Part 6 out of 6
"No doubt by the door," said Random sharply.
"We don't know that, sir. Jane says she did not hear the bell."
"Mrs. Jasher might have let the man in, whomsoever he was,
"Why should she, sir?"
"Ah! now you are asking more than I can tell you. Only Mrs.
Jasher can explain, and it seems to me that she will die."
Meanwhile, in some mysterious way the news of the crime had
spread through the village, and although it was growing late -
for it was past ten o'clock - a dozen or so of villagers came
along. Also there arrived a number of soldiers under a smart
sergeant, and to him Sir Frank explained what had happened. In
the fainthearted way - for the mist was now like cotton-wool -
the military and the civilians hunted through the marshes round
the cottage, hoping to come across the assassin hiding in a
ditch. Needless to say, they found no one and nothing, for it
was worse than looking for a needle in a bundle of hay. The man
had come out of the mist, and, after executing the deed, had
vanished into the mist, and there was not the very slightest
chance of finding him. Gradually, as it drew towards midnight,
the soldiers went back to the Fort, and the villagers to their
homes. But, along with the doctor and the constable, Hope and
his military friend stopped on. They were determined to get at
the root of the mystery, and when Mrs. Jasher became sensible she
would be able to reveal the truth.
"It's all of a piece with the sending of the emerald," said
Random to the artist, "and that is connected, as we know, with
the death of Bolton."
"Do you think that this man who has struck down Mrs. Jasher is
the same one who strangled Sidney Bolton?"
"I should think so. Perhaps Mrs. Jasher sent the emerald after
all, and this man killed her out of revenge."
"But how would he know that she had the emerald?"
"God knows! She may have been his accomplice."
Archie knit his brows.
"Who the devil can this mysterious person be?"
"I can only reply as you have done, my friend. God knows."
"Well, I am certain that God will not let him escape this time.
This will bring Gartley once more into, notoriety," went on Hope.
"By the way, I saw one of the servants from the Pyramids here. I
hope the fool won't go home and frighten Lucy's life out of her."
"Go to the Pyramids and see her," suggested Sir Frank. "Mrs.
Jasher is still unconscious, and will be for hours, the doctor
"It is too late to go to the Pyramids, Random."
"If they know of this new tragedy there, I'll bet they are not in
"All the same, I'll remain here until Mrs. Jasher can speak," he
said, and sat smoking with Random in the dining-room, as the most
comfortable room in the house.
Constable Painter camped, so to speak, in the drawing-room,
keeping guard over the scene of the crime, and had placed the
Chinese screen against the broken window to keep out the cold.
In the bedroom Jane and Dr. Robinson looked after the dying
woman. And dying she was, according to the young physician, for
he did not think she would live much longer. Round the lonely
cottage the sea-mist drifted white and thick, and the darkness
deepened, until - as the saying goes - it could have been cut
with a knife. Never was there so eerie and weary and sinister a
Towards four o'clock Hope fell into a doze, while resting in an
arm-chair; but he was suddenly aroused from this by an
exclamation from Sir Frank, who had remained wide awake, smoking
cigar after cigar. In a moment the artist was on his feet, alert
"What is it?"
Random made for the dining-room door rapidly.
"I thought I heard Painter call out," he declared, and hastily
sought the parlor, followed by Hope.
The room was empty, but the screen before the broken window had
been thrown down, and they could see Painter's bulky form
"What the deuce is the matter?" demanded Random, entering. "Did
you call out, Painter. I fancied I heard something."
The constable came in again.
"I did call out, sir," he confessed. "I was half asleep in that
chair, when I suddenly became wide awake, and believed I saw a
face looking at me round the corner of the screen. I jumped up,
calling for you, sir, and upset the screen."
"Well? well?" demanded Sir Frank impatiently, and seeing that
the man hesitated.
"I saw no one, sir. All the same, I had an idea, and I have
still, that a man came through the window and peered at me from
behind the screen."
"The man who attacked Mrs. Jasher?"
"I can't say, sir. But there was someone. At any rate he's gone
again, if he really did come, and there is no chance of finding
him. It's like pea-soup outside."
Hope and Random simultaneously stepped through the window, but
could not see an inch before them, so thick was the sea-fog and
so dense was the darkness. Returning, they replaced the screen,
and, telling Painter to be more on the alert, went back shivering
to the fire in the dining-room. When they were seated again,
Archie put a question.
"Do you think that policeman was dreaming?" he asked
"No," replied Random sharply. "I believe that the man who
assaulted Mrs. Jasher is hanging about, and ventured back into
the room, relying on the fog as a means of escape, should he be
"But the man wouldn't be such a fool as to return into danger."
"Not unless he wanted something very badly," said Random
Hope let the cigarette he was lighting fall.
"What do you mean?"
"I may be wrong, of course. But it is my impression that there
is something in the parlor which this man wants, and for which he
tried to murder Mrs. Jasher. We interrupted him, and he was
forced to flee. Hidden in the fog, he is lurking about to see if
he can't obtain what he has risked his neck to secure."
"What can it be?" murmured Archie, struck by the feasibility of
"Perhaps the second emerald," remarked Sir Frank grimly.
"What! You don't think that - "
"I don't think anything. I am too tired to think at all.
However, Painter will keep his eyes open, and in the morning we
can search the room. The man has been in the house twice to get
what he wanted. He won't risk another attempt, now that he is
aware we are on the alert. I'm going to try and get forty winks.
You keep watch, as you have had your sleep."
Hope was quite agreeable, but just as Random composed himself to
uneasy slumber, Jane, haggard and red-eyed, came hastily into the
"If you please, gentlemen, the doctor wants you to come and see
mistress. She is sensible, and - "
The two waited to hear no more, but went hastily but softly into
the room wherein lay the dying woman. Robinson sat by the
bedside, holding his patient's hand and feeling her pulse. He
placed his finger on his lips as the men entered gently, and at
the same moment Mrs. Jasher's voice, weak from exhaustion,
sounded through the room, which was dimly illuminated by one
candle. The newcomers halted in obedience to Robinson's signal.
"Who is there?" asked Mrs. Jasher weakly, for, in spite of the
care exercised, she had evidently heard the footsteps.
"Mr. Hope and Sir Frank Random," whispered the doctor, speaking
into the dying woman's ear. "They came in time to save you."
"In time to see me die," she murmured; "and I can't die, unless
I tell the truth. I am glad Random is there; he is a kindhearted
boy, and treated me better than he need have done. I - oh - some
brandy - brandy."
Robinson gave her some in a spoon.
"Now lie quietly and do not attempt to speak," he commanded.
"You need all your strength."
"I do - to tell that which I wish to tell," gasped Mrs. Jasher,
trying to raise herself. "Sir Frank! Sir Frank!" Her voice
sounded hoarse and weak.
"Yes, Mrs. Jasher," said the young man, coming softly to the
She thrust out a weak hand and clutched him.
"You must be my father-confessor, and hear all. You got the
"What!" Random recoiled in astonishment, "Did you - "
"Yes, I sent it to you as a wedding present. I was sorry and I
was afraid; and I - I - " She paused again, gasping.
The doctor intervened and gave her more brandy.
"You must not talk," he insisted severely, "or I shall turn Sir
Frank and Mr. Hope out of the room."
"No! no! Give me more brandy - more - more." and when the doctor
placed a tumbler to her lips, she drank so greedily that he had
to take the glass away lest she should do herself harm. But the
ardent spirit put new life into her, and with a superhuman effort
she suddenly reared herself in the bed.
"Come here, Hope - come here, Random," she said in a much
stronger voice. "I have much to tell you. Yes, I took the
emerald after dark and threw it into the sentry box when the man
wasn't looking. I escaped your spy, Random, and I escaped the
notice of the sentry. I walked like a cat, and like a cat I can
see in the dark. I am glad you have got the emerald."
