Part 4 out of 6
Both Don Pedro and Professor Braddock were amazed and angry at
the disappearance of the jewels, but Hope did not express much
surprise. Considering the facts of the murder, it was just what
he expected, although it must be confessed that he was wise after
"I refer you to your own words immediately before the case was
opened, Professor," he remarked, after the first surprise had
"Words! words!" snapped Braddock, who was anything but pleased.
"What words of mine do you mean, Hope?"
"You said that it was not likely that any one would commit a
murder for the sake of the mummy only, and then leave it stranded
in Mrs. Jasher's garden. Also, you declared that you had your
doubts about, the safety of the emeralds, else you would not have
consented to sell the mummy again to its rightful owner."
The Professor nodded.
"Quite so: quite so. And what I say I hold to," he retorted,
"especially as I have proved myself a true prophet. You can both
see for yourselves," he waved his hand towards the rifled case,
"that poor Sidney must have been killed for the sake of the
emeralds. The question is, who killed him?"
"The person who knew about the jewels," said Don Pedro promptly.
"Of course: but who did know? I was ignorant until you told me
about the manuscript. And you, Hope?" He searched Archie's
"Do you intend to accuse me?" questioned the young man with a
slight laugh. "I assure you, Professor, that I was ignorant of
what had been buried with the corpse, until Don Pedro related his
story the other night to myself and Random, and the ladies."
Braddock turned impatiently to De Gayangos, as he did not approve
of Archie's apparent flippancy.
"Does any one else know of the contents of this manuscript?" he
Don Pedro nursed his chin and looked musingly on the ground.
"It is just possible that Vasa may."
"Vasa? Vasa? Oh yes, the sailor who stole the mummy thirty
years ago from your father in Lima. Pooh! pooh! pooh! You tell
me that this manuscript is written in Latin, and evidently in
monkish Latin at that, which is of the worst. Your sailor could
not read it, and would not know the value of the manuscript. If
he had, he would have carried it off."
"Senor," said the Peruvian politely, "I have an idea that my
father made a translation of this manuscript, or at all events a
"But I understood," put in Hope, still astride of his chair,
"that you did not find the original manuscript until your father
"That is quite true, sir," assented the other readily, "but I
did not tell you everything the other night. My father it was
who found the manuscript at Cuzco, and although I cannot state
authoritatively, yet I believe I am correct in saying that he had
a copy. made. But whether the copy was merely a transcript or
actually a translation, I cannot tell. I think it was the
former, as if Vasa, reading a translation, had learned of the
jewels, he undoubtedly would have stolen them before selling this
mummy to the Parisian collector."
"Perhaps he did," said Braddock, pointing to the rifled corpse.
"You see that the emeralds are missing."
"Your assistant's assassin stole them," insisted Don Pedro
"We cannot be sure of that," retorted the Professor, "although I
admit that no man would jeopardize his neck for the sake of a
Archie looked surprised.
"But an enthusiast such as you are, Professor, might risk so
For once in his life Braddock made a good-humored reply.
"No, sir. Not even for this mummy would I place myself in the
power of the law. And I do not think that any other scientist
would either. We savants may not be worldly, but we are not
fools. However, the fact remains that the jewels are gone, and
whether they were stolen by Vasa thirty years ago, or by poor
Sidney's assassin the other day, I don't know, and, what is more,
I don't care. I shall examine the mummy further, and in a couple
of days Don Pedro can bring me a check for one thousand and
remove his ancestor."
"No! no!" cried the Peruvian hurriedly; "since the emeralds are
missing, I am not in a position to pay you one thousand English
pounds, sir. I want to take back the body of Inca Caxas to Lima;
as one must show respect to one's ancestors. But the fact is, I
cannot pay the money."
"You said that you could," shouted the exasperated Professor in
his bullying way.
"I admit it, senor, but I had hoped to do so when I sold the
emeralds, which - as you can see - are not available. Therefore
the body of my royal ancestor must remain here until I can
procure the money. And it may be that Sir Frank Random will help
me in this matter."
"He wouldn't help me," snapped Braddock, "so why should he help
Don Pedro, looking more dignified than ever, drew himself up to
his tall height.
"Sir Frank," he said, in a stately way, "hag done me the honor
of seeking to be my son-in-law. As my daughter loves him, I am
willing to permit the marriage, but now that I have learned the
emeralds are lost, I shall not consent until Sir Frank buys the
mummy front you, Professor. It is only right that my daughter's
hand should redeem her regal forefather from purely scientific
surroundings and that she should take the mummy back to be buried
in Lima. At the same time, sir, I must say that I am the
rightful owner of the dead, and that you should surrender the
mummy to me free of charge."
"What, and lose a thousand pounds!" cried Braddock furiously.
"No, sir, I shall do nothing of the sort. You only wanted the
mummy for the sake of the jewels, and now that they are lost, you
do not care what becomes of your confounded ancestor, and you - "
The Professor would have gone on still more furiously, but that
Hope, seeing Don Pedro was growing angry at the insult, chimed
"Let me throw oil on the troubled waters," he said, smoothly.
"Don Pedro is not able to redeem the mummy until the emeralds are
found. As such is the case, we must find the emeralds and enable
him to do what is necessary."
"And how are we to find the jewels?" asked Braddock crossly.
"By finding the assassin."
"How is that to be done?" asked De Gayangos gloomily. "I have
been doing my best at Pierside, but I cannot find a single clue.
Vasa is not to be found."
"Vasa!" exclaimed Archie and the Professor, both profoundly
Don Pedro raised his eyebrows.
"Certainly. Vasa, if anyone, must have killed your assistant,
since he alone could have known that the jewels were buried with
"But, my dear sir," argued Hope good-naturedly, "if Vasa stole
the manuscript, whether translated or not, he certainly must have
learned the truth long, long ago, since thirty years have
elapsed. In that event he must have stolen the jewels, as
Professor Braddock remarked lately, before he sold the mummy to
the Parisian collector."
"That may be so," said Don Pedro obstinately, while the Professor
muttered his approval, "but we cannot be certain on that point.
No one - I agree with the Professor in this - would have risked
his neck to steal a mere mummy, therefore the motive for the
committal of the crime must have been the emeralds. Only Vasa
knew of their existence outside myself and my dead father. He,
therefore, must be the assassin. I shall hunt for him, and, when
I find him, I shall have him arrested."
"But you can't possibly recognize the man after thirty years?"
argued Braddock disbelievingly.
"I Have a royal memory for faces," said Don Pedro imperturbably,
"and in the past I saw much of Vasa. He was then a young sailor
"Humph!" muttered Braddock. "He is now fifty, and must have
changed in thirty years. You'll never recognize him."
"Oh, I think so," said the Peruvian smoothly. "His eyes were
peculiarly blue and full of light. Also, he had a scar on the
right temple from a blow which he received in a street riot in
which I also was concerned. Finally, gentlemen, Vasa loved a
peon girl on my father's estate, and she induced him to have the
sun encircled by a serpent - a Peruvian symbol - tattooed on his
left wrist. With all these marks, and with my memory for faces,
which never yet has failed me, I have no doubt but what I shall
recognize the man."
"And then I shall have him arrested"
Hope shrugged his square shoulders. He had not much belief in
Don Pedro's boasted royal memory, and did not think that he would
recognize a young sailor of twenty in what would certainly be a
grizzled old salt of fifty years. However, it was possible that
the man might be right in his surmise, since Vasa alone could
have known about the emeralds. The only doubt was whether he
would have waited for thirty years before looting the mummy.
Archie said nothing of these thoughts, as they would only serve
to prolong an unprofitable discussion. But he made one
"Your best plan," he said suggestively, "is to write a
description of Vasa - who, by the way, has probably changed his
name - and hand it to the police, with the promise of a reward if
he is found."
"I am very poor, senor. Surely the Professor here - "
"I can offer nothing," said Braddock quickly, "as I am quite as
poor as you are, if not more so, Sir Frank might help," he added
"I shall not ask," said Don Pedro loftily. "If Sir Frank chooses
to become my son-in-law by purchasing back my royal ancestor, to
which you have no right, I am willing that it should be so. But,
poor as I am, I shall offer a reward myself, since the honor of
the De Gayangoses is involved in this matter. What reward do you
suggest, Mr. Hope?"
"Five hundred pounds," said the Professor quickly.
"Too much," said Hope sharply - "far too much. Make the reward
one hundred pounds, Don Pedro. That is enough to tempt many a
The Peruvian bowed and noted down the amount.
"I shall go at once to Pierside and see Inspector Date, who had
to do with the inquest," he remarked. "Meanwhile, Professor,
please do not desecrate my royal ancestor's body more than you
"I shall certainly not search for any more emeralds," retorted
Braddock dryly. "Now, clear out, both of you, and leave me to
examine the mummy. Cockatoo, show these gentlemen out, and let
no one else in."
