AT tmmwm CLUB ' FRANK FROEST vnlfbt, UN, br Wis MrClw WW Devlin and Goat MG Rufe O'Brien moved on different , planes of the criminal " hier archy, , There was all the difference of $tatus between them that there is between an ambitions curate- and an archbishop. For, while Rufe wa merely a fneak-thief of parts, me Goat was one of the potentates of crime, with, a fat bank .balance, and with little fear of the police. Yon might have passed the Goat a hundred times In the street ' with out giving him a second glance. He was: a slim-built, slouch-shouldered little, man of seventy with a trim beard and a deprecating ', manner, who wore ' well-made clothes badly. His record fan - back through fifty years' of subtle and audacious ras cality in three continents. Now, in bis old age, he bad promoted him self from the executive to the less isky, but more profitable, admlnis- rative side of crime. : He was, in act,' a receiver, and it was the mis ortune of the criminal investigation lepartment that he; should have set led down to exercise bis talents in -ondon. -. -. -.. ';7;-'' It is only in books that a man of he Goat's reputation can avoid the uspicions ; of - the police. And )'Brien, who knew every . trick on he board, had no illusions on the ubject He knew that time and gain the keenest men of the crim- lal investigation - department , had Jken the warpath against him, only 3 retire at last baffled and chagrined ith the futile headache which comes rom battering .brains against : a tone wall. -.s-'. He knew that the department had worn to have his scalp, and at mes he would smile grimly into is little gray beard. They might now he was at the back of half a ozen burglaries, not only in Lon sn but in Paris and Amsterdam; tat his money had provided the re urces; that his brains had planned ie coup; . that his fingers dipped :eolv into the proceeds but juries quire concrete proofs, and ''proofs ere just what were lacking. . s; , Mora, than once surprise descent officeri- armed with a search arrant had been made on his xurious flat on the north side of cgent's Park, He , would- receive cm mildly with a, resigned - ahrug the shoulders" as one5' who is e subject of unjust ' annoyance ainst which no protests would though his trousers were carefully creased and his sleek black hair was parted in the center as definitely as though by a sword cut, h had only five small silver coins in his pocket. For seven days he had sat before the - same marble-topped table . at a restaurant . that commanded a view of the portals of the bank and spent most of his time chewing s tooth pick and watching. Three times had he seen a feeble little man with the vague face enter and emerge from the mass of bank's customers; he had decided that this -was the one Providence indicated as the in strument which was to provide him with the means of life for a period. His band dropped to a pocket Rufe's limitations might have . been gathered from the fact that he car ried a heavy seven-shot automatic rso Dig professional criminal in England, at least carries arms as a usual thing, It makes a big dif ference ' in the - sentence if one la found with, a weapon. There are other ways of offense and defense much less deadly and just as ef fective. .. ' One minute later he bad swung himself on to the 'bus that contained O'Brien, and the listless eyes of the old man rested on him indifferently as he took his seat. Rufe met them with equal indifference, and present ly, stooping, picked up a com from the floor. - . . "Did you drop ' this, sir?". h queried politely. " Tbe Goat stretched out a thin hand. "Thank you very much. Must have' slipped down while I was pay ing the conductor" , Rufe saw one-fifth of hU worldly wealth vanish into the pocket of his destined, victim. Though he men tally condemned him as a "tight wad."' he . smiled ' ohilosoohicaMv. After all, it was an investment. He flashed a hand forward a hand that boasted a big imitation diamond' set in a gold ring. ' ( "Rotten - weather,'; ain't It?" He imagined he bad the society accent to perfection.- - Looks as it we hadn't finished with the rain yet. Say, is it always wet like this in Jvondonf ' : ' , r Not a change !n O'Brien's face showed that be recognized the confidence man. Rufe had conveyed! that he - was a stranger' in the metropolis. The big diamond on his finger - showed that he was a man of wealth. His accent1 was meant to show that he was a. man of cul- flf JTh Mat hot only bilked him out ' of his money, but . administered such a nasty jolt to his self-esteem,. He walked, boldly up ;- to the lounging janitor at the doorway. "What's the name of that bloke that's iuit annr in?" h ArmanArA bluntly "skinny little chap with a gray oeara. "What yuh want to know for?" Rufe was more in his element at this kind of thing. He lowered his voice mysteriously : and glanced round with melodramatic emphasis. "Sh hi I'm a split a "tec, yTcnow. I can't tell, y' all about it,- but he looks like a man we want I'm not sure. I'm only going by what I repiember of a photo graph." , "I reckon you've mad a bad mlii thli tlm," said the attendant "He's no jailbird, his name's O'Brien, and na s rot pota or money. Runs a mo tor and. Lord knows what all. they touched the carpet and noiselessly an swiftly croaaad the room. Ha had reaohed Ith corner, and his hand had encircled a malacca cane, when the beam of light suddenly whirled round. instinct seemed te have warned Big Rufe of bis danger.' - The-. Goat blinked bis yea as the circle of light blinded him and then found himself looking down th narrei or a heavy automatic. "Keep yoor yap abut or you'll get It", said the steely voice of Rufe. It was then that O'Brien recognised him. He did not venture to move, but he gave a, thin cackle of laughter. "Hellol 1 Tou oome to , collect , that shilling? Bay, son, I'd sooner have you aa a 'con man' than a burglar out of th funny papers. Take my advice and give up being a crook. It'll pay you bet ter to open cab doors for a living.": . . -Shut up," ordered Rufe peremptorily. "Tou know what I want Where d'you keep th stuff? pome on. Cougb It up, or it u d in wora for you," . "You're sure some touch." taunted the I've Goat His grip on the stick shifted and that Rufe had taken, and he under stood how- he had got poasaaalon of in master-aey which had afforded him entrance to th flat He returned upstairs. . 4 ' With Jerky reluctance th tane-ma- chlne rattled out a message, and Di visional , Deteotlve-inspector . Almaok, who had lingered on hie way upstairs to nia own offic to chart th Subdl visional Idly glanced at It - -" 'In consequence of an outbreak of awln fever at Chram, the Board of Agri culture has prohibited Hello, what's thlar". ,, His. eyes had fallen on a later message, ' '.'- - There la a constant Interchange In po lice new day. and night between th ten soore police stations of London by tele phone, by motor,- by official newspapers and by Ihe tape-machine. It may not teem essential that a constable at Ewell should know that a burglary' has been committed at Bnywater but the burglar may 11 v at BwelL News swift news Is tbe Ufe-biood of the greatest police or-1 turned once again. "Too fellow don't giv any one a ehanst" - ' Ever alnce a couple of constables bad picked him up and brought him on aa mbulano te the Infirmary,, he had been parrying questions and wondering why his aaaailant of the flat had not Immedi ately handed him over te the police. , "How did - you snanaae to gat that?" AJmack Jerked hl head to th bandage that encircled the crook's head. - Blind to the world." ejaculated Rufe crisply. "Must have tumbled, ever some thing, and smashed myself on tbe pave ment Tou know bow it Is guVnor. when " He broke off aa he encounter ed Almack'e disbelieving smll.. "Bo you said when you ware picked up. Do you know what the doctor here aaya? He aays you couldn't have done that by a all. Somebody hit yon eh T" Rufe expressed the opinion ; that the doctor was a condemned fool. INow. see her, Mr. Devlin" Al- mack's tones were honeyed "I want to know what really .did happen. - Par- haps I can help you to get back on th man that socked you." ; "I reckon not aald Rufe doggedly. "There ain't ae man.'" . - - Since by eomemlrele hie exploit In the small hours had not been brought to th notice ef th polio, he consid ered that h would be a fool to disclose It himself. Arid Almack began to feel that ther was something solid behind his "hunch." The erook would not be so Clumsily secretive If his injuries had not eome about while he was engaged In some - illegal business. He idly iL On the last occasion it was. Al ack," newly promoted divisional tective-inspector of the Twelfth vision, who was confident that the at knew a great deal more than ought of a week-end robbery of Id from a West. End manufactur t goldsmith. He dropped swiftly wn upo'ti the flat with a couple of i .staff. : . Three thousand ounces er.ld. cannot b disoosed of in a rrv, and he hoped by rapidity of ion' to catch O'Brien before he i time to get rid of it. . r . t took full five hours to convince n that wherever else that gold s, it was not in the flat. The at with a subtle Irony -that was : lost on the detective,; produced ture. ' .;. The Goat ' folded up . the paper which he was reading. "Sonny," he said gently, "if you get off. the ' Mils, tuu nut awii mm wihiibi".. Tell him you've lost yourself, and get him to hand you over, to1 your" nurse, brie 11 take you nome ana tuck . you up in your ' little bed. London's a big place for an tnno- cent youin to rci io in.- incira a lot of ' wicked characters about, and you never know when you might get taken in", ; i. . Rufe's jaw dropped. For- the second the devil peeped '. 6ut of his green eyes and bis fists clenched. His chagrin.-: and disappointment were' plain' for anv one to witness. He scat ont a malevolent oath. The fGoat's eye's half - closed, as though i he had lost an interest in tne inci- dent i -you Words failed Rufe, and be choked. ' ' "Count 'twenty slowly. advised '". I if. - "- A 1 . ' i i hit i trim muni niv. ouve gotyour duty to flo, . gen-, , f cotl,, h i.rok,n lhe fran tien, and I don t.. compiainf ne i. ;'Tve' been- a crook,, but I've enough1 to live-n. U I've . go,t no I to get in. the game again. I t hate to see you wasting , your .linack wiped his .damp , brow. smiting' or lurniiure is neavy -k for. amateurs; -v ,'.;- :-...iV-:.f We'll get you, Goat" he said de tely, "You're .clever, I own, and 've done us down this time,' but II get you, - Don't you make any r f . he Goat wagged his . gray head tly. "I believe you would if you chance," he admitted. "But I said, I've enough! to live on, I'm sidestepping all work on the is. It would save you people a II, here's promotion." He lifted Inn-stemmed wineglass and sip lovingly. "Did I ever tell 'you I , lifted ' a parcel . of diamonds n the Rietfontein' postoffice?" gighed. ' "That was in the old u And, mind you, the diamond police . were , smart men." v e saw. them' urbanely off the nises, 'even offering to send for car to take them back' to head- ters. JBut AJmack was in no d to aecept further civilities. "A 11 do us, thanks," . he retorted. you again some other" time', ong." t . ;. ' -, rop i ' in whenever ; you're pass ' said O'Brien. r " Always pleased ee : you or any of your friends." t until they were out of hearing Mmack say the things that were ing within him, To fail was enough. To be taunted by the man in the presence of bis sub iate was worse. But worst of as the knowledge that the de nent ' would know that be, the created "D. D. I, had couched ice ( against the Goat and been niniously Unhorsed. He swore BtlV. -r. : V , , - ,; e underworld" as the motion res ;call it is no free-masonry body of the older mati between his two hands.,. He pushed his head for ward until he was within a couple of inches of the other's face. "Say, you," he demanded with all the in tensity of malice he could inflect in to his voice, "you gimme back my shilling or I'll eat you tip." - O'Brien folded; his thin hands in his lap. "I think not," he said placidly. "1 think not." Had he shown anything like ag gressive defiance, . Rufe was in a state of mind to carry out his threat. But the cool confidence of the Goat somehow deterred him while it did not lessen his anger. A . sort of vanitv which is one of the distin guishing characteristics of men of his type was hurt at his . designs being frustrated. He ,, glared, in articulate. When the , Goat descended from the bus, he was aware that six feet of wrath was dogging him; He walked ' homeward serenely con temptuous. It did not even amuse him that he had been selected for the crude experiment of Big Rufe. He knew that the other was raw to the game otherwise he would not have . lost his temper. He knew,; too, that Rufe was keeping him in sight in hope of finding an oppor tunity to give physical effect to his ; i i..'... ; t j? . Z ' y ' - i'- i v. , i ,v: .. ; 51 ' ' ' '""rlf-'s P"V 1 ' ,l S t -f - " - V'- ' y-t ; iV'S'''!'" t iH' f " ; - rr Wit i fvv', ''f- ... n:yy.y . I Zt bad not been unknown fox a thief to recover in the night the stolen goods he had sold in the morning. passion. l hat also worried nim lit tle. In streets as well policed and as frequented as those through which .he had to pass, no assault could be committed with , iinDunitv. T t i i . .. . t - rr . ' . . . i ' i f nc , naa oiner anairs io xninK oi than this trivial - encounter with minor . crook. - That contempt was where the luck which for half a century had been his handmaid deserted him. Had Rufe been the rawest detective pa tol, the most stupid of plain clothes constables, the Uoat would have been warily on bis guard. If he thought of the matter, at all, it was meprlv that h i fnlisrarr nas ty of brothers. It is only by sion would evaporate when be found :t' that its inhabitants get to ' one another, for there are no ius signs by which a crook ys himself as other than a biding citizen. Consequently, a mild-looking little old man d slowly out through the swing i -of the Great Southern . and lern Bank in Holborn and sig a bus. Big Rufe had no con m that lie was beholding in the a fellow crook as far above him e stars. All that he saw was, s own vocabulary, a possible .". - - . . ...... . ics were bad with Rufe, and that there was no chance of violence. He slurred into his block of flats without even turning his head. Now, five minutes or more before, Rufe, who was not altogether a fool, bad become resigned to see ing his victim escape for the time being. He recognized that he had ! made a mistake, and though he was still sore, his first anger had passed. He was capable of more or less sound reasoning. He had no very clear idea, but he was certain tbat somehow, if he could hit on it there was a way of digging monev out of the Httle old man who had been here six month and - always found 'lm a perfect gentleman, Tou'd never guess he was an American." The name . O'Brien ia a fairly com mon one. It never occurred to Rufe to associate it with the Goat; other wise h might have hesitated. He pulled at hla top lip. ' ' - "Look like a bloomer, don't It?" he said frankly. "We all make mistakes. Still, you can't be too sure.- Since I've wasted me time com In' her, I shall have to make a report. Tell me what you know about him." And another of bis precious shillings passed. This time, however, he was aatlsfleiu with his Investment. He had pumped th janitor dry - before he walked thoughtfully away. Hla Idea was be ginning 'to take shape, He was no pedant specialist. When he wanted money, methods didn't matter; results were all that concerned htm and he wanted money badly. '-. e , ' .. e -Exactly at half-past two In - the morning. Big Rufe drove his flat ta th point of the - Jaw of the drowsy night porter. Whose sleep ' for hours thereafter .was sounder if no mora re freshing. And ten minutes later the Ooat awoke. . i ',..'; 1 It was a proof of the soundness of hia nerves that he merely opened hi eyes and made no motion, although he was perfectly certain. that there was some on in the room. He con tinued to breath with audible regu lartty, but eyas and ears were tensely on the alert For several minutes th ticking of the little bedside clock was the chief sound in the room. But the Goat knew what was happening. The Intruder had clumsily made some sound and was now waiting motion less until he could be sure that the sleeper had not roused. Presently there was faint ctlck, end the darkness of the room became less Intense. . The . Goat Instantly shut bis eyes and the next second felt a beam of tight searching his face. Then It gone and he felt' rather than beard a atealthv footfall. Blowly, with deliberate caution, lest the rustling of the bedclothes should attract attention, he began to turn over so that he would face the burglar. He was not at all alarmed, but he was curious. There were several friends of his busi ness friends who were quite capable of deeming him worth a professional visit It had not been unknown for a thief to recover In the night the stolen goods he had sold in the morning. He could see dimly a black formless figure moving stealthily above the apart ment and the pencil of light-from th electric torch darting searchlngly over the various articles in the room. -' The Goat raised himself on one elbow. Hla visitor's back was toward hlra. and in the farther corner of the room were half a dosen walking-sticks. Many a time In hla younger days had the Goat's liberty depended upon his soft-footedneaa, and his old cunning had not yet deserted him. , He lowered hla feet, gently until , tightened. "Gosh, bot you've nearly got me frightened, Who trusted you with k great big gun like that? "Do- you know what would happen to ybu if It went on while you're pointing it at me? Tou would be hanged by the neck until you were dead,-and your mummy would have to buy nice new black clothes for you." "That's enough," growled 'Rufe. "I don't want to be hard with an old man like you." The pistol muxzle dropped. There went men who could have told Rufe the only time th Goat could be considered safe was ' whilo one had him at the end of a gun. - But this knowledge he had yet to acquire. A man more astute might have realised that the Goat's gibes were intended to distract attention. In fact,, he was only waiting for that pistol muzzle to waver. Rufe understood too ' late. The Goat lunged wth the stick as a fencer might with a sword, and the other doubled up like a clasp-knife aa the ferrule caught him on what th dootors -call the solar plexus and boxers the bread-basket. Even while he was gasping, the cane swished again through the air twice in rapid succession. He dropped clumsily forward and lay still. O'Brien switched on the light and, re placing the stick, opened the door and listened. Presently he .went a little way slong the corridor, tapped at another door and pushed it open. "George." he celled, softly, t "George! Come here." . ( - . ; - , , A sleepy grunt answered,' ahd a mo ment later a middle-aged man with im mature side-whiskers had leaped out of bed. He Wat chauffeur and valet to ganlzation in th world, even as it was in Tne oia aays or nue and cry. Almack twisted- hla reddish mustache absently and, passing the strip of tape QDruptly to the sub-dlvlslonal inspector, strode off to "his own -department. One of his sergeants, a broad, ruddy-faced man, was sprawling against the mantel piece, and a clerk was writing beneath the barred window. "MorninV Horand," said Almack. "I've Just got a huneh that we may get a line on the Goat after alt "Huh," commented Horand, arid spat In the fire.. He was a veteran of the old days who had never troubled to attempt tbe further examinations preliminary to higher promotion, and he was a pessimist in certain ways. He had known many campaigns against tho Goat, and he had smajl faith that the young. "D. D. I." would achieve anything. , Still, discipline Is dlHcipllne, and he aald nothing.' ; We'll get right over to Regent's Park again," went on Almack, ; "There- a report Just come 1 through on the tape that's put me thinking. - Ever run across Big Rufe Davlln?" "I have so," admitted Horand, ctiug gllng with bis overcoat. . "They've picked him up outsiae High cllffe ManslAns that's the Goat' plHce badly bashed about 'He's in the Infirm ary now, and be won t say who put It across blm." ; ' - ; Horand stared at his chief with some thing of contempt "There dont seem much, to that to drag us right across London," he said. "I know Rufe and I know the Goat They'd no more have he sprung hie O'Brien so far las the outside, world was anything to 'do with each other than concerned. He was also general assist- I than a Ranker with a confectioner's os- ant in a variety of affairs of which the public knew nothing. ; v . He followed O'Brien back to his own room, and his employer Jerked his head to the prostrate figure.' - Tvoke up to find that tough here; had to lay him out," he said succintly. George expressed no surprise.. He went to the unconscious man and roll ed him over. "Hit him precious hard. didn't you?" he commented, noting the bruise on the temple. Ho had a gun on roe. Not croaked. Is he?" George turned a serious face upward. He was holding Rufe's pulse. "He seems mighty bad. .What do you reckon we'd better do? 'j Shall I 'phone for a doctor?" Don't be a blamed foot" said the Goat with asperity. ... That'd mean giving the. bulls a chance to come In and out here all the time they were hanging up a case- against him. Go and get some clothes on. We'll dump him out in tbe street and trust to luck." - - "There the night porter," remon strated Georg. 1 know all about that. 'Tou go and get dressed." - . : The Goat -himself hurrieaiy nung on some ' clothes and- reconnoltered down tbe stairs. He found the night porter breathing stertorously in a corner of a little partlUonee-off office and nodded gely. . He knew now all tne steps sistani. ,. ...,.... ,.-!.--,-;. ah.. Almack had a respect for his senior as sistant, but he sometimes wished that his common sense was not' so arrogant. It blunted enthusiasm. : "All tho Hame, it's 'deuced tunny that he should be picked up practically -.n the Goat's doorstep, , he commented. It needs looking Into anyway. A bit of fresh air will do you good." . Horand further comment By the time they had reached the in firmary and stood by Rufe's bed he had become bluffy genial. ' He had his pri vate opinion that they were on a wild- goose chase, but that would not prevent Mm from loyally carrying out any steps that Almack might initiate. "How do, Rufe? . Ton remember me? My name Horand. Heard you'd 'been banging yourself about and thought I'd give you a look-in. Friend -ef mine Mr. Almack." He seated himself en the bed with the familiarity of an old friend. The, crook glared at ' him resentfully; "Tou ain't troubling About my health," he said suspiciously. "I'm about alck of you blokes pushing your noses Into my private affair." He ostentatiously .turn ed hla back and tried an Ineffective snore.- , . -1 . - "Slip along to . Highellffe and see whether you can pick . up anything there," r whispered Almaok. "Mow, Dev lin" his voice tinged with Incisive au thority "listen to me." "Oh, biases," said Rufe wearily, and watched Rufe's face next question. "Then it wasn't Goat O'Brien?" . . Rufe sat sharply up In bed, hie green eyes glittering with interest He nat urally knew of the Goat and an ex planation of the recent events in which he had been concerned hit him like a blow with the detective's casual question. It restored, something; of his self-esteem to realise - that . he" .had been worsted by the master of the profession, although he remained more or lees bitter against the other. But the police were dangerous men to confide In, and he slipped back into the recumbent position- and shook his head. "I've never seen th Goat" But Almack was satisfied so far. An unqualified ''assent' could not . have car ried greater conviction. He leaned side wise toward Rufe,. and though he. was smiling, his voice had an indefinite men' ace. ; ' " - - '- Listen here. Rufe." He Judged the time was right to drop the 'Mister Dev lin,' "You've got a rotten record, haven't youT our people pick you up at tnree this morning in - a street of. residential fiats. , That look bad, you know.'' He iibook his head solemnly. '- . He was within the letter but outside '.he spirit of the law. It is absolutely il legal to intimidate a man into incrim Inatlng himself.- But for his eagerness to run the Goat down, he would never have hinted ss he. had done at the pos sibility of arresting Rufe as a suspected person. The shot told. "You wouldn't '.do that, guv'norr ex claimed Rufe in alarm, shifting himself to allow of a better view of the stern, clean-cut face. "You wouldn't do that?' "I'm not saying what I shall do," said A-mack, with careful vagueness, Rufe hesitated ayiecond. Either of the two alternatives oy wnicn he was con fronted seemed: to lead directly, to the dock but if he spoke, the police would probably deal with him gently, He took the plunge. Aided by a shrewd Question now and again, the whole story came out He held his clenched fist out of . bed aa he finished and shook it vin dictively. ' "And if. it was Goat O'Brien. as you say, guv nor, strife "Just so, said Almack.. "Tou say It was a malacca can he used. ' Tou're euro .of it?" ' . "Dead sure," said Rufe. "Didn't I hold him up for. Lord knows how long? It was a light yellow malacca can." . I For a staid divisional detective-Inspec tor, Almack reit anooromonly youthful as he passed out of the grimy courtyard of the infirmary. He felt like doing a step-nance on the pavement. "Luck incredible luck," he murmured Joyfully. , can't be wrong I simply can't be wrong. .- : . : ; -, And then the burly figure of Horand earoe te sight Tbe sergeant accosted hi Chief with an "I-knew-lt" air. "Nothing doing' yonder," he reported. 'No .one knows anything about this business. ' Th Goat . leaves for Paris by tne two-twenty. "I'm going 'to buy you a drink. - By th Lard High Muck-a-Muck. "I'd make yon drunk if I didn't want you on. "Then you go and keep your eye o O'Brien until I send a relief. 8m?" Horand paused in th act of lighting hla pip and shot a quick gtano at hit Chief. , .: . "I see," be muttered slowly. "Do you. mean to say you've cot a tin from thai JObr .-. .- . . ' ; Do you think." said Almack. that a little snip Ilk th Goat could lay a man like Big Rufe out with a malacca cane?" .-- . ;s The lighted match burned tha aeraaant'a fingers. He dropped it hastily and wrin kled perplexed brows. "What' Ah point r be asked. ; - Oh. nothing. TA intt'nt an Um. that'a alt" - - After he left Horand. Almack awena cheerfully back to his division. ' He pulled down a much-thumbed mnv of Whltaker's Almanac from a shelf. propped it open at a certain page and, . with the aid of a pad of paper, became absorbed io a series of calculations. Presently b lay back in a chair and surveyed th result of hla labor discon tentedly. . . "That would take months," h grum bled, "months and month. I'm dashed If I can see whr I'm wron." He stood up and strode up and down the narrow office, hla hands thrust deep In hi trousers pockets. 'Til ge It through." he aald resolutely. And than a new train of thought occurred to him.- H literally Jumped to tha telephone and his finger played an ' Impatient tattoo while h : waited for a reply.. . . . . He was satisfied, when at a quarter to two tbat afternoon he arrived at Charing Cross station, that every precaution, had been taken. H felt a premonition of success, and he chuck led' grimly to himself aa ha loitered near the bookatall In a position which commanded an unostentatious view of tha barrier for th Continental train. Somewhere among the throng; that congregated the station were three men he knew he eould rely on. -- It only remained for the Goat to walk into the trap. O'Brien was punctual. As a business - man he knew the virtue of alwaya be. Ing on time. He and George descended from a cab outside th station Just flv seconds before another eab that car ried Horand and a colleague. , W'r barking no th wrong tree,1 proclaimed the sergeant to hia compan ion. "We'll not get the Goat this trip. The guv'nor got soma wild idea In his head, but I bet It don't eome off. They haven't got the good on 'em, anyway. All the luggage la those kit bags. Coma on." He strolled off in the wake of the other pair as they moved toward the barrier.' Then he saw Almack step ont smilingly and greet the old man. Why, Goat! Tou're never leaving Lon don 7- Who'd have expected to see yov here?"" Hello, Mr. Almack. This- 1 good of you.- Tou eome to see m ok. naven i you? There' a couple of your men been tracking, up here in a taxi. We've been. quit a procession." ' Almack laughed. "Ton re not - losing your eyesight Goat. Lefa go along and have a stirrup cup. Tou too, George." They were becoming the center of a little group of Interested men.-"We'll Just take a peep inside those bag of yours, tf you don't mind." The Goat smiled his humble smile.. "Why, sure," he ejaculated. "Tou're an active young man, Mr. Almack. Too ought to get on. Fancy , springing this on us." !. ' '-. 1 .'. "I've had a waiting-room kept empty," said Almack, locking his arm into O'Brien' whll some one performed a like kindly' office for George. "We wont . be long." ;': , "I hope not said the Goat easily. T don't want to miss that boat train." In the waiting-room he surrendered his leys docilely and waited while Almack rummaged the bags perfunctorily. The Inspector reloeked. them and mad a half bow as he handed th keys back. "Just one minute," h exclaimed, and made a snatch at the thick malacca. stick the Goat was carrying. Even the alert O'Brien waa taken unawares and for tha moment his nonchalance deserted him. He made a wild swing at tbe detective, but big Horand caught him In midair and swung him back. "No wonder poor Ruf waa knocked out" satd Almack, balancing th stick in hi hand. "It's as heavy as a bar of lead." 'He swung the stick by th fer rule twice against the solid fender. At the second blow the silver knob gave way and a quantity of yellowing pellets twinkled like hail on the floor. '.1 think, G'oat we'll have to trouble yon to nut oft that trip quite a while," he smiled. o 6 "Horand," said ' Almack expensively, J agreed Almack dryly. ;"It was Big Rufe gave me the Mea," said Almack, making a verbal report- to the superintendent of the criminal hi'' vestigation department. He was so certain, that he'd been knocked out by a malacca cane, and there waa only one supposition that the Cane must have been loaded. As a fact when we'd made a search tha previous day we'd noticed a collection of sticks and I'd picked up one or two about which there waa noth ing apparently abnormal. w found that moat of the stick were honest enough, and even if we'd hit on one -of - the prepared onea there wSs nothing to give it away before it waa filled up. These sticks just baa a hollow steel lining, and tho we took away from the Goat and George held Just over three pounds of gold apiece-worth in all something like fifteen hundred dollars, "Aa you know, , ir, : the Goat haanl often received any bulky stuff, and that confirmed my Impression about the walk Ing-stlcks. But I'll adroit It puzzled me a to how he eould have stowed away three thousand ounce of gold. That would have needed a whole armory of sticks. Then it occurred to roe to make sure If he often went to Pari. I rang up ! and had th word passed to Horand to make ' inquiries. He found that either the Goat or Georgu mostly George was away from the flat every week-end. 1 guessed that meant Continental trip and that they probably intended to ret th stuff over piecemeal. . That was all there waa to It as. cept when we went over the flat again today we knew for ur that th stuff wa somewhere, and It wasn't where w had looked before. Of course w had tapped for secret panels and an that sort of thing, but It occurred to m that th one place that neither w nor any. on else had ever looked at waa tha window. As a matter of fact most of the woodwork of the windows was Just a thin veneer over steel boxes and tubes all made to open and all full of gold. They had re melted it to the most heady ' shape for their purposes. That' all thera ia la th business, sir." I r really think" th Superintendent beamed at the divisional officer "that we ' may get a conviction this time" "Ther seems I o bo a possibility, auV I o o ti w aj tv tx ol tn ri ; P to aj t f O 0 tb th th. ihi th. I hei ehi tb beJ boi tbe evf pn boc Sir gu: att ai' ft whl rnb W01 0 girl the nffl 0 1 tha eve, I and apok Otbtt yiali awaj qultt alii Two daloi word over O nry ."A ' was, thoui beanl ' moth Cbxii Qurli hymn loned Tl table. m.- Aj sbbxtl

Page Text

This is the computer-generated OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It may be empty, if no text could be automatically recognized. This data is also available in Plain Text and XML formats.

Return to page view