"Where did you get it?" asked Random quietly.
"That's a long story. I don't know that I have the strength to
tell it. I have written it out."
"You have written it out?" said Hope quickly, and drawing near.
"Yes. Jane thought that I was writing letters, but I was writing
out the whole story of the murder. You were good to me, Random,
you dear boy, and on the impulse of the moment I took the emerald
to you. I was sorry when I got back, but it was too late then to
repent, as I did not dare to go near the Fort again. Your spy
who watched might have discovered me the second time. I then
thought that I would write out the story of the murder, so as to
"Then you are not guilty of Bolton's death?" asked Sir Frank,
puzzled, for her confession was somewhat incoherent.
"No. I did not strangle him. But I know who did. I have
written it all down. I was just finishing when I heard the
tapping at the window. I let him in and he tried to get the
confession, for I told him what I had done."
"Who did you tell?" asked Hope, much excited.
Mrs, Jasher took no notice.
"The confession is lying on my desk - all the sheets of paper are
loose. I had no time to bind them together, for he came in. He
wanted the emerald, and the confession. I told him that I had
given the emerald to you, Random, and that I had confessed all in
writing. Then he went mad and flew at me with a dreadful knife.
He knocked over the candles and the lamp. Everything went out
and all was darkness, and I lay crying for help, with that devil
stabbing - stabbing - ah - "
"Who, in heaven's name, is the man?" demanded Random, standing up
in his eagerness. But Mrs. Jasher had fallen back in a faint,
and Robinson was again supplying her with brandy.
"You had better leave the room, you two," he said, "or I can't be
answerable for her life."
"I must stay and learn the truth," said Random determinedly,
"and you, Hope, go into the parlor and find that confession. It
is on the desk, as she said, all loose sheets. No doubt it was
the confession which the man she refers to tried to secure when
he came back the second time. He may make another attempt, or
Painter may go to sleep. Hurry! hurry!"
Archie needed no second telling, as he realized what hung on the
securing of the confession. He stole swiftly out of the room,
closing the door after him. Faint as was the sound, Mrs. Jasher
heard it and opened her eyes.
"Do not go, Random," she said faintly. "I have yet much to say,
although the confession will tell you all. I am half sorry I
wrote it out - at least I was - and perhaps should have burnt it
had I not met with this accident."
"Accident!" echoed Sir Frank scornfully. "Murder you mean."
The sinister word galvanized the dying woman in sudden strong
life, and she reared herself again on the bed.
"Murder! Yes, it is murder," she cried loudly. "He killed
Sidney Bolton to get the emeralds, and he killed me to make me
close my mouth."
"Who stabbed you? Speak! speak!" cried Random anxiously.
"Cockatoo. He is guilty of my death and Bolton's," and she fell
THE MILLS OF GOD
In the cold gray hours of the morning, Hope and his friend left
the cottage wherein such a tragedy had taken place. The dead
woman was lying stiff and white on her bed under a winding sheet,
which had already been strewn with many-hued chrysanthemums taken
from the pink parlor by the weeping Jane. The wretched woman who
had led so stormy and unhappy a life had at least one sincere
mourner, for she had always been kind to the servant, who formed
her entire domestic staff, and Jane would not hear a word said
against the dead. Not that anyone did say anything; for Random
and Hope kept the contents of the confession to themselves.
There would be time enough for Mrs. Jasher's reputation to be
smirched when those same contents were made public.
When the poor woman died, Random left the doctor and the servant
to look after the corpse, and went into the parlor. Here he met
Hope with the confession in his hand. Luckily, Painter was not
in the room at the moment, else he would have prevented the
artist from taking away the same. Hope - as directed by Mrs.
Jasher - had found the confession, written on many sheets, lying
on the desk. It broke off abruptly towards the end, and was not
signed. Apparently at this point Mrs. Jasher had been
interrupted - as she had said - by the tapping of Cockatoo at the
window. Probably she had admitted him at once, and on her
refusal to give him the emerald, and on her confessing what she
had written, he had overturned the lights for the purpose of
murdering her. Only too well had the Kanaka succeeded in his
Archie slipped the confession into his pocket before the
policeman returned, and then left the cottage with Random and the
doctor, since nothing else could now be done. It was between
seven and eight, and the chilly dawn was breaking, but the
sea-mist still lay heavily over the marshes, as though it were
the winding sheet of the dead. Robinson went to his own house to
get his trap and drive into Jessum, there to catch the train and
ferry to Pierside. It was necessary that Inspector Date should
be informed of this new tragedy without delay, and as Constable
Painter was engaged in watching the cottage, there was no
messenger available but Dr. Robinson. Random indeed offered to
send a soldier, or to afford Robinson the use of the Fort
telephone, but the doctor preferred to see Date personally, so as
to detail exactly what had happened. Perhaps the young medical
man had an eye to becoming better known, for the improvement of
his practice; but he certainly seemed anxious to take a prominent
part in the proceedings connected with the murder of Mrs. Jasher.
When Robinson parted from them, Random and Hope went to the
lodgings of the latter, so as to read over the confession and
learn exactly to what extent Mrs. Jasher had been mixed up in the
tragedy of the green mummy. She had declared herself innocent
even on her death-bed, and so far as the two could judge at this
point, she certainly had not actually strangled Sidney Bolton.
But it might be - and it appeared to be more than probable - that
she was an accessory after the fact. But this they could learn
from the confession, and they sat in Hope's quiet little
sitting-room, in which the fire had been just lighted by the
artist's landlady, with the scattered sheets neatly ranged before
"Perhaps you would like a cup of coffee, or a whisky and soda,"
suggested Archie, "before starting to read?"
"I should," assented Random, who looked weary and pale. "The
events of the night have somewhat knocked me up. Coffee for
choice - nice, black, strong, hot coffee."
Hope nodded and went to order the same. When he returned he sat
down, after closing the door carefully, and proceeded to read.
But before he could speak Random raised his hand.
"Let us chat until the coffee comes in," he said; "then we shall
not be interrupted when reading."
"All right," said Hope. "Have a cigar!"
"No, thanks. I have been smoking all the night. I shall sit
here by the fire and wait for the coffee. You look chippy
"And small wonder," said Archie wearily. "We little thought when
we left the Fort last night what a time we were going to have.
Fancy Mrs. Jasher having sent you the emerald after all!"
"Yes. She repented, as she said, and yet I dare say - as she
also said - she was sorry that she acted on her impulse. If she
had not been stabbed by that damned Cockatoo, she would no doubt
have destroyed that confession. I expect she wrote that also on
the impulse of the moment."
"She confessed as much," said Hope, leaning his head on his hand
and staring into the fire. "She must have been cognizant of the
truth all along. I wonder if she was an accessory before or
after the fact?"
"What I wonder," said Random, after a moment's thought, "is,
what Braddock has to do with the matter?"
Hope raised his head in surprise.
"Why, nothing. Mrs. Jasher did not say a word against Braddock."
"I know that. All the same, Cockatoo was completely under the
thumb of the Professor, and probably was instructed by him to
"That is impossible," cried the artist, much agitated. "Think of
what you are saying, Random. What a terrible thing it would be
for Lucy if the Professor were guilty in such a way as you
"Really, I fail to see that. Miss Kendal is no relation to
Braddock save by marriage. His iniquities have nothing to do
with her, or with you."
"But it's impossible, I tell you, Random. Throughout the whole
of this case Braddock has acted in a perfectly innocent way."
"That's just it," said Sir Frank caustically; "he has acted. In
spite of his pretended grief for the loss of the emeralds, I
should not be surprised to learn from that," he nodded towards
the confession on the table, "that he was in possession of the
missing gem. Cockatoo had no reason to steal the emeralds
himself, setting aside the fact that he probably would not know
their value, being but a semi-civilized savage. He acted under
orders from his master, and although Cockatoo strangled Bolton,
the Professor is really the author and the gainer and the moving
"You would make Braddock an accessory before the fact."