Don Pedro returned to the Warrior Hotel to inform his daughter of
what had taken place, with the intention of going in the
afternoon to Pierside. Meanwhile, he wrote out a full
description of Vasa, making an allowance for the lapse of years
and explaining the scar and the symbol on the left wrist. Hope
also sought Lucy and related the latest development of the case.
The girl was not surprised, as she likewise believed that the
assassin had desired more than the mummy when he murdered Sidney
"Mrs. Jasher did not know about the emeralds?" she asked
"No," replied Archie, much surprised. "Surely you do not suspect
her of having a hand in the devilment?"
"Certainly not," was the prompt answer. "Only I cannot
understand how the mummy came to be in her garden."
"It was brought up from the river, I expect."
"But why to Mrs. Jasher's garden?"
Hope shook his head.
"I cannot tell that. The whole thing is a mystery, and seems
likely to remain so."
"It seems to me," said the girl, after a pause, "that it would
be best for my father to return this mummy to Don Pedro, and have
done with it, since it seems to bring bad luck. Then he can
marry Mrs. Jasher, and go to Egypt on her fortune to seek for
"I doubt very much if Mrs. Jasher will marry the Professor now,
after what he said last night."
"Nonsense, my father was in a rage and said what first came into
his mind. I daresay she is angry. However, I shall see her this
afternoon, and put matters right."
"You are very anxious that the Professor should marry the lady."
"I am," replied Lucy seriously, "as I want to leave my father
comfortably settled when I marry you. The sooner he makes Mrs.
Jasher his wife, the readier will he be to let me go, and I want
to marry you as soon as I possibly can. I am tired of Gartley
and of this present life."
Of course to this speech Archie could make only one answer, and
as that took the form of kissing, it was entirely satisfactory to
Miss Kendal. Then they discussed the future and also the
proposed engagement of Sir Frank Random to the Peruvian lady.
But both left the subject of the mummy alone, as they were quite
weary of the matter, and neither could suggest a solution of the
Meanwhile Professor Braddock had passed a very pleasant hour in
examining the swathings of the mummy. But his pleasure was
destined to be cut short sooner than he desired, as Captain Hiram
Hervey unexpectedly arrived. Although Cockatoo - as he had been
instructed -did his best to keep him out, the sailor forced his
way in, and heralded his appearance by throwing the Kanaka
head-foremost into the museum.
"What does this mean?" demanded the fiery Professor, while
Cockatoo, with an angry expression, struggled to his feet, and
Hervey, smoking his inevitable cheroot, stood on the threshold -
"how dare you treat my property in this careless way."
"Guess your property should behave itself then," said the captain
in careless tones, and sauntered into the room. "D'y think I'm
goin' to be chucked out by a measly nigger and - Great Scott!" -
this latter exclamation was extorted by the sight of the mummy.
Braddock motioned to the still angry Cockatoo to move aside, and
then nodded triumphantly.
"You didn't expect to see that, did you?" he asked.
Hervey came to anchor on a chair and turned the cheroot in his
mouth with an odd look at the mummy.
"When will he be hanged?"
"When will who be hanged?"
"The man as stole that thing."
"We haven't found him yet," Braddock informed him swiftly.
"Then how in creation did you annex the corpse."
The Professor sat down and explained. The lean, long mariner
listened quietly, only nodding at intervals. He did not seem to
be surprised when he heard that the corpse of the head Inca had
been found in Mrs. Jasher's garden, especially when Braddock
explained the whereabouts of the property.
"Wal," he drawled, "that don't make my hair stand on end. I
guess the garden was on his way and he used it for a cemetery."
"What are you talking about?" demanded the perplexed scientist.
"About the man who strangled your help and yanked away the
"But I don't know who he is. Nobody knows."
"Go slow. I do."
"You!" Braddock started and flung himself across the room to
seize Hervey by the lapels of his reefer coat. "You know. Tell
me who he is, so that I can get the emeralds."
"Emeralds!" Hervey removed Braddock's plump hands and stared
"Don't you know? No, of course you don't. But two emeralds were
buried with the mummy, and they have been stolen."
"No doubt by the assassin who murdered poor "Sidney."
Hervey spat on the floor, and his weather-beaten face took on an
expression of, profound regret.
"I guess I'm a fool of the best."
"Why?" asked Braddock, again puzzled.
"To think," said Hervey, addressing the mummy, "that you were on
board my boat, and I never looted you."
"What!" Braddock stamped. "Would you have committed theft?"
"Theft be hanged!" was the reply. "It ain't thieving to loot the
dead. I guess a corpse hasn't got any use for jewels. You bet
I'd have gummed straightways onto that mummy, when I brought it
from Malta in the old Diver, had I known it was a jeweler's shop
of sorts. Huh! Two emeralds, and I never knew. I could kick
"You are a blackguard," gasped the astonished Professor.
"Oh, shucks!" was the elegant retort, "give it a rest. I'm no
worse than that dandy gentleman who added murder to stealing,
"Ah!" Braddock bounded off his chair like an india-rubber ball,
"you said that you knew who had committed the murder."
"Wal," drawled Hervey again, "I do and I don't. That is I
suspect, but I can't swear to the business before a judge."
"Who killed Bolton?" asked the Professor furiously. "Tell me at
"Not me, unless it's made worth my while."
"It will be, by Don Pedro."
"That yellow-stomach. What's he got to do with it?"
"I have just told you the mummy belongs to him; he came to Europe
to find it. He wants the emeralds, and intends to offer a reward
of one hundred pounds for the discovery of the assassin."
Hervey arose briskly.
"I'm right on the job," said he, sauntering to the door. "I'll
go to that old inn of yours, where you say the Don's stopping,
and look him up. Guess I'll trade."
"But who killed Bolton?" asked Braddock, running to the door and
gripping Hervey by his coat.
The mariner looked down on the anxious face of the plump little
man with a grim smile.
"I can tell you," said he, "as you can't figure out the
business, unless I'm on the racket. No, sir; I'm the white boy
in thin circus."
The Professor shook the lean sailor in his anxiety.
"Who is he?"
"That almighty aristocrat that came on board my ship, when I lay
in the Thames on the very afternoon I arrived with Bolton."
"Who do you mean?" demanded Braddock, more and more perplexed.
"Sir Frank Random."
"What! did he kill Bolton and steal my mummy?"
"And hide it in that garden on his way to the Fort? I guess he
The Professor sat down and closed his eyes with horror. When he
opened them again, Hervey was gone.
THE MANUSCRIPT AGAIN
But the Processor was not going to let Captain Hervey escape
without giving him full information. Before the Yankee skipper
could reach the front door, Braddock was at his heels, gasping
and blowing like a grampus.
"Come back, come back. Tell me all."
"I reckon not," rejoined the mariner, removing Braddock's grip.
"You ain't the one to give the money. I'll go to the Don, or to
Inspector Date of Pierside."
"But Sir Frank must be innocent," insisted Braddock.
"He's got to prove it," was the dry response. "Let me go."
"No. You must tell me on what grounds - "
"Oh, the devil take you!" said Hervey hastily, and sat down on
one of the hall chairs. "It's this way, since you won't let me
skip until I tell you. This almighty aristocrat came to Pierside
on the same afternoon as I cast, anchor. While Bolton was on
board, he looked in to have a yarn of sorts."
"Now, how in creation should I know?" snapped the skipper. "I
wasn't on hand, as I'd enough to do with unloading cargo. But
his lordship went with Bolton to the state-room, and they talked
for half an hour. When they came out, I saw that his lordship
had his hair riz, and heard him saying things to Bolton."
"What sort of things?"
"Well, for one, he said, `You'll repent of this,' and then again,
`Your life isn't safe while you keep it.'"
"Meaning the mummy?"
"I reckon that's so, unless I am mistaken," said Hervey serenely.
"Why didn't you go to th, police with this information?"
"Me? Not much. Why, I saw no way of making dollars. And then,
again, I did not think of putting things together, until I found
that his lorship "
"Meaning Sir Frank," interpolated the Professor, frowning.
"I'm talking Queen's, or King's, or Republican lingo, I guess,
and I do mean his lorship," said the skipper dryly - "until I
found that his lorship had been in the public-house where the
crime was committed."
"The Sailor's Rest? When did he go there?"
"In the evening. After his talk with Bolton, and after a row -
as they both seemed to have their hair off - he skipped over the
side and went back to his yacht, which wasn't far away. Bolton
took his blamed mummy ashore and got fixed at the Sailor's Rest.
I gathered afterwards, from the second mate of The Diver (which
ain't my ship now), that his lorship came into the hotel and had
a drink. Afterwards my second mate saw him talking to Bolton
through the window."
