Nick Carter's youngest detective, or, Working on his own case

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Nick Carter's youngest detective, or, Working on his own case

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Title:
Nick Carter's youngest detective, or, Working on his own case
Series Title:
Nick Carter weekly
Creator:
Carter, Nicholas
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (32 p.) 25 cm.: ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
Detective and mystery stories. ( lcsh )
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
030707296 ( ALEPH )
17902269 ( OCLC )
C36-00018 ( USFLDC DOI )
c36.18 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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:II' Bll: MY'S li'OOT TIPPED THE BUCKET AND NICK li'OUND l llM. S .ELF RIGHT IN THE CENTRE OF THE SPREADING 9TUFF. f

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cE.a T NieK eARTER WEEKLY. ntered acco1'C!ing to Act of Omt(JI'ess in the yem 1897 b11 St1eet Smith, in the OJ]tce of the Liblm'ian of Congress, Washi ngton, D. 0. as seconct class Matt e1 at the New Ymlo, N. Y,, Post Office. weekly. S'ltbscl'iption p1ice, $2.50 11e1 year. Decembe1 11, 1897. ilo 50. 8TREt:T&8mTH,Publiahe ra. N E W YORK 29 Rose St., N. Y. 5 Cents [ick Carter's Youngest Detective OR, WORKING ON HIS OWN CASE. By the Author of "NICK CARTER., CHAPTER I. I THE NOTORIOUS PAUL ELLIOTT. Stop him!'' cry, ringing out clear and reso l t, pierced the air like a pistol shot. t echoed down the busiest portion of busiest thoroughfare, State e_t, halting the startled pedestrians like !C. What's up?'.! Look at that!" : A boy-haudc;uffed! And a man after !" be excite d words just describ e d the ation-a rushing blur c a m e out cl ea r he piercing glare of the e!ectric lamps. wo person s turning a c o rn e r h a d sncl ly sepa r a t e d, a nd, like a spark droppe d a pan of g unpowd e r, h e a cti o n had :he v icinity a fire with excit etue nt. n e w as a m a n, a nd th e ba d ge h e wore, ly c o nc e al e d by hi s co a t lapel, told l1e wa s a n o fficer of the law. :is comp a nion was a as arrow, w e ll-dr ess ed, se rious-eyed, but a f a ce pale as death. e s cribin g a s lid e gi v in g his compana trip-catc h with one f o ot, he had down th e s tre e t like a flas h. sla t e gu ardian had rou eel with a s hock. He uttered an alarmed cry, put forward, realized the disadvantage of age and clumsiness, and sought to secure as sistance by waving his arms wildly, with that piercing mandate: "Stop him!" "What is it?" projected a pedestrian eagerly, running to his side and keeping up with him-"a prisoner?" "A convict-deputy sheriff-taking him from court to the county jail-broke loos e-stop him! stop him! stop him!" "He can't get awa-y-he's handcuffed., "He' s fre e!" With a thrill the dozen odd p e ople who had n o w joined the rushing officer saw something g l e am in the w ake of the scudcling fugitive Clang-clatter. Rel ease d in s ome marvelous way, the :flying figure had :flung d o wn the pair of hand cuffs one minute pre vious encircling the The throng b ehind was i11creasing momentarily, but the bo y had a clear lead. Upon the pavement f o r nearly a square ahead fronted only large wholesale stores, cl ose d f o r th e ni ght, and that side of the pretty Cl i ; ICHB W VA BUREN STR

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NIC K C AR 'fER WEEKLY The officer's hat blew off, but be never stopped for it. His face was working like a jelly, his eyes starting from their sockets. If that flying form once turned into the next street, if it once got an opportunity to dodge into some doorway, court or area unobserved, escape was assured. "Ten dollars if he's stopped!" puffed the deputy. "It's my position if he gets free.'' "'Vhat's he done?'' "Who is he?" ''Elliott. '' "What!" "Paul Elliott!" The name acted on the surging runners like an electric shock. "Just convicted "Sent np for life!" "That boy!" ''The not0rious Paul Elliott!" The information given by the officer had excited an outcry that was fairly tu. multuous. It produced an effect decidedly favorable to his designs, for it attracted the at tention of persons on the other side of the street farther down. Several discerning. the situation, made haste to get over and head off the fugitive. Each time some one started to cross his track, however, the flying figure made a faster bolt ahead. The fugitive was nearly to the corner now, so near that a realization of the fact brought a frenzied groan to the lips of the deputy sheriff, when something transpired that ended the flight and pursuit like the snuffing out of a candle. Just ahead of the boy a truck stood backed to the curb, and to it from a store basement a man was carrying some empty packing cases. He was a big brawny fellow, aud he was holding a big heavy coverless box in front of him as he first heard the shouts directed at him. "Stop that boy!" ''Ten dollars reward!'' "A hundred!" screamed the deputy. "Trip him up! Knock him down! I'm ruined if he escapes." Slam Upright on its narrow end, clown came the packing case. Stretching out both anus, the burly teamster faced about. The boy saw the barrier in his course, and circled toward the edge of the sidewalk to evade it. He darted back, however, iustautly. A man from the other side of the street was making for him, would certainly impede his flight if he kept straight ahead There was ample space for a dive between the truckman and the inside edge of the walk. The fugitive turned nimbly to take advantage of this, when his foot struck a piece of banana peel. or some like slippery refuse. He came down with a fearful jar, his bands striking th mooth stones flat. The truckman bent over eagerly. That one hundred dollar offer had pricked up ears and energy. "Got you!'' he roared with a chuckle. "You young wildcat!" The boy ne\'er let him touch him. His feet kicked out like piston rods, his fists beat the air like drumsticks. He kept the burly giant fairly at bayskinning his knuckles, striking his limbs, beating him off, trying to squirm erect. "Why, you're slippery as an eel!" floundered the teamster He 11acl the boy in the grasp of one hand finally. His captive dartecl a despairing look backward. Deputy and crowd were fast bearing down upon him. He broke free from the teamster, but fell back as he did so. Flop! "Caged!" The teamster had done a cute thing. Choosing rather to hive up a squirming bundle of muscle and vim' than to be buffetecl and bangecl, seizing a glowing opportunity rightly offered, he deftly tilted the .packing case. The boy happened to be just beside it at that moment. The teamster gave.it a push. It fairly scooped up the fugitive. Slam-its four edges came against the panel just under a window of the store front. "Got him!"

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NICK CARTER WE.EKLl. 3 atn )Utl ake a truck "Iippe With a triumphant the teamster noted that the flap of the boy's coat had caught 1111der one edge. Then he sat squarely clown on the box. "Good for you!" q11ivered the deputy sheriff, rushing up to the spot. The teamster grinned complacently at the circle of animated spectators about him, rubbed his perspiring face with his cuff, and demanded sharply. "Now then, who said one hundred dol lars?" "Eh? Why-it was me but-see? That's who 1 am-Cleputy sheriff. The speaker made a great showing of his official badge. "Geoff," he ordered, "I wantmypris-. 1 oner. Many thanks, I tell you !" Jar, The deputy began an eager movement to tilt up the box. The teamster put back Yk d 1 his hand. c e "Hold a bit, miter," he announced, chuck and he plauted his two hundred and fifty pounds more firmly than ever across the 1 111 box; "let's know the i 1S and 11ts of this 11 b .. fi usmess." lns ''Wl . 1 I' ffi I 1y, 1ts s1mp e. m an o cer, t b tell yvu--" "I don't doubt it, b11t you said some-, hina about a rewarcl." m erec "" "That's right ''put in a voice from an ee lesslv the crow(1. "One hnudred dollars. asp "r:''I meant ten. You see-come, airing 1 ome, my man! this is a n important prisner. He's Elliott." d were "Eh !"cried the teamster-"yon don't ean the Elliott the papers are full of?" eamster, "The same." "The boy who--" "Yes," uodded the officer gra\'ely, as ::nte thin the rest was understood by the whole qnirn rid. p as i than to The teamster uttered a resounding a alo 1istle of wonder. r:ng he"' de"Well," he said coolly, "if such a t ch isu 't worth something, what is? just besi dlt nels off, 111 ister, officer or no officer. iere's t.he bov under this box. Proof? h It his coat I caught him. You us a hnnclrecl. I claim it. Am I right?" me against'Yes, yes," voiced the cwwd nnani w of the sly. he depnty sheriff looked dreadfully oyed. Be reasonable, my man," h said. "I'm a poorly pair employee of the county, and while my job would have been gone if the prisoner had escaped. I really can't pay you one hundred dol lars.'' "Fifty, the11 ?" "Say twenty, and I'll try and meet yon.'' "All right. Take him. And he's cheap!" The teamster got off the box, delighted at his rare luck. Like a mouser ready to dart at its prey, the eager deputy pulled one end of the packing case away from the building against which it had been jammed plumb. "Grab him if he slips me," he told the throng of -fluttering bystanders. It was not every day that even a C ,hicago crowd enjoyed the excitement of chasing an escaped prisoner into a novel trap. Especially a prison r-one of note,
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4 NICK (JARTER ened silence. Here was the Indian box trick mystery with a vengeance. 'Now you see it, now you don't see it!' This is truly wonderful," pronounced an old gentleman who had kept up with the procession quite actively un der the spur of prevailing excitement. "Oh, I don't know that," spoke np a sharp voice, and a bright-faced mechanic pointed to the space against which the box had rested. ''Cut his caugllt coat-tail off.'' _, "That's easy to see," growled a bystander. "And went," pursued the mechanic, "through that panel. See, he had a knife, the board's thin, he cut it out. simple." The man poked his foot through a dark space under the store window as. he spoke. The discovery acted like au electric shock on the deputy. "What's that?" he shouted, st:;ntix:g up. "Gone through that hole? it's so. He's in the store, the cellar. Let me after him-let me after him!" The crowd scattered again. They reseuibled a pack of bloodhound:. put o 1 a new scent. The officer struggled through the aper ttu-e with an abrupt bob, the teamster das-hca down the area s t eps others surrounded and descended various stairways leading to cellars and basements in the vicinity. Those of the throng who remained awaiting the final outcome of the chase were greeted with a rare sight five minutes later. The deputy sheriff appeared, hatless, dripping, covered with coal dust and whitewash from head to foot. Behind him dolorously limped the teamster. They had "investigated things!'' The boy had been too shrewd to remain inactive where he had landed. The panel he had cut out led into a sloping place under the window. He had kicked away two frail braces, had dropped to the basement, run across it, and had probably climbed througli some one of the several unglazed winnows opening on a rear al1ey At all events he not be found, and while his pursuers were blunderiq about promiscuously he had undoubted]) got squares away. "I ought to be paid," grumbled the teamster. ''Why? For not catcing the boy?' snapped the officer. The crowd laughed. The deputy bur ried to the nearest patrol box. A wagot soon dashed up. Then the regular police began a regu lar search. Meantime, the buy who hac added another sensational chapter to one of the most sensational crimes that eve electrified Chicago, was more than half mile distant. He stood panting, white-faced, in deep doorway fronting the postofficc square. They 1 ad called him Paul Elliott That was a good, respectable name enough, and he lo0ked both. "The notorious Paul Elliott." Some how, this oiid not seem to fit-the huke looked unfortunate rather than criminal persecnted rather than defiant. whatever his crime, whatever his situ ation, it was full of horror and dread anc ulJcertainty-his haunted, hunted eye sho\ ci this if they slw.wed anything. "Free!" he murmured. "I hav. dreamed of it, I have planned for it da and night for a month. Now it has what?" His mind took a retrospect, and 1 shrank and shivered, like one who loo f back on the torture, the ga:ritlet He swept the street keenly as if aski1 thence an inspiration for the futurequiver crossed his lip, firm set as it W< as if risk, danger, perhaps defeat, menac him there. "Every man's hand against me," breathed; "where, where tl1all I look help?'' He winced as a newsboy ran by nouncing the sensations in frfsh prin J among them a reference to the convicl h of Paul Elliott. The conversation of two pedestr cc floated fragmentarily on his hearir of "Elliott-terrible depravity-so yout just sentenced." to1 He glanced at a dead wa11. His r co1 and what purported to be :1is pi! stared from a poster. Some enterpr j11 dep