"Yes, and Mrs. Jasher an accessory after the fact. Cockatoo is
the link, as the actual criminal, who joins the two in a guilty
partnership. No wonder Braddock intended to make that woman his
wife even though he did not love her, for she knew a jolly sight
too much for his peace of mind."
"This is horrible," murmured Hope desperately; "but it is mere
theory. We cannot be sure until we read the confession."
"We'll be sure soon, then, for here comes the coffee."
This last remark Random made when a timid knock came to the door,
and a moment later the landlady entered with a tray bearing cups,
saucers, and a jug of steaming coffee., She was a meek, reticent
woman who entered and departed in dismal silence, and in a few
moments the two young men were quite alone with the door closed.
They drank a cup of coffee each, and then Hope proceeded to read
The story told by Mrs. Jasher commenced with a short account of
her early life. It appeared that her father was a ruined
gentleman and a gambler, and that her mother had been an actress.
She was dragged up in a Bohemian sort of way until she attained a
marriageable age, when her mother, who seemed to have been both
wicked and hard-hearted, forced her to marry a comparatively
wealthy man called Jasher. The elderly husband - for Jasher was
not young - treated his wife very badly, and, infected with the
spirit of gambling by her father, lost all his money. Mrs.
Jasher then went with him to America and performed on the stage
in order to keep the home together. She had one child, but it
died, much to her grief, yet also much to her relief, as she was
so miserable and poor. Mrs. Jasher gave a scanty account of
sordid years of trouble and trial, of failure and sorrow. She
and her husband roamed all over America, and then went to
Australia and New Zealand, where they lived a wretched existence
for many years. Finally the husband died of strong drink at an
advanced age, leaving Mrs. Jasher a somewhat elderly widow.
The poor woman again took to the stage and tried to earn her
bread, but was unsuccessful. Afterwards she lectured. Then she
kept a boarding establishment, and finally went out as a nurse.
In every way, it would seem, she tried to keep her head above
water, and roamed the world like a bird of passage, finding rest
nowhere for the sole of her foot. Yet throughout her story both
the young men could see that she had always aspired to a quiet
and decent, respectable existence, and that only force of
circumstances had flung her into the whirlpool of life.
"As I said," remarked Random at this stage, "the miserable
creature was more sinned against than sinning."
"Her moral sense seemed to have become blunted, however," said
"And small wonder, amidst such surroundings; but it seems to me
that she was much better under the circumstances than many
another woman would have been. Go on."
In Melbourne Mrs. Jasher made a lucky speculation in mines, which
brought her one thousand pounds. With this she came to England,
and resolved to make a bid for respectability. Chance led her
into the neighborhood of Gartley, and thinking that if she set up
her tent in this locality she might manage to marry an officer
from the Fort - since amidst such dismal surroundings a young man
might be the more easily fascinated by a woman of the world - she
took the cottage amidst the marshes at a small rent. Here she
hoped to eke out what money she had left - a few hundreds - until
the coveted marriage should take place. Afterwards she met
Professor Braddock and determined to marry him, as a man more
easy to manage. She was successful in enlisting Lucy on her
side, and until the green mummy brought its bad luck to the
Pyramids everything went capitally.
It was in connection with the name of Bolton that the first
mention was made of the green mummy. Sidney was a clever young
man, although very lowly born, and having been taken up by
Professor Braddock as an assistant, could hope some day to make a
position. Braddock was educating him, although he paid him very
little in the way of wages. Sidney fell in love with Mrs.
Jasher, and in some way - she did not mention how - gained her
confidence. Perhaps the lonely woman was glad to have a
sympathetic friend. At all events she told her past history to,
Sidney, and mentioned that she desired to marry Braddock. But
Sidney insisted that she should marry him, and promised to make
enough money to satisfy her that he was a good match, setting
aside his humble birth, for which Mrs. Jasher cared nothing.
It was then that Sidney related what he had discovered.
Braddock, when in Peru many years before, had tried to get
mummies for some scientific reason. When Hervey - then known as
Vasa - promised to procure him the mummy of the last Inca,
Braddock was extremely pleased. Hervey stole the mummy and also
the copy of the manuscript which was written in Latin. He sent
this latter to Braddock - who was then at Cuzcoas an earnest of
his success in procuring the mummy, and when the Professor
returned to Lima the mummy was to be handed to him.
Unfortunately, Braddock was carried into captivity for one year,
and when he escaped Vasa had disappeared with the mummy. As the
Professor had deciphered the Latin manuscript, he knew of the
emeralds, and for years had been hunting for the mummy - sure to
be recognized from its peculiar green color - in order to get the
jewels, and thus secure money for his Egyptian expedition. All
through, it seems, the Professor was actuated by purely
scientific enthusiasm, as in the abstract he cared very little
for hard cash. Bolton told Mrs. Jasher that Braddock explained
how much he desired to get the mummy, but he did not mention
about the jewels. For a long time Sidney was under the
impression that his master merely wanted the mummy to see the
difference between the Egyptian and Peruvian modes of embalming.
Then one day Sidney chanced on the Latin manuscript, and learned
that Braddock's real reason for getting the mummy was to procure
the emeralds which were held in the grip of the dead. Sidney
kept this knowledge to himself, and Braddock never guessed that
his assistant knew the truth. Then unexpectedly Braddock
stumbled across the advertisement describing the green mummy for
sale in Malta. From the color he made sure that it was that of
Inca Caxas, and so moved heaven and earth to get money to buy it.
At length he did, from Archie Hope, on condition that he
consented to the marriage of his step-daughter with the young
man. Thinking that Sidney was ignorant of the jewels, he sent
him to bring the mummy home.
Sidney told Mrs. Jasher that he would try and steal the jewels in
Malta or on board the tramp steamer. Failing that, he would
delay the delivery of the mummy to Braddock on some excuse and
rob it at Pierside. To make sure of escaping, he borrowed a
disguise from his mother, alleging that Hope wanted the same to
clothe a model. Sidney intended to take these clothes with him,
and, after stealing the jewels, to escape disguised as an old
woman. As he was slender and clean-shaven and a capital actor,
he could easily manage this,
Then he arranged that Mrs. Jasher should join him in Paris, and
they would sell the emeralds, and go to America, there to marry
and live happily ever afterwards, like a fairy tale.
Unfortunately for the success of this plan, Mrs. Jasher thought
that the Professor would make a more distinguished husband, so
she betrayed all that Sidney, had arranged.
"What a beastly thing to do!" interrupted Random, disgusted. "It
is not as if she wanted to help Braddock. I think less of Mrs.
Jasher than ever I did. She might have remembered that there is
honor amongst thieves."
"Well, she is dead, poor soul!" said Hope with a sigh. "God
knows that if she sinned, she has paid cruelly for her sin,"
after which remark, as Sir Frank was silent, he resumed his
Braddock was furious when he learned of his assistant's projected
trickery, and he determined to circumvent him. He agreed to
marry Mrs. Jasher, as, if he had not done so, she could have
warned Sidney and he could have escaped with both the mummy and
the jewels by conniving with Hervey. The Professor could not
risk that, as, remembering Hervey as Gustav Vasa, he was aware
how clever and reckless he was. Whether Braddock ever intended
to marry the widow in the end it is hard to say, but he certainly
pretended to consent to the engagement, which was mainly brought
about by Lucy. Then came the details of the murder so far as
Mrs. Jasher knew.
One evening - in fact on the evening when the crime was committed
- the woman was walking in her garden late. In the moonlight she
saw Braddock and Cockatoo go down along the cinderpath to the
jetty near the Fort. Wondering what they were doing, she waited
up, and heard and saw them - for it was still moonlight - come
back long after midnight. The next day she heard of the murder,
and guessed that the Professor and his slave - for Cockatoo was
little else - had rowed up to Pierside in a boat and there had
strangled Sidney and stolen the mummy. She saw Braddock and
accused him. The Professor had then opened the case, and had
pretended astonishment when discovering the corpse of the man
whom Cockatoo had strangled, as he knew perfectly well.