"In the same place as the woman talked?' questioned the
"That's so, only it was later in the evening that the woman came
along to give chin-music through the window. I am bound to say,"
added the captain generously, "that no one I can place my hand
on saw his lorship loafing about the hotel after dark. But what
of that? He may have laid his plans, and arranged for the corpse
to be found later, in that blamed packing case."
"Is this all your evidence?"
"It's enough, I guess."
"Not to procure a warrant."
"Why, a man in the States would be electrocuted on half the
"I daresay," retorted the little man with contempt, "but we are
in a land where justice of the purest prevails. All your
evidence is circumstantial. It proves nothing."
The captain was considerably nettled.
"I calculate that it proves Sir Frank wanted the mummy, else why
did he come on board my ship to see your infernal assistant. The
words he used showed that he was warning Bolton how he'd do for
him. And then he talked through the window, and was in the
public-house, which ain't a place for an almighty aristocrat to
shelter in. I guess he's the man wanted by the police. Why,"
added Hervey, warming to his tale, "he'd a slap-up yacht laying
near the blamed hotel, and could easily ship the corpse, after
slipping it through the window. When he got tired of it, and
looted the emeralds, he took it by boat, below the Fort, to Mrs.
Jasher's garden and left it there, so as to pull the wool over
the eyes of the police. It's as clear as mud to me. You search
his lorship's shanty, and you'll find the emeralds."
"It is strange," muttered Braddock unwillingly.
"Strange, but not true," said a voice from the head of the
stairs, and young Hope came down leisurely, with a pale face, but
a very determined air. "Random is absolutely innocent."
"How do you know?" demanded the skipper contemptuously.
"Because he is an English gentleman and my very good friend."
"Huh! I guess that defense won't save him from being lynched."
Meanwhile Braddock was looking irritably at Archie.
"You've been listening to a private conversation, sir. How dare
"If you hold private conversations at the top of your voice's in
the hall, you must be expected to be listened to," said Archie
coolly. "I plead guilty, and I am not sorry."
"When did you come?"
"In time to hear all that Captain Hervey has explained. I was
chatting with Lucy, and had just left her, when I heard your loud
"Has Lucy heard anything?"
"No. She is busy in her room. But I'll tell her," Hope turned
to mount the stairs; "she likes Random, and will no more believe
him guilty than I do at this present moment."
"Stop!" cried Braddock, flying forward to pull Hope back, as he
placed his foot on the first stair. "Tell Lucy nothing just now.
We must go to the Fort, you - and I, to see Random. Hervey, you
come also, and then you can accuse Sir Frank to his face."
"If he dares to do it!" said Archie, who looked and felt
"Oh, I'll accuse him right enough when the time comes," said
Hervey in his coolest manner, "but the time isn't now. Savy! I
am going to see the Don first and make sure of this reward."
"Faugh!" cried Hope with disgust, "Blood-money!"
"What of that? Ifs a man is a murderer he should be lynched."
"My friend, Sir Frank Random, is no murderer."
"He's got to prove, that, as I said before," rejoined the Yankee
in a calm way, and strolled to the door. "So-long, gents both.
I'll light out for the Warrior Inn and play my cards. And I may
tell you," he added, pausing at the door, which he opened, "that
I haven't got that blamed wind-jammer, so need money to hold out
until another steamer comes along. One hundred pounds English
currency will just fill the bill. So now you know the lay I'm
on. So-long," and he walked quietly out of the house, leaving
Archie and Braddock looking at one another with pale faces. The
assurance of Hervey surprised and horrified them. Still, they
could not believe that Sir Frank Random had been guilty of so
brutal a crime.
"For one thing," said Hope after a pause, "Random did not know
where the emeralds were to be found, or even that they existed."
"I understood that he did know," said Braddock reluctantly. "In
my hearing, and in your own, you heard Don Pedro state that he
had related the story of the manuscript to Random."
"You forget that I learned about the emeralds at the same time,"
said Hope quietly. "Yet this Yankee skipper does not accuse me.
The knowledge of the emeralds came to Random's ears and to mine
long after the crime was committed. To have a motive for killing
Bolton and stealing the emeralds, Random would have had to know
when he arrived in England."
"And why should he have not known?" asked the Professor, biting
his lip vexedly. "I don't want to accuse Random, or even to
doubt him, as he is a very good fellow, even though he refused to
assist me with money when I desired a reward to be offered. All
the same, he met Don Pedro in Genoa, and it is just possible that
the man told him of the jewels buried with the mummy."
Archie shook his head.
"I doubt that," said he thoughtfully. "Random was as astonished
as the rest of us, when Don Pedro told his Arabian Night story.
However, the point can be easily Settled by sending for Random.
I daresay he is at the Fort."
"I shall send Cockatoo for him at once," said the Professor
quickly, and walked into the museum to instruct the Kanaka.
Archie remained where he was, and seated himself on a chair, with
folded arms and knitted brows. It was incredible that an English
gentleman with a stainless name and such a well-known soldier
should commit so terrible a crime. And the matter of Hervey's
accusation was complicated by the fact - of which Hervey was
ignorant - that Don Pedro was willing that Random should become
his son-in-law. Hope wondered what the fiery, proud Peruvian
would say when he heard his friend denounced. His reflections on
this point were cut short by the return of the Professor, who
appeared at the door of the museum dismissing Cockatoo. When the
Kanaka took his departure, Braddock beckoned to the young man.
"There is no reason why we should talk in the hall, and let the
whole house know of this new difficulty," he said in a testy
manner. "Come in here."
Hope entered and looked with ill-concealed repugnance at the
uncanny shape of the green mummy, which was lying on a long
table. He examined the portions where the swathings had been cut
with some sharp instrument, to reveal the dry, bony hands ,which
formerly had held the costly jewels. The face was invisible and
covered with a mask of dull beaten gold. Formerly the eyes had
been jeweled, but these last were now absent. He pointed out the
mask to the Professor, who was hovering over the weird dead with
a large magnifying-glass.
"It is strange," said Hope earnestly, "that the mask of gold was
not stolen also, since it is so valuable."
"Unless melted down, the mask could be traced," said Braddock
after a pause. "The jewels, according to Don Pedro, are of
immense value, and so could have been got rid of easily. Random
was satisfied with those."
"Don't talk of him in that way, as though his guilt was certain,"
said Hope, wincing.
"Well, you must admit that the evidence against him is strong."
"But purely circumstantial."
"Circumstantial evidence has hanged many an innocent man before
now. Humph!" said Braddock uneasily, "I hope it won't hang our
friend. However, we shall hear what he has to say. I have sent
Cockatoo to the Fort to bring him here at once. If Random is
absent, Cockatoo is to leave a note in his room, on the
"Would it not have been better to have told Cockatoo to give the
note to Random's servant?"
"I think not," responded Braddock dryly. "Random's servant is
certainly one of the most stupid men in the entire army. He
would probably forget to give him the note, and as it is
important that we should see Random at once, it is better that he
should find it placed personally on his writing-table by
Cockatoo, upon whom I can depend."
Archie abandoned the argument, as it really mattered very little.
He took up another line of conversation.
"I expect if the criminal tries to dispose of the emeralds he
will be caught," said he: "such large jewels are too noticeable
to escape comment."
"Humph! It depends upon the cleverness of the thief," said the
Professor, who was more taken up with the mummy than with the
conversation, "He might have the jewels cut into smaller stones,
or he might go to India and dispose of them to some Rajah, who
would certainly say nothing. I don't know how criminals act
myself, as I have never studied their methods. But I hope that
the clue you mention will be hit upon, if only for Random's
"I don't believe for one moment that Random is in danger," said
Archie, "and, if he is, I shall turn detective myself."
"I wish you joy," replied Braddock, bending over the mummy.
"Look, Hope, at the wonderful color of this wool. There are some
arts we have lost completely - dyeing of this surprising beauty
is one. Humph!" mused the archaeologist, "I wonder why this
particular mummy is dyed green, or rather why it is wrapped in
green bandages. Yellow was the royal color of the ancient
Peruvian monarchs. Vicuna wool dyed yellow. What do you think,
Hope? It is strange."
Archie shrugged his shoulders.
"I can say nothing, because I know nothing," he said sharply.
"All I do know is, that I wish this precious mummy had never been
brought here. It has caused trouble ever since its arrival."
"Well," said Braddock, surveying the dead with some disfavor, "I
must say that I shall be glad to see the last of it myself. I
know now all that I wanted to know! Humph! I wonder if Don
Pedro will allow me to strip the mummy? Of course! It is mine
not his. I shall unswathe it entirely," and Braddock was about
to lay sacrilegious, hands on the dead, when Cockatoo entered
breathlessly. He had been so quick that he must have run to the
Fort and back again.
