The gold wizard, or, Nick Carter's clever protege

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The gold wizard, or, Nick Carter's clever protege

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Title:
The gold wizard, or, Nick Carter's clever protege
Series Title:
Nick Carter weekly
Alternate title:
Nick Carter stories
Creator:
Carter, Nick
Place of Publication:
New York
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Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (32 p.);

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Detective and mystery stories. ( lcsh )
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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030707290 ( ALEPH )
17902240 ( OCLC )
C36-00032 ( USFLDC DOI )
c36.32 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Jssued weekly. Subscription price. per y ear. JJJnured as second cl<.m mauer at the N. Y. Post Ulf/,ce b11 STREET & SMITH. No. 46 NEW YORK, November. 13, 1897. Price 5 Cents. AS THE SECTION OF THE PIPE THROUGH WHICH HE WAS CRAWLING GAVE WAY HE MADE A DESPERATE GRASP AT THE OVERHANGING WIRE.

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NieK eARTER Entered acconlmg to Act of Congress in the yea" b11 Sl1cet Smith, in the Office of the Lib1a1 "ian of Oong1ess, Washi11gfon, D. 0. Ente1ed as second class Maller al the Kew r011<. N. Y., Post Office Is1m ed weel:ty. S11bsc1iption J'1'i<'e, $2.50 pe1 year. Novembe1 13, 1 897. No 46. BTUEET & :BmTn, P 11hlishers. NEW YORK. 29 Rose St., N. Y 5 Cents THE GO.LO WIZARD " OR, NICK CARTER'S CLEVER PROTEGE. By the Author of "NICK CARTER." CHAPTER I. A FRIEND IN NEED. mand exacted attention and progress from a pupil, and Brock treated him as an em ployee a11d a friend. "Come at once b e fore eight o'clock. Have a good case for you. "Nick Carter." "Mr. A rm an," he said, "I have re c e iv ed this." Brock Walters read the brief message just delivered by special messenger, and his eyes snapped over it. Brock presented Nick Carter's note, and the scientist scanned it casually. _Ah!" he remarked, with a plea._sant smil e, "you are fortunate-you are again t o be put on one of those intricate, de lightful mysteries onr friend Nick is pleased to t erm 'a c ase.' Good! When yon return to re s ume your studi es, let us see h ow far you have been able to apply to practi cal detective methods my sys t e m of reading faces the all-important, unerring scie11re of physiognomy." A s tatement from tliat source always meant more than it promi sed and there were n o t many boys wlio could proudly claim the friendship with New York's greatest detective, which it implied. Brock h ad been busily engaged in measuring the distance between the e y es, probing the wrinkles, tracing the j aw line of a perfect plaster mask of a celebrated French criminal, and h e was fascinated with liis work, but he arose. promp tl y The room he was in; the study of Armand, the world-famous physiognomist, was full of such things-faces, faces, f aces -and Brock passe
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2 NICK CARTER WEEKLY T h a t is Nick Carte r's s trong point-I s ee a second e dition in y ou of that gre a t m a s t e r o f men, if yo u continve a s studiously as you have begun "Thank y ou Brock l e ft the queer office of his quee r tuto r with a brisk, e l a s t ic ste.p, f eeling a g o od deal as does a bo y just le t out of schoo l and anticipating "a good time." Not that Brock cons i dered det e cti v e b u sin e ss a lark. H e knew bette r, and from practica l experience; yet, since the fir s t day, three months back, wh e n luck had put him under Nick Carter's notice and marked inborn abili t y as an ob se r ve r alld reasoner had evoked the great dete ctive's wc;.nnest approba ti o n, Brock had enter ed into whatever d e t ec tive duties fell to his lot with a zest and earnestness showing be enjoy ed i t from start t o finish. Brock had helped anothe r of Ni.ck s graduates in a case wh e re some counte r f e it e rs were run t o and h ad sus t ain ed a fall tha t laid him up for a w eek and famed him for a mon t h Nick had advised that he u t ilize his c onva l e sence b y "a t erm" with Arma nd, and Brock had hai l e d the proposition with ard o r, had been dazzl e d with the real practical v a l ue of th e scie nce of fac e s, and thus it c ame abo u t tha t h e had t o b e s ent for when w a nted. N o w he was entirely r e cover e d, a nd Ni ck had n ee d o f him! All kinds of de li ghtful antic ip a tions a s t o the cha ra c te r of "the c ase" mentio n e d fill ed Brock's mi-rid as h e hurrie d al o n g t he s t reet. H e h ad fu ll y hal f a n hour t o spar e be fore t he ti me fix ed for the a ppo i n t m ent arrive d, but Brock had so m a n y pleasan t m e m o r ies o f a ro llick w i th th e boy s in the sple n di d pri vate gy m nas.i.nm, d n i n spec t ion of the d et e cti ve s vas t museum o f crimina l cur ios i t ies, an inform a l chat with the vete ran thief catcher himse lf, th a t he s impl y w ante d to fly to the con g eni a l a t m osp h e r e o f Nick C arter's c ozy h o m e Within one s qu a re of it, a nd w it h th e h o u s e in si ght, howeve r, B ro c k h alte d d espite himse lf, boy-like irres isti blv attracted and entert a i ned by a n incident out of the ordinary. He was j us t n earing a small store, when i t s proprietor came out a nd seized the ropes that surrounded a ro l led -up piece o f canvas This lay across o n e o f his outsid e coun-, and he wished to unroll it, prepara tory to fasfening it to two poles at the cnrb, to shield his barrels and boxes of vegetabl e s there from the rays of the sun. He j erked the unwieldy roll to the s idewalk, but the moment he gave the rope s an inch of s l ack, they abruptly took a yard. "Dunder und blitzen !" yelled the man. 'Whew!" whistled the amused yet startled Brock. The storekeeper went back like a jumping-jack. The ro pe s to which he h a d h e ld whipped him off his feet, as if there was a t o n of lead in the unrolling canva s. He l e t g o and land e d flat on th e pavement, and sprawling t here, dism a y and doub t p ainted vividly on his face he g l a red ahe ad. Brock dod g ed aside for he caught si ght of something dark and bulky hurt l ing from the white surface. Two "somethings in fact-one much smalJ e r than the o ther-two ob j e ct s one unmis t a k a bl y huma n, j11dging from its s in g le startle d utterance ; the other animal for a sharp, frighte n e d yelp accompanied a swift ro ll. "A b oy!" ejaculated Brock, staring -"a d og!" A b oy roiled off the ed g e of the c a nv as a nd struck the stree t with su c h foo rce that h e sp un a r o und for s ev e ral seco n ds F o ll owing him w a s a do g on e o f tho s e s mall but bristling l y i n t e ll igent littl e c a n in e s tbc.t l a n d o n t h eir f ee t eve r y ti me. This the dog d i d n ow r a n t o its m a s t er and. both s t u od t ogethe r l ook in g slig l ) tl y daze d a n d entire ly embarrass ed an d dub i o us. Yo u c o m e s o ud o f dot!" shouted the s t o rekeeper get t in g up and g l ower in g on the g u i lt y-look ing pa ir. "I d i d for a fac t, mi ster," n od d e d the a rri va l fr o m th e interior o f the b un d l e '' h a r d a n d s udd e n .'' Y 011 vas yo u v as in m e in c a n va s jus t y et, p r etty g nick ? "We w e r e till y o u w o k e u s u p "Voke yo u u p ? H a Voke yo11-ho You s l e e ps in mein canvas a ll night? Hein! For vhat ?" "Simpl y mister," announced the own er of t h e d o g, quite desp erately, "be cause we had no o ther place to s l eep, and be

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NICK CARTER WEEKL'.l'.. 3 cause the police rooted us out e,erywhere else. Don't get mad," he continued, in a peculiarly winning and conciliatory tone of voice. "We did no harm to your can vas, and your pillow should be a little smoother to -night fer thinking you gave us the first safe and quiet night's shelter we've had for a week-my dog and Itwo homeless, friendless -tramps'll do, I guess!" The boy swallowed the las t words in a kind of bitter gulp. His eyes got a trifle moist. He bravely dashed his fist across them. Then he turned again, with the jolly abandon of a reckless smile, to the storekeeper who was looking vainly for a rip or tear in the surface of the canvas and grumbling a little t o himself. "You're not mad?" "\'ell, I vas-bumble-headed; dot is, I likes him not. Next time, young fel low, you creeps into my bed, for all I know, or snoozes in my vindow garden. Sleep in dot canvas rolled up-ha! ha! Say, it vas funny-he sleeps-ha! ha! ho! ho! Dot vas ritch !" "He's just beginning to see the funny side of it,'' spoke the boy to Brock, with a quaint grimace, and then Brock in turn caught the humor of the episode, and laughed, too, himself. 'I'he storekeeper finally rubbed the tears of jollity from his eyes "Go on, now; I haf business," he cried, growing serious again. ''Holt on. You go to a lodging-house to.night, mein frient. '' "Hardly, without money," came the dry response. "I gif you money. You see dose barrels? Four. You see dot skids? You put dem in mein basement, I gif you a nickel. Hey! Stop! You preak your back, )7011 smash my barrels. Ach, himmel he sleeps in de canvas und he valks off mit hundred pou
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4 NICK OARTER WEF.KLY. opened the package. It contained half a drifted back here, and-not a friend, not pound of raw meat. a sou." Brock watehed him interestedly as he The boy let his 'head drop in a t erribly fed it piece by piece to his dumb compantire
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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 5 CHAPTER II. SOLVED AT THE START. Nick Carter was seated at a tale examining some bauk checks with a mag1iifying gl;ass, as Brock entered his priate room. He brnshed them aside, and greeted his young protege in the glad, welcoming way that won him so many friends. "Jnst in time, Brock," he announced, with a glance at his watch. "For 'the case,' Mr. Carter?" "For 'the case,' nodded Nick, as-sentingly. "What is 1t?" "Mystery. "Deep?'' "No, shallow as to magnitude, but rather muddy as to motives. Never mind that now, though. I want you to take up the affair where I do-direct from the lips of the parties most interested." "Where are they ?'r inquired Brock, glancing quickly about the apartment. "They will be here within five minutes. Meantime, telhne how you have progressed with Armand. Got so you can read the wrinkles on a mu111111y's face and g ue ss wha t kind of detectives they had in Egypt two thousa nd years ago?" ""-"Harrlly," smiled Brock, ''bnt I fancy I can t e ll whether a man is sincere or not by the wiggling of his left thumb, a nd I have learne d tha t the human face is two maps." "Indeed?" for character tn the right half, Armand says, for the petty weaknesses in the l e ft half of the face." "That's interesting. Ah! Here are our visitors," as the door bell rang. "Just one explanatory word, Brock." "Yes, sir." "The people coming here are Amos Sherman, a retired merchant, and his wife-the case is one of robbery. They have lost some four thousand dollars in a single week. Try your new face science on the old man, while I glean a few more salient facts in the case from the woman's talk." The persons described were ushered into the room at that moment, and after an informal introduction to Brock, whom Nick rlesignated as an "associate secreta ry," they seated themselves. Brock knew nothing of the merits of tl1e case as yet, but he studied man and wife narrowly. The former was a thin, nervous person, whose eyes were never still, who jumped at every sound, and seemed on the perpetual edge of some mysterious anxiety. The woman looked worried-that was all-and as she told how a friend of the detective had sent her to Nick, she looked imploringly at the latter as if she considered him the only person on the earth who could help them out of their troubles. Briefly she narrated these same: A few days previously certain mysterious occurrences had transpired at their home. These sl1e described tersely. "On Monday a week ago," she announced, "my diamond earrings, which I had left on the dressing-case, disappeared." "Window open?" queried Nick. "Yes, sir. ''Proceed.'' "Tuesday morning when I got up, all the silver plate in the stout oak chest under the sideboard h ad been taken." "Door broken in?" "Lock picked," my husband says. ''Wednesday my pocket was miss-ing. Thursday my husband's watch chain and shirt studs were taken." "What is the ne e d of details! Bulk the affair. We have been robbed of so much, and that is an end of it," here put the husband querulously. "Five days later my husbanrl's little safe in the library was opened, and twenty-five hundred dollars in bank bills a bstrac tecl. Ni .ck's br"w contracted dubiously. "Are you in the .habit of keeping so much money in the house regularly?'' he ventured. "No, my husband drew it from the bank." "Because so many banks are failing, becau se-in short, I was nervous, timid," put in Mr. Sherman, hurriedly. "Altogether, we have lost four thousand dollars in value within ten days," resumed Mrs. Sherman. "My husband refused to inform the po lice. It was with difficulty that I persuaded him to come here with me."