Braddock at first denied having been to Pierside, but Mrs. Jasher
insisted that she would tell the police, so he was forced to make
a clean breast of it to the woman.
"Now for it," said Random, settling himself to hear details of
the crime, for he had often wondered how it had been executed.
"Braddock," read Archie from the confession, for Mrs. Jasher did
not trouble herself with a polite prefix - "Braddock explained
that when he received a letter from Sidney stating that he would
have to remain with the mummy for a night in Pierside, he guessed
that his treacherous assistant intended to effect the robbery.
It seems that Sidney by mistake had left behind the disguise in
which he intended to escape. Aware of this through me" - Mrs.
Jasher referred to herself - "he made Cockatoo assume the dress
and row up the river to the Sailor's Rest. The Kanaka easily
could be mistaken for a woman, as he also, like Sidney, was
slender and smooth-chinned. Also, he wore the shawl over his
head to disguise his mop of frizzy hair as much as possible, and
for the purpose of concealing his tattooed face. In the darkness
- it was after nine o'clock - he spoke to Sidney through the
window, as he had seen him there earlier, when searching for him.
Cockatoo said that Sidney was much afraid when he heard that his
purpose had been discovered by the Professor. He offered a share
of the plunder to the Kanaka, and Cockatoo agreed, saying he
would come back late, and that Sidney was to admit him into the
bedroom so that they could open the mummy and steal the jewels.
Sidney quite believed that Cockatoo was heart and soul with him,
especially as the cunning Kanaka swore that he was weary of his
master's tyranny. It was when Cockatoo was talking thus that he
was seen by Eliza Flight, who mistook him - very naturally - for
a woman. Cockatoo then returned by boat to the Gartley jetty and
told his master. Afterwards, the Professor, at a much later
hour, went down to the jetty and was rowed up to Pierside by the
"That was when Mrs. Jasher saw them," said Random, much
"Yes," said Archie. "And then, if you remember; she watched for
the return of the couple."
"It was nearly midnight when the boat was brought alongside the
sloping stone bank of the alley which ran past the Sailor's Rest.
No one was about at that hour, not even a policeman, and there
was no light in Sidney Bolton's window. Braddock was much
agitated as he thought that Sidney had already escaped. He
waited in the boat and sent Cockatoo to knock at the window.
Then a light appeared and the window was silently opened. The
Kanaka slipped in and remained there for some ten minutes after
closing the window. When he returned, the light was
extinguished. He whispered to his master that Sidney had opened
the packing case and the mummy coffin, and had ripped the
swathings to get the jewels. When Sidney would not hand over the
jewels to the Kanaka, as the latter wanted him to, Cockatoo,
already prepared with the window cord, which he had silently
taken from the blind, sprang upon the unfortunate assistant and
strangled him. Cockatoo told this to his horrified master, and
wanted him to come back to hide the corpse in the packing case.
Braddock refused, and then Cockatoo told him that he would throw
the jewels - which he had taken from Sidney's body - into the
river. The position of master and servant was reversed, and
Braddock vas forced to obey.
"The Professor slipped silently ashore and into the room. The
two men relighted the candle and pulled down the blind. They
then placed the corpse of Sidney in the packing case, and screwed
the same down in silence. When this was completed, they were
about to carry the mummy in its coffin - the lid of which they
had replaced - to the boat, when they heard distant footsteps,
probably those of a policeman on his beat. At once they
extinguished the candle, and - as Braddock told Mrs. Jasher - he,
for one, sat trembling in the dark. But the policeman - if the
footsteps were those of a policeman - passed up another street,
and the two were safe. Without relighting the candle, they
silently slipped the mummy through the window, Cockatoo within
and Braddock without. The case and its contents were not heavy,
and it was not difficult for the two men to take it to the boat.
When it was safely bestowed, Cockatoo - who was as cunning as the
devil, according to his master returned to the bedroom, and
unlocked the door. He afterwards passed a string through the
joining of the upper and lower windows, and managed to shut the
snib. Afterwards he came to the boat and rowed it back to
Gartley. On the way Cockatoo told his master that Sidney had
left instructions that the packing case should be taken next
morning to the Pyramids, so there was nothing to fear. The mummy
was hidden in a hole under the jetty and covered with grass."
"Why didn't they take it up to the house?" asked Random, on
"That would have been dangerous," said Hope, looking up from the
manuscript, "seeing that the mummy was supposed to have been
stolen by the murderer. It was easier to hide it amongst the
grasses under the jetty, as no one ever goes there. Well" - he
turned over a few pages - "that is practically all. The rest is
"I want to hear them," said Random, taking another cup of coffee.
Hope ran his eyes swiftly over the remaining portion of the
paper, and gave further details rapidly to his friend.
"You know all that happened," he said, "the Professor's
pretended surprise when he found the corpse he had himself helped
to pack and - "
"Yes! yes! But why was the mummy placed in Mrs. Jasher's
"That was Braddock's idea. He fancied that the mummy might be
found under the jetty and that inconvenient inquiries might be
made. Also, he wished if possible to implicate Mrs. Jasher, so
as to keep her from telling to the police what he had told her.
He and Cockatoo went down to the river one night and removed the
mummy to the arbor silently. Afterwards he pretended to be
astonished when I found it. I must say he acted his part very
well," said Hope reflectively, "even to accusing Mrs. Jasher.
That was a bold stroke of genius."
"A very dangerous one."
"Not at all. He swore to Mrs. Jasher that if she said anything,
he would tell the police that she had taken the clothes provided
by Sidney from the Pyramids and had gone to speak through the
window, in order to fly with Sidney and the emeralds. As the
fact of the mummy being found in Mrs. Jasher's garden would lend
color to the lie, she was obliged to hold her tongue. And after
all, as she says, she didn't mind, since she was engaged to the
Professor, and possessed at least one of the emeralds."
"Ah! the one she passed along to me. How did she get that?"
Hope referred again to the manuscript.
"She insisted that Braddock should give it to her as a pledge of
good faith. He had to do it, or risk her splitting. That was
why he placed the mummy in her garden, so as to bring her into
the matter, and render it more difficult for her to speak."
"What of the other emerald?"
"Braddock took that to Amsterdam, when he went to London that
time - if you remember, when Don Pedro arrived. Braddock sold
the emerald for three thousand pounds, and it is now on its way
to an Indian rajah. I fear Don Pedro will never set eyes on that
"Where is the money?"
"He banked it in a feigned name in Amsterdam, and intended to
account for it when he married Mrs. Jasher by saying it was left
to her by that mythical Pekin merchant brother of hers. Savvy!"
"Yes. What an infernal little villain! And I expect he sent
Cockatoo down last night for the other emerald."
"That is not related in the manuscript," said Archie, laying down
the last sheet and taking up his coffee. "The confession ends
abruptly - at the time Cockatoo tapped at the window, I expect.
But she said, when dying, that the Kanaka asked for the second
emerald. If she had not sent it to you in a fit of weakness, I
expect she would have passed it along. I can't make out," added
Archie musingly, "why Mrs. Jasher confessed when everything was
"Well," said Random, nursing his chin, and staring into the fire,
"she made a mistake in trying to blackmail me, though why she did
so I can't tell, seeing she had the whiphand of Braddock.
Perhaps she wanted the five thousand to spend herself, knowing
that the Professor's plunder would be wasted on his confounded
expedition. At any rate she gave herself away by the blackmail,
and I expect she grew frightened. If the house had been searched
- and it might have been searched by the police, had I arrested
her for blackmail the emerald would have been found and she would
have been incriminated. She therefore got rid of it cleverly, by
passing it along to me as a wedding gift. Then she again grew
afraid and wrote out this confession to exonerate herself."