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} \, CARTER WEEKLY. d et.....: a 1 a flee ott. ome1inal, sitn ad an l eye if aski ntureas it w ,, t tne, I look ran by rs\1 pri : convic publisher had written him up, and was advertising the book. "Branded-headed off at every turn, it seems useless to struggle-it seems almost incredible that I can even get out of the city," soliloquized the lurker, "and yet fate has favored me so far, why not farther? Ah !" If a sense of l1is helplessness, with the police force of a great city employing all its machinery to run him down, had de pressed him before, something the speaker now saw suddenly sent the fire to his eyes, 1 his heart beating with new force, his whole frame nerved up to electric tension. A man had-jtt,st pa5sed his range of vision-portly, neat, in the undress uniform of the local police. "Detective-sergeant John Morris!" fell from the boY's lips, and he pronouncecl the name as if it held for him the doom of his destiny. For man and his cloll1gs had been woven into every hour, every act, an
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' 6 NICK CAR TER WEEKLY. -"with what I know and guess and plan, if I had those, and freedom for a weekoh! I am cruelly circumstanced, hedged in, h elpless. In a n hour from now the hue and cry will be after me at every wind ing." H is fingers twitched nervously in the direction of that package still, his form quivered restlessly, as if it was all be could do to restrain himself from putting after it ancl its po ss essor. E\'en when the portly figure of the de tective-sergeant had been swallowed up amid the movin g mass of humanity, the bo y stood looking dreamily clown the street in the direction he had gone ((Suite A, Palmer House?" he murmured; ((who is there? Some grea t<'letec, tive, I imagine, from what they s a id. The sergeant is going to tell him about my case-he is goin g to s how him the hideous lot of clue s tha t brought me s o n e arl y to the foot of the g a ll o w s 'Robert Dicker son Suite A, P a lm e r H ouse,' and h e said 'a man I w o uld not like to have pitte d against me on the othe r side of the f e nc e even on as sure a ca s e as the Elliott aff a ir. Perhl:\ps-but no, n o !-who woul d interest themse l v es in a c o n demne d esc aped convict? Those clue s though, I must have them, I will have them!" Some bold impulse nerve d the boy to dau ntless re s olve. He s e t his lips firml y hi s hands c li nche d clos e Pulling the flabby hat brim ov e r hi s eyes, turning up the collar of hi s c o at, concealing his face as best he c o uld, he started down the pavement in the direc tion the dete ctive-sergeant, John Morris, had just gon e No on e notice d him particula rl y Eve n when h e pause d in front of the brilli a ntl y lit Palmer House a str ay, s e e mi n g figure among the loiterin g thron g o f e l egantlydressed lonn g e r s h e d i s c e rn e d th a t he ((pa sse d with the cro wd H e ente r e d the rotunda \iVhere three of its g re a t dec orate d pill a r s c a m e t ogethe r was a vacant chair an d s hadow. H e sank to it, uncertain, thinki1 1 g Abruptly h e starte d 11p A l mos t a t hi s sid e a g roup of m e n w e r e c o n vers ing. The siniste r peculiarity o f th e firs t sente nce that f e !l u p on hi s hearing e nch a ined Paul Elliott's atte nti o n ((The Man of M y st e r y!" "That i s what they call him." "What a queer title!" "It fits him-he is a study and a won-der.'' I s that l1im ?" "Yes.'' Paul E lli ott craned his neck, and peered pas t the grouped p1llars in the direction the speaker s were looking. Toward the grand staircase flitted a man; the athlete in muscular grace, the gentleman in bearing, a reader and a leader of hearts, judging from the combined keenness and courtliness of his glance. H e seems to know everything," r e sumed th e la s t speaker. "A heart-broken countryman wandered in here yesterday looking for his runaway boy.'' ' I saw him,'' n odded one of the audi tors. "Your man of mystery got intereste d iu his pathetic sto ry, made a few inqLlirie s, w a s gone two hours, and came back with a forlorn-looking p r odigal s on. It was quite a touching bit of life in the g re a t city to w atch that m eeting.'' "Isn't he the s a m e man who opened the hotel safe yest e r day?' put in a third. ''When the ni ght clerk forgot the combination, an<'l a P a cific coast magn a t e h a d just four minute s to g e t his va luables locked up in it, a nd c atch his t rain?-"" y es. ' "Why! h e w as over the m a r b l e co unter in a flas h. Out c a m e his p enknife, do w n to the quick he trimme d the l e ft thumb a nd f o refin ge r He se i ze d the kn ob b ent his e ar, put hi s ton g u e to the d i sc, ca ught the vibrati o n o f th e tumble r s and pr es t o h e had it op e n in thirty -four s eco-nds by the w atch!" "I saw a flas h y f e llow com e in looking f o r victim s this m orning, cam e a n o th e r c ontribution. "I d o n't k now as h e k n em our man of m ys t e r y but h e ca ught his eye and-pouf! h e s li d out as if the p olic e f o r ce w as afte r h im.'' "They say h e c a n ope n a n o r d inary lock with a t oothp i c k. "And t e ll wh a t tim e yo u got u p b y the cre a ses in y our coat." "He g et s all his messages in ci pher." "We 'll as k th e clerk who h e i s." "No use." "Why n ot?" "I tri e d it."

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" e NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 7 "What did the clerk say?" "Retired star of a science, pri nee of a profession, enjoying his leisure in a quiet way." At that moment a portly figure hastened from the clerk's desk. Paul Elliott drew back with a quiver of dismay. He instantly recognized Detective-sergeant John Morris. He as well inc;ta.ntly discerned that the sergeant was intent on catching up with "the man of mystery," who had just reached a turn in the staircase. On its first landing the sergeant over took the latter. There was an interchange of words, they shook hands, and both re sumed the ascent. "It must be the 'Robert Dickerson' I heard Morris speak about to the chief,:' murmured Paul Elliott. "Yes, there 1s 1 no doubt of it. 'A man of mystery,' 'a study, a wonder!' He 'does marvelous things I' Oh! if such a man knew-only knew the truth of my case, would he turn aside to help, out of pity, interest, curiosity? Suite A? It is 011 the next floor-a partlv public floor. Tht:>y ha\e gone there. That package of clues! If I dare anything. It is my hope, my hfe, to get those!" An impulse he could not resist drove Paul Elliott to his feet. He went up the dangerously on the of the man who believed hun to be m safe custody. As he reached the next floor he saw the twain he had momentarily lost sight of turning into a doorway. Paul Elliott glided noiselessly np to 1t as it closed. Irresolute, he liugered there for a moment. Then like a burst of revelation, vivid and sudden, there fell upon his ears from beyond that portal just closed, words that set his memory a -tJnlll with a remem brance of wonderful exploits executed by a wonderful man-words that vaguely stirred his heart to augury, tb excite-ment, to hope. The bluff tones of the detective-ser geant, john Morris, echoed distinctly, revealing the true identity of the stranger within the gates-the remarkable "man of mystery." "How do you do, Mr. Nick Carter!" CHAPTER III. I A SLIDE FOR LIFE. Nick Carter, for the man of was indeed the great New York detective, greeted Sergl'ant Morris very pleasantly. '"They were soon comfortably seated; old times were gone over, and _the man who owed his first pollee expenence to a recommending word from Nick, was promptly telUng his patron. the wonderful detective strike he had JUst made. "You have read of the famous Elliott case of cotnse ?" he inquired. 1' )) d..J d "I am posted on the out llles, no 11e Nick, "and I see you are getting wonderful credit." "I ran down the case myself," announced Morris, proudly. "Good. That is the affair where Gabriel Elliott, a millionaire, was murdered by an adopted son, a mere boy?'' "It would have been the gallows In stead of a life sentence if Paul Elliott had been a man answered Morris. "In a nutshell, he 'and the old man had lived t ogether for some years, when Mr. Elliott received word that h1s mece, whom he had supposed to be dead, was to him from the--5outh, the young 1ngrate decided to kill his benefactor." "Why?" "Because the old man was wild with delight ov.er finding a relative to leave his fortune to.'' "Ah!" "There was the motive. I established that at the start, for a will existed previously, favoring Paul Elliott." ''A plausible one, surely.'' "The old gentleman was discovered dead in his chair in his library, two months aoo stabbed to the heart." "After"'tl;e arrival of the niece?" "The yery night. She could not have been three hours in the house when the deed was done. Poor Miss Althea! She d has been prostrate ever s1nce. "It must have been a terrible shock." "I suspected the boy at one:. My first clue I found hidden under h1s burep.uthis." Detective-sergeant John Morris his parcel. He produced a dagger of peculiar "Belonoed to the boy?" wterrogated "' Nick, handling it critically.

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8 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. "Oh, of course he says not. slip pers, tossed under his bed. Here they are. Stains on the soles." "I see." "Crumpled letter, written that clay by the boy to Mr. Elliott. Here it is-threat ens him vaguely if he does not remember him in the will.'' Nick scanned a blurred penciled page. ''Rather clumsy on his part, that, I count it," he commented. "Worst of all, when we arrested him he grabbed a document from a drawer and tore it in two." "That looked bad. What was it?'' "A will which he had stolen, for it was one leaving the fortune to the niece, Miss Althea Elliott." "You have some pretty formidable clues," admitted the detective. "The court said so. The boy was sul len, stunned. His defense consisted of hysterical denials, broad perversions of palpable facts. Yes, I nailed him. Here on business, Mr. Carter?" "Oh, I am through with active work, you know,'' smiled Nick. ''I never knew you to waste time trav eling without an object, thot1gh," insisted Morris, shrewdly. you the truth, I am on a little jaunt with three of my pupils." "I've heard of your great detective school. Turnil1g out full-fledged wonders fast?'' "Just the average. I believe detectives are born, not made, and I have discovered a few embryo geniuses in our line. I ex pect my contingent here this and, by the way, Morris, they may want a little information {rom you." "You k11_ ow I am at your service and theirs ((Very well. They ran down one end o.f a very fascinating connterfeitlng case in New York. The other end seems to be here. They are coming on t<1find it." "Pretty confident, seems to _me!" "Yes, they are confident boysr '' re marked Nick, oracnlarly-"sufficiently so to hag a whole satchel full of spurious ten dollar bins in New York. The plates and the gang got away, though. They tell me, when they put their finger on a slip pery fellow named Escher, they end the case. They are satisfied he is here in Chi cago.'' "Never heard the name before. Well, l'm due at the Central. Stroll that way with me?" ''A square or two to get the air, yes. I say, Morris, it strikes me that Ellioh fel low was a pretty stupid specimen." "On the contrary, he is remarkably bright" "And left all the clnes this crime so a night watchman might stumble over them?" "Oh, he fancied he'd never be suspected." "Then he didn't eveu have good sense," commented Nick. All unawares, the great detective had spnken words that were to lead him clo se r than he ever calculated to the true in wardness of the famous Elliott case before the night was through. Nick, as he uttered them, was locking his room door. The minute h e passed down the coni. dor with the detective-sergeant, there was a rustle. In an obscnre angle of the ha11 near by stood a large square laundery basket. Its top pushed up cautiously, a head came out, a form followed-Paul Elliott His face w as working curiously.. breath came quick as he gazed after the disappearing duo. "Nick Carter!" he muunmed. "If half they tell of him is true-of kind deeds, of shrewd deeds, of l1t1manity, of justice, of honesty, he is my man! He sees the clues in my case might h ave been planted. Oh! if I dared to approach him, to tell him the truth, to plead for his aidno, those two are friends; he would not believe me. I mnst work out my own salvation. Some guiding genius seems to have directed me so far. lt is my last chance to get those clues. Every step l take on the public streets may be a step over a powder mine, bnt-one last bold stroke, mak s all or spoils all!" Detective-sergeaut Jchn Morris walked out of the Palmer House full of himself, and, therefore, with eyes for nohody else. Detective Nick Carter listened indnlgently to his chatter, bnt at the same time, as w1.s his custom, took in everythiug going on aronnd them.