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6 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. "What's the nse ?" came another of these sharp interruptions. "The money is gone. That is an end to it." Brock stole a glance at his patron's face, but it was impenetrable. In his tell nothing tones Nick proceeded to gather details of the location of the Sherman house, of its visitors, hours of alleged burglarizing, and the like. "I wish yon would at least prevent any further visits of the burglars," spoke Mrs, Sherman. "They are wearing out my husban
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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 7 "No, no-I am too quick," spoke Nick, his usual ingenuous self again. "You only listened to an every.day story. What I do not like is my servant allowing the error. There are times when the wrong kind of a stranger might be too near. You strike me as the right kind, my boy. What is your name?" "I try to be-Donald Boyd." "Come in. Sit down. Now then, what can we do for you?'' Brock liked to see Nick the detective in his well-fitting role of Nick the philanthropist, and he fancied he had never seen him act the same more genially than on the present occasion. He discerned in a flash that Nick was struck with the l1oy, and be shared the se11timent as bit by bit the detective drew out the more graphic points in the career of a knockabQut who, with half a chance, would have made a bright, original record. Nick's eye glo"ed as Donald relate several little anecdotes show iug his deep devotion to his .dumb friend, as he gave an exhibition of his rare strength by lifting Brock in one hand and holding him above his head. What seemed to strike Nick most forci bly, however, was the infinite accuracy as to detail with which Don described everything. "I am going to enroll yon," he said, after half an hour's conversation. "What doe s he mean?" questioned Don of Brock, rather puzzled: Brock told of Nick's famous detective school-of the good police material he was trying to start out in life. "Say!" voiced Don, exuberantly, "just giv yp a home, just tell me I am sure of a quiet crust and a bunk for a month, and--" "You'd do wonders?" smiled Nick. "I'd try to, mighty hard-oh, sir! excuse me. Maybe I am sort of presump t11ons tu venture my opinion on thin as--" <:Not at all,,, encouraged Nick. ''I've seen a good many people," went on Don, "and I ca11ght a glimpse of the face of the old man you was talking to in this room.'' "Go straight ahead," dfrected Nick. "If yon have any views on t-hat case--" "I have. I got thinking, ai1d a concl11sion came into my mind. Maybe it's wrong, but it was forcible the minute he spoke.,, "You mean as to who stole the four thousand dollars?'' asked Brock "Yes.,, "Who is the thief?" "The old man, Mr. Sherman, ha. s been rnbbing himself," was Don's remarkable reply. Brock started, then conviction flooded his own face, and then he looked quickly, eagerly at the detective. "Right!" said Nick Carter sim p ly. CHAPTER III. STUFFED! "Have they gone?" ''Yes.'' It was the evening of the same day upon which the Sherman case ha.d expressed a theory unmistakably in line with what Nick himself had already a
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8 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. "I think," responded Brock, promptly, "we would mutually consfder ourselves a strong team if luck put us together on some good case. '' "The Sherman case, for instance?" ''Yes.'' "You are going to have your wish. I want you two to start out to-night and investigate that affair." "Three, you mean." "How so?" "Tlie dog I doubt if Don thinks he could do anything without Gyp." "That's all right," observed Nick. "Detective instinct is very often animal instinct developed to a high degree. I've known our four-footed friends to cut a very clever figure in several celebrated cases. Now then, Brock, we want to run down this Sherman riddle.'' "Yes, sir." "Keeping one point strongly in view -I beleve that you will very soon learn that old Amos Sherman has been robbing himself." "We want tu know why." "And where the money has gone to, and you have the final nugget of the whole matter." Three more ardent devotees of an exciting profession never took up a trail than thos e grouped behind the r ea r stone wall of the Sherman house just after dark that evening. Abou t eight o'clock, Don, maintaining a wonderful poise on a juttiug piece of mortar, aunounced that Mr. and Mrs. Sherman had jus t started out for a wa1k: or to do some marketing. "Over the wall," he ordered, taking the initiative. The house was dark, and they knew from observation untenanted and .unguarded. Brock made no demur as Don assumed the leadership. He attributed to Don's precipitancy the ardor of the amateur, the first thrill of wh1ch he had experienced in former cases, and rather prided himself on his indulgence. Don, however, he fonnd to be a brisk .worker, if nothing else. His new helper marle his head swim with one or two clever maneuvres. Don reached the sill of three windows in a spring that revealed his circus train-. -mg. ''No go," he announced-"all locked down.'' "Can't we force them?" "Don't want to leave any trails. The rear door it is, I guess. Hold the knob." It was a door provided with hinge-locking pins that came on the outside. Brock had never thought of that universal weak point in door protection before. Out came the two knob-headed pieces of steel, slanting slipped the door. Don put a block nuder its bottom, glided through the aperture, and told B.rock to follow. "Got a lantern? Light it. Give it to me. NoJV then, we want to work quick. Those people may return at any minute." Up stairs, down again, into every room, Gyp silently pattering after them, the searchers went. Don flashed the light at the little safe, the dressing-case, tl1e front door lock, the window catches. "Clumsy enough," Brock h eard him mutter. "Bound to be a give-a-way, and they were outside again a1most before he realiz e d it. "Well?" h e propounded, as they re placed the rear door and got over the back wall again. "The old man is the thief, just as we decided,'' declared Don. "As you did, you mean." "Oh, yo u would have reached the same conclusion a little later, e\en if Mr. Car ter had not suggested it," insisted Don modestly. "A blind man conld see through the burglaries, and windowclimbing and safe-blowing that's reported as going on in that house recently. You noticed the front door?" "Lock manipulated from the inside?" "Exactly, and window cafcl1e s the same. Notice the new ladder? Sherman bought it purpose l y for his imitatio n house-breaking. As to the safe, that's fairly laughable." ''How so?'' "Combination scratched on top in plain figures. Oh, Sherman's a novice. No wonder !ie clic1n't want 'notoriety,' 'a scandal.' First stage in the Sherman case ends at an unmistakable concl11sion: A mos Sherman has robbing himse lf, as we in ferrecl. "And the next step?" "To find out what he's up to. My im

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 9 pression is he is gambling, or something of that sort. I noticed a bottl e label ed 'ammonia' in a cupboard. Smelled it, and found it to be chloroform. "That look s as if he had the material handy to put hi s wife to sleep if he wanted to slip out of the house after bedtime.'' "'You've got it. Now then, we'll take a little stroll, and about t e n o'clock re turn a nd get back into the garden and watch out to see if Sherman leaves the house. '' "Good." The boys wandered about watching the sights for another hour, and then they returned to the vicinity of the Sherman house. It was dark as before, except that the faint gleams of a lamp turned way down in one of the bedrooms told that some one h ad returned and r etired for the night dming their absence. They had just got over the wall and were crossing a patch of pretty shrubbery girdling a path leading to the front, Don first, Brock at his side, Gyp coming noiselessly after .them, when Brock gave his companion's arm a quick pressure that halted him summarily. "What is it?" whispered Don. "Up at the window, white-robed form. It's Mrs. Sherman." ''Don't move.'' There was a small balcony at the window of an upper story, and there, sure enough, robed for her couch, was the lady who had visited Nick Carter's home that day. She peered across the little garden fix edly, eyen shading'her eyes,waved her hand and sighed plainti e1y. "Good night, dear, good night!" "What's this, now?" projected Don, as she disappeared-"some sleep-walking mys t ery?" "I-no, say! Stop, stop!" urged Brock, breathlessly. "It's just occurred to me." "What?" ''The summer house! Don't you remember her telling us to-day that her husband sat up in the little garden summer house all night on the watch?" "That's so. VV'here is it?" "Look, beyond that rose bed. Be cautious. Mr. Sherman is certainly there now." "You wait here, Brock," ordered Don, in a low tuue, alid crept off through some bushes to get nearer to the sumJ.11er house in question without approaching its front. That Brock watched. His eyes growing more accustomed to the darkness, be began to discern outlines; the floor, a table in its centre, a chair, and seated on it-"He's there!" affirmed Brock. "Yes, that's his funny-shaped flat hat. He's leaning on one arm. I can even see his handkerchief. Sure enough, he's on gvard. Now maybe he is, perhaps, we're way off on this case. If so, he's got all kinds of :firearms, probably, and Don don't want to startle him. Why! what's Don up to, anwyay ?" Brock grew greatly 'excited. He tip toed, running quite a risk of being seen, and goggled with wonderment and then stupefaction. He could make out Don now. Tbe lat ter stood crowded up against the vme covered lattice-work just near the doorway arch. He seemed to be pushing a stick through the interstices of the framework. "He's poking up the old man to see if he's asleep. What good is that? It's trifling, it's dangerous," munnnred Brock . ''Is he gone clea r, stark crazy?" Don suddenly came boldly to the open front of the bower, and glancing inside uttered a low whistle apparently express-ive of wonder. Then he stepped inside. Brock saw him lift his band and tilt the hat of the figure at the table. Bi ff !-he could scarcely believe his senses Don gave the aged form a sharp kr.ock Over the figure tipped, down to the floor it slipped Don delivered a rollicking kick, and then even at the distance he was Brock -::ould catch the echo of a cl:oking ch11ckle. "Why! this is shocking! Don; you ashamed of yourself!" burst forth Brock, unrestrainedly, running up to the spot, "assaulting a defenseless old--" "Dummy," supplemented Don, laconi-cal.Jy. "It's simply a figurehead-stuffed."