"I knock at door," said the Kanaka, delivering his message, "and
I hear no voice. I go in and find no one, so I put the letter on
the table. I come down and ask, and a soldier tells me, sir, his
master is coming back in half an hour."
"You should have waited," said Braddock, waving Cockatoo aside.
"Come along with me to the Fort, Hope."
"But Random will come here as soon as he returns."
"Very likely, but I can't wait. I am anxious to hear what he has
to say in his defense. Come, Cockatoo, my coat, my hat, my
gloves. Stir yourself, you scoundrel!"
Archie was not unwilling to go, since he was anxious also to hear
what Random would say to the absurd accusation brought against
him by the Yankee. In a few minutes the two men were walking
smartly down the road through the village, the Professor striving
to keep up with Hope's longer legs by trotting as hard as he
could. Halfway down the village they met a trap, and in it
Captain Hervey being driven to the Jessum railway station.
"Have you seen Don Pedro?" asked the Professor, stopping the
"I reckon not," answered Hervey stolidly. "He's gone into
Pierside to see the police. I'm off there also."
"You had better come with us," said Archie sternly; - "we are
going to see Sir Frank Random."
"Give him my respects," said the skipper cold-bloodedly, "and
say that he's worth one hundred pounds to me," he waved his hand
and the trap moved away, but he looked back with a wry smile.
"Say I'll square the matter for double the money and command of
Braddock and Archie looked after the trap in disgust.
"What a scoundrel the man is!" said the Professor pettishly;
"he'd sell his father for what he could get."
"It shows how much his word is to be depended upon. I expect
this accusation of Random is a put-up job."
"I hope so, for Random's sake," said Braddock, trotting briskly
In a short time they arrived at the Fort and were informed that
Sir Frank had not yet returned, but was expected back every
moment. In the meanwhile, as Braddock and Hope were both
extremely well known, they were shown into Random's quarters,
which were on the first floor. When the soldier-servant retired
and the door was closed, Hope seated himself near the window,
while Braddock trotted round, looking into things.
"It's a dog kennel," said the Professor. "I told Random that."
"Perhaps we should have waited him in the mess," suggested
"No! no! no! We couldn't talk there, with a lot of silly young
fools hanging about. I told Random that I would never enter the
mess, so he invited me to come always to his quarters. He was in
love with Lucy then," chuckled the Professor, "and nothing was
too good for me."
"Not even the dog kennel," said Hope dryly, for the Professor's
chatter was so rude as to be quite annoying.
"Pooh! pooh! pooh! Random doesn't mind a joke. You, Hope, have
no sense of humor. Your name is Scotch also. I believe you are
"I am nothing of the sort. I was born on this side of the
"You might have been born at the North Pole for all I care," said
the little man politely. "I don't like artists: they are usually
silly. I wish Lucy had married a man of science. Now don't talk
rubbish. I know what you are going to say."
"Well," said Archie, humoring him, "what am I going to say?"
This non-plussed the irritable savant.
"Hum! Hum! hum! I don't know and don't care. Pouf! How hot
this room is! What a number of books of travel Random has!"
Braddock was now at the bookcase, which consisted of shelves
swung by cords against the wall.
"Random travels a great deal," Archie reminded him.
"Quite so: quite so. Wastes his money on that silly yacht. But
he hasn't traveled in South America. I expect he's going there.
Come here, Hope, and see the many, many books about Peru and
Chili and Brazil. There must be a dozen, and all library books
Archie sauntered towards the shelves.
"I expect Random is getting up the subject of South America, so
as to talk to Donna Inez."
"Probably! probably!" snapped Braddock, pulling several of the
books out of place. "Why, there isn't a - Ah, dear me! What a
He might well say so, for in his desire to examine the books,
they all tipped off the shelves and lay in a disorderly heap on
the floor. Hope began to pick them up and replace them, and so
did the author of the mischief. Among the books were several
papers scribbled with notes, and Braddock bundled these all in a
heap.. Shortly, he caught sight of the writing on one.
"Hullo! Latin," said he, and read a line or two. "Oh!" he
gasped, "Hope! Hope! The manuscript of Don Pedro!"
Archie rose and stared at the discolored paper.
"Sorry to have kept you," said Random, entering at this moment.
"You villain!" shouted Braddock furiously, "so you are guilty
Random was so taken aback by the fierce accusation of the
Professor that he stood suddenly still at the door, and did not
advance into the room. Yet he did not look so much afraid as
puzzled. Whatever Braddock might have thought, Hope, from the
expression on the young soldier's face, was more than ever
satisfied of his innocence.
"What are you talking about, Professor?" asked Random, genuinely
"You know well enough," retorted the Professor.
"Upon my word I don't," said the other, walking into the room and
unbuckling his sword. "I find you here, with the contents of my
bookcase on the floor, and you promptly accuse me of being
guilty. Of what, I should like to know? Perhaps you can tell me
"There is no need for Hope to tell you, sir. You are perfectly
well aware of your own villainy."
"I allow a certain amount of latitude to my guests, Professor,"
he said with marked dignity, "but for a man of your age and
position you go too far. Be more explicit."
"Allow me to speak," intervened Archie, anticipating Braddock.
"Random, the Professor has just had a visit from Captain Hiram
Hervey, who was the skipper of The Diver. He accuses you of
having murdered Bolton "
"What?" the baronet started back, looking thunderstruck.
"Wait a moment. I have not finished yet. Hervey accuses you of
this murder, of stealing the mummy, of gaining possession of the
emeralds, and of placing the rifled corpse in Mrs. Jasher's
garden, so that she might be accused of committing the crime."
"Exactly," cried Braddock, seeing that his host remained silent
from sheer surprise. "Hope has stated the case very clearly.
Now, sir, your defense?"
"Defense! defense!" Random found his tongue at last and spoke
indignantly. "I have no defense to make."
"Ah! Then you acknowledge your guilt?"
"I acknowledge nothing. The accusation is too preposterous for
any denial to be necessary. Do you believe this of me?" He
looked from one to the other.
"I don't," said Archie quickly, "there is some mistake."
"Thank you, Hope. And you, Professor?"
Braddock fidgeted about the room.
"I don't know what to think," he said at length. "Hervey spoke
"Oh, indeed," returned Random dryly, and, walking to the door, he
locked it. "In that case, I must ask you for an explanation, and
neither of you shall leave this room until one is given. Your
"Here is one of them," snapped Braddock, throwing the manuscript
on the table. "Where did you get this?"
Random took up the discolored paper with a bewildered air.
"I never set eyes on this before," he said, much puzzled. "What
"A copy of the manuscript mentioned by Don Pedro, which describes
the two emeralds buried with the mummy of Inca Caxas"
"I see." Random understood all in a moment. "So you say that I
knew of the emeralds from this, and so murdered Bolton to obtain
"Pardon me," said Braddock with elaborate politeness. "Hervey
says that you murdered my poor assistant, and although my
discovery of this manuscript proves that you must have known
about the jewels, I say nothing. I wait to hear your defense."
"That's very good of you," remarked Sir Frank ironically. "So it
seems that I am in the dock. Perhaps the counsel for the
prosecution will state the evidence against me," and he looked
again from one to the other.
Archie shook the baronet by the hand very warmly.
"My dear fellow," he declared decidedly, "I don't believe one
word of the evidence."
"In that case there must be a flaw in it," retorted Random, but
did not seem to be unmoved by Hope's generous action. "Sit down,
Professor; it appears that you are against me."
"Until I hear your defense," said the old man obstinately.
"I cannot make any until I hear your evidence. Go on. I am
waiting," and Sir Frank flung himself into a chair, where he sat
calmly, his eyes steadily fixed on the Professor's face.
"Where did you get that manuscript?" asked Braddock sharply.
"I got it nowhere: this is the first time I have seen it."
"Yet it was hidden amongst your books."
"Then I can't say how it got there. Were you looking for it,?"
"No! Certainly not. To pass the time while waiting, I examined
your library, and in pulling out a book, your case, being a swing
one, over-balanced and shot its contents on to the floor.
Amongst the papers which fell with the books, I caught a glimpse
of the manuscript, and, noting that it was written in Latin, I
picked it up, surprised to think that a frivolous young man, such
as you are, should study a dead language. A few words showed me
that the manuscript was a copy of the one referred to by Don
"One moment," said Archie, who had been thinking. "Perhaps this
is the original manuscript, which De Gayangos has given to you,
"It is good of you to afford me a loophole of escape," said Sir
Frank, leaning back with folded arms, "but De Gayangos gave me
nothing. I saw the manuscript in his hands, when he showed it to
us all at Mrs. Jasher's. But whether this is the original or a
copy I can't say. Don Pedro certainly did not give it to me."
"Has Don Pedro been in your quarters?" asked Hope thoughtfully.
"No. He has only visited me in the mess. And even if Don Pedro
did come in here - for I guess what is in your mind - I really do
not see why he should slip a manuscript which he values highly
amongst my books."