"But it doesn't," insisted Hope. "She makes herself out plainly
as an accessory after the fact."
"A woman doesn't understand these legal niceties. She wrote that
out to clear herself in case she was arrested for the blackmail,
and perhaps in case Braddock refused to help her - as he
certainly did, if you remember."
"He was hard on her," confessed Archie slowly.
"Being such a villain himself," said Random grimly. "However,
Cockatoo arrived unluckily on the scene, and when he found she
had parted with the emerald, and had written out the truth, he
stabbed her. If we hadn't come just in the nick of time, he
would have annexed that confession, and the truth would never
have become known. No one," ended Random, rising and stretching
himself, "would connect Braddock or Cockatoo with the death of
"Or with the death of Sidney Bolton either," said Hope, also
rising and putting on his cap. "What an actor the man is!"
"Where are you going?" demanded Sir Frank, yawning.
"To the Pyramids. I want to see how Lucy is."
"Will you tell her about that confession?"
"Not until later. I shall give this to Inspector Date when he
arrives. The Professor has made his bed, so he must lie on it.
When I marry Lucy, I'll take her away from this damned place."
"Marry her at once, then," advised Random, "while the Professor
is doing time, and while Cockatoo is being hanged. Meanwhile, I
think you had better put on your overcoat, unless you want to
walk through the village in crumpled evening dress, like a
Archie laughed in spite of his weariness, and assumed his
greatcoat at the same moment as Random slipped into his. The two
young men walked out into the village and up to the Pyramids, for
Random wished to see Braddock before returning to the Fort. They
found the door of the great house open and the servants in the
"What is all this?" demanded Hope, entering. "Why are you here,
and not at work? Where is your master?"
"He's run away," said the cook in a shrill voice. "Lord knows
"Archie! Archie!" Lucy came running out of the museum,
pale-faced and white, "my father has gone away with Cockatoo and
the green mummy. What does it mean? And just when poor Mrs.
Jasher is murdered too."
"Hush, darling! Come in, and I'll explain," said Hope gently.
Poor Lucy Kendal was terribly grieved and shocked when the full
account of her step-father's iniquity was revealed to her.
Archie tried to break the news as delicately as possible, but no
words could soften the sordid story. Lucy, at first, could not
believe it possible that a man, whom she had known for so long,
and to whom she was related, would behave in such a base way. To
convince her Hope was forced to let her read the account in Mrs.
Jasher's handwriting. When acquainted with the contents, the
poor girl's first desire was to have the matter hushed up, and
she implored her lover with tears to suppress the damning
"That is impossible," said Hope firmly; "and if you think again,
my dear, you will not repeat such a request. It is absolutely
necessary that this should be placed in the hands of the police,
and that the truth should become as widely known as possible.
Unless the matter is settled once and for all, someone else may
be accused of this murder."
"But the disgrace," wept Lucy, hiding her face on her lover's
He slipped his arm round her waist.
"My darling, the disgrace exists whether it be public or private.
After all, the Professor is no relation."
"No. But everyone knows that I am his stepdaughter."
"Everyone," echoed Archie, with an assumed lightness. "My dear,
everyone in this instance only means the handful of people who
live in this out-of-the-way, village. Your name will not appear
in the papers. And even if by chance it does, you will soon be
changing it for mine. I think the best thing that can be done is
for you to come with me to London next week and marry me. Then
we can go to the south of France for the rest of the winter,
until you recover. When we return and set up house in London -
say in a year - the whole affair will be forgotten."
"But how can you bear to marry me, when you know that I come of
such a bad stock?" wept Lucy, a trifle more comforted.
"My dear, must I remind you again that you are no relation to
Professor Braddock; you have not a drop of his wicked blood in
your veins. And even if you had, I should still marry you. It
is you I love, and you I marry, so there is no more to be said.
Come, darling, say that you will become my wife next week."
"But the Professor?"
Archie smiled grimly. He found it difficult to forgive Braddock
for the disgrace he had brought on the girl.
"I don't think we'll ever be troubled again with the Professor,"
he said, after a pause. "He has bolted into the unknown with
that infernal Kanaka."
"But why did he fly, Archie?"
"Because he knew that the game was up. Mrs. Jasher wrote out
this confession, and told Cockatoo, when he entered the room to
get the emerald, that she had written it. To save his master the
Kanaka stabbed the wretched woman, and, had Random and I not
arrived, he would have secured the confession. I really believe
he came back again out of the mist in the small hours of the
morning to steal it. But when he found that all was vain, he
returned here and told the Professor that the story of the murder
had been written out. Therefore there was nothing left to
Braddock but to fly. Although," added Hope, with an
after-thought, "I can't imagine why those two fugitives should
drag that confounded mummy with them."
"But why should the Professor fly?" asked Lucy again. "According
to what Mrs. Jasher writes, he did not strangle poor Sidney."
"No. And I will do him the justice to say that he had no idea of
having his assistant murdered. It was Cockatoo's savage blood
which came out in the deed, and maybe it can be explained by the
Kanaka's devotion to the Professor. It was the same way in the
murder of Mrs. Jasher. By killing Bolton, the Kanaka hoped to
save the emeralds for Braddock: in stabbing Mrs. Jasher, he hoped
to save the Professor's life."
"Oh, Archie, will they hang my father?"
"Call him your step-father," he said quickly. "No, dear, I do
not think he will be hanged; but as an accessory after the fact
he will certainly be condemned to a long term of imprisonment.
Cockatoo, however, assuredly will be hanged, and a good job too.
He is only a savage, and as such is dangerous in a civilized
community. I wonder where they have gone? Did anyone hear them
"No," said Lucy unhesitatingly. "Cook came up this morning to my
room, and said that my father - I mean my step-father - had gone
away with Cockatoo and with the green mummy. I don't know why
she should have said that, as the Professor often went away
"Perhaps she heard rumors in the village and put two and two
together. I cannot tell. Some instinct must have told her. But
I daresay Braddock and his accomplice fled under cover of the
mist and in the small hours of the morning. They must have known
that the confession would bring the officers of the law to this
"I hope they will escape," murmured Lucy.
"Well, I am not sure," said Hope hesitatingly. "Of course, I
should like to avoid a scandal for your sake, and yet it is only
right that the two of them should be punished. Remember, Lucy
dear, how Braddock has acted all along in deceiving us. He knew
all, and yet not one of us suspected him."
"While Archie was thus comforting the poor girl, Gartley village
was in an uproar. Everyone was talking about this new crime, and
everyone was wondering who had stabbed the unlucky woman. As yet
the confession of Mrs. Jasher had not been placed in the hands of
the police and everyone was ignorant that Cockatoo was the
criminal who had escaped in the fog. Inspector Date speedily
arrived with his myrmidons on the scene and made the cottage his
headquarters. Later in the day, Hope, having taken a cold bath
to freshen himself up, came with the confession. This he gave to
the officer and explained the whole story of the previous night.
Date was more than astonished: he was astounded. He read the
confession and made notes; then he sent for Sir Frank Random, and
examined him in the same strict way as he had examined the
artist. Jane was also questioned. Widow Anne was put in the
witness box, so as to report about the clothes, and in every way
Date gathered material for another inquest. At the former one he
had only been able to place scanty evidence before the jury, and
the verdict had been unsatisfactory to the public. But on this
occasion, seeing that the witnesses he could bring forward would
solve the mystery of the first death as well as the second,
Inspector Date exulted greatly. He saw himself promoted and his
salary raised, and his name praised in the papers as a zealous
and clever officer. By the time the inquest came to be held, the
inspector had talked himself into believing that the whole
mystery had been solved by himself. But before that time came
another event happened which astonished everyone, and which made
the final phase of the green mummy crime even more sensational
than it had been. And Heaven knows that from beginning to end
there had been no lack of melodrama of the most lurid
Don Pedro de Gayangos was exceedingly amazed at the unexpected
turn which the case had taken. That he should have been trying
to solve a deep mystery for so long, and that the solution, all
the time, had been in the hands of the Professor, startled him
exceedingly. He admitted that he had never liked Braddock, but
explained that he had not expected to hear that the fiery little
scientist was such a scoundrel. But, as Don Pedro confessed, it
was an ill wind which blew him some good, when the upshot of the
whole mysterious tragic business was the restoration of at least
one emerald. Sir Frank brought the gem to him on the afternoon
of the day succeeding Mrs. Jasher's death, and while the whole
village was buzzing with excitement. It was Random who gave all
details to Donna Inez and her father, leading from one revelation
to another, until he capped the whole extraordinary story by
producing the splendid gem.
