mummy, I take it that the case was
brought here by some unknown people between eight o'clock and a
quarter to ten, about which time I arrived here with Lucy."

Mrs. Jasher nodded.

"You put the matter very clearly," she observed dryly. "You have
mistaken your vocation, Mr. Hope, and should have been a criminal
lawyer. I should turn detective were I you."

"Why?" asked Archie with a start.

"You might ascertain my movements on the night when the crime was
committed," snapped the little widow. "A woman muffled in a
shawl, in much the same way as my head is now muffled in my
skirt, talked to, Bolton through the bedroom window of the
Sailor's Rest, you know."

Hope expostulated.

"My dear lady, how you run on! I assure you that I would as soon
suspect Lucy as you."

"Thank you," said the widow very dryly and very tartly.

"I merely wish to point out," went on Archie in a conciliatory
tone, "that, as the mummy in its case - as appears probable -
was brought into your garden between the hours of eight and ten,
less fifteen minutes, that you may have heard the voices or
footsteps of those who carried it here."

"I heard nothing," said Mrs. Jasher, turning towards the path.
"I had my supper, and played a game or two of patience, and then
wrote letters, as I told you before. And I am not going to stand
in the cold, answering silly questions, Mr. Hope. If you wish to
talk you must come inside."

Hope shook his head and lighted a fresh cigarette.

"I stand guard over this mummy until its rightful owner comes,"
said he determinedly.

"Ho!" rejoined Mrs. Jasher scornfully: she was now at the door.
"I understood that you bought the mummy and therefore were its
owner. Well, I only hope you'll find those emeralds Don Pedro
talked about," and with a light laugh she entered the cottage.

Archie looked after her in a puzzled way. There was no reason to
suspect Mrs. Jasher, so far as he saw, even though a woman had
been seen talking to Bolton on the night of the crime. And yet,
why should the widow refer to the emeralds, which were of such
immense value, according to Don Pedro? Hope glanced at the case
and shook the primitive coffin, anxious for the moment to open it
and ascertain if the jewels were still clutched grimly in the
mummy's dead hands. But the coffin was fastened tightly down
with wooden pegs, and could only be opened with extreme care and
difficulty. Also, as Hope reflected, even did he manage to open
this receptacle of the dead, he still could not ascertain if the
emeralds were safe, since they would be hidden under innumerable
swathings of green-dyed llama wool. He therefore let the matter
rest there, and, staring at the river, wondered how the mummy had
been brought to the garden in the marshes.

Hope recollected that experts had decided the mode in which the
mummy had been removed from the Pierside public-house. It had
been passed through the window, according to Inspector Date and
others, and, when taken across the narrow path which bordered the
river, had been placed in a waiting boat. After that it had
vanished until it had re-appeared in this arbor. But if taken by
water once, it could have been taken by water again. There was a
rude jetty behind the embankment, which Hope could easily see
from where he stood. In all probability the mummy had been
landed there and carried to the garden, while Mrs. Jasher was
busy with her supper and her game of cards and her letters.
Also, the path from the shore to the house was very lonely, and
if any care had been exercised, which was probable, no one from
the Fort road or from the village street could have seen the
stealthy conspirators bringing their weird burden. So far Hope
felt that he could argue excellently. But who had brought the
mummy to the garden and why had it been brought there? These
questions he could not answer so easily, and indeed not at all.

While thus meditating, he heard, far away in the frosty air, a
puffing and blowing and panting like an impatient motor-car.
Before he could guess what this was, Braddock appeared, simply
racing along the marshy causeway, followed closely by Cockatoo,
and at some distance away by Lucy. The little scientist rushed
through the gate, which he flung open with a noise fit to wake
the dead, and lunged forward, to fall with outstretched arms upon
the green case. There he remained, still puffing and blowing,
and looked as though he were hugging a huge green beetle.
Cockatoo, who, being lean and hard, kept his breath more easily,
stood respectfully by, waiting for his master to give orders, and
Lucy came in quietly by the gate, smiling at her father's
enthusiasm. At the same moment Mrs. Jasher, well wrapped up in a
coat of sables, emerged from the cottage.

"I heard you coming, Professor," she called out, hurrying down
the path.