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lilCK CARTER WEEKLY. 9 That was how it came about that Paul Elliott, following the twain, came within his range of vision, cautious as was the latter. Nick, however, only sa w a lurking figure acting in a suspicious manner, aud took his frequent sidelong g lances with no idea that the latter had any designs on him self or his companion. It was pure curiosity only that sharpened Nick's senses, as his chattering com rade turned down Quincy street, and he n o ticed the prowling figure quicken its p ace. Paul Elliott's heart was beating mightily. He had eyes but for one object-the parcel the detective-sergeant carried. Suddenly he made a pounce, a grab. Nick Carter was a quick man, but two ele ments favored the purpose of the boy, who, in a minute or two, could boast that he had done what very f e w people had ever before accomplished-got ahead of the veteran thief-catcher. In the first place Paul Elliott approached the unsuspecting Morris from the inside of the walk. In the next place such a thing as tbe real identity of the lurker Nick naturally never dreamed of, and therefore he had no reason to suppose that he h ad any designs on the parcel carried so in Morris' hands. Quick as a flash, however, the instant the boy demonstrated hi s real purpose, a doze n s u gges tions furni hed a possible connecting link in Nick's mind, a dozen prompt muscles sprang into action to de feat escape. That quick arm of Nick's shot out like magic. The boy dodged the grasp, slipped but it struck him and sent him keeling across the sidewalk. H e came slap-dash against a bucket. It was filled with paste, a nd belonged to two men bill-stickers, who m ounted on light ladders, were co vering a huge po s ter board with the bbnket pictures of s .9me lurid theatrical show. The boy's foot tipped bt.tcket1 its slippery contents gave a broad fling : he sped free of it, but Nick, who in another econd would have had him safe and c1ose, found himself.right in the centre of the spreading stuff. Nick, as unlikely to lose hi s balance as his wits, might have appeared somewhat undignified for a flashing second or two, but he did the very best circumstances would allow. He slid and slipped, and evaded a fall through most dexterous maneuvres, sprang free of the slippery pitfall, and made for the fugitive again. Paul Elliott saw him corning. He saw also, too astonnded to yell at first, but now just getting ready for action, the startled detective-sergeant, John Morris. That functionary's eyes dilated wildly as he observed the parcel in the fugitive's hands, as a broad glint from an electric lamp brought his -"Carter-the boy -Paul Elliott!" he blurted. "What! He was a prisoner, I thought--" "He is free!" Both men were n ow hot on the heels of the runner, Around the corner, in solid phalanx, just then turned the squad of some preventive and protective watch, on relief duty. Their s teady, measured tramp, the blue wall of coats, the gaping brass button eyes, struck dismay to the soul of the fugitive. He looked back, he glared sideways; then, ju s t in time to escape Nick Carter's grasp, he sprang for a great high telegraph pole. Six feet up b ega n a spike iadder. The boy caught the lowermo s t projection. He swung his dangling feet in N;jckls face as the latter, too, gave a spring.' .. It was now a n aerial race. 1 Nick was nimble, the boy sp ry. VJhere the wires o f so me sectional sys tem grouped was a platform and a testing annunciator. The boy reached this, got on it, a nd looked down. Nick w as coming steadily up. He was not the man to lea ve things to chance. He had witness ed too many daring escapes a t the t op of a chimney, the apex of a roof, the end of a flagstaff, to give a spry athlete, such as Paul Elliott showed himself to be, any leeway,J3ut at the platform the iron spike's ended. Twenty feet above was another group of wires, but simply strung to cros s pi e ce s The boy di rected a hopeless, worried look at Nic k,

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10 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. at the detective-sergeant, sJ10uting below iri a paroxysm of wonder and suspense. "Give in, my boy; it may be better for you," came up Nick's tones, kindly, rather than mandatory. Paul Elliott wavered Then he thrust the parcel he had secured into his coat. "No!" he answered, in a resolute gasp. "He's a good one," muttered Nick. The boy resumed his ascent the ensu-ing minute, and Nick saw why and how. On the platform he had found a pair of hooked pole-climbers. He must have strapped them on quickly, for he was digging his way aloft withi n thirty seconds after reaching the platform. Nick had no means of pursuing him, but he kept his eyes on his movements, wondering what the boy expected to gain by this new maneuvre, scanning wires and surroundings, and calcl)lating what dive, swing or jump the fugitive might have in view when he reache the cross trees. Below, the detective-sergeantbad gath ered a group about him by his excited tones and gesticulations. Red in the face, fairly dancing with emotwn, his revelations of the identity of the last daring act of the notorions Paul Elliott were working up the watch and the gathering citizens to a similar state of excitement. "He's lost!" suddenly shot fom Nick's lips Nearly to the top, he saw the boy slip. One of his hooks apparently scraped instead of catching. He dropped plumb; then he went side ways. Nick was somewhat appalled, for the fugitive was started headforemost for the hard pavement thirty feet below! Wliang! vibrated a harsh contact. Swi sh !-sharp as escaping steam, mingled a second sound. A guide wire ran from the pole on a keen slant. Tat;t as a ship's cable, it caught the boy; he grappled it with both arms. Hanging on for dear life, he simply let himself slide, arms hooked, but the wire running as in a groove where one elbow was held at a rigid crook. The other end of the wire encircled the protruding central post which held up the great sign-bo ard at the edge of the side walk. Against this the boy landed with a slam, attended by two sharp crashes. His dangling feet struck one of the ladders and sent it and the bill-poster on it toppling; with such force did he reach his journey's end that the blow of his body stripped a ten-foot section top ornamental moulding of the bill-board clear out of place. Nick Carter was down the spike ladder in a twinkling. "There he is l Put up the ladder! Get him!" yelled the distraught sergeant. "No, catch him-he's fainting!" cried another voice. It looked as if the boy had been stunned. Pitifully helpless, swaying weakly, his face colorless, his eyes half closed, he seemed on the point of losing sensibility. By a superhuman effort, however, he rallied. As Nick's feet touched the pavement, he saw the boy lift himself. Then over the top of the battered billboard, rather like an inert bag of grain hoisted than a human being climbing out of view, out of sight he went. Nick heard a dull clump on the other side of the bill-board. The detective-sergeant ran forward. In trying to ascend the remaining ladder he tipped it over. .The fallen bill-poster called to him. ''Here's a little swing gate." He kicked open some hinged planking as he spoke, making a narrow gap in the immense bill-board. The detective-sergeant dove for it, halted, squirmed and stuck there, too ponderous to get throngh. Nick Carter employed no ceremony in jerking him free, but valuable time was lost. Darting through the opening, he found no trace of Pan1 Elliott. The vacant lot had nothing but a 13tringer fence at its other end, and over this, Nick was satisfied the daring fugitive had climbed fully two minutes before. There was a hunt and a search, but it proved unavailing. The detective-sergeant was in such a

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L NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 11 tempest of excited frenzy that he kept him self busy giving orders to the watchmen, countermanding them, rushing to the nearest patrol box, storming and raving till Nick decided that he would be serviceable for no further coherent companionship, that evening at least. The veteran detective retraced his way to the hotel, quite thoughtful, a little chagrined and yet somewhat speculative over the peculiar actions of the boy he now knew to be the notorious Paul Elliott. "There's a screw loose somewhere in Morris' layout," be soliloquized, as he reached his room ana unlocked its door. "The boy is smart as lightning, and yet nobody but au icliot would keep unmis takable evidences uf crime in his own sleeping apartment. Queer move, too, the break for those clues-and such a break l It was positively brilliant. What do you want?" "\'ou." "The boy!" Nick Carter felt those calm, well-con ditioned nerves of his jump for the first time in many a day. He was just entering his room, was closing the door after passing its thres hold, when a sudden force pressed it back open. A hand quite as determined as his own flung it shut. Face to face, one wondering-and it was the Nick Carter-one pale, resolute, heroic-Paul Elliott-those two looked into each other's eyes. CHAPTER IV. NICK CARTER'S PUPILS. Nick Carter was forced to take a few seconds to command his astonishment. His visitor stood like a statue, con fronting him, his back to the door, his young face grim as iron. "You are Paul Elliott?" spoke the de tective. "Yes." "Escaped from prison-more recently escaped after robbing detective-sergeant John Morris of sowe records of justice?" "Yes." "What do you want?" ''You.'' .. Rarely in his checkered experience had Nick Carter faced a situation like the present. There was something as tragic, as pas sionate, as thrilling in the deep insig nificance of this critical ensemble as the suspense of a culminating movement in some intense drama. "You!" repeated the boy, calmly, but a volcano of emotion raged plainly under the surface. "You are Mr. Nick Carter, the great detective. I have come to ask you to help me." ''Have you fully realized that I am on the side of the law?'' demanded the detective, gravely. "I have." "That my duty is to hand you over to the authorities from whom you have escaped?" "If justice demands it, yes." "Does it uot?" "No." "And why?" "Because I am innocent!" Nick Carter spoke not a word. He looked squarely down into the fearless eyes of his visitor. They never flinched. "Look!" quavered the boy, his tone breaking slightly, "into my soul, into my motives, into the poor, broken life the law is hunting down so relentlessly-look, Mr. Carter, you whom men call good, and generous, and noble as wcil as great, and add one more laurel to your well-earned fame by saving me from being crushed!" All the boy's heart seemed to go out from him in that plaintive, forceful word. He sank to a chair, covered his face with l1is hands, and his frame shook like an aspen. "Poor fellow!" spoke Nick, feelingly. "We will look mto this." Nick Carter was glad.: that an interruption gave him time to mask emotion gen uinely aroused. There come a knock at the door. Paul Elliott swiftly glided out of its range. He saw the detective receive a card from a servant-even at the distance he was he noticed that it was covered with some cipher message. The detective reversed it. Upon its back he scrawled some like symbols, handed it and a key to the servant, pointed to an adjoining apartment, spoke

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12 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. some whispered words and reclosed the door. H e counted it a singular coincidence, that as he gave his visitor a reassunng wave of the hand, the latter glided to the identical chair at the same table where D e tective-sergeant Morris had been sea ted an hour previous. More striking still was a second pecu liar fact. Producing from an inner pocket the same pared Morris had carried, like Morris, Pan] Elliott unfolded it and spread out its contents. In other words, the same clues that h ad been used to convince the detective of Morris' shrewdness, were now evidently to be arranged to pro ve exactly the contrary of what the detective-sergeant h ad clai !lied. It was like n trial in court-the prosecutio n had rested its case, and.tlre defens e was about to come forward witll its side of the argument. The crumpled letter, the aucl the slippers were separated one ft.1m tl)ft other. Their manipnlator looke(l up inquiringly. "Proceed," nodded Nick Carter, sill'; ply. "One question first, please," spoke Paul Elliott. ''Mr. Carte r, do you think that I would do all I have done, skirmish in the very precincts of justice, ri s k my liberty, place myself free] y in your hands, if I were guilty?" "No." It was Nick who was monosyllabic now. He met this visitor's bluntness halfway. "I am innocent. To the last Gabriel Elliott, whom I am accusec1 of _killing, was my clearest friend. Up to the hour when Miss Althea Elliott, hi s niece arrived, we were like father and son." "And then?" "A thunderbolt, a shock. One hour after her arrival, Mr. Elliott came hastening to my room. He handed me the will he had made that clay leaving his property to his niece. He was pale, excited, frightened. He told me to destroy it-he would explain later.'' The detective looked puzz l ed "Two hours afterward there wasanuproar in th e library. I rushed clown. My be nefactor was dead, stabbed to the heart, Miss Althea wailing in hysterics over him. The police were summoned. The next morning I was accused. It was then I t a rdil y strove t o destroy the will. That i s all.'' "And the knife?" "I never saw it before, nor the list slippers, n o r the letter." "They were found in your room?" "I saw D e t ective-sergeant Morris discover them there." ''Then--'' "Look at that letter closely, Mr. Carter.'' The detective did so. "Dictate a line or two from it while I reproduce. ' It was done. "Com pare the m They say you are an expert on chirography. Could the same ha11d produce both?" "It wo ul d be impossible "'l'be slippers. Do they fit me? Two sizes too small. It was so. Actual 1neasnrement proved this. "The knife. Look on the handle, studded with some peculiar green stones I 11ever saw n o r know the name of. Her<> are uo elaborate clues Mr. Carter-on the contrary, clumsy efforts of th e r ea l murde r e r to fasten the crime on m e." ''Yes!'' "Yon believe it?" "I do.'' "Oh thank you! In conrt they laughed at me-l had simply been shrewd but could not hoodwink justice, they said." ''And the real murderer?'' The boy's lips were se t firm. "I do not know." "You suspect--" "Shall I t e ll you? Would it be right for me, with my knowledge of the law's fearful mi s takes, to place a suspicion against another, when I have no proofs?'' ''None?'' "Of murder, none." "My friend," said Nick Carter, keenly, "yon are hiding solllething from me." Paul Elliott was silent for a minute o r two. Then he looked up. "Listen," he said. "I believe in m y inmost heart that the person who insti-.