"Then you really never saw this before?" said Braddock,
indicating the paper on the table, and impressed by Random's
"How often do you want me to deny it?" retorted the young man
impatiently. "Perhaps you will state on what grounds I am
Braddock nodded and cleared his throat.
"Captain Hervey declared that your yacht arrived at Pierside
almost at the same time as his steamer."
"Quite right. When Don Pedro received a wire from Malta stating
that the mummy had been sold to you, and that it was being
shipped to London on The Diver, I got up steam at once, and
chased the tramp to that port. As the tramp was slow, and my
boat was fast, I arrived on the same day and almost at the same
hour, even though Hervey's boat had the start of mine."
"Why were you anxious to follow The Diver?" asked Hope.
"Don Pedro wished to get back the mummy, and asked me to follow.
As I was in love with Donna Inez, and still am, I was only too
willing to oblige him."
Braddock nodded again.
"Hervey says that you went on board The Diver, and had an
interview with Bolton."
"That is perfectly true, and my visit was paid for the same
reason as I followed the steamer to London - that is, I acted on
behalf of Don Pedro. I wished to ascertain for certain that the
mummy was on board, and having done so from Bolton, I urged him
to induce you to give back the same, free of charge, to De
Gayangos, from whom it had been stolen. He refused, as he
declared that he intended to deliver it to you."
"I knew I could always trust Bolton," said the Professor
enthusiastically. "It would have been better for you to have
come to me, Random."
"I daresay; but I wished, as I told you, to make certain that the
mummy was on board. That was the real reason for my visit; but,
being in Bolton's company, I naturally told him that Don Pedro
claimed the mummy as his property, and warned him that if you or
he kept the same, that there would be trouble."
"Did you use threats?" asked Hope, remembering what he had
"No; certainly not."
"Yes, you did," cried Braddock quickly. "Hervey declares that
you told Bolton that he would repent of keeping the mummy, and
that his life would not be safe while he held it."
To the surprise of both visitors, Random admitted using these
serious threats without a moment's hesitation.
"Don Pedro told me that many Indians, both in Lima and Cuzco, who
look upon him as the lawful descendant of the last Inca, are
anxiously expecting the return of the royal mummy. He also
stated that when the Indians knew who held the mummy they would
send one of themselves to get it back, if he - Don Pedro, that is
- did not fetch it. To get back the mummy Don Pedro declared
that these Indians would not stop short of murder. Hence my
warning to Bolton."
"Oh!" Archie jumped up with widely opened eyes. "Then perhaps
this solves the problem. Bolton was murdered by some Peruvian
Random shook his head gravely.
"Again you offer me a loophole of escape, my dear fellow," he
said sententiously, "but that theory will not hold water. At
present the Indians in Lima and Cuzco do not know that the mummy
has been found. Don Pedro only chanced upon the paper which
announced the sale by accident and had no time to communicate
with his barbaric friends in South America. Failing to get the
mummy from you, Professor, he would have returned to Peru and
then would have told who possessed the corpse of Inca Caxas,
leaving the Indians to deal with the matter. In that case my
warning to Bolton would be necessary. But at the time I told
him, it was not necessary. However, Bolton remained true to you,
Professor, and declined to surrender the mummy. I therefore
wired to Don Pedro at Genoa that the mummy was on board. The
Diver and was being sent to Gartley. I also advised him to come
to me here in order to be introduced to you. The rest you know."
There was a moment's silence. Then Archie, to test if Random was
willing to admit everything - as an innocent man certainly
"Did you see Bolton again after your interview on board ship?"
It was then that the baronet proved his good faith.
"Oh, yes," he said easily and without hesitation. "I was walking
about Pierside later, and, passing along that waterside alley
near the Sailor's Rest, I saw a window on the ground floor open,
and Bolton looking out across the river. I stopped and asked him
when he proposed to take the mummy to Gartley, and if it was on
shore. He admitted that it was in the hotel, but declined to say
when he would send it on to you, Professor. When he closed the
window, I afterwards went into the hotel and had a drink in order
to ask casually when Mr. Bolton intended to leave. I gathered -
not directly, of course, but in a roundabout way - that he had
arranged to go next morning and to send on his luggage. Then I
left and went to London. In the course of time I returned here
and learned of the murder and the disappearance of the corpse of
Inca Caxas. And now," Random stood up, "having admitted all
this, perhaps you will believe me to be innocent."
"You have no idea who murdered Bolton and placed his body in the
packing case?" asked Braddock, manifestly disappointed.
"'No. No more than I have any idea of the person who placed the
mummy case and its contents in Mrs. Jasher's garden."
"Oh, you know that!" said Archie quickly.
"Yes. The news was all over the village this morning. I could
hardly help knowing it. And I believe that the mummy has been
taken to your house, Professor."
"It has," admitted Braddock dryly. "I took it myself from Mrs.
Jasher's arbor in a hand-cart, with the assistance of Cockatoo.
But when I made an examination this morning in the presence of
Hope and Don Pedro, I found that the swathings of the body had
been ripped up, and that the emeralds mentioned in that
manuscript had been stolen."
"Strange!" said Random with a frown; "and by whom?"
"No doubt by the assassin of Sidney Bolton."
"Probably." Random kicked a mat straight with his foot. "At any
rate the theft of the emeralds shows that it was not any Indian
who killed Bolton. None of them would rifle so sacred a corpse."
"Besides which - as you say - the Indians in Peru do not know
that the mummy has reappeared after thirty years' seclusion,"
chimed in Hope, rising. "Well, and what is to be done now?"
For answer Sir Frank picked up the manuscript which still
remained on the table.
"I shall see Don Pedro about this," he said quietly, "and
ascertain if it is the original or a copy."
Braddock rose slowly and stared at the paper.
"Do you know Latin?" he asked.
"No," rejoined Random, knowing what the savant meant. "I learned
it, of course, but I have forgotten much. I might translate a
word or two, but certainly not the hedge-priest Latin in which
this is written." He looked carefully at the manuscript as he
"But who could have placed it in your room?" questioned Archie.
"We cannot learn that until we see Don Pedro. If this is the
original manuscript which we saw the other night, we may learn
how it passed from the possession of De Gayangos to my bookcase.
If it is a copy, then we must learn, if possible, who owned it."
"Don Pedro said that a transcript or a translation had been
made," mentioned Hope.
"Evidently a transcript," said Braddock, glaring at the paper in
Random's hand. "But how could that find its way from Lima to
"It might have been packed up with the mummy," suggested Archie.
"No," contradicted Random decisively, "in that event, the man in
Malta from whom the mummy was bought would have discovered the
emeralds, and would have taken them."
"Perhaps he did. We have nothing to show that Bolton's assassin
committed the crime for the sake of the jewels."
"He must have done so," cried the Professor, irritably, "else
there is no motive for the commission of the crime. But I think
myself that we must start at the other end to find a clue. When
we discover who placed the mummy in Mrs. Jasher's garden - "
"That will not be easy," murmured Hope thoughtfully, "though, of
course, the same must have been brought by river. Let us go down
to the embankment and see if there are any signs of a boat having
been brought there last night," and he moved to the door.
"I cannot leave the Fort, as I am on duty," replied the officer,
putting the manuscript away in a drawer and locking the same,
"but this evening I shall see Don Pedro, and in the meanwhile I
shall endeavor to learn from my servant who visited me lately
while I was absent. The manuscript must have been brought here
by someone. But I trust," he added as he escorted his two
visitors to the door, "that you now acquit me of - "
"Yes! yes! yes!" cried Braddock, hastily cutting him short and
shaking his hand. "I apologize for my suspicions. Now I
maintain that you are innocent."
"And I never believed you to be guilty," cried Hope heartily.
"Thank you both," said Random simply, and, having closed the
door, he returned to a chair near the fire to smoke a pipe, and
meditate over his future movements. "An enemy hath done this,"
said Random, referring to the concealment of the manuscript, but
he could think of no one who desired to harm him in any way.
Lucy and Mrs. Jasher were having a confidential conversation in
the small pink drawing-room. True to her promise, Miss Kendal
had come to readjust matters between the fiery little Professor
and the widow. But it was not an easy task, as Mrs. Jasher was
righteously indignant at the rash words used to her.
"As if I knew anything about the matter," she repeated again and
again in angry tones. "Why, my dear, he as good as told me I had
murdered - "
Lucy did not let her finish.
"There! there!" she said, speaking as she would have done to a
fretful child, "you know what my father is."
"It seems to me that I am just beginning to learn," said the
widow bitterly, "and knowing how ready he is to believe ill of
me, I think it is better we should part for ever."
"But you'll never be Lady Braddock."