"I should think the whole Fort heard the Professor coming," said
Hope, glancing at the dark mass. "The soldiers must think it is
an invasion."

But Braddock paid no heed to this jocularity, or even to Mrs.
Jasher, to whom he had been so lately engaged. All his soul was
in the mummy case, and as soon as he recovered his breath, he
loudly proclaimed his joy at this miraculous recovery of the
precious article.

"Mine! mine!" he roared, and his words ran violently through the
frosty air.

"Be calm, sir," advised Hope - "be calm."

"Calm! calm!" bellowed Braddock, struggling to a standing
position. "Oh, confound you, sir, how can I be calm when I find
what I have lost? You have a mean, groveling soul, Hope, not the
soaring spirit of a collector."

"There is no need to be rude to Archie, father," corrected Lucy

"Rude! Rude! I am never rude. But this mummy." Braddock
peered closely at it and rapped the wood to assure himself it was
no phantom. "Yes! it is my mummy, the mummy of Inca Caxas. Now
I shall learn how the Peruvians embalmed their royal dead. Mine!
mine! mine!" He crooned like a mother over a child, caressing
the coffin; then suddenly drew himself upright and fixed Mrs.
Jasher with an indignant eye. "So it was you, madam, who stole
my mummy," he declared venomously, "and I thought of making you
my wife. Oh, what an escape I have had. Shame, woman, shame!"

Mrs. Jasher stared, then her face grew redder than the rouge on
her cheeks, and she stamped furiously in the neat Louis Quinze
slippers in which she had in judiciously come out.

"How dare you say what you have said?" she cried, her voice
shrill and hard with anger. "Mr. Hope has been saying the same
thing. Are you both mad? I never set eyes on the horrid thing
in my life. And only to-night you told me that you loved - "

"Yes, yes, I said many foolish things, I don't doubt, madam. But
that is not the question. My mummy ! my mummy!" he rapped the
wood furiously - "how does my mummy come to be here?"

"I don't know," said Mrs. Jasher, still furious, "and I don't

"Don't care: don't care, when I look forward to your helping me
in my lifework! As my wife - "

"I shall never be your wife," cried the widow, stamping again.
"I wouldn't be your wife for a thousand or a million pounds.
Marry your mummy, you horrid, red-faced, crabbed little - "

"Hush! hush!" whispered Lucy, taking the angry woman round the
waist, "you must make allowances for my father. He is so
excited over his good fortune that he - "

"I shall not make allowance," interrupted Mrs. Jasher angrily.
"He practically accuses me of stealing the mummy. If I did that,
I must have murdered poor Sidney Bolton."

"No, no," cried the Professor, wiping his red face. "I never
hinted at such a thing. But the mummy is in your garden."

"What of that? I don't know how it came there. Mr. Hope, surely
you do not support Professor Braddock in his preposterous

"I bring no accusation," stuttered the Professor.

"Neither do I, Mrs. Jasher. You are excited now. Go in and
sleep, and to-morrow you will talk reasonably." This brilliant
speech was from Hope, and wrought Mrs. Jasher into a royal rage.

"Well," she gasped, "he asks me to be calm, as it I wasn't the
very calmest person here. I declare: oh, I shall be ill! Lucy,"
she seized the girl's hand and dragged her towards the cottage,
"come in and give me red lavender. I shall be in bed for days
and days and days. Oh, what brutes men can be! But listen, you
two horrors," she indicated Braddock and Hope, as she pushed open
the door, "If you dare to say a word against me, I'll have an
action for libel against you. Oh, dear me, how very ill I feel!
Lucy, darling, help me, oh, help me, and - and - oh - oh - oh!"
She flopped down on the threshold of her home with a cry.

"Archie! Archie! She's fainted."

Hope rushed forward, and raised the stout little woman in his
arms. Jane, attracted by the clamor, appeared on the scene, and
between the three of them they managed to get Mrs. Jasher placed
on the sofa of the pink drawing-room. She certainly was in a
dead faint, so Hope left her to the administrations of Lucy and
the servant, and walked out again into the garden, closing the
cottage door after him.