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 13 the killing of Mr. Elliott, was his ni e ce, Miss Althea Elliott.'' The detective made n o sign. Looking for some culprit outs ide of the boy, nafur ally he might have included the woman in the li s t of possibilities "Go on," h e sa id, simply. I believe Mr. Elliott discovered so m e thing about h e r after her arrival tha t changed h e r welcom e ; as I wa s directed to de s troy the will.'' "Possibly. "I believe she bad an accomplice." "A h we are getting clo s er t o the facts," encouraged the detective. "-1 have little right to say this, for my suspicions regarding the w oma n are simply conjectures." "And as t o her accomplice?" "She secretly met a man at tbe r ear door of the house early t h e morning fol lo.wing the murder.'' "You saw them?" "I h e ard the m I l1eard her di stinctly say, 'You hav e clone your part.' I heard him reply, 'I will vanish-remember the add r ess where you are to send the m oney and the goods. Rem em her the name. '' "That's all?" "All." "And the name the man gave?". "Joseph Escher." "Josep h Escher!" The detective projected the name as if it was a hot bullet in his mouth. "Joseph Escher!" voiced do u b l e t one s, and the drapery of the connecting room moved aside and two boys stood rev ea l ed "Joseph Escher!" s h ou ted another voice, a.nd a third boy, incom-parably bright, buoyant and active, jo s tl ed the others aside and stoo d staring at Paul Elliott as if b e h ad just solved the enigma of a century. In trepidation and amaze'ment the latter retreated. "'VV ho-who are these listeners?" he ejacula t ed You need not be alarmed," Ni c k h as tened to say. "They are three of my pu pils, m y trusty assistants, just arrived from New York." "Joseph E scher!" repea ted the bo y who had been la s t to appear. "Mr a dove-tail!" "Or a coincidence?" "No. This is marvelous! We lost his trail in New York three months ago. We got the scent west. We arrive to find--'' "That the counterfeiting cas e alld the Elliott case run back to the same source -to the same man? V e r y possibly." ''You en c ourage the theory?'' "Is it worth investigating?" '-'Then this is my cas e!" The speaker went straight up t o Paul Elliott, and to the profound astonishment of the latter, pl ace d his hand on his shoul der. ''What do you mean?" inquired Paul Elliott, drawing back perplexedly. "It is all ri ght," spoke up Nick. "My young friend s have been listening to all yo u said, as I directed they should, in a message you saw me send to them. Yes," l1e nodd e d to the boy at Paul E lliott's side, t his shall be your ca s e. The same Escher or not, yon have heard the story of the Elliott affair. What have you to say about it?" Out s h o t the free, iDJpu lsive hand of the veteran d e t ective's youngest and cleverest protege. It clasped that of the forlorn refugee with a fervor that thrilled every nerve with energy and hope. "Paul Elliott," said the boy, looking into his eyes with the confidenc e ambition and spirit of a professional w h o had already m a de a r e cord in detecti ve ser vice, young as he w as, and believ e d he could do it again, "I will run down this Joseph Escher; I will find the real mur d erer of Gabriel Elliott, I will clear yo n within ten day s, or my name is not Bob Ferret!'' CHAPTER V U P ALOFT. "Bob!" "That's me "All ready." "Good for you! Now, boys, you have your cue. Forge ahead!" Bob Ferret was Nick Carter's youngest pnpil, but he directed his two companions with the air not on l y of an expert sional, but wi t h the grace of a born leader. There was nothing dictatorial about him, and that was why Jack Burton w--' A leck -White obeyed to the letter. ,rnwt,

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NICK CAl1' l 'EB. WEEKL '! . was u s uall y exactly right in what he d id, and that inspired further confidence and willing ne ss When Bob h ad so dramatically told Paul Elliott tha t he wo uld clear him in ten days, he meant what he said, and be lieved he c o ul d clo it. Twelve hours found the New York de tective's brightest ally with every theoret ical detail of the case in grasp; in twenty four he had all loose ends ga t hered to a focus and was not only for action but in the field. H e had the benefit of Nick Carter's acl vice he had the satisfaction of see in g Paul Elliott comfortably and safely stowed away in a boarcting-honse in a se cluded part of the city where he was or dered to remain in hiding until he h ea rd from hi s new friends. "It was worth dollars to see that boy's face when he knew w e were going to help him out," Bob told his two young cohorts. "Yes, Bob and it will be worth d Q u ble eagles to h ea r him hurrah when yonr ten da ys are up, and we've bagged Joseph Esche r, and introduced Mr. D etectiv e sergeant John Morris to the real murdere r of old Gabriel Elliott!" piped J ack, and Aleck, the sober, thoughtful member of the trio, n odded gravely but c o nfid en tl y au assent. Bob was a ll fire and enthusiasm when he started in the real work on a case T:1ese were the elements tha t had re cently e nabled him to make one of the mos t br_illiant ever accomplished by an amateu r in a great bank robbery case in the East. Nick11ad picked him up, a diamond in the rou g h, from th e streets of New York. He w as the yonngest of the detective's little coterie, but h e h a d often exhibited a mature grasp of facts, a n energy and intuition that fairly astonished even the experienced veteran himself So Nick had no qualms or fears in telling him to take charge of the Elliott case and go aheaa in his'own way. Bob's "way" w as to go up to the scene of the murder the morning after the es cape of P a ul Elliott. vVhen he returned to the Palmer House aftemoon, he looked as buoyant and as a general wh o has viewed a .J._ prospective battlefield and sees all the points of advantage on his side. "Big, rambling old place," l1e told Nick; "the girl Althea, an old woman colored serva11t, h er Loy, and a man who t akes care of the stables, a ll there are abont tlie place. House shut up like a jail. Ring .at the door, a chain lets it open just an inch. They' re guarding a secre t in tl1at h ouse, I te ll yo u Now, fel lows," to his ass istants, "ready for business?'' "All right," piped Jack and Aleck, eagerly. "To-morrow morning yon go up to the Elliott place. H ere's your plain duty, J ac k, to follow t'he hire d man if he leaves th e hou se see what me ssages h e takes, t e l eg r ams, and the like; Aleck, to keep tra c k of the woman servant. I ll take care of Miss Althea Elliott a nd that monkey o f a colored boy. Remember o ne cen tral point-J oseph Escher. Al l others are mere threads in the dust le adi n g to the mai n actor, a nd that's the counterfeiter, who is probably as well the mnrderer of Gabriel Elliott." "Are yo u going up there now'?' asked J ack ''Yes.'' "Alone?" T o take a night skirmish. I want a good view of the persons I haven' t yet seen except a t a distance. Now, boys, you have you r cue. Forg.e a he ad independent of m e and report progress to l\Ir. Carter if I don't s how up." So it was uu ders t ood. Each member of the tri o h ad his s imple duty to perform. Bob l eft the l10tel at dusk, whistling as carelessly as if h e had nothing on his mind more important than an idle eyening stro ll. Not a very favorable evening for s t rolling did he find it, however. The sky was overcast, and one of those unreliable northeaste rl y zephyrs was cutting around corners, swooping and chillin g. He was g lad for the shelter .9f a cable car. It was wa y up in what had been a suburb of Chicago t wo years before that he finally alighted. Just beyond South Park B oulevard there was a nest o f old fashioned h o u ses That belonging t o the Elliott estat e

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NICK CAR'lER WEEKLY. 15 was surrounded by a high stone wall, and looked more like a convent site than that of a residence. Tnere was no difficulty in getting into the grounds, for the wa11 and gates were in a bad state of repair. It did Bob little good so far as immedi ate discoveries went, howt'\ler, to get inside. The lower part of the house was dark, shuttered, castle-like. In the kitchen quarters there was light and motion, and over near the massive stone stables a man was poking around with a lantern, but only one room looked as if it might contain Miss Althea Elliott, this was up in the second story. Its windows had the lower inside blinds closed, so, get where he would, Bob could not look into the apartment. He tried climbing a tree, but it was not in good range, and he seriously planned the use of a ladder he saw near the kitchen garden, when something else gave him an inspiration that soon led to decidedly sensational consequences. It was dark, intensely so, and Bob moved about freely. He now made a dash for a gaunt piece of scaffolding, grimly outlined, and standing somewhat back from the street. ''Artesian well, windmill power,'' he murmured. "Why! this is a regular tower of observation. Good! I'll try a climb and a peep.'' This source of water provision had evidently been constructed before the city had reached out this far, still, Bob guessed, from pails and puddles at its base pipe, that it was still used to supply the stables. He was a perfect gymnast in climbing tactics, and he went up the iron braces of the superstructure agile as a monkey. Where the motor crank ran up to the windmill fans he called a halt. "There's the lighted window I'd like to look into," he told himself, "in fair range, too, but l'm not high enough yet. How's the weather up yonder, I won-der ?'' Bob glanced ten feet up the smooth shaft at the cumbrous mass of paddles sticking out like the sections of a pinwheel. The structure fluttered an<'! creaked in the wind, but it was stationary, being apparently caught or locked at the cogs "Astride that east paddle yonder," cogitated the venturesome Dob, "I'm right in line with the lighted window, where I can probably study Miss Althea Elliott at my leisure. Here goes!" Bob had a task of it climbing ten feet of oiled shafting. Astride the cogged gearing at the base of the fans he rested. "Paddles in the way,'' soliloquized. "Hinged? Yes. Strong? They're all right. There's the window and the woman. Yes, it's the one I caught a flashing glimpse of to-day. She answers Paul Elliott's description. That's Miss Althea. Now for a study and a watch." Bob had clambered under one paddle, over another, and lay half flat along the slight slant of a third. It was broad, fltxibly, easy. The wind shook it, little dashes of rain splattered it .and made it slippery, but, grasping its edges, he felt safe and comfortable. He directed his eyes on the window he had gone to so much trouble to scan. It opened from a luxuriously furnished room brightly lighted-a brilliant-looking woman sat at a dainty table writing. "That's good," commented Bob. "\Vhen people write they tell something. This woman, according to Paul Elliott, claims to have 110 friends anywhere. I'll make an effort to out who that letter is going to when she sends it out to be mailed. Bob was something of a physiognomist. He noted that the woman had a had face. It was beautiful, but hard, unresponsl ve. He proceeded to make the best possible inspection of the weak points uf the house that darkness and a bird 's-eye view allowed. "If there's any object in getting in, I guess I can make it," l1e decided-"kitchen roof, tower with a trellis, top skylight. Bangetty-bang! Well, what's that horrible clatter?" Bob glanced quickly toward the rear of the house, from which a tremendous racket suddenly emanated. The kitchen, door was open, and the light from inside threw out a broad stream of radiance. A stout, waddling old colored "n J JOt,

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16 NICK CAR'l'ER WEEKLY. was revealed, speeding over the threshold. head up, head down, dragged in, flung Her arms were full of tinware, and she amid the rattle, bang and clatter of h ad just hurled a skillet with all her the grating paddles, Bob F erre t went force. circling around and arounct, a breathles s Flying from her through a trellised human pin-wheel! arape arbor at the top of his speed was a --boy about Bob's own age and size. CHAPTER VI. "It's that monkey of a colored lad, 11 AN UNDIGNIFIED PROCEEDING. murmured Bob. "He was in all kinds of Bob's careless foot had kicked loose the trouble when I was hanging around to controlling mechanisni of the windmill, day. Born for mischief, likely. Go it, old and it had started up. lady! Whew! that was a grazer." "It's a grab, grip, hold on, or I'm a A griddle took the kinky head a side goner!" he muttered, grimly. whack as its owner reached the stone The tumbling cogs made a horrible, \ wall. whistling, grinding noise; when the Gaining it and striding it, rubbing his dies veered in the stiff breeze they slanted head dolorously, the boy began to whim-dangerously. Bob felt his senses blur and per: his breath came painfully, but he realized "Scipio Columbus Buckner! yo' come that he could not move an inch without right into the house! Oh, I'se .goin' to being battered to pieces and dropped be-pickle a rod for yo', young man!" iowa shapeless wreck. "Yo's most killed me!" "My! I can't stand this long!" de" Come m here-d'ye hear yo' clared Bob, as five minutes went by mammy?'' For all B6b knew about artesian wells, "l'se ain't co min' in nevermore for-it might be the general custom to leave ever." them pumping all night. "Doan' yo' sass yo' mam)ny." He groaned in spirit. He flattened out "I isn't," asserted Scipio. "Yo' won't flatter and counted the longest moments bang me no more. l'se goin' to be a p i-he had ever passed. rate. I'se goin' to be a cowboy i l'se Suddenly above the moaning wind and never comin' back!" the whistling gearing he heard a voice "Scipio Columbus--" It was that of old mammy-at the But Scipio Columbus was gone. Over kitchen door, Bob fancied. the wall he slipped; bang! came a parting "Yo' sneakin' good-for-nothin' Scipio, shot, and the old negress waddled back to tt1rn off dat dratted wingmeal! Yo want the kitchen direfully pronouncing the to set Miss Althea's booful white teeth most terrible woes in store for him when on aige, yo' young imp?" he returned. No Scipio responded, but some one el s e Bob could not help but take in this lit-did. The hired man came from the dire c-tle patch of domestic drama with gusto. tion of the stables, growled out something "That leaves only two on the scene to Bob did not hear, came up to the pump, handle," he calculated-"old mammy and handled some wheel or l ev er, and as a the hired man. Hello! Confound it! hollow sound echoed througJ1 the supply What's this?" pipe the wheel be gan to le s sen its velocAs Bob put back one foot preparatory ity, and finall y came to a dead stop. to climbing down he felt a quiver. "Thank goodness!" voic e d Bob with It was so harsh, so sudden that it near-ardor. ly shook him off his aerial perch. He got off the paddle quick as he could Following came a whiz. At first he make it, slid down the shaft, and resting fancied it was the wind. Then he knew on two broad braces took time to get back that it was caused by some other force. breath and wits. "The wheel is going!" He saw the man around the stables get Bob's hair rose up straight as he made through his work and dis::1ppear, appar-this discovery. ently, to some upper loft where he sl ept. There came a creak, then a whir. Then the light 1n the upper floor went And then, with incredible rapidity, out. The kitchen, where the old color e d ..--