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' 10 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. CHAPTER IV. TllE GOLD BRICK. "A dummy!" repeated Brock, blankly. "Just." "Stuffed?" ''See for yourself." "Well!" Don was chuckling. Tile situation appealed to his risibilities, but Brock looked dreadfully solemn and mystified. Nothing connected with a four tbousand-dollar robbery case coul
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.. ./ NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 11 lead to our following him back home when he has completed his cigar." "Oh, no!" declared Don, co'nfidently. "'fhink not?" "I know not." "Yon suppose--" "1 know human nature well enough to be certain that this man would not go to all this trouble, plant a dummy and all that, just for a smoke he could take without it.'' "I guess you're right. 'fhen it's a close watch, or he may slip us again. You think he's waiting for somebody?" "Somebody or something." They crossed the street. There was a closed up banana stand in the shelter of a deep shadow in exact line with the cigar store window, and here the boys seated themselves. "I say!>' "Well?" Brock and Don got up instantly with simultaneous ejaculations. Preparing to watch at their leisure, they foun
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12 NICI{ CARTER WEEKLY. the next corner. A form alighted. It was tlrnt of the man Brock was watching for -Amos Sherman. Brock could not keep his eyes off him. When they reached the Sherman house the old m an turned into the garden and went stra ight to the summer house. Brock thought it best to stay outside. D on must certainly be on the watch. He lin gered behind a tree box for some ten minutes. A whistle at the next corner made him turn in that direction. Don was b eckoning to him, 11aving, fo some mysterious way, got clear around the square. Brock hastened to join him. Don looked quite excited. He held something in his hand, wrapped in a handkerc!1ief. "Don, you saw Sherman?" projected B rock. "He cari1e right into the garden." "To the summer house?" "Yes. whatever the secret of these nightly excursions of his, they have reached some kind of a clima" to-night." "How ?1 "He was terribly agitated, muttering to himself and trembling all over. 'At la st I heard him murmur. 'I saw it with my own eyes! I ,ve got it. The first fruits. It's here!' Then he drew some thing from his pocket, wrapped it in his handkerchief, looked at it, fonilling it, mumbled over it, stuffed it way back in the drawer of the stand and went into the house." "And you got it?" "I got it, yes Wasn't I right?" "If it's a c l ew." "It mus t be." "What i s it?', D o n pus he d the folds of the handker chief aside, at the same time saying: ''A gold brick .. '' CHAPTER V. CHASED DOWN. "A 'gold brick!>" repeated Brock, and his face fell. A whole troop of rapid suggestions ran instantly through his mind. A 'gold' brick had but o-.1e association in metropolitan criminal lore-swindling of the most patent type "Well, the cat,s out of the bag fi nally," he remarked, with a disdainful shrng of the shoulders-"threadbare flim flam, regular conntry jay swindle. Some sharp conspirators have got old Amos Sherman to gather up his good coin, and have sold him the diggings of 'an unfor tunate miner' at a discount." "Not at all," chopped in Don, very sharply and de.finite. "No?" "Not to my way of thinking. I can't figure out how, but neither can I believe tliat Sherman has got here a simple bare faced swindle. The worn-ant brass brick isn't being played. There's something deeper in the game than that.'' "Why is there?,, "I judge from the manner and words of Sherman. He looked like an enthusiast on the edge of a delirious discovery; I think he called this 'a specimen,' 'first fruits,' 'he,d seen it done!' What! A n egotiation ? An investment? No, some act, not hocus-pocus. Some-but we are wa sting time here. We want to rnn down this gold brick, find out where it comes from, what it represents. Brock, I'll wa ger considerable, which I haven't got, that back of all this is no innocent, lamb like slipping of a credulous old man into some ordinary swindle, but a big experiment, a new idea, some tremendous de parture out of the common.,' "Yes, but what?,, "We'll delve and see Here, can you get the brick in your pocket? We'll show it to Mr. Carter, and he may want it pnt back so as t o see what Sherman will do with it to-morrow." "Going to wait till to -morrow?" "Not for the other end of the case. That will stand immediate investigation . What did the s tableman call the driver who got the exlra fiver fare to-night?" "Tom Lewis ,, "Tom Lewis we mus t inte r view." "Now?ll "At once You saw him?" "As he drove Sherman to the corner -yonder and dropped him, yes." "Know him again?,, "I think I should.', D on briskly l ed the way in the direc tion of the livery stable. "Keep with me and loo]{ dreadfully anxious and important, he directed as they neared it, and he proceeded straight

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NICK CARTER 'WBEKhY. 13 up the slanting entrance and to the door of the dimly-lighted office, where three of the place were smoking and conversing. "Is there a man named Lewis hereTom Lewis?" inquired Don. "That's me, guv'nor," assented one of the trio, arising and coming forward. "He's the man who drove Sherman," whispered Brock. "I'd like a minute's prfrate comersa tion with you," spoke Don, leading the way out of earshot of the others. "We just came from your night fare." "Oh, did you?" slowly commented Lewis, suspiciously, looking the speaker over. "We did, and-say, will you go to the cab y ou drove and search all about for a little square package?" The driver look e d puzzled Don had ventured to guess that he might have noticed the parcel Sherman carried. Lewis went aw ay, and came back shaking his head. "Nothing in the cab," he reported. "What are we going to do, then ?".demanded Don of Brock with great assumed solicitude. Brock shook his head solemnly. "I don't see, except to search "At the last place he was. Lewis," uttered Don, sharply, "did your fare stop on the way?" "From the hotel here-not a place," blurted out the coachman, never guessing. the trap he was falling into. "He must have lost the package after getting out on the street and going home. He had a package wl1en he came down from the hotel, I saw it." "Maybe it dropped out of the cab," suggested Don. "Couldn't." "See here," persisted Don, briskly, "it might. "Anyway, that's our business, to find it. It's not your fault. Nobody_ blames you. How did you come? Here)" and Don got do,vn on his knee and traced his finger on the dusty floor like a pencil. "Here's the stable--" "Exactly, zigzag to Second avenue, now then south you go, and right to the Virden Hotel.'' Brock's eyes gave a quick snap, evoked by admiration of the clever."razzle-dazzle" which his shrewd associate had em ployed to find out from the coachman all he wished to know. "Don," he cried, slapping him delightedly on the shoulder as they left the stable, "you're a trump!" "'Vell, we've learned where Sherman goes nights, it seems." "Yes, to the Virden Hotel, but the way you pulled the wool over the coachmans' eyes!" "That was a very simple hocus-pocus. Get a man's mind fixed on some problem or idea where he has to momentarilly think anil take his wits off guarcl, and you've got him every time. In watching my finger, that fellow forgot his caution. We're headed straight now." It was a plain, simple proposition-to get to the Virden Hotel, and to find out who it was that Amos Sherman was in the habit of visiting there. The hour was quite late when the two diligent trailers reached the hostelry in qut:;stion, but there was still considerable activity about the place. A transfer wagon had just driven up and was depositing the luggage of son1e late arrivals. The porter, looking cross and sle e py, began carrying in the same. He had just tac;,.led a big trunk as the boys strolled by, and they would not have particularly noticed him had they not heard a slight crash and a &harp cry. Both turned, but Don did not stop _the motion of his supple form till it <'hacl de scribed a quick spring. The porter, it seemed, had slipped or stumbled, had fallen directly across a narrow areaway stairs, and on top of him, crushing back, bending his spine to cracking ten s1011. the heavy trunk was fighting against his ebbing powers of resistan ce. "Lift it! hold it!" he screamed. '"Wait!" Don's practiced eye saw that a minute's delay would wear the man out. He was practically in the position Don himself had often been in his circus experience, when, face up, supported by hands and feet, he sustained a heavy anvil-to give way meant to be crushed. To pull the trunk would be 'to dent its sharp c _orner right into unfortnirnte porter's vitals, to try to lift it with 110 chance for a fair clutch was impossible.