He found the heartless Professor quite oblivious to Mrs. Jasher's
sufferings, so taken up was he with the newly found mummy.
Cockatoo had been sent for a hand-cart, and while he was absent
Braddock expatiated on the perfections of this relic of Peruvian

"Will you sell it to Don Pedro?" asked Hope.

"After I have done with it, not before," snapped Braddock,
hovering round his treasure. "I shall want a percentage on my
bargain also."

Archie thought privately that if Braddock unswathed the mummy, he
would find the emeralds and would probably stick to them, so that
his expedition to Egypt might be financed. It that case Don
Pedro would no longer wish to buy the corpse of his ancestor.
But while he debated as to the advisability of telling the
Professor of the existence of the emeralds, Cockatoo returned
with the hand-cart.

"You have lost Mrs. Jasher," said Hope, while he, assisted the
Professor to hoist the mummy on to the cart.

"Never mind! never mind!" Braddock patted the coffin. "I have
found something much more to my mind: something ever so much
better. Ha! ha!"



In spite of newspapers and letters and tape-machines and
telegrams and such like aids to the speedy diffusion of news, the
same travels quicker in villages than in cities. Word of mouth
can spread gossip with marvelous rapidity in sparsely inhabited
communities, since it is obvious that in such places every person
knows the other - as the saying goes - inside out. In every
English village walls have ears and windows have eyes, so that
every cottage is a hot-bed of scandal, and what is known to one
is, within the hour, known to the others. Even the Sphinx could
not have preserved her secret long in such a locality.

Gartley could keep up its reputation in this respect along with
the best, therefore it was little to be wondered at, that early
next morning every one knew that Professor Braddock had found his
long-lost mummy in Mrs. Jasher's garden, and had removed the same
to the Pyramids without unnecessary delay. It was not
particularly late when the hand-cart, with its uncanny burden,
had passed along the sole street of the place, and several men
had emerged from the Warrior Inn ostensibly to offer help, but
really to know what the eccentric master of the great house was
doing. Braddock brusquely rejected these offers; but the oddly
shaped mummy case, stained green, having been seen, it needed
little wit for those who had caught a sight of it to put two and
two together, especially as the weird object had been described
at the inquest and had been talked over ever since in every
cottage. And as the cart had been seen coming out of the widow's
garden, it naturally occurred to the villagers that Mrs. Jasher
had been concealing the mummy. Shortly the rumor spread that she
had also murdered Bolton, for unless she had done so, she
certainly - according to village logic - could not have been
possessed of the spoil. Finally, as Mrs. Jasher's doors and
windows were small and the mummy was rather bulky, it was natural
to presume that she had hidden it in the garden. Report said she
had buried it and had dug it up just in time to be pounced upon
by its rightful owner. From which it can be seen that gossip is
not invariably accurate.

However this may be, the news of Professor Braddock's good
fortune shortly came to Don Pedro's ears through the medium of
the landlady. As she revealed what she had heard in the morning,
the Peruvian gentleman was spared a sleepless night. But as soon
as he learned the truth - which was surprising enough in its
unexpectedness - he hastily finished his breakfast and hurried to
the Pyramids. As yet he had not intended to see Braddock so
promptly, or at least not until he had made further inquiries at
Pierside, but the news that Braddock possessed the royal ancestor
of the De Gayanoses brought him immediately into the museum. He
greeted the Professor in his usual grave and dignified manner,
and no one would have guessed from his inherent calmness that the
unexpected news of Braddock's arrival, and the still more
unexpected information about the green mummy, had surprised him
beyond measure. Being somewhat superstitious, it also occurred
to Don Pedro that the coincidence meant good fortune to him in
the recovery of his long-lost ancestor.

Braddock, already knowing a great deal about Don Pedro from Lucy
and Archie Hope, was only too pleased to see the Peruvian, hoping
to find in him a kindred spirit. As yet the Professor was not
aware of the contents of the ancient Latin manuscript, which
revealed the fact of the hidden emeralds, since Hope had decided
to leave it to the Peruvian to impart the information. Archie
knew very well that Don Pedro - as he had plainly stated - wished
to purchase the mummy, and it was only right that Braddock should
know what he was selling. But Hope forgot one important fact
perhaps from the careless way in which Don Pedro had told his
story - namely, that the Professor in a second degree was a
receiver of stolen goods. Therefore it was more than probable
that the Peruvian would claim the mummy as his own property.
Still, in that event he would have to prove his claim, and that
would not be easy.