"Even if I married him, I am not sure that I should be, since I
learn that his brother is singularly healthy and comes of a long-
lived family. And it will not be pleasant to live with your
father when he has such a temper."
"That was only because he was excited. Think of your salon, and
of the position you wish to hold in, London."
"Ah, well," said Mrs. Jasher, visibly softening, "there is
something to be said there. After all, one can never find a man
who is perfection. And a very amiable man is usually a fool.
One can't expect a rose to be without thorns. But really, my
dear," she surveyed Lucy with mild surprise, "you appear to be
very anxious that I should marry your father."
"I want to see my father made comfortable before I marry Archie,"
said the girl with a blush. "Of course my father is quite a
child in household affairs and needs everything done for him.
Archie - I am glad to say - is now in a position to marry me in
the spring. I want you to, be married about the same time, and
then you can live in Gartley, and - "
"No, my dear," said Mrs. Jasher firmly, "if I marry your father,
he wishes us to go at once to Egypt in search of this tomb."
"I know that he wants you to help with the money left to you by
your late brother. But surely you will not go up the Nile
"No, certainly not," said the widow promptly. "I shall remain in
Cairo while the Professor goes on his excursion into Ethiopia. I
know that Cairo is a very charming place, and that I shall be
able to enjoy myself there."
"Then you have decided to forgive my father for his rash words?"
"I must," sighed Mrs. Jasher. "I am so tired of being an
unprotected widow without a recognized position in the world.
Even with my brother's money, - not that it is so very much - I
shall still be looked upon askance if I go into society. But as
Mrs. Braddock, or Lady Braddock, no one will dare to say a word
against me. Yes, my dear, if your father comes and, asks my
pardon he shall have it. We women are so weak," ended the widow
virtuously, as if she was not making a virtue of necessity.
Things being thus settled, the two talked on amiably for some
time, and discussed the chances of Random marrying Donna Inez.
Both acknowledged that the Peruvian lady was handsome enough, but
had not a word to say for herself.
While thus chattering, Professor Braddock trotted into the room,
looking brisk and bright from his stroll in the cold frosty air.
Gifted as he was with scientific assurance, the little man was
not at all taken aback by the cold reception of Mrs. Jasher, but
rubbed his hands cheerfully.
"Ah, there you are, Selina," said he, looking like a bright-eyed
robin. "I hope you are feeling well."
"How can you expect me to feel well after what you said?"
remarked Mrs. Jasher reproachfully, and anxious to make a virtue
"Oh, I beg pardon: I beg pardon. Surely, Selina, you are not
going to make a fuss over a trifle like that?"
"I did not give you permission to call me Selina."
"Quite so. But as we are to be married, I may as well get used
to your Christian name, my dear."
"I am not so sure that we will be married," said Mrs. Jasher
"Oh, but we must," cried Braddock in dismay. "I am depending
upon your money to finance my expedition to Queen Tahoser's
"I see," observed the widow coldly, while Lucy sat quietly by and
allowed the elder woman to conduct the campaign, "you want me for
my money. There is no love in the question."
"My dear, as soon as I have the time - say during our voyage to
Cairo, whence we start inland up the Nile for Ethiopia - I shall
make love whenever you like. And, confound it, Selina, I admire
you no end - to use a slang phrase. You are a fine woman and a
sensible woman, and I am afraid that you are throwing yourself
away on a snuffy old man like myself."
"Oh no! no! Pray do not say that," cried Mrs. Jasher, visibly
moved by this flattery. "You will make a very good husband if
you will only strive to govern your temper."
"Temper! temper! Bless the woman - I mean you, Selina - I have
the very best temper in the world. However, you shall govern it
and myself also if you like. Come," he took her hand, "let us
be friends and fix the wedding day."
Mrs. Jasher did not withdraw her hand.
"Then you do not believe that I have anything to do with this
terrible murder?" she asked playfully.
"No! no! I was heated last night. I spoke rashly and hastily.
Forgive and forget, Selina. You are innocent - quite innocent,
in spite of the mummy being in your confounded garden. After
all, the evidence is stronger against Random than against you.
Perhaps he put it there: it's on his way to the Fort, you see.
Never mind. He has exonerated himself, and no doubt, when
confronted with Hervey, will be able to silence that blackguard.
And I am quite sure that Hervey is a blackguard," ended Braddock,
rubbing his bald head.
The two ladies looked at one another in amazement, not knowing
what to say. They were ignorant of the theft of the emeralds and
of the accusation of Sir Frank by the Yankee skipper. But, with
his usual absentmindedness, Braddock had forgotten all about
that, and sat in his chair rubbing his head quite pink and
rattling on cheerfully.
"I went down with Hope to the embankment," he continued, "but
neither of us could see any sign of a boat. There's the rude,
short jetty, of course, and if a boat came, a boat could go away
without leaving any trace. Perhaps that is so. However, we must
wait until we see Don Pedro and Hervey again, and then - "
Lucy broke in desperately.
"What are you talking about, father? Why do you bring in Sir
Frank's name in that way?"
"What do you expect me to say?" retorted the little man. "After
all, the manuscript was found in his room, and the emeralds are
gone. I saw that for myself, as did Hope and Don Pedro, in whose
presence I opened the mummy case."
Mrs. Jasher rose in her astonishment.
"Are the emeralds gone?" she gasped.
"Yes! yes! yes!" cried Braddock irritably. "Am I not telling you
so? I almost believe in Hervey's accusation of Random, and yet
the boy exonerated himself very forcibly - very forcibly indeed."
"Will you explain all that has happened, father?" said Lucy, who
was becoming more and more perplexed by this rambling chatter.
"We are quite in the dark."
"So am I: so is Hope: so is every one," chuckled Braddock. "Ah,
yes: of course, you were not present when these events took
"What events? - what events?" demanded Mrs. Jasher, now quite
"I am about to tell you," snapped her future husband, and related
all that had taken place since the arrival of Captain Hervey in
the museum at the Pyramids. The women listened with interest and
with growing astonishment, only interrupting the narrator with a
simultaneous exclamation of indignation when they heard that Sir
Frank was accused.
"It is utterly and wholly absurd," cried Lucy angrily. "Sir
Frank is the soul of honor."
"So I think, my dear," chimed in Mrs. Jasher. "And what does he
say to - ?"
"I am about to tell you, if you will stop talking," he cried
crossly. "That is so like a woman. She asks for an explanation
and then prevents the man from giving it. Random offers a very
good defense, I am bound to say," and he detailed what Sir Frank
When the history was finished, Lucy rose to go.
"I shall see Archie at once," she said, moving hastily, towards
"What for?" demanded her father benignly.
"This thing can't go on," she declared resolutely. "Mrs. Jasher
was accused by you, father - "
"Only in a heated moment," cried the Professor, excusing himself.
"Never mind, she was accused," retorted Lucy stubbornly, "and
now this sailor accuses Sir Frank. Who knows who will be charged
next with committing the crime? I shall ask Archie to take the
matter up, and hunt down the real criminal. Until the guilty
person is found, I foresee that we shall never have a moment's
"I quite agree with you," said Mrs. Jasher earnestly. "For my
own sake I wish the matter of this mystery to be cleared up. Why
don't you help me?" she added, turning to Braddock, who listened
"I am helping," said Braddock quietly. "I intend to set Cockatoo
on the trail at once. He shall take up his abode in the Sailor's
Rest on some pretext, and no doubt will be able to find a clue."
"What?" cried the widow incredulously, "a savage like that?"
"Cockatoo is much cleverer than the average white man," said
Braddock dryly, "especially in following a trail. He, if any
one, will learn the truth. I would much rather trust the Kanaka
than young Hope."
"Nonsense!" cried Lucy, standing up for her lover. "Archie is
the one to discover the assassin. I'll see him at once. And
"I, my dear," said the Professor calmly, "shall remain here and
make my peace with the future Mrs. Braddock."
"You have made it already," said the widow graciously, and
extended her hand, which the Professor kissed unexpectedly, and
then sat back in his chair, looking quite abashed at his outburst
Seeing that everything was going well, Lucy left the elderly
couple to continue their courting, and hurried to Archie's
lodgings in the village. However, he happened to be out, and his
landlady did not know when he would return. Rather annoyed by
this, since she greatly desired to unbosom herself, Miss Kendal
walked disconsolately towards the Pyramids. On the way she was
stopped by Widow Anne, looking more dismal and funereal than
ever, and garrulous with copious draughts of gin. Not that she
was intoxicated, but her tongue was loose, and she wept freely
for no apparent reason. According to herself, she had stopped
Lucy to demand back from Mr. Hope through the girl certain
articles of attire which had been borrowed for artistic purposes.
These, consisting of a shawl and a skirt and a bodice, were of
extraordinary value, and Mrs. Bolton wanted them back or their
equivalent in value. She mentioned that she would prefer the sum
of five pounds.