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14 NICK CAR'l'EH "Wait!" repeated Don, sharply. How he did it-dive, dodge or slideBrock could not entirely decide, for he did it so quickly, but the next thing he knew Don was down beside the sinking victim on the steps, his own broad back braced under the trunk. It rifted inch by inch, poised so deli cately, that a tip would send it crashing. "Brock!" called a muffled voice to the palpitating onlooker. "Catch the handle, pull gently. There you are!" The skilled athlete tilted slowly forward, the trunk slid to the smooth side walk. Supporting the exhausted porter, Don followed it. "S-say !" spluttered the former, shak ing from head to foot, "that was a narrow shave." "S-s-slightly," smiled Don. "Brace up, old man, you're all right. Here, none of that! Your nerves won't be steady enough for a job like that till you've had a good night's sleep. Where does the trunk go?" Don shouldered the trunk. He followed the weak and wobbling porter to the bag gage room of the hotel, and threw it down as lightly as he had carried it. He gave a knowing wink at Brock as he did so, and the latter enthused mentally more than ever over his clever com panion, as he in his latest exploit not one iota of braggart vanity, but action looking solely to putting them closer to the object of their quest. The porter sank to a chair an
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NICK CAR'lER WEEKLY. 15 "WeII, he's a-a nabob. "Is he?" "Gen nine, glare and glitter till he daz zles out the night clerk's sparkler, and keeps the bell-boys fighting for a chance to wait on him. Been here two weeks. He's made a trail of gold, I tell you. That's him." "Let's look." Brock and Don knocked their heaos together in their eagerness to catch a glimpse of the photograph which the porter b ere i:irod u ced. It represented a short, rotund man with one of those faces that suggest noisy bluster and tireless activity. "Found it in the paper basket in his room, so guess he threw it away,'' explained the porter. "Want lit? Certainly, you can have it. Yes, that's the nabob, that's the sensation of the hour hereabouts." "And he's from Klondike, eh?" murmured Don, studying the portrait musingly. "Fresh and direct. Full of it. He's got chunks of gold bigger than eggs Sifts the yellow dust in fist fulls from his pocket while he talks to you, and de scribes Alaska till you imagine it's a big mountain of gold." "Forming a stock company on his wonderfu 1 prospects I suppose?" suggested Brock meaning ly. "Not a bit of it. Says he's got nothing to sell. Information only to give, and this he distributes free." "Made his pile, and posing as a nabob spending it?" ventured Brock again. "Well, he claims to have the stuff, but he practically turns 11is nose up at mining. Says he's got a better thing and an easier thing than freezing your fingers out on the Yukon separating nuggets frotn icicles.'' "I'd like to see him," remarked Don. "Say, you shall!" dedated the porter, readily. "See him? I'll put you right up next to him. You shall talk to him, you shall slip into his r o om a:1d see his splendid specimens. Anything you like. I'm your friend, and whether yoiu're his or not, is none of my concern." "Good for you!" answered Don, emphatically. '11'11 be here in the morning to see about it. I've an interest in this man." "I guess that." "And the people he's
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16 NWK CAR'.l'ER WEEKLY. \ "You said 'Zounds!' insinuated. got somethi n g for nothing! Wait a mo ment, though. The minute Nick received the brick he bega..n to heft i t and scan i t w i t h rising b riskness of manner. "Did I?" "Yes, sir." "Well?" Mr. Carter?" he "You don't do that often." Now he went over to his desk, t ook up a queer spiral instrument, gave it a dozen t wists in different pa r ts of the brick, ap p l ied some liquid from a vial, and came back to his young friends with a decid edly thoughtful face "No, for I am not often startled a s that picture has profoundly startled me,'' confessed Nick, promptly. "Buys, y o u have just begun your w.ork on the Sher"Wrong hypothesis he spoke. "vVhat do yo u mean Mr Carter?" nsked Brock ''I mea n that there is something deeper i.n tli is affair t h an t he old ,gilt sw i nd le." "Why?" "'r:he brick is go ld-solid, genuine gold." Brock l ooked a littl e blank at the de tective's announcement, but Don's face brightened visibly. "Mr. Carter" he said, "that puts a new phase on the matter, doesn't iU" "Entirely so. With Sherman willing to invest his monev and the seller furnishing genuine gold, all the law in Christendom dare not interfere. "But," pursued Don, eagerly, "we have a right to guess that no man would go to the trouble that Sherman has if it was a clear, straight tr .ansactiou ?'' "Exactly." ''And that the man from Klondike is up to some game?" ''Yes.'' "His looks show that he has a vast amount of sinister cunning in reserve," remarked Brock. "Oh! then you have seen him?" inter-rogated Nick, quickly. "No, but we have his picture. "Let me have a look at it." "There it is." "Zounds!" The veteran detective was not given to sensational expletives, but he projected t his one with a for ce that astonished Brock. So sharply ancl steadily did Nick sturly the photograph, and so vivid v..as his interest in it, his apparent recognition, that. Brock was p l aced on new nettles of ex-citement. man case .'' "And l fancied it finished," deprecat i ng l y muttered Brock "This picture opens-- ''A new vista, a second line of specu certainties. call him, you say?'' ''roes us J. Dun bar," answered Brock, promptly. "The man from Klondike," supplemented Don "He is neither. boys bustled on the sharp edge of curiosity. "His right name is Barney Dwyer. "His correct appelative woultl. be 'The man from Prison.' "He is known to the authori ties as Velvet Foot, the most clangerous swindler and all-around thief that ever set New York by the ears. "He was released from the Dartmouth Prisou, in England, last January, after serving a fifteen years' sentence. "The papers were full of his death at sea ten days later, and he was crossed off 'active shadow' as a troublesome customer finally out of the way. ''.He is the man.who put up the great Charleston bank sneak, getting away with sixty thousand dollars in bonds and securities. "He is also the originator of the guess padlock scheme, so successfully worked on innocent farmers. "Twice he has flooded France with fraudu lent mining projects, reaping a rich harvest from the gullibl e "My friends, I never forget a face. Here, only one feature has guided methe eyes-but this is the man I describe beyuncl the peradventure of a doubt. "I would stake my professional repu tat ion upon this, and sh r ewdly, accidentally, as you choose, but an the same surely, you have located i n the heart of

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NICK CARTEH. WE.EKLY. 17 New York city, a man believed by the po ice of two continents to be .fathoms under the sea. "I can conceive no greater benefit to pilfered humanity, no more famous act withi1i the scope of detective powers, than to land this king of swindlers safely behind prison bars once more, and keep him there." "Why!" Brock, in a fervent gasp. Don's face was radiant-only that. They had done "a big thing!" and there was a prospect of it expanding. In dramatic sections Nick Carter's words had fallen upon the still air, clear cut and concise as the summing up of a case in court. "Then--" began the impetuous Brock. "You will first return this brick to where you found it. We must not alarm any of the covey until the time has arrived for the firing of the final gun." "I will do that," promised Don. "In your own way you will think out the best course to pursue in fathoming what lies under the surface. You have the chance of a lifetime before you, "de clared Nick Carter, positively. "This Sherman case is no cheap gold brick swindle. Behind it is the cleverest scoundrel known to Christendom, behind him is a record that convinces me that when you ru1; his scheme, his motives to burrow, you will have unearthed the .greatest swindle of the nineteenth century." CHAPTER VII. GETTING READY. "What are you doing, Don?" "Getting ready for the. campaign." "And training Gyp to take a part?" "Could I do anything right without him in it? You don't know that dog's full ca pa bili ties yet, Brock. He '11 surprise you one of these days.'' "You 're surprising us, Don, I declare! Carter seems to think you're about as near tu petfect, so far as shrewdness goes, as they make them." "lf I am really shrewd," returned Don, "it's because I've been ground against the whetstone of hardship. That sets the edges, I tell you.'' ''It has. in your case. What are you doing?" Don only smiled and kept his attention fixed on Gyp. He had the little ani mal in a corner of the room, and he was thrusting under its nose, and then grab-. bing away a small square piece of something. "Cheese -tantalizing the poor litHe fellow. I wouldn have thought it of you. Here I'll get you a whole chunk to feast on." "Never!" dissented Don, forcibly. "Don't interfere, Brock, and as you vaiue our friendship never let him get at that cheese in this hous.e." "\Veil!" ''I mean it. I am teaching him to as sociate this house solely with the pecu liar flavor of that cheese. It is a select brand Mr. Carter uses, it seems. Lesson over!" called out Don to the dog, gave him a crisp bone, and arose to his feet carefully securing in oiled paper and stowing away in a far inside pocket the cheese rn orsel in question. Brock felt curious enough to want to know wh .at possible results his new fnenJ to achieve from so much care and trouble, but he realized that Don rarely did anytl1ing whimsical and pur po::ieless, and half surmised that the bit of cheese and clever Gyp would come into associated evidence somewhere farther down the line. Don had made a surreptitious break-of day visit to the Sherman garden, and had rep1aced the abstracted gold brick just where he had found it. Nick had set another pupil watching the Sherman house, with instructions to keep a close eye upon the bower, to fol low Sherman wherever he went that day, and to report at three o'clock in the af ternoon, when he would be relieved on his watch bv a comrade assistant who was also the detective's tutelage. Brock and Don, Nick left solely to their own devices. He seemed to think it the best plan for the present. The two friends had discussed every phase of the Sherman case that morning, and had formulated a plan of procedure. As the day progressed, however, its tirst arranged details were considerably modi-fied of necessity.