The plump little professor had not yet unsealed the case, and
when Don Pedro entered, he was standing before it rubbing his fat
hands, with a gloating expression in his face. However, as
Cockatoo had brought in the Peruvian's card, Braddock expected
his visitor and wheeled to face him.

"How are you, sir?" said he, extending his hand. "I am glad to
see you, as I hear that you know all about this mummy of Inca

"Well, I do," answered De Gayangos, sitting down in the chair
which his host pushed forward. "But may I ask who told you that
this mummy was that of the last Inca?"

Braddock pinched his plump chin and replied readily, enough.

"Certainly, Don Pedro. I wished to learn the difference in
embalming between the Egyptians and the ancient Peruvians, and
looked about for a South American corpse. Unexpectedly I saw in
several European newspapers and in two English journals that a
green Peruvian mummy was for sale at Malta for one thousand
pounds. I sent my assistant, Sidney Bolton, to buy it, and he
managed to get it, coffin and all, for nine hundred. While in
Malta, and before he started back in The Diver with the mummy, he
wrote me an account of the transaction. The seller - who was the
son of a Maltese collector - told Bolton that his father had
picked up the mummy in Paris some twenty and more years ago. It
came from Lima some thirty years back, I believe, and, according
to the collector in Paris, was the corpse of Inca Caxas. That is
the whole story."

Don Pedro nodded gravely.

"Was there a Latin manuscript delivered along with the mummy?" he

Braddock's eyes opened widely.

"No, sir. The mummy came thirty years ago from Lima to Paris.
It passed twenty years back into the possession of the Maltese
collector, and his son sold it to me a few months ago. I never
heard of any manuscript."

"Then Mr. Hope did not repeat to you what I told him the other

The Professor sat down and his mouth grew obstinate.

"Mr. Hope related some story you told him and others about this
mummy having been stolen from you."

"From my father," corrected the unsmiling Peruvian; keeping a
careful eye on his host; "that is really the case. Inca Caxas
is, or was, my ancestor, and this manuscript" - Don Pedro
produced the same from his inner pocket - "details the funeral

"Very interesting; most interesting," fussed Braddock, stretching
out his hand. "May I see it?"

"You read Latin," observed Don Pedro, surrendering the

Braddock raised his eyebrows.

"Of course," he said simply, "every well-educated man reads
Latin, or should do so. Wait, sir, until I glance through this

"One moment," said Don Pedro, as the Professor began to literally
devour the discolored page. "You know from Hope, I have no
doubt, how I chance upon my own property in Europe?"

Braddock, still with his eyes on the manuscript, mumbled

"Your own property. Quite so: quite so."

"You admit that. Then you will no doubt restore the mummy to

By this time the drift of Don Pedro's observations entirely
reached the understanding of the scientist, and he dropped the
document he was reading to leap to his feet.

"Restore the mummy to you!" he gasped. "Why, it is mine."

"Pardon me," said the Peruvian, still gravely but very
decisively, "you admitted that it belonged to me."

Braddock's face deepened to a fine purple.

"I didn't know what I was saying," he protested. "How could I
say it was your property when I have bought it for nine hundred

"It was stolen from me."

"That has got to be proved," said Braddock caustically.

Don Pedro rose, looking more like, Don Quixote than ever.

"I have the honor to give you my word and - "

"Yes, yes. That is all right. I cast no imputation on your

"I should think not," said the other coldly but strongly.

"All the same, you can scarcely expect me to part with so
valuable an object," Braddock waved his hand towards the case,
"without strict inquiry into the circumstances. And again, sir,
even if you succeed in proving your ownership, I am not inclined
to restore the mummy to you for nothing."

"But it is stolen property you are keeping from me."

"I know nothing about that: I have only your bare word that it is
so, Don Pedro. All I know is that I paid nine hundred pounds for
the mummy and that it cost the best part of another hundred to
bring it to England. What I have, I keep."

"Like your country," said the Peruvian sarcastically.