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./ NICK CARTER WE..EKLY 17 woman was ironing, was the only spot finally that showed any activity about the glo9my place. I don't see that I would gain much by geting into the house," ruminated Bob. "I might run across some letter or scrap of evidence that would be a pointer, but it's not altogether certain. I declare that banging about up aloft has made every joint and 111 uscles sore. Bob reflected leisurely. Finally he de cided what he would do'-descend, get over the wall, and hang around outside for an hour or two. In formulating this plan he had Scipio in view. It had just occurred to him that he might intercept the colored lad, play on his fears, and induce him to talk about the house, its inmates and their doings, particularly Miss Althea and her possible correspondents or visitors. Bob had no doubt but that Scipio would return. A boy does not rush into piracy for such a small thing as a tap with a griddle. Old mammy, too, shared Bob's sentiments, it was evident, for she came frequently out into the garden to cool off and call for her graceless son, whom she sus pected to be hiding in the vicinity. Bob descended and skirted the long vine arbor on his v.ay for the side wall and the street. He proceeded slowly, for his limbs were .. quite stiff. Suddenly he stopped, stock still, at the unexpected charge: "I see yo', Scipio Columbus!" It was the colored woman who spoke. Beyond the vines, against the flickering kitchen light, not three feet away, she. stoo d. "Yo' hear me, yo' dratted boy?" called out mammy, with less asperity, but keeping along on one side of the vines, while Bob edged along the other. Bob dared not venture a reply. They were llO'V out of range of the kitchen It was shadow and slink now, and Bob watched his chance for a bolt to the wall. "Yo' hear me, honey?" pronounced the woman once more. ''Why doan' yo' answer yo' respecfnlmammy ?" Bob muffied his voice, and blurted a word. '"Fraid." "Land sakes! 'fraid of what? Cl'ar to goodness! hear dat chile! What yo' 'fraid of?" ''Licking.'' "Me? Yo' distressin' chile! T'ink yo' old mammy whack a good little boy like yo'? Come' in, Scipio. Yo' mammy got a honey cake for yo'. Hear dat? A buxom, pickaninny cake, all full of raisins ancl carawavs." Bob -mistrusted the coaxing tones and the cat-like progress of the woman. He was ready for his dash, when he found that he had already lingered too long. Mammy understood what he did nota weak spot in the trellis. She had deftly led him to its vicinity. "I got yo'!" She had, indeed! With a flare she came through the vines, splitting the rotten strips of wood to fragments. Clumsy and ponderous as she was, nimble Bob might have escaped the clutch of her flabby handonly that mammy was prepared for contingencies. In her other hand she a wire hook looped at one end. It was a "chicken catcher," and as Bob, dodging, slipped her clutch, the wire described a circle. It inclosed Bob's ankle and jerked him flat on his face. "I give yo' cake! Ah! yo' old mammy give you caraways, too!" chuckled the woman. She dragged her victim within arm reach. Bob winched a,s as big as bananas and hard as knobs took a firm clutch on his coat collar. "Yo' kill yo' old mammy some. daydat what you do!" she puffed, sinking to a bench, but she never let go of Bob, who was thankful that she held him with his face away from her. "Now den, Scipio Columbus Buckner, I'se going to hurt myself wnss nor I hurt yo', 'cause I'se got a tender heart, but all de same I'se going to give yo' de whackin' of yo' life!" Up to this point the redoubtable Bob had been rather entertained than alari:ned, but he suddenly gave a gulp of dismay. Of all the undignified complications that had ever fallen to poor Bob's lot, l I

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18 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. however, the present capped the clin1ax and made him squirm. It was quite "professional" to grin and bear a good hard knock in the service of justice, to jauntily face half a dozen frowning criminals when positive death menaced But to be handled like a truant urchin he, the accredited representative of the great Nick Carter-to be reminded of those far-distant days when he had been "spanked and sent to bed"-Bob had to take his medicine, but he firmly resolved never to boast of it. A mere plaything in the hands of a giantess, he was lifted like a feather a c ross old mammy's broad, solid knees. Mammy took off her slipper-number thirteen if an inch. Whack! "This is not detective work-it's mar tyrdom!' gasped the wriggling Bob. Whack! whack! whack! Mammy vented all the bottled-up en ergy of days, like a man splitHng wood. Whack! "Go on, now-yo' shamefuj chile-go to bed! Oh! but I follow yo' up i f yo' doant." She gave Bob .a final slap and a shove. It headed him on a stumbling run for the open kitchen door. He could have turned aside, and he might have reached the wall and bolted it. With a flashing, vital moment to decide, Bob, however, acted on a sudden impulse. He was fairly driven into the very house, the mysteries of which were the burden of his present anxieties. "Good enough!' he muttered, grimly, as he slid across the kitchen floor and bolted through a doorway beyond which he saw a bed, presumably that of the un fortunate Scipio Columbus-"old woman, for every tap of that slipper I'll score a ten s trike for justice before morning!" CHAPTER VII. BETWEEN TWO FIRES. Bob Ferret got into bed as quick as he knew how, clothes and all. He covered his head with a counterpane and listened keenly, fearful that the t.roubles of the present might not yet be ended, for the old woman's voice followed him and kept coming nearer. "Squinch, yo' young monster!" she cried. "Hide yo' head for shame!" Then to Bob's infinite relief she pulled the door shut and locked it. Bob made a rueful grimace. He was not exactly made of iron, and between the windmill and the slipper he had passed through quite an experience. Bob thought a great deal during a suspenseful two hours of listening and wait lllg. He guessed finally that the old colored woman gone to bed in some room nearby. Then he arose and got himself in trim for a free range of the house. The picking of the lock ofthe bedroom door meant the mere twisting of a bent wire, which Bob took from his pocket. He also produced a dark lantern. Bob knew where the library of the house, the dead millionaire's favorite lounging room, was located, and he gained this apartment promptly. The very first thing that attracted his attention was a letter lying on a desk. It was sealed, but the envelope bore no address-just in one corner these word s in a delicate feminine hand, "Delive r personally." It felt fresh, that is, the in closure was not creased and flat, bnt bulgy, as if recently placed there. "The flap mucilage is still damp," in vestigated Bob. "This letter was very r e cently written. Can it be the one I saw Miss Althea Elliott inditing early in the evening?'' Bob reflected, hesitated, pressed the flap slightly, drew away his touch and poc keted the missive. He began next to cautiously open and inspect the drawers of the desk, table and cabinets in the room. For perhaps an hour Bob scanned a variety of papers, particularly, carefull y "That's all," he told himself. "Noth ing here that sheds any light, past or present, on the mystery of the murder or the antecedents of this Miss Althea Elliott. What would her r o om revea1? Is it worth the risk to try and find out?" Boh, debating this point with himse lf, advanced to where a curtain hung, mov ed it aside, and curiously played the rays of the lantern beyond.

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 19 A cozy corner, a nook, an alcove was revealed. It contained a fine easy-chair, which stood beside a window overlooking the lawn. Besides this article of furniture, not another object was visible in the room except a gentlelllan 's dressing gown aud a faded smoking cap, hanging on hooks be side the window. Dust covered the chair. Bob readily surmised that this must have been a favorite haunt of the dead millionaire, and veneration or superstition had induced the in1nates of the house to leave it uninvaded and untoucherl since his death. Queer people, these rich nabobs,'' reflected Bob, scanning the faded garment. I wonldn 't keep such a timeworu rag to chop wood in. Here's something." His hand carelessly sweeping the dressing-gown as he made the remark, Bob de tected a brittle rustle. The next minute his fingers were probing a side pocket of the garment, and the ne x t he had brought ont a letter. WeJI !" he said, 111specting the envelope critical1y. "Postmark Southhaven, or Swifthaven, or Smithhaven. some haven, Date over two months since. Addressed to Mr. Gabriel Elliott, in a lady's handwriting. Say!" jerked out Bob, in a sudden flare of interest and excitement, "I'll bet it's a letter Miss Althea wrote aunouncing her coming." It was. Bob's fingers tingled as he with .Cr ew the inclosures, for they were twoa letter and a photograph. It was a simple missive. It told that a poor homeless orphan girl wished to come to her uucle. The picture-Bob's face looked queer as he studied it. "I've struck it!" he breathed in an intense tone of conviction. He was struck all of a heap himself, for he sank to the easy chair like a per son trying to take in an idea too big to be comprehended all in a sudden. Bob took from his pocket the enveloped missive he had found in the library, and compared the handwriting of its superscription with that of the other he had just discovered. Two entirely different handwritings," he pronounced in a tone that settled it. He scanned the gentle, plaintive face in the photograph, and called before him a vivid memory of that of the woman up stairs. Two entirely different persons," he added, just as definitely. "I've got the clue Sure as fate, I know the truth!" To his way of thinking the woman up stairs, accepted as the dead millionaire's niece, was n o t Miss Althea Elliott at a ll In some way she and her accomplice had learned of the coming of the real neice-had intercepted her, and the present heiress had assumed her place. She possibly never knew that a photograph of the real Althea Elliot was in the old man's possession He had discovered her imposition and had given the will to Paul Elli.ott to destroy. He had been killed before he could unmask her, an' d the crime had been fixed on Paul. This was the way Bob figured out the case. It was such an important discovery that he felt he must at once get to Nick Carter for advice, for further direction Quite precipitously he started through the so worked up that he dicl not exercise dne caution either as regarded entire noiselessness or the masking of the dark lantern he carried. Bob came out iuto the corridor, started down it bent on departing instantly by way of the rear door. A frightful scream checked him, and then a blaze of light dazzled. The olcl colored woman came sucldenly around a turn in the hall, a lighted lamp in her hand. ''I thought I heard a noise -burglars!'' She ended the sentence with an echoing shriek. Bob pocketed his lantern in dismay anrl dodged for the nearest clear space-the stairway. Up it he put. As he passed a window he fancied he saw a moving figure iu the garden. "I've spoiled all!" he muttered. "This will warn that woman she is suspected. Oh, drat it!" As he reached the upper landing, how ever, a new sensation faced him. Aroused, Miss Althea had run t o the hall, lit the gas, and stood facing him squarely, ten feet away. White-robed, startl ed -eyed, he took only a flashing glimpse of her, but saw

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20 NIOK 0 ARTER WEEKLY. lr that in the folds of her robe she held h l some weapon. "Stop!" she commanded. "Not on your life!" bolted out Bob, and forged ahead. "Burglars!" screamed old mammy, below. "No, a spy!" hissed the beautiful Miss Althea Elliott, and tone and facial expression proclaimed unmistakably to Bob that she was a being of quick sinister suspicions. He did not dally as her white jeweled fingers moved upward-he might expect a shot next. Just ahead of him was a long narrow window. Both sashes had been rel+Joved to give ventilation to the hall. Bob recklessly made for :it, sprung to its sill, and leapeo for the garden below. He gave a quick glance to see where he might land. His blood curdled as he did so. Bob bad seen a lurker from the way window. That lurker was posed directly below him in full sight now. It was Scipio Columbus, the coiored boy. Squarely on a slant that exactly met Bob's bounding jump, held poised by a pitchfork. Squarely, unavoidably for the sharp, g littering tines Bob was headed! CHAPTER VIII. A MIDNIGHT MYSTERY. "I saw yo'!" yelped Scipio, his big eyes goggling. "Drop it!" screamed the frantic Bob. "Burglars!" shrieked old mammy, in side the house. Bang -rang a shot from the window overhead. Was ever boy so beleaguered? Alternate chills and flushes criss-crossed Bob's body. Scipio stood like a statue. He seemed planted like a rock, his husky fists never allowed the pitchfork to wobble an inch. To be spitted like a fish was not to Bob's liking, but he feared he coulo not avoid it. H e had less than two seconds in which --------to think. He twisted his body-Scipio twisted the pitchfork. No use, I'm forked!" gasped Bob, but he slapped his feet together and held them square. Tang! Smack! ''Murder!" "Burglars!" Bang! As the scene began it ended-old mammy shrieking' inside the house, a yell from Scipio, a shot the window. Bob was speeding away for dear lifehe had escaped unhurt, steel-proof, bulletproof, for this time, at least. He could only guess outhis lncky evasion of the menacing pitchfork-' the soles of his shoes must have struck that bristling row of tines squarely, bent them, met them with a force that hustled the implement from Scipio's hands. Bob was sure that one foot, as the pitchfork went hustling, landed squarely on Scipio's mouth, sending him flat. Bob started on a keen run the minute be reached the ground. He looked back at the window-the woman was blazing away. "A delicate lady, truly," he muttered. "Oh! you're not the gentle, shrinking girl who wrote the letter, I've got in my pocket; you're showing that fast enong h.'' Bob was bent on reaching the wall surrounding the grounds at a point beyond range of my lady's bnllets, but he saw the hired man come running from the stables and had to divert his own course. The result was that when Bob made sure finally that he was unobserved and ready to get to the street an' d back to Nick Carter, he '4'0und that his devious flight had brought him right up to the side of the stable. To reach that portion of the wall nearest to him he must retrace his steps, and this Bob started to do. He halted rather summarily, a few yards accomplished, however, with a sharp definite: "No go!" His course of flight must have been di vined by the woman at the window, for Bob h .eard her sharp, imperative tones, and then he saw two forms scudding his way.