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.. \ . 18 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. The sharp work of the night previous had been the first that Brock had engagfd in since bis convalescence from a bad fall be had received in running down some counterfeiters two months previous. As the morning wore on he began to feel the e ffects of bis brisk exercise. At noon he was limping, and Nick noticing it, told him that it would npt do to overtax himself-to take another night's rest and let Don get the field ready for dou ble action. "I'll just make a brief skirmish around the Virden Hotel," suggested Don, "get more solid with the porter, and find out the lay of the land generally. The man from Klondike, alias Croesus J. Dun bar, alias Barney Dwyer, alias Velvet Foot, is in some scheme that is working siow, for he's been quite a time at it, and there is no need of rush work. I'll be back some time this evening." "Sn ppose yo u find it bes t not to?" asked Brock. "Then I'll se;;'d Gyp." "You'll what!" cried Brock. "Se nd my mess enger-the dog." "Oh, come now!" "vVon' t I?" "Oh!" smiled Brock, "I begin to see the real utility of your cheese-training sch eme. But to act as a messenger--" "Look out for Gyp when I'm away, that's all,'' observed Don, significantly. The speaker was r eady to depart n ow, and told Brock so Gyp was wagging his little stump of a tail expectantly, anxious to get into the open air again, and the two friends were exchanging sentiments as to the general plan of progress in the case on hand, when both looked in mutual snrprise toward the front door. A ring and the response to the summons by a servant had brought in a decidedly turbulent caller. At him the boys looked curiously, for he was a curiosity. He was a yonng sprig of fashion of the extremest kind. From monocle stuck in his eye to cane stuck in his hand, he was no exaggeration of the s t age conception of the swell representation of the tenderloin district. "My deah fellow!" he cried. "So dreadfully exhausted! I must see Mr. Carter, you know. Where is he? Where will I find the distinguished gentleman?'' The servant showed the new-comer into the detective's consultation room. Fres h as a field of daisi es, the queer arri val spurred up Brock and Don to curious "Isn't he a wonder!" chnckled Don. "Come on, let's see what he's after." "Oh, my Cleah Mr. Carter! Are you Mr. Carter, sir? I fawncied you a giant in stature, qnite, all covereq with handcuffs and pistols Oh, cleah My nerves are atwociously jarred. Mr. Carter, my deah boy, Nick-may I call you Nick? they all do, ha! ha! qujte a joke. I am in a dweacHul dilemma." The great detective sat staring vague ly at this hl1rricane of dawdling eloquence, of foppish emptinc;ss, as if some one with a grudge against him was paying off the same. The 1 new-comer was in a frenzied sort of a flutter. In a h ysterical way he tore a check book from his pocket. "Fill it out, my deah Mr. Carter, don't w e fus e, pray, don't wefuse I am in awful straits. The bah, the juwy, the horwid prison c e ll yawn fow me!" The feather-brained young man ended wit11 a sor t of a shriek. Nick tried to keep his face straight. "Mister-your name, please?" "Nevah, Mr. Carter!" cried the v1s1-tor, shrilly. "It must be only whispered. May I whisper? Oh, tJ1e horwid scan dal!" He mumbled a name. Nick regarded him curiously. It was his first view of one of those nonentity scions of a once great New York fam-ily, gone back the evolution sca l e many degrees toward the' alleoed ape ancestor. fhen he spoke a second name-that of a society leader of great wealth. ''He is to be my fathah-in-law !" wai l ed the young man. "Think of it!" "Are yon wanting me to pity yo u or him?" edged in Nick, bluntly. "Oh, sir, don't be facetious. I am in terwible twouble." 1 "Well, if you will compose yourself snfficiently to tell me what your trouble is, maybe I can h elp you ont of it." "Oh, Mr. Carter, you ml1s t, indeed you mnst There i s no one neawer than Scot land Yard . A fwiencl sent me t o you a fwiend I can trus t 17

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 19 "I am not in active service--" began Nick. "Oh, Mr. Carter, don't say that! I shall de-I shall faint if you do. Listen, sir. My fat lrnh-in-l aw t11at i s to be went t o F.uwope last month. He placed hi s plate in my safekeeping. Oh, deah A gold ser\'ice, solid, Mr. C a rter, a si l ve r service, also solid. Priceless, Mr. Carter. Value over twenty thousand dollars. My folks cut off my allowance suddenly-saving for the grand wedding. I got in debt at the club. Honah, Mr. Carter. I-I hypothecated the plate." "You mean you pawned it?" The distressed young man uttered another feminine "Must I confess?" h e wailed. '!Yas, I pledged it. A tempowary makeshift, indeed, Mr. Carter, for yesterday I went to that h orwid I saacs witb the m oney to redeem the plate, and--'' "I read it in the papers," interrupted Nick-"his place was burglarized the ni ght previons." "And the plate was taken. Oh. Mr. Carte r, can you 110t get it for m e ? What will my fathah-in-law that is to be say?. ".:. "Give me an accurate d escription of it," ordered the detective, "and I\vill see what I can do." '' Hea h it i.s, Mr. Carter, all written out for you," answered the young man, tendering a folded slip of paper, "and; Mr. Cart e r, I must tell you Laws t night a man joined me on the s t ree t. He said he could westore the plate for five thou Think of it! and I have ouly two, and then he said put a personal in the papah accepting the offa h before to-morwow, or it would be melted up. Think of it! melted up, a nd with it wo ul d melt all my hopes of a wich fathah-in-law." The weak-brained fello w was fairlv blubbering now. "What kind of a looking man was he?" asked Nick. "He was, oh, deah What a shock, Mr. Carter. I shall swoon, I know I shall. That is the man-that is the man." "Who is the man? What do you mean? Eh?'' cried Nick, bolt upright in a minute-"you mean this?" Upon the table tilted against 11n :ink-stand stood the picture of the man from Klondike. "That is him-I could sweah it-his vewy face Oh, Mr. Carter, you will save me from disgwace ?" "I'll try to. It was wonderful how Nick's face changed from bored weariness to sudde n animation the minute hi s visitor's vehe ment.declaration associated the picture of the central figure in the Sherman case with his own affai rs. "You h ea rd him?" queried Nick o f the equally wondering Brock and Don. "I h eard him," spoke Don, thoug ht fully. "Mr. Carter, things are gettiu g muddled." "Do not become confu sed because yo u find another diverging 'strin g to Ve lvet Foot's operations," said Nick. ( I told you he was no ordinary schemer." "I think l had better begin a sbadow on him," muttered Don. "I think you had." "Gold at the Sherman end of tlie affair; gold at the encl of this new element in the case,'' reflected Don, as he left the house. "There are likel y to be some very pretty developments befor e I get through with the man from Klon dike." Nick did not seem to be in a mood for con versa tion after Don had left and Brock went to his own room, ancl tri ed to think that every hour he got of re s t was just so much recuperation for a pos sibl e joint shadow with Don on the morrow. He lay down on a couch to read and fell asleep before he knew it. When h e woke up Brock was amazed at his long spe ll of slumber. '"Why, it's after eight o'clock," he said, coming down into the hall a nd glancing at the big timepi e c e th ere "Boys all out," he decided, l ooki u g into the gymnasium. "Mr. C arter's room is dark, so he must be out t oo." Brock was bound for the library, intent on putting in an hour or two e n a volume j11st i ss u ed describing some of the r es ul ts of the Bertillon system of m easuring criminals, when he paused and lis tened "What's that noi se at the door?" he asked himself. "The wind?"

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20 He half decided it was the rising breeze blowing some piece of stray paper across the porch, but arrived at a new conclusion as the sounds increased, and with a marked regularity. Scratch-scratch-scratch. And then-a yelp. "Hullo," exclaimed Brock, knowingly, and his eyes opened wide He hurrie
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"Seems Dunbar heard me tell a day or two ago about a nephew I had-a deaf mute-told me he wanted just such a boy." "We11 ?" i 'I told your friend, Don." "Yes." "He posed for the position." "And got it?,, "Precisely." "That is, he 'has been engaged in the servfre of the man from Klondike?" "That's it." "And has gone off with him?" "You've hit it, and that same old man you 're so interested in--" "Shern1an," muttered Brock. "He's been here. The three went off together.'' Brock reflected deeply. "Do you suppose this Dunbar has left the hotel for good?'' he asked. "He took away two satchels-your friend earned them-and he paid his bill up to date. I notice he's left a bundle in his room, t110ugh. Excuse me a minute. There's a cal] for me. Be back soon.,, The tap of a bell from the clerk's desk call the porter away. Brock saw him di rected to au ill-favored fellow who handed him a note. The porter made for the stairs, but cir cled around to where Brock was on his way, pretendi11g tu be looking over some luggage, and said in quite a mysterious to11e: "See that man who just came in?" "Yes," assented Brock. "Follow him when he leaves here." "Why?" "He comes from Dunbar." "Oh!,, "With a note for Mr. Dunbar's laun dry package.,, "Good. Thank you. See you again." Brock posted himself outside n0w. In a few minutes out came the man he had been directed to notice, carrying quite a large bundle under one arm. Brock knew the value of precaution. If this man was a friend or employee of Dunbar, he might have seen the dog companion of Dunbar's new mnte em ployee, so Brock stopped long enongh to give the canine a lecture. "See here, Gyp," he said;-"mum's 21 the word. You shady now. Understand?" He buttoned his coat baggily and slipped the little creature into 2 snug berth, Gyp closing his eyes and affirming as plainly as dog could affirm, that he wouldn't show th<:! tip of his nose till directed! "I guess I'm started right," decided Brock, with considerable complacency. "This fellow's an easy one.,, The man he was shadowing was stolid to the point of stupidit. y. He shambled lazily ahead, and paid so little attention to surroundjngs that Brock kept dose to bis heels. -When he stopped lt was on a quiet thoroughfare built up solid with four story brick buildings given over to re spectable tenements, to business chance offices and storage. One of these had its store front lighted, and bore the neat modtst sign, "Hand Finish Laundry." Inside behind a counter sat a dapper clerk, and behind him was the conven tional box-divided partition for holding bundles. The man went in and threw his parcel on the counter. The clerk received it, took up what looked like a numbered card, tore it in two, gave one half to the man, attached the other half to the bun dle, threw the bundle into one of the compartments, and sat down to make an entry in an open book. Not a word had passed between the two-, not a sign of recognition, and yet the man Brock was shadowing proceeded familiarly over to a corner of the room, and seemed shuffling his feet around, as if posing for something. Flip-flop went something so quick, so vivid, that Brock gasped. Where the man bad stood he was not now. Brock goggled. by no door had the man vanished. Either a trap in the floor or a panel in the wall had swal lowed him up. Brock was bothered, but for all that his face brightened. "Good enough!" he commented. "When people have to anopt such mysteri ous humpty dumpty tactics, there's some thing crooked under it. This is a crooked place. Now then, to find out why and bow."

