Part 5 out of 6
looks as if the finger of fate plaits the noose for Ferris' neck.
For he did know all; he hated and betrayed Clayton, and, I believe
that he killed him."
"Yes; or had him killed, to clear the way to Alice Worthington's
side," exclaimed Witherspoon. "I see it all, now! Old Hugh intended
to marry this noble girl to our dead friend!"
But Jack Witherspoon only bowed his head and burst into bitter
tears. "Too late; too late!" he sobbed. The golden fortune seemed
stained with his dead friend's blood.
When the morning brought once more the refluent crowds to the
streets of New York, a thousand financial agencies over the world
were now eagerly watching for some trace of the fortune stolen from
the murdered cashier.
Police and detectives, the officers of justice in far cities and
foreign lands, were eagerly striving to gain the additional reward
of twenty-five thousand dollars offered by the Fidelity Company, at
Alice Worthington's order, for the detection of the secret murderers.
But to Witherspoon and Atwater the night had been one long vigil
of earnest conference.
Wearied out at last, Atwater decided the future policy of the two
friends. "Let Stillwell have his head, Jack," gravely advised the
doctor. "Keep your secret as yet. You know how that noble girl has
guarded her dying father's confidence. To save you, let me tell
her all, but only after the whole circle has failed to find the
murderers. I will not mention your name. But I will tell her that
poor Clayton left a will. I wish to see this million secured to
"Then, when she promises to keep my secret, I will tell her of the
tell-tale Brooklyn address, and you and I can join her in hunting
down the gang who lured Clayton to his ruin. She is the one arbiter
of the situation; you and I must aid her. We will know all the
developments of the police inquest. In this way, Ferris will not
be alarmed. We may trace it home to him."
"You are right," assented Witherspoon, "and I will watch Ferris
through the office boy, Einstein, and there's a fine fellow, a
policeman, McNerney, down there. I've promised him a private reward
for any clue, and he told me he would lay off and go on a still
"He knows how to communicate always with me," concluded Witherspoon,
"and I will bring him into our circle, if you can gain Alice
The great metropolis had almost forgotten Randall Clayton's
mysterious taking off, when, a week later, there was a sad gathering
in Woodlawn Cemetery, where Doctor Atwater supported on his arm
the black-robed figure of the great heiress, when the red earth
rattled down upon the murdered man's coffin.
There was a scanty two-score of mourners around the open grave;
but Atwater felt the nervous thrill of the girl's arm as she turned
away. "Justice to his memory, reparation for the past," murmured
Alice Worthington. "I leave the punishment of his betrayers to
the vengeance of the God above, the One who knows all."
It was with a thrill of coming triumph that Atwater listened to the
heiress when she drew him aside, in the great Stillwell drawing-rooms,
on their return.
"You were Randall's one true friend here," the noble girl cried.
"These great lawyers are bound up in the affairs of millions. My
friends, the executors, have given up all present hope; they must
return to Detroit; even Mr. Stillwell and the police authorities
are in despair.
"Mr. Witherspoon will be tied to the routine of the great business;
but you can aid me. Give me all your time, work with your friend,
for I will follow up this mystery until my foster-brother's name
is cleared of stain, and justice is done. Let us be a trinity of
And thus it came to pass that Mr. Arthur Ferris lingered, shunned
by all his old associates, and busied about his private affairs.
Wandering about New York, he never knew of the ceaseless watch
upon him, his restless heart awaiting some new blow of the hostile
influence whose veiled stroke had ruined his brilliant prospects
in life! To his astonishment, he learned from Senator Dunham that
the entire secret programme of the company's vast interests had
been successfully carried out.
He veiled his defeat, in very shame, from the prosperous statesman,
and, a new disgrace, he now carried the brand of cowardice upon
him, for Witherspoon passed him daily with a contemptuous scorn.
And still, he dared not abandon his uneasy flitting about the
neighborhood of the company's office. His haggard face was now
known, even to Mr. Adolph Lilienthal.
The startled proprietor of the Newport Art Gallery had sealed up
all his vague suspicions in his guilty breast. He never dared to
confide even in Robert Wade, sneaking in furtively to the "private
On one or two occasions, the anxious Ferris had buttonholed the
reinstated Wade, when the careful manager visited the "Art Gallery."
"Do they know anything?" muttered the frightened scoundrel. He
dared not even breathe Fritz Braun's name. After nights of weary
cogitation, Lilienthal had buried Irma Gluyas' baleful memory
"She cleared out a month before this strange murder," he was
forced to admit, "and Fritz Braun was off for Europe before this
deed. No; the poor fellow was either dogged from the office, or
else trapped on his way to the bank."
Lilienthal saw his own profitable schemes all endangered. "If I
owned up to a single scrap of information, if I were hauled into
any court proceedings, my secret patrons would take French leave
And so, the prudent wretch merely adhered to his plain story that
he had sold the late Mr. Clayton an artist proof of the famous
Danube view. But, looking upon the unclaimed duplicate now in his
window, Lilienthal softly chuckled and rubbed his hands. "I am
a good two hundred and fifty ahead on that lucky picture." For
he could not find Miss Irma Gluyas to deliver to her the property
which was her own property.
Far away, by the shores of the yeasty Baltic, when Hugh Worthington
rendered up his repentant soul, two guilty ones stealthily regarded
each other's faces in the little hotel in Lastadie, where "Mr.
August Meyer" had taken refuge.
The huge "Mesopotamia" lay icily at her docks, and the graceful
woman had vanished from the cabins where her would-be betrayer had
watched her every movement. Fritz Braun's active mind had sounded
every danger now encircling his future pathway.
There was a circle of fire around him, though, as he kept hidden
in the little suburban hotel, where his smuggling confederates had
found him a safe refuge as their chief. The grinning head steward
had helped him smuggle his unsuspected booty on shore, and, while
Fritz Braun gazed moodily out of the windows of the old hostelry,
he planned his future hiding.
Neither the dangerous dupe at his side nor his hoodwinked associates
of the International Smuggling Association knew of the vast fortune
which Braun had artfully hidden upon his arrival.
Well he knew that his life would pay the penalty in a moment if
the blood-stained treasure were suspected to be in his hands.
And so, with careful craft, he labored to throw off all his
dangerous associates and quietly disappear to a retreat, already
decided upon, in the sleepy environs of Breslau.
"First, to watch my lady!" he decided, for he was not deceived by
Irma Gluyas' apparent quiet. His first care had been to obtain the
New York journals' regularly arriving. "If there is any hubbub over
there, I will be on guard, before they can reach me," he mused, as
he glowered over his wine at the woman who now panted for liberty.
Two weeks after his arrival passed with no detection of the murder.
"Safe, safe!" he laughed. "The trunk is now buried a hundred feet
deep in the ooze of the East River."
And he smiled in triumph at the precaution which had led to Leah
Einstein's hegira to her respectable First Avenue tenement, under
the decent alias of Mrs. Rachel Meyer.
He brooded, day by day, over the skill with which he had arranged
for cablegrams to a safe address. The innocent cipher arranged for
would warn him of all possible happenings.
And yet, at ease in his trust in the dumb fidelity of the distant
woman still his slave, he waited hungrily for the Magyar beauty to
trap herself. He was a man of infinite patience. Indulging every
seeming whim of his companion, he had never lost her from his sight
a moment since their arrival.
It was on the fourth day after their refuge in Stettin, when Fritz
Braun stole out of his rooms at a secret signal from Lena, the
"stube-madchen," whose frank face had won upon the secretly imprisoned
"She gave me one of her diamond rings to pawn. I was to post this
letter and to send this telegraph dispatch to America," whispered
the girl. Fritz Braun smiled as he received the proofs of the
And then, Lena sang over her drudgery for the next week, for the
grateful Braun had filled her hand with gold.
There was a strange gleam of contentment in Irma Gluyas' eyes
when she followed Fritz Braun, two weeks later, into the train for
Breslau. Her secret master had redoubled every tender care, and
there was a brooding peace between them.
But there were gloomy projects in his busy brain as Braun watched
the Baltic sand dunes fade away behind him. "She is deceived by my
manufactured telegram from Clayton. She will wait for his coming."
He laughed over the cunning which had bade her write or cable no
more. And, with a wildly loving heart now panting in her reassured
bosom, Irma Gluyas fell into a belief in Braun's story of their
flight from the revenue officials. "Thank Heaven, he is safe! He
loves me beyond all," mused the dreaming woman.
"He will get the letter left for him with the faithful girl, and
follow me on. Once that I am out of this man's clutches, Braun will
never dare to follow or claim me. For, he fears the Vienna police
as much as I."
Brave in her love, happy in her lover's safety, Irma Gluyas only
lived to meet once more the man who had awakened her nobler nature.
To be his slave, to drift down the years with him, was all she
asked; only to see his face again! She was held in Love's bondage
And, wrapped in her dreams of the future, she forgot the man at her
side, who now compassed her death. "I must make my treasure safe
first," he craftily planned, "and then lose this hawk-eyed devil.
But only when my future is secure beyond all reach!"
With all his bridges burned behind him, Fritz Braun easily threaded
the network of railways of the Eastern German frontier.
For years he had studied over the hiding place upon the triangular
frontier of Poland, Germany, and Austria; and now, he only longed
for a freedom from Irma Gluyas' haunting eyes.
"Leah can join me later; but even she must not know of this fool's
Safe in his own conceit, Fritz Braun drew happy breaths of relief
when he was safely hidden in the little village of Schebitz, under
the frowning crags of the Silesian Katzen Gebirge.
"Here we can rest in safety till the storm blows over," he said,
as Irma Gluyas followed him into the arched entrance of an old
half-forgotten manor house. "You shall have your books and music;
we can take a run whenever we like, and you shall have nothing to
fear, for my American friends will take care of me."
And then began the double duel of wits, in which, all innocent of
suspicion of danger, the woman whose soul was struggling toward
the light again, hid the darling secret of her heart--the coming
of the man who was to free her from the tyranny of her past sins!
"His love will find me out, even here," she murmured, as she listened
to the wild breezes sweeping down from the pine-clad mountains.