Precisely," replied the Professor suavely. "Every Englishman has
a bull-dog tenacity of purpose. Brag is a good dog, Don Pedro,
but Holdfast is a better one."

"Then I understand," said the Peruvian, stretching out his hand
to pick up the fallen manuscript, "that you will keep the mummy."

"Certainly," said Braddock coolly, "since I have paid for it.
Also, I shall keep the jewels, which the manuscript tells me -
from the glance I obtained of it - were buried with it."

"The sole jewels buried are two large emeralds which the mummy
holds in its hands," explained Don Pedro, restoring the
manuscript to his pocket, "and I wish for them so that I may get
money to restore the fortunes of my family."

"No! no! no!" said Braddock forcibly. "I have bought the mummy
and the jewels with it. They will sell to supply me with money
to fit out my expedition to the tomb of Queen Tahoser."

"I shall dispute your claim," cried De Gayangos, losing his

Braddock waved his hand with supreme content.

"I can give you the address of my lawyers," he retorted; "any
steps you choose to take will only result in loss, and from what
you hint I should not think that you had much money to spend on

Don Pedro bit his lip, and saw that it was indeed a more
difficult task than he had anticipated to make Braddock yield up
his prize.

"If you were in Lima," he muttered, speaking Spanish in his
excitement, "you would then learn that I speak truly."

"I do not doubt your truth," answered the Professor in the same

De Gayangos wheeled and faced his host, much surprised.

"You speak my tongue, senor?" he demanded.

Braddock nodded.

"I have been in Spain, and I have been in Peru," he answered
dryly, "therefore I know classical Spanish and its colonial
dialects. As to being in Lama, I was there, and I do not wish to
go there again, as I had quite enough of those uncivilized parts
thirty years ago, when the country was much disturbed after your
civil war."

"You were in Lima thirty years ago," echoed Don Pedro; "then you
were there when Vasa stole this mummy."

"I don't know who stole it, or even if it was stolen," said the
Professor obstinately, "and I don't know the name of Vasa. Ah!
now I remember. Young Hope did say something about the Swedish
sailor whom you said stole the mummy."

"Vasa did, and brought it to Europe to sell - probably to that
man in Paris, who afterwards sold it to your Malteses collector."

"No doubt," rejoined Braddock calmly; "but what has all this to
do with me, Don Pedro?"

"I want my mummy," raged the other, and looked dangerous.

"Then you won't get it," retorted Braddock, adopting a pugnacious
attitude and quite composed. "This mummy has caused one death,
Don Pedro, and from your looks I should think you would like it
to cause another."

"Will you not be honest?"

"I'll knock your head off if you bring my honesty into question,"
cried the Professor, standing on tip-toe like a bantam. "The
best thing to do will be to take the matter into court. Then the
law can decide, and I have little doubt but what it will decide
in my favor."

The Englishman and the Peruvian glared at one another, and
Cockatoo, who was crouching on the floor, glanced from one angry
face to another. He guessed that the white men were quarreling
and perhaps would come to blows. It was at this moment that a
knock came to the door, and a minute later Archie entered.
Braddock glanced at him, and took a sudden resolution as he
stepped forward.

"Hope, you are just in time," he declared. "Don Pedro states
that the mummy belongs to him, and I assert that I have bought
it. We shall make you umpire. He wants it: I want it. What is
to be done?"

"The mummy is my own flesh and blood, Mr, Hope," said Don Pedro.

"Precious little of either about it," said Braddock

Archie twisted a chair round and straddled his long legs across
it, with his arms resting on its back. His quick brain had
rapidly comprehended the situation, and, being acquainted with
both sides of the question, it was not difficult to come to a
decision. If it was hard that Don Pedro should lose his
ancestor's mummy, it was equally hard that Braddock - or rather
himself - should lose the purchase money, seeing that it had been
paid in good faith to the seller in Malta for a presumably
righteously acquired object. On these premises the young Solon
proceeded to deliver judgment.

"I understand," said he judiciously, "that Don Pedro had the
mummy stolen from him thirty years ago, and that you, Professor,
bought it under the impression that the Maltese owner had a right
to possess it."

"Yes," snapped Braddock, "and I daresay the Maltese owner
thought so too, since he bought it from that collector in Paris."