"Mine! mine!" said Don Pedro, his dark eyes glittering. "Thanks
be to the Virgin and the Saints," and he bowed his head to make
the sign of the cross devoutly on his breast.
Donna Inez clapped her hands and her eyes flashed, for, like
every woman, she had a profound love for jewels.
"Oh, how lovely, Frank! It must be worth no end of money."
"Professor Braddock sold the other to some Indian rajah in
Amsterdam - through an agent, I presume for three thousand
"I shall get more than that," said Don Pedro quickly. "The
Professor sold his jewel in a hurry and had no time to bargain.
But sooner or later I shall get five thousand pounds for this."
He held the gem in the sunlight, where it glowed like an emerald
sun. "Why, it is worthy of a king's crown."
"I fear you will never get the other gem," said Random
regretfully. "I believe that it is on its way to India, if Mrs.
Jasher can be trusted."
"Never mind. I shall be content with this one, senor. I have
simple tastes, and this will do much to restore the fortunes of
my family. When I go back with this and the green mummy, all
those Indians who know of my descent from the ancient Incas will
be &lighted and will pay me fresh reverence."
"But you forget," said Random, frowning, "the green mummy has
been taken away by Professor Braddock."
"They cannot have gone far with it," said Donna Inez, shrugging.
"I don't know so much about that, dearest," said Sir Frank.
"Apparently, since they handled it at the time of the murder, it
is easier carried about than one would think. And then they fled
last night, or rather in the small hours of this morning, under
cover of a dense fog."
"It is clear enough now," said De Gayangos, peering through the
window, where a pale winter sun shone in a clear steel-hued sky.
"They are bound to be caught in the long run."
"Do you wish them to be caught?" asked Random abruptly.
"Not the Professor. For Miss Lucy's sake I hope he will escape;
but I trust that the savage who killed these two unfortunate
people will be brought to the gallows."
"So do I," said Random. "Well, Don Pedro, it seems to me that
your task in Gartley is ended. All you have to do is to wait for
the inquest and see Mrs. Jasher buried, poor soul! Then you can
go to London and remain there until after Christmas."
"But why should I remain in London?" asked the Peruvian,
Random glanced at Donna Inez, who blushed.
"You forget that you have given your consent to my marriage with
"Ah, yes," Don Pedro smiled gravely. "I return with the jewel to
Lima, but I leave my other jewel behind."
"Never mind," said the girl, kissing her father; "when Frank and
I are married we will come to Callao in his yacht."
"Our yacht," said Random, smiling.
"Our yacht," repeated Donna Inez. "And then you will see,
father, that I have become a real English lady."
"But don't entirely forget that you are a Peruvian," said Don
"And a descendant of Inca Caxas," added Donna Inez. Then she
flirted her fan, which she was rarely without, and laughed in her
English lover's face. "Don't forget, senor, that you marry a
"I marry the most charming girl in the world," he replied,
catching her in his arms, rather to the scandal of De Gayangos,
who had stiff Spanish notions regarding the etiquette of engaged
"There is one thing you must do for me, senor," he said quietly,
"before we leave this most unhappy case of murder and theft for
"What is that?" asked Sir Frank, turning with Inez in his arms.
"To-night at eight o'clock, Captain Hervey - the sailor Gustav
Vasa, if you prefer the name - steams down the river in his new
boat The Firefly. I received a note from him" - he displayed a
letter - "stating that he will pass the jetty of Gartley at that
hour, and will burn a blue light. If I fire a pistol, he will
send off a boat with a full account of the theft of the mummy of
Inca Caxas, written by himself. Then I will hand his messenger
fifty gold sovereigns, which I have here," added Don Pedro,
pointing to a canvas bag on the table, "and we will return. I
wish you to go with me, senor, and also I wish your friend Mr.
Hope to come."
"Do you anticipate treachery from Captain Hervey?" asked Random.
"I should not be surprised if he tried to trick me in some way,
and I wish you and your friend to stand by me. Were this man
alone, I would go alone, but he will have a boat's crew with him.
It is best to be safe."
"I agree with you," said Random quickly. "Hope and I will come,
and we will take revolvers with us. It doesn't do to trust this
blackguard. Ho! ho! I wonder if he knows of the Professor's
"No. Considering the terms upon which the Professor stood with
Hervey, I should think he would be the last person he would
trust. I wonder what has become of the man."
More people than Don Pedro wondered as to the whereabouts of
Braddock and his servant, for everyone was inquiring and hunting.
The marshes round the cottage were explored: the great house
itself was searched, as well as many cottages in the village, and
inquiries were made at all the local stations. But all in vain.
Braddock and Cockatoo, along with the cumbersome mummy in its
case, had vanished as completely as though the earth had
swallowed them up. Inspector Date's idea was that the pair had
taken the mummy to Gartley Pier, after the search made by the
soldiers, and there had launched the boat, which Cockatoo -
judging from his visit to Pierside - apparently kept hidden in
some nook. It was probable, said Date, the two had rowed down
the river, and had managed to get on board some outward-bound
tramp. They could easily furbish up some story, and as Braddock
doubtless had money, could easily buy a passage for a large sum.
The tramp being outward-bound, her captain and crew would know
nothing of the crime, and even if the fugitives were suspected,
they would be shipped out of England if the bribe was
sufficiently large. So it was apparent that Inspector Date had
not much opinion of tramp-steamer skippers.
However, as the day wore on to night, nothing was heard of
Braddock or Cockatoo or the mummy, and when night came the
village was filled with local reporters and with London
journalists asking questions. The Warrior Inn did a great trade
in drink and beds and meals, and the rustics reaped quite a
harvest in answering questions about Mrs. Jasher and the
Professor and the weird-looking Kanaka. Some reporters dared to
invade the Pyramids, where Lucy was weeping in sorrow and shame,
but Archie, reinforced by two policemen, sent to his aid by Date,
soon sent them to the right about. Hope would have liked to
remain with Lucy all the evening, but at half-past seven he was
forced to meet Don Pedro and Random outside the Fort in order to
go to Gartley Jetty.
BY THE RIVER
As the hunt for the fugitives had continued all day, everyone,
police, villagers and soldiers, were weary and disheartened.
Consequently, when the three men met near the Fort, there seemed
to be few people about. This was just as well, as they would
have been followed to the jetty, and obviously it was best to
keep the strange meeting with Captain Hervey as secret as
possible. However, Don Pedro had taken Inspector Date into his
confidence, as it was impossible to get past the cottage of the
late Mrs. Jasher, in which the officer had taken up his quarters,
without being discovered. Date was quite willing that the trio
should go, but stipulated that he should come also. He had heard
all about Captain Hervey in connection with the mummy, and
thought that he would like to ask that sailor a few leading
"And if I see fit I shall detain him until the inquest is over,"
said Date, which was mere bluff, as the inspector had no warrant
to stop The Firefly or arrest her skipper.