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22 NICK Cil_R'fER WEEKLY. Brock hung around the stre et. He join e d two bo y s _over on an ash bo x pfay jng mumblety-peg, he helped an o th e r hunt for a lost ball, he made himse lf generally at home and naturally occupied in a doz e n various ways during the next half hour, but he kept his eyes on the "hand finish laundry" all the time. During that thirty minutes those eyes were opened to a singular fact. Out of so .me twenty different ''custom ers" who arrivtd, every one was a man, every one of a certain slinking, furtive type, and every one seemed to bear a package too heavy to comprise shirt collars and cuffs. In fact, as one of thes e st um bled at tile doorstep, and his parcel fell to the stone, it gave a clatter more resembling a mix-up of cast metal than the crisp brushing together of starched shirt bosoms. Just 'as the man Brock was shadowing had quietly transacted his business with the clerk, so those following him delivered their bundles and received cl1ecks without comment, only none of these latter followed the harlequin example uf the first arrival. They pocketeel the checks carefully, and stole down the street and out of it as if a mission of extreme secrecy or crime had just been ac complished. The partitioned off case behind the clerk was now pretty full of bundles. Brock saw the latter to the door. He glanced up and down the street, and then hurried back behind the counter again. Brock observed him kick a piece of wood projecting from the floor. "Hello!" ejaculated the gaping ob server. Down through the floor shot the partition-bundles and all. Up it came again -empty. "Funny laundry!" muttered the aroused and curious Brock. "That was a quick turn. He's lowering the iights. Unlocks a door near the partition. Going into the next room. Locked up? No. Ah, my chance!" The man had closed the street door, but had not secured it. Apparently he was gone into an adjoining room for a brief mument only, possibly down below to direct the further manipulation of those mysterious bundles. Customers could wait till he returned, it seemed. At all events, the clerk would be gone for a minute or two, and a minute or two was all Brock felt he needed to find out som ething he had been barning to know for the last t11irty minutes. Noiselessly he opened and reclosed the door, like a shadow he crossed the floor to the corner where he had seen the man from the hotel disappear. He felt around with his feet as he had seen the man do, he groped across the surface of the wall. Click went a catch that his hand swept over. A section of the wall gave in and he went wW1 it . Two separating panels let him back, whirled clear around on pivots, a circular piece of the flooring whirled with him, the panels shot back, the floor stopped revolving, and Brock, slightly dazed but triumphant, found himself in anothe r room. "Good as a play-I've got there," he soliloquized. "Pretty dark. Tables? No, chair. I'll sit down, and rest, and think and listen.'' Brock softly sank into the chair he had stumbled against. He was sorry for it the next instant: Whirr-r-r went some secret mechanism in its bottom, set loose by a spring he must have pressed down. Quick as a flash Brvck realized what he had done, aud his danger. He flopped to the floor, ran his hand under the chair, seized a clock work unwinding spiral spring, a11d let it run its course till it muffied out. "Whew!" he commented, as his fingers crossed the surface of a good-sized alarm bell-"a house of traps and warnings, eh? I must be cautious. They seem to be prepared for trespassers here. If I hadn't had the wit to check that bell just in time, I'd have had a whole houseful about my heels in less than half a minute." CHAPTER IX. THE HOUSE OF SECRETS. Brock made sure that there was no danger of the bell chair "going off" again, and stood in the darkness and silence debating what he should next do. There was a window at one end of the

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 23 room, but it gave little light, and, near ing it, Brock instantly discerned why this was so It looked out on a court around which arose solidly the c l osely -knit frontage of four buildings, shutting out both light and air to a great degree. "Queer place, this," reflected Brock, and then he pressed his face closer to the window and peered hard. Just below the laundry office was an aperture. From this ran a stout cable. He traced it aloft to a s in g l e break in the opposite wall a hundred fee t away. Here there was a window, or rather a hole in the even brick su r face. Brock edged close and had t o sqnint sideways to get a view of what w as going on below him, for something was, he could tell it by a regular thump-bump of some falling objects. "Aha!" he murmured finally. "There's the fellow, the clerk in the laundry. What i5 he doing? Oh, I see He's dnmp i11g the bundles he dumped so magically into the partition case into an eriormous big basket.' 1 This basket, capacious enough to hold half a dozen men, was attached to the slanting cable by little wheels, and from its front ran a rope along the cable and over a pulle y, it seemed, at a dimly outlined in the third story of the opposite lrniding. The clerk was filling this basket with the p1.rcels he lrnd received during the evening. They jarred noisily togethe r, and the interested Brock was more puzzled and anxious than ever to guess what t11eir contents might be. The man seemed to have completed his task of loading up the basket, for he retired from below. A grating closed noisily after him. Brock heard him re-enter the office up stairs. There he manipulated some mechanism tlrnt sounded a signal over in the builning across the comt, for a faint tinkle echoed from tlrnt direction. "There is some way ot getting out of this room besides t11e panel, of co nn,e," theorized Brock, ''but I '11 risk no m ore traps. No, I'll keep rny eye on that basket. There she goes.'' The guide IO]Je began to slack and the cable bellied just here. The basket started an ascent of the sharp slant. Some one up at the d istant window was pulling it up. Brock watched it fade and vanish. Perhaps fifteen minutes went by. He fancied he ca ught occasiona l g leams of light beycnd the aperture that had received the ba!:ket. Then those died out, and with a swish the basket carne sliding back-empty. Brock was intensely interested. He hoped that he was on a trail that would end with the discovery of the man from Klondike and Don. Even if there was no positive promise oi the sort, however, h e wou ld follow out the present adventure, he decided Ever on the alert for crooked work, be was certain tha t such was in progress here, and hopeful but cnrious, he formulated a bold plan of learning more about the strange laundry and its strange way of doing business. Brock examined the window he stood at. It took him five minutes t o do what had t o be done-lift it and get down into the yard. He now found himself in a prison-walls and grating shut him in. "There's no going back," he determined. "I'm going to see wl1ere that baske t went to by following it.'' Gyp wriggled inside his coat as Brock started on a voyage of ri s k and uncertainty. Brock had concluded to ascend the cable spanning the court. He got into the basket, got the nm of the ropes, and was soon sailing obliquely across the dark open space. He sent back the basket as soon as he stepped out of it into a room with nothing in it. "What has become of the plunder just sent over?" he q nestioned. "I must get new track or sight of that, it seems, in orrler to keep on the correct trail Brock proceeded very slowly and very cautiously, for he was wary of trick panels, trap chairs and the like. It took him quite a time to learn that the room he was in had ly one exit, a door, and this was impregnable. It was studded with bolts driven tbrong b heavy timbers, and provided with lock s massive as th ose of a jail. Just enough of the night li ght came in t o show outlines, and it showed Gyp,

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2i NICK CARTER WEEKLY. whom he had set down, investigating every nook and corner industriously as himself. "Found something?" queried Brock, as Gyp uttered a low b11t significan t growl. Brock went to where the littl e animal had posted himself. It was where a circu lar hole showed. Brock felt into this. A smooth metal surface met his tonch "It's a pipe, a twenty-two inch galvanized iron pipe," he decided. "Ah he continued, squinting keenly past an open crack where it came though the brick work. '1 I see There's another court, and th ir ty feet across it is another building. Do they shoot the la\111dry packages through this'? I guess that's it. \Veil, I ne ver heard of such a roundabout course as th ese fellows take to deliver goods. There must be a big deal at the end of it. Brock had now traced the laundry packages through two buildings. He pre pared to enter the third. He crept into the pipe. It was rusted and creaked. As he r eached its centre, directly oyer the middle of the new court, he experienced a g11ick thrill. "It's bend ing, it's breaking!" he fluttered. He now decided that the bundles might have been sent through the pipe, but not the man who received them. He had probably disappeared thro11gh the ironstudded door Brock had noticed. "'Gyp!" spoke Brock warningly. and the dog pattered back right up to him. "lt's giving!" breathed Brock. "I can feel it, inch by inch. lt's jointed, and the centre section of pipe is dropping. Whew! Too bad! I'm booked for a fall. Off the reel-my clock's stopped!" Brock thought so, but made a forward p111nge. Two sections of the pipe came apart, and he flopped down. He heard a hideous jangle in the s t one-paved court below, grabbed ou t, and as Gyp clutched at his shoulder and clung there, he caught a dangling wire that shot across the swaying upper section of. the pipe, and flopped with a crash the op posite wall. This steadying wire was wrapped around the pipe overhead. It sent him so forcibly down and sideways, that one foot struck the sash of a window and snapped a pane of g l ass. "There's a safe perch,'' soliloquized Brock, ''and just i n time, for the wire is giving." He managed to lower himself to a stone s ill. Pressing his hands against the sas h beyond it h e thre w it up, dropped into a dark room, and sank to the floor panting and slightly unnerved from his recent curdling experience. "I wonder if this is the final den?" he mused. "Ah the nois e has disturbed somebody. Voices overhead? I want to get out of here, or I 11 be traced. Door? Good. Corrid or ? YEs." Brock groped his way from the apartment he had landed in, down a hall, and into another room. This he started to cross to what he fancied was a window He half h esitated as his feet seemed to slide An innate sense made him feel that h e was penetrating forb idd e n and, therefore, possibly guarded territory. H e knew it as his foot seemed to touch a pla11k set for intruders. Something dropped a11d he tilted forward Whiz !-he seemed scudding down a greased toboggan s lide with lightninglike velocity. Splash !-he landed in water up to the neck, went under, and with a frightened yelp little Gyp went under with him. CHAPTER X. THE GOLD MAKERS. Brock had studied up on the tricks and traps of the criminal classes of New York city, and at once suspected his environment. He was in one of those secret dens trebly guarded, provided with pitfalls for the intruder. The bell chair proved this, and his last thrilling slide for life enforced the conviction. As he came to the surface of what seemed to be a large cistern ten feet deep, he struck out boldly and reached its edge just as Gyp paddled thither himself. "Shot down two stories," calculated Brock. "Over we go to dry land, old fellow," and he dropped to a hard dirt floor the dog in one arm. "S-st A light.''