"Why do you not ask Mr. Hope yourself?" said Lucy who was too
impatient to bear with the old creature's maunderings. "If you
gave him the things he will no doubt return them."
"If they aren't spiled with paint," wailed Widow Anne. "He told
my Sid as he wanted them for a model to wear while being painted.
Sid asked me, and I gave 'em to Sid, and Sid, he passed 'em along
to your good gentleman. There was a skirt, as good as new, and a
body of the dress trimmest beautiful, and a tartan shawl as I got
from my mother. But no," the old woman corrected herself, "it
was a dark shawl with red spots and - "
"Ask Mr. Hope, ask Mr. Hope," cried Miss Kendal impatiently. "I
know nothing about the things," and she tore her dress from Widow
Anne's detaining hand to hurry home. Mrs. Bolton wailed aloud at
this desertion, and took her way to Hope's lodgings, where she
declared her determination to remain until the artist restored
Lucy for the moment thought little of this interview; but on
reflection she thought it strange that Archie should borrow
clothes from Mrs. Bolton through Sidney. Not that there was
anything strange in Archie's procuring such garments, since he
may have wanted them to clothe a model with. But he could easily
have got such things from his landlady, or, if from Widow Anne,
could have borrowed them direct without appealing to Sidney.
Why, then, had the dead man acted as an intermediate party? This
question was hard to answer, yet Lucy greatly wished for a reply,
since she suddenly remembered how a woman in a dark dress and
with a dark shawl over her head had been seen by Eliza Flight,
the housemaid of the Sailor's Rest, talking to Bolton through the
window. Were the garments borrowed as a disguise, and did the
person who had borrowed them desire that it should be supposed
that Widow Anne was talking to her son? There was a chill hand
clutching Lucy's heart as she went home, for the words of Mrs.
Bolton seemed indirectly to implicate Hope in the mystery. She
determined to ask him about the matter straight out, when he came
in that night to pay his usual visit.
At dinner the Professor was in excellent spirits, and actually
became so human as to compliment Lucy on her housekeeping. He
also mentioned that he hoped Mrs. Jasher would cater as
excellently. Over coffee he informed his step-daughter that he
had entirely won the widow's heart by abasing himself at her feet
and withdrawing the accusation. They had arranged to be married
in May, one or two weeks after Lucy became Mrs. Hope. In the
autumn they would start for Egypt, and would remain abroad for a
year or more.
"In fact," said the Professor, setting down his cup and preparing
to take his departure, "everything is now settled excellently.
I marry Mrs. Jasher: you, my dear, marry Hope, and - "
"And Sir Frank marries Donna Inez," finished Lucy quickly.
"That," said Braddock stiffly, "entirely depends upon what De
Gayangos says to this accusation of Hervey's."
"Sir Frank is innocent."
"I hope so, and I believe so. But he will have to prove his
innocence. I shall do my best, and I have sent round to Don
Pedro to come here. We can then talk it over."
"Can Archie and I come in also?" asked Miss Kendal anxiously.
Somewhat to her surprise, the Professor yielded a ready assent.
"By all means, my dear. The more witnesses we have, the better
it will be. We must do all in our powers to bring this matter to
a successful issue."
So things were arranged, and when Archie came up to the
drawing-room, Lucy informed him that Braddock was in the museum
with Don Pedro, telling all that had happened. Hope was glad to
hear that Lucy had secured the Professor's consent that they
should be present, for the mystery of Bolton's terrible death was
piquing him, and he dearly desired to learn the truth. As a
matter of fact, although he was unaware of it, he was suffering
from an attack of detective fever, and wished to solve the
mystery. He therefore went gladly into the museum with his
sweetheart. Oddly enough - as Lucy recollected when it was too
late to speak - she quite forgot to relate what Widow Anne had
said about the borrowed clothes.
Don Pedro, looking more stiff and dignified than ever, was in the
museum with Braddock. The two men were seated in comfortable
chairs, and Cockatoo, some distance away, was polishing with a
cloth the green mummy case of the fatal object which had brought
about all the trouble. Lucy had half expected to see Donna Inez,
but De Gayangos explained that he had left her writing letters to
Lima in the Warrior Inn. When Miss Kendal and Hope were seated,
the Peruvian expressed himself much surprised at the charge which
had been brought against Sir Frank.
"If I can speak of such things in the presence of a lady," he
remarked, bowing his head to Lucy.
"Oh yes," she answered eagerly. "I have heard all about the
charge. And I am glad that you are here, Don Pedro, for I wish
to say that I do not believe there is a word of truth in the
"Nor do I," asserted the Peruvian decisively.
"I agree - I agree," cried Braddock, beaming. "And you, Hope?"
"T never believed it, even before I heard Random's defense," said
Archie with a dry smile. "Did you not see Captain Hervey
yourself, sir?" he added, turning to Don Pedro; "he started for
Pierside to look you up."
"I have not seen him," said De Gayangos in his stately way, "and
I am very sorry, as I desire to examine him about the accusation
he had dared to bring against my very good friend, Sir Frank
Random. I wish he were here at this very minute, so that I could
tell him what I think of the charge."
Just as Don Pedro spoke the unexpected happened, as though some
genie had obeyed his commands. As though transported into the
room by magic, the American skipper appeared, not through the
floor, but by the door. A female domestic admitted him and
announced his name, then fled to avoid the anger of her master,
seeing she had violated the sacred precincts of the museum.
Captain Hervey, amused by the surprise visible on every face,
sauntered forward, hat on head and cheroot in mouth as usual.
But when he saw Lucy he removed both with a politeness scarcely
to be expected from so rude and ready and rough a mariner.
"I beg pardon for coming here uninvited," said Hervey awkwardly,
"but I've been chasing the Don all over Pierside and through this
village. They told me at the police office that you" - he spoke
to De Gayangos "had doubled on your trail, so here I am for a
little private conversation."
The Peruvian looked gravely at Hervey's face, which was clearly
revealed in the powerful light of the many lamps with which the
museum was filled, and rose to bow.
"I am glad to see you, sir," he said politely, and with a still
more searching glance. "With the permission of our host I shall
ask you to take a chair," and he turned to Braddock.
"Certainly! certainly!" said the Professor fussily. "Cockatoo?"
"Pardon, allow me," said De Gayangos, and brought forward a
chair, still keeping his eyes on the skipper, who was rather
confused by the courtesy. "Will you be seated, senor: then we
Hervey sat down quietly close to the Peruvian; who then leaned
forward to address him.
"You will have a cigarette?" he asked, offering a silver case.
"Thanks, no. I'll smoke a cheroot if the lady don't mind."
"Not at all," replied Lucy, who, along with Archie and the
Professor, was puzzled by Don Pedro's manner. "Please smoke!"
In taking back the case Don Pedro allowed it to drop. As he made
no motion of picking it up, Hervey, although annoyed with himself
for his politeness towards a yellow-stomach, as he called De
Gayangos, was compelled to stretch for it. As he handed it back
to Don Pedro, the Peruvian's eyes lighted up and he nodded
"Thank you, Vasa," said De Gayangos, and Hervey, changing color,
leaped from his seat as though touched by a spear-point.
NEARER THE TRUTH
For a few moments there was silence. Lucy and Archie sat still,
as they were too much surprised by Don Pedro's recognition of
Captain Hervey as the Swedish sailor Vasa to move or speak. But
the Professor did not seem to be greatly astonished, and the sole
sound which broke the stillness was his sardonic chuckle.
Perhaps the little man had progressed beyond the point of being
surprised at anything, or, like, Moliere's hero, was only
surprised at finding virtue in unexpected places.
As for the Peruvian and the skipper, they were both on their
feet, eyeing one another like two fighting dogs. Hervey was the
first to find his very useful tongue.
"I guess you've got the bulge on me," said he, trying to outstare
the Peruvian, for which nationality, from long voyaging on the
South American coast, he entertained the most profound contempt.
But in De Gayangos he found a foeman worthy of his steel.
"I think not," said Don Pedro quietly, and facing the
pseudo-American bravely. "I never forget faces, and yours is a
noticeable one. When you first spoke I fancied that I remembered
your voice. All that business with the chair was to get close to
you, so that I could see the scar on your right temple. It is
still there, I notice. Also, I dropped my cigarette case and
forced you to pick it up, so that, when you stretched your arm, I
might see what mark was on your left wrist. It is a serpent
encircling the sun, which Lola Farjados induced you to have
tattooed when you were in Lima thirty years ago. Your eyes are
blue and full of light, and as you were twenty when I knew you,
the lapse of years has made you fifty - your present age."
"Shucks!" said Hervey coolly, and sat down to smoke.
Don Pedro turned to Archie and Braddock.
"Mr. Hope! Professor!" he remarked, "if you remember the
description I gave of Gustav Vasa, I appeal to you to see if it
does not exactly fit this man?"