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NICK CAH:rER W EEI
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.. 22 NIOK OAR'fER WEEKLY. "Thank you, mum." "Will you do it?" "Won't I!" "Come to the house, get the tag I shall write, take the two coach horses a nd the light chore wagon, and report to me when you return," spoke Miss Althea Elliott, leaving the stables, the hired man following her. "It's getting dense!" The man had ldt his lantern behind, resting rlirectly on the mysterious crate, and Bob peered down, lost in speculation. "Here's a new string," he continued, refl.ectively-"a queer shipment and deuced queer directions. I'm half minded no, I'm not, I'm whole minded to take a night ride to Brockton myself!" Bob dropped from the loft, prompted by the energetic irlea. "No great heaps of tim. e to work be fore the hired man will be back," he reflected "Straw? Something in the middle? Yes It sounds like it, way iuside. Here's an opening for a brisk young man.'' Bob poked in between the m e shes of the crate with his hands first, and then with a whip-stock. Theloose packing straw gave easily. Then, finding a space where a broken mesh him to spread the flexible vine strands wide enough to admit head and shoulders, he burrowed in up to the waist. A square tin box rested in the centre o f the straw. He rustled it, tapped it. "Quite empty, or light stuff in there," he murmured. "Sounds like paper. Wish I could guess the key to this queer freak business. Hello! He's coming back. Say! why not? I've got to-no other way out now." Bob burrowed deeper into the straw. It was a movement that comprised the first step in the strangest midnight journey ever taken by mortal boy. CHAPTER IX. IN DEADLY PERIL. When Bob heard the footsteps of the returning hired man approaching, he was half way in the crate. In an instant he dragged in his feet nestled back in the straw, the strands thi ,t --..... --' he h a d forced apart slippiug back into place. Sounds directed him solely for the n ext two hours-sounds of wheels, the hoofs of horses, the hired man's directions t o them, the creaking hinges of broad doors, the trot-trot boulevard echo. The hired man lifted the crate to a v e hicle and started off. Bob made himself as comfortable as he could under the cir cumstances. He had actually g one to sleep in the cozy nest the soft straw afforded, when a bump awoke him with a shock. ,-"Landed!" he muttered. Yes, as he heard departing wheels he pus hed aside the straw, and saw the hired man from the Elliott mansion departing with an empty vehicle. The case lay upon the platform of a little isolated depot, a sort of milk station, Bob decided, for no houses were near, but there was a roofed-over platform near tl i e tracks such as shelter milk cans in for c oming trains. "Wonder how long this will stay here for 'Mr. Ralph Smith-to be called for?'" ruminated Bob. ' Once more, wonder where it' s finally bound for? Once more, wonder what's in the tin box? Once more, I'm going to find out!" Bob calculated the time-it was about one o'clock in the morning, he decided. He planned that he would creep out, get a breath of fr e sh a ir, work the tin box otit of the crate inspect jts contents_ and appropriate or replace them a s cum stances dictate d. "This cr a te must have som e bearing o n the Elliott muddle,'' he insi s ted. ''After I have found out what i s in it, I c a n hi de in the vicinity and see who come s after it. Quick action! Bless me if I m g oin g to get out at all!" Bob thrilled at the sound o f voic es On that ,;till air they fell clear and di s tinc t "It's come," w e re the fir s t w ords that struck Bob's ear. "Non sense! That way? By wagon?" "Why not?" "Because it was due by frei ght or e x press.'' "Well, lucky we were m the vicinity. Let's see." "That big box it!" "It is."

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 23 ''How do ybu know?'' ''Here's a taj:r-'Mr. Ralph Smith-to le called for.' That's all straight. Yes, ;vhoever sent it was clever-wanted no isks of poking, prying outsiders." "But that big box!" "Say it again, goosey! The stuff's in ;ide-trust that!" "All right, if you say so. We're to it?" "No other way." "Whew!" Up came a corner of the crate and lown went the corner again promptly. ''Heavy?'' "I should say sol We never can lug that four miles." "Well, it had to be made up as a dummy to conceal valuables inside in little :om pass. Ha! ha !" "Why can't they send the flimsy--" "S-st!" "What n9w ?" ''Holler your business to the world, you chump!" "Oh, no one's nigh." "Flimsy?'' muttered Bob Ferret, and hi s wits bristled. Did these men use that phrase, as he inferred, to appertain to money. to counterfeit paper? If so, had ever detective in one single l!love struck the luck that was his? He had fathomed the intricacies of the Elliott murder case in the discovery of the letter and photograph, he confidently believed. This box was intended for Miss Althea Elliott's accomplice-the counterfeiter, Joseph Escher, Bob further vehemently decided. "I'll drift with tl1e tide," murmured Bob, complacently, and lay perfectly still. There was a long confab between the two men on the platform. They discussed going for a wagon, they thought of carrying the crate in among the high corn of a near field and leaving it there till they got assistance-a dozen schemes were thong11t of and rejected. "Hold on," abruptly spoke up one of them-" a rock wi 11 do it." "What do you mean?" "See the tool house n p the track?" "Yep." ''Hand car in there. Yon wait. Three miles south means only one mile home, instead of four from here.'' "Good for you!" Bob ventured to part the straw so he could look out. He observed one of the men go up to a little shed at the side of the tracks, pick up a stone, batter loose a lock, and two later a hand car came sailing down the rails. "Lift it on," ordered the man who l1ad secured it. "Just the thing." The crate was put on the rear end of the hand car. Both men began pumping the handles. The car ew forward. Bob lay watching them, wondering how his strange adventure would terminate. At the end of a mile they had got the swing of the car, and were working stead ily, at the end of two they were making a time record. They had reached the top of a rise with a steep embankment on either side, and were approaching a high bridge when the rear man looked up suddenly. As Bob peered out just then, too, a nameless shiver in the air struck him ominously. "Jump!" The word was a shriek from the man who had looked up. A blinding glare suddenly enveloped his head and shoulders with yellow gilt. The man in front turned. Bob saw the two forms fairly dive down the side of the embankment. He thrust aside the straw with nervous fingers. Of its own momentum the hand car ran out on the bridge. '. "Mercy!" Bob's heart stood still. Rounding the curve leading to the other bridge approach, on the same track, and going at a rate of fully forty miles an hour, was a passenger train. A ash, an instant, a scream of mortal terror from Bob, and the locomotive leaped for the hand car, directly in the middle of the bridge! Crash !-they met!

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CHAPTER X. NICK CARTER WEEKLY. ''But-why?'' "FARMER BROWN." The locomotive struck the hand-car with terrific force, and sent it hurtling to a thousand pieces. Theu it passed on, the engineer never knowing what he had struck. Amid that wreck of splintered iron and wood, to the horror-frozen Bob life was a whirl, a blur, and then a blank. The shock of the collision had driven the crate backward with a great rebound. Already too broad for its insecure resting-place, it simply tilted, struck the outside girder of the bridge, and-dropped. In its descent it crushed against a pile half-way down. It was this contact which shook the wits out of Bob. Rebounding -thence to the river, it splashed under, and one end sticking up, btit Bob and contents entirely submerged, went floating down with the current. The two men who had leaped just in time had rolled down the embankment. They saw the giant locomotive annihilate the pigmy hand car, as if it was a fly in its course, saw a hail of wreckage blacken the air, and deafened and cinderblinded, gasped and goggled as the train thundered past them. "Wiped out!" voiced one, appalled. "No, the crq.te is safe," quickly pro-jected the other. ''Safe?'' "Yes." "How? Where?" "See it floating out there? Keep with me.'' They chased the bobbing crate a hundred feet down shore, caught up with it, waded out and brought it to laud. "Open it," suggested one of the men. "And get what's inside. Hope it's not wet. To work. Strike me silly! What's this?" The speaker, ripping off withes and pulling out handsful of soggy straw, came to a thunderstruck pause. He had discovered Bob, and Bob, nerveless and senseless, toppled against him, following the disturbed straw. "A boy!" shouted the other man. "Alive? Yes. Went over with the wreck. Say l how's this?" "How is it? Was in there all the time, I suppose." "Maybe they as sent the stuff sent the boy. What's that? Something dropped from his pocket. A letter. Hold on a second.'' The sealed missive Bob had found in the library, the letter he supposed Miss Althea Elliott had written the evening previous, had dropped out of his pocket as he tilted over. The man had no difficulty in pressing back the flap of the thoroughly-wetted envelope. He glanced quickly over the inclosure. "It's all right," he pronounced. "How, all right?" "This is for our boss-from the woman in the city-the Elliott girl." "Ah !" ''She wrote it, and as she sent the crate she probably sent the boy with it for some purpose-boss will know." "What you going to do? Here's what we're after-a light tin box." At that moment Bob revived momentarily. In a dreamy way he heard one voice say: "You carry the boy and leave him at the farmhouse." "All right." "Then we'll take the box and the letter up to the den to t1le boss, and te11 him_ about it." "That's a good plan," and here Bob went off into a second spell of uncon_ scionsness. When he again recovered, he found himself lying on a cot before an old-fashioned fireplace. Near it sat a grizzly-headed, whitebearded, heavy sptctacled man, the typical farmer in appearance. Bob fancied he saw him examining his coat as he opened his'' eyes-slip back some papers into its pocket-study the peculiar little silver badge on the inside lapel that identified him as one of Nick Carter's assistants. He wondered who he was. He looked very little like a desperate character, and the plain, comfortable fann-housc room still less like the den of criminals. "Hello! roused up?" inquired the man, in a kindly tone, with something of a twang.

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 26 "Yes, I guess so-l-I-what place is is?" fluttered Bob, sitting up. "Brown's farm. I'm Brown. Two men ought yo u here. Said yon was hurt at e railroad." "Where have they gone to?" "They went on about their business. id they'd drop in to-morrow and inire how you was." "Oh !" "Pretty dazed?" "I got a bad shaking up, and I am not 1ite over it yet,'' confessed Bob. "Well, you lie still. It will be morning on. Sleep'll do you good. Here, drink is-sort of soothing and warming." Bob drifted into a kind of a waking ream under the influence of the draught ministered. His eyes did not entirely close, however, no sudoenly they opened wide as ever. His host sat watching him narrowfor half an hour or more, when, eviently adjudging him to be asleep he rose softly. Bob saw him take up his coat and again spect the little detective badge. He saw him rifle his pockets, sca n every crap of paper they contained, among them etter and photograph he had found in ead Gabriel Elliott's old dressing gown. -Then Farmer Brown softly, thought-nlly paced up and down the room iike a nan mightily perturbed. Finally he went to a cupboard and pened its doors. Touching a s1ide, he revealed a second ompartment back in the wall. From this he drew as many as twenty blong objects, neatly done up in tissue a per. They seemed heavy, for as he pro eeded to place them in a basket and over the top with -eggs, Bob could guess hat it was very weighty from the way he man handled it. Farmer Brown locked this basket back n the cupboard and resumed his seat at he fireplace, and Bob, mystified and r[,ronblecl, never let on that he was awake. As daylight appeared, Brown hustled bout and began to prepare a hearty reakfast. The appetizing odors of cookery rompted Bob to affect to wake up and et up. ''How feeling?'' asked Brown. "Oh, all right now." "That's good. We'll have breakfast in a jiffy." The man kept chatting carelessly, cheerily, all through the meal. Just as it was ended, however, Bob saw his face change abruptly. The fanner leaned impressively towards him, and said in a peculiar, confidential tone: "Nick Carter sent you here." CHAPTER XI. THE WARNING MESSAGE. Bob felt an eerie thrill prevade his nerves. "You're after Joseph Escher," continued his companion, just as emphatically. Bob looked at the door as if calculating how quickly he could get out of a place where a denizen knew too much to suit him or be friendly. "Don't be foolish," pursued Farmei Brown steadily. ''Surprise you? Thought I would. How do I know all this? Well, from the way you got to these diggings, from your badge and your papers. Look here, am I right?'' "Suppose you are?" "I'm the very best man in the world you could run across. "Is that so?" "True as turnips" "How?" "Tell yon," pursued Farmer Brown, glibly, "you're after Joseph Escher's counterfeiting gang." "You say so." "That howling success-Nick Carter -sent you." "Suppose it's true?" "He's got the whole shooting match cornered, and that means gone up l when Nick's in the deal." "Maybe." "I'm simple Farmer Brown, but this gang have been making a sort of an accommodation of me." "In what way?" "Oh, they're near here. They come and go. I've beeu uneasy for a long time past, for I knew what they were up to. Now they're going to be cornered, I want

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, ;S 26 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. to get out-I don't want to be dragged into their troubles." "I wouldn't," advised Bob. "I won't, and I want to make you a proposition." "A11 right." "You come with me to the town-see me safely there." "Safely? What do you mean?'' "Not stopped and taken in as one of the counterfeiting gang by some one of your friends, Nick Carter's crowd, who are all around here, I suppose.'' "Go ahead," directed Bob, evasively, but seeing a pointof advantage and anx ious to clinch it. "You do that. Let me be away from here when you capture the gang, so they won't think I gave them. up, and -the minute I get safe with town friends, I'll direct you right straight to the den of these fellows.'' "You will?" "Sure as sorghum!" "A bargain!" Bob was pleased and excited. He fan cied l1e had a plain march to triumph be fore him now. Here was a farmer, probable deeper in the mire than he confessed, but so scared with the idea that the famous Nick Car ter's allies were lurking in every thicket, that he was willing 'to do qnything to evade being taken in with the Esther gang or pun ished by them as a traitor. Bob res t lessly wen t outside, walked up and down the yard, lingered in the open doorway, stood at the window drumming on the panes, eager to get away before any dis turbing interference materialized. He b linked a trifle, as a bright ray dashed acJ.:Qs!< his_ eyes some reflection from t h e windows, he careless l y imagined, for the sun was coming up. There i t was again -again a lapse, t wice quickly. I say!" ejaculated Bob, wi t h a vast t h rill. For the.flashjngs had come with a reg ul arity tha.t s tartled him They came, too, in accorda u ce with the time and n um be r code o f Nick Carter's private signal'S I T o whistle t h r ee times at interval s, a n d the n tw i ce s h a r p l y-to tap three t i mes a t inte r vals pa u se, and then -twice s harply-to thus flash, sneeze, shout or fire, was an understood signal among Nick Carter's detective pupils. So, naturally and instantly, the aroused Bob guessed an apparent fact; some one outside knew he was here, saw him, and was signalling him with a sun glass or watch crystal. That some one could only be Nick himself or Jack or Aleck. They had struck the same trail he had followed leading to the hiding-place of Joseph Escher's counterfeiting gang, he tbeor____.. ized Bob went to the door. He set his wits working actively, and guessed from the position of tl1e sun that those signalling rays had been focused from a little thicket to the left of the road and in front of the farm-bouse. Fixing his eyes upon it, his keen glance was instantly rewarded by the view of a human being. A form flas hed from the covert of a tree clump to that of some high bushes. It was a quick skither, a glide, swift as the dash of a falcon, but it was Bob's business to take in things quickly, and he saw all there was to see "It can't be!" he fairly gasped. The prowler in the thicket, undoubtedly his signaller, was not Jack, Aleck, nor Nick Carter. "Paul Elliott!" pronounced Bob next, incredulously. He did not guess this from the face or attire of the figure-these were disguised, different than their semblance when Bor had last sF.en the accused murderer of old Gabriel Elliott. But the figure itself was unmistakable -the shape of the face, the build of the head, the quick, nervous motions of the shoulders. Bob uttered an internal whistle of wonder. The boy he bad left in hiding with strict injunctions to lay low had been unable to do so he reflected. He had started out on his own book, he was working o n his own case-he had either foll owed the E lliott wagon, or l1e had go t a t r ace of the Joseph Escher crowd i n some other way. More t han t h a t h e knew that Bob was here, i n t h e farm-house, and was signalling.

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NIOK CARTER WEEKLY. 2 7 Bob suddenly remembered that Paul Elliott had been present, two nights previous, when he and Jack and Aleck had discussed the very same code of signals just transmitted by the sun-glass. Bob doubted mightily that any benefit would come from a novice like Paul Elliott appearing in an important case where even professional acumen was being tested to the limit. Still Paul had shown himself to be a boy of extraordinary energy and pluck. -"He signalled me, he wants a reply," murmured Bob. "How can I give it?" He glanced through the open doorway into the adjoining room. There Parmer Brown was at an open bureau, removing some papers from it, industriously tearing up some, pocketing others, preparatory hastening to town. Bob saw a dog chained in the yard, and a he! pfn 1 idea suggested itself to his mind. "l\1r. Brown," he called out, "that your dog?" "Yes," came the answer. "What's his name?" "Tiger. :: "Ah! nne looking (tdg. Tiger-Tiger -Tiger. Tiger-T1ger !" Three times slowly, a pause, two times -
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28 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. With some p erti.nbation he di scerne d that the open fie ld comse they were pur suing did not admit of Paul f ollowing them except at very l ong range . "I may as well k ee p on with this f ellow," r eflected B o b. "He re's the m a n, here's the plates, only l1e's lying to me, of c ou r se His sole idea is to get sco t free. He's using m e as a eat's paw to pilot him -past the possible danger-line of d etention. What will h e do then?" ''He re we are.'' Bob drew back in some di smay. His c ompanion h ad l e d him directly up to the borders of a little lake about two miles long Tied to a stone was a light skiff sup-plied with oars. "Get in,'' ordered Farmer Brown. "Why is-is this the way to town?" "Don't I know? Certainly." Bob was v ery d u bions as to the s i tua tion. He did not f ancy the idea o f being adrift with an adroit crimina l, in d e e p water. Further the man was breaking the trail in a skilful way. There was no l1elp f o r it, howeve r for Bob w a s almost pus h ed into the boat. F armer Brown put in his heavy basket, picked up the oars, and shoved off from shore. "Now, I call this a start!" he chuck led, quite gayly. Bob sat, a glum, worried bundle of nerves, at the stern. His predicament tormented him. H ere he was J etting a des p erate crimina l l ea d him by the nose, actually connive at lns escape. But wha t could he do? Nothing ex cept to watch out for some change of front on the part of F anner Brow n, f o r soon as he w as sure he w as b eyo nd risk of capture or pursuit, he might seek to dis pose of Bob in a summary way. In silence the b oa t cut the water until the y w e r e fully half a mile ont in the lake. Brown seemed making for its othe r end cl i r ect. Every time Bob's fo o t touched tne bas k e t and l1e r ea lied what it contained, wha t the man was makin g off with to plant and operate in n e w fie ld s b e f airly gritte d his t ee th at a s ense of his utter helpless ness. There came a little puff of wind and it to o k off Brown's hat, sweeping it into the bow of the b oat b ehind him. H e stayed the oars in o n e hand, and leaned back and turned back n early clear around t o regain it. "My chance!" Bob snatche d at the basket, dragged it to the edge of the boat, and dropped it pro m pty over board. With tl1a t at ieast J osep h Escher s h o ul d not get away! ((What's that?" cried the connter feite r sharply, suspiciously, whirling around again, his h a t recover ed Bob shot out his ho.nd in a breathless qmve r. The movement of the counterfeiter had brought his hip pocket s q uarely in r a nge, with the handl.e of a revolve r protruding. Bob s e ized it, whippe d it free, drew back, planted himself squarely and said: ((Jo seph Escher, sit p erfectly still or you are a dead man!" ((Eh? Oh! Ugh!" Like a puppet came about, a-tremble his b ands f e ll to the oa 1 s His j a w s dropp e d, his eyes started H e looked down the muzz l e of the revolve r like a man p a r a l yzed His glance shiftin g he n o t e d the sence of the baske t, the broad, rippling eddy where it had sunk. "You dared--'' he began, in a p 9s i-tive shriek. I ((Sit still!" Finn as a rock Bob h e ld the man pinne d s t a tu e-like ((I ].;now yon-Joseph E sc h er," contin u e d Bob. ((Row ashore A f a l se m ove, and I fire. You are my prisoner." ((No!" The man describe d a sudde n and unex pecte d movem ent. His h a nd s grippe d the oars. They lifte d, dre w frolll tl1e locks, a nd the next minute w ent hurtling throug h the air twenty f ee t away. ((Wha t do you mean by thaU" he de manded "\Ve are in the s a me boat," liissed Esche r. ((You'll h a eatireso m e wait, be for e y o u get ashore!" "Oh, that's yom game, is it? well, I don't tire easily." ((Young man," gritted the late Farmer Brown, ((you are plucky, but rash."

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NICK CARTER W EEKI,Y. "Am I?" D e ci de d l y so. Will you allow me to swim ashore and e s cape, and b e content with the plates? They are ea s ily fished for a nd drag g e d ttp." C erta inl y not." "Then-we sink together!" At first B o b c o uld not imagine what E scher m eant b y thes e words. The y w e re accompanie d, h owever, b y a s u d d e n, sliding kick of E scher's boo t al o n g the b ottom of the b o at. L Gla n cing the re, B o b uttere d a cry of di s m ay ancl E s ch e r chuckle d like a fie nd. "Now what are yon going t o do?" he dema n de d triurn1 Jhantly. B o b did not ans wer. The counterfeiter had clon e a decid e dly tragi c thing. He had placed Bob in about the most dubio us and p erplexin g situation o f all his eventful care er. CHAPTER XIII. CAGED UP. cri e d B o b. "That's what," coolly s neered Joseph Esche r. now saw what the man had don e lh the bo ttom of the skiff was a removabl e metal s lid e undoubtedly adjus t e d so that, t aken out when the boat was beach e d, stra ngers could not float it. This E scher had kicked, not l oose, but e11tirely fr e e, and it had sunk. '' l\l y o wn p a t ent!" he gloate d. "Now then, drown-yo u meddling "Not I!" The w a t e r had ru s h e d in through the hol e wai st-hig h a nd the skiff h ad sunk almos t to the oarlocks. B o b k ept eye a n d p istol s t i ll directed s qu a r ely a t Esc h e r. A t ipping tilt threw the c ounterfeite r off his balance and he w ent over F o r a s e cond he held t o t h e boat rail a nd regard e d B ob. The n he struck off f o r s h o r e H e r e an too much humanity in hi s capt or's f ac e to ea r that he wou l d fire upo n a d efence l e ss strugglin g pri soner. Bob rlid n o t like the state of aff a irs, but h e h a d t o a cc ept tl1e m as the y w e r e and m a k e the b est of it. H e thrus t the r e volv ,er nnde r his cap, m arked m entally tl t e spot whe re the pl a t es h a d sunk, and got over into i:he wate r hime lf. Escher was a fine swimmer, but Bob was a natural water rat. Even hampered as h e was with clothing, he put a h ead in Escher's at no time more than ten yards behind him. Both were panting and v e ry nearly done out as they neared the shore. Escher made a wading break for dry land, intent on an instant rus h t o cove r. "Stop running!" came thrillingly close on his h e els Bob was after him, revolver in hand, and fired a scare shot in the air. Escher halted, l ooked like an angry lion trapped, and then-suddenly dropped fla t as a _pancake to the ground. The movement was no trick or trap, -but occasio n ed by so m ething he saw where a path began among the bushes. Bob now saw that something also-two more revolvers in the hands of two burly men. "Adams!" shouted Escher. "Yes. "And Marl owe. Shoot. One of Nick Carter's brats!" B o b backed to a firm foothold, ready to fight. So quick and deftly, however, that it made his h ead spin, the two n ew ac t o r s on the scene described a seri es of prompt acrobatic maneuvres. He was disarmed, knocked down, tied u p, gagged mute, as if the n ew -comers had a patent machinery method of execution. He looked up t o observe t alk ing rapirlly a n d earnestly with theln. Bob recognized them. They wtre the fellows who h ad d i scovered him in the crat e knocked into the river from the hand car. "Tell Smith to get t o cover instantly," spoke Rscher, and with the words he darted from the spot. The two men picked up Bob a s if he wa s a bil l e t of wood, and carried him in : m opposite directiott through the bushes. The man who h ad just made off was surely Escher, the prime m over, the directing g enius of the gang. Disguise d, his mission had been to pose at the farm-house and direct the operations of his accomplices. These, three in number, under charge of a man named R alph Smith, the man