"And I shall live once more--a bond slave no longer!"
It was two weeks after their arrival when Braun felt safe to leave
his dangerous charge with the peasant spies whom he had gathered
His money was safe, hidden in the old manor house; and he felt the
skies were clear when he entered the money-changers at Breslau,
where he cautiously sold some of his smaller bills.
On the table in the bank lay a copy of the New York Herald. His
stern face paled as he gazed upon the flaring head-lines. But the
audacious criminal's hand never trembled as he read the four columns
which blazoned the discovery of Clayton's body.
Fast as the devil drives he hastened back to his secret lair. One
friendly thrill warmed his agitated heart as he read Leah Einstein's
simple cipher words, in the cable which warned him of a new danger.
"I must soon be about my business," he gloomily decided. "This
Hungarian witch has some jewels left. It's only a few hours by rail
to the Russian frontier. She might, with her winning appearance,
easily find her way over the frontier of Poland. If she learned
of the discovery of Clayton's body, she might, in her love craze,
denounce me, even here. That would mean death for me; at the worst
only a short detention for her."
The fear of the old Vienna crimes now hardened the heart of the man
who was once the prosperous Hugo Landor. "SHE MUST DIE!" he cried
as he sentenced her remorselessly. "But how? There must be no
His whole nature was thrilling with the alarm of Leah Einstein's
warning. "She may have to clear out," mused the self-tortured
criminal. "Her only safe refuge is with me, and I could count on
her to help me clear away this wild-hearted Magyar devil."
Fear now kept him from any further unnecessary visit to Breslau.
He pondered a whole day, and then sent an unsigned cablegram,
addressed to the woman he had rebaptized as Rachel Meyer.
It was the simple phrase, "Schebitz-Breslau."
"Leah will know that I am here, and in any storm can join me."
With a sudden access of generosity, he sent the faithful ally of
his darkest day a secretly-purchased draft for two thousand marks.
And then the murderer forgot his danger, ignorant of one lonely
pursuer who followed up the blind trail of the murderer, now watching
Leah Einstein night and day.
It was twenty days later when the poor cobbler Mulholland, whistling
softly, went out and closed the door of his little shop opposite
Mrs. Rachel Meyer's modest apartment. The frightened woman had
only left her rooms at night after the publication of the finding
of Randall Clayton's body.
A horrible, haunting fear now possessed her. She knew the horror of
the deed. Stronger than the terror which bade her avoid the light
of day was the yearning to assure herself of the unruly boy's
safety. "If he is caught, God of Jacob!" she murmured, "I will end
my days in prison."
Even the hammering of the strange Irish cobbler in the noisy hallway
relieved her. She had never looked into that open door but a pair
of gleaming eyes had followed her every movement from under the
disguised policeman's bushy false beard.
"I think that I have the key of the mystery now," gleefully
soliloquized McNerney. "I am tired of playing cobbler Mulholland."
In fact, he needed time for rest and study.
A five-dollar bill had procured him the privilege of copying the
cablegram, when a telegraph boy had stumbled in, two weeks before,
to find Rachel Meyer.
The words "Schebitz-Breslau" had given him no clue; but on this
auspicious day the postman had begged him to aid him in finding
the proper party to receive a valuable registered letter.
The officer's quick eye caught the German stamp, "Value 2000 marks,"
and the words, "Absender, August Meyer." "This is the fellow at
last," muttered McNerney. "The man, August Meyer, who sends this
poor devil of a woman two thousand marks. She is preparing to skip
out. Now, for Mr. Lawyer Witherspoon!"
"The next time that this woman meets the boy, he must be arrested
on one corner by Jim Condon. I will seize upon her! Keeping them
separate and quiet, I may get the story. But I dare not tell the
chief, or I would lose the reward. Witherspoon must trust to me.
I must get that man over there."
ON THE YACHT "RAMBLER."
Four days after cobbler Mulholland had sold out his little outfit
to a stranger, James Lennon, whose dingy scrawl, "Shoes Fixed While
You Wait," now stared Mrs. Rachel Meyer in the face, there was a
circle of three earnest conspirators plotting in the interests of
justice in the library of Counsellor Stillwell.
The great house was silent on the golden afternoon, of the famille
Stillwell were busied in their varied occupations. The old lawyer
in his William Street legal cave, the ladies driving or chasing
the bubble pleasure.
Around the library table were gathered a trinity of souls all eager
to avenge the unrequited death of Randall Clayton. The tired-out
executors were now on their way to Detroit, sharing with the
puzzled journals and the baffled police the hope that "something
would finally turn up in the Clayton mystery."
Down in the Western Trading Company's office, the urbane Robert Wade,
now shining out again in full plumage, explained to the occasional
disgruntled stockholder that the Fidelity Company had paid in their
fifty thousand dollars; that many of the largest cheques had been
stopped, and that the Worthington Estate had nobly offered to recoup
the company for the final deficiency from the extra fall dividend
on their own stock, which was to gladden all hearts.
"Poor Hugh Worthington!" sighed Wade. "If he had only lived to see
his cherished plan for freight control in operation. Our stock
has risen fifty-five points on the new deal. Mr. Ferris? Ah! His
retirement was solely due to ill-health. He has resumed his private
consulting practice. But, Clayton! there was an irreparable loss!
Poor boy! Some momentary imprudence must have exposed him. Thugs!
Thugs! Here in New York, in broad day light! It is monstrous!"
And so the ruffled financial waters closed smoothly over the
forgotten grave of the murdered cashier. It was dimly supposed
that the "sleuth hounds" of the law were still peering about with
their fabled "argus eyes."
But the two men gazing upon Alice Worthington's serene and
steadfast face on this August afternoon wondered at the fervor of
her high-souled thirst for vengeance.
The broad, Greek forehead, the clearly-shining blue eyes, the firm,
resolute lips, her voice throbbing with earnestness, all spoke of
a Venus armed with Minerva's panoply.
William Atwater's dark, impassioned face was lit with a fiery
enthusiasm, as he said, "Miss Alice, we have met here to open the
first of the seven seals.
"Witherspoon and I have recognized that you have not unfolded
to Stillwell, or even the executors, all the last, sacred wishes
of your father. We feel that you have knowledge, suspicions, and
inferences, all your own. Now, to us, the last, the nearest friends
of Clayton, your carte blanche to follow this up means everything.
But we must have your directing mind with us; we need absolute secrecy,
the use of money, and your aid. We do not ask you to tell us all,
now. We only do ask that you will, at the right time, aid us with
everything you can impart. We will give you the most important
disclosures. I will give you my whole time.
"And if you sustain Witherspoon here, I will hound down the
murderer, and, perhaps, fix a further responsibility on the only
man to whose interest it was to blot out Randall Clayton's blameless
There was a joint exclamation as the three gazed inquiringly at
"Yes," solemnly said the dark-eyed doctor. "He was luring Clayton
to his grave! He may have tried other plans, and, perhaps foiled
by Clayton's suspicions or by mere accident, have used the real
murderer here as his tool."
Alice Worthington's golden hair gleamed out, as her head fell upon
her hands. Her face was ashen-pale, as she faltered out, "Have you
found any papers?"
The girl bride's heart beat wildly. There was the imperilled honor
of her father, guilty in intent in her mind now, as she whispered,
"Is any one implicated?"
"Listen!" said the young physician, rising and pacing the room.
"We have a trap set for a humble tool of the real murderer, whom
we believe to be hiding in Europe. We must act somewhat outside of
the law. Witherspoon must go to the Secretary of State at Washington
and get an alias extradition, so that we can later hold the real
criminal. We must use force, fear, even innocent fraud. We need your
money aid, your authority, and your secrecy." Miss Worthington's
face lit up grandly.
"There's my hand," firmly said Alice Worthington, springing up. "I
have made arrangements with the executors for money. Spare nothing!
Let us all act together. You shall be my brothers if you bring
the cruel wretch to bay!" The young doctor bent over the girl's
trembling hand and kissed it in reverence. Turning to Witherspoon,
he simply said, "Call in McNerney."
A flickering rosy red dyed the young heiress' cheeks as she gazed
upon Atwater's nervous, elegant figure pacing to and fro in the
dusky library. "Miss Alice," said the physician, "When I dismiss
Witherspoon and the officer, it will be only to send them to take
two persons into custody. From them we shall be able to find our
secrets which will lead us to the murderer.
"And to-morrow I will come alone, here, and tell you that Randall
Clayton feared treachery; that he made a will, and left his little
savings to one whom you will respect and honor.
"Of all this, not a single word, even to Witherspoon, until the two
suspected ones are secretly arrested. Not a human being must know
of the arrest, as we will use either one of the arrested to guide
me to the hiding place of the murderer.
"I hope by to-morow night that you will know all but the fact of
the chief criminal's arrest! To effect his arrest, I myself must
risk life and even my reputation. Witherspoon and I have toiled
in secret since the disappearance of Clayton.
"With you, we will win; without you, the murderer may escape. One
hint of danger, and he would take flight and be lost in Europe's
uncounted millions, perhaps in Asia."
Alice Worthington's beaming eyes told of her new pledge of secrecy,
as she stood, a beautiful Peri, finger on lip, while Witherspoon
brought the stalwart McNerney into the library.
The young officer, in plain, dark clothes, with severely shaven
lip, was the ideal of a resolute young Irish priest, saving his
But his steady eye kindled as Witherspoon tersely recounted to the
astonished heiress the discovery of the pocketbook, the picture
label, the secret visits to the deserted mansion, No. 192 Layte
Street, and the results of all his private researches.
The policeman sprang to his feet as the lawyer logically recounted
his casual visits to the Newport Art Gallery, on finding a similar
Danube picture in the window.
"In my opinion," sharply concluded Jack, "this Adolph Lilienthal
knows something. His glib lie that there was no duplicate of the
artist proof in America fell flat when I reminded him that I had
recently seen one in New York. After looking over his memorandums,
he admitted that he had sold one to Mr. Randall Clayton some weeks
before his unfortunate death.