The three men therefore were joined by Date, when they came along
the cinder path abreast of the cottage, and the quartette
proceeded further immediately, walking amongst the bents and
grasses to the rude old wooden jetty, near which Hervey intended
to stop his ship. The night was quite clear of fog, strange to
say, considering the late sea-mist; but a strong wind had been
blowing all day and the fog-wreaths were entirely dispersed. A
full moon rode amongst a galaxy of stars, which twinkled like
diamonds. The air was frosty, and their feet scrunched the earth
and grasses and coarse herbage under foot, as they made rapidly
for the embankment.
When they reached the top they could see the jetty clearly almost
below their feet, and in the distance the glittering lights of
Pierside. Vague forms of vessels at anchor loomed on the water,
and there was a stream of light where the moon made a pathway of
silver. After a casual glance the three men proceeded down the
slope to the jetty. Three of them at least had revolvers, since
Hervey was an ill man to tackle; but probably Date, who was too
dense to consider consequences, was unarmed. Neither did Don
Pedro think it necessary to tell the officer that he and his two
companions were prepared to shoot if necessary. Inspector Date,
being a prosy Englishman, would not have understood such lawless
doings in his own sober, law-abiding country.
When they reached the jetty Don Pedro glanced at his watch,
illuminating the dial by puffing his cigar to a ruddy glow. It
was just after eight o'clock, and even as he looked an
exclamation from Date made him raise his head. The inspector was
pointing out-stream to a large vessel which had steamed inshore
as far as was safe. Probably Hervey was watching for them
through a night-glass, for a blue light suddenly flared on the
bridge. Don Pedro, according to his promise, fired a pistol, and
it was then that Date learned that his companions were armed.
"What the devil did you do that for?" he inquired angrily. "It
will bring my constables down on us."
"I do not mind, since you can control them," said De Gayangos
coolly. "I had to give the signal."
"And we all have revolvers," said Random quickly. "Hervey is not
a very safe man to tackle, inspector."
"Do you expect a fight?" said Date, while they all watched a boat
being lowered. "If so, you might have told me, and I should have
brought a revolver also. Not that I think it is needed. The
sight of my uniform will be enough to show this man that I have
the law behind me."
"I don't think that will matter to Hervey," said Archie dryly.
"So much as I have seen of him suggests to me that he is a
singularly lawless man."
Date laughed good-humoredly.
"It seems to me, gentlemen, that you have brought me on a
filibustering expedition," he said, and seemed to enjoy the novel
situation. Date had been wrapped up in the cotton-wool of
civilization for a long time, but his primitive instincts rose to
the surface, now that he had to face a probable rough-and-tumble
fight. "But I don't expect there will be any scrap," he said
regretfully. "My uniform will settle the matter."
It certainly seemed to annoy Captain Hervey considerably, for, as
the boat approached the shore, and the moonlight revealed a
distinctly official overcoat, he gave an order. The man stopped
rowing and the boat rocked gently, some distance from the jetty.
"You've got a high old crowd with you, Don Pedro," sang out
Hervey, in great displeasure. "Is that angel in the military
togs, with the brass buttons, the almighty aristocrat!"
"No. I am here," cried out Random, laughing at the description,
which he recognized. "My friend Hope is with me, and Inspector
Date. I suppose you have heard what has happened?"
"Yes, I've taken it all in," said Hervey sourly. "I guess the
news is all over Pierside. Well, it's none of my picnic, I
reckon. So chuck that gold over here, Don Pedro, and I'll send
along the writing."
"No," said Don Pedro, prompted by Date. "You must come ashore."
"I guess not," said Hervey vigorously. "You want to run me in."
"For that theft of thirty years ago," laughed De Gayangos.
"Nonsense! Come along. You are quite safe."
"Shan't take your damned word for it," growled Hervey. "But if
those two gents can swear that there's no trickery, I'll come. I
can depend on the word of an English aristocrat, anyhow."
"Come along. You are quite safe," said Sir Frank, and Hope
echoed his words.
Thus being made certain, Hervey gave an order and the boat was
rowed right up to the beach, immediately below the jetty. The
four men were about to descend, but Hervey seemed anxious to
avoid giving them trouble.
"Hold on, gents," said he, leaping ashore. "I'll come up
Date, ever suspicious, thought it queer that the skipper should
behave so politely, as he had gathered that Hervey was not
usually a considerate man. Also, he saw that when the captain
was climbing the bank, the boat, in charge of a mate - as the
inspector judged from his brass-bound uniform - backed water to
the end of the jetty, where it swung against one of the
shell-encrusted piles. Hervey finally reached the jetty level,
but refused to come on to the same. He beckoned to Don Pedro and
his companions to walk forward to the ground upon which he was
standing. Also, he seemed exceedingly anxious to take time over
the transaction, as even after he had handed the scroll of
writing to the Peruvian, and had received the gold in exchange,
he engaged in quarrelsome conversation. Pretending that he
doubted if De Gayangos had brought the exact sum, he opened the
canvas bag and insisted on counting the money. Don Pedro
naturally lost his temper at this insult, and swore in Spanish,
upon which Hervey responded with such volubility that anyone
could see he was a pastmaster in Castilian swearing. The row was
considerable, especially as Random and Hope were laughing at the
quarrel. They thought that Hervey was the worse for drink, but
Date - clever for once in his life - did not think so. It
appeared to him that the boat had gone to the end of the jetty
for some reason connected with the same reason which induced the
skipper to spin out the time of the meeting by indulging in an
The skipper also kept his eyes about him, and insisted that the
four men should keep together at the head of the pier.
"I daresay you're trying to play low down on me," he said with a
scowl, after satisfying himself that the money was correct, "but
I've got my shooter."
"So have I," cried Don Pedro indignantly, and slipped his hand
round to his hip pocket, "and if you talk any further so
insulting I shall - "
"Oh, you bet, two can play at that game," cried Hervey, and
ripped out his own weapon before the Spaniard could produce his
Derringer. "Hands up or I shoot."
But he had reckoned without his host. While covering De
Gayangos, he overlooked the fact that Random and Hope were close
at hand. The next moment, and while Don Pedro flung up his
hands, the ruffian wad covered by two revolvers in the hands of
two very capable men.
"Great Scott!" cried Hervey, lowering his weapon. "Only my fun,
gents. Here, you get back!"
This was to Inspector Date, who had been keeping his ears and
eyes open, and who was now racing for the end of the jetty.
Peering over, he uttered a loud cry.
"I thought so - I thought so. Here's the nigger and the mummy!"
Hervey uttered a curse, and, plunging past the trio, careless of
the leveled weapons, ran down to the end of the jetty, and,
throwing his arms round Date, leaped with him into the sea. They
fell just beside the boat, as Random saw when he reached the
spot. A confused volley of curses arose, as the boat pushed out
from the encrusted pile, the mate thrusting with a boat-hook.
Hervey and Date were in the water, but as the boat shot into the
moonlight, Random - and now Hope and De Gayangos, who had come up
- saw a long green form in amongst the sailors; also, very
plainly, Cockatoo with his great mop of yellow hair.
"Shoot! shoot!" yelled Date, who was struggling with the skipper
in the shallow water near shore. "Don't let them escape."
Hope ran up the jetty and fired three shots in the air, certain
that the firing would attract the attention of the four or five
constables on guard at the cottage, which was no very great
distance away. Random sent a bullet into the midst of the
boatload, and immediately the mate fired also. The bullet
whistled past his head, and, crazy with rage, he felt inclined to
jump in amongst the ruffians and have a hand-to-hand fight. But
De Gayangos stopped him in a voice shrill with anger. Already
the shouts and noise of the approaching policemen could be heard.
Cockatoo gripped the green mummy case desperately, while the
sailors tried to row towards the ship.
Then De Gayangos gave a shout, and leaped, as the boat swung past
the jetty. He landed right on Cockatoo, and although a cloud
drifted across the moon, Random heard the shots coming rapidly
from his revolver. Meanwhile Hervey got away from Date, as the
constables came pounding down the jetty and on to the beach.