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:lO NICK CARTER WE KLY. to whom Miss Althea Elliott had directed the crate, were getting ready to run off a lot of counterfeit money in a big barn near by. The tin box in the crate had contained an imitation of the fibre paper used in government bank notes The arrival of Bob, the sinking of the plates, the flight of Escher and the fear that Nick Carter with a whole army of officers might soon be down on them, had clisturbed operations at a critical period. The men reached a barn :md were ad mitted after a parley from within. Bob was carried past two heavily armed men, and an outfit of stones, presses and dies, and thrown into a stall full of hay. The n an animated conversation ensued between the four other occupants of the place. Their leader seemed to be a dark-faced, intelligent-looking man they called Ralph Smith. He was all nerves and action. He ques tioned Bob's captors as to Escher, the plates, their prisoners, their intentions. "If we are surrounded," he sa id, fi nally, "to leave here is simply to walk into an ambush." "vVell said," nodded Adams. "We can guard tl1is place like a fort until nightfall. ''Agai n s t an army.'' "Let us do so. M eantime, get the wagon ready. lf nobody troubles us till dark, we will make a break for the den in the city. Once safe there, I will send for-vou know-Miss A 1 thea Elliott.'' ''That's it,'' piped a satisfied v oice "There's no cash in the prospect, with the plates gone and Nick Carter on our trai 1. '' "'Well, I g uess .11ot !" "\Ve have no m oney I Miss Althea Elliott out-she mus t gJVe us enoug h money to clear the country." ''As Escher has done.'' "Exactly." ''And this boy?'' "We will take him with us to the city den. He may yet serve us as a hostage.'' Bob groaned. His wings were clipped, his youthful ardor dampened. A bout his only satisfaction was that the plates he had chased half way across the continent were fathoms deep out of the way of mischief-about the o nl y hope he had was that Paul Elliott, whom h e knew to be in the vicinity, might make some move before night to outwit the counterfeiters. Nobooy came near him until nightfall. The n he was lifted and placed in a wagon with two horses attached. The men had been working over this vehicle lJalf the day. It was a common farm wagon, but they had con structed a false bottom in it of corn stalks. Under these Rob was placed, and after him crawled the man Ralph Smith, Adams and Marlowe. 'The remaining member of the gang, a big fellow with a big fanner's straw hat, piled hay and bags over the top of the dummy floor, opened the do ors of the barn and drove out into the night. "No. t a w ord now till we reach the den in the city, ordered Smith. "And you, Roberts." "vVell ?" "Take unfrequented streets, ana watch out sharp.'' '' Ay, ay. WaitI've left the whip in the barn.'' The wa go n started up two minutes later. Bob, helpless, mute, felt his heart sink as they proceeded uninterrupted. "Panl Elliott mnst have lost the trail," he cogi.t2.ted, ruef ully. The horses were spiritecl steecls and they made good time Through cracks and loose wisps Bob could see finally that they were traversing lighted streets. The roar and din of city traf-fic drew nearer-they plunged into it. "vVe'll soo n be safe and snug," commented Smith, peering through an inter stice. "Hello!" "What is it?" inquired his nearest neighbor. "That dolt of a Robert s is taking the most public street in the city!" "What!'. "We're lining the lake front." "And going like mad!'' "I should say so! What's the idiot's idea, anyway?'' Bob screwecl his eye cJ6se to a crack.

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NICK OARTER WEEKLY. 31 He made out the park, the lake, just ahead the battery building. A p art of this he knew was occupied as a polic e station. Just at that second, with a flare and a dash, out rolled a patrol wagon clatteringly. "Roberts!" called up Smith to the driver. "Get off this public street." "Get up! Get up!" "Goodness!" gulped Bob, at the sound of that voice. The horses were prancing like mad now. The driver's whip cut the air like a swift sickle. His bat blew off. "Zounds!" fairly roared Smith. "Boys, we're tricked, we're trapped!" The re was a mighty rustle in the wagon box. "It's not Roberts!" "What!" "No. Out with your pistolt-out of this rat-hole trap, quick. The driver is n o t Roberts, but--" Click! went three prompt revolvers, aud Smith finished the sentence ominously: "Paul Elliott!" CHAPTER XIV. RUN DOWN. In one flashing thrill Bob Ferret took in the entire situation. "Good for you!" he cheered mutely, ahd he only wished Paul Elliott could ""have h eard him. He understood instantly what bad occurred-the mystifying snbstitution on the wa g on seat. Paul Elliott was not -off the trail-he had been very closely upon it. When Roberts tbe wagon driver, had entered the barn after is his whip, Paul must have gained it in soine secret way. He had clowned, silenced Roberts, he had donned the big straw hat and taken the lines in band. Now, hatless, pale, slashing the maddened horses to a tremendous rate of speed, he was making like mad for a haven of justice. Whir-the wheels tipped as he described a sharp curve. Click-clac:;k-over stone flooring they flew-bang! Straight into the patrol house, which its wagon had just left, past a score of amazed policemen who fancied a runaway, with such force did the wagon go that it was driven clear against the end wall, smashing the shaft to splinters, knocl.dng both frightened horses to their knees and bringing the wagon to a halt with a shock. "Shut the doors!" Sharp as a pistol shot rang out Paul Elliott's tones. Bang !-from the hay and straw came a sharp report. Panl jumped from the seat. "Men, officers," he panted, "out with your guns! Three of the most desperate criminals in Chicago are in that wagon!'' "What!" "Here's a go!" "On guard, boys!" "Surrender!" Amid a wild fusilade, the crashing to of the broad outside doors, the scurry of feet, the rising of three forms in the wago!! box like phantoms, Bob thrilled, gloated, quivered, never minding one bit the feet that trampled him, the risk of being riddled by bullets-deliriously exultant M1e r the brilliant stroke of genius that certainly brought to a focus the great Elliott murder case. Shots, smoke, flaEhes, he heard, smelled, saw. The' n a groping hand seized him ; he was dragged from the wagon by Paul Elliott. The face of the latter was white with excitement, but his trembling hands freed lips and limbs of his helpless comrade. Bob came out into the light just in time to wituess the last act in the tragedy of the moment. The three counterfeiters bad leaped from the wagon and were held like hunted rats in a corner of the _patrol house. Adams and Marlowe had thrown down their revolvers, and Smith had scowlingly pocketed his in the face of a_dozen discounting them in the hands of as manv uniformed officers. "Now then, what's this?" demanded the captain of police, turning inquiringly to Paul. Before the latter could begin explain ing, however, Smith niade a bold break. It was for a near window. He had a!-

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e r t 32 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. most gained it, when, quick as a :flash, an officer near by raised his club. Smith dodged. It missed his head, but, coming down, it landed fquarely on the revolver sticking out of his hip pocket. There was a sharp report, a sharper scream-felled by his own weapon, discharged by a blow that would have been a chance oue n inety times ont of a hundred, the counterfeither lay prostrate. "The last check cashed!" he murmured, and closed his eyes. Bob saw a telephone in the next room. He was at it in a second, and a second later a message flew over the wires to Nick Carter at the Palmer Honse. The captain of police looked like a man listening to a lurid tale of fiction as, an hour later, he sat the centre of a group composed of Nick Carter, Bob, Paul Elliott, Jack and Aleck. Nkk had found many loose ends to pick up-in the case, immed1ately after his arrival had sent an officer to the vicinity of the farm to secure Robert:; a nd to for the plates in the lake. Another was dispatched to the mansion of the murdered millionaire to apprc._hend Miss Althea Elliott. For Paul Elliott's story and that of Bob left no doubt as to the innocence of the former. Bob produced the letter and photograph of the real Althea. She was yet to be found, and while they were discussing that phase of the case, the police snrgeon, who had been attending Ralph Smith, entered the room with a grave face. "The man is dead," he announced. "And his confession?" inquired Bob, eagerly. "Here," answerecl the official, producing a folded paper. "He acknowledges that he killed Gabriel Elliott and planted the clews to convict Paul Elliott. He savs he got wind of the coming niece of tl1e millionaire, intercepted and imprisoned her, and that the woman known as Miss Al thea took her place." "I said so," nodded Bob. "And the real niece?" "She is in the custody of a friend of Smith's near Milwaukee." Before clayllght a message was sent and one received from that c1ty-the renl Althea Elliott was free, and on her way to claim her own and reward those restored it to her. Before daylight the false Alt under lock and key; Adams, l\. and Roberts were keeping her co1 and the basket containing the pl been recovered. Just as Nick Carter and his were about to leave the station, a b excited personage burst into the p It was Detective-sergeant Joh ris, and he had eyes only for Paul "Ah !"he exclaimed, "they w up to tell me. Caught again, eh "Scarcely," replied Nick, sn: "My friend, a shrewd young deh real hard facts, seems to have ove all your theories and clues.'' "Eh? what's that?" "Listen," interrupted Paul Elli he told the story complete that r the wonderful work that had be by Nick Carter's youngest pupil. "The only fact to be deplon marked the veteran detective, '' Joseph Escher, the king bee of t bination, got away." Bob's lips grew grim, and hi took a resolute tinge "Mr. Carter," he said, "he wa we s upposed at first, the murdere1 briel Elliott, but the friend and ad Ralph Smith, the real assassin. B the chief centre of the great con ing scheme we have worked so run to a conclusion, and a danger<; to be at large.'' "Undoubtedly," nodded Nick <" "We've go t his accomplices, the plat es, but I shall never res fiecl," declared Bob, "till I run th ; Joseph Escher, to earth-and 1'1" too, some day!" "And I will help you," promi Elliott. "Yes," said Bob Ferret, "1 o want the assistance of the cle\ made such a brilliant sue working on his own case!" ['rHE END.] The next n um her of the Nick Weekly will contain "Nick Carte ond Erlition; or, The Man W} ished," by the author of "Nick C

PAGE 34

Nick earter Week : Thirty=two Pages. Price, 5 Cents. Illuminated THE BEST LIBRARY OF DETECTIVE STORIES. 111111111111111111111111 Back Numbers always on hand. Price, post-paid, Five cents e 111111111111111111111111 5-Trim Among the Bushmen; or, Searching for a Lost Gold Mine in Australia. 6-Trim's Double Header; or Snaring Human Game with Decoys. 7Trim on the Safety Valve; or, Taking tiJong Chances with Death. 8--Trim's Troublesome Tiger; or, How His Pris oner Escaped the Gallows. 9-Trim in ()ape Town; or, Man with a Ltmp. 10-Trim in the Diamond Fields of Kimb e rlv ll-'l'rim in the Wi!tls; or, a l.:riitJinal on the Dark Continent. 12--Trim Changes Cars; or, Taking Big Ohan<;e,s. for a Quick Capture. 13-Trim in the .Main Shaft; or, Hunt' I Glrimiuals a Thousand Feet Under grou" 1'rim the Grain Chute; ise Party on .Board ttle Falco Ttim's Ronnel-up in Dct.roit; or, A Ended jn a ll uny. }f)-Trim's of U l ews; All Tied by arne Knot. 17 Trim in Cincinnati; or,Followlng a Rogus Case. 18 Trim's Secret Mission; or, A Green Countryman in Town . 19-Trim's Cold Bath; ot. Trapping a Criminal in the Bay. 20-Trtm's Chase after a Mutdercr; or, Caught in the .Air. 21-Trim m Cigar Stme; or, A Lively Wooden IndialJ. 22-Trim in Mexico; or, Bre aking up a Secret So ciety. 23-Trim in the Crescent City; or, A Break in the Levee. 24--Trim's Run of Luck; or, A Case Concluded Abend of Time. 25-Trim's Combination Case; or, Two Clients After the Same Man. U-Trim on the Road; or, A Leave of Abseuce that Turned out Gold. 27-Trim in Kansas City; o r The Detect.ive's Ex periment in Second Sil!bt. 28-Nick Carte r at the Track; or, Bow Be Became a Dead Game Sport. 29Trim in the Dark, or, .A Long Road th Turn i n g 1 30-Nick Carter's Railroad Case. 31-Trim's Electric Machine; or, The Had Charge of tlte ()tlice. 3 2-Nick Carter at the lron Pier; or, Found in the I:Soat. 33--c,Trim Turns Professor and Teaches a a Queer Pupil. Wheel of Fortune. 351'rim 's ::>tock Exchange Case; or, The Answered the Advertiseme11t. 1 36-'1\ick Carter in a Tight Place; or, a Ha making Carter does his Best; or, a Fo the Ballaoe. 38-'l'rim Behir1d the Footlights; or, the 1 at the Casino. -. 39-Jn Nick Carter's Hands; or, .A. Fool Money Soon Parted. 40-Nick Carter's Detective School; or, The Reporter's First Case 41Nick Carter at Headqua rters; or, W the Inspector's Scmp Book. 42Nick Carter s Bl'ightest Pupil; or Uounterfciting Case. 1 43-, ic Carter Arrested by Mistake; o Man on the Window Sill. 44--Nick Cart e t's Magic Hand; or, Tht C 1 Tbe Chinese Highbinders. 45Nick Carter's Promise; or, : lliillions at 4.6-'l'he Gol d Wizard; or, Nick Car ter' s Protege 47-Nick Carter in the Chinese Joint; or, gain in Crime. I Carter's Newsboy Friend; or, Sandoval Mystery. 49 Nick Carter's Hot Pursuit; o, On th of an Escaped Convict. 50-Nick Garter's y, ungest Detective; or ing on H s Own Case. Carter's :::>econd Euition. -tttlllllllllllllll Sr EET & S MI TH, PUBLISHERS, NEW Y O RK. For Sa1e by a11 Ne-vv-sdea1ers.


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