Hope nodded.

"And if Vasa sold it to the man in Paris," said he calmly, "he
certainly would not tell the purchaser that he had looted the
mummy in Lima, and the poor man would not know that he was
receiving stolen goods. Is that right, Don Pedro?"

"Yes, sir," said the Peruvian, who had recovered his temper and
his gravity; "but I declare solemnly that the mummy was stolen
from my father and should belong to me."

"No one disputes that," said Archie cheerfully; "but it ought to
belong to the Professor also, since he has bought it. Now, as it
can't possibly belong to two people, we must split the
difference. You, Professor, must sell back the mummy to Don
Pedro for the price you paid for it, and then, Don Pedro, you
must recompense Professor Braddock for his loss."

"I have not much money," said Don Pedro gravely; "still, I am
willing to do as you say."

"I don't know that I am," protested Braddock noisily. "There are
the two emeralds which are of immense value, as Don Pedro says,
and they belong to me, since the mummy is my property."

"Professor," said Archie solemnly, "you must do right, even if
you lose by it. I believe the story of Senor De Gayangos; and
the mummy with its jewels belongs to him. Besides, you only wish
to see the way, in which the Inca race embalmed their dead.
Well, then, unpack the mummy here in the presence of Don Pedro.
When you have satisfied your curiosity, and when Senor De
Gayangos signs a check for one thousand pounds, he can take away
the corpse. You have had so much trouble over it, that I wonder
your are not anxious to see the last of it."

"But the emeralds would sell for much money and would defray the
expenses of my expedition into Egypt to search for that Queen's

"I understood from Lucy that Mrs. Jasher intended to finance that
expedition when she became your wife."

"Humph!" muttered Braddock, stroking his fat thin. "I said a few
foolish things to her last night when I was heated up. She may
not forgive me, Hope."

"A woman will forgive anything to the man she loves," said

Braddock was no fool, and could not help casting a glance at his
tubby figure, which was reflected in a near mirror. It seemed
incredible that Mrs. Jasher could love him for his looks, and the
fact that he might some day be a baronet did not strike him at
the moment as a consideration. However, he foresaw trouble and
expense should Don Pedro go to law, as he seemed determined to
do. Taking all things into consideration, Braddock thought that
Archie's judgment was a good one, and yielded.

"Well," he said after reflection, "let us agree. I shall open
the case and examine the mummy, which after all is the reason why
I bought it. When I have satisfied myself as to the difference
between the modes of embalming, Don Pedro can give me a check and
take away the mummy. I only hope that he will have less trouble
with it than I have had," and, so speaking, Braddock, signing to
Cockatoo to bring all the necessary tools, laid hands on the

"I am content," said Don Pedro briefly, and seated himself in a
chair beside the young Daniel who had delivered judgment.

Hope offered to assist the Professor to open the case, but was
dismissed with an abrupt refusal.

"Though I am glad you are present to see the mummy unpacked,"
said Braddock, laboring at the lid of the case, "for if the
emeralds are missing, Don Pedro might accuse me of stealing

"Why should the emeralds be missing?" asked Hope quickly.

Braddock shrugged his shoulders.

"Sidney Bolton was killed," said he in a low voice, "and it was
not likely that any one would commit a murder for the sake of
this mummy, and then leave it stranded in Mrs. Jasher's garden.
I have my doubts about the safety of the emeralds, else I would
not have consented to sell the thing back again."

With this honest speech, the Professor vigorously attacked the
lid of the case, and inserted a steel instrument into the cracks
to prize up the covering. The lid was closed with wooden pegs in
an antique but perfectly safe manner, and apparently had not been
opened since the dead Inca had been laid to rest therein hundreds
of years ago among the Andean mountains. Don Pedro winced at
this desecration of the dead, but, as he had given his consent,
there was nothing left to do but to grin and bear it. In a
wonderfully short space of time, considering the neatness of the
workmanship and the holding power of the wooden pegs, the lid was
removed. Then the four on-lookers saw that the mummy had been
tampered with. Swathed in green-stained llama wool, it lay rigid
in its case. But the swathings had been cut; the hands protruded
and the emeralds were gone - torn rudely from the hard grip of
the dead.

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest