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0 / 75
THmr*.:.g Kent rails on Loulaa Farrtah to
marriage anil flnda the house In
l»«M «-sritament over the attempted sul
rUt «.f her alater Katharine. Kent starts
br. imeMitatlon and flnda that Hugh
*ul tor for Katharine, who had
Wen torWdden the house by fleneral Far
rtafe. had talked with Katharine ovar the
Just before she shot lijraelr
A ton rlere of yollow paper la found,
•r uftit of which General l-'arrlah In
•frit-*** wtth paralysis Kent discovers
•Hat Crandull haa- left town hurriedly.
Amh**- BlseT, an a«ed banker commits
(uk'iiir about the same time as Katharine
atf.-m*ted her life A yellow envelope Is
fqusd tr> Riser's room. Post Offlro In
«r,».-tor Davis, Kent'* friend. takes up
ft.r mr* Kent is convinced that ran
i*i> m at the bottom of the mystery.
KMtettM'i strange mitcry P'lssle* the
*vt*v-Av*w. Kent and Divla search t-ran-
A»U» ri*n and itnd nri address. I>ock
(*»* f Ardway, S J
T h*i not looked at It in that light,
T felt that he *«« right. There
not be a moment of happiness
9V>r the girl I loved until the black
'hat menaced her home find
mm' laved had been dispelled.
V»s. imvts was right. 1 would go to
Ardway that evening I stopped only
hiaf «-tu>ugh to telephone IxMilse of
as* tuuteeitlon and to go to my room*
for a fca*
"W you have a revolver you'd better
nxlur it with you." said Davis.
1 merer owned one In my life," I
Ff*. drew out his own and handed
ft f» trie It was of the hammerless
»*r»e.rf flat and almost square
He turefnt how you use It," he
watnrd me. "It's a magazine gun and
foe-* off with a very light touch "
"What do you expect ma to find In
Ardwa yT' I SBked Him as a taxlcab
hurrh"d us to the Hudson tunnel.
I "There are two things First: And
Htu It Hugh Crandall is there, when
he arrived and what he has been do-
Probably if ho is at the hotel
t« w/C be registered under an as
i whl aanxv Second tlnd out who
tea Look Bo* 17 There is a ll»t of
i»jfr p»nera kept in every office. with
iHr* Bitmea of the two references. Find
■Hjr a> 1 .vou can without arousing sus
pf.iOD I'll be out and join you there
r » TO or row evening I'll come out on
rhiit. same train. I'll leave It to you
ri» tind a plausible pretext for ques
tion'ng flhe postmaster "
t Tedious as the trip to Ardway would
irdinarlly have been, so absorbed was
! *n ptiKllng over the mystery I hard
» mn«-«l the passage of time and was
neart led to hear the brakeman calling
my station I had learned from the
conductor that It was a village of less
ih.-u» two thousand Inhabitants and
1 hnt. there was only one hotel, about
u Mock from Ihe station It proved
To be a counlry hotel of the better
*on. doing a thriving business in feed
tnjr motor car folk who passed through
>mn*t JB taking care of traveling-men
urrf'/ .'.vrmers' supply agents who vis
ited the neighborhood.
A» I signed the register I scanned
r.be names, hoping to see that of
«Vandal), but It did not appear. Yet
reg-iuterrd the night before was a
na.a«- "Henry Cook" that caught my
ey»- Something about the writing
maile it as distinctively that of a city
rmi :ss fits (Toflies would have dlstln-
Kniktwd him from the country boy be
hind tbe desk
"Where will 1 find ihe post office?" I
(lie clerk. "1 want to get a spe
i'ta! delivery letter oIT to-night." .
"!rV, a couple of blocks up Main
•trwt,'" 1k» told-me, "but you'd better
tfw in and get supper. The dining
room closes at hall' past seven and the
post office stays open until eight."
t took his advice and, after an ex
o*4leut meal, lighted my cigar and
vrajKetl in the direction he had InUl
accd. The streets were lighted after
a. niavnner by oil lamps at the corners.
Them; was no moon and the villagers
for the most part seemed to live In tbe
*var part of their homes Few of the
sitraggling stores had their windows
Hgfefeod, so It was with difficulty I read
dto ofcgns on tho buildings 1 passed,
y*t I bod little trouble finding tbe
pamtolTxyr It was a one-story bulld
fng that stood on a vacant lot In the
middle of th« block It evidently had
fce*a balk by some local politician for
She purpose, as It wan not quartered
la the corner of a cigar or grocery
•srttwv. aa most country offices are.
AeerinK into the darkness I read the
•fen "Post-Office," and noted with
«mm surprise that the windows were
wttkost lights. 1 drew out my watch
aasd striking a match looked at the
far It was half-past Beven. Foi
tech of something better to do I
waited round the building. To mj
■MHMnt when 1 reached the end
Away from the street I found the reai
tor standing wide open. Thlnklni
psrtspa that the postmaster might
■srdy have gone to supper, relrini
Ml the honesty of his neighbors tc
IWws things undisturbed, I loitered li
fW rietalty for a full half-hour. A
hat. growing impatient. I entered thi
wmmr door and striking another matel
Stated about me. As far as tho uncer
Mb Hght permitted me to see, th
ykas Inked ag U the postmaster luu
been unexpectedly called away In the
midst of his work.
I recalled that In my bag at the ho
tel was one of those storage battery
lights, which happened to be there be
cause I often found It useful in the
cabin where I went to shoot ducks. I
decided to get this and Investigate
further. It had begun to rain and
there were few people on the street.
I returned with my light In a very few
minutes and began to explore. I did
not greatly fear interruption, for the
mall boxes on the street side served
as a screen to shut off the shaft of
light by which I worked.
My second Inspection convinced me
that the postmaster had left In con
siderable hurry. A pile of mall half
sorted, a stamp drawer left wide open
and the books standing In an open
safe seemed to bear out this theory.
Even the cash-drawer stood open, re
vealing a few billls and some change.
"If the cash-drawer bad been rifled,"
I said to myself, "I might suspect that
the postmaster had been murdered
I pushed the cash drawer shut and
heard the automatic lock click on It,
and then began a search for the list
of box-owners. At the back of each
box a slip was pasted with the own
er's name. To my great disappoint
ment Box No. 17 wag blank. I turned
next to the safe and at last found the
book in which the sccounts of box
rent were kept. In this were neatly
entered the namo of each box-holder
and the two references given, for ev- '
ery box except No. 17.
As 1 stood poring over this book, 1
perplexed by my falluro to discover 1
tho owner, I became conscious I hat I
was wstched. A sixth sense con- |
vlnced me that some one else was
near. Quickly I pressed the button •
that extinguished my electric lantern.
Noiselessly I turned toward the rear
door by which I had entered. 1 cnught
just a fleeting glimpse of a man's face
being hastily withdrawn. Undoubted
ly It was tho postmaster who had
turned and caught me there. Of course
he must take me for a burglar. It had
been too dark tor m) to recognize the
features of the man and 1 was certain
he could not identify me. I stood mo
tionless for a" minute or two, listening
Intently, but I could not hear even a
footstep— nothing but the patter of the
Yet undoubtedly whoever had dis
covered mo had gone to summon as
sistance, It would never do for mc to
he caught there. While I felt I was
perfectly Justified in my mission, it
would be hard to make a satisfactory
explanation. If I was captured there
it certainly would mean an unpleasant
night in a vermin-filled shack, perhaps
In Irons. It might take several days
to establish iny innocence. I decided
to attempt an escupe. The sense of
having n revolver in my pocket com
forted me, though 1 realised Its pos
session would be most damaging if I
should be caught. I moved swiftly to
Ihe door ami peered out. There was
no one In sight.
Thrusting my lantern in my pocket
and turning up my collar 1 made a
dash around the corner of the build
ing and looked up and down the
street. It was entirely deserted. The
thought struck me that the man who
find been watching me might still be
In hiding on tho other side of the
building, but 1 did not stop to Investi
gate. With the best air of unconcern
I could assume, I walked, not over
hastily, back to the hotel. There was
no one In tho office but the clerk be
hind the desk and I stood there for a
moment beside the big old-fashioned
stove drying my clothes. The door
opened and a tall Smooth-shaven chap
came In and approached the desk to
get his key. As he saw nie standing
there he gave me a keen glance of
scrutiny. I bad noticed that be had
come from the direction of the post
office and h« must have seen that my
clothing was rain-soaked. Ho half
halted as If about to speak to me, but
changed his mind. I heard the clerk
"Good night, Mr. Cook," as he van
If this was the man who had seen
me In the post-office, plainly he was
not the postmaster. If not. who was
ho? What was he doing there?
It was long after midnight before
my mystified brain would let me sleep.
Every step I had taken seemed only
to be leading me deeper and deeper
Ths Third Suicide, v
Something had happened.
I awoke the next morning with a
start and sat up in bed listening to
the strange confusion In the hotel. In
; stlnctlvely I recognlied that the sensa
i tlon of the unusual that so affected me
i was something more than tbe feeling
t every one experiences on suddenly
i awaking for ths first time In a strange
• I sprang from the bed and, opening
i my door, looked out Into the hall I
I could see nothing, for a turn of tb«
'ii •iii'flirV") i i ik-i
corridor abut me off from tb« mail
hall. From the floor below came tin
confused murmur of many voices am
tbe sound of men moving about—man;
men. Mjr first thought was of fire, bu
there were no cries and there was ni
smell of smoke. The memory of m;
experience In tbe post-ofloe recarra
to me. I vaguely wondered If I hai
been tracked and discovered.
I hastened to dress. If tbey suspect
ed me of robbing the post-offlce, th
sooner I found out the sooner I oottlt
plan some method of action. As I pu
on my collar I heard footsteps in th
corridor, and, coatless as I was, I flunj
open my door. A chambermaid wai
"What's t"he matter?" I asked.
"Haven't you heard about it?" sh
asked In wonder.'
"Heard about what?"
"The suicide in tbe hotel—in tlx
room right under yours. They dlscov
ered It hours ago. Tbe coroner's Jusi
come and Is getting ready to hold th«
"Who was he?" I asked. I wai
thinking It might bo Hugh Craadall
dead In some suicide pact with Katha
line. A sens* of disappointment be
gan to take hold of me. 1 felt that 11
It were Crandall my efforts to cteai
the mystery would be still more fu
tile, but the woman's answer quickly
dispelled the thought.
"It wasn't a 'he.' It's a woman."
She hurried on down the corridoi
and I hastened to finish my dressing,
recalling as I did so Davis' belief thai
there would be other suicides. It
seemed absurd that there could be any
connection between the suicide of a
woman in a country hotel In an ob
scure New Jersey village and the two
suicides the day before In New York,
and yet there waa at least one link
between them. It was Crandall who
had telephoned Katharine. Some one
had telephoned Elser, too. It was in
Crandall a rooms that we had found
the address of this place where the
third suicide In the series had taken
With the triumphant feeling that my
friend the Inspector finally would
have to accept my theory of Crandall's
guilt, I hurried down-stairs and forced
my way Into the room where the coro
ner bad already begun his Inquest.
On the bed, covered with a aheet,
except for the face, lay the lifeless
body of a woman perhaps fifty, the
face still distorted from the death
agony. A bit of rope attached ,to a
rod among the rafters of the room
showed that she had hung herself. The
woman's outer clothing lay neatly
piled on a chair near the bed. This
much I had time to notice before the
coroner finished selecting his Jury.
Near the coroner, too, I observed the
I Stood Motionless for a Minute or Two, listening Intently.
man whom the clerk had called Cook. 1
I thought he gave a quick glance In
my direction, but I could not be sure, i
The first witness was called, Mablon i
Williams, the proprietor of the hotel. I
"Mr. Williams," said the coroner, 1
"do you know this woman?"
"I can't say as I do." 1
"What was her name?*"
"She waa registered here in the ho- 1
tel. The name's on tho book. You
can see for yourself. I don't know it
it twas her real name or not."
"Mary Jane Teller. Bridgeport,
Conn.," was the entry in the hotel
register which was produced and sub
mitted for the Jurors' inspection,
i "Tell us, Mr. Williams, what yon
; know about the deceased."
"Mighty-,llttle; nothing at all, in
i fact. She come here nigM before last
Got in en the seven-two train from
: New York, I calculate, from the time
[ of her arrival. Bhe had no baggage,
i only that little black bag yonder, antf
Jbe asked for a room for tbe «l|M~a
> cheap room. She ssemed so feebte 1
gave her this- room on tbe ground
floor. No. 4, and only charged her sev
enty-five cents for It, though it's a dol
lar room, or a dollar and a half for
bridal couples. She paid for it for one
night and right after supper she went
into It and stayed there. Yesterday
morning after breakfast she went out
somewhere snd was gone maybe an
hour or an hour and a half, f didn't
see her when she come in but I
"Mahlon Williams," said the coroner
severely, "you ought to know enough
about the law to understand that what
you heard ain't evidence. Tell only
them things you know of your own
"All I know," said WllUams, percept
ibly miffed, "is that she come out
along about three In tbe afternoon and
paid another seventy-five oents, say
ing she wanted the room another
night. That's all I seen of her."
"Can I ask a question?" said one of
the Jurors, all of whom were towns
men of tbe claas usually to be found
around the hotel bar-room.
"If It Is a proper question," said
the coroner Judiciously.
"Where did she go when she went
"The question is a proper one. If tbe
witness can answer It of his own
knowledge," the coroner ruled.
"If I knowed I'd a told already,"
said the hotel keeper.
One or two of the other jurors asked
questions, prompted plainly more- by
curiosity than by intelligent effort to
ascertain the facts; but It waa plain
that Mr. Williams had revealed all
that ho knew, and he waa dismissed.
Doctor Allen, who had been sent for
nt> soon as the suicide was discovered,
gave It as his opinion that the woman
had hung herself early the evening
before, as nearly aa be could Judge
about five o'clock.
"Who was It found the body?" tho
"Mary Evans, the chambermaid,"
tbe constable volunteered. "Here aho
Is, right here."
Th« coroner proceeded to examine
Much embarrassed by the promi
nence Into which she found herself
thrust, but manifestly enjoying the un
usual situation, the girl told how, early
in the morning, aa soon as she begad
her work, she had gone to the room.
"1 didn't know there was anyone In
No. 4," she explained. "I knew tike
woman had taken It for Just one night
and I hadn't bothered making It up the
day before. None of the other room
ers was up yet and I thought I might
Just as well get No. 4 off my mind. I
knocked like 1 always dq and gettlag
no answer I opened the door rlgat
wide all of a sudden. Such a shock
as it gave me I never expect to have
again to my dying day. There was
the poor creature a-hanging there. I
let a yell out of me that must have
waked the dead, and then I ran and
called Mr. Williams."
"Had you seen the deceased on the
"Yes, but she wasn't deceased when
1 saw b«fr."
"Did you have any conversation
with her?" ,
"No more thsn to P«ss the time of
day with her you might say."
(TO BE -CONTINUED.)
"There Is one condition of retribo
tion which goes by contraries."
VWhat Is that?'
"The one in Which crooked men flid
themselves la straightened circunk
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Wanted to Compromise. -*>,
Mr. Levi Is a kind-hearted, con
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