"Now," the lawyer cried, with positive deduction, "that picture
had been addressed to Fräulein Irma Gluyas, No. 192 Layte Street,
Brooklyn. I have the very label. Her name was found pencilled on
the card in poor Randall's pocketbook. Who can find the missing
thread to follow on this darkened path?"
"I can," stoutly said McNerney. "Somebody who was anxious to get
Clayton out of the way used some pretty face as a lure! She was
thrown across his path, God knows how! The vilest crimes here are
concocted often in gilded luxury. He was undoubtedly killed in
Brooklyn. This woman helped to get him there! Two people must be
let alone, absolutely undisturbed. One is Lilienthal, and the other,
Ferris! And you must all use a thousand precautions when we act.
I'll have half the truth by to-morrow night. My chum, Jim Condon,
is hammering shoes as cobbler James Lennon opposite the room where
one of the suspects lives. And if Lilienthal or Ferris should miss
either of the parties who will be arrested, they may warn the real
criminal." The plainly-spoken words carried conviction to each
The three friends were breathlessly hanging on the officer's frank
words as he now described the departure of the fated Clayton from
the street corner in the carriage with a woman, and decoyed there
by the boy.
"Why did you hide all this?" was Alice Worthington's astounded
"Because the time was not ripe; because it meant the escape of
the real criminal; and because I want the honor of the arrests, and
the double reward. It means a life of ease and promotion, as well
as the glory of bringing the brute who killed Clayton to bay! Now,
Jim Condon is on watch. The woman is packing to slip away to Europe;
she must meet the boy again! I will shadow him; Condon will watch
the woman. Within three days they will meet, probably to-night, as
the German steamers sail in two days. We will soon have them both!
"I've arranged for their safe handling."
"And what do you propose to do?" anxiously cried the heiress.
"Why," simply said McNerney, "the doctor and I will take the woman,
go over to Europe, and catch 'Mr. August Meyer,' who forgot that
the name of the sender of a valuable package is put on the envelope
by the German government. That has betrayed him."
"And Mr. Witherspoon?" the excited woman said. "Stays here and
secretly holds the boy hidden, even against the law, until we have
the other. Then we can trap Ferris or Lilienthal, or both."
"Is this plan your joint work?" asked Alice. The three men bowed.
"And it's the only one, Miss," stoutly said the policeman. "One
word dropped to any one, and we lose the game forever! I go out
of my duty. I risk my place! But I've got three-months' leave of
absence. Condon has two."
"I will guarantee your future," said the heiress to McNerney. "Go
ahead, and God speed you. These gentlemen will furnish all the
money you need."
"Then it's a go!" bluntly answered the officer. "I feel it in my
bones we'll get them to-night."
After a whispered colloquy with the two friends, McNerney offered
his hand to the agitated woman. "I'll risk my life for you, Miss,"
he said. "There's a desperate man behind this deed. And it was no
ordinary woman who drew him into danger. Don't blame poor Clayton. He
may have met her as a mere fashion-plat on the Avenue. Who knows?"
An hour after the officer had departed, Alice Worthington saw
the two friends disappear, walking away unconcernedly, arm in arm.
She turned away from the drawing-room window, in a stormy burst of
"My father!" she gasped. And then, seeking the refuge of her own
room, she hid her tell-tale face. "Even if it leads up to the guilty
past, I can defend his memory. He was guiltless of this crime; and
Randall Clayton's name shall be cleared of all stain!"
Over her virgin heart came the memory of the cold bargain which
had linked her name to the crafty Ferris.
"Never, never, so help me, God! shall he lay his hand again in
For the first time in her life she felt the delicious power of
wealth. Only the silver-haired Lemuel Boardman knew of the armed
neutrality now secretly arranged, which was to buy a legal separation
after six months from her nominal husband in that obscure Western
"Thank God!" she cried. "The sale of his honor, his manhood, for
one hundred thousand dollars will seal his lips. He will keep his
bargain; but, if he should be found guilty?"
All that night the heiress tossed upon uneasy pillows, waiting for
the tidings which might in time parade her name as the innocent
wife of a desperate felon.
The motley crowd pouring along the Bowery at ten o'clock swept past
the Cooper Union on either side in search of the garish delights of
the oblong oasis of pleasure. Down Fourth Avenue from the Square,
down along Third Avenue, they swarmed.
Eager, hard-faced men; painted, hopeless-eyed women, the vacuous
visitor from "Wayback," drunken soldiers, stray sailors, lost
marines, all were kaleidoscopically mingled.
The strident voices of street peddlers mingled with the hoarse
seductions of pullers-in.
Hebraic venders beamed alluringly from their open doors, gin
palaces, shooting galleries, mock auctions, second-hand stores
and brilliantly-lit "dives" awaited the unwary. "Coffee parlors,"
museums, cheap theaters, and music halls, as well as the "side
rooms," were thronged with those pitiless-eyed Devil's children,
the women of the night side of New York!
Roar of elevated train, clang of street cars, hurrying dash of the
ambulance, wild onward career of the fire engine, punctuated this
human maelstrom sweeping toward its duplex outlets of the morgue
or Sing Sing's gloomy prison cells.
No one noted Witherspoon and Doctor Atwater seated in two different
carriages drawn up under the shades of lonely buildings on the side
street near the Dry Dock Bank.
The window-curtains were down in each of these waiting vehicles,
and the drivers nodded upon their boxes.
In all the guilty bosoms on the bedlam-like street no hearts beat
as wildly as those in the breasts of McNerney and Condon.
"It's the one chance of our lives, Jim," said McNerney, as he
crouched in a dark doorway before posting his comrade. Both were
now in uniform, ready for a dash, and McNerney's upper lip wore a
movable prototype of his cherished mustache. "The boy comes down
Fourteenth Street always and by Fourth Avenue," whispered Dennis.
"You watch the corner from this side. I'll nab the woman from the
other. Remember, not till they have met and finished their talk.
Then you can take the boy along with Atwater. I'll rush the woman
away with Mr. Witherspoon."
It was twenty minutes past ten when McNerney saw the dark-clad
form of Leah Einstein swiftly gliding along in the shade from Third
Avenue. Onward she sped, never turning her veiled face to the right
or left, until she slackened her pace under the gloomy cornices of
the Dry Dock Bank.
The policeman sprang into a dark hallway as she passed, holding
his breath lest the shy bird should take alarm.
In a few moments Emil Einstein sauntered across the Bowery and
circling around the deserted bank corner, then settled down into
a slow, searching pace, threading the lonely south side of the
darkened cross street.
From his hidden post, McNerney could see the woman clinging to the
boy's arm and pleading, while she murmured her prayers in a low
"Not yet, not yet," mused McNerney. "He must get her whole message.
She must have time to get his last report."
At last, as the tiger springs upon its prey, McNerney leaped out
of his hiding place, for the sobbing woman had turned alone toward
the East River.
With a frightened half scream, the timorous woman staggered back
speechless as the uniform of the tall officer flashed before her
In a moment she was in the carriage, and both her wrists grasped
by Witherspoon's sinewy hands.
But, before the carriage started, McNerney, tearing away the rear
curtain, saw Policeman Condon hustling the struggling Emil into
the other carriage. When it rapidly dashed away, McNerney grimly
said, "All right! Go ahead!"
The officer's quick ear caught the woman's despairing murmur, "Emil!
My boy, my poor son! They will kill him!"
"Not if you are sensible, Mrs. Leah Einstein," growled the policeman.
"But your boy's life depends now only on you."
"Where are you taking me to?" pleaded the woman, her storm of tears
choking her voice. "That you will soon find out," menacingly said
McNerney. "Where you ought to have been long ago!"
In the long ride across the great city, McNerney grew complacent
over his bold stroke in borrowing an unused store-room from the
armorer of the Twenty-ninth Regiment.
It was after eleven o'clock when the three entered the gloomy
basement under the granite buttresses of the armory.
In the lonely arched room only a table and a few chairs relieved
the prison-like emptiness. A man with papers spread out before him
scarcely raised his head as the three entered.
While McNerney drew the terrified woman into a corner, Witherspoon
anxiously paced the floor. Fifteen minutes after their arrival, a
messenger lad dashed into the room with a telegram.
"All right, now, McNerney!" said the lawyer, as he read the dispatch
telling him: "Party on board the 'Rambler.' Set sail at once. Will
telegraph from Tompkinsville."
And then, with a smile of triumph, Dennis McNerney locked the door.
He placed the half-fainting woman in a chair before the notary and
began his inquisition.
The look of utter despair in Leah Einstein's face softened under
the velvety, wooing voice of the man who had boldly abducted her.
In the whispered conference in the corner, he had skilfully played
upon that inexhaustible mother's love which is the one undiminished
treasure of a worn-out world.
The poor wretch at bay little dreamed that cobbler Mulholland was
standing before her, and her tortured heart had forgotten all the
dangers of the cablegram and the tell-tale registered letter. "If
you answer all my questions," kindly said McNerney, "and make a
clean breast of it, you may save your boy. Do you want to do that
young man's life? He stands next to the electric chair now, for
the murder of Mr. Randall Clayton!"
The heart-stricken mother was on her knees in a moment.
"Kill me! Do anything you wish. But spare him! He is innocent! He
"Let us see what you know, then!" grimly answered McNerney. "The
notary will swear you, and, if you tell us the whole truth, we will
help your boy. If you lie to us, God will punish you both, and we
will show no mercy."
Witherspoon opened his eyes in wonder as McNerney rapidly drew out
the whole story of Clayton's departure from the corner of University
Place in the carriage.
"You were the woman in the carriage on the day that Clayton left!
I SAW YOU MYSELF!" thundered McNerney. "Your own boy brought
Clayton the message. Now, where did you take him?"
Witherspoon held his breath as Leah Einstein, between her sobs,
told of the fatal visit to No. 192 Layte Street.
It was half an hour when the sobbing woman had finished her recital.
"By the God of Jacob! I never saw him after he went into the back
room. Fritz was with him there, Fritz alone!"
The three men were as unmoved as sphinxes while McNerney led her
along. "I only thought Fritz wanted him to meet the pretty woman,
the one they called Irma, and then, while he was there, take his
things from him. He had only a leather valise; no diamonds. I saw
no money, and I was with the sick woman. Mr. Clayton loved her,
and used to come and see her."