"It does," said Archie unhesitatingly, "although I cannot see
the tattooed left wrist to which you refer."
Hervey, still smoking, made no offer to show the symbol, but
Braddock unexpectedly came to the assistance of Don Pedro.
"The man is Vasa right enough," he remarked abruptly. "Whether
he is Swedish or American I cannot say. But he is the same man I
met when I was in Lima thirty years ago, after the war."
Hervey slowly turned his blue eyes on the scientist with a
twinkle in their depths.
"So you recognized me?" he observed, with his Yankee drawl.
"I recognized you at the moment I hired you to take The Diver to
Malta to bring back that mummy," retorted Braddock, "but it
didn't suit my book to let on. Didn't you recognize me?"
"Wal, no," said Hervey, his drawl more pronounced than ever. "I
haven't got the memory for faces that you and the Don here seem
to posses. Huh!" He wheeled his chair and faced Braddock
squarely. "I'd have thought you wiser not to back up the Don,
Braddock's little eyes sparkled.
"I am not afraid of you," said he with great contempt. "I never
did anything for which you could get money out of me for, Captain
Hervey or Gustav Vasa, or whatever your name might be."
"You were always a mighty spry man," assented the skipper coolly,
"but spry men, I take it, make mistakes from being too almighty
Braddock shrugged his shoulders, and Don Pedro intervened.
"This is all beside the point," he remarked angrily. "Captain
Hervey, do you deny that you are Gustav Vasa in the face of this
Hervey drew up the left sleeve of his reefer jacket, and showed
on his bared wrist the symbol of the sun and the encircling
"Is that enough?" he drawled, "or do you want to look at this?"
and he turned his head to reveal his scarred right temple.
"Then you admit that you are Vasa?"
"Wal," drawled the captain again, "that's one of my names, I
guess, though I haven't used it since I traded that blamed mummy
in Paris, thirty years ago. There's nothing like owning up."
"Are you not Swedish?" asked Lucy timidly.
"I am a citizen of the world, I guess," replied Hervey with great
politeness for him, "and America suits me for headquarters as
well as any other nation. I might be Swedish or Danish or a Dago
for choice. Vasa may be my name, or Hervey, or anything you
like. But I guess I'm a man all through."
"And a thief!" cried Don Pedro, who had resumed his seat, but
seas keeping quiet with difficulty.
"Not of those emeralds," rejoined the skipper coolly: "Lord, to
think of the chance I missed! Thirty years ago I could have
looted them, and again the other day. But I never knew - I never
knew," cried Hervey regretfully, with his vividly blue eyes on
the mummy. "I could jes' kick myself, gentlemen, when I think of
"Then you didn't steal the manuscript along with the emeralds?"
"Wal, I did," cried Hervey, turning to Archie, who had spoken,
"but it was in a furren lingo, to which I didn't catch on. If
I'd known I'd have learned about those blamed emeralds."
"What did you do with the copy of the manuscript you stole?"
asked Don Pedro sharply. "I know there, was a copy, as my father
told me so. I have the original myself, but the transcript - and
not a translation, as I fancied - appeared in Sir Frank Random's
room to-day, hidden behind some books."
Hervey made no move, but smoked steadily, with his eyes on the
carpet. However, Archie, who was observing keenly, saw that he
was more startled than he would admit. The explanation had taken
him by surprise.
"Explain!" cried the Peruvian sharply.
Hervey looked up and fixed a pair of very evil eyes on the Don.
"See here," he remarked, "if the lady wasn't present, I'd show
you that I take no orders from any yellow - that is, from any
"Lucy, my dear, leave us," said Braddock, rising, much excited;
"we must have this matter sifted to the bottom, and if Hervey can
explain better in your absence, I think you should go."
Although Miss Kendal was very anxious to hear all that was to be
heard, she saw the advisability of taking this advice, especially
as Hope gave her arm a meaning nudge.
"I'll go," she said meekly, and was escorted by her lover to the
door. There she paused. "Tell me all that takes place," she
whispered, and when Archie nodded, she vanished promptly. The
young man closed the door. and returned to his seat in time to
hear Don Pedro reiterate his request for an explanation.
"And 'spose I can't oblige," said the skipper, now more at his
ease since the lady was out of the room.
"Then I shall have you arrested," was the quick reply.
"For the theft of my mummy."
Hervey laughed raucously.
"I guess the law can't worry me about that after thirty years,
and in a low-down country like Peru. Your Government has shifted
fifty times since I looted the corpse."
This was quite true, and there was absolutely no chance of the
skipper being brought to book. Don Pedro looked rather
disconsolate, and his gaze dropped under the glare of Hervey's
eyes, which seemed unfair, seeing that the Don was as good as the
captain was evil.
"You can't expect me to condone the theft," he muttered.
"I reckon I don't expect anything," retorted Hervey coolly "I
looted the corpse, I don't deny, and - "
"After my father had treated you like a son," said Don Pedro
bitterly. "You were homeless and friendless, and my father took
you in, only to find that you robbed him of his most precious
The skipper had the grace to blush, and shifted uneasily in his
"You can't say truer than that," he grumbled, averting his eyes.
"I guess I'm a bad lot all through. But a friend of mine wanted
the corpse, and offered me a heap of dollars to see the business
"Do you mean to say that some one asked you to steal it?"
"No," put in Braddock unexpectedly, "for I was the friend."
"You!" Don Pedro swung round in great astonishment, but the
Professor faced him with all the consciousness of innocence.
"Yes," he remarked quietly, "as I told you, I was in Peru thirty
years ago. I was then hunting for specimens of Inca mummies.
Vasa - this man now called Hervey - told me that he could obtain
a splendid specimen of a mummy, and I arranged to give him one
hundred pounds to procure what I wanted. But I swear to you, De
Gayangos," continued the little man earnestly, "that I did not
know he proposed to steal the mummy from you."
"You knew it was the green mummy?" asked Don Pedro sharply.
"No, I only knew that it was a mummy."
"Did Vasa get it for you?"
"I guess not," said the gentleman who confessed to that name.
"The Professor went to Cuzco and got into trouble - "
"I was carried off to the mountains by some Indians,"
interpolated the Professor, "and only escaped after a year's
captivity. I did not mind that, as it gave me the opportunity of
studying a decaying civilization. But when I returned a free man
to Lima, I found that Vasa had left the country with the mummy."
"That's so," assented Hervey, waving his hand. "I got a berth as
second mate on a wind-jammer sailing to Europe, and as the
country wasn't healthy for me since I'd looted the green mummy, I
took it abroad and yanked it to Paris, where I sold it for a
couple of hundred pounds. With that, I changed my name and had a
high old time. I never heard of the blamed thing again until the
Professor here turned up with Mr. Bolton at Pierside, asking me
to bring it in The Diver from Malta. It was what you'd call a
coincidence, I reckon," added Hervey lazily; "but I did cry
small when I heard the Professor here had paid nine hundred for a
thing I'd let slip for two hundred. Had I known of those
infernal emeralds, I'd have ripped open the case on board and
would have recouped myself. But I knew nothing, and Bolton never
"How could he," asked Braddock quietly, "when he did not know
that any jewels were buried with the dead? I did not know
either. And I have explained why I wanted the mummy. But it
never struck me until I hear what you say now, that this mummy,"
he nodded towards the green case, "was the one which you had
stolen at Lima from De Gayangos. But you must do me the justice,
Captain Hervey, to tell Don Pedro that I never countenanced the
"No! you were square enough, I guess. The sin is on my own
blessed shoulders, and I don't ask it to be shifted."
"What did you do with the copy of the manuscript?" asked Don
"I can't think," he mused. "I found a screed of Latin along with
the mummy, when I looted it from your Lima house, but it dropped
out of my mind as to what became of it. Maybe I passed it along
to the Paris man, and he sold it along with the corpse to the
"But I tell you this copy was found in Sir Frank's room,"
insisted De Gayangos. "How did it come to be there?"
Captain Hervey rose and took a turn up and down the room. When
Cockatoo came in his way he calmly kicked him aside.
"What do you think, Mr. Hope?" he asked, coming to a full stop
before Archie, while Cockatoo crept away with a very dark scowl.
"I don't know what to think," replied that young gentleman
promptly, "save that Sir Frank is my very good friend, and that I
take his word that he knows nothing of how the manuscript came to
be hidden in his bookcase."
"Huh!" said Hervey scornfully, and took another turn up and down
the room in silence. "I surmise that your friend isn't a white
Hope leaped to his feet.
"That's a lie," he said distinctly.
"I'd have shot you for that down Chili way," snapped the skipper.
"Possibly," retorted the artist dryly, "but I happen to be handy
with my revolver also. I say again that you lie. Random is not
the man to commit so foul a crime."