"Chuck the mummy and nigger overboard and make for the ship," he
yelled, swimming with long strokes towards the boat.
This order was quite to the sailors' minds, as they had not
reckoned on such a fight. Half a dozen willing hands clutched
both Cockatoo and the case, and, in spite of the Kanaka's cries,
both were hurled overboard. As the case swung overside, De
Gayangos, balancing himself at the end of the boat, fired at
Cockatoo. The shot missed the Kanaka, and pierced the mummy
case. Then from it came a piercing yell of agony and rage.
"Great God!" shouted Hope, who was watching the battle, "I
believe Braddock is in that damned thing."
The next moment De Gayangos was swung overboard also, and the
sailors were lifting Hervey into the boat. It nearly upset, but
he managed to get in, and the craft rowed for the vessel, which
was again showing a flaring blue light. Random sent a shot after
the boat, and then with the policemen ran down to help De
Gayangos, who was struggling in the water. He managed to pull
him out, and when he had him safe and breathless on shore, he saw
that the boat was nearing the ship, and that Date, torn and wet
and disheveled, with three policemen, was up to his waist in
water, struggling to bring ashore Cockatoo and the mummy case, to
which he clung like a limpet. Hope ran down to give a hand, and
in a few minutes they had the Kanaka ashore, fighting like the
demon he was. Random and De Gayangos joined the breathless
group, and Cockatoo was held in the grasp of two strong men - who
required all their strength to hold him - while Date, warned by
Hope's cry of what was in the case, tore at the lid. It was but
lightly fastened and soon came off. Then those present saw in
the moonlight the dead face of Professor Braddock, who had been
shot through the heart. As they looked at the sight, Cockatoo
broke from those who held him, and, throwing himself on his
master, howled and wept as though his heart would break. At the
same moment there came a derisive whistle from The Firefly, and
they saw the great tramp steamer slowly moving down stream,
increasing her speed with almost every revolution of the screw.
Braddock had been captured, but Hervey had escaped.
At the inquest on the Professor and on the body of Mrs. Jasher,
it was proved that Cockatoo had warned his master that the game
was up, and had suggested that Braddock should escape by hiding
in the mummy case. The corpse of Inca Caxas was placed in an
empty Egyptian sarcophagus - in which it was afterwards found -
and Braddock, assisted by his faithful Kanaka, wheeled the case
down to the old jetty. Here, in a nook where Cockatoo had
formerly kept the boat, the Professor concealed himself all that
night and all next day. Cockatoo, having got rid of his boat
long since (lest it might be used in evidence against him and his
master), ran through the dense mist and the long night up to
Pierside, where he saw Captain Hervey and bribed him with a
promise of one thousand pounds to save his master. Hervey,
having assured himself that the money was safe, since it was
banked in a feigned name in Amsterdam, agreed, and arranged to
ship the Professor in the mummy case.
Thus it was that Hervey kept the four men talking up the jetty,
as he knew that Cockatoo with his own sailors was shipping the
Professor in the mummy case underneath, and well out of sight.
Cockatoo had come down stream with The Firefly, and in this way
had not been discovered. Throughout that long day the miserable
Braddock had crouched like a toad in its hole, trembling at every
sound of pursuit, as he knew that the whole of the village was
looking for him. But Cockatoo had hidden him well in the case,
in the lid of which holes had been bored. He had brandy to drink
and food to eat, and he knew that he could depend upon the
Kanaka. Had Date not been suspicious, the ruse might have been
successful, but to save himself Hervey had to sacrifice the
wretched Professor, which he did without the slightest
hesitation. Then came the unlucky shot from the revolver of De
Gayangos, which had ended Braddock's wicked life. It was Fate.
At the inquest a verdict of "wilful murder" was brought against
the Kanaka, but a verdict of "justifiable homicide" was given in
favor of the Peruvian. Thus Cockatoo was hanged for the double
murder and Don Pedro went free. He remained long enough in
London to see his daughter married to the man of her choice, and
then returned to Lima.
Of course the affair caused more than a nine days' wonder, and
the newspapers were filled with accounts of the murder and the
projected escape. But Lucy was saved from all this publicity,
as, in the first place, her name was kept out of print as much as
possible, and, in the second, Archie promptly married her, and
within a fortnight of her step-father's death took her to the
south of France, and afterwards to Italy. What with his own
money and the money she inherited from her mother - in which
Braddock had a life interest - the young couple had nearly a
thousand a year.
Six months later Sir Frank came into the small San Remo where Mr.
and Mrs. Hope lived, with his wife on his arm. Lady Random
looked singularly charming and was assuredly more conversational.
This was the first time the two sets of lovers had met since the
tragedy, and now each girl had married the man she loved.
Therefore there was great joy.
"My yacht is over at Monte Carlo," said Random, "and I am, going
with Inez to South America. She wants to see her father."
"Yes, I do," said Lady Random; "and we want you to come also,
Lucy - you and your dear husband."
Archie and his wife looked at one another, but declined
"We would rather stay here in San Remo," said Mrs. Hope, becoming
slightly pale. "Don't think me unkind, Inez, but I could not
bear to go to Peru. It is associated too much in my own mind
with that terrible green mummy."
"Oh, Don Pedro has taken that back to the Andes," explained Sir
Frank, "and it is now reposing in the sepulchre in which it was
placed, hundreds of years ago, by the Indians, faithful to Inca
Caxas. Inez and I are going up to a kind of forbidden city,
where Don Pedro reigns as Inca, and I expect we shall have a
jolly time. I hear there is some big game shooting there."
"What about your soldiering?" asked Hope, rather, surprised at
this extended tour being arranged.
"Oh, my husband has left the army," pouted Inez. "His duties
kept him away from me nearly all the day, and I grew weary of
being left alone."
"So you see, Mrs. Hope," laughed Random gayly, "that I have had
to succumb to my fireside tyrant. We shall go and see this fairy
city and then return to my home in Oxfordshire. There Inez will
settle down as a real English wife and I'll turn a country
squire. So, after all our troubles, peace will come."
"And as you, will not come to my country," said Lady Random to
her hostess, "you cannot refuse to visit Frank and myself at the
Grange. We have had so much trouble together that we cannot lose
sight of each other."
"No," said Lucy, kissing her. "We will come to Oxfordshire."
So it was arranged, and the next day Mr. and Mrs. Hope went over
to Monte Carlo to see the last of Sir Frank and his wife. They
stood on the heights watching the pretty little steamer making
for South America. Archie noticed that his wife's face was
"Are you sorry we did not go, sweetheart?"
"No," she replied, placing her arm within his own. "I only want
to be with you."
"That is all right." He patted her hand. "Now that we have sold
all the furniture in the Pyramids, and have got rid of the lease,
there will be nothing to remind you of the green mummy."
"Yet I can't help thinking of my unfortunate stepfather, and of
poor Mrs. Jasher, and of Sidney Bolton. Oh, Archie, little as we
can afford it, I am glad that we allow Mrs. Bolton a small sum a
year. After all, it was through my step-father that her son met
with his death."
"I don't quite agree with you, dear. Cockatoo's innate savagery
was the cause, as Professor Braddock did not intend or desire
murder. But there, dear, do not think any more about these
dismal things. Dream of the time when I shall be the president
of the Royal Academy, and you my lady."
"I am your lady now. But," added Lucy, perhaps from an
association of ideas of color and the Academy, "I shall hate
green for the rest of my life."
"That's unlucky, considering it is Nature's color. My dear, in a
year or two this tragedy, or rather the three tragedies, will
seem like a dream. I won't listen to another word now. The
green mummy has passed out of our lives and has taken its bad
luck with it."
"Amen, so be it," said Lucy Hope, and the happy couple went home,
leaving all their sorrows behind them, while the smoke of the
steamer faded on the horizon.