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Title: Harry Blount, the Detective - The Martin Mystery Solved
Author: Flanagan, T. J.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harry Blount, the Detective - The Martin Mystery Solved" ***

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PRICE, 25 CENTS.                 =No. 61.=

THE SUNSET SERIES.

By Subscription, per Year, Nine Dollars.

August 16, 1893.

Entered at the New York Post-Office as second-class matter.

Copyright by J. S. OGILVIE.

HARRY BLOUNT, The Detective.

BY T. J. Flanagan.

NEW YORK:
J. S. OGILVIE PUBLISHING COMPANY,
57 ROSE STREET.


       *       *       *       *       *


Harry Blount, the Detective;

OR, THE MARTIN MYSTERY SOLVED.

BY T. J. FLANAGAN.

COPYRIGHT, 1891, BY J. S. OGILVIE.

NEW YORK:
J. S. OGILVIE PUBLISHING COMPANY,
57 ROSE STREET.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

  CHAPTER I              3
  CHAPTER II             8
  CHAPTER III           14
  CHAPTER IV            19
  CHAPTER V             23
  CHAPTER VI            33
  CHAPTER VII           39
  CHAPTER VIII          48
  CHAPTER IX            55
  CHAPTER X             64
  CHAPTER XI            68
  CHAPTER XII           74
  CHAPTER XIII          82
  CHAPTER XIV           89
  CHAPTER XV            96
  CHAPTER XVI          101
  CHAPTER XVII         108
  CHAPTER XVIII        115
  CHAPTER XIX          121
  CHAPTER XX           133
  CHAPTER XXI          140
  CHAPTER XXII         146
  CHAPTER XXIII        152
  CHAPTER XXIV         161
  CHAPTER XXV          168
  CHAPTER XXVI         172
  CHAPTER XXVII        181



HARRY BLOUNT, THE DETECTIVE;

OR, THE MARTIN MYSTERY SOLVED.

BY T. J. FLANAGAN.



CHAPTER I.


It was a beautiful May morning--the more especially in that part of
Lancashire, immediately surrounding Hanley Hall, the magnificent
residence of Mr. St. George Stafford. Yet Mr. Stafford--though an ardent
lover of nature, sat down to breakfast, on this particular morning, with
a frown on his brow. He was expecting an important letter, and the mail
had been delayed--hence the frown.

Just as the coffee was brought in, the mail arrived, and with the
receipt of the expected letter the frown vanished; to be replaced by an
expression of surprise, as Mr. Stafford noticed an envelope bearing an
American stamp, and curiosity led him to open this first.

It was not a long letter, and when he had finished, he found his wife
and daughter, whose attention had been attracted, looking at him
inquiringly.

Addressing the latter, a pretty, dark-eyed girl of about nineteen, he
said, with great gravity:

"Well, Kate! You can prepare to receive your husband--to be--at almost
any minute! This letter, mailed only two days prior to his departure
from New York, informs me that he is coming to claim you."

"Why, papa! What do you mean?"

"Why, George! What do you mean?"

The astonishment expressed in the tones, and depicted in the features,
of his "women folks," as he called them, was too much for Mr. Stafford.
He could no longer retain his gravity, and burst into a hearty laugh.

Mrs. Stafford looked perplexed, Kate pouted, and as this only served to
increase Mr. Stafford's merriment, it was with difficulty he replied:

"I mean exactly what I said: Kate's future husband may arrive at any
time to-day or to-morrow!"

Mrs. Stafford looked still more perplexed and rather serious, while Kate
looked exceedingly curious.

"Come, George!" said Mrs. Stafford. "Don't tease poor Kate! Tell us what
this means--I'm sure I cannot understand you!"

"Well, my dear, I will relieve the terrible suspense. You, of course,
remember my old partner Hall. Poor Dick is dead and gone, but a better
friend or truer man never lived! But, no matter. When we decided to give
up business, and had wound up all our affairs, we--that is, you and I
and a little girl we called Kate--spent the night before we left New
York for England at Dick's house. Well, Hall had a little boy, and he
and this little girl of ours were great friends; and, as they played
about the floor, Dick made some remark about it being a pity to part
them; that it was probably their last night together--something of that
sort. I, never dreaming he would take it seriously, said that we had
better betroth them, as was done with children in olden times; but Dick
seemed taken with the idea, and--well, the upshot of the matter was,
that you, Miss Kate, and that little boy, were engaged before we left
the topic, and although your mother and Mrs. Hall sat only a few feet
away, they knew nothing about it. I looked upon it as a joke, but poor
Dick apparently took it in sober earnest; for next day, as he bade me
good-bye, he put a ring in my hand--'For the little one,' he said, and
showed me the mate of it. He's dead many a year, poor fellow; but his
son is still living, and appears to be ready and willing to fulfill his
part of the contract."

Mr. Stafford finished with a sly look at Kate, causing her to blush
furiously, although she laughed merrily.

"What a ridiculous idea!" she exclaimed, while Mrs. Stafford, looking
very serious, asked:

"Is this really true, or are you still jesting? I can scarcely credit
what you say."

"Quite true--even to the ring Kate is now wearing!" and Mr. Stafford
pointed to a pretty little amethyst on his daughter's finger.

Mrs. Stafford no longer doubted the story. She looked troubled, and
during the remainder of the meal remained very quiet. Not so the father
and daughter, who carried on a merry war--Kate declaring she was not at
all curious, and certainly not anxious to see _him_, and scouting the
idea of a ready-made husband, while Mr. Stafford kept teasing her on
these points. Yet, when she retired to her room immediately after
breakfast, and looked at her reflection in the glass, she did "wonder
what _he_ was like."

It was a beautiful form, and a face not only beautiful, but essentially
_good_, that she gazed upon, and any _he_ might be proud to have a
claim upon it; but she was accustomed to the features before her, and
not especially interested in any man. So wasting no time upon either,
she set about that mysterious performance (to men) known as "changing
her dress." This, at all events, must be a matter requiring time, for a
full half-hour had elapsed when she appeared before her father in the
library, arrayed in full out-door costume, and with a saucy smile
invited his criticism, adding as she swung round before him:

"You can now see how curious I am to behold him!"



CHAPTER II.


Despite the fact that her "betrothed" was liable to arrive at any
minute, Kate started immediately after breakfast to visit a friend--one
Jennie Fleming, living about ten miles from Hanley Hall--and did not
return until evening. Passing the parlor door, she saw her mother in
conversation with a strange gentleman, and at once surmised it was the
expected visitor from America.

As her pony was in good condition and anxious to go, she had given him
his head on the way home, and the road being rather muddy, she arrived
in a bespattered condition--although looking decidedly the better for
her rapid drive.

Kate would have gone on to her room to make herself "presentable," but
for her father, who came from behind, and before she could object she
was being introduced to "Mr. Harry Hall."

Standing before her "betrothed," Kate looked very charming in her
embarrassment, and Mr. Hall could not altogether conceal his admiration.

He was quite a handsome fellow of about twenty-three, tall and slender,
sported a moustache of the most approved style, and dressed in exquisite
taste. A cool, elegant fellow was Harry Hall, and before a week had
elapsed Kate found herself thinking more about him than she would have
cared to acknowledge. What particularly pleased her was his refraining
from hinting, in any way, at the "betrothal." Mr. Hall, however, was too
good a general to make any such mistake--he knew how to wait. The French
say--"Everything comes to him who waits," and it soon became evident to
Mr. Stafford that, unless something unforeseen happened, his old
partner's son would carry out his father's wishes, and carry off _his_
daughter.

It is, however, the unforeseen which usually does happen, and one
afternoon Kate upset the little boat in which she was in the habit of
going rowing.

The boat, built for herself, was just large enough to hold one person,
and Hall, who now accompanied her almost everywhere, had to be content
with walking along the bank.

They had traversed but a short distance, when, in answering some remark
of Hall's, one of the oars slipped from Kate's grasp. In the instinctive
move to recover it, she upset the boat, and sank, with a loud scream for
help.

Though but thirty feet away, Hall made no effort to assist or rescue
the drowning girl. He stood on the bank as though rooted to the spot.
Great beads of perspiration stood on his brow, and he wrung his hands in
agony--none the less great for its silence.

Almost every one fears some particular being or thing more than any
other. In Hall's case it was water; he had a perfect horror of it, in
bulk, and for that reason could not swim a stroke.

It would have been all over with Kate in a minute or two, had not a
passer-by, attracted by her cry for help, come to the rescue. Taking in
the situation at a glance, he plunged into the stream, and, from the
very impetus of his spring, reached the fast drowning girl.

An ordinary man would have found it no easy task--burdened as the
rescuer was with all his clothes, and the weight of a strong, healthy
girl--to reach and scramble up the bank unaided; but the stranger
managed to do so, and with a contemptuous smile asked Hall if the lady
was known to him.

Like one awaking from some horrible dream, Hall replied that he did.

"Show the way then--quick!" was the command, and Hall leading the way at
a rapid pace, they quickly reached the house.

Mrs. Stafford, who was rather nervous, was not present when the party
entered; but the family physician, who lived near by, fortunately was;
and taking charge of Kate, ordered the stranger to change his clothing.

"Come with me," said Mr. Stafford. "There's some clothes up-stairs
which, I think, will just about fit you;" adding as he laid them out
before the stranger, "They belong to my nephew, but Fred was in such
hurry to get away to Australia, he wouldn't wait for the tailor to
finish them. Regular Carden temper!"

"What! Fred Carden!" exclaimed the stranger.

"Yes! Do you know him?"

"Quite well, sir. And you, I presume, are Mr. Stafford, whom I promised
Fred to call on. I had not intended to do so to-day, but----"

"But," interrupted Mr. Stafford, "in saving my daughter's life, you were
forced to do so! And now tell me to whom are we so deeply indebted?"

The stranger appeared confused for a minute or two, even irritated, and
when he answered, spoke almost angrily.

"My name, sir, is Martin--Richard Martin--and I will feel very grateful,
if you will allow me to try how my friend's clothes will fit me!" and
thus shutting off Mr. Stafford's thanks, and promising to come down and
"take something" as soon as possible, Mr. Martin proceeded very
leisurely with the changing of his clothing.

"So this is Fred's pretty cousin," he said, after Mr. Stafford had gone.
"She must have been quite young when he left."

Mr. Martin took so much time, between his thoughts and his dressing,
that Kate was in the drawing-room when he descended, looking a little
pale and decidedly interesting.

He was introduced to everybody, and everybody attempted to thank him,
and failed--except Kate, who said nothing, but looked a great deal.

"So you know Fred?" said Mr. Stafford, finding it impossible to get in a
word of thanks on the subject of the accident.

"Quite well, sir, and as I told you, he wished me to call on you, to let
you know that physically and financially he is doing well. And now,
(taking out his watch), if you will excuse me, I will go, as it is
possible that news may await me in London which will compel me to leave
at once for America," and with a promise to return shortly if he
remained in England, Mr. Martin took his departure.

Shortly after Hall made his appearance. He was immediately besieged with
questions by Mrs. Stafford, and two ladies who had come home with her;
but on being informed that Kate knew nothing about what had occurred
after the boat upset, and that the rescuer had positively declined to
talk about the matter, wisely said that he, too, must decline to talk
about it--he felt too much upset himself.

He certainly was pale and nervous, and the ladies kindly forbore further
questioning; but Hall did not like the momentary smile which played
about Kate's mouth while he was making this explanation.

At the table that evening, Mr. Stafford was full of praise for Mr.
Martin, and rehearsed all he had managed to get out of him on the way to
the station--which was very little--but Kate made one remark which
surprised all present, and startled her mother and father.

"Did you notice, papa? Mr. Martin wore a ring exactly the same as mine!"

"By George! Kate, I believe it is the same! I did notice it as we shook
hands at the station--it looked so oddly familiar, I could not avoid
noticing it."

The story of the rings not being known to the other ladies present,
nothing further was said on the subject. Mr. Hall was not present,
having an engagement in town, and thus missed something which might have
interested him.



CHAPTER III.


When Mr. Stafford retired from business in New York, and came back to
England, he was very wealthy. He purchased quite an estate with the
greater part of the money, and was living on it at the time our story
opens.

Few men can retire from active business life and settle down to a quiet,
humdrum existence; and, although such had been Mr. Stafford's ideal life
during his business career, he soon began to speculate--at first
successfully, but later disastrously.

In his efforts to regain what he had lost he gradually sunk deeper and
deeper in the mire, until at length the entire estate was mortgaged. The
interest on some of these mortgages was coming due about the time
Richard Martin had come upon the scene, and as he was not quite ready to
pay it, Mr. Stafford intended to go to London, and ask the attorney to
whom he made his payments for time. There had been no difficulty about
this previously, and he anticipated none now. He announced his intention
of going, one morning at breakfast; but as his family were in blissful
ignorance of the existence of any mortgages on their home, he gave them
to understand that he was going to attend a stockholders' meeting.

Breakfast over, Mr. Stafford strolled out with his pipe and Hall to keep
him company, and sat down under the trees near the spot where Kate had
been upset.

They were hardly seated before Hall said:

"Mr. Stafford, I don't exactly know how you look upon that compact
between yourself and my father, but I promised my father when only a
child to keep my part. When I grew older, and realized its full
significance, I must confess I looked upon it as nonsensical, and I came
as much from curiosity as anything else, but now--now----"

"Proceed, Mr. Hall."

"Well, now--if you have no objection I should be only too happy to make
your daughter my wife."

"None whatever--provided Kate is willing. Have you spoken to her?"

"No, but with your consent I will now."

Kate was coming toward them, and Hall went to meet her. He led her away
to a seat nearer the river, and as Mr. Stafford returned to the house he
saw Hall bending over Kate, who appeared to be paying great attention to
what he was saying.

"It was a very fortunate idea--not a foolish one," muttered Mr.
Stafford, as he gazed at them, "for unless I can get both time and money
we may not be here long."

He left shortly afterwards for London, and had been gone a half hour
when Hall returned alone. He had an unpleasant expression on his face,
and when informed of Mr. Stafford's departure, said he must go to London
also; that he had intended to accompany Mr. Stafford thither, but had
forgotten the time.

On reaching the station, he sent the following despatch to Jones &
Jones, No. 9 Queen Street, London.

      "S will ask for time. Give none.

      "BELDEN."

Mr. Hall smiled wickedly as he handed this despatch to the clerk, and
seated himself in the train in somewhat better spirits than he appeared
to be when he reached the station.

When Stafford arrived in London, he proceeded at once to the office
where he paid his interest and was conducted to the private office of
the senior member of the firm of Jones & Jones.

Before Mr. Stafford could explain the nature of his business, Mr. Jones
began:

"Well, Mr. Stafford, I suppose you've come to pay off that five
thousand. You are a little ahead--two days, I think--but we will be all
ready. In fact, if you can wait a short time--Eh! What's the matter?"

"Pay it off! Why, I thought--that is, I understood that there was no
need--no danger of my having to pay the principal as long as the
interest was paid up. I understood it was trust funds--your partner so
informed me when making the loan."

"But the mortgage has changed hands, Mr. Stafford," replied Mr. Jones,
"and the new mortgagee must have prompt payment of the interest."

He was feeling for the key to the telegram which lay upon his desk and
now found it.

"That is just what brought me here. Formerly I have had no trouble in
obtaining a little time, and I hope I shall have none now."

Mr. Stafford was terribly excited, and the lawyer really pitied him,
although he replied:

"I can promise you none, Mr. Stafford. Indeed I have positive
instructions to foreclose whenever the interest is not paid promptly."

With a weary sigh Mr. Stafford arose, and bidding Mr. Jones "good-day,"
passed into the street.

An hour after he left Mr. Hall arrived, and proceeded at once to Mr.
Jones's private office. Fully an hour elapsed before he arose to depart,
closing the conversation with, "Do nothing further until you hear from
me--I will telegraph you when to go ahead."

From the solicitors' office Hall proceeded rapidly to a tumble-down
building in the worst quarter of London. Another hour was spent there
and he emerged with the same ugly look on his face which it had worn
during the forenoon. It was nearly dark and he passed unnoticed through
the crowded alley, where a stranger usually excited considerable and not
always pleasant interest, and was soon at the station and a few minutes
later on his way to Manchester, from whence the ride home was but a few
minutes.

It was nine o'clock when Hall arrived, and he was surprised to find Mr.
Stafford had not returned. Mrs. Stafford not feeling well had retired,
and Kate was invisible, and so Hall betook himself to the refuge of the
lonely library, to await Mr. Stafford's arrival.



CHAPTER IV.


When Mr. Stafford left the solicitor's office he did not go directly
home. His mind was too disturbed--he despaired of being able to raise
immediately the money to pay even the interest, for his rents would not
be due for some time, and then other interest would be due. He had one
or two friends in the city, and with the hope of obtaining some relief
through them, he spent the afternoon in trying to find them, and finally
left London only a short time after Hall.

Mr. Stafford was thankful that neither of the members of his family met
him on his return, and being informed that Hall was in the library, he
sought distraction from his thoughts there. His own desperate
circumstances caused Mr. Stafford to remember their conversation of that
morning, and after a few minutes he asked what had been the result of
Hall's interview with Kate.

"Very unsatisfactory. Your daughter appears to have taken a sudden
dislike to me. I had reason, as I believed, to think I had found favor
in her eyes, but it appears I was mistaken. I am sorry for it, both on
my own account and yours!"

"Sorry for it on my account?"

"Yes, Mr. Stafford, on your account, because I've just learned from my
attorney, Mr. Jones, that a mortgage which I have instructed him to
convert into cash as soon as it becomes due, is on your property.
Indeed, I should not be surprised to learn that I hold other mortgages
on this property."

"What! You hold the mortgages on this property!" exclaimed Mr. Stafford.
"And did you not know this until to-day?"

"No--I assure you I did not. You see, although an American, I was
educated here, and returned again after my father's estate was settled
on my coming of age. As I was traveling more or less all the time, I
gave Mr. Jones a power of attorney and he invested my money as he
thought best. Of course, if I were your son-in-law, the mortgage could
stand as long as you wished--forever for that matter, and that too,
without interest."

"And Kate refused you?" asked Mr. Stafford.

He was looking thoughtfully into the grate fire. What a difference that
answer made to all of them?

Hall was watching him sharply, and appeared to be studying his reply
before saying:

"Yes--but I think her decision could be reversed if you would use your
influence--and it would be decidedly to your advantage to do so."

The menace contained in the last words was quite plain to Mr. Stafford.

"I shall certainly advise Kate to accept your offer; but that is as far
I shall go--she must do as she pleases."

"Very well," said Hall rising, "I will make another effort and trust to
your influence for success." This last with a significant look as he
left the room.

When he was alone Mr. Stafford began to pace the floor, talking to
himself.

"Poor Kate! She little knows what her refusal means. It is plain enough,
that if it is 'no' to-morrow from her, it will be beggary the next day
for us. Beggary! Beggary! The place will not bring a penny more than the
mortgages--and what can I do! An old man like myself can get no
employment, and I have not fifty--no, not twenty pounds in my
possession! My God! What shall I do? I can't ask the poor girl to marry
the man--to sell herself, if she dislikes him."

Hall returned to the library just then, and after taking a book from the
case, said:

"Suppose you come up to my room, Mr. Stafford? I have some fine old
port I should like you to try, and as the ladies are out you might as
well spend an hour with me as not."

Mr. Stafford did not care particularly where he went or what he did that
night, and went up-stairs with Hall.

The latter was mistaken in saying the ladies were out. Scarcely had they
left the room when Kate, looking very pale and troubled, but also very
determined, made her appearance between the curtains of the large
bay-window, where she usually spent her afternoons reading. It was her
favorite spot, and fitted up specially for her use.

"Poor papa!" she murmured, "you need not worry if my consent to marry
Mr. Hall will save you."



CHAPTER V.


Kate did not make her appearance next day until breakfast was over. Just
as she came down, Hall entered the library with a paper--Kate followed.
She was very pale, but looked very determined.

"Mr. Hall," she said, toying nervously with a paper-cutter, "I have
reconsidered the offer which you made me yesterday, and, if you still
wish it, I am willing to--to--" (the paper-cutter snapped in two) "to
become your wife."

Hall looked at her curiously for a moment. He felt certain her father
had not spoken to her, and attributed her agitation to any but the true
cause.

"I am glad, Kate--I may call you Kate?" She bowed but did not look at
him. "I am glad indeed! For I love you, Kate, as I never believed man
could love woman!"

There was sincerity in the simple words and in the tone of his voice. He
came over slowly--he felt half afraid of her now--and pressed his lips
to her forehead just as Mr. Stafford entered.

"Mr. Stafford, I am happy to be able to tell you Kate has relented. She
has consented to be mine!"

There was a ring of genuine pride and exultation in Hall's voice
and--well, everybody loves a lover, and notwithstanding an unpleasant
remembrance of the previous night, Mr. Stafford said heartily:

"Well, my boy, I'm glad you are out of your agony," adding in a jesting
tone which caused Kate to shudder, "Has the day been fixed?"

"Not yet, but it might as well be done now! Come Kate! Name the day!"

By way of reply Kate fell back on a sofa. The strain was too great and
she had fainted. Hastily summoning Mrs. Stafford the men adjourned to
Hall's rooms. Both were honestly surprised at Kate's agitation.

"Had you spoken to her?" asked Hall.

"No, I have not. I had intended to, but it seems to be unnecessary."

During the remainder of the day Kate was invisible, and next morning
both men started for London. Hall was generous in his happiness,
apparently, for the object of the journey was to relieve Mr. Stafford of
all farther strain for the present, in regard to the mortgage and
interest then coming due.

It did not take long to transact the business in London, and after
dining together, the men parted, Stafford starting for home, and Hall,
having further business to transact, remained in London.

Hall's "business" during the afternoon, did not appear to be very
pressing, as he spent the time drinking and playing billiards. Just
about dusk he quit playing, paid his score, and after taking a parting
drink, left the place.

His destination was the same tumble-down rookery which he visited on his
previous trip to London. It had begun to rain during the afternoon, a
drizzling, misty rain, with the regulation fog accompaniment, and no one
would recognize in the man in the big rough coat and slouch hat, the
collar of the one turned up and the brim of the other pulled down, the
elegant and natty Mr. Hall.

Entering the house after a rapid though useless glance behind, useless
because he could not see ten feet behind him, Hall ascended to the
second floor. His knock was answered by a miserable looking old man, who
peered cautiously at him through the partly-open door.

"Bah! Why, you fool, do you suppose if it was the police you could keep
them out!" and pushing the door open Hall entered.

The old man--he was certainly seventy--locked and bolted the door
again, and then following the example of his visitor, sat down.

"Now then," said Hall, opening the conversation, "you promised to have a
copy of this Carden's will the next time I called, which was to be
to-night. Have you got it?"

The old man shook his head in the negative and Hall asked angrily, "Why
not?"

"Thought I'd be a fool to trust anyone else 'n I can't do it
myself--that's why."

"Well, how do you suppose I'm to trust you? Do you want me to buy a pig
in a poke? What kind of property is this? Why hasn't some one tried to
find this Carden's relatives?" And having fired this volley of
questions, Hall threw himself back in his chair and looked at the old
man sharply.

"Well, in the first place this 'ere Carden was a curious kind of a
customer. Kept away from everybody 'n nobody knowed who 'e wuz or where
he come from. When he died I happened to be the first to find him. I
felt sure he had plenty of coin, 'n he had. There was some dust--not
much--but he had nearly £20,000 in diamonds sewed in his belt----"

"How do you know?" interrupted Hall.

"Because I seed 'em. I had just found these 'ere papers, an' just as I
wuz goin' to undo the belt along comes a crowd from the camp. It wos
lucky I didn't touch the dust--they'd a hung me sure! The papers wos
down my bootleg, but only the body wos stone cold, an' they'd seen me in
camp just afore, they'd swung me up anyhow."

"And you have--actually have these papers yourself? No third party
business?"

"Yes, I've got 'em myself! Right here!"

The old man made an involuntary movement with his right hand toward his
breast, but checked himself instantly. It was too late, however, for
Hall, who was watching his every movement, noted the action and said,
with a malicious laugh:

"Rather an unsafe place, isn't it?" and before the old man could reply,
continued: "Was there anything else besides these diamonds--and what
became of them?"

This question, asked simply to throw the old man off his guard, bore
unexpected fruit.

"The Government took charge of the diamonds, but there was a lot of land
'round Melbourne worth twice as much as them."

Hall had now learned all he wanted and more than he expected.

"Well, you've been talking about this thing for over two years now, and
it's time I saw something to prove all this. What do you want for the
papers?"

"Five thousand pounds."

"Five thousand grandmothers! Why, you must be crazy!"

"Five thousand, and not a penny less," returned the old man, firmly.

Hall did not speak again for a few minutes. He looked thoughtfully at
the old man as though considering his proposition. The latter, ever
since Hall had located the papers, had watched him suspiciously, and had
moved his chair so that they sat directly in front of each other. His
hands were thrust into the pockets of his loose sack coat, and Hall as
he gazed at him, saw the butt of a pistol peeping from the right hand
pocket. He had heard or read somewhere of the Australian trick of
shooting through the pocket, and he smiled wickedly when he caught sight
of the pistol. It may be that what followed would not have happened had
he not seen it.

The smile made the old man move nervously in his chair, and that
recalled Hall.

"Well, since you will not take less, I suppose you must have the five
thousand; but what will you do with it, you, an old man, who may be dead
in an hour?"

Hall's face wore a perfectly devilish smile as he said this, and the old
man felt anything but comfortable.

"Look-a-here, Mr. Hall," he said, nervously, "don't you try to play any
games on me!"

"Oh, nonsense! Come! Let's have some of that black bottle of yours!"

The host's faith in his visitor's good intentions was shown by his
backing up to the closet, from which he took the black bottle referred
to and a couple of heavy bottom tumblers--watching Hall all the time.
The latter laughed at this--not a pleasant laugh by any means.

"Why, man," he said, "what are you afraid of? Do you think I would be
foolish enough to _shoot you_, as I see you are prepared to do for me,
to obtain these precious papers of yours?"

The old man looked confused, but said nothing, and returned to his chair
opposite Hall, to whom he handed the one glass which he filled. It was
tossed off in an instant and extended for more, although the contents
was brandy, stolen brandy. To a keen observer it would appear that Hall
was nerving himself for something desperate. His smile was truly
wonderful as he held forth his glass for refilling. The old man
refilled it, and was about to fill his own when Hall said in a careless
way:

"Those are not the papers behind you, are they?"

There was nothing on the table behind the old man except a couple of
newspapers, but he turned his head for an instant, and in that instant a
pinch of white powder, scarcely enough to be perceptible to the keen
eyes of youth, was dropped into his glass.

"Gave you a scare, didn't I?" said Hall, with a harsh laugh; then
changing his tone: "Come! Drink up! Drink my success!"

The old man filled the glass slowly--very slowly it seemed to the
watcher, who was holding his glass to his lips, waiting for the other,
and looking very excited.

"Drink! Drink!" he repeated.

The old man had the glass to his lips, but set it down. "I won't," he
replied, looking suspiciously at Hall.

"Then, d---- you, I'll make you!" exclaimed Hall, dashing his glass to
the floor, and in an instant he had a pistol pointed at the old man's
head, but suddenly recovered himself and restored it to his pocket.

"Blast you!" he said, in a quiet tone, although his eyes still blazed
like coals, "you would drive Job out of patience with your suspicions.
Can't you see plainly that I can't get along without the information I
may yet need in this matter? It's not my policy to harm you."

Picking up his glass and filling it to the brim, he continued:

"Since you will not drink your own, drink mine," and apparently
exchanged glasses, but kept his own nevertheless.

Almost any third-rate juggler--any amateur with pretensions to
sleight-of-hand--can perform the trick, but the old man knew nothing of
juggling. He did know he was in dangerous company, and to please Hall he
took the glass and drained it.

"Ugh! Lord, how bitter! Oh! oh! You devil, you're----"

"No more--no more, old man. Your time is up, although the trick came
near failing."

The poor old wretch fell from the chair to the floor, striking his head
against the table as he fell.

For a few moments the murderer was unnerved by his work. He sat pale and
trembling in his chair, with his eyes averted from the heap on the
floor, but the old man's glassy stare seemed fixed on him. He seemed to
feel it. His outstretched arms seemed grasping for him.

In a little while he recovered himself, and grasping the bottle emptied
it at one draught. Then he proceeded to remove all traces of _his_
presence. The glass he had used himself he put back in the closet, and
the packet from which he had taken the pinch of powder he placed in the
old man's pocket.

He now stooped over the body and took from an inside pocket a package of
papers. A glance satisfied him that they were what he wanted.

He next removed a money-belt which the old man wore, and after feeling
of it smiled sardonically. "I knew the old thief was lying," he
muttered. Something had fallen from his person while removing the
money-belt, but he was still too excited to notice it.

Stepping quietly to the door, he opened it and listened. All was quiet
in the house, and nothing could be heard but the falling rain outside.
Shutting the door softly behind him, Hall stole down-stairs and out into
the night--possessed of certain very valuable papers, a money-belt which
he felt certain contained diamonds worth £20,000, and the brand of Cain
upon his brow; and forever after, notwithstanding his great nerve and
coolness, to be hunted either actually or in his imagination, and to be
startled at every careless joke, and to run from shadows.



CHAPTER VI.


It was nearly noon on the second day following his visit to London, when
Hall arrived home. He looked worn and haggard, and Mr. Stafford, who
happened to meet him, made some remark about his looking badly.

Yes, Mr. Hall supposed he did look pretty bad; he had been bothered most
infernally with business affairs for the past two days, and now, to make
matters worse, he was compelled to go to Dublin to close another
important transaction. Mr. Stafford would oblige him by kindly
explaining this to the ladies, as he had not a moment to spare, and must
pack up and leave within an hour.

An hour later Hall was at the railway station, looking considerably
improved by a shave and change of clothing.

On arriving at Liverpool he bought a ticket for Antwerp instead of
Dublin, and seemed chagrined to find there was no steamer until next
day. So much vent did he give to his annoyance that the attention of the
booking-clerk was specially attracted to him.

When Hall left the booking-office a quiet looking little man with
remarkably bright eyes entered and inquired Hall's name and destination.
It was given as Samuel Andrews, for Antwerp! The quiet little man, whom
the usually very independent clerks treated with great respect, thanked
them with a sweet smile, and then went to the nearest police station and
consulted with the inspector, after which he sent several telegrams to
London.

The steamer sailed at noon next day, and from early morning the little
man, who was by name Harry Blount, and by profession a detective,
sauntered up and down the pier. As the time for sailing drew nearer he
looked more anxious and doubtful, but no Hall appeared. Mr. Blount
rubbed his nose reflectively as he watched the vessel steaming away,
murmured something not very angelic regarding Mr. Hall, asseverated that
he believed himself closely related to several distinct kinds of idiots,
and then went back to consult once more with his friend the inspector.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kate Stafford was in the garden the evening after Hall's departure, book
in hand, but not reading. She was thinking of the man who had saved her
life--a dangerous occupation for a young lady engaged to marry another
man. If she did give a thought to Hall it was of fear and dislike, for
in a vague, unreasoning way, she regarded him as the cause of her
father's, and in consequence, her own trouble.

Hearing the gate shut she looked up, and the blood rushed to her face as
she saw the man of whom she had been thinking coming toward her. Martin
was accompanied by the quiet little man with the sharp eyes, whom he
introduced as a gentleman desirous of seeing her father, and the three
entered the house, where Mr. Blount was introduced to Mr. Stafford.

Kate left them to change her dress, and it was curious to see what care
she took in selecting the prettiest.

While she was absent Martin informed Mr. Stafford that Blount was a
detective.

"He is anxious to meet Mr. Hall, and would like to know whatever you can
tell him about that gentleman's whereabouts. You will oblige me very
much by giving him whatever information you can."

Mrs. Stafford entered just at that moment, and was surprised and
delighted to meet Martin. Not wishing her to be annoyed in the matter,
Martin suggested that they had better leave Mr. Stafford and his friend
to talk business, and they accordingly adjourned to the drawing-room
where Kate soon joined them.

Mr. Stafford was, of course, surprised to learn that his visitor was a
detective, and more so that he should be looking for Hall. However, on
being informed that Mr. Blount was desirous of finding Mr. Hall for the
purpose of transacting an important piece of business, and that that
gentleman had disappeared from his London address, he gave the desired
information.

"Oh yes!" said Mr. Stafford, much relieved, "Mr. Hall left very
hurriedly yesterday on important business, to be transacted in Dublin."

"So--Mr. Hall has gone to Dublin, eh!" remarked Mr. Blount reflectively.
"Hum--well, I'm obliged to you for your kindness. You see, the people
who engaged me are very anxious to meet Mr. Hall again, and his
disappearance from town worried them. Allow me to thank you again, and
please say good-bye for me to Mr. Martin, as I must return at once."

He had his hand on the door-knob, when turning as though a new idea had
occurred to him, he continued:

"Would there be any objection to my looking about Mr. Hall's room? It is
possible I might find some cl--something which would enable me to put my
people in communication with him."

"No, I don't know that there is any objection," replied Mr. Stafford,
slowly, and led the way to Hall's rooms. In one corner of the
dressing-room stood a handsome desk, and after looking carelessly about
the rooms Mr. Blount examined this carefully.

Mr. Stafford stood looking on, hardly knowing whether or not to stop the
searcher. To his relief, however, Mr. Blount stopped after pulling out
one or two drawers--behind one of which he found a couple of empty
envelopes addressed to "Mr. Henry Hall, No. -- Harley St., London." These
had evidently been pushed out by other papers.

After glancing at the address and making a mental memorandum of it,
Blount said he would look no further.

"We shall have to wait until Mr. Hall comes back or writes," he said,
and took his departure.

Going out he met Martin and the two ladies about taking a walk.

"Well, what luck," asked Martin, who excused himself to the ladies and
hastened to meet him.

"I've found his address in the city and it is there we must try for
him."

"Then you don't believe in the trip to Dublin?"

"Not a bit. While so far there's not a morsel of evidence against him,
I'm morally certain he was on his way to Antwerp and thence to Amsterdam
with those diamonds, and when he found he was followed doubled back.
Come up to-morrow and meet me at Bow Street at noon. Good-bye."

Martin spent a very pleasant evening with the Staffords. Their nephew,
Fred Carden, furnished the topic of conversation for the evening, and it
naturally brought Martin himself somewhat into the conversation--and
never had a narrator a more attentive and enthusiastic audience.

Knowing nothing about the engagement between Kate and Hall, Martin, who
from the day he had carried her home had found himself thinking more and
more about her, now noted with pleasure her interest in everything he
said concerning himself. It was not so much lack of interest concerning
her cousin, as increased interest when he spoke of himself.



CHAPTER VII.


"Now for Harley Street," muttered Blount, as he alighted from the train
in London, and though it was 9 o'clock, he did not despair of finding
either his man or something about him.

The motherly old lady who answered his summons at the door, was very
much like the house--old-fashioned, but eminently respectable.

In the most innocent manner in the world she invited Blount into the
sitting-room, but he did not accept the invitation until he had asked if
Mr. Hall was at home, and she had answered that Mr. Hall had left town
for a few days.

This was a disappointment, but at any rate he would find out what she
knew about his movements, and sitting just a little in the shade with
the old lady just a little in the light, Blount fired question after
question, until even unsuspicious she began to wonder what it all meant.
Quick to note this Blount stopped, and thanking her left No. -- Harley
Street--very much puzzled and disappointed. All his theories were
knocked to the winds by that half-hour's conversation.

According to the old lady, Hall had come home about 7 o'clock on the
night in question, and had not gone out again. That she was positive of
for he would have had to pass the open parlor where she together with
some friends had remained until after 12 o'clock, and after that she and
"the girl" had spent another hour putting things to rights. There had
been a small party in honor of her little grandson's birthday.

       *       *       *       *       *

The finding of the body was reported to the police by one of the inmates
of the house--a woman, at 1 A. M. She had come in late, as was customary
with her, and had knocked at his door to ask for a match. Receiving no
reply she turned the knob and entered. The light was still burning, and
seeing at once he was dead she called some of the other tenants who
notified the police. The body was not yet cold when they arrived, so
that death must have occurred just prior to its discovery. The three
other inmates of the house accounted satisfactorily for their movements
that night, and the verdict of the coroner's jury, next day, was
"suicide."

Blount, who had been detailed to look into the case, was, of course,
present at the inquest. So, also, was our friend Martin, and, as he
stood out in bold relief among the inmates of the alley, he at once came
under the observation of the detective, who approached him and opened a
conversation in his quiet, unassuming way.

"Rather odd case, sir!" he said. "If he had only waited a little while
he would have gone naturally."

"Yes--it would appear so," replied Martin, looking at him curiously.

"Not interested I suppose--just dropped in through curiosity? Oh! I beg
pardon! I thought I had seen you before--you are the gentleman who
called at the office several times about some missing documents,
supposed to have been stolen by an old thief named Golden. Hope you're
not offended, sir! It's our business, you know, to know everybody at an
affair like this."

"Not at all!" replied Martin, recognizing in Blount a man who had been
very attentive to him when making the inquiries referred to.

"Heard anything yet, sir?"

"Not exactly--but I've found my man."

"Found him!" exclaimed Blount, surprised out of his invariably soft,
quiet tones.

"Yes,--there he lies."

Blount's business had accustomed him to surprises, but he could hardly
realize that before him lay a man for whom Martin had offered a thousand
pounds.

"Are you sure?" he asked.

"Positive. Nothing was found upon him or in the room, I presume."

"No, sir--that is, nothing of any account."

"I thought not," commented Martin.

Something in the tone had struck Blount, but before he could speak the
inquest had begun. They had moved outside during the conversation, but
now entered the room where the inquest was being held. It was all over
in a few minutes, and a verdict of "suicide" rendered.

When the verdict was announced Blount, whose eyes had been roving over
the crowd in a professional way, caught sight of a face which he
recognized instantly, and he noticed with considerable surprise the look
of contempt with which the owner of the face received the verdict.

"Well, well, Mr. Jaggers! And what do we know about this?" and thus
communing with himself, Blount slipped out before the crowd and waited
at the entrance. To Martin, who followed him, he said:

"Wait a minute and keep an eye on me please for----"

The _elite_ of Burn's Alley began coming out just then and almost the
first was Blount's man. He was allowed to go as far as the corner of the
street. Blount then tapped him on the shoulder and asked what he knew
about the "suicide."

"Nothin'," replied the man, sullenly.

"Come now, Jaggers, if you will tell me all you know about the case,
I'll see no harm comes to you. I mean about that last trick of yours.
You know you're wanted now, and badly too, at that!"

"Well, now, I'll tell ye wot I'll do. You come to 'Blind Jim's'
to-morrow--no, night arter, 'bout 'leven or twelve, an' I'll tell ye wot
little I knows an' a 'ole lot I thinks."

"But you must tell me something now. Something to work on for the next
two days."

Jaggers considered for a minute and then continued:

"Look ahere, Mr. Blount! It's not safe for me t' stand gabbin' in this
'ere way, but I'll tell ye wot you'll do. Just find a chap called Hall.
Tall, good lookin' cove, 'n well dressed. Lives sommers about the West
End. If ye don't get 'im there, try down 'bout Manchester, an' keep yer
eye on th' docks."

With the last words Jaggers started off suddenly, muttering something
about the "Inspector" and Blount turning leisurely, looked up the alley
and saw the cause of Jaggers' sudden move. Inspector Prime and the
coroner were coming down the alley. He at the same time saw Martin
standing on the opposite corner. Joining him he said:

"Mr. Martin, I asked you to wait because you made a curious remark
up-stairs. You said you expected there would be nothing found on the
body."

"Perfectly correct, Mr. Blount. Find the papers I am looking for, and
you've got the murderer of old Golden!"

"Phew," whistled Blount. "So you don't believe in the suicide theory?"

"Do you?" Martin stopped and faced him.

"Can't say as I do. I did but--you saw my gentleman friend? From what he
told me and what you tell me, I don't."

"Well, the same amount stands for the papers as before. But what did you
learn from your friend?"

Blount informed him. The name and description fitted Hall so well that
both started for Hanley Hall--with what result we know.

On the way Blount showed Martin a small locket which he had found
between the dead man's shirt and vest. There was nothing peculiar about
it--nothing to distinguish it from hundreds of others of a similar
pattern, except that it contained the picture of a pretty young woman.

Martin's connection with Blount being explained, let us return to that
gentleman.

His theories, as he put it himself, were "all gone to pot"--no hope now
but Jaggers, and he accordingly proceeded to "Blind Jim's."

"Blind Jim's" was a resort of thieves, male and female, of the worst
character, and when Blount entered everything came to a standstill. The
singing and loud talking ceased almost instantaneously. The whisper went
around "Blount is here," and each wondered "does he want me?"

The proprietor bowed obsequiously, and inquired after Mr. Blount's
health, and would "he have something?" Before Blount could reply Jaggers
relieved the suspense by coming from the back room and joining him at
the bar.

"Have you a room where we can have a quiet drink?" asked Blount, of the
one-eyed proprietor.

"Yes, sir! Cert'nly, sir! Here Mike!" (to one of the waiters), "show the
gentleman to the parlor! What shall I send ye, Mr. Blount?"

"Nothing," replied Blount, shortly, "and see that you keep this den a
little more quiet hereafter or you'll rue it!"

"Yes, sir! I will----" and as he passed out of hearing--"D---- you! I'd
like to wring yer neck!"

Up-stairs Blount ordered a pot of ale for Jaggers and "a little gin" for
himself and then settling back in his chair invited his companion to
"fire away," which he did to the following effect.

The old man, who was known to him as Gorman, had for several years been
his best friend, and had often, after they had become intimate, hinted
at the possession of a secret which would one day make him rich. Finally
one day, about six months previous to the murder, he told Jaggers that
he had found a man through whom he could convert his secret into cash.
Later, and only shortly before the murder, he told Jaggers that he was
beginning to be afraid of his man, "and so," said Jaggers in conclusion,
"he told me he had valuable papers which a chap named Hall wanted so he
could marry the girl an' get the tin. He didn't know where she lived,
but this 'ere Hall did, an' it wos Manchester he got a ticket for every
time."

This was Jaggers' story and confirming his theory in every respect--yet
how could he connect him with the crime? The locket was the only thing
he had, and that seemed worthless. Hall appeared to have had no
intimate friends who would be likely to recognize it, or rather the
photograph in it. Again, Hall, guilty or not, had slipped through his
fingers like quicksilver.



CHAPTER VIII.


It was with great reluctance Martin left Hanley Hall on the morning
after his visit with Blount, and equally reluctant were the Staffords to
part with him.

On arriving in London he found Blount awaiting him at the station.

"What's up?" he asked.

"Nothing. Everything's down, including your friend Carden, who is lying
sick at the Bridge Hotel. He arrived last night. Better go to him."

"Carden here! By George! I must be off!" and hailing a cab Martin
hurried away and was soon at his destination.

He found his friend in an easy chair near the window, looking pale and
weak.

"Fred, old man! How are you? What's the matter?" exclaimed Martin,
shaking both his hands warmly.

"Fred" was a dark handsome fellow of about five and twenty, whose face
beamed with pleasure on beholding Martin.

"Oh, Dick! I'm so glad you came! How did you find me? I want to get
home as quick as possible, and you must come down with me."

He had begun speaking in such a strange tone and closed so weak and
wearily that Martin became alarmed.

"All right, Fred," he said. "Shall we start now? There's a fast train in
twenty minutes."

"Yes, let us go at once--my luggage can wait."

It was just 3 o'clock when they arrived at Hanley Hall, and twenty
minutes later Martin was on his way back--glad to get away.

There was great rejoicing over Carden's return, and much pity for his
illness. That was perfectly natural and proper, but it made Martin sick
at heart as he watched Kate hovering about his friend, anticipating his
every wish and showing in every act the greatest affection for him. A
woman looking on would not have been at all alarmed at this exhibition
of affection--but then, Martin was only a man, and he went back to
London with a heavy heart. He was mistaken, so he told himself as he
went back in the train, it was only gratitude she felt for him.

At Bow Street he found a note saying Blount wished to see him, and he
left one in return asking Blount to call at his hotel. He had hardly
reached his rooms when Blount's card was presented to him and that
gentleman ushered in.

Martin was in a bad, and for him, unusual mood, and Blount noticed it
immediately.

"Have you any special engagement to-night?" asked Martin.

"No. I'm free except for that fellow, Hall."

"Hang Hall!" growled Martin, as he rang for an attendant.

"With all my heart!" rejoined Blount.

"I'm morally certain he deserves it, but hang _me_ if it will be easy to
prove it!"

"A bottle of brandy and a half dozen soda," said Martin, to the
attendant who came in answer to his call.

"Now tell me what you've done, Blount! Here, have a cigar before you
begin."

Blount looked at him curiously, took the cigar, and quietly detailed all
that he had learned in the last two days.

Martin listened attentively, or appeared to, and when his visitor
finished, pushed over the bottle of brandy.

"Help yourself, Blount," he said, and then filled his own glass, but
made no remark regarding the story he had just heard. As a matter of
fact his thoughts were away off in Hanley Hall. The detective, however,
knew nothing about that, and somewhat piqued by his indifference, asked:

"Have you given up the matter, Mr. Martin?"

Martin looked at him inquiringly.

"I mean the recovery of your papers."

Martin apparently tried to pull himself together.

"Look here, Blount," he said, "I'm not right! You've been telling me
something and I've been thinking of something else. Give me that brandy
and tell me it all over again."

Blount passed over the bottle and Martin took a large tumbler full neat.
It seemed to pull him together, and Blount, quick to appreciate the
situation, repeated his story. When he had finished, Martin had
apparently gathered his wits together. He pondered for a few minutes,
and when he spoke Blount saw he was all business again.

"Blount, I am convinced that you are correct in regard to this man. I am
myself anxious you should find him, for I believe when you fasten the
murder of Golden on him I will obtain the papers I am looking for. I
have not only not given up the case, but I will double what I offered at
first for their recovery!"

Blount's sharp eyes grew brighter, but before he could speak Martin
continued:

"This man has got about two days' start of you. It is for you now to
close every port against him. I mean see that he cannot enter any city,
either by rail or river, without your knowledge and his movements
reported to you. Spare no expense! And now let us quit the subject for
an hour or two. I am out of sorts. I can't talk any more about this
thing!"

"All right," assented his companion, cheerily. "Let's hear something
about life in Australia, or shall I spin you a yarn of police life?"

They sat and talked until late in the night, and when Blount left he
carried a check for £100, "to cover immediate expenses."

When he called next morning Blount found Martin had entirely recovered
from his nervousness, as he called it.

"I have covered every point, I think," said Blount, "and now all we can
do, at least for the present, is to hunt for the original of the face in
the locket."

Day after day passed without word from the foreign police or the
discovery of a face resembling that in the locket. At Martin's request,
Blount had been relieved from all other duty, and they now traveled
about together.

On the morning of the tenth day after the disappearance of Hall, Martin
was standing on the steps of the hotel, waiting for Blount, when he
suddenly caught sight of Mr. Stafford picking his way between the throng
of wagons and cabs toward him.

"Bless my soul!" exclaimed the old gentleman, "it's as much as one's
life is worth to cross here!"

"It is a dangerous spot," responded Martin, warmly returning the cordial
greeting of Mr. Stafford. "How is Fred getting along?"

"He is improving. We have the right tonic for him I believe, but he is
anxious to see you, and as I had to come to town, I was charged to bring
you back with me. Ah! Here comes our friend. Good-morning, Mr. Blount."

Blount looked somewhat excited. In his hand he carried a telegraph
envelope which he handed to Martin.

"By the way, Mr. Blount, I have just heard from Mr. Hall. He is at the
Royal Hotel, in Dublin. If not too late you can communicate with him
there. And now, Mr. Martin, I must be off, but I shall expect you to be
ready to go with me at one o'clock. Good-morning, gentlemen!"

While Mr. Stafford had been talking, Martin was reading the following
from a Dublin detective:

      "Your party is at Royal Hotel. Is about buying
      property in Kildare."

He had caught what Mr. Stafford had said and looked at Blount in
amazement. The latter looked staggered.

"Well, this beats all!" he exclaimed. "Here we've been looking all over
the civilized world and just as we find him, the fellow sends us word
himself! Either we are all wrong about him, or he's the cheekiest case
I've yet met."

"Why, Blount, where are your wits? Don't you see, he has managed to
dispose of the diamonds somehow, and has gone to Ireland to carry out
his story. You must get after him at once and trace him back."

"Right you are! I must be growing stupid--but I'll be off at once!"

"Wait a moment! You can't get away until to-night. Better send your man
a telegram to watch him closely. Then come back to my rooms--it may be a
long hunt, and money does as much as brains sometimes."

"I have sent the telegram," said Blount. "He is at this moment under the
best pair of eyes in Europe."

Two hours later Blount started on his long chase, and when Mr. Stafford
called he found Martin all prepared to accompany him.



CHAPTER IX.


While riding back to Hanley Hall, Mr. Stafford imparted to Martin some
information which changed the aspect of the trip for the latter, from
dismal recklessness to hopeful anxiety--his anxiety being to get to
Hanley Hall as soon as possible.

They had the compartment to themselves, and Mr. Stafford remarked the
dismal, down-hearted expression of Martin's countenance.

"I'm afraid, my boy," he said, quizzically, "you need some of the same
tonic as is helping Fred."

"What is that?"

"A good, jolly, pretty girl!"

Martin's gloom became intensified, and more to keep the conversation
going than anything else, his companion continued:

"I don't suppose you are aware Fred has become engaged to be married
since his return. Lucky dog! He's got one of the best, jolliest and
sweetest girls in Lancashire! It was all Kate's work though, for we knew
nothing about it until she arrived." (Here Martin became deeply
interested, and beamed on the speaker something after the manner of the
sun bursting from behind a cloud.) "It seems they were a good deal to
each other for some time before he went to Australia, but they
quarrelled and that sent him off. She was inclined to flirt a bit, and
he was inclined to be jealous. But you should see them now! I'll be
hanged if it don't make me feel young again just to see it! Of course, I
don't pretend to see anything, and you must not pretend to know anything
until you are told."

Martin readily agreed to the restriction placed upon him, and for the
balance of their journey Mr. Stafford had no reason to complain of his
companionship. Indeed, the old gentleman could not understand the sudden
transformation which had taken place, and on their arrival at Hanley
Hall both were in high spirits.

They found Carden in the drawing-room, surrounded by a half dozen
ladies, to whom he had evidently been narrating some deeply interesting
tale, for their entrance was not noticed until they had almost reached
the group sitting in a half circle about his chair. He, sitting facing
the door, had of course seen them, but went on for a minute or two.
Stopping suddenly he said, pointing at Martin:

"And there, ladies, stands the hero of the occasion!"

There was a general turning of heads instantly. Mr. Stafford roared with
laughter, while Martin actually blushed--which caused the old gentleman
renewed merriment as he exclaimed:

"Come, come, Fred! This is really too bad! Spare the hero's blushes!"

Everybody joined in the laugh this time--even Martin himself--which put
all on a more friendly footing than an hours ordinary conversation would
have done.

Among the ladies to whom Martin was introduced was a Miss Fleming--the
"tonic." Where he had seen her before he could not recall, but that he
had seen her Martin felt positive. At length his curiosity got the
better of him and as he was seated beside her at the table that evening
he asked,

"Miss Fleming, I have been puzzling myself all the afternoon about you.
I seem to recall your face, but cannot recall where I last saw it. Do
you remember ever meeting me?"

Miss Fleming, looked at him in surprise, looked at him reflectively,
tried to look wise, and finally shook her pretty head negatively. No,
she had not seen him before--that is, she could not remember it if she
had--"But then, one meets so many during season, you know, Mr. Martin."

Mr. Martin did not know anything much about "the season," but he did
know Miss Fleming's face was in some way familiar.

On her part, Miss Fleming was delighted to have "the hero of the
occasion" for a neighbor, and plied him with questions--"just to draw
him out," as she explained confidentially to the other ladies in the
drawing-room while awaiting the gentlemen. Her questions were put with
such a pretty show of shrewdness that Martin could not refrain from
smiling, and catching him once she said, poutingly:

"Now, if you aren't mean! Here Fred's been saying all sorts of nice
things about you, and I have been thinking--never mind what, and you
have been laughing at me all the time!"

This rebuke was audible only to the person addressed, but the whole
table--heard her next remark.

"Why, Mr. Martin! You've got Kate's ring!" Then glancing at Kate's
hand--she sat just opposite; "Oh! I beg your pardon, Mr. Martin! But
it's like it, anyhow!"

There was a general smile at her confusion, and to cover it Martin said
there was quite a history attached to the ring. He had not seen Kate's
ring, and when Miss Fleming mentioned it Kate's hand was beneath the
level of the table.

"History!" echoed the vivacious little sprite. "Then I'll forgive you
for laughing at me, if you will promise to tell me all about it."

Martin laughingly promised, and forgot all about it until the gentlemen
joined the ladies in the drawing-room. Once there, however, he found
that not only Miss Fleming, but all the rest of the ladies were waiting
for the story, and surrounded him immediately on his entering the room.
The other gentlemen laughed at his predicament and Carden advised him to
begin at once.

"You might as well go ahead, Dick," he said "if Jennie--Miss Fleming
wants a thing, she always wants it bad, and generally gets it, too."

"Very well--I suppose I might as well surrender. Now pay strict
attention, Miss Fleming.

"Well, some twenty years ago there died a New York merchant--a man of
great wealth. His wife had died a year previous and to his son, a child
of three or four, he left his entire property. At the time of his death,
Mr. Hall was living in the country. He had retired from business a few
years before and the people in the vicinity knew very little about him
or his affairs. Therefore, when his brother-in-law, who was appointed
executor under the will, disposed of the property and carried off the
boy Richard, no one was enough interested to inquire what became of him.

"The brother-in-law, whose name was Hardy, had a son of about the same
age as the boy Richard Hall, and from the day he left his country home
young Hall was taught to call himself Hardy, while young Hardy, then an
innocent party to the scheme, was taught to call himself Hall.

"In the envelope containing the will was a letter from Mr. Hall to his
son which was not to be opened until he had attained the age of
eighteen. This, of course, the unscrupulous executor opened, and found
it to be a request from the father that the son on attaining his
majority should fulfill a compact made with his former partner, who had
removed to England relating to the marriage of----"

As may be readily imagined, Mr. Stafford was growing somewhat interested
by this time. At this point he could restrain himself no longer.

"Mr. Martin!" he exclaimed. "Are you--but hang it! You can't be
inventing! Where the deuce did you learn all this?"

Martin and Carden and the friends of the Stafford's stared at him in
surprise. Martin, however, quickly noted that neither Mrs. Stafford nor
Kate did, although both looked a little excited.

"The story is a short one, Mr. Stafford, and if you wait a minute or two
longer you will know it all."

"Oh, yes! Please, Mr. Stafford! Don't spoil it! Go on, Mr. Martin!"

Notwithstanding his excitement, Mr. Stafford could not help laughing at
Jennie's appeal, and nodded to Martin to go on.

"I was saying this letter related to the marriage of the boy Richard
Hall and the daughter of his father's former partner. Well, the boy did
not seem to take kindly to his new name, and Hardy finally shipped him
to his brother in the West, where he was so ill-used that at the age of
fifteen he ran away and grew to manhood among cowboys and miners. He had
a good memory, and retained a lively recollection of his uncle's
endeavors to change his identity, and at the age of twenty-one returned
to New York. Here chance favored him for in some way--how I cannot
tell--he came across his uncle, now an old man in abject poverty. His
son, of whose whereabouts he knew nothing, had squandered every dollar
of the large estate left by Mr. Hall. He gave young Hall all he had
remaining, and that was the letter relating to the marriage compact.
Leaving New York, Hall went to California, where I met him and from
whence we traveled to Australia, where we met George Carden, Fred's
uncle, who took a great fancy to Hall. In return Hall confided to Mr.
Carden his history and also his papers. Mr. Carden was unknown to me at
that time, and as I was doing well on my claim I did not join them when
they moved further up the river. Here Hall met his death at the hands of
a ruffian who preyed on the miners. The trouble occurred one Sunday, and
I happened to come along just then, being on my way to visit my two
friends, and I thus came to hear Hall's story, Mr. Stafford, for he
lived for some time after he was shot."

"But the man who shot him died immediately after the shooting--didn't
he, Dick?"

It was Carden who spoke, and even the women could understand his words
as they saw the grim smile and the cruel expression of Martin's usually
calm countenance as he replied:

"Yes, I believe he died just one minute after."

The ladies shuddered and moved closer together.

"After Hall's death," continued Martin, "Old Carden, as he was called,
lived alone and away from the other miners. It was current report in the
camp that the 'old man' was rich. It was known that he owned valuable
property in and about Melbourne and Sydney and Hall when dying told me
to warn him that it was known that he carried £20,000 worth of diamonds
in a belt about his waist. I did so, but without saving him. He was
found dead shortly after, and the belt and everything else, except a few
small bags of dust, was gone."

Martin stopped as though through with his story, but Miss Fleming
recalled him with:

"But you haven't said a word about the ring, Mr. Martin!"

"Oh, yes! I had forgotten! Hall gave me the ring and requested me to
find the lady with its mate and inform her family of the circumstances
of his death. He left her what little he had made--a matter of two or
three thousand pounds, which I am still waiting to give her, but as her
name and all other information regarding her was contained in the letter
stolen with Carden's papers, I am still looking for her."



CHAPTER X.


To say Mr. Stafford was surprised by Martin's story would scarcely be
doing justice to his feelings. At first he felt inclined to tell Martin
the balance of the story of the betrothal, but hesitated on Kate's
account--supposing, of course, that Hall was a person of more than
ordinary interest in her eyes. The supposition was a natural one in view
of the relations existing between Kate and Hall, as we must still call
him, and he was therefore surprised to hear her join heartily in the
general commendation of Martin's tale.

"I am glad the story pleased you, but really it is the facts themselves
and not my awkward stringing of them together to which the praise should
be accorded."

Martin said this in reply to a remark of Miss Fleming--that he was "a
splendid story-teller."

"Well, the facts are certainly interesting," said Kate, very quietly.
"Especially so to me, but it was your narrative of them which will now
relieve you from all further anxiety regarding that legacy."

Martin looked at her inquiringly.

"Yes," she continued, with a smile and holding out the hand on which she
wore the ring. "Yes, you need look no further, Mr. Martin. The ring and
the woman are before you."

There was, of course, general surprise on hearing this, but Mr. Stafford
quickly confirmed Kate's assertion by relating the story of his
partnership and the betrothal of the children. He, however, refrained
from mentioning anything in relation to the subsequent arrival of the
stranger claiming to be the son of his former partner.

"And so the poor boy died in Australia! Too bad! Too bad! But you have
certainly been a faithful executor of the trust he placed in you, Mr.
Martin. It seems like fate. You form Kate's acquaintance by saving her
life; you then discover to her that she is an heiress and--bless me!
there's no telling where you'll stop."

The old gentleman stopped, with a look at Kate which caused her to blush
a little, even while joining in the laughter caused by his words.

"Before attempting anything further," replied Martin, "I must, having
found the legatee, deliver up the legacy. It's a matter of two or three
thousand pounds, as I said before, and we can settle it up any time
to-morrow that is convenient. When that is disposed of, however, it may
be that we shall find Miss Stafford interested in another and much
larger matter."

"I knew it! I knew it!" exclaimed Mr. Stafford, slapping his knee
vigorously. "Kate, you can prepare--say to-morrow night, to hear some
blood-curdling tale; and at the end of it this magician will suddenly
discover that the King of the Cannibal Islands or the Emperor of Nowhere
has died and left you a kingdom."

Amidst the general amusement caused by this outburst Martin and Carden
alone retained grave countenances. After the fun had subsided a little
the latter said, very gravely:

"Indeed, Uncle, more wonderful things than those may happen. I am
somewhat acquainted with this gentleman's capabilities, and know that
his powers 'have not yet been fully extended.'"

The serious way in which this was said excited considerable curiosity,
but nothing further could be learned from the young men, and after
arranging for the trip to London next day the ladies retired. Mr.
Stafford followed shortly afterwards, but the young men remained in
conversation until a late hour--the name Hall being frequently
mentioned.

Next day, Mr. Stafford accompanied by Kate and Martin, proceeded to
London to transact the business necessary to the payment of the legacy
to Kate. This was soon accomplished, and it being still early in the
day, Martin suggested that they should have luncheon at Greenwich.

Here, while strolling about after a delightful meal, of which the famous
whitebait formed the principal part, the party ran across a
photographer--one of the class that carry about shop and residence
whereever they go. A solicitation for their trade brought first an order
and later a not particularly bad photograph of the three in a group.

This incident, unworthy of record in itself, led to others of
consequence--terrible consequence to one character in our story.

On their return to Hanley Hall it was overlooked in the excitement
caused by the departure of Miss Fleming, whose mother had suddenly been
taken ill, and Martin's receipt of a long telegram from Blount, the
contents of which interested both Carden and himself.

"He has been to Antwerp. I am going there," was the last and most
interesting line of the telegram.



CHAPTER XI.


Among the letters received at Hanley Hall the morning after Martin's
receipt of Blount's telegram, were two from Mr. Hall--one for Mr.
Stafford and the other for Kate. As he tossed the letter to her Mr.
Stafford remarked: "From _our_ friend Hall!"

After glancing over his letter he continued:

"He seems to be buying considerable stock in Kildare."

Martin and Carden exchanged glances. It seemed odd that each time Martin
received news of Hall so also did Mr. Stafford.

Kate's letter caused her to change countenance, and in response to an
inquiring look from her mother she passed over the letter. It had the
same effect on the mother as the daughter--a look of anxiety came to her
face.

"What's the trouble?" asked Mr. Stafford, who had been watching them
curiously.

Kate became embarrassed and blushed, but did not reply. Mrs. Stafford
hesitated, and finally said it was nothing particular and concerned only
herself and Kate. Neither Martin nor Carden knew anything of Kate's
engagement, and Mrs. Stafford did not feel inclined to discuss it just
then--although now firmly convinced there was something wrong about
Hall. The letter she held in her hand urged immediate preparation for
Kate's marriage, and informed her that he would return, expecting to
find Kate ready, at the end of three weeks.

After breakfast Mrs. Stafford informed her husband of the contents of
the letter, and he in turn took Carden into his confidence regarding the
engagement and the letter.

Carden was surprised, and suggested consulting Martin without giving any
reason or necessity for doing so; but Mr. Stafford offered no objection,
and Martin being found in the library, he was soon in possession of all
the facts regarding Hall's arrival in England and subsequent engagement
to Kate--even to the mortgage or mortgages he held on the Stafford
property.

Martin did not appear particularly surprised or put out at anything he
heard until the engagement was mentioned. On hearing of this he said
quietly, but with bitter regret expressed in the tone:

"I wish I had been told this before."

After a minute's thought he continued:

"If I may advise in this matter, Mr. Stafford, I would say let
everything go on as it is, and allow this fellow to believe everything
is proceeding smoothly. Of course, you are now aware he is an impostor,
but there is more in this than you think, Mr. Stafford, although, at
present you must be content with what I've said."

Mr. Stafford looked mystified, but a look from Carden caused him to
assent readily to Martin's proposition, and volunteered the remark that
he would have his "women folks" do the same.

Martin himself, however, did more that morning to put the "women folks"
at ease than Mr. Stafford did, for meeting Kate shortly after the
interview in the library, he begged a few minutes' quiet conversation.

"Let's take a stroll," he said; "it will be the easiest and surest way
to avoid interruption."

Later in the day Mrs. Stafford was taken into the secret, as was also
Miss Fleming, who returned a week later.

"Auntie is so nervous," explained Miss Fleming, "that when mamma has a
headache she summons every doctor and every relative she can reach.
Mamma never knew I was coming home until I arrived! And she just packed
me back here, I really believe, to teach Auntie a lesson! And now tell
about your trip to London."

They were all seated in the drawing-room. Martin had just returned from
London, whither he had gone to learn if anything had been heard from
Blount. He had heard nothing from that gentleman, and he was growing
anxious over the continued silence. It would also appear that he was
mistaken regarding Hall's movements, for a letter received that day
announced his expectation of returning within a week. He felt decidedly
blue and was not inclined to talk. Kate, therefore, told of the trip to
London--an event of no little moment to her--where they had gone
afterwards, and finally of their being photographed.

"Oh! Gracious! Let me see it, Kate! It must be one of those horrid tin
things!" and after a glance at it Miss Fleming continued: "I declare,
Kate! For your own sake, you really ought to burn it! It's almost as bad
as the one I had taken three years ago--only mine is smaller!"

Martin became interested at this point, and now asked Miss Fleming if
she had preserved any of the photographs. He had been gazing at her idly
while she was speaking, still trying to remember where he had seen her
before, and when she spoke of the photographs a sudden light burst upon
him. Hers was the original of the face in the locket!

Martin asked the question so eagerly that he attracted the attention of
the others.

"I don't know but I should have, for we had enough taken to exchange all
around, and I managed to beg most of mine back. There was a whole crowd
of us out sailing, and gentlemen were at a premium; but as I was only a
little thing then, they didn't mind humoring me."

"Of course not," rejoined Martin, with a smile at the lady now nineteen
years of age and four feet ten inches in height. "Of course not, but can
you let me see one of those horrible photographs? I am really anxious to
see one."

"Well, if I have got any of them they are at home; so, of course, I
can't show them to you now."

"Could you not write for one?" persisted Martin. "It is not mere
curiosity, Miss Fleming, but on the contrary, of the greatest importance
that I should see one of the photographs you mention. They were of the
size put in a locket, were they not?"

"Yes," replied Miss Fleming, looking at him in surprise, "but how----"

"Never mind how I know, for the present, but if you will get me one of
those photographs as soon as possible, you will furnish an important
link in an interesting story."

Martin spoke very earnestly, impressing even Miss Fleming, and when he
added:

"So important do I regard this, Miss Fleming, that I am compelled to ask
you to return home at once--to-night."

Miss Fleming promptly expressed her willingness to do so, and started
with Martin within an hour.

The drive of ten miles was accomplished quickly, and the search
commenced immediately on their arrival at the Fleming residence. The
picture was easily found, and Martin then questioned Miss Fleming as to
her knowledge of the members of the party--especially Hall--but she knew
no one of that name, and had not photographs of all present on that day.
Neither had she ever seen the gentleman engaged to Kate.

Martin took possession of the photograph, and then proceeded to London.



CHAPTER XII.


Martin was a little disappointed regarding the value of his discovery.
He had expected to learn from Miss Fleming something about Hall. Still,
he had found an important link in the chain, and on his arrival in
London sought the inspector from whom he had secured Blount's services.

It was late at night--or rather early morning--and everything being
quiet, Inspector Prime was rather glad than otherwise to see Martin. The
latter related the finding of the locket, and the subsequent finding of
the original of the photograph in it.

The inspector listened attentively. He considered it an important piece
of evidence and said as much, but counselled waiting for news from
Blount. Hall was under surveillance, and there was no danger of his
slipping through their fingers again. Meantime he would put a "good
woman" into Hall's late residence in Harley Street--as chambermaid.
Through her everything there belonging to Hall could be examined without
exciting suspicion.

Martin did not reach his hotel until daylight, and did not arise until
late in the day. On descending to the office he was agreeably surprised
to find a letter from Blount. The contents, however, were not
encouraging. Blount was unable to find any trace of Hall, as yet, but
did not despair of doing so.

Martin immediately communicated with Blount by telegraph, telling him he
had discovered the original of the locket picture.

This being done Martin had apparently reached the end of his tether.
What to do with himself he did not know, but he would not go back to
Hanley Hall, for feeling reasonably certain of finally proving his case
against Hall, and being determined to follow it up, he did not care to
meet Kate. That she must have some regard for Hall seemed only
natural--otherwise why the engagement.

For want of something else to do, Martin sought Inspector Prime and
learned that he, too, had heard from Blount.

"I can't stand this infernal idleness," said Martin during the
conversation. "If I felt certain of catching Blount at Antwerp I
would----"

"Why not take a trip to Dublin?" interrupted the inspector. "You will
have to act carefully, however, and do just as O'Brien, the detective
there, bids you. Does this Hall know you?"

"I think not. He met me once at Hanley Hall, but under circumstances
which would probably leave no impression of my appearance on his mind."

"Well, you might go there to relieve the monotony of waiting--but be
careful!"

Within a few hours Martin was crossing the Channel, and on arriving in
Dublin found, on presenting a letter from Inspector Prime, that Hall,
and his shadow, O'Brien, were at Naas, in Kildare, where it was
understood the former was about buying considerable property, and after
spending the day in Dublin, Martin proceeded to Naas.

At the "Blessert Arms," the best of the two inns in Naas, Martin found
O'Brien, to whom he had a letter from Dublin.

There was nothing to report, O'Brien told him, except that Hall was well
supplied with money, which he spent freely; that he had made many good
friends, and was negotiating for the purchase of an estate in the
vicinity.

"Does he live here?" asked Martin.

"Yes--whenever he can get away from his friends. To-day, and for the
past two days, he's been off thirty mile from here shooting."

"But how the deuce can you keep track of him there?" exclaimed Martin,
in angry surprise. "I understood he was never out of your sight or
reach!"

"Be easy now, Mr. Martin. He's not out of either my sight or reach, for
on my recommendation he engaged my partner, Jim Farrel, as his valet.
Jim wired me just a hour ago that they will be back to-night."

O'Brien smiled just a little triumphantly as he finished, and then
pretending not to notice Martin's confusion, continued:

"You see, Mr. Martin, I formed the acquaintance of our friend almost as
soon as he arrived in Dublin, and I've cultivated that acquaintance with
great success ever since. I am here by his invitation, but my pride--I
am a gentleman in somewhat reduced circumstances, d'ye mind--my pride
will not permit of my mingling very much in the sport which he is now
enjoying, and in which he at first insisted I should join him."

The two gazed for a moment at each other as the detective finished. Then
Martin extended his hand:

"I don't suppose there's any use of saying anything," he said, smiling
ruefully at his own discomfiture.

"No more than there is necessity," responded O'Brien, heartily. "Come!
Let's take a drop of something!" and after giving the order continued:
"That reminds me of something--our friend, I am happy to say, is
beginning to drink heavily."

Martin looked inquiringly, and O'Brien exclaimed:

"It shows he's growing either careless or desperate, for he drank
nothing in Dublin, and something's bound to come of it."

Hall, together with several friends, arrived that evening. All were in
high spirits, because, perhaps, as O'Brien explained to Martin, "they
had a fair quantity inside of them."

The party proceeded at once to Hall's rooms, where wine and whiskey were
ordered freely until late in the night, when they adjourned to the bar.
Martin was standing with one elbow resting on the bar, his hand under
his chin and his feet crossed, when they entered. Hall, who was quite
drunk, either accidentally or in bravado knocked up against him and
almost threw him off his feet. Martin was not in a happy mood, and
angrily demanded what he meant; but even as he spoke, seeing Hall's
condition, turned away.

The latter was not too drunk to catch the contempt expressed by the look
and the action, and angrily insisted that Martin should listen to him,
but instead Martin walked slowly away as if about to leave the room. He
had not gone five paces before Hall was after him and struck him with
his walking-stick. The blow, if it could be called a blow, for Hall was
barely able to lift the stick, was the last straw--Martin's patience was
exhausted. Turning on Hall like an enraged lion, he lifted him bodily
and threw him half the length of the room--the flying body coming down
with a crash amidst the chairs and tables along the wall.

Hall did not move, and as his friends picked him up someone said he was
dead, and suggested detaining Martin, who, after lighting a cigar,
walked out and off through the country for five miles. When he returned
he had walked off his excitement, and enjoyed a good night's rest.

Martin paid no further attention to the matter, and laughed at O'Brien
when the latter next day spoke of further trouble; but that evening a
gentleman called upon him with a message from Mr. Hall demanding an
apology, as public as the injury, or a duel!

At first Martin laughed at the idea, but his caller was an Irishman,
very gentlemanly, very pleasant, but also very determined that his
friend should have either one or the other, with the preference largely
in favor of the duel. Mr. Martin must recognize the fact that he
(Martin) was a big, powerful fellow, while his friend was comparatively
a small man; and while it was true there had been a little trouble, the
punishment was very largely in excess of the provocation. Moreover, the
affair having been so public, he could hardly see how Mr. Hall should be
satisfied with an apology--but, then, that was not his affair.

The upshot of the conversation was that Martin allowed himself to be
badgered into saying he had a friend in the inn to whom he would refer
the matter, and Captain Carroll having accomplished his object, departed
with a satisfied smile and a pleasant "good-evening."

"I ought to have pitched the fellow out of the window! But I'll be
hanged if you could be angry with him, you would think it was a marriage
instead of a possible funeral he was arranging," said Martin, as he
explained the affair shortly after to O'Brien, adding: "Is it possible
this thing cannot be ignored? It seems ridiculous!"

"Yes, you might take the next train for Dublin," replied O'Brien,
quietly, "otherwise you may as well make up your mind to fight, for
Carroll will leave no loophole open for an amicable settlement. He
delights in fighting himself, and would die of mortification if any
affair he was engaged in should be settled without going out."

Martin swore he would not run, neither would he fight, but the man who
interfered with him would remember and regret it, if he lived long
enough; but in the end submitted to "the custom of the country," and
O'Brien called on Captain Carroll that very evening.



CHAPTER XIII.


The arrangements for the duel progressed rapidly. Once it was understood
that there should be a meeting, no more accommodating gentleman than
Captain Carroll could be wished. He left everything to O'Brien, the
weapons, the ground, the time. He would leave the choice of all these to
the other side, dealing as knew he was with such an honorable gentlemen;
but notwithstanding this, managed to have the arrangement of everything,
even to the position of the men on the field, as he won the toss for the
choice.

The night before the duel Martin wrote several letters to Carden, Mr.
Stafford and Blount, and two to relatives in America. These he entrusted
to O'Brien, to be forwarded in case he was killed. He was not at all
alarmed about himself, just a bit nervous about the other fellow.

"It's a cold-blooded piece of business," he said, in talking with
O'Brien. "Suppose I should kill him?"

"The anxiety is generally the other way," replied O'Brien, with, a
laugh. "Still, as you suggest, it's serious business and I wish it was
over."

"It's lucky I'm a pretty good shot," mused Martin, "otherwise I might
accidentally kill him." And looking up suddenly at O'Brien, added: "Of
course it would never do to kill him. That job must be left for another
time and another manner!"

The morning set for the duel dawned fair and bright, and with the first
streaks of red across the sky a jaunting car and a closed carriage
arrived at a quiet spot not a mile from the Blessert Arms. In the
jaunting car came Martin and O'Brien, while the carriage contained Hall,
Captain Carroll and a surgeon.

The parties had separated the night before and taken up quarters at
different inns to avoid suspicion.

Captain Carroll having won the toss for position, placed his man with
his back to the sun.

As Martin took his place he handed a letter to O'Brien. "Only in case of
death," he said. It was addressed to Kate Stafford.

Whether one was too quick or the other too slow no one could say, but it
was quite certain that Martin's pistol was not discharged until he fell
with a bullet in his side.

Hall remained in his position until Carroll heard the surgeon's report.

"He's dangerously hurt and you had better get away to Dublin for
awhile," said Carroll, hurrying back, "I've arranged with O'Brien to
keep you informed of his condition. Can I do anything else?"

"Yes, send down that man of mine with all my luggage as soon as
possible!"

"All right! But I don't think it's as bad as that--but be off! You take
the car, he must have the carriage."

When O'Brien saw Hall about to drive away he hesitated for a moment, and
was about to make some excuse to get away and follow him, when Carroll
joined them, saying he too must leave, as he had promised Hall to send
his man after him at once. This decided O'Brien, and he remained and
assisted in conveying Martin to the Blessert Arms.

After seeing Martin placed in bed, O'Brien immediately mailed the
letters he had received the previous night, and then sent a long letter
to Inspector Prime of London and a telegram to Farrell, his partner, at
the hotel where Hall had stopped on coming to Dublin. He also sent
another to the Dublin police to look after Hall's movements, and having
thus closed all avenues of escape, returned to the inn.

The surgeon had just finished a careful examination of Martin's wound,
and said bluntly that he considered it dangerous, but could not speak
with certainty for a day or two.

O'Brien was a good detective, but felt dismayed at the idea of having to
play nurse. He appealed to Mrs. Moran, the good-natured proprietress of
the Blessert Arms, for assistance before letting the surgeon leave.

"Good gracious!" she exclaimed, indignantly. "Do you take us for
heathens? Why, I'm only waiting for the doctor to leave to go and see
what's to be done!"

"But I want somebody to look after him all the time, Mrs. Moran. I will
be around myself, of course, but I'm no use as nurse and I will pay well
for some one who is."

"Well, pay or no pay, you don't suppose we'd leave one sick man to take
care of another? But if Julia wants to make a little extra I'll give her
the chance. She's a good girl--the best I've ever had!--Julia!"

"Julia," a pretty black-eyed girl with rosy cheeks and a Juno form, came
in answer to the call.

"Julia," said Mrs. Moran, "Mr. Martin in No. 6 has been hurt this
morning, and Mr. O'Brien, here, wants somebody to take care of him, and
he wants to pay something for it, too. It's a chance to make a few
shillings, if you want to take it."

Julia wanted to take it immediately, and was duly installed as a nurse.

Toward evening fever set in and Martin became delirious. The surgeon was
called in at once. It was bad, very bad, he said, and he remained an
hour or more with his patient.

Just after the surgeon left Captain Carroll called. O'Brien, who did not
want to scare Hall out of Ireland just yet, met him down-stairs, and
said the surgeon had declared the wound to be a dangerous one. That of
course Hall already knew, and it would serve to keep him worried.
Nothing more definite would be known for a day or two.

During the afternoon of the second day, when Captain Carroll called
again, he met the surgeon, who told him the case was a decidedly ugly
one, and that if inflammation set in, as he feared it would, there was
little hope of saving Martin's life.

Carroll immediately telegraphed Hall: "Better leave. It looks very bad,"
and Hall having an hour to spare, caught the steamer for Liverpool. He
had found his valet, Farrell, quite competent and useful, and brought
him along.

Meanwhile the letters mailed by O'Brien had reached their
destination--those reaching Hanley Hall causing no little commotion.
Martin had closed both letters by saying: "This will be mailed only in
case of my death or serious injury." And O'Brien, it should have been
mentioned, had written Carden that the cause was serious injury.

Mr. Stafford and Carden immediately decided to start for Naas. The
letters were received at breakfast, and during the meal the men
discussed the trip and the probable condition of Martin. Mrs. Stafford
and Miss Fleming expressed the greatest sympathy for Martin, but Kate
remained silent. As they arose from the table, however, she said:

"Papa! Do you think--do you think we--that is, I could be of any
service? It must be awful to be a stranger in one of those places--and
be--be so ill!"

"Bless me!" exclaimed Mr. Stafford, looking at her in surprise.
"I--I----"

Before he could go any further there was an approving chorus:

_Carden._ By Jove! The very thing! Kate, you're a brick!

_Mrs. Stafford._ Kate is right, George! We owe Mr. Martin many
obligations!

_Miss Fleming._ How nice of you, Kate! I should just love to go!

Mr. Stafford looked dismayed, and said very meekly that he had made no
objection to Kate's accompanying them, nor had he any to make, and as it
took women folks all day to get ready, she had better begin at once.

Preparations for the trip were begun immediately, but just at noon as
they were about ready there came a telegram from Inspector Prime asking
Carden to come immediately to London.

This was a set-back, but Carden decided matters. He would go at once to
London, while they should start later for Liverpool. After seeing the
inspector he would follow on to Liverpool and catch them at the boat.

Carden accordingly started at once, and as arranged caught them at
Liverpool. He looked somewhat excited, but said nothing, except that the
inspector had news of interest to Martin.

Thus it happened that Hall sailing from Ireland passed his betrothed
sailing to Ireland.



CHAPTER XIV.


When Hall arrived in Liverpool he proceeded at once to London. His valet
was careful to see that he did not come unannounced--at least in Bow
Street--and from thence the information reached the new servant in
Harley Street.

Hall, however, remained only a day in London. After spending one night
in Harley Street, he informed his landlady he was going away again for a
day or two and that he expected some letters. Any arriving the day of
his departure were to be forwarded to Hanley Hall. Those arriving after
that were to be held.

Farrel was then ordered to "pack up a few things," and at noon they
started for Hanley Hall. On arriving, Hall was annoyed to find Mr.
Stafford and Kate absent. They had gone, so he was informed, to what
might be the death-bed of a very dear friend of the family,--"which is
only the truth, you know," said Miss Fleming, as she concluded telling
Mrs. Stafford just what must be said to Hall.

Although much annoyed, Hall preserved a calm exterior, and asked where
they had gone.

"To Staffordshire," Miss Fleming replied, very promptly, not giving Mrs.
Stafford a chance to commit herself.

Hall looked at her sharply. Her face seemed to trouble him, as it had
Martin.

"When do you expect Mr. Stafford to return?" Hall addressed Mrs.
Stafford, but again Miss Fleming interposed.

"Of course that must depend on the recovery or death of their friend,"
she said, with a mischievous smile.

Hall would have much preferred questioning Mrs. Stafford and receiving
his answers from her, and suspecting, this Mrs. Stafford said she must
leave them for a little while. Miss Fleming would entertain him.

Miss Fleming rattled off a lot of small talk, to which Hall barely paid
attention. At length a break occurred in the conversation, and he said:

"Do you know, Miss Fleming, I seem to know your face--yet I can't
remember where."

"It must have been my photograph," she replied, with an innocent smile.

"Precisely! I found a locket a couple years ago with your photograph in
it--I knew I had seen your face somewhere!"

"Could you let me see it, Mr. Hall?" with the same innocent smile.

"No, I regret to say I cannot; although what has become of it I do not
know. But I beg you will tell Mrs. Stafford I had to go, as I wish to
catch the train back and I have barely time to do so," and having driven
a very large nail in his own coffin, Hall left immediately, while Miss
Fleming at once wrote Carden an account of her conversation with him
regarding the locket.

When Hall alighted from the train in London, he ran plump into a
gentleman of rather disreputable appearance, who cordially "blawsted"
Mr. Hall's "heyes" and consigned his soul to everlasting perdition.

Hall did not recognize the burly individual and paid no attention to
him, but the other appeared to recognize him and heard him give the
order to drive to No. -- Harley Street.

"So yer back are ye!" he muttered. "Mebbe I'll give ye a call afore ye
know it!"

It was our old friend Jaggers, and after Hall was driven away he stood
for some time in deep thought. After a while he moved off in a
hesitating way. Then apparently coming to a sudden resolution, he
muttered a horrible oath, saying--"I'll do it!" and walked quickly in
the direction of the den known as "Blind Jim's," where Blount had met
him regarding the murder.

On arriving at "Blind Jim's" he sought a desperate character known as
"The Knifer," and both adjourned to a private room.

It was early in the evening, and though the two conversed very earnestly
until after midnight, and "The Knifer" appeared to have money, they
drank but little--which caused the proprietor of the den to remark that
"the boys in number six must have a little business on hand."

He was not far out of the way, for about one o'clock the "boys" left the
house and proceeded stealthily to No. -- Harley Street.

Farrel, the valet, had obtained leave of absence, and no one but Hall
slept on the second floor that night. He had come back from Hanley Hall
in an ugly temper, and had spent the evening drinking--in fact had gone
to bed pretty drunk. And he had what is called the drunken man's luck,
for had he gone to bed sober he would undoubtedly have been awakened
when our friend Jaggers, in removing his watch from the dressing-case,
knocked over a glass globe. Had he awakened "The Knifer," who was
bending over him, would have plunged the knife which gained him the
title into Hall's heart. However, being drunk, he slept on undisturbed
by the noise and escaped bodily injury.

In the morning when he awakened, Hall looked for his watch to see the
time, and not finding it looked for his vest, never doubting it was
there, but the vest contained no watch. Instead of becoming angry Hall
began to look troubled and searched among the garments he had removed
the night before. Piece after piece was thrown hurriedly on the floor,
but what he sought--and it could not have been his valuable watch which
he risked handling so recklessly--was not there.

Sinking back on the bed he stared around the room. Suddenly his gaze
fell upon the open rear window, and running to it he saw a ladder raised
against the rear of the house. It was quite clear to him now--he had
been robbed while lying in a drunken stupor, and realizing this he
cursed himself and his folly and his misfortune.

After a few minutes he closed the window, and going to a closet took out
a bottle of brandy, which he had just managed to put away the night
before. Bestowing another curse on this, he took a drink of it and sat
down to think. Suddenly he brightened up, and seizing a pencil wrote the
following advertisement:

      "If the parties who took the watch No. 0072 and other
      jewelry, together with an undergarment from No. --
      Harley Street, will return the same at once, they will
      receive the full value and not be prosecuted. All the
      articles must be returned to ensure the foregoing."

"There, that looks hopeful--that is, if the fools have not thrown it
away!" exclaimed Hall, as he read over the advertisement.

He dressed rapidly and went out without saying a word about his loss,
and before breakfasting left a copy of the advertisement at the office
of every newspaper in London, with orders to insert it for a week.

"What precious lambs 'e must take us for!" exclaimed "The Knifer" as he
read the advertisement in the paper next day.

"Werry!" rejoined Jaggers. "I wonder wot 'e thinks ve took the bloody
pad for? Hundergarment 'e calls it!"

When a week had passed without receiving any response to his
advertisement Hall changed it to the following:

      "£500 reward and no questions asked for the return of
      the watch and other jewelry etc., taken from the
      second floor of No. -- Harley Street on the 10th
      instant. Address, CONFIDENTIAL, care of this office."

This, too, came under the notice of Jaggers and his friend. The latter
glanced at the advertisement covetously and said:

"Hi wonder 'ow much 'igher 'ee'll go?"

"Don't you bother yer 'ead about that! 'E can't get 'em if 'e went as
'igh as the bloomin' moon!" retorted Jaggers, savagely.



CHAPTER XV.


The trip to Naas was made quickly and without any incident worthy of
note, except that the rough passage across the channel caused Mr.
Stafford to become sea-sick as they neared Dublin, and having escaped it
up to that time and become boastful of it, he now blamed his sickness on
the Irish air which they must by this time be breathing--which air he
declared never agreed with an Englishman's stomach.

Arriving at the Blessert Arms, Mr. Stafford inquired about Martin and
was told he was still very ill.

"He's been out of his head entirely for the last few days," said Mrs.
Moran, "but the doctor says there is a chance for him yit. Would ye like
to see him? The doctor says if we could only find out who it is he's
talkin' about and askin' for all the time, it'd do him all the good in
the world. But it's nothin' but Kate, Kate, all the time, an' sure
there's thousands of Kates!"

Without waiting to see the effect of her speech Mrs. Moran led the way
to Martin's room, and knocked softly on the door. Getting no response
she knocked a little louder, and then opened the door.

"Look!" she said. "Poor Julia's asleep. She has not laid down once since
he was brought in."

Julia was sitting near Martin's bed, with her head resting on her hand,
sound asleep.

"Poor girl! It's time she had some rest," said Kate, and quietly
stepping across the room awakened her, but Julia would not leave the
room until Mrs. Moran beckoned to her to do so.

Kate quietly took her place. Carden gave her an approving nod, and
turning to Mr. Stafford, said:

"There is no use in our going in now. Better come down and wait for the
doctor. Meantime we can get something up to Kate."

"Faith, that's sinsible, anyhow!" commented Mrs. Moran. "Come down to
the dining-room an' I'll give ye the best in the house."

After the others had gone Kate arose and closed the door. As she
returned she heard Martin murmur her name, at the same time stretching
forth his hand as though seeking her. On the impulse of the moment she
placed her hand in his and this seemed to satisfy him. In a few minutes
he sank into a peaceful slumber and his grasp relaxed. Gently placing
his hand under the cover Kate picked up a book which Julia had evidently
been reading when she feel asleep. As she picked up the book she noticed
a letter lying on the table. Truly feminine, she looked to see the
address and found it to be for herself.

It was the letter Martin had given O'Brien on the morning of the duel,
and he had laid it there to await developments.

Naturally supposing it was about to be mailed to her, Kate was going to
open it, when hearing a knock at the door she slipped it into her pocket
and went to answer the knock.

It was Mrs. Moran with a tray containing some of the various edibles
embraced in "the best in the house," and some excellent tea, for which
latter Kate felt truly thankful.

Mrs. Moran had brought up the tray herself for two reasons. First,
because Kate had won her heart by her sympathy for the tired-out Julia,
and secondly, because she had heard Carden speak of her as Kate, and she
wanted to have a chat with her.

Setting down the tray on the little table, she said in a whisper:

"Doctor Fox was right I see. 'Twas Kate he wanted, an' now that yez
come there's no fear but he'll get well!"

Kate smiled a little and blushed a little.

"Why do you think I'm the Kate that is wanted? As you say yourself,
there are thousands of the name."

"True for ye! But did any one ever see him restin' like that before,
quiet and peaceful as a child?" and Mrs. Moran pointed triumphantly at
Martin.

Having delivered this unanswerable argument, Mrs. Moran shook her head
knowingly and stole out of the room as softly as though she weighed 120
pounds instead of "14 stone"--as she put it herself.

Down-stairs she confidently informed Mr. Stafford and Carden that now
that Kate had arrived, there was no need of worrying, as Martin would
certainly be all right again in a few days.

Even Carden, anxious as he was regarding Martin, to whom he owed both
his life and fortune, could not avoid smiling at the simple yet sublime
confidence with which Mrs. Moran made this assertion. Yet when Dr. Fox
come down from the sick chamber he bore her out to a great extent. While
up-stairs he had heard Martin call Kate, had seen her take his
outstretched hand and then drop into an easy sleep. So that when
questioned he replied that he had no doubt now of Martin's
recovery--"provided the lady up-stairs could stand the strain of nursing
him," and the doctor left them.

Mrs. Moran, who neither could nor would be shut out from hearing the
doctor's report, looked somewhat triumphantly at her two guests, who in
turn looked rather dumbfounded at this unexpected confirmation of her
opinion.

Neither Mr. Stafford nor his nephew spoke for a few minutes. Neither
deemed it wise to mention the thoughts which had actually occurred to
both on hearing the doctor's opinion.

At length Carden suggested a game of billiards, and they adjourned to
the table which made the "Blessert Arms" the preëminent of the two inns
in Naas.



CHAPTER XVI.


Doctor Fox called to see his patient early next morning, so early that
he met Mr. Stafford and Carden coming down to breakfast.

"Well, how is the patient this morning?" he asked.

"I'm afraid you will have to go up-stairs to ascertain that," replied
Mr. Stafford. "Oh yes! We inquired--" he added, noticing the curious
glance of the physician. "We inquired just now, but were told you were
coming early, and we could learn his condition from you."

"Sensible girl," said the doctor. "I will not keep you waiting long, I
imagine."

In two or three minutes the doctor reappeared and motioned them to come
up. At the door he cautioned them not to excite his patient adding--"He
is now fully conscious!"

This was pleasing news, even coupled with the doctor's proviso that
there must be only a word.

Martin was awake and expecting them, and returned the warm clasp of his
friends' hands. Kate sat somewhat in the background, smiling and
looking happy notwithstanding her all-night vigil in the sick room.
When the doctor departed she was to exchange with her predecessor,
Julia, for a few hours, by order of the doctor.

When the gentlemen descended to the bar and informed Mrs. Moran of this,
she at once notified Julia, who proceeded to Martin's room only to
return again in a few minutes.

The young lady was reading to Mr. Martin, she said, and would not want
her for half an hour.

"That's good!" commented Mrs. Moran, to whom the information was
conveyed. "She'll have him asleep by that time and you'll have nothing
to do for awhile, so if you have any sewing or knitting ye better take
it with ye."

When Julia returned at the expiration of the half hour she found Mrs.
Moran's prediction correct. Martin was asleep and Kate awaiting her.

As the doctor was about leaving he again warned Carden and Mr. Stafford
against exciting Martin.

"Your friend," he said, "has some weighty matter on his mind. What it is
I, of course, do not know. Possibly you may. But whatever it is, all
reference to it must be avoided."

In view of this positive prohibition Carden remained silent regarding
the letter he received next day from Miss Fleming in relation to the
locket picture. He would have liked to have consulted Martin, but this
being impossible at present he decided to return at once to London, and
felt relieved to learn when about starting that his friend was asleep.
Kate could explain or avoid explaining his absence better than he could
himself.

At the Bow Street station Carden met Inspector Prime, and read to him
that part of Miss Fleming's letter relating to the locket.

After making careful note of this the inspector informed Carden that
Blount had returned and was working on an advertisement which had
appeared lately in the various London and Liverpool newspapers. He would
have Blount call at Carden's hotel that evening, as there might be some
questions to ask which did not occur to him (the inspector) at that
time.

As appointed, Blount called at the Bridge Hotel that evening. He had
only seen Carden once and barely knew him, but knowing the friendship
existing between Martin and Carden, had no reluctance about giving the
latter a detailed account of his work since leaving London for Dublin
and Antwerp.

On reaching Dublin he found without the slightest trouble that Mr. Hall
had just returned from Antwerp, but the most thorough search in
Amsterdam--that city of diamond dealers and cutters--whence he had gone
from Antwerp, failed to show that Hall had had dealings with any of
them. He did find that a man answering Hall's description had been
there--but that was all.

Blount then showed Carden the two advertisements, at the same time
informing him that he knew them to be Hall's.

"You see--he's getting anxious!" said Blount. "In the second he names a
specific sum--and quite a large one too. Then again, he omits reference
to that mysterious undergarment. I expect to receive full information
regarding the missing property to-night. The chambermaid and his valet
whom he engaged in Dublin, both belong to us. Yes," he continued, noting
Carden's surprise, "yes, they both belong to us, and yet I don't believe
we could stop him if he wished to leave the country to-morrow."

"Then you don't regard this locket affair as of much importance?" asked
Carden, very much disappointed.

"Not alone. You see, Mr. Carden, he frankly acknowledges that he found
it and lately lost it. It may have been stolen or lost from the chain.
Still taken in connection with other points, it may prove of the
greatest importance."

Shortly after Blount left to meet Hall's valet, and Carden made a flying
visit to Hanley Hall. They arranged to meet the following day, for the
purpose of informing Carden, up to the last moment before he returned to
Ireland, of what had occurred.

Carden arrived late and was surprised to find that neither Mrs. Stafford
nor Miss Fleming had retired. The former look troubled and the latter
had evidently been trying to console her.

Carden soon learned the cause of the trouble. A letter from Hall to Mrs.
Stafford had been received that evening. It enclosed another to Mr.
Stafford, which she was requested to forward to him. The letter to Mr.
Stafford was unsealed--probably left so purposely--and Mrs. Stafford,
unfortunately for her peace of mind, read it.

The letter set forth in plain terms that the writer had returned from
Ireland for the purpose of marrying Kate Stafford, and with the
expectation of finding everything ready for the marriage; whereas, on
his arrival, he not only found no preparations being made, but father
and daughter were gone on an indefinite visit.

Mr. Stafford could take his choice of seeing the engagement fulfilled
at once, or of having the overdue mortgages held by Hall foreclosed and
Hanley Hall in the possession of a stranger.

Mrs. Stafford was in great distress. It was the first intimation she had
received of her husband's financial troubles, and a woman almost
invariably loses her head in anything of that kind.

Carden's arrival was most fortunate. Finding his aunt knew nothing of
the matter, he told her he would take charge of the letter, as he was
returning to Ireland next day, and assured her there was no occasion to
worry. Finding it impossible to convince her in regard to this, he
finally revealed what he had intended to keep secret until after his
marriage to Miss Fleming; namely, that since meeting Martin he had
become very wealthy.

"And Aunt," he continued, "Dick--I mean Mr. Martin, could buy the place
twice over, so don't worry! He has risked his life for mine, and if my
money is not sufficient I know his is at my command. As for this fellow,
I shall write to him for you that as the time for the marriage has not
arrived he need not complain. When the time comes he will find
everything prepared!"

Carden's words did much to reassure Mrs. Stafford, and she retired in a
fairly good frame of mind. Miss Fleming accompanied her, pausing at the
door to shake her finger threateningly at her disconsolate lover.

Next morning, immediately after breakfast, and after a short but not all
stormy interview with Miss Fleming, Carden left for London.

At Bow Street he found that nothing had been heard from Blount since the
previous day. Being anxious to get back to Naas, Carden left a note for
Blount and started at once for Liverpool.



CHAPTER XVII.


The main cause of the letter received by Mrs. Stafford was a scheming
little attorney named Jacobs, who just managed to keep within the pale
of the law, and over whom Hall held powerful influence. At the end of
the second week's advertising Hall consulted Jacobs pretty freely in
regard to his affairs, telling him that important papers, including a
will bequeathing considerable property to the lady to whom he was
engaged to be married, had been stolen from him; that he had offered
every inducement for the return of the stolen property without avail,
and did not expect that they would ever come to light; that as a matter
of fact the receptacle in which the papers were concealed would not be
apt to reveal their presence, and the thief or thieves had probably
thrown it away as worthless.

Mr. Jacobs inquired how his client had arrived at this conclusion, and
was informed that five times the value of the articles taken had been
offered for their return.

Mr. Hall did not, of course, tell Jacobs _all_ he knew. They would have
been on equal footing had he done so, and could hang each other; but
when he had finished as much as he cared to tell, Mr. Jacobs assured him
that the loss of the papers, under the circumstances, would make no
great difference. It would cause more trouble and expense--not a great
deal--but as Hall knew almost the exact wording of it (the will) and as
one of the witnesses, a man who made his mark instead of writing his
name, was still alive there would be no trouble in proving a similar
will which he (Jacobs) could get up--of course for a moderate
consideration.

Jacobs talked plausibly--in fact almost the exact truth, and finally
Hall wrote the letter mentioned in the last chapter.

Immediately on receipt of Mrs. Stafford's answer, written by Carden as
though at her dictation, Hall proceeded to prepare for his wedding--his
first act by way of preparation being to direct Jacobs to go ahead and
prepare the will, giving him a pencil draft, with names and places
blank.

The time fixed for the wedding was but ten days off, and Hall's second
act of preparation was in the way of retrenchment. He discharged his
valet--who immediately reported the fact to Blount--and then instructed
Messrs. Jones & Jones to close out his interest in the Hanley Hall
mortgages for whatever they would bring, deducting six months' interest.
He held just two, amounting together to £5,000, and the Messrs. Jones
found a purchaser in short order at two-thirds of the face
value--themselves.

He was now in possession of considerable ready money, the prospect ahead
looked bright, and it only required fairly good luck for a few days and
he would be sharer in, if not sole possessor of, immense wealth. The
plain blunt letter from Carden reassured him as to the intentions of the
Staffords, and he became once more the calm, elegant gentleman that he
was at the time of his first appearance at Hanley Hall.

He was beginning to believe that the stolen papers would not come to
light again, as he had told Jacobs, and there was nothing to bother him
but the loss of his money--for it may as well be stated that Hall had
lost a very large sum in notes, together with a large draft, on the
night of the robbery. The draft was now overdue and Hall had managed to
find out that it had not been presented for payment. For obvious reasons
he had not attempted to stop payment, but the fact that it had not been
presented did much to strengthen his belief that the draft, together
with the papers with which it was hidden, were lost or destroyed.

True, he had ugly thoughts and ugly dreams at times, and had at all
times a vague idea of being dogged; but now the excitement of the big
game he was playing kept his thoughts pretty well engaged during the
day, and whiskey ensured relief from them at night. The strain was a
heavy one, however, and his nerves were by no means as steady as when he
was introduced to the reader. Neither whiskey nor crimes make good nerve
food.

Three days before that set for the wedding Hall's shattered nerves
received a severe shock. He was in a restaurant which he frequented
evenings, and overheard the following conversation:--

"I say, George! Did you hear about that thing at Baring's to-day?"

"Can't say! What was it?"

"A fellow who was afterwards recognized as a notorious thief presented a
draft for some large amount--I've forgotten what it was--but at all
events the cashier had been expecting it for over a week and the delay
in presenting it kept the thing fresh in his mind--worried him, you
know. Well, to cut it short, he asked some question or other and the
answer made him rather suspicious. So instead of paying the draft he
signalled one of their detectives; who immediately recognized the fellow
and took him in custody. They're trying now to find the owner of the
draft."

The conversation ended here, the two young men, bank clerks evidently,
having finished eating.

Hall sat for a short time debating what he should do, and decided that
for a short time he had better quit the country. He did not care to
become prominent in the public view just at present. If things went
right he could afford to lose the money--and right or wrong, it was not
safe to claim it. Indeed, if the matter was followed further than the
bankers who sold the draft, it was pretty certain to be found that it
was the proceeds of the sale of diamonds.

Again, if the thief confessed where and how he had obtained the draft,
he (Hall) was bound to come prominently into view. So, on the whole,
Hall thought it best to quit the country for a while.

His nervousness on reaching Harley Street was so marked that the
chamber-maid paid particular attention while he informed his landlady
that he must leave town that night. Business of great importance
demanded his presence on the Continent--and before Hall had finished
packing-up Mr. Blount was waiting for him across the street.

Hall wrote a couple letters before starting, one being to Mrs. Stafford
requesting that she should notify her husband and Kate that owing to
business of the utmost importance and urgency the wedding must be
postponed. As soon as he reached his destination he would be in position
to say when he would be able to return.

Hall mailed the letters in the first box he came across, hailed a cab,
and was driven rapidly to the Euston Square station. Blount was not
prepared for this move, but caught the order "Euston Square," and
catching the first hansom that came along followed as fast as possible.

At Euston Square sharp inquiry elicited the fact pretty surely that Hall
had bought a ticket for Dover, and Blount caught the next train arriving
three hours later--for the same place.

Blount was not particularly worried about missing Hall, feeling sure his
man had gone to Dover, and knowing what the latter had probably
forgotten--that there was no boat until late next day.

At the first hotel in Dover he found Hall registered, and after making
sure he had really retired, sat up with the clerk all night--there would
be no such slip this time as was made at Liverpool.

It was quite late when Hall made his appearance next morning, but Blount
never stirred until he saw him enter the dining-room. Then he, too,
entered and made a meal, timed to finish exactly with Hall's.

Hall went to his room and did not leave it until late in the afternoon.
He then proceeded to the dock, bought a ticket for Calais, and was about
to board the steamer when Blount tapped him on the shoulder:

"You can't leave, Mr. Hall!" he said.

Hall turned quickly and asked "Why not?"

"Because I have a warrant for your arrest."

"For what?" demanded Hall, turning color.

"Duelling! Your opponent is badly hurt and you must come back to London.
If you wish to see the warrant here you can do so, but it will be better
to come back to the hotel. I can show it there to yourself--here it
would create excitement."



CHAPTER XVIII.


A brilliant idea had occurred to Blount as he was on his way to Dover.
He had really nothing, as he had told Carden, in the matter he was
prosecuting, on which to prevent Hall from leaving England, and on the
way down he worried considerably as to how he could keep his man from
getting on foreign soil. Suddenly the duel flashed across his brain, and
before Hall arose in the morning he had by means of messengers obtained
a warrant from a Dover magistrate. He waited, however, until Hall was
about to board the boat, before using it, to make sure that that
gentleman actually intended to quit the country.

As may be imagined Hall was startled on being informed that he was under
arrest, and relieved on learning the cause. Even if his opponent should
die it would not be as bad as what he had at first expected, and he
accompanied Blount back to the hotel in a frame of mind rather cheerful
than otherwise.

At the hotel Blount took Hall to a room and showed him the warrant. It
was all in proper order, as far as Hall could tell, and he could make
no objection to being placed in Dover jail. He would have an examination
next morning, Blount assured him, after he had been locked up, meantime
could he do anything for him. He, of course, had no feeling in the
matter, except perhaps sympathy--for after all it was not really classed
as a crime by society--or if a crime it was certainly that of many a
noble gentleman for ages past.

The tone was as sympathetic as the words were frank, for Blount _could_
talk when occasion warranted; but if he expected to gain Mr. Hall's
confidence through his little speech, he must have felt sorely
disappointed.

Mr. Hall wanted nothing except liberty, and that Blount could not give
him. However, Mr. Blount would oblige him by sending for his attorney,
Mr. Isaac Jacobs, No. 4 Fleet Street, London, for he (Hall) could really
not afford to waste time in Dover.

If Blount was disappointed in his effort to gain Hall's confidence, he
found a crumb of comfort in knowing he was connected with Mr. Jacobs;
for Blount knew the attorney and his record quite well, nearly as well
as Hall himself.

The telegram was sent without delay, and Jacobs came at once, arriving
at Dover late the same night. Blount met him accidentally at the
entrance to his hotel, the nearest to the station.

"Ah! Good evening Mr. Jacobs! Down to see our friend, I suppose?"

Jacobs was almost as startled as his client had been on meeting Blount,
but having nothing particular to fear at the moment, like his client,
quickly recovered himself.

"Yes, Mr. Blount," he replied. "Are you the party in charge?"

"Well, I suppose it might be put that way. But really I'm not much
interested or posted as far as the case goes. A message came across from
Dublin yesterday that there had been a duel fought somewhere over in
that land of fun and fighting, and one of the principals badly hurt.

"The party wanted was our friend Hall, and I was sent after him and got
him here just as he was about starting. I suppose he will be held until
we can get further particulars from the other side, and then we will
send him back."

Mr. Blount, as may have been remarked, could talk a long time and say a
whole lot without telling anything to his auditor.

Mr. Jacobs, however, knew Mr. Blount, and while the latter had not
actually wasted his breath, he did not learn much from the attorney.

"Of course, as I was sent for I came at once," said Jacobs, "but I
cannot see that any thing can be done here if the trouble occurred in
Ireland. As for holding him for further information, I don't know that
you can do that either. However, I can say nothing until I have seen my
client."

As a matter of fact Blount had no legal evidence of the duel. He had, of
course, heard of it, and from more than one source, but no official
information had reached London or any other police office. Blount knew,
therefore, that Hall would be instantly discharged as soon as the
examination was held, which if Mr. Jacobs had his way, as he was pretty
certain to, would be next morning. How to prevent the hearing puzzled
him, and he sat for several hours endeavoring to find a way out of the
difficulty. At length a desperate expedient occurred to him. The
magistrate who had issued the warrant was neither particularly bright
nor learned in the law, but he was most decidedly obstinate, and held
Scotland Yard men in great esteem, not to say reverence. It had suddenly
occurred to Blount to take this worthy gentleman into his confidence,
and although it was past midnight, he acted on the idea at once.

Justice Holland was considerably surprised and at first annoyed at being
disturbed at this late hour, but Blount assured him that nothing except
the importance of his business would excuse his call, and forthwith
unfolded a tale that made the magistrate forget his annoyance, and he
readily agreed to be unable to see the law as Mr. Jacobs did next
day--if it became necessary to listen to that gentleman.

Feeling sure of Hall for at least another day, Blount now set the
telegraph wire at work and commenced sending telegrams in every
direction--London, Dublin, Naas and Hanley Hall--with strict injunctions
to the operator to see that he was not kept waiting for answers should
any arrive by telegraph.

There was only the ordinary number of cases to be tried by Justice
Holland the next day, but the Court officers and regular visitors were
fairly astonished at the care and time he spent over even a plain,
ordinary drunk. He inquired into every thing concerning the present case
and all previous ones, if any.

It was long past the usual hour for adjourning Court, and seeing that
more than half the calendar still remained untried Jacobs began to grow
uneasy. He cursed the "stupidity" of the justice, who was spending more
time on the simplest case that came before him than a London magistrate
would occupy in disposing of the entire calendar, and strangely enough,
Hall's case was the last on the list.

At length he grew so impatient that he addressed the Court and asked if
his case could not be taken up at once. It was an important one, he
said, and involved the liberty of a reputable and responsible gentleman
whose important business was suffering through his absence, and he must
demand an immediate hearing. The Court listened calmly, then informed
Mr. Jacobs that his case would be taken up in the regular order, and
that his client would certainly have a fair and speedy hearing. After
which the Court proceeded with the trial of more cases. At length,
however, the Court could stand it no longer. The announcement was made
that no more cases would be tried that day, that witnesses should be on
hand at the regular hour next morning, and notwithstanding the vigorous
protests of Mr. Jacobs the Court adjourned.

Mr. Jacobs vowed he would compel a speedy hearing. He would get out a
writ of _habeas-corpus_, and did, too, but Blount had gained his point
and Hall was kept in custody another day.



CHAPTER XIX.


When Carden returned to Ireland he found Martin, although still very
weak, progressing rapidly. As predicted by Mrs. Moran, he had improved
steadily since his nurses were changed--not that Julia was not a kind
and attentive one, but then, she was not Kate to Martin. He was now able
to sit up and no particular restraint was placed on his talking provided
the subject was not too exciting.

Immediately on his arrival Carden communicated to his uncle the contents
of the letters received by Mrs. Stafford from Hall, and inquired whether
Mr. Stafford knew what mortgages Hall actually held--at the same time
assuring him that in his opinion there was no reason to worry. Mr.
Stafford knew nothing, except that he had always paid his interest to
Messrs. Jones & Jones and that they had been very lenient up to the last
application he had made for time. He related what Hall had told him
about the way he came to be the possessor of the mortgages, and that was
all he knew. Carden then proposed consulting Martin, but Mr. Stafford
objected. He did not care to have a stranger--and after all Martin was
only a stranger--so intimate with his affairs.

Although Mr. Stafford would not consent to consulting Martin in regard
to the mortgages until it became absolutely necessary, Carden in
relating what had occurred during his illness, could not avoid some
mention of them.

Martin, however, made no comment regarding the mortgages. He did not
speak for a few minutes, but when he did he startled Carden.

"Fred," he said, in his quiet determined way, "I must get back to London
at once. There is a great deal to be done before the time for this
marriage arrives, and nothing can be accomplished by sitting here
waiting, like Micawber, for something to turn up. If anything does turn
up it will not be to our advantage, and I shall be better doing
something than idling here. So I'm off by to-night's boat."

Carden looked aghast on hearing this, but knowing the utter uselessness
of objection, simply said:

"Very well, Dick. But don't you think it would be wise to hear what the
doctor has to say about it?"

After looking at his watch, Martin replied:

"Well, as I can't get away until evening I see no objection to that;
but, Fred, you know it will not make a particle of difference."

Fred knew this perfectly well, so making an excuse to get out, he set
about trying to learn in advance what the doctor would say, and if
possible, prevent his, (Martin's) departure.

He called on Doctor Fox, and when he had told his story the physician
simply laughed at the idea of Martin attempting to get off that evening.
"Why, he must be out of his head again!" he exclaimed. "The man is as
weak as a child, and would die from sheer exhaustion before he reached
Dublin."

"But he will go nevertheless unless we can devise some means of
preventing him. You don't quite know your patient, Doctor. I do, and I'm
very sorry I did not consult you before telling him certain things which
I should have known would have resulted in this determination of his to
go to London."

"Oh! And so, in spite of my warning, you _have_ been talking business to
him--eh? Well, sir, allow me to tell you that if your friend starts
to-day or to-night, or any other time for several days, he will be on
his last journey as sure as fate! While outwardly a cool, calm fellow,
he is of a highly nervous temperament, and were it not for that he would
go to sleep this afternoon and not awake until after the train had
gone. That would be my course with an ordinary obstreperous patient, but
with your friend it would be equally as bad as allowing him to go."

"But what are we to do?" asked Carden helplessly.

"I don't know exactly what to say," replied the doctor, slowly. "By the
way! What relations, may I ask, exist between your cousin and your
friend? Are they engaged?"

Carden seemed struck by the suggestion contained in the doctor's
question.

"No--I wish they were! My cousin, I may tell you in confidence, Doctor,
is engaged to the man with whom Dick fought, but it was not on her
account, fortunately."

"Phew!" whistled the doctor. "Then, my friend, for some reason, you may
depend upon it, she's engaged to the wrong man! There's more in this
than appears on the surface. Your cousin is a very deep girl and not
easily seen through, but engaged or not, your only hope of stopping your
friend is through her. Consult her if you have an opportunity--I can do
nothing but warn him, and that you tell me will be waste of breath.
Still, it's my duty to do it, and I shall take care that it's done in
her presence. It's now about time for my call. You go ahead and see
that she is there when I arrive."

Carden departed at once, and on returning to the inn found Kate reading
to Martin, who was lying back in his chair before the open window, with
half closed eyes, drinking in the balmy air and the musical tones of the
reader at the same time--the last man in the world one would suspect of
contemplating a sudden, and, to an invalid, long and rough journey.

On Carden's entrance the reading ceased, Martin came back to earth, and
the three entered into conversation, which continued until the doctor's
arrival.

Doctor Fox made a more careful examination of Martin than usual and
announced the result.

"You are doing very well, and will be all right again in a few days,
provided you keep very quiet and do not attempt too much. Over exertion
just now would ruin everything and throw you right back to the starting
point--perhaps kill you."

"Yes," assented Martin, "I am feeling the result of your skill and the
care of my watchful nurse, who will scarcely allow me to breathe, except
in accordance with your orders."

Carden and Kate smiled, as did the speaker himself, but the doctor
preserved his gravity. The turn of the conversation did not suit him,
and he saw plainly Martin intended to avoid the subject of the trip to
London.

"Do not underestimate the care of your watchful nurse, Mr. Martin," he
said, very gravely. "But for that care I do not know that I could do
much for you. And be careful that you do not overestimate the
improvement that has taken place."

"So Fred's been telling you about it!" commenced Martin, looking
significantly toward Kate.

Ignoring the look and speaking to his patient but at the nurse, the
doctor replied:

"If by 'it' you mean your mad idea of making a trip to London in your
present helpless condition, he has, and it is my duty to warn you that
such a trip would result in your death--even before reaching your
destination."

Martin was annoyed, and looked it. He had not intended that Kate should
know anything up to the last moment of his intended trip, and to quell
the conversation regarding it simply bowed in acknowledgment of the
doctor's warning.

Kate, it should have been mentioned, had only the previous night found
Martin's letter in her pocket and read it. She now knew his secret--and
her own too--but as she reached the end of the letter she saw that it
was intended to have been sent her only in the event of the writer's
death, and now understood why it had been left on the table where she
found it. Except that it had made her a little more careful, and, if
possible, a little more tender, Kate showed no sign of what had been
revealed by the letter.

Doctor Fox was watching her while telling Martin that at present a trip
to London meant death, and as he expected, she grew pale and looked
troubled, but, contrary to his expectations, did not speak. He did not
know what she had learned during the night. Had it been yesterday she
would have joined forces with him and entered a vigorous protest--but it
was to-day now.

Carden knew it was useless to speak and he, too, remained silent; and
driven to his last resource, the doctor appealed directly to Kate.

"Miss Stafford, do not you, to whom our friend is so deeply indebted,
think it very rash, not to say ungrateful, to throw away the result of
our labors by imperilling his life, as he will in taking this mad trip
to London?"

Kate raised her eyes to find Martin gazing intently at her. It was an
unexpected encounter on both sides, and caused a slight blush to mantle
Kate's cheeks, for she felt that if her glance expressed as much as his,
Martin had learned a great deal.

With eyes cast down she replied rather confusedly that she hoped Mr.
Martin would not think of going--but, of course, he knew best what to
do.

The doctor had really taken a great liking to all of the party,
especially Martin and Kate, and this reply, so unlike what he had
expected, drove him out of temper.

"And you pretend to be his friends, and yet will allow him without
protest to make this insane trip, knowing it will probably be his last!
I'll be hanged if I can understand it! I had certainly hoped for your
support, Miss Stafford, but it seems you are like the rest, and I must
wash my hands of the whole affair."

The doctor had just eased his mind when he suddenly detected something
coming and quickly added:

"Mr. Carden, I must see you down-stairs for a moment," and without
waiting for a reply hurried Carden out.

"Mr. Carden," said the doctor, somewhat excitedly, as he hurried that
astonished gentleman along, "let's go right down to the bar and take
something to drink! You may not have been aware of it, but I've taken a
great fancy to our friend and your cousin! I have, by George! And we
must take a drink on it!"

"But what the deuce has that got to do with it?" asked Carden, beginning
to think the doctor had already had too much.

"Everything, my boy, everything! Our friend has by this time very
sensibly decided not to go to London at present!--Two more, please."
This last to the barmaid.

"Yes," he continued, answering Carden's glance, "yes, my dear boy, it is
all settled by this time! I told you she was engaged to the wrong man,
and I was right--but that's all over now!"

Carden looked a trifle mystified at first, but as the doctor proceeded a
light began to dawn upon him. It was not very clear, however.

"What do you mean, Doctor? Surely you think that since you dragged me
down here----"

"Just what I do mean!" interrupted the doctor. "How blind you fathers
and mothers, cousins and brothers are! Why, if I had not dragged you
down here, as you put it, the explosion would have taken place while we
were there, but our presence would have made it premature; and like most
premature explosions, would have resulted only in hurting all
present--more especially the two up-stairs."

At this moment a messenger entered with two telegrams--one for Carden,
the other for Martin.

Carden's telegram read:

      "Have Hall here under arrest for duelling. Get me
      official information of fight--see O'Brien.

      "BLOUNT."

With the telegram as an excuse Carden was about to return to Martin's
rooms, when the doctor stopped him, saying very earnestly:

"Hold on, Mr. Carden! You appeared anxious only a short time ago to stop
Martin from leaving here. He has now, I firmly believe, abandoned that
idea. Do you want to start him again with that?" indicating the
telegram. As Carden stopped hesitatingly he continued with a humorous
look: "And, besides, you should have some regard for their feelings.
Just put yourself in his or her place and imagine anyone intruding so
quickly!"

"Bosh!" was the irritable response of Carden, but he sat down with the
doctor and joined that gentleman in disposing of some bitter beer--"just
to pass away the time."

This is what happened up-stairs.

Doctor Fox had scarcely dragged Carden out of the room before Kate burst
into tears. Martin was startled by this sudden outburst of emotion and
was very much troubled. It was no slight cause that forced such an
exhibition of emotion from so reserved and proud a girl as Kate. As the
crying increased Martin become more troubled, and after a momentary
struggle surrendered.

Walking over to her with more strength and firmness than he had shown
since being wounded, Martin raised her up, and taking her in his arms
kissed her. She seemed to know what was coming, for from behind her
handkerchief came a tear-stained face wearing an hysterical smile to
receive his salute.

"You will not go away," she said, not inquiringly.

"No--of course not, since it troubles you."

That was all. There was no giving or asking. No questioning the right of
one or the submission of the other. It was all decided from the moment
Martin had arisen from his chair--although he knew nothing about the
letter.

After a half hour Doctor Fox yielded to Carden and knocked at Martin's
door. On entering both saw at once that something unusual had happened.
Kate had removed all traces of her recent emotion and looked exceedingly
bright and happy. Martin looked very complacent, his face wore a happy
smile, and the mingled air of pride and ownership with which he now and
then looked at Kate tickled the doctor immensely.

"I have to crave your pardon for our hurrying away," said the doctor,
immediately on entering, "but I really had something of importance to
say to Mr. Carden."

"All right, Doctor!" replied Martin, and as he tore open the telegram
exclaimed: "By Jupiter! What does this mean?"

"Well, what is to be done?" asked Carden. "You are the only person in
the place capable of giving the authorities the necessary information.
O'Brien is away in some horrible place with a worse name; the surgeon
skipped off as soon as he thought you were going to die, and Carroll is
off in Scotland shooting. You are the only one left to give the
information."

"And from me it will never be obtained! I was a fool to go into the
thing at all, but my being a fool is no reason that he should be
punished. It was perfectly fair and he took greater chances than I
did--though he was not aware of it."

"Good!" exclaimed the doctor.

Kate smiled approval. Carden gave it up.



CHAPTER XX.


When Mr. Jacobs threatened to obtain that all-powerful friend of the
prisoner, a writ of _habeas corpus_, Detective Blount, although then
without the evidence necessary to hold Hall for trial, did not feel very
much concerned. He felt certain his telegrams would procure enough
evidence to warrant the prisoner's commitment for trial, but he had a
very close shave for it, and the immediate evidence came through an
unexpected and almost unknown party--Miss Fleming.

His reply came from Dublin--nothing was known there and O'Brien had not
reported for forty-eight hours. He was engaged in another matter.

Next came Carden's reply for both Martin and himself: "Martin too ill.
Doctor forbids talking of the matter. O'Brien not here."

Blount looked angry and disappointed--and then came Miss Fleming, just
fifteen minutes before he was to go to Court--and with her a big
good-looking country squire, who was only too happy to escort her to
Dover.

Miss Fleming immediately proceeded to business, and with a directness
that excited Blount's admiration. After making sure he was the right
party, she laid two letters before him.

"Those," she said, "contain the information, I think, that you asked
for. They are from Mr. Martin, and say that he is about to fight with
that horrid Hall. At the end of each is a short note from a Mr. O'Brien,
saying Mr. Martin was seriously hurt. The letters were sent to Mr.
Stafford and--Mr. Carden, and they are with Mr. Martin now."

After examining the letters Blount asked:

"Miss Fleming, would you object to being a witness against Hall, if it
becomes necessary?"

She hesitated a little but finally said if it would help her friends in
any way she "would try."

It was not necessary, however; for the prosecuting attorney, armed with
the letters and telegrams and a witness ready to identify him, had no
difficulty in having Hall committed for trial--without bail, owing to
Carden's alarming telegram.

Having Hall, now, where he could lay his hand on him when required,
Blount accompanied Miss Fleming and Mr. Gerard, her escort, as far as
Manchester, and then hurried on to London. No matter how the trial for
duelling turned out--and he shrewdly suspected Martin would refuse to
appear in it--there was a great deal to be done before it came on.

The first news he received in London was regarding the stolen draft
presented at Baring's. Being detailed specially for Martin's matter,
this was given as news and not as bearing on his case, as was the
additional fact that no trace could be found of the owner, who was now
supposed to have been murdered.

Blount in a professional way asked who was the thief and the amount of
the draft.

The reply rather startled him. The thief was well known to him as a
friend of Jaggers, and the amount of the draft twelve thousand pounds.
Then Blount did some very brilliant thinking, which resulted in his
calling on the man who had presented the draft.

"Hello, Sanders! Got you again, have they! I say! What did Jaggers do
with the rest of the stuff?" Mr. Blount asked, carelessly.

"How do I know? Blast----" Mr. Sanders stopped suddenly. He had steadily
refused to talk so far, but his week's imprisonment had not improved an
unusually bad temper, and it had got the better of him.

Mr. Blount could be a perfect Job's comforter when occasion required, as
is proved by the following:

"Well--you've put your foot in it this time, I'm afraid. I've been away
for a week or two--only got back to-day and heard of this. They have you
straight enough on the draft, but that's nothing--only a few years. The
other is 'life,' or worse.

"Why, don't you know they've got it down for murder now? Oh! you are in
for it I'm afraid, as soon as Jaggers gives up. They haven't found the
body yet, but, of course, that's pretty near certain to come to light.
It's only a matter of time."

Sanders was no fool--at any rate not fool enough to engage in any affair
involving murder, and in spite of himself became interested.

"What are you talking about?" he demanded.

"About the finding of the body of the man you took the draft from. The
draft itself, of course, amounts to only a few years, but the
other----Here! I've got to see a _friend_ of mine almost as bad off as
yourself. Take this paper--it will tell you as much as I can!" and Mr.
Blount hurried away to the end of the corridor, and then sat down and
talked to the turnkey for half an hour.

Sanders was an educated man and came of good family. Drink had been the
primary cause of this and his previous troubles, but he had never been
involved in anything even approaching murder, and when Blount had gone
he seized the paper and read a long story of the crime supposed to be
connected with his possession of the draft. News had not been too
plentiful, and the editor had given full scope to the reporter's
imagination. The police were close on the heels of the missing murderer,
so the paper asserted, and he or the one in custody, it was expected,
would divulge the story of the crime.

Sanders read the story eagerly and looked considerably worried by it,
Blount's little story fitted in so nicely.

Suddenly Blount appeared at the door of the cell.

"Well, through with the paper, Sanders?" he asked, and as it was handed
back: "You were a most infernal fool to put your hand into anything with
blood in it. Such fellows as Jaggers and 'The Knifer' (Sanders started)
take chances of that kind right along, and are bound to come to the rope
in the end--but they are little better than brutes, while you are a man
of education. But I must be off! May see you again in a day or
two--Good-bye."

And having left Sanders with plenty of food for reflection, Blount left
the prison in high glee.

"I'll get that thousand pounds yet," he muttered as he passed out, "and
by the merest fluke, too. And 'The Knifer' is in it, eh! Well, well! To
think of playing it on an intelligent chap like Sanders--but they are
all fools, every one of them."

Thus communing with himself, Blount walked rapidly in the direction of
"Blind Jim's;" but once in the neighborhood, proceeded at a leisurely
gait to that den. As those who frequented the place were all night owls
of the worst type, there were but few present when Blount entered, and
Jaggers was not among them.

The last time Blount visited Jaggers, the latter became a person of
importance because of his intimacy with him, and it occurred to Blount
that he could perhaps get something out of "Blind Jim" on the strength
of this apparent intimacy.

There were no love lost between the proprietor and the
police--especially that portion of it represented in the person of
Blount--but he bowed obsequiously as the latter approached.

"I want to meet Jaggers again--where is he?" said Blount, after
declining an offer of "something," and ignoring an inquiry as to his
health.

As may be supposed "Blind Jim" knew of Jaggers' last bit of business,
and hesitated a moment before answering that he did not know.

Jaggers had become very drunk after Blount had gone away the last time
the latter called, and had told the proprietor of the den that he had
put Blount up to a big thing. Remembrance of this made Jim add that
Jaggers had been there the previous night for the first time in a couple
of weeks, and was very drunk when he left.

"When you see him again, say I want to see him about that matter. He
will know what I mean--I think I will take some beer."

This chimed in exactly with Jaggers' story, and induced "Jim" to say:

"Suppose I make it a quart o' bitter, Mr. Blount, an take it over to
'Nell'--you know her? She 'n Jaggers went out together last night."

Blount assented to the proposition, but a ten minutes conversation with
'Nell' proved conclusively that she knew nothing about Jaggers, except
that he appeared to have plenty of money, and was living with "The
Knifer," "down Blackwall way."

This was something, however, and Blount left "Blind Jim's" fairly well
satisfied. He had not expected to find Jaggers there, and was rather
gratified that he had not. It proved that Jaggers was in
hiding--otherwise why abandon his old haunts?

That night every officer in London and the outlying districts had an
accurate description of Jaggers and "The Knifer," with orders to arrest
them.



CHAPTER XXI.


Chance favored Blount again next day. He was walking along toward
Newgate, undecided whether to call on Sanders or try "down Blackwall
way," when he met a brother detective. "Hello Morgan!" he said, "through
with your job already?"

"Yes--and so is everyone else on that job for the present," replied
Morgan, ruefully.

"Why--what's the trouble?" asked Blount, sympathetically.

"Let's go somewhere and I'll tell you all about it."

They adjourned to a nearby public-house and Morgan related his trouble.

He had been detailed to a large stationer's to find out who was
committing a series of petty thefts, and was employed as a salesman, in
order to familiarize him with the place and the people. He had already
gained some information, and would probably have accomplished his work,
but for an accident. That morning he had detected a young lad pocketing
a fancy glass paper-weight, and was about to stop and take it from him
quietly, but before he could even leave his place behind the counter the
proprietor, who had also observed the theft, rushed forward and collared
the boy.

"And what do you suppose the chuckle-headed idiot did then? Called out,
'Morgan! Morgan! Why don't you arrest this young thief? What are you
here for?' The blasted fool! Of course that settled it for me--but I
couldn't have any better luck!"

"How's that?"

"Oh! I don't know! I'm a bit superstitious about some people, and this
lad belonged to that little Jew attorney, Jacobs, and you remember when
I arrested him two years ago I broke my leg next day jumping off the
train at Charing Cross. Now his imp of a boy comes along and helps to
spoil a good job!"

Blount sympathized, as in duty bound, and ordered another pot of beer.
Morgan was a really bright fellow, much younger than Blount, and a
protégé of the latter.

Although now interested on his own account in everything concerning Mr.
Jacobs, it was more from habit than anything else Blount inquired what
the boy wanted so far away from his employer's office.

"Some peculiar kind of paper--a kind that's shipped a great deal to
Australia and other colonies, I believe--and come to think of it, the
youngster had several packages of chemicals in his pocket when arrested.
Shouldn't wonder if that fellow Jacobs was up to some knavery again."

Blount was all interest in a moment, and said:

"Morgan, I'm on a big thing and I think I'll ask for your assistance. I
don't know whether I can get it or not, but I'll risk telling you to go
back and see this youngster before reporting at the office. I will go
there and attend to that and meet you there when you get back. Get
everything you possibly can out of the boy, and if necessary promise him
liberty. This may be an important discovery."

They parted, and Blount on reaching the "office" gave a short account of
what Morgan had told him, and then asked for the latter's assistance in
"the Martin matter," as it was now known in police circles.

The inspector was an old friend of Blount's, and although he pretended
to be tired of it, was himself interested in the Martin matter.

"Yes, you can have him, I suppose, but that Martin matter will be the
death of me, I'm afraid." And having fired this shot the inspector left
"for a few minutes," but when Morgan entered at the end of a half hour
he had not returned. Blount accordingly informed him that he had
obtained the necessary permission.

"And I'll take it on myself to say you need not wait to report now. Come
along! We can talk as we walk. We must get down to Blackwall."

Once on the street, however, Morgan stopped him and hurriedly related
his interview with the boy.

"By George! Morgan, this is connected with the Martin matter, I'll bet a
shilling!"

"What is all this gambling about? The Martin matter?" asked the
inspector, who had come behind them unobserved.

"You've just hit it," returned Blount, on seeing who had addressed them.
"And you must help me a good deal this time. Come inside."

The three entered, and after a hard fought battle Blount came out
triumphant, and hurried Morgan away with this parting injunction:

"Do anything--plead, steal, lie, anything--but get the boy out before
they notice his absence. When you are through meet me at Horn's at
Blackwall. Now jump!"

Having delivered this not altogether pious exhortation, Blount walked
leisurely in the direction of Blackwall, while his partner hurried off
in the opposite direction.

"I'll get him! I'll get him yet--and soon, too!" ruminated Mr. Blount,
and he smiled with the satisfaction peculiar to the man who is reaching
the point where he proves his theory to be the correct one.

Reaching Blackwall, he sauntered about, stopping occasionally when he
ran across a high flavored public-house, asking a question here and
there, and finally dropped in to see the inspector of the Blackwall
district.

This gentleman, with whom he was very well acquainted, had not as yet
run across either of the men; but, of course, this was only the first
day that he knew they were wanted. Still, they must be keeping pretty
quiet--if they were in his district--or he would have known something
about them.

It was now about time for Morgan to arrive, and bidding the inspector
"good-bye" Blount strolled along to "Horn's,"--the most respectable
public-house in the district--and found his comrade awaiting him.

"Well?" he said, interrogatively.

"It's all right! The boy's back at work and will be at my house
to-morrow night, when it is expected Jacobs will be back. I was afraid
to say to-night, not knowing what was on here."

"Good!" commented Blount.

"And let me know what I am doing--I can work to better advantage."

"Correct. You shall hear it all before dark, and we can do nothing more
until then."

Blount related in detail the full history of the Martin matter as far as
he knew, and it was dark when he concluded his story.

"And now you must stay right here all the time until you find Jaggers.
I'm satisfied the girl told me the truth to-day, and that he told her
the truth while drunk last night. He don't know you, so you can go about
as you are; but I shall have to make a little change, so that he may not
be alarmed if he catches sight of me first."

After a hearty meal Morgan engaged a room at Horn's and thither they
proceeded. Here Blount made his "little change," which, however, would
enable him to pass his closest friend without fear of recognition. Being
satisfied of this, he together with Morgan made a tour of the
public-houses of high and low degree embraced in the Blackwall district,
but without success.

"Never mind," he said, on returning to Horn's, "I'm satisfied he's here,
and we'll get him before the week's out if we look sharp. I'll see you
when you get back to-morrow night. Good-night."



CHAPTER XXII.


Things having begun to progress favorably over in England we will take a
trip across the Channel.

Martin was recovering rapidly, to the great satisfaction of Dr. Fox, and
the doctor was not alone in declaring that to the nurse, or nursing, or
both, belonged the credit of the cure. And many were the sly remarks and
glances bestowed on the patient and nurse when they indulged in the now
daily stroll, always accompanied by Carden, or the doctor, or Mr.
Stafford--sometimes all three.

News spreads rapidly in a small place. Each one's affairs is the concern
of all the rest, and from sly looks and remarks it began to be rumored
that Miss Stafford and Martin were to be married as soon as the latter
was fully recovered. A little later the day was fixed, and finally, a
week after the engagement had been officially announced, (by the
gossips), Mr. Stafford was almost paralyzed by being asked for an
invitation to his daughter's marriage.

The request was made jestingly, and came from a wealthy gentleman whose
acquaintance he had formed since arriving in Ireland.

Notwithstanding the jesting tone, the explanation which followed
awakened Mr. Stafford to the fact that there was considerable talk going
on concerning his daughter and Martin. Had this gossip been confined to
the poorer classes, he would have paid no attention; but the fact of
this friend speaking of it--even in jest--proved that it was not, and he
became rather alarmed. Mr. Stafford had the greatest regard for Martin,
and liked him well enough to make that detestable trip to Ireland; but
Kate was already engaged to one man, and certainly must have cared
something for him when she consented to the engagement, and neither
Martin nor Kate must cause any more such talk.

Meeting Carden shortly after, he asked bluntly whether he knew anything,
and related what he had heard, but Carden knew nothing.

Carden did suspect a great deal, but he did not care to express his
views on the subject, and remained quiet.

Mr. Stafford was dissatisfied, and, being aroused now, he determined to
get at the bottom of the matter. There being but two people left, and
they the principals, he chose Kate as the easiest to approach on the
subject. Here again he was disappointed; for on telling what he had
heard, she simply smiled.

"Why, papa!" she said, "how ridiculous to pay attention to such idle
talk! If Mr. Martin should hear of this he would not allow us to remain
an hour. And you know we are considerably indebted to him."

There was no blushing or confusion--no awkward attempt at
explanation--and Mr. Stafford was completely crushed. Had he seen
Carden, just a few minutes previous, telling Kate that her father would
probably call on her shortly regarding certain queer stories regarding
herself and Martin, and then leave at once without waiting to see the
effect of his words, he would not perhaps have been crushed so
completely. She did blush then--very furiously, too.

However, Mr. Stafford was soon relieved of "the infernal Irish and their
confounded stories," for in the course of a few days Martin, who was
again becoming uneasy and anxious to get back to London, obtained Dr.
Fox's consent to make the trip; and in recognition of his kindness, as
he considered it, Martin insisted that the doctor should accompany them.

"I'll make it good, Doctor," he said. "You can put some other poor chap
in your place, and give him a chance to make something."

And so it was arranged, with the addition of Julia Farrell, Martin's
first nurse. Just how to recompense her at present for her goodness to
him he did not know. In the future he had something laid out for her,
but did not care to spoil it by being premature; and accordingly, to
keep her in the way of doing better and of being in a better position
than she could possibly reach in the "Blessert Arms," Martin requested
her to accompany them to England, and with Mrs. Moran's assistance
persuaded her to do so. To Mrs. Moran he confided his intentions
regarding Julia, and to help in carrying them out, left a message for
O'Brien.

The decision to start was arrived at on Thursday, and the time of
departure fixed for Saturday morning, to catch the night boat from
Dublin and still leave time for a little rest before crossing the
Channel. This was strictly in accordance with Dr. Fox's schedule, and
they spent an hour or two during the afternoon looking around Dublin.

On returning to the hotel, they were considerably surprised to find
O'Brien awaiting them; even Martin, who had left the message for him,
was a little surprised. For reasons of his own, Martin was pleased to
have him with them, and the party started in very good spirits for
England.

The voyage was quick, and easy and uneventful, and immediately on
arrival, and _not_ in accordance with Dr. Fox's schedule, they proceeded
to Hanley Hall, where they received a warm welcome from everybody--but
especially so at the Hall itself, where Mrs. Stafford, Miss Fleming and
her late escort to Dover, Squire Gerard, were awaiting them.

The three strangers, Julia, the doctor and O'Brien, were made especially
welcome, when it was known the various parts they had played in
connection with Martin's trouble.

Next morning a message was received from Blount. Their arrival had not
escaped him--at least Martin's had not, for the message was directed to
him.

The letter announced that Blount had managed to have Hall committed for
trial; that the trial would come on shortly, and desired to know whether
Martin would be able to go to Dover to attend the trial, or if it would
be necessary to take his testimony in writing. Incidentally he mentioned
O'Brien's name.

Immediately on receipt of this letter Martin did two things, of one of
which Blount became aware very quickly, and which caused him
considerable irritation. The other, had he known of it, would have made
him exceedingly angry.

First Martin wrote a letter to Mr. Blount, informing him in the most
distinct and emphatic style that he would not appear against Hall
regarding the duel in any manner.

Next he sent for O'Brien, who had obtained an extended leave of absence
before starting from Dublin, and showed him Blount's letter and his
reply.

"Now, O'Brien," he said, "I know it is asking a great deal just at
present, but I want you to go right to Dover and thence to Calais, where
you must stay until this trial is over. I will let you know the very
moment you can come back, and (with a quizzical smile) I know you will
not delay. Will you go? You understand why I ask you to do this."

O'Brien cheerfully volunteered to put himself out of Blount's reach, and
started that afternoon for Dover.



CHAPTER XXIII.


Morgan's efforts to find Jaggers were untiring and equally unavailing,
and at the end of the first week he was certain Jaggers was not to be
found in Blackwall, so certain that he ventured to express this belief
to Blount. The latter, however, was equally certain Jaggers was in
Blackwall. "Keep at it," he said; "you'll run across his trail yet,
although I was a little ahead when I said a week," and Morgan
accordingly continued the hunt.

Blount was now in a particularly hopeful mood, and felt confident Morgan
would unearth Jaggers; and he had obtained some interesting information
concerning Jacobs, the attorney, through the office-boy, whose release
he had obtained for the purpose of using him against his employer.

When the boy called at Morgan's house, according to his promise, and
Blount instead of Morgan met him, it required some persuasion to make
him talk; but he was eager enough to do so when Blount modestly admitted
that it was to him he owed his liberty, and on him depended his
enjoyment of it in the future.

Blount then learned that the paper and chemicals which had been found
upon the boy, were intended for a clerk recently employed by Mr. Jacobs,
for what purpose the boy did not know, except that they were to be used
in copying some papers. Did he know the contents of the papers or their
character? No, nothing, except that Mr. Hall had left them with Mr.
Jacobs.

That was all Blount could get out of the boy at the first meeting.

"Now, Henry," he said, when the boy had finished, "this stealing
business of yours is only postponed, but if you do as I bid you, it will
never come up again. If you don't you will certainly go to jail, and in
short order."

Henry was only too eager to promise to do anything to prevent his
re-arrest, and Blount continued:

"Very well, Henry, we'll see how you get on. Now then! You get to the
office first in the morning--don't you? Yes--well, to-morrow morning be
there particularly early and make a rough copy of the papers this new
clerk is working on. If you can't copy all, read the rest carefully so
that you can tell me what it is about, and copy the balance next
morning. Then you must get me a sheet of the paper and a few drops of
the ink. If you do all this correctly it will be a good deal in your
favor, and may obtain your absolute release from this foolish trouble
you are in. You must also pay close attention to what passes between Mr.
Jacobs and the new clerk and try to remember it. By the way! What is the
new clerk's name?"

"Quirk, sir, and I heard Mr. Jacobs tell him when he came first, that if
he didn't keep sober it would be worse for him."

"Oh! ho! Got a grip on him--eh? Well, that's all for to-night, Henry. Be
sharp now, and get here as early to-morrow night as you can."

Shortly after the boy had gone, and while Blount was musing over his
story regarding the queer documents, the preparation of which required
such special paper and peculiar ink--for he shrewdly suspected the
chemicals were to be used in making the latter--Morgan entered looking a
trifle exultant.

"I have located him at last!" he said.

"Of course; he will be safe until you get back? You know I don't want to
lose sight of him now under any circumstances."

"Yes--he's safe enough. He's blind drunk at the 'North Star.' He has a
room there, and has been out of the house but once since hiring it.
'The Knifer' must be somewhere else, for from the description he is the
friend and only caller who comes occasionally to see Jaggers."

Blount was not of the "I told you so" breed, but came near looking it as
he said:

"Very good, Morgan! Very good! Now get back as quick as you can and
don't leave him again until I come. I think between this boy and Sanders
and what we can make Jaggers say, we are getting near the end of the
Martin matter. Sanders looks tired out already, and if I can only keep
up the strain he's under he will give up everything in a day or two.
Meantime you look out for Jaggers, and I'll see about these queer
papers. I'm beginning to think they will form an important link in the
chain which we will soon finish forging."

Morgan started back at once, pleased with Blount's commendation and
confidence in him; but found on his arrival at the "North Star,"--which
was a house of fair character and had for that reason escaped close
attention--that there had been a row during his absence, and that
Jaggers had been stabbed by a drunken sailor. The injured man was being
carried up-stairs when he arrived, and on his heels came the doctor.

Morgan, who had been informed that the wound was a bad one, now
justified Blount's high opinion of him by making a bold stroke. Calling
the doctor aside, he informed him who he was and that Jaggers was a
criminal.

"You can, if necessary, but it probably will not be, introduce me as
your assistant; and then, whether the wound is really dangerous or not,
he must be made to believe it is--make him believe he is dying!"

The doctor hesitated and looked doubtful, but when Morgan said it was
"worth five pounds," all hesitation and doubt vanished--of course, Mr.
Morgan was a representative of the law, and he must do as he required.

Jaggers was really seriously hurt, and fully appreciated that fact. He
greeted the doctor with a curse for delaying so long, and then asked
what chances he had of recovery.

"Don't be afraid of tellin' me!" he exclaimed, as the doctor, after
carefully sewing the wound, stood looking gravely and thoughtfully at
his patient--as per instructions.

Morgan, standing to one side and out of Jaggers' view, acknowledged to
himself that the doctor had fairly earned the money, as he saw the more
than professional gravity deepen into positive gloom before the reply
came:

"You are in a decidedly dangerous condition. Wounded as you are in the
groin, I cannot undertake to say you will live two hours!"

Jaggers was _not_ wounded in the groin, but of course did not know it,
and looked terror-stricken on hearing the verdict he had so freely
invited. His terror was increased by the doctor's suggestion that a
clergyman was next in order.

"No, no! I want none of the d----d canting parsons!" he cried; and then,
catching sight of Morgan, who had purposely come within range of his
sight, exclaimed: "Who is that? What does he want?"

Before the doctor could reply, Morgan stepped forward and answered for
himself. Jaggers was now in the desired condition to continue the bold
game he was playing.

"I am a detective, Jaggers, and I came here for you; but as death claims
you first, I suppose I can only wait for the end."

Jaggers was very weak from loss of blood, owing to the delay in sending
for a physician, and the subsequent delay of that gentleman after his
arrival at the "North Star" in consulting with Morgan, and this
weakness increased the terrors of his imagination.

"Wot fur?" he asked.

"Murder of Golden in Burns Alley," was the sententious reply.

"It's a lie! It's a lie!" screamed Jaggers, starting up with sudden
energy. "It's a lie! He was my friend!"

"Well, well! Never mind. It don't matter _now_, of course, but if you
did not murder him, how did you get possession of that draft and the
other papers? Sanders says he got the draft through you."

The doctor was standing in front of Jaggers, and Morgan motioned him to
take down what was said.

Wearied, confused, and believing himself dying, Jaggers replied:

"I did give Sanders a draft, but the old man never had no draft! That
devil, Hall, had that, but me and 'The Knifer' got the best of him. We
got into his room one night and got his papers. They wos sewed up in a
chest-pertecter an' I kep' them just for spite! They wos no good to
me--only the draft! And that's gone too! Poor Sanders! He's in for
that!"

"Doctor!" called Morgan, sharply, but with a significant look. "Give
this man something to brace him up! I must get this thing in writing!"

The doctor hastily prepared something for Jaggers, which was scarcely in
his stomach before Morgan asked:

"What you say may possibly save Sanders' neck from the rope and put it
around Hall's, but you must sign a statement of it!"

Morgan had touched the right key, and knew it when he saw the glitter of
the dying (?) man's eyes on mentioning Hall.

"Now then, Jaggers! If you want to put the rope on the right man you
must tell me where the papers are. Where are they now? You've got 'em, I
suppose?"

"No--Jack (The Knifer) played me a mean trick. He's got all the papers
an' wouldn't give 'em to me. He wos 'ere yesterd'y an' I don't just know
where he's gone--but 'e's got 'em."

The doctor finished writing almost as soon as Jaggers stopped speaking,
and after making his mark to it the latter dropped back on the pillow.

"Dead!" exclaimed Morgan.

"Oh, no! Just asleep!" said the doctor.

Reassured on this point, Morgan despatched a message to Blount and then
proceeded to make himself comfortable for the night.

Next morning at six o'clock Blount appeared, and simultaneously Jaggers
awoke.

A long conversation ensued--Blount holding Jaggers's statement of the
night before in his hand.



CHAPTER XXIV.


On the morning of the trial for duelling Hall entered the court room,
looking defiantly at Blount, and took his place full of apparent
confidence--and with reason. Jacobs had learned of Martin's return to
England, and had also managed to learn two other facts of importance to
his client: first, that Martin was now in fairly good health; and
second, that he would not appear at the trial.

When the case was called Jacobs answered "ready" with great promptness
and the trial commenced. The prosecution had nothing but the same
letters produced on the commitment, although it had promised to have
ample evidence at the trial, and Mr. Jacobs immediately moved for the
discharge of his client. It would be ridiculous, had it not been so
outrageous, he said, to proceed any further. The very man whom it was
asserted by the prosecution on the commitment was at the point of death
at the hands of his client, was actually in England and out riding and
shooting daily. Why did not the prosecution produce this man or some
witness of the alleged duel?

The prosecuting officer looked rather blankly at Blount, the latter
looked wickedly at the prisoner and his counsel; but looks break no
bones, and Mr. Jacobs's motion to discharge Hall was duly granted. In
the court room with Blount was Morgan, and as Hall walked out, once more
a free man, he had a new shadow.

"Don't let him out of your sight," warned Blount "or he'll fool you as
he once did me. We are getting pretty close to him now--very close.
Jaggers and Sanders we have pretty safe on the burglary, but it will
never do to alarm him until everything is ready. I will get to London
and see what can be done there."

Hall's first act after dining at his hotel with Jacobs, was to write Mr.
Stafford, advising him that he would return to Hanley Hall within a day
or two, and hoped to find things in readiness for the marriage.

After this he had a consultation with Jacobs regarding the papers the
latter was having prepared, and incidentally learned, to his immense
relief, that the affair of the stolen draft appeared to have died out.

Hall's letter caused some trouble at Hanley Hall--one result of it being
Martin's departure on the day after its receipt--leaving instructions
for O'Brien (who had been notified that he could return) to keep out the
way of Hall.

There was to all appearances nothing more than the usual regret at the
departure of a friend exhibited by Kate when Martin announced his
intention of removing his quarters to London, and Mr. Stafford felt
correspondingly relieved, for he was still suspicious. However,
something had actually come between Kate and Martin, and each acted in a
very reserved manner toward the other. It had begun with Martin
immediately on their arrival at Hanley Hall, and Kate, quick to notice
the least change, and too proud to ask for a reason, responded in
kind--with the result that there was now quite a breach existing between
them. Martin had on his part become aware of the change in Kate's
attitude toward him, and when he took her hand before starting for the
station, he thought it odd that she should be the one to misunderstand
him, but before either could speak Carden appeared to drive him and Dr.
Fox to the station.

"I will be up after you just as soon as I have had a look at this fellow
and hear what he has to say," said Carden, as they drove to the station.
"I can then judge what is best to be done, and act as circumstances may
require; otherwise I would of course be with you, but I guess the
doctor can take care of you for a day or two."

"Oh, I will see that he doesn't run round too much," said the doctor,
laughingly.

Martin and the doctor proceeded to London, and at the doctor's
suggestion secured quarters in the suburbs, instead of at the London
Bridge Hotel, where the former usually put up. Here Blount called,
Martin having advised him of his residence at Croydon. He had not
forgiven Martin for refusing assistance in the matter of the trial for
duelling, and was rather reserved at first; but after detailing the
various occurrences in which they were both interested, he succumbed to
the admiration expressed by Martin and thawed out a little.

"And there is another thing I had almost forgotten," he continued. "This
fellow Jacobs is without a doubt forging a will for Hall's use," and he
then related the substance of the arrest of Jacobs' office boy, his
subsequent relations with him and the use he had made of him. "I have a
copy of the will as it is being prepared, although it is not
satisfactory yet, according to what the boy tells me. Here it is. As you
see names, places, and amounts are all blank--left to be filled in by
Mr. Hall when the proper time arrives. This proves that he has not
recovered the papers and that Jaggers tells the truth about 'The
Knifer' having them. When we secure him we then wind up Mr. Hall's
affairs in short order. The locket, the robbery by Jaggers, and the
forgery of the will, will be enough to hang him higher than Haman.

"Morgan is now in Paris trying to find who bought the draft, and if as
we suspect it is Hall, then it will not be a hard matter to find the
diamond dealer from whom he obtained the cash. And now, Mr. Martin, how
much time have we, before it will be absolutely necessary to close in on
him?"

"I can't tell yet," returned Martin, "I must wait until Fred Carden
either comes himself or reports."

He spoke wearily as though tired of the matter, and Blount ascribed it
to his late illness. Doctor Fox, who had begun to notice the change in
Martin since leaving Hanley Hall, and suspected the true cause, was now
willing that his patient should become even excitedly interested in
something--anything was better than this dull indifference--and he
sought to awaken Martin's interest in various ways, but without success.

The day following Blount's visit brought O'Brien with news that Hall had
arrived, and following O'Brien came Carden.

Blount was off again after "The Knifer," and O'Brien and Doctor Fox
were both out when Carden and Martin met.

"He is back again," said Carden, "and I'm satisfied Kate has no feeling
but dislike for him. What ever induced her to consent to marry him I
cannot imagine, and how to prevent it I can't see! And yet it's as plain
as day that for some reason she's being sacrificed in the affair!"

Martin listened attentively to Carden, and when the latter began pacing
the floor nervously, he said, slowly, and as though weighing his words:

"Fred, I have something of a confession to make regarding your cousin
and myself."

Carden stopped short in the centre of the floor and looked at him.

"Yes, on the day I gave up the trip to London, your cousin, through my
weakness, became aware that she was more to me than as the affianced of
another she should be; but it has gone no further since we
returned--although I am sure she does not care a pin for him, whatever
she may for me. I agree with you that there is something mysterious
about the affair; but do not talk any more about it now, I am somewhat
bothered myself."

There was a weary sadness in his voice that touched Carden. He said
nothing but wrung Martin's hand.

Doctor Fox and O'Brien returned at this juncture, to the relief of the
two friends, and Carden informed them that Hall had insisted that the
marriage should take place as soon as possible; and, assuming everything
to be in readiness, had fixed a week from that day as the time for the
ceremony. Hall had given as the reason of his haste that he expected to
be compelled to transact a great deal of business while on the long
wedding tour he purposed taking--business involving vast interests and
demanding immediate attention.



CHAPTER XXV.


Carden had barely finished his story regarding Hall when a telegram came
for Blount. It was a duplicate of one which had been delivered at the
police office in Bow Street, as the double address proved, and had been
sent to both places to prevent any possible delay in reaching the person
for whom it was intended.

This precaution to ensure promptness showed the importance of the
contents, and Blount being engaged in the hunt for "The Knifer," whom he
believed to be somewhere on the other side of the city, Martin did not
hesitate about opening the telegram. It was from Morgan and Doctor Fox
was more than satisfied with the interest exhibited by his patient.

      "Draft was bought by the party and in the manner
      expected. Will be back with proof in a day or two."

Martin read the telegram aloud, and when he had finished they all
understood the care and necessity for haste in its delivery. Hall must
once more be placed under surveillance and Blount found without delay.

"O'Brien, you must get over to the Surrey side and find Blount! You,
Fred, must go back to Hanley Hall and watch things there! I'm afraid the
case will not prove as clear against our man as Morgan seems to think.
He's too slippery to be trapped so easily!"

Richard was himself again, and the doctor marvelled at the sudden change
in his patient.

O'Brien started off at once, Carden remained only a few minutes longer,
and ten minutes after the receipt of the telegram Martin and the doctor
were alone.

At the end of two hours O'Brien returned with Blount, who shared
Martin's opinion as to the incompleteness of the case against Hall.

"However, Morgan is not given to discovering mare's nests and may have
more than we imagine," said Blount. "And now I must leave you to keep
track of Hall. I've just got through with Sanders. He admits getting the
draft from Jaggers, and Jaggers has already admitted stealing it from
Hall; so the thing is pretty clear, if Morgan has been as successful as
that telegram would indicate. There's only the papers to recover, and
Jaggers says his friend 'The Knifer' has them, and when Sanders broke
down he let out that 'The Knifer' was probably living with a woman
friend of both in Leith, so I'm off for there."

Even as he spoke Blount was starting away, but stopped to add:

"Don't you think it would be better if O'Brien were to stay here and you
should go back to Hanley Hall? Mr. Hall has no reason to regard you
other than as a friend after your action regarding the duel."

Martin did not like the idea, but consented to go back, not to Hanley
Hall itself but to the village. So far as avoiding Hall was concerned
this was useless, for when Carden called next morning Martin learned
that Hall was also a guest at the inn.

"He was standing at his window as we came out," continued Carden as they
strolled along. "Of course he must have recognized you, although he did
not appear particularly interested. Hello! This is the very man coming
after us on the horse. Going to call on Kate, I suppose."

Hall passed a minute later, with a friendly nod which might be intended
for either or both. He was evidently not interested about Martin or his
movements, and had more than enough to engage his thoughts elsewhere. In
two days more he would be married and on the way to Australia and
immense wealth.

Something of this kind occurred to the two pedestrians as they watched
the rapidly disappearing equestrian.

"Looks pretty happy," remarked Carden.

"Yes, but he is not married yet," returned the other with a grim smile,
"There's a great many things liable to happen during the next
forty-eight hours."

A great many exciting things did occur in the last six hours of the
ensuing forty-eight, beginning with the arrival of Blount the night
before the day set for the wedding.

Martin, Carden and Doctor Fox were together when Blount entered.

"Well, the famous Martin matter is about closed and the Hall matter
about to open up!" he exclaimed, in a loud tone. "Here are your papers,
Mr. Martin."



CHAPTER XXVI.


The second floor of the inn where Martin and Hall lodged had once been
used as a ball-room, but this either did not pay or suit the present
proprietor who had partitioned it off into three good-sized rooms. One
of these Martin occupied and Hall the others.

It was about nine o'clock when Blount entered Martin's room.

Sitting in front of the fire in the next apartment was Hall, musing over
the past and planning for the future--a future that looked exceedingly
bright and promising.

There was no light in the room, except from the open fire; the door was
partly open. Suddenly he was aroused by Blount's entrance, and then his
attention was especially attracted by hearing his name mentioned.

The inn-keeper had done his own joiner-work and the partitions were all
but transparent, and Hall stepping softly to the partition, heard Blount
very plainly continue:

"They are all there I think--just as Golden had them the night he was
murdered by our cunning friend Hall."

The eavesdropper started back in alarm, but could not resist the
temptation to listen to the story.

"I found 'The Knifer' easy enough in Leith, and got the papers on him,"
Blount was saying. "He admitted the robbery of the papers and draft in
Harley Street, and Morgan got back to-night with the diamond broker who
bought the diamonds. He had a tough job, but finally persuaded him to
come, and he's down-stairs with Morgan now."

Again Hall started back in alarm. They were very close on him, and he
paused irresolutely. The story coming through the partition was rapidly
depriving him of his nerve, and happening to look through the window, he
saw a man on the opposite side of the road looking up. He was being
waited for; they did not know he was in. How long would they wait before
coming to his room?

Back to the partition once more he crept, and listened to Blount's
confirmation of this idea.

"We will wait for a little while before going to his room. They were not
sure down-stairs whether he had returned, and I didn't want to alarm him
until I had seen you. However, there's no chance for him to get away.
Morgan's down-stairs, O'Brien is in front, and another man at the rear."

Hemmed in completely--every avenue closed. It was clear that the chain
of evidence must be complete--they were so confident, too, of getting
him.

He went to a cupboard, took out a bottle of brandy, and poured out a
moderate drink. After drinking the liquor, Hall began to pace the floor,
which, unlike the partitions, was solid, and his quick nervous step made
no sound.

"Trapped! Cornered like a rat! Well, cornered rats are dangerous,
gentlemen! Look out! you haven't killed it yet!"

Pausing, a little back from the window, he looked out and saw the man in
the same position. Then he resumed his walk, more like a caged tiger
than a human being.

"One down-stairs, one in front, one in the rear and this one up-stairs!
Four man-hunters! Let me see!"

Stopping, he opened his trunk and took out a pair of pistols, which he
laid on the table.

"Four! If it was in the open--But pshaw! What difference would one or
two make! I'm trapped! The game is over and I've lost! Lost!" he
repeated hoarsely. "Lost! Lost everything--a fortune, a good name and a
beautiful wife! An hour ago it was castles! Now it's gibbets! Kate!
Kate! But for her I would not mind it so much!"

His face changed for a moment and became softened, but quickly resumed
its former demonical expression as he resumed his walk.

"You've trapped me--Yes! But the rope never was made to hang me! I'm
prepared for that at any rate! Never! No trial! No rope! No morbid
fool's curiosity!"

Stopping again, he poured out more liquor.

"The next one will be time enough," he murmured as he put it to his
lips. Setting down the empty glass, he lighted his lamp, closed his door
securely and then, after a short search, produced a small package of the
same white powder which had ended the career of Golden. Placing a pinch
of this in the glass Hall filled it to the top with liquor, placed his
lamp near the window, lighted a cigar and sat down to wait for his
visitors.

He had not long to wait--only ten minutes--but his thoughts must have
covered a great deal before the expected knock came.

"Too late!" he said, with the glass to his lips. "You will have to break
it in."

Then laying back in his chair he emptied the glass. He hardly moved, his
head sank a little to one side, the glass fell from his hand, and so
they found him.

Blount had suspected something was wrong on finding the door fastened,
and did not waste a moment in breaking it down, but as the dead man had
truly said--he was too late.

Doctor Fox was called, but said he could do nothing--the man was dead
from prussic acid.

Notwithstanding their knowledge of the man and his crimes, all were
shocked at the sudden termination of their pursuit, and none thought of
retiring. Although nearly eleven o'clock, Carden returned to Hanley
Hall, Martin accompanying him.

Owing to the preparations for the marriage, hasty as they were,
everything was astir at the Hall, and Carden gravely told the story of
the suicide.

As may be imagined, the story created great surprise and horror, and of
the entire party Kate was apparently the least moved. She sat very
quiet, and said but little; never addressing Martin, who also remained
very quiet, and was beginning to believe himself mistaken regarding
Kate's feelings toward the dead man.

However, he had a duty still to perform, and when Carden had finished he
took from his pocket the stolen papers, and addressed Kate:

"These, Miss Stafford," he said, "are your property and Fred's--yours
more than his. They are your uncle's will, and the other papers I spoke
of, representing property to the value of--well, certainly over one
hundred thousand pounds, besides a draft of twelve thousand pounds which
you can obtain within a few days. All this is divided between yourself
and Fred, with something in your favor."

Surprise was again general, except on Kate's part, and more than one
regarded her curiously.

"Why, Kate," exclaimed Miss Fleming, "you appear to have become
accustomed to these Crœsus surprises!"

Mr. Stafford, agreeably astonished by this sudden access of wealth, also
remarked that she took the matter very coolly; but Kate did not respond
to either remark, except to say she was tired out and must leave them.

Martin, Carden and Mr. Stafford left early next morning to attend the
inquest, which was quickly and quietly disposed of, and then returned to
Hanley Hall in time for luncheon, where Miss Fleming and Mr. Stafford
took the principal parts in carrying on the conversation.

Martin and Kate, seated side by side, exchanged but few words, and those
of only the commonest civility and in a cold, repellant manner on the
part of Kate.

That this had been noticed by more than one, was apparent when, after
luncheon, Carden joined Martin in the library, and the latter said, with
an almost plainly forced calmness:

"Fred, now that those papers have been recovered, I can't see that
there's any use in my lingering here. You know all I've got, except a
few hundred pounds in London, is either banked or invested in New York,
and I've just read this article (extending the paper) which seems to
indicate that something of a panic exists there now, with possibly worse
to follow. So I'll take a run up to London, I think, and if this report
is confirmed, go back to New York. I'll stop and let you know on my way
to Liverpool if it's true."

Carden barely glanced at the article, and handed back the paper with a
dismal smile.

"Yes," he said, "I understand. It's a good excuse, but I'm hanged if I
can understand it! It's not like Kate--especially after what you've told
me of the affair at Naas--and yet to-day she acted worse than a total
stranger. Her mother, Jennie and myself noticed it."

"Never mind, Fred! I'm off now to London. You can account for my
absence as best you can; but, at the risk of being set down for a boor,
I will avoid another meeting until coming back on my way to Liverpool."

"Ah! You are _going_ in any event!"

"Yes--it is better--much better, Fred!"

And so it was arranged. Martin was to leave at once, agreeing to return
next day to Hanley Hall, whence Carden would accompany him to Liverpool.

Martin went to pack up some papers and a few articles of wearing
apparel, while Carden went to inform the Staffords of Martin's
intentions and the reason of his hasty departure. He found Miss Fleming
alone in the drawing-room at the piano, and to her, in telling of
Martin's intentions, said more than he would have to any of the family.

"Oh, yes!" she said. "It's quite plain--but don't you think, Fred, you
ought to go with him to London? He might not come back at all, you
know!"

"You are right, Jennie! I'll go with him." And when Martin came down a
few minutes later, he found Carden prepared to accompany him and gladly
acquiesced in the arrangement.

It was not until evening that Mr. and Mrs. Stafford learned of the
departure of the young men, and the supposed cause, and they expressed
great concern at the possibility of any misfortune happening to Martin;
but to Kate it was then an old story, for Miss Fleming had been drumming
it into her ears all the afternoon, never failing to broadly hint at
what she unhesitatingly pronounced to be the real cause--"Kate's cruelty
to Mr. Martin."

Kate endured it patiently and in silence--which caused Miss Fleming to
say she was disgusted with such obstinacy, and then leave her in peace.



CHAPTER XXVII.


When Martin and Carden reached the office of the London representatives
of the New York house, in or by which the former's entire fortune was
invested, they found quite a gathering about the doors, and inside an
excited crowd of investors clamoring for information.

Martin was well known to the clerks as being heavily interested, and his
coolness commanded sufficient admiration to procure him an interview
with a member of the firm.

"Better go to the hotel and wait for me, Fred," he said, as he passed
into the private office.

When he emerged at the end of ten or fifteen minutes, his unmoved
appearance, and the quiet smile with which he greeted the clerks with
whom he was acquainted, did much to re-assure those who had watched his
entrance. Carden, too, was deceived on meeting him.

"It's all right, I suppose?" he said.

"No, not exactly, but I suppose there will be enough recovered out of
the wreck to pay my debts. You know I have been speculating a little on
my own account, and I don't know how I stand."

Martin spoke slowly and thoughtfully, as though considering his
position, and Carden looked at him in amazement so great, that before he
could speak, Martin was continuing: "Of course, Fred, I shall have to
leave at once, by the next steamer."

"Dick, it can't be possible that you have lost everything!" exclaimed
Carden, excitedly.

"Looks like it. They tell me it's the worst smash in twenty years."

Carden looked disheartened, much more so than his friend, and asked when
the next steamer sailed.

"The day after to-morrow, the next fast one, so we will have a day to
ourselves before we part, Fred."

Martin spoke cheerily, which caused his friend to brighten a little and
ask if it would not be well to start back at once to Hanley Hall.

"No, Fred, not to-night. Perhaps I may be able to get there to-morrow if
I can arrange to leave then."

The two friends separated shortly afterwards--Carden returning to Hanley
Hall, where his arrival, and subsequent narration of Martin's trouble
caused great sympathy.

"Surprises are becoming the usual thing here. I wonder what will come
next!"

Mr. Stafford said this during a break in the conversation, but an answer
came sooner than he expected, and from an unexpected quarter.

"Papa, don't you think that, under the circumstances, Fred and I should
do something to help Mr. Martin out of this trouble? He has spent large
sums of money, I'm sure, in recovering those papers, and doubtless in
other matters."

It was Kate who spoke, and all looked at her in surprise. Not a
blushing, embarrassed girl, but a calm collected woman met their gaze.

"Of course, I know nothing about these matters," continued she, "but it
would seem that an immediate advance of a large sum would be likely to
be of assistance."

"I am afraid Dick would not care to accept assistance from friends,"
said Carden, slowly. "If he would, I should have proffered everything I
possessed, while in London, but I know he would accept nothing--at least
from _me_."

There was a marked emphasis in the last words, and significance in the
look accompanying them, but the effect was not visible. Kate simply
bowed in acquiescence, and said it was a pity they could not find a way
to aid him, and that ended the matter for the night--that is, in the
drawing-room.

Later, up-stairs, Miss Fleming entered Kate's room on some pretext, and
after a few minutes' conversation arose to leave, but before going
relieved herself of the object of her visit as follows:

"Kate Stafford! If any one should have told me that you were the
cold-blooded thing you are, I would have done something wicked to them!"

Miss Fleming was a brave little woman, but she was badly frightened, for
a moment, after she had finished speaking.

Maids were plentiful enough at Hanley Hall, but the two girls usually
dispensed with them when visiting each other.

Kate had just loosened her long black hair preparatory to brushing when
her friend finished, and as she swung around from the glass it fell in
masses about her. She looked like an angry Juno as she towered over
little Miss Fleming.

"Jennie," she cried, fiercely, "don't you dare torture me about that man
any more!"

Startled, frightened, Jennie cowered under the outburst, but the next
instant was playing the comforter and telling Kate she "didn't mean a
word of it!" for the latter suddenly sank into a chair, and began to
cry and sob as though her heart would break.

And through all the tears and all the comforting Jennie only obtained a
slight clue to the cause. It was when Kate said, with her head resting
on the other's breast:

"Jennie! Jennie! I can't give him another chance to throw back my love,
and I can't meet him kindly unless I do!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Next morning's mail brought a letter from Martin, written after Carden's
departure, and addressed to the latter, and after perusing it himself he
read it to the others after breakfast. It ran as follows:

      "My dear Fred: I have changed my mind about going to
      New York and have cabled people there to see what can
      be got out of the wreck. I am a young man yet, Africa
      is looming up as a place to make something quickly,
      and there is a ship sailing for the Cape to-morrow
      night, or early next morning. I met the captain after
      you left, and have made arrangements for my passage. I
      will, of course, have to get a good many things, and
      this will take all the time I have to spare, so I
      cannot go to Hanley Hall as agreed. You must,
      therefore, say good-bye for me. It will, also, take
      nearly all I possess at present. I must, also,
      therefore, ask you to do something for me, and I
      believe you will get it back soon from the "wreck."
      Make Julia a wedding present of five hundred pounds
      for her goodness to me. I know you will do it gladly
      enough, and the bank people surely ought to pay £500
      on £200,000."

Julia, who since her arrival at Hanley Hall, had been made one of the
family, and was sitting facing the reader, here entered a vehement
protest:

"No, no, Mr. Carden, never! To think of him, with all his trouble,
thinking of me!

"That's worth five hundred more--just to hear it!" exclaimed Carden;
"and now let me get on, for we have no time to spare."

      "I am sorry, Fred, I cannot be at your wedding," he
      continued; "but you know, that even if circumstances
      permitted, it would not be pleasant for your cousin. I
      can't understand it--you know what I mean--but as it
      is with me now, it is fortunate it is so. Not that I
      would be afraid with her with me, but it is fortunate
      for her at any rate.

      "You can read part of this, if you like,--just enough
      to account for my failure to appear, and come and see
      me before we get away.

      "Say good-bye to every one for me, for I am neither
      good as a writer or talker, and I should not like
      either your aunt or uncle, Miss Fleming, Julia, or
      O'Brien, or the doctor too--or anyone else, to think I
      parted without regret at not seeing them--yet, Fred, I
      don't believe I could stand it if I did.

      "It's a long letter, my boy, but it may be the
      last--it's certainly the longest I've ever written."

Carden folded up the letter and placed it in his pocket. His eyes were
not exactly dry--nor were any others at the table--little Miss Fleming
and Julia were actually sobbing; Mr. Stafford, Doctor Fox and O'Brien
were vainly endeavoring to look through the open window; and Kate sat
dry-eyed, aye, and dry-lipped too, gazing intently before her, and
Carden became angry.

"I've violated Dick's confidence," he said, in hard tones and looking
straight at his cousin,--"only to show you the kind of a man we are
losing--for he's going to certain death, I firmly believe!"

Carden stopped and sprang up quickly, but not quick enough to prevent
Kate from falling heavily to the floor.

       *       *       *       *       *

All was bustle and confusion aboard _The Albatross_. It lacked only an
hour of sailing-time, and still all the cargo was not aboard. The
captain was swearing at the stevedores, and they in turn at the men, but
it was all in vain, and the part of the cargo still to be stowed was so
valuable that the captain hated to leave it.

Whilst the captain was hesitating, a hansom came tearing down to the
pier.

Leaning over the taffrail of _The Albatross_ was Martin, and, even
before the cab door was thrown open, he murmured "Fred!"

"I was afraid something serious had happened, and you could not come!"
he said, returning the warm grasp of his friend.

"Something serious has happened!" replied Carden, "and you must come
back with me at once! It's just a matter of life or death with Kate, and
Fox says it depends on you! Come Dick! Why, what's the matter with you?
Come on! Hang the outfit! Let's get away!" and he dragged Martin ashore.

It was a week after the sailing date of _The Albatross_ when Doctor Fox
came into the dining-room just as dinner was being served, to say:

"Somebody might go up-stairs now and allow Julia to come down, for I
shall need her again by-and-by," looking straight at Martin, who
instantly arose and left the room.

It had been an anxious week at Hanley Hall, and at times Doctor Fox
despaired of saving the life of the patient.

"She will get along all right now," continued the doctor after Martin
left the room. "The fever has gone, and time and care will, I believe,
do the rest."

There was general rejoicing over this glad intelligence, but the doctor
forbade any undue excitement--"for a day or two."

Meantime Martin had reached Kate's room, and was admitted by Julia. Kate
turned her head on hearing him enter, and smiled as he approached and
took her hand.

"You came back on my account," she said.

"Yes," he answered, "but----"

"And you will not go away to that place?" she interrupted.

He wanted to tell her that he was now a poor man and could not afford to
act as he wished, but he had been warned of the result of argument. She
was very weak, and spoke scarcely above a whisper, but in her weakness
lay her strength, and he hesitated and she understood him. Her hand
still lay in his, and with a gentle pressure she drew him nearer to
catch her whisper:

"We have enough for both. You must not go away! Will you?" and he meekly
answered that he would not.

"Then you may kiss me," she whispered, and Julia came down-stairs
looking so radiantly happy that all felt the necessity of asking her the
reason.

       *       *       *       *       *

Martin's affairs were not in such bad condition as he had been led to
believe, for when the day set for his wedding and that of Carden's and
O'Brien's, arrived, he was again quite wealthy. His own private
speculations had far surpassed his highest hopes, and aside from this
the financial crash was not so great as at first reported.

Hanley Hall, with its seven miles of enclosing walls, is no longer the
property of the Staffords, having passed into the hands of the British
Government, and is now devoted to the amusement and instruction of the
people; but the Martins, and the Cardens, and their descendants, are
still in the vicinity.



THE END.



       *       *       *       *       *



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Transcriber's Note: The original copy of this text did not have a Table
of Contents. A Table of Contents has been created for this electronic
edition.

The following typographical errors present in the original text have
been corrected.

In Chapter III, "Breakfast, over Mr. Stafford strolled out" was changed
to "Breakfast over, Mr. Stafford strolled out", and a quotation mark was
added after "she must do as she pleases."

In Chapter VI, "mumured something not very angelic" was changed to
"mumured something not very angelic", "asserverated that he believed
himself" was changed to "asseverated that he believed himself", "some
cl-- something which would enable me" was changed to "some cl--something
which would enable me", and a quotation mark was added after "Mr. Henry
Hall, No. -- Harley St., London."

In Chapter VII, a missing quotation mark has been added after "he have
something?", an exclamation mark following "Here Mike" has been moved
from outside to inside a quotation mark, and a missing period was added
after "slipped through his fingers like quicksilver".

In Chapter IX, "all sorts of nice things about, you" was changed to "all
sorts of nice things about you", "You might as well go ahead Dick" was
changed to "You might as well go ahead, Dick", and a missing period was
added after "who took a great fancy to Hall".

In Chapter X, a missing quotation mark was added after "the Emperor of
Nowhere has died and left you a kingdom".

In Chapter XI, "Kate became embarassed and blushed" was changed to "Kate
became embarrassed and blushed", "aware he is an imposter" was changed
to "aware he is an impostor", and "Her's was the original" was changed
to "Hers was the original".

In Chapter XV, a missing period was added after "the two inns in Naas".

In Chapter XVI, "her all night vigil" was changed to "her all-night
vigil", and "Mext morning, immediately after breakfast" was changed to
"Next morning, immediately after breakfast".

In Chapter XVII, "if the matter was followed furthur" was changed to "if
the matter was followed further".

In Chapter XVIII, a missing quotation mark was added before "The party
wanted was our friend Hall", and "Mr. Jacobs, however, knew Mr. Blout"
was changed to "Mr. Jacobs, however, knew Mr. Blount".

In Chapter XIX, a quotation mark was added before "How blind you
fathers", and a quotation mark was deleted after "exclaimed the doctor".

In Chapter XX, a missing period was added after "laid two letters before
him", a quotation mark was removed after "The other is 'life,' or
worse.", "Such fellows as Jaggars and 'The Knifer'" was changed to "Such
fellows as Jaggers and 'The Knifer'", and "Thus communing with himself
Blount, walked rapidly" was changed to "Thus communing with himself,
Blount walked rapidly".

In Chapter XXII, "put himself out Blount's reach" was changed to "put
himself out of Blount's reach".

In Chapter XXIII, "Quirk, sir, And I heard" was changed to "Quirk,
sir, and I heard", and "an' would'nt give 'em to me" was changed to "an'
wouldn't give 'em to me".

In Chapter XXIV, quotation marks were added after "necessary to close in
on him" and before "I can't tell yet", "this dull indifferance" was
changed to "this dull indifference", and "she's being sacrified in the
affair" was changed to "she's being sacrificed in the affair".

In Chapter XXV, a quotation mark was added after "Here are your papers,
Mr. Martin."

In Chapter XXVI, "I found 'The Knifer' easy enough in Lieth" was changed
to "I found 'The Knifer' easy enough in Leith", and "at the risk of
being set down for a boar" was changed to "at the risk of being set down
for a boor".

In Chapter XXVII, a period was added after "£500 on £200,000".

In addition, the phrase "No.-- Harley St.", which appears frequently in
the text, has been changed to "No. -- Harley St." throughout.

In the advertisements, a period was added after "Birthday and Wedding
celebrations", and a comma was added after "dyspepsia".





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