"Where does this Fritz live?" sternly said the policeman. "Everybody
knows Fritz Braun, the druggist of Magdal's Pharmacy. Ask Mr.
Lilienthal of the Newport Art Gallery. He is his friend."
With assumed indifference, McNerney mixed a glass of brandy and
water for the woman, and walked the floor in deep thought. "Where
is he now?" at last asked McNerney. "This Fritz Braun!"
There was a silence while the quick-witted Jewess caught at the
protection of the far-off hiding place of her quandam lover. "He
went away; I do not know where; and took the woman with him, this
Hungarian woman, this Irma Gluyas! Lilienthal knows; you can make
"Look here!" sharply cried the officer, in a sudden rage. "You are
lying to me! Your rooms are being searched even now! Your boy has
been taken away, and he will go straight to the electric chair.
He gave that poor man over into your hands. You took him to the
murderer's den! BOTH OF YOU WILL DIE! You were yourself getting
ready to run away to Europe! Your baggage is all packed! We will
force the truth out of your boy; you shall never see him. You can't
help him lie now! I was the cobbler opposite your door, and I've
watched you for a month!"
For five minutes the men labored to restore the stricken woman,
whose tortured nerves gave way. "I shall now search you," roughly
said McNerney, "but I'll have a police matron here to do it. I want
that letter and telegram from August Meyer! I want the money--the
stolen money--he sent you. I'll give you just five minutes to tell
me the whole truth. It's life and death for you now. They are busy
searching your rooms."
With a cry of entreaty, Leah Einstein tore open her dress. She threw
a packet on the table. "It's all there, all there," she wailed.
"And I will tell you all. I will take you to him. You shall catch
him. But spare my boy!" And, moaning and pleading, she now told
the whole truth.
It was long after midnight when the woman scrawled her name in
Polish-Hebrew script under the record of Fritz Braun's crime.
McNerney grasped Witherspoon's arm and led him away. "Do you see
the light now?" he cried, in triumph. "The boy and woman were
used by this damned fiend, Braun. You can see that she was Braun's
slave in the old days. The other woman is innocent of the murder,
and was only a handsome stool-pigeon! But, behind Braun, there
may lurk Lilienthal and Ferris! Braun was to get the plunder for
putting Clayton out of the way. Don't you see that Clayton stood
between Ferris and the millionaire's only daughter!"
"What are we to do?" gasped Witherspoon.
"You are to take the morning train and get the alias extradition
papers from the Secretary of State. Make it a strict confidence. I
will take this woman, the papers, and Doctor Atwater, and we will
grab 'Mr. August Meyer' at Schebitz.
"Jim Condon will hold the boy on the doctor's yacht, and you will
take your notary and get the boy's full confession. Let him know
that he alone can save his mother's life. The moment I have nabbed
this Fritz Braun I'll cable; but I want to recover the money and
get the whole reward. You must get me five thousand dollars from
Miss Worthington, and the letter of credit for five thousand more.
I'll take an iron-handed woman along, a nurse, and police matron."
"What shall I do with Miss Worthington?" demanded Witherspoon.
"Nothing, as yet," said McNerney, with a significant smile. "Let the
doctor handle her confidence! I'll get all this woman's belongings
and put the matron in charge of her. The woman can work skilfully
on her fears.
"To-morrow I'll take a peep at No. 192 Layte Street, then go down
to Tompkinsville with the notary. We will put Emil Einstein 'through
the thirty-third degree,' and in three days Atwater, the two women
and I will be off for Breslau. Leave me a free hand, and I'll get
your murderer and the money. But remember, one single imprudence
loses both man and money; you, your vengeance; me, my reward. And
I depend on this windfall to marry!"
"So do I, Dennis," sadly smiled Witherspoon. "Go in; I'll do your
bidding. Count on the extradition papers and the money."
In ten minutes the armorer's room was dark. "Not a bad evening's
work," said the notary, as he pocketed a hundred-dollar bill,
"and another one of those 'exquisitely executed engravings' for
Long before Alice Worthington had lifted her stately head from her
pillow the next morning, the astonished Dennis McNerney was rubbing
his eyes before the location of the Valkyrie Saloon. He had stolen
over to Brooklyn with the "early birds."
The streets were as yet unpeopled when he drew the drowsy officer
on the beat into the side room of the saloon where once Mr. August
Meyer presided in the evening.
The two uniformed giants smacked their lips over the morning
"Now, that's what I call a cocktail," said Officer Hogan, as he
ordered up (on a complimentary basis) the Havanas. "This saloon
used to be a German sort of headquarters. But the new fellows are
our own people, the right sort. They knew it's an Irish neighborhood.
So they pulled down the sign 'Valkyrie,' and put up 'The Shamrock,'
drove out their Dutch kellners and put in good Irish barkeepers."
"What's become of August Meyer, who used to have an interest here?"
carelessly said McNerney, affecting a familiarity with old history.
"Meyer ran a hidden dead-fall and gambling house next door, at No.
192 Layte Street," said Hogan, biting off his cigar. "That was
before I came on the beat. He got to plunging on the races, betting
against his own games, and the poker crowd here cleaned him up at
last. So there's the Hibernia Social Club, the Democratic Ward
Committee, and a lot of roomers in there. It's a new deal now,
"The whole house has been ripped up and there's a China wash-house
in the basement of that old mansion."
"Meyer?" interrogated McNerney, as he ordered the second round.
"Cleared out for Europe, so they say," carelessly said Hogan. "I
saw him driving in a carriage a few days before he sold out, with
a staving looking woman. He may have married a good thing, and
skipped the town. He was a shifty sort of a devil; but he ran a
square gambling den. And he had loads of money till he went crazy
It was afternoon when Miss Worthington was pondering over Witherspoon's
telegram from Philadelphia, that Officer McNerney was swiftly rowed
out to the yacht "Rambler," lying on the oily summer waters of the
lower bay. Beside him, the notary calmly awaited the materialization
of the second hundred-dollar bill.
But, busied as all her secret agents were, none of the men now
chasing down the fugitive murderer were as anxious at heart as Miss
It was easy to arrange for the money Witherspoon had telegraphed
for; she knew the secret object of his visit to Washington, but
only that certain parties had been taken into custody, and that
there was light ahead.
"My father!" she cried, as she fell on her knees and prayed that
the mantle of shame should not fall upon his yet raw grave.
It was half an hour after Doctor Atwater and McNerney began to
question Emil Einstein that the young scapegoat at last dropped
his policy of lying braggadocio.
Confined in the cabin of the stout schooner yacht of a hundred tons,
he had craftily fenced himself in with a network of lies during
the night, in preparation for the ordeal which he well knew was at
His coarse, defiant nature rebelled when Policeman McNerney confronted
him, and he felt secure in recalling the narrow limitations of
the policeman's possible knowledge of the past.
But at last the lad yielded under the hammering of the enraged
officer. "I'll give you just five minutes to consider if you wish
to sacrifice your mother's life, you young dog," McNerney exclaimed.
"We have her confession in full, and as you decoyed this murdered
man into her clutches, you are only saving yourself by a full
"And if I don't talk?" growled Emil, beginning to sicken over the
"You will be sailed around on this yacht till you weaken, till
we've caught the head devil, and then it only depends on him as to
whether you go to the 'chair' with him or not!" It was a frightful
With a sudden revulsion, the startled young rascal exclaimed: "I'll
give you the whole business, as far as I know; and if you'll save
my mother, I'll turn State's evidence. I know nothing about the
murder! I only know now that Fritz Braun wanted to get poor Mr.
Clayton into some out-of-the-way place to get the money away from
him. I only thought that he wanted to bleed him, using that pretty
woman, s'help me, God! I did."
"We will judge of your story when we hear it," grimly answered
But it was Doctor Atwater's measured courtesy which disarmed this
vulgar youth's pregnant fears.
"We can show your mother and yourself to have been used as innocent
tools, if you give up the whole truth. But, remember, a little
smart lying will surely cost you your life."
Atwater and McNerney listened, in astonishment, as Emil Einstein
unveiled the double life of his former patron. The inner workings
of Magdal's Pharmacy, the dual trades on different banks of the East
River, the duplex Braun and Meyer, and the whole scenario of the
Cafe Bavaria and the Newport Art Gallery--all these were faithfully
With moistened eyes, Atwater listened to the story of Randall
Clayton's chivalric faith in the beautiful waif whom a romantic
Fortune seemed to have thrown in his pathway, a creature of light
When the long recital was done, both the inquisitors felt that
Einstein spoke the truth, as he wildly declared that he only thought
Braun was throwing a pretty woman in Clayton's way to get a secret
hold upon him.
"I never dreamed of the company's robbing, nor of killing poor
Mr. Clayton. I got not one dollar out of it. I never had Braun's
confidence, and he followed me up, and used me, and threw me away
like an old rug. And Ben Timmins knows nothing. He's only a poor
drudge in Braun's Sixth Avenue opium-joint and whisky-store."
"But Lilienthal, he knows a lot! Catch him if you can! But he's an
oily devil. He threw this woman against poor Mr. Clayton."
It was only when the boy was thoroughly subdued that Atwater quietly
asked, "And Ferris? What had he to do with it?"
"Nothing," stubbornly cried the boy. "Only so far as this: he wanted
to sneak in and get old Worthington's daughter, and all the money.
That's square! He hated Clayton. He used to write lying letters
to the old chief about him. He sent private reports on his life
to Mr. Worthington. I used to watch him. I often got a peep at his
papers, and he bribed me to pipe off poor Clayton. But you can hang
me if Ferris knew Fritz Braun. You see," coolly said the crafty
boy, "Ferris wanted the girl, the money, and the old man's favor.
Braun only wanted the company's money, and used the Hungarian lady
to draw Clayton on. I fancy, from all I could see, that Mr. Clayton
really loved that lady; and Braun could only use her to fool him
over there; then he took the chances to kill him to get the money.
No! Ferris is only a snake in the grass, a coward, and a cur! He
fastened on Clayton as a friend, and got in between him and Mr.
Worthington; but, he never saw Fritz Braun!"
The boy's tone was convincing. "Then you let Braun know how easily
he could steal a fortune by getting hold of Clayton on his way to
the bank!" roughly accused McNerney.
"Not me; never, on your life," defiantly answered Emil. "It may
have been Lilienthal, for Mr. Wade was often in that 'back room'
of his. Old Wade is a 'dead easy game,' soft on the ladies, and
Lilienthal may have pumped him and so put the job up with Braun."
The recital of Lilienthal and Braun's illicit trading made Dennis
McNerney's eyes gleam.
When the three men left the yacht at sunset, the policeman called
Einstein into a corner. "See here," he said. "I've got your mother
locked up in my charge. She is a decentish sort of woman, in her
way, and she loves you, you young brute. See if you can remember
anything more in your yacht cruise of a month.
"Officer Condon will treat you well. You may clear your mother and
yourself; you may get Timmins' evidence for us to break up this
smuggling gang. There'll be a big reward there! I will see that you
don't suffer. Give the whole business up to Officer Condon. When
it is safe, you'll be taken ashore."
Emil Einstein, watching the boat going ashore, felt a choking throb
in his throat. "That fellow McNerney's a smart devil," he said.
"He is on the right trail, and there'll be a fight for life when
he rounds up Fritz. He is going after his blood. And Fritz will
never be taken alive!"
The stars were peacefully shining down on New York City, three days
later, when Miss Alice Worthington bade adieu to Doctor Atwater.
The mystery of Randall Clayton's murder had passed into a worn-out
sensation, and new crimes, new names, new faces, filled the flaring
journals. The firm hand of Witherspoon was at the helm of the
Trading Company, and even Adolph Lilienthal had forgotten his fears.
The Clayton affair had been all threshed out! It had been tacitly
arranged between the friends that Witherspoon should watch over
Miss Worthington's peace of mind, while Atwater went upon the quest
led by the resolute McNerney.
Far away under the shadows of the Katzen Gebirge, on this summer
evening, Mr. August Meyer, dogging Irma Gluyas' every footstep,
secretly exulted. "Leah is now on her way to meet me! And then all
the old scores will be soon settled!"
The Hungarian witch, patient in captivity, breathlessly waited
for Randall Clayton's coming, still deceived by the false telegram.
But, as Alice Worthington whispered her last secret instructions to
Atwater, sailing on the morrow, her heart was light, for she knew
her father, though stained with greed, had been guiltless of Clayton's
blood. "I will give anything on earth to the man who clears Randall
Clayton's memory," said the heiress. "Don't promise too much, Miss
Alice," cried Atwater, as he kissed her hand. "I will do my duty!"
As the carriage drove away, she watched him from the window. Their
eyes met, and she turned away, with sudden blushes.
It was four days after the sailing of the secret mission of
justice when Witherspoon said adieu to Miss Alice Worthington at
the Forty-second Street station. With a wise forethought, the young
lawyer had succeeded in his innocent ruse to distract attention.
Mr. Lemuel Boardman not only called the young heiress back to
Detroit, for the probate of her father's will, but sent on his wife
as a courteous convoy to make sure of the girl wife's acquiescence.
It was none too soon. For a haggard anxiety now drew lines upon the
heiress' fair brow. News from the pursuers could only be expected
in a fortnight, and Witherspoon feared the strain of a momentous
secret upon the young beauty's nerves. Her soul longed for Randall
Clayton's complete vindication. "One hint, and Ferris would take
flight," mused Jack. "And if there were accomplices, they are surely
watching her every movement."
And yet it was an ordeal, this parting. For the hundredth time,
Witherspoon promised to come by the first train to Detroit with the
tidings of the secret quest, and a score of times he was forced
to deny Alice Worthington's tearful pleading. "Let me know to
whom I can make restitution," she cried. "This will--who has it?
The beneficiary may sorely need poor Randall's strangely withheld
"Only when justice is done will that claimant appear," firmly
answered Witherspoon. "You trust me now with the handling of your
fortune! Trust me yet a little longer with that secret. I will
telegraph you of the success or failure of our expedition.
"And then all will be made plain to you when Atwater returns. There
must be no failure of justice. We will repay the villains to the
And, in his turn, Witherspoon was sorely baffled, for the sudden
appointment of Mr. Arthur Ferris of New York as Consul of the United
States at Amoy, China, had been duly gazetted. Only to Stillwell did
the eager Witherspoon confide his fears that one of the unpunished
criminals was escaping in honorable guise.
"You are in error, my boy," confidently answered the legal Solon.
"We have had Ferris shadowed on behalf of the executors ever since
the death of Hugh Worthington. The fact is," he said, lowering his
voice confidentially, "Senator Dunham is at the helm in this thing.
You well know that old Hugh and the Senator were closely allied.
Now, Hugh blindly trusted Ferris, as the statesman's nephew, and,
in fact, Ferris is, to a certain extent, a very dangerous customer
for all of us. He had papers and secrets which might ruin his uncle,
and a discovery of the hidden relations with Hugh would gravely
affect our company's commanding position. Old Boardman has had a
week of private conference with Senator Dunham.
"Boardman knew every secret of poor old Hugh's heart. Dunham and
Boardman have gone over all the documents and matters surrendered
by Ferris, and the Senator vouches for Ferris' future silence.
"He has himself set off a hundred thousand dollars of our stock,
in Ferris' name (in escrow) as a guarantee of the young man's
silence. This is a present to Ferris, who let Dunham have the first
privately telegraphed news of Hugh's death.
"Why, sir. Dunham turned the market for a half million on that! It
appears the daughter telegraphed the first news of the accident to
Ferris, at the old man's dying request. And Ferris cunningly held
it back, so that the Associated Press did not get it for a day.
Then came the panicky drop in our stock. Dunham sold huge blocks
short and filled later at the lowest notch, forty points below!"
"I thought," slowly remarked Witherspoon, "that Ferris would perhaps
try to blackmail the estate!"
"So he did," drily answered Stillwell. "He gets one hundred thousand
dollars in clear settlement of all his claims for legal services
for the past five years, as rendered to the Worthington Estate."
"Oh! I see," bitterly remarked Witherspoon. "Each side puts up a
hundred thousand dollars as the price of his silence!"
"And," curtly said Stillwell, "we now hold Dunham responsible that
Ferris does not return to America for four years. By that time
Dunham's senatorial term will be out. He will retire from politics,
and so, his record and our interests are secure! I always feared
that Ferris would turn up darkly in this sad murder business,"
gloomily added the old lawyer. "But the whole secret inquest so far
proves to me the correctness of Boardman and Warner's judgment.
Ferris feared Clayton's natural influence over the old man, and
his own final game was the daughter's hand, and then the control
of the old man's fortune. He spied on Clayton, lied about him, and
at last brought about the estrangement of the old man and his only
loyal servant in the whole circle.
"Poor Clayton! After his death he fell into a useless fortune!
Miss Worthington has already made arrangements for a magnificent
monument to him in the family plot at Detroit, and Randall Clayton
will be there beside his stern old master. But for Ferris' wiles
Clayton would surely have married that noble girl, and been alive
to-day, a happy man, in Detroit.
"Ferris played a bold game and lost at last. It was the sale of
the Senator's influence for the hand of the heiress. And she now
hates him with an undying bitterness. But you can drop Ferris out
as a suspected murderer. No; Clayton was evidently killed for the
vast funds he carried. And we see, too late, that no less than
three men should ever be trusted to make regular trips with such
great amounts of money. But it's the old story of life. We are all
wise, a day after the fair!"
Ten days after the stout "Rambler" shook out her snowy sails and
flitted away to Bermuda, there was nothing left to ruffle the still
waters of oblivion which had closed over Randall Clayton. Only upon
the face of Robert Wade, Esq., lingered now an anxious expression
of vague unrest.
For the Newport Art Gallery knew the oily beauty of Mr. Adolph
Lilienthal no longer. There was a new face behind the proprietor's
desk, and the "private view" gallery was permanently closed.
The furtive visitors came trooping in and went disconsolately away,
for the private hall entrance was sternly shut and the electric
bell removed. Night after night police, customs, and post-office
officials sat in secret conference over the mysterious threads of
the Baltic smuggling conspiracy now being gathered up while Mr.
Adolph Lilienthal languished in a private cell in Ludlow Street
He divided his ignorance of what he was "in for" with the frightened
"Ben Timmins," who was safely locked up in a lower tier of the same
human safe deposit bureau, charged with "complicity in smuggling."
The affairs of Magdal's Pharmacy were being conducted by a new
clerk, nominated by the police, all unknown to the Tenderloin
habitues, and a service-paid detective occupied the private office
where the secret connection between Lilienthal and the absent Mr.
Fritz Braun was being daily traced out.
The summer flowers were nodding over poor Randall Clayton's lonely
grave, in the lonely cemetery of Woodlawn, on the September day when
a queerly-assorted party of tourists descended from the train in
the little Silesian village of Schebitz. Doctor William Atwater
was tenderly cautious of the comfort of a veiled invalid woman,
at whose side a sturdy nurse aided the watchful medical attendant.
And none of the gaping yokels of the town obtained even a glimpse
of the sick woman's pale face, as she was conducted to the covered
carriage in waiting for the train.
With some show of state, a resplendent courier and a hard-featured
military-looking stranger drove in advance of the carriage, half
hidden in a hooded country droschky. The slanting summer showers
glittered in the half-veiled sunbeams as the party hastily drove
away toward the summer resort, two leagues away, where jaded
fashionables rejoiced in the healing waters of the Louisen Quelle.
But no one of the gaping throng following the "fremden" guessed at
the errand of this motley throng. In silence the cortege proceeded
until a little by-lane covered with overhanging branches was reached,
leading down into a dell where a natural vista showed an old gray
mansion upon a rocky knoll.
An untrimmed forest around still gave its shelter to bird and hare,
starting out from their coverts as the carriages rolled over the
grass-grown, deserted road. "It is a 'Bleak House,'" murmured
Atwater, gazing out of his carriage at the dreary crags of the
Katzen Gebirge towering up, overhanging the neglected demesne. The
young doctor leaned over and then whispered a few words in the
ear of the apparently invalid woman, who was now trembling like a
"Remember, Leah," he sternly said, "your boy's life hangs on your
faith now." Atwater moved a heavy pistol holster around under his
loose top-coat, as the droschky in front of them halted. He sprang
lightly out and walked to where the two other men were busied in
an earnest colloquy.
McNerney, pistol in hand, was gloomily gazing at the turrets of
the gray house. "He may escape us," fiercely said the man who had
traveled from New York, eager to clasp the cold steel on "Mr. August
Meyer's" blood-stained hands.
"Not so," calmly answered the disguised Breslau police sergeant, a
sturdy war veteran. "I have hunted here all over the Adler's Horst.
I know every crag and open spot. My soldiers are now hidden in a
circle all around the old house. The moment that our carriage drives
out into the open, they will close in and arrest every living soul.
Do you see that little white flag flying on a pole on that pile of
rocks? That is my signal that all is ready. Come on, now. We may
not be in at the death."
Atwater had marvelled at the rapid work of the officials in their
three-hours' stay at Breslau, and now he admired the skirmishing
tactics of the veteran as the three men dodged from side to side
while the empty carriage slowly drove down into the open.
The German sergeant threw up his hand and darted forward on the
run as lithe forms in rifle green were seen quickly swarming out
of the woods encircling the old mansion. There was no sign of life
in the low, irregular hunting-lodge, save a pillar of smoke lazily
ascending from the offices in rear.
McNerney was racing along at the German officer's side, his pistol
drawn, and Atwater hardly turned his head as a squad of soldiers
darted out of the encircling thickets.
"He is in there!" shouted a corporal to the Breslau policeman, now
eager to make the capture and share McNerney's promised reward.
The screams of the frightened servants could be heard as the
assailants neared the house. Was it fancy, or did McNerney see a
grim, human face glaring out of the window of a round tower at the
angle of the facade?
"Here; this way!" cried McNerney, as he stumbled into a little
garden where trellised grapevines in olden days made a shaded walk
for the Lady of Adler's Horst.
The group of men stopped aghast as a woman dashed wildly out of
a door opening into a long conservatory. Her voice rang out in a
last, appealing cry for help. She was sorely pressed!
Not three paces behind her trailing white robes, his face convulsed
with passion, Fritz Braun leaped along, in a murderous rage, like
a tiger in pursuit. In his right hand gleamed a flashing knife, and
as the frantic woman tripped and fell, the brute's arm was raised.
But, throwing himself back into the "gallery position," McNerney
tossed his revolver at the point blank. The heavy crack of the
pistol was followed by a yell of rage as the American sprang forward,
planting his foot firmly on Fritz Braun's chest.
Atwater had kicked the knife a score of yards away, when Sergeant
Breyman thrust his burly form in front of the fallen woman.
But, McNerney was sternly covering the fallen form of Braun with
his cocked pistol. "Move, you dog, and I'll blow your brains out!"
he shouted. "Here, Atwater, get the handcuffs out of my left coat
pocket and clap them on this wretch!" There were a half-dozen men
now holding down the defiant murderer, whose right arm lay limply
at his side.
The second carriage had boldly driven across the lawn, and Leah
Einstein leaped lightly to the ground. She was all unveiled now,
and Irma Gluyas uttered a faint cry as the handsome Jewess stood
spellbound before the astounded prisoner.
Sergeant Breyman had already knotted a handkerchief around the
prisoner's bleeding arm, when Dennis McNerney, in a ringing voice,
cried, "August Meyer, alias Fritz Braun, I arrest you for the murder
of Randall Clayton!"
With one shuddering sigh, Irma Gluyas fell prostrate upon the
grassy sward. "Take her into the house, men," cried the sergeant,
as a score of hardy soldiers now closed around the excited group.
"Go with them, Leah," said Atwater. "I'll just glance at this
scoundrel's arm, and then come in to you."
When the riflemen bore the now fainting prisoner into the dreary
granite-walled lodge, McNerney whispered to Atwater, "Look out
for him! I must take the nurse and Leah, and try to locate Braun's
plunder. These Germans must never know of that."
With all the formality of a martinet, Sergeant Breyman now posted
his guard, leaving a corporal and two men with the young surgeon,
for Atwater only lived now to see Braun dragged back to his punishment.
There was no mistake, for McNerney had whispered, "It's the Sixth
Avenue druggist, sure enough! I am a made man for life!"
The few household servants were being paraded and questioned by the
German official, while Dennis McNerney, followed by Leah, glided
through the rooms of the second story. A glance told the practical
officer where Braun had made his own headquarters.
"The southwest bedroom and second-story turret gave a view of all
of the approaches to the Adler's Horst."
Guns and sharpened hunting implements easily showed Braun's
preparations for defense, and his presumed relaxation.
When McNerney had glanced at Irma Gluyas' own retreat, he hastily
locked the door of Braun's separate retreat. The policeman's quick
eye had caught sight of the inner bolts and chains! "The stuff
is surely hidden near here! I must make my play upon his pretty
companion." When McNerney rejoined Doctor Atwater, the physician
had already left Braun to the formal questioning of the methodical
Irma Gluyas was now sobbing wildly, her head resting on the bosom
of the woman who had been Braun's dupe as well as slave; the woman
who had feebly enacted the role of Madame Raffoni.
And now the whole frightful truth had dawned upon the beautiful
Magyar. She gazed despairingly at McNerney when he quickly said:
"You can purchase your own safety; you can aid us now. Tell me, where
did he hide the quarter of a million he stole? For this scoundrel
only did murder to reach the fortune carried by poor Clayton!"
"Kill me! Do what you will; I care not," sobbed the singer. "I knew
nothing of these crimes, of either one. Hasten, though. Search well
the second floor of the turret. This fiend spent all his evenings
there alone. He always locked his rooms, and the door into the
tower. Even the servants were not allowed to enter his den! What
you seek must be there! May the curse of God reach him! And now
is my hour of vengeance. He betrayed this poor victim, the man who
died through a noble love for me!"
Only Leah Einstein and the resolute Atwater remained at Irma's
side as McNerney ran upstairs alone. The police matron who had
been Leah Einstein's secret jailer on the voyage was now listening
to Braun's stubborn negations of all Sergeant Breyman's formal
Atwater, with a touched heart, listened to Irma Gluyas in her
passionate ravings. "The lying fiend! I will tell all! I will go
on my knees to pray God to strike him dead!"
For, at last, the duped woman knew that Randall Clayton was already
cold in death when Braun had forged the lying telegram which bade
her hope for deliverance.
"He watched me, night and day, lest I should try to escape! He
plotted to kill me, but he feared the servants. I always kept a
little peasant child here in my rooms, night and day.
"Our old forester, Hermann, who guards the estate for the young
Count von Kinsky, who is travelling over the world for four years,
is good and true. He is Frida's uncle. And I told him all my fears.
I had only a few jewels, my own. Braun feared to give me money.
But Hermann was arranging to help me away to Poland, when you came.
Once there I would have been safe from Braun. He would not have
dared to claim me. And Hermann, the forester, is known to all the
officials. He has charge of the estate.
"Braun feared him. He dared not take me away, for I would not go.
It has been the slavery of hell itself. But I baffled him! Four
times a day Hermann came for my orders, and I always left a little
light burning in one window of my rooms. Every night one of the
men watched. My food was prepared by little Frida alone, and she
never left my side. Braun dared not poison me! I waited, and he
waited. What did he wait for?"
"HE WAITED FOR ME," cried Leah Einstein, in a fit of remorseful
tears, now anxious to save her boy.
She seized Atwater's arm with trembling hands. "Your police
detective did not get Braun's first letter to me. He begged me to
come to him. He was to get rid of this poor girl, and I was to live
like a lady."
The two guilty women were weeping together when McNerney stole into
the room. He drew the young doctor aside.
"Our main work is done here," he whispered. "Now get these two
women in trim so they will not tell anything to our German friends.
You and I can handle this quest alone. I've found out his hiding
While the matron delayed Sergeant Breyman below, Atwater and McNerney
ascended to the murderer's lair.
"I at once saw that the flagstones of the fireplace in the turret
had been lifted," hoarsely whispered the overjoyed Dennis. "With
this old boar spear I pried up the slabs. It's all down in there.
A valise full of notes! Here! Help me drag this couch over the
stones, and move the furniture. The German police must not see
this. To-night you and I will gather up the harvest!"
The athletic young men worked with a will. In five minutes the
panting McNerney said, "Safe enough now from the ox-eyed German
detective! Let us go down. How badly is he hurt?"
"His right arm is merely disabled! It's a very severe flesh wound,"
complacently answered the doctor. "Just enough loss of blood and
following inflammation to leave him as helpless as a lamb in our
"I want to take the wolf home," growled McNerney, "and to see him
sit in the chair of death. I'll give him no chance to play tricks!"
There was little sleep in the old schloss of Adler's Horst on this
eventful night. The regular pacing of sentinels reechoed upon the
porticos, and a squad of hearty German soldiers made merry in the
servants' hall with the released domestics.
Stout Ober-forster Hermann listened, with mouth agape, to Sergeant
Breyman's loud denunciation of the wounded prisoner as the two
men exchanged confidences, in the dining hall, where antlers and
wolves' heads, grinning bears' skulls, and eagles' wings told the
tale of many a wild jagd.
In the library, where Braun lay under guard, the two Americans
were as powerless as Sergeant Breyman to break down Fritz Braun's
dogged reserve. The only growl which escaped his bearded lips was
a muttered curse. "Damn you both! In five minutes I would have
silenced that lying jade's tongue forever."
It was four days after the surprise of Adler's Horst when the strangers
left the estate to the care of rugged old Forster Hermann. Far and
near, the simple country folk came to gaze upon the "Amerikanische"
desperado, as the cortege of three carriages and two wagons drew
slowly away from the schloss.
The soldiery had now all departed, save a corporal and three men,
and peace reigned over the woods given up again to the elk and
Atwater and McNerney were astonished at Fritz Braun's stolid
indifference. The whole drama was now laid bare up to the fatal
moment when the entrapped Clayton was left helpless under Braun's
The news of the capture, cabled over to New York City, had sent Jack
Witherspoon whirling away to Detroit to give to Alice Worthington
the news of the successful capture, and a proximate vengeance for
Braun's defiant mood still continued. The only request he had made
of the two friends was that he might have the necessary clothing
for his homeward voyage.
With keen eyes, McNerney and Atwater searched all the articles
reserved for the use of the sullen wretch, whose inflamed wound
now rendered him almost helpless.
The whole crime seemed to be now cleared up from the frank confessions
of Leah Einstein and the unknown Magyar beauty.
"It has been a great campaign," said McNerney, as he saw Braun,
guarded by four soldiers, start slowly toward the village under the
convoy of Sergeant Breyman. "He spent but little of the plunder!
Here we have recovered nearly two hundred and fifty-five thousand
dollars in bills and good cheques! He evidently feared to attract
attention by any undue luxury."
They had removed every scrap of the belongings of both the fugitives.
"I can understand this wretched Leah, now," said Atwater. "She would
have been Braun's willing tool in hiding his final murder of Irma
Gluyas. Braun needed her aid, and would have given her the slave's
dole of comfort. But this beautiful wanderer! She hails with delight
her return to America! Is it her frantic desire for vengeance? She
had learned to love poor Clayton! And her whole soul is fixed on
Braun expiating the murder. Prison she fears not."
Neither man knew of the singer's fear lest an Austrian dungeon
might open its iron cells to her, should Braun be discovered to be
the fugitive Hugo Landor.
"No one can read a woman's heart!" mused McNerney. "Judges and
juries, the journals and the public, fancy these poor wretches,
hunted down for their beauty, are different from their more
fortunate sisters. I've not found it so. There's some womanhood
left in every one of them, and there are manifold temptations and
weaknesses in the lives of many who walk serenely in honor. At the
last, all men and women are much the same; only, once started on
the downward path, not one in a thousand ever is checked!
"This Irma is not such a bad woman; with a better chance she might
have been some one's heart darling for all time. The only thing I
cannot see is how Braun killed this man so quietly."
Both of the friends had discerned no more than the final trap. The
fatal lure of Irma Gluyas' beauty!
Braun, at last becoming distrustful of the woman whose heart was
rebaptized in love, had acted on the moment, and his crafty advantage
was taken of Clayton's headlong passion.
"It is clear poor Leah was only used as a stool-pigeon; she is far
too cowardly to harm the meanest creature," said Atwater. "In some
way, Braun must have given Clayton a stupefying poison, and then
"In that lonely place, he undoubtedly hid the body and had it
thrown overboard later. Of course, it was probably hidden in some
case or box, perhaps a great trunk, and then cast into the bay by
others. One thing is sure, we will never know from this brute's
confession. He will die mute."
"You are right," said McNerney; "for he will go grimly silent to
the chair, a thug and a murderer, in heart and soul.
"This fellow could have prospered in any decent line of life! He
is only one more to make the bitter discovery THAT CRIME DOES NOT
PAY! It is both stupid and useless. But the criminal only finds
this hard truth out too late. He will never get away from me, alive
or dead; back he goes to New York." And yet McNerney forgot his
keenest daily precautions, deceived by the apparent helplessness
of the wounded murderer.
The strangely-assorted party were hurried through Breslau by the
authorities, and Sergeant Breyman proudly wore Doctor Atwater's
gold repeater as a parting present, when the train rushed away,
bearing the secretly raging criminal back to a shameful death.
"I shall not sleep till I get that fellow safely in an iron tank
stateroom on the Hamburg steamer," said the stern-eyed McNerney,
preparing to lock Braun's wrist to his own. "After we sail, we can
have him watched, night and day; then, you and I can rest!"
The secret of the vast money recovery had been faithfully kept, and
even when the "Fuerst Bismarck" turned the Lizard and sped out on
the Atlantic, few of the passengers suspected that a daring criminal
was imprisoned below.
While Doctor Atwater keenly watched the bewitching Irma Gluyas
and the now happy Leah, the returning tourists supposed them to
be only a lady of rank and her waiting women.
McNerney, sure of his princely reward, now never left his prisoner,
and the recovered funds were duly locked in the liner's great steel
So it was left to William Atwater to draw out, bit by bit, the
whole story of Irma Gluyas' wasted life.
A pale-faced, stately beauty, steadfast and silent, was the wretched
woman who had innocently lured Clayton to the murder chamber.
It was easy for Atwater, in his professional experience, to
discover from the final unbosoming of both the women, that Braun
had artfully drugged and stupefied his beautiful decoy, so that she
was incapable of warning Clayton, or interrupting the leisurely
disposition of the murdered man's body.
"He must have changed his first plans," mused Atwater, "only guided
by his desire to have the money so imprudently trusted to one man."
There was life in Leah Einstein's heart once more, for she now knew
that her graceless son was probably safe from prison.
Sly, secretive, and slavishly devoted to the young reprobate, the
sin-soiled woman had successfully hidden all which could in any
way implicate the dishonest office boy.
When the great ship neared Sandy Hook, William Atwater frankly
answered Irma Gluyas' wailing cry, "Why do I not throw myself over
there, in search of peace?"
For the gnawing of conscience had made the Magyar girl's life a
torment. "It is not for me to judge you; it is only for me to help
you!" sadly said the young physician.
"You have aided to bring many sorrows and sufferings on others!
Work out your own salvation! You were born a Catholic.
"Your religion has orders where repentant women can toil among the
suffering in schools or in the hospitals. It has its great work
among the helpless. Hide your dangerous beauty there, among those
who give their lives up to good works.
"And you will find peace and hope stealing to your side. God gave
you a life; you have no right to throw it away." The poor, repentant,
soiled one seized his hand and kissed it, while bitter tears rained
from her eyes. "I will work; I will go where I cannot be hunted
into a deeper hell than my accusing conscience brings up!"
There was a grim vigilance in every movement of Dennis McNerney as
he watched the now haggard-eyed Braun in the tank cell far below
the decks, where Fashion's children gaily chattered.
Only a few gruff sentences had ever escaped the murderer on the long
voyage, and only a horrible curse had answered the proposition of
Atwater and McNerney that a full confession might, in some way,
soften the brute's impending doom.
The room where Braun was confined was bare of all lethal implements
with which he might effect a suicide, and two stalwart men were
When the quartermasters, at midnight, peered out for the first
glimpse of Fire Island light, Dennis McNerney, pacing the deserted
deck, almost alone, revolved his plan of inspecting the sullen
prisoner at intervals of every three hours during the night. "It
is a desperate human brute, that one," muttered the sturdy policeman;
"but, I've brought him safely home."
While a wild coast storm raged, and the screaming gulls circled
around the plunging ship; while shrill winds moaned in the steel
rigging, McNerney crept down for the last time before sighting
land, at four o'clock, to peer through the grated door and see
Fritz Braun lying prone--a confused heap--his coat rolled up as a
pillow under his head.
The wounded arm alone was free; the other, shackled to a broad
belt, was locked around the prisoner's waist.
"He is sleeping like a child," mused the officer. "In a few hours
he will be safely in the Tombs, and my long watch will be over!"
The great liner was grandly sweeping up to Quarantine, when Dennis
McNerney leaped from his berth and followed the startled cabin-boy,
who shook him roughly.
"Come down, sir! THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG!" the boy babbled. "Get
Doctor Atwater, instantly!" cried McNerney, as he rushed down into
the ship's hold.
One glance at the guarded door was sufficient.
One of the careless keepers was clamoring for admittance, while
the other bent over a rigid form lying there, prone and ghastly,
in the gray morning light stealing in at the little porthole.
"It happened while I was out at breakfast," pleaded the unfaithful
watcher, whom McNerney roughly cast aside.
Atwater was at McNerney's elbow when the frightened inmate had
unlocked the door of the strong room. One shake of the recumbent
form told the story. "He has cheated the executioner," solemnly
said Atwater, letting the lifeless hand fall heavily from his grasp.
"He lay that way all the while since your last visit," said the
sullen derelict keeper.
A hasty search of the cell showed an empty vial. "Chloral! Here is
the key to the mystery!" cried Atwater, examining the coat, flung
aside when the body was lifted. "See this torn sleeve! The murderer
had hidden the bottle of poison here in the thick breast-wadding
of the coat under the coat-sleeve. He waited coolly for the deed
till the last night before our landing."
Atwater again inhaled the odor of the narcotic. "Chloral, sure
enough!" he slowly said. "A two-ounce vial, and probably mingled
with some more deadly poison! Probably the 'knock-out drops' the
wretch used formerly to peddle to convicts!"
An hour later a circle of astonished police officials stood around
the corpse of the crafty criminal who had passed beyond man's
jurisdiction. "A desperate wretch," said the chief of detectives.
"Fritz Braun, the mysterious druggist. He was prepared for the
With a quick sagacity, Doctor Atwater had concealed the press
news of the desperate wretch's suicide, having in mind the final
punishment of Lilienthal and Timmins. It was decided by the
police officials to keep the news of the recovery of the fortune an
official secret until all the crafty Baltic smuggling gang should
all be apprehended.
In Irma Gluyas' cabin, Leah Einstein had divulged the whole details
of the cowardly crime, as she had worked them out. It was to Doctor
Atwater alone that Leah freely unbosomed herself.
In return for the Doctor's pledge, now given, to save the precocious
Emil, the timorous Leah gave out the vital keynotes of the Baltic
For, at last, the ban of fear was lifted, and the frightened woman
made haste to avail herself of the official clemency offered by
A half-dozen policemen sped away to concert with the United States
deputy marshals for the arrest of a clan of steamship clerks,
stewards, Hoboken hotel-keepers, wharf officials, and others who
had been the tools of the robust-minded Fritz Braun.