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NIOK CAHTER WEEKLY. 2b Brock did not even dare to shake the drippings from his drenched form, and Gyp took the cue and miserably endured the discomfort of a like sogginess. Various glints of light had attracted B10ck's attention. He advanced slowly, cautiously, and each step convinced him that lie was on the threshold of some tangible discovery as to the laundry mystery at last. He came bolt up against a frame partition. Its cracks were moderately wide. He looked through one of them. "Oh, but I'm in luck!" he breathed in an oyerjoyed ecstacy; That was the "professional" of it. Brock. forgot wet and chill, risk and peril in that thrilling glow which comes only to the true detective when, after pursuing a tortuous road, he finds that it has landed him squarely up against his game. The next room was lighted. In its centre were benches and tools. In one corner was a small forge. Near it, set down in an iron standard under which a lot of lighted gas jets were playing, was a crucible. What fascinated Brock's glance, however, was a sight of two familiar forms. Bending over the crucible which steamed with some simmering mass was -the man from Klondike. In an attitude of ecstacy, a few feet away, his old eyes lit up with what resembled fanatical zeal, his nervous hands clasping and unclasping as if he was trembling on the crisis of his life, was old Amos Sherman. Dunbar gave the mass in the kettle a stir with a long metal spoon. "Nearly at the culminating point, my friend," he said to Sherman, slapping h1111 on the shoulder. "Oh, it is wonderful!" quavered the old 111 an. "lsn 't it?" "Magical! Since the day I so fortunately found you, I have waited for this moment.'' "Ah," smiled back Dunbar, his eye twinkling shrewdly, "didn't I tell you? Didn't I say I wouldn't pick up the armsful of nuggets, the spadesful of dust lying just outside my cabin door in Alaska for the trouble of lugging them East--" ''Because--'' "Because I had a better thing." 10h, infinitely better!" "I had discovered a secret--" ''The mystery of the ages-the marvel of the universe." Sherman's enthusiasm was so vivid as to be absolutely painful. He hung on the words of his companion as fervently as if he was some prophet, and he a devotee who weighed his every utterance as more precious than priceless treasure. "They're working a regular opiumdream game on this old man, whatever it is," murmured the peering and listening Brock. "I said I had a better thing," resumed the man from Klondike. "You did, indeed." "I had cl iscovered--" "The lost art, the aim of the alchemists of dead ages, a way to make gold!" "TN ell!" commented Brock, his mind expanding to sudden enlightenment. "That's the dodge, is it?" Yes, the secret. was out. Whatever he hoped to gain from it,however he planned to work it, Croesns J. Dunbar was setting up the old, ever-dazzing scheme tliat has so often blinded wiser mm than old Amos Sherman. "I told you I needed an associate, a rep utable, responsible business man," went on Dunbar. "That was me. I furnished fo11r thou sand dollars-hard to get, but I managed it-to buy the--" "The ingredients, the precious powder that cost a fortune. I got it. I gave you back the first product." "A gold brick, a pure gold brick, a solid gold brick!" rayed Sherman, indescribably excited. "I tested it. I sold it. I can sell a thousand more. Oh, we shall be---'' "Rothscbilds." The old man nearly had a fit. He hugged himself, crowing like a delighted child over a bauble. "And you said I should, to-night, out i0f a ten-dollar pinch of this wollderful mixture of yours, see how yon make the precious stuff," cried Sherman, "and it's there. In the crucible. Boiling." "It is. You saw me put in the powder, then some lead. I stir. It's ready. Hand

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26 N IC K C A HTER WE EKLY me 'tha t l a dle. H o ld it s tead y w hil e I pour. Why, you're s h aking likt a n aspe n, m an!" "I' m athrill w ith g l o ry. G o l d gol d gol
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NICK CAR'fEU WEEKLY. 27 lay very low, anrl get away before the police even suspect I'm alive." "Capital!" "Fence? That means a place where they receive stolen goods. The way that fellow says 'laundry' is sort of opening my eyes," soliloquized the raptly-listening Brock, speculatively. "Se: this young fellow at work, Duffin," directed Dunbar, indicating Don. "I needed just such a helper, and we'll not let him see daylight again till we're ready to break and run." "You want to get some stuff ready to melt?" "All of it. You see, I promised our agent, Sherman, a lot of bricks .. to -morrow night. He can sell witho11t exciting suspicion, being so respectable, and there fore get full prices. "Hey!" spoke the man Duffin, approaching Don. "He can't hear, and he's dumb, as well," explained D11nbar. "Show him." "All right. Come along," and Duffin caught Don's arm and motioned him to follow him. Brock scanned his friend narrowly. He read the skilful part of a deaf mute he was playing. Don's face wore a regular pan-of-milk expression Dunbar lounged at a bench while his accomplice led Don away. They came into the space where Brock was, and the latter cro11ched behind some boxes He was on pins and needles of active anxiety. Gyp was quivering strangely. Brock had hidden the little animal's head in his coat the minute he caught sight of Don, fearing some demonstration, but foi:_ all that, Gyp, by some mysterious telepathic sense, seemed to scent his master's presence. The man Duffin had brought a candle with hi111. He went to the door of a close ly partitioned off-room in a far corner. As he threw it back Brock stared with op e n mouth. A spectacle greeted him both wonderful and enlightening. In one corner Jay a lot of paper wrappings. They were certainly those which had enveloped the packages delivered at the street laundry office earlier in the ev e n mg. In another corner was a heap-a glare, a glitter, a heterogeneous mass of radi-ance and richness that s e emed to re _present every trinket, ornament and utility in which the precious metals are employed. There were gold and silver servers, cream jugs, knives, forks, card rec eivers; there were cane. heads, parasol crooks, penholders, pencils; there were chains, guards, watches, lockets, rings, v el\'et cases, leather cases, filagree cases. If the <;ontents of some tremendously big pawnshop had been dumped here, the aspect would ha ye exactly duplicated the present ensemble. Against the wall sat half a dozen steelbound leather cases. Brock conld guess that they probably contained some dinner service of fabulous value. The man Duffin set the candle on a box and picked up a ring. He had a chisel in his hand, and he pried out a Jewel as if it was a lump of coal, tossed it into an empty keg, and put the gold band into a-no th er. He indicated, by showing him, that Don waR thus to separate ornaments and settings, placing gold and silver in different heaps. Brock was fairly stunned at the layout. He understood every detail of Dunbar's scheme now. "He's started an immense fence for stolen goods," he surmised. "Through honest old Amos Sherman he gets rid of this stuff. melted down, at full rates, without police interference. Those 'laundry' customers are all thieves. Nick Carter was right-Velvet Foot Dwyer, alias the man from Klondike, is, indeed, up to no ordinary game!" To bag this outfit! Oh, what a casewhat a triumph! Brock set his wits at double gallop thinking gait. Don sat down and began the work as signed him. In the next room the two conspirators huddled at a work bench over a game of cards. "We've got an hour or two of leisure, let's enjoy ourselves till time to start up the melting furnace," suggested Dunbar. Brock put in the hardest half-hour's thinking he harl ever engaged in. A doz en heroic plans suggested themselves to his creeping on the unsuspecting crim inals, downing them, getting Don to assist him. -But the house up .stairs was probably

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2 8 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. full of accomplices-i_t was a pitfall course to the street. "1'11 get at Don. I'll let him know that I'm here," decided Bruck. "Hello! hello!" At that very moment he saw Don creep from the treasure room. He glided clear down the length of the partition, he pulled loose a boarcl, slipped through the aperture and made for _the stairs. The engros. sed cardplayers never noticed him. In fact, the gloom shrouded Don prdty well, and he worked noise lessly. "Whatever is he up to?" puzzled Brock. A ring con taining three keys hung a t the side of the stairway, and this Don t ook down. H e seemed to be securing as many locks on the stou t steel trap-door Duffin had bragged about. Then he descended, put the keys in his pocket, flashed back to the treasure room the way he had come, pulled its door closely to after him, and Brock sat quivering in a maze of speculation and suspense. "Don .}ms locked foem in," he breathed. "Why?" He must make his presence known to his spry, clever colleag ue, Brock d e cided, after a qnarter of an hour of irresolution. He glau..:ed at the cardplayers in the next room. They were absorbed in their game. He got up, and in getting up for the first mome11t since Don had entered the celL:ir, he let Gpy poke his head out of con fin em e n t. The animal wriggled like a creature weary of restraint, and slipped from Brock's arms before he could prevent the movement. "Gyp! Gvp !" called the frantic Brock, in a hoarse whisper. He fairly shook with dread as Gyp bounde d away. One note of alarm would aro11se the quick suspicions of Dunbar and his ate . Gyp seemed to know just where to find his master. Pell-mell, hooty-scoot, with a plaintive, eager little whine, Gyp darted for the treasure room. He nosed at the door and managed to push it ajar. About to rush in, the little animal struck an attitude on the threshold that was mystifying. The nervous ears dropped, the whole canine frame cowered. Like a human being Stlddenly confronted with some startling apparition, little Gyp sank down with a resounding h ow I of distress act terror. W hat had happened? CHAPTER XII. SHUT IN. "What's that?" The minute Gyp l e t o u t t h a t mournful: ye l p the man from Klondike and his companion i n the next apartment sprang to their feet Brock knew they were bnt for al l that he ven tured to press forward to "ard the treasure room. The actions of the dog had excited his curiosity and surprise alike. Brock glided up to its door. At the threshold, like Gyp, he stood rooted blankly. He had positively seen Don enter that apartment less than half an hour ago, and he had not left it by the door since. Don was no longer there! He had seen, at his last glimpse, gold, silver and jewels. Gold, silver and jewels were no longer there! All, all had disappeared-there were the heaps of paper that had inclosed the lannclry packages, the candle burned brightly, but boy aud treasure were gone. With a queer, uncanny feeling, Brock retreated as he caught warning sounds behind him. He saw Dunbar and his companion coming hastily forward, candles in their hands, and with a whispered, coaxing call to Gyp glided among some empty boxes. One was tipped so lie could crowd into it and glance through a break in its bottom. Brock was provoked that the dog had not followed him. "I say," spoke the man Duffin, coming up to the door of the treasure room, "it's a dog "It's what?" demanded Dunbar, with a stc1re. -

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. "A do g Why! there was no dog here. Sa y! we l e t in no dog." ''We didn't," answere d Dunbar, slowly, "but I've seen th a t sa me animal b efore Our dumb helper had it. I think it mus t have slippe d in with him." "Where is your dumb helper?" cried Duffin. "Sure enough-he isn't in there, and--'' "Whe r e's the plunder?'' By rapid gradations, from surprise to wonde r, and then to stupefaction, to alarm, the two conspirators ran the gamut of an excitement terminating in a wild scurrying for every nook and corner of the place. It was when-hav'ing s a tisfied themselves that Don had in some mysterious way got away, and had in some still more m ys t erious way caused the vanishment of an im.nense amount of treasure-they came to the head of the stairs, that a climax w as announced tha t turned them into fr e n zied fri ghtened men. "The doo r is lock ed-three times-the k ey go ne. Y our deaf mute never went this way!" shouted Duffin. "He must h ave." "How could he, and it locked on the under side? Dwye r, it'o a trap. You've b een duped!" "But he c ou ldn't take wings and fly." ''He's gone, isn't he? Oh, we 're in a n ice pickle! Plenty of sig n als running to this room, none from it. Dolts th a t we are, and you ordered the boys overhead to the main room t o enjoy themselYes and pay no atte nti o n to us. We mi ght h am mer and ye1l ti11 we're hoarse We're boxed Vve'r e c aged!" The speaker ran a cros s G y p here. The dog seellled t o instinctiYely r ecogn ize him as an enemy, and snapped a t him. Duffin raised his foot, a nd gave the little animal a kick that sent it t e n f ee t away Brock, gazing from hi s p oint of espionage, could scarce l y r estrai n himself from bmsting forth, and facing the brutal as sail ant of hi s dumb' friend. The next minute, howeve r, Brock h a d all he could do looking after his own affairs Poking into every ru bbis h heap, and turning over every .barrel and box, the two searchers reached the box in which Brock was concealed. Duffin g ave it a turn with his hand. Ov e r it went, and 11p to his feet in a flash bobbed Brock, prepared for a crisis he had just foreseen. "Hands up!'. The amazed conspirators fell back with dropping jaws. Brock had be e n told by Nick Carter to always carry a revolver whenever he went on a shadow, and this he had promptly drawn. As the t\"O men retreated a step or two, an
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so NICK CARTER WE KLY. He discerned that in lifting it, Duffin had struck with its point and broken one of half a dozen gallon glass bottles ranged on a shelf over the bench, undoubtedly containing chemical acid employed in Dunbar's gold-making or gold-melting operations. A flood of liquid poured out, and as it struck bench and floor, it gave forth strong, dense fumes. "Duffin!" shouted Dunbar, in unmis t3,kable tones of terror, ''the acid! Do you know what you have done? Shut into this close place-to cboke-iu poisonous fumes-ah-we-are-lost!'' Brock saw the gold-maker stagger as if struck. Duffin choked, and tried to dart away from the proximity of the noxious gas generated by the released liquid: As both men reeled and sank to the floor spluttering, convulsing, paralyzed, Brock himself experienced a dizzy, burning sensation. He retreated to the treasure room-the fumes pursued him. He closed the door -they permeated the cracks. "Where has Don got to?" cried Brock, in a vivid frenzy of doubt and fear "how did he get ant-how can we escape?'' Gyp, who. had followed him, sank trembling to his side. "I'm choking-the fumes!" murmured E rock, in a lost tone, and reeled to the floor a senseless heap. CHAPTER XIII. THE CASE ENDED. "H's a good thing I'm strong!" "Eh?" projected Brock. He heard the w rds in a familiar tone, that of Don; then he was conscious that Don was carrying him, that Gyp was poising on his own shoulder, and that they both had been spirited away in some man elons manner from the den of .the gold-makers. A rushing sonnd of water greeted Brock's vague hearing, and the air was chill and dense. Splashes gave back a hollow echo. ''Don," projected Brock, "where are we?" Can't you guess?" 'No-in some underground vault?" "We are threading a great central sewer of t11e city." "W]1y? how? when? where?" "Why, how, when, where, yourself!" returned Don, halting and letting his burden slip to his feet and steady himself against a slimy, rounding brick wall. "How did you come in that place?" "It's a long story." "And mine is a short one. I discovered a disguised manhole cover in the treasure room.'' "And threw the gold and silver into it?" "Pouncis at a time." "And got away yourself?" "Returned for a candle, and found you and Gyp dead knocked out. What was the matter? Were they poisoning you i" Brock recited the episode of the tered acid jar. "It's too bad to leave even those desperadoes to die," spoke Don, "but we'll hope they'll
PAGE 32

NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 31 Don, sharply. "We're in a fix. Break out the grating." "Me, i s it? I'Jl be getting a b lacksinith. "No, you musth't waste time. Give me your club." "My!" gasped the goggling, wa tching Brock below, eyes directed above. Don's splended strength had come into play once more. Snap went a bar as he pressed his muscular fist across the club, set as a l ever. Out emerged three forlorn-looking ob jects five minutes l a ter-Don, Brock, Gyp. "Any more?" stared the officer, looking as if he expected a whole menagerie to foll ow. ''Officer,'' spoke Don, a ll bu siness "have you ever heard of Nick Carter?" "Have I? Don't I know him well?" "We are friends-that is pupils of his." "Oho!" "vVe are on an important case." "That's how we came in that se\>;'er." "\Virra! you don't say so?" "Listen, officer," pursued Don, rapid ly. "Do two things for me, will you? To help foe cause of justice." "Won't I!" "Telephohe Nick Carter to come here at oncesend for a police squad." "I'll do just1 that." The officer hurried and dog 1nto a drugstore. They sat down to rest and wait. Brock was stil"l dizzy-beaded from his recent hard and the next half hour passed like a dream A patrol wa g on drove up. He and Don bundled into it. Then he heard Nick Carter's voice. They rattled over the hard pavements, and ha1ted before the same laundry office he had enter.ed earlier in the evening. Brock got up to follow the others into t11e building. Nick Carter pushed him back to the patrol wagon seat. "You've played your 7ct, Brock," he said. "Take the first cab that passes and go straight Jiome. Do you understand?" "But, Mr. Carter--" "You're not abl e to sit straight with that dizzy head. You do as l say We'll pick up t.J1e loose threads here." Brock was surprised to find tliat he was g l ad to obey his patron. The noxious fumes left a dull, sickening effect. In fact, he was so sleepy and confused that the next morning when he awoke i>n bed at Nick Carter's house, could barely recall get.ting there. But Brock was bright enough now, and he grew brighter as he heard the brisk voices of the detective and Don down stairs He dressed hurriedly and descended, to be greeted warmly by Nick, Don and Gyp. "Why, what are those?" inquired Brock, pointing to half a dozen steelbound l eather ranged against tJ1e wall. They were scraped and wet, and l ooked as jf they had gone through some recen t hard u sage HPart of the plunder Don threw in the sewer--" began Nick. "Ob, yes, I remember seeing them at the gold-makers' den. Tell me about jt, Don." J Don was too modest to obey, but the detective expl ained how th e police had penetrated to the secret lair of the con spirat-0rs, had captured all hands, includ ing the man from Klondike and Duffin, who were found unr:onscious, but not in danger, the poisonous fumes of the acid having dissipated, only drugging them. "We recovered all the gold and siher," explained Nick, ''turning it over to the police-all except these cases." "And these?" spoke Brock, curiously. "There's your answer." Nick nodded toward the hall. A sudden commotion had sounded there. "Oh, Mr. Carter! deah Mr. Carter! where are you? ls it true? Have you jndeed recovered the phmdah-the plate of my fathah-in-faw ?'' The arjstocratic "chapp1e" Brock had seen once before burst into the room "There's the p late," answered pointing to the cases ranged a long the wall. "Thank these two men for their recovery The scion of wealth uttered a delighte
PAGE 33

32 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. and rewards, and gratitude, as Nick bundled hm off to adjust things with the pawnbroker so he could prove a clear claim to the recovered plate. "I hope it will be a lesson to him to act square after this," said the detective. clon't pay to be crooked,, and maybe he'll realize it. Certainly Old Amos Sher man will He has learned the hard le s son that all is not gold that glitters, and that you can't get something .. for nothing in this world. Well, boys, you have earned great renown. The chasing down of Vel vet Foot Dwyer is a feat worthy the geni11s of a Vidocq." "Don't incl11de me," insisted Brock. "I only watched Don, and-he's taught me more than I ever knew before A ll honor to Nick Carter's clever protege !'' "Nonsense!" the embarrassed Don. "I only followed my nose. Who di rected me? You, Brock, the best and truest friend I ever had!" "Hold on!" broke in Nick Carter, smilingly. "Here's another claimant for some of the credit." The detective lifted up the wriggling, frisking G y p. "We'll enroll him, sure," promised Ni ck Carter. "He de s erves a share of the h o n or.'' "Yes," n o dded Brock, en ergetica lly. "Gy p c ertai nly help e d in tracing down the man from Klondike!" [THE END.] The next number of the Nick Carter Weekly will contain "Nick Carte r in the Chinese Joint; or, A Bargain in Crim e," by the author of "Nick Carter." HOW TO DO BUSINESS. Thi s boo k Is n. gu ide t o success tn life embra c in g Prin c iples o f Bnsinel"S, C h o ice o f P11r:-;uit1 Buyin g a n d S elliug1 (;e11t-ra l J\l a11age m e11t, :\f Pclianicu l Trades, :Man11fact11ri11g, Hookkee pi11g, t.Arnses of Failure, Rusilwss 2\laxims and F'on us. etc. J t ahm c o ntalns a n appendix o fcompleLe h u sine
PAGE 34

Nick earter Weekly Thirty=two Pages. Price, 5 Cents. Illuminated Cover. THE BFST LIBRARY OF DETECTIVE STORIF.S. \ -111111111111111 \ Back Numbers alw ays on hand. Price, post=paid, Fiv e .cents each. -ttl 111111111111111 1-The Gold MineCase; or, How Chick's i-5on Be came a Detective. 2-Tritu's Race Across the Ice Fields; or, Hunting a Criminal wiLh a Team ot' Dogs. 3-Trim anu Lhe Swedish Swindler; or, Bilk-You's Career in Alaska Society. 4--Trim Among the Esquimaux; or, The Long Night in Frozen North. 5-Trim .Among the Bushmen; or, Searching for a Lost Gold Mine in Australia. 6-Trim's Double Header; or, Snaring Hum:i,n Game with Decoys. 7-Trim on the Safety Valve; or, Taking Long l hances with Death. 8-Trim' s Troublesome Tiger; or, How His Prisoner Escaped the Gallows. 9-Trim in Uape Town; or, The Man with a 8trange Limp. 10-Trim iu the Diamond Fields of Kimberly. 11-Trim in the Wihls; or, Hunting a Criminal on the Dark Continent. 12-Trim Changes Cars; or, Taking Big Chances for a Quick Capture 13-Trim in the Main Shaft; or, Hunting Criminals a Thousand Feet Under grouud. 14-Trim ::;hoots the Grain Chute; or A Surprise Party on Board the Falcon. 15-Trim's Rounci-up in Det1oit; or, .A Long Chase End e d in a Hurry. 16-Trim's ;:>tring of Clews; All Tied by the Same Knot. 17-Trim in Cincinnat i; or, Following a Bogus Case. 18-Trim's Secret Mission; or, A Green Countryman in Town 19-Trim's Cold Bath; or, Trapping a Criminal in the Bay. 29-Tnm's Chase after a :Murderer; or, Caught in the Air. 21-Trim m the Cigar Stoie; or, A Lively Wooden Indian. 22-Trim in Mexico; or, Breaklug up a Secret Society. . 23-Trim m the Crescent City; or, A Break m the Levee. 24--Trim 's Run of Luck; or, A Conc luded Ahead of 'rime. 25-Trim's Combination Case; or, Two Clients After