There was a happy meeting with Miss Alice Worthington, who was
now seated in Atwater's stateroom, under the care of the triumphant
Jack Witherspoon. The cable had called her from her princely
Detroit home to be the first to hear the whole story of the capture
of Braun from the lips of Atwater and the jubilant Dennis McNerney.
McNerney's triumph had been sadly dashed by the successful suicide
of the great criminal.
"Never mind," kindly said the chief of police. "It was not your
fault! This makes you a Sergeant, Dennis." The happy officer's
eyes glistened as he saluted.
And ten minutes later he knew from the rosy lips of the great heiress
that the full reward of twenty-five thousand dollars given by the
company, and the same by Miss Worthington was now payable to him
on the deposit of the recovered funds and cheques with the Western
"Five thousand of this is yours, Jim," cordially cried Dennis to
Officer Condon, who had reported on board to announce the well-being
of the office boy prisoner on the yacht "Rambler."
"I'll take another job of cobbler work like that, any time,"
joyously answered Condon, "and, mind you, I'm to be your best man
at the wedding!"
For Dennis McNerney's new rank and fortune were to be the immediate
cause of his precipitating a hitherto delayed matrimony.
The craft with which Fritz Braun had hidden away the poison in the
padded coat-lining suggested to all the insiders the manner which
he intended to use to rid himself of the repentant and defiant
While the chief of police arranged for the secret removal of Fritz
Braun's body at night, there was an earnest conference in Atwater's
"I leave it to you, my brothers," she said, with a pretty blush,
"to arrange for the complete rehabilitation of Randall Clayton's
"The whole business world must know that he was led to his grave
by an honorable affection, and that the momentary imprudence which
caused him to fall into Braun's trap was the only indiscretion of
his whole career.
"And now, I have a right to demand of you both the name of my dead
foster-brother's heir. The million dollars paid for the poor boy's
half of the Detroit lands is on deposit in the Railway Company's
safes, awaiting the probate of his will."
"HE STANDS BEFORE YOU," gravely said Doctor Atwater, taking her
"Poor Randall! Some premonition of his doom haunted him. He had
saved some money, and by investments accumulated a little purse
of twenty thousand dollars or so. And this, and all his estate,
he willed to Mr. Witherspoon, as a wedding present for Francine
"Why did you not tell me sooner?" reproachfully demanded the heiress,
turning her lovely eyes upon Witherspoon.
"Because I wished to freely aid in running down his murderers; to
clear his memory, and because the great world would have misinterpreted
my zeal. I know the nobility of heart with which your father set
aside this property for Clayton, as soon as he found out the old
title! Had they met at Cheyenne, all would have been well!"
And then Alice Worthington thanked God in her anxious heart that
her dangerous secret was safe. She smiled through her happy tears
as she placed her hand in Witherspoon's. "We will both cherish his
memory, for life! And I now only exact one condition: that is,
that Francine's wedding shall be from my home. We were schoolmates,
and sisters of the heart, though our home was a very quiet one.
My father was averse to all family intimacies. The executors are
ready to make the transfer of the money whenever you prove up poor
"And I," said Witherspoon, "exact one thing in return. I demand
the right, in honor, to refund to the Trading Company all the money
used by the murderer, the whole search expenses, and the double
rewards. There will be a princely fortune left for me after all,
and this money so used will vindicate poor Clayton's memory from
all blame for his chivalric folly." Alice Worthington bowed her
head in assent, as the spirited young man proceeded.
"When you see Irma Gluyas, you will know what a strange fate overtook
him. For she has been made another woman by the manly love of the
poor fellow who believed in her." The Detroit lawyer was deceived
by the heiress' calmness. "She knew nothing," he mused. "It is
While Atwater busied himself in the removal of the two women who
had been Fritz Braun's dupes, and arranged for young Einstein's
meeting with his mother, and recording the joint confessions of
the two, a surprise awaited Officer Dennis McNerney.
The cabin boy who had been allowed to bring meals to the wounded
prisoner, in fear and trembling, confessed to the baffled policeman
that Braun had given him a hundred-dollar bill which he had managed
to secrete in his trousers waistband, for the promised duty of
writing to Mrs. August Landor, No. 195 Ringstrasse, Vienna, that
her fugitive son, Hugo Landor, had died of fever in a Catholic
hospital at San Francisco, under an assumed name.
The men on watch were all ignorant of German, and so did not detect
the last wishes of the intending suicide.
"But I knew nothing," protested the boy. "I was always freely
allowed to serve him, and so I brought him a scissors and needle
and thread to repair his clothing, which had been cut to accommodate
"I thought that his little bottle was only medicine; for he hid it
in his hand, after opening the breast of his coat."
"And so there was one last touch of feeling left in the murderer's
heart," mused the stout policeman. "He wished his poor old mother
to believe that he died decently. Let it be so! She shall not carry
this last shame to her grave.
"And now, to polish off all the underlings of the smuggling conspiracy.
There is both honor and profit in bringing them to book.
"Timmins and Lilienthal may be useful as State's evidence, for
this last fellow saves his neck, perhaps, by Fritz Braun's death.
It can never be known if he was only Braun's tool or the real
inspirer of the crime. He must have found out about the money!"
And so the careful lying of mother and son hid forever the reason
of Braun's plot. The boy was saved.
When the stars of night shone down upon the great ship at her dock,
all signs of the gloomy happening had been carefully hidden. Doctor
Atwater had removed the two women, under guard of the well-rewarded
matron and a skilled detective, to his own apartments, where the
crafty Emil Einstein was brought to meet his poor, doting mother.
The detective captain took charge of the unravelling of the whole
story of Mr. "August Meyer's" Brooklyn career, as well as the
secrets of the crafty druggist, Fritz Braun.
There was a great symposium at Counselor Stillwell's residence by
the leafy borders of the park. The great advocate rejoiced at the
removal of every stain from Clayton's memory, and marvelled greatly
at the deeply-laid snares of the man whose body now lay uuhonored
at the morgue.
"You will have to run the company's affairs alone for a month,"
cheerfully said Jack Witherspoon; "for Atwater and I are to
accompany Miss Worthington out to Detroit. Only I bid you all now
to my wedding, which will occur in six months, and Miss Worthington
honors my Francine with throwing her home open for that quiet
ceremony. Atwater is to be the best man!"
"Where is your reward?" softly said Miss Worthington to the faithful
young physician, as they looked out on the evening stars together.
"I can wait!" simply said the young man, and their eyes dropped in
a strange confusion.
But Alice Worthington was in her mind already wondering when the
weary weeks would pass away and free her from the tie binding her
to the man secretly banished to Amoy.
MISS WORTHINGTON SHARES HER SECRET.
The time of roses had come and gone once more. The woodland was
turning to gold again around the beautiful country home of that
successful capitalist, Mr. John Witherspoon, at Fordham.
All the world knew of the stately glories of that recent wedding
festivity at Detroit, whereat, under the wedding bell of white
blossoms, Miss Francine Delacroix had given her hand to the man
whom all envied as he stood before them, the active intellectual
champion of Miss Alice Worthington.
The serene countenance of the young millionairess was placid, bearing
a dignity far beyond her years, when she marshalled the friends
of her youth to witness the marriage of the man whose skilful hand
now guided the vast eastern interests of the Worthington Estate.
It was only after the bewildering honeymoon days had passed that
Witherspoon, under the advice of Counselor Stillwell and the astute
executors, began to gather up all the loose ends of the Clayton
The permanent residence of Witherspoon in New York City was exacted
by the growing cares of the vast company's interests.
And so the young bridegroom had selected a temporary country house
until his vivacious helpmeet could be pleased in a choice of their
permanent city residence. Unchanged by the possession of his dead
friend's fortune, so romantically passed down to him, Witherspoon
ceased to try to unravel the dark complications of Hugh Worthington's
There seemed to be some peculiar restraining influence which
sealed the lips of Messrs. Boardman and Warner, and even the great
Stillwell but briefly referred to the strange compact with Ferris
which had seemed to buy the crafty schemer's silence for one hundred
To the astonishment of proud old Detroit, Miss Worthington seemed
to show no desire to open her superb palace home to society, and
the great world slowly crystallized to the conclusion that she had
found a new field in the affairs of the vast estate now absolutely
under her own control.
The beautiful girl seemed to have passed, with a bound, into a
mature womanhood, as if some malign influence had swept away all
the flowers from her path. And, in her daily walks, she avoided
the scores of gallants who now sought that richly dowered hand.
"This is not as it should be," finally decided Witherspoon, whose
firm hand had cleared up all the aftermath of complications arising
from Clayton's murder.
Busied with his own affairs, Witherspoon left the fate of Irma
Gluyas, the friendless Leah, and the corrupted boy to Doctor
William Atwater, whose frequent visits to Detroit were explained
by some vague plan of philanthropic deeds now occupying the mind
of Miss Worthington.
The meaner subordinates of Fritz Braun's crime were all easily
disposed of, for both Lilienthal and Timmins were now serving long
sentences for defrauding the United States customs laws.
And the Newport Art Gallery and the Magdal's Pharmacy were now both
matters of "ancient history."
A mock auction allured the crowd, where the drugstore had long
gathered the degenerates, and a gaudy "Bargain Bazar" flourished
where once Lilienthal's inviting smile had wooed the unwary.
And, as the pernicious smuggling gang had been routed, "smitten hip
and thigh," Witherspoon ceased to pry into the still partly veiled
past. It was only after Sergeant Dennis McNerney had dropped the
very last clue, that Witherspoon finally abandoned his settled
purpose of tracing down Arthur Ferris' supposed connection with
the crime which swept Randall Clayton out of the world. "It's no
use, sir!" muttered the sergeant, "He was capable of anything, but
he stands clear of the whole thing!"
The prosperous sergeant had sifted to the very dregs the fullest
confessions of the passionate-hearted Hungarian beauty, and the
The complete history of "August Meyer" in Brooklyn had been traced
out, and McNerney triumphantly demonstrated the uselessness of
further search in No. 192 Layte Street.
The old mansion had been in every way changed, and the basement was
now the abode of swarming Celestials, who had tinkered its space
up to suit themselves. There were no traces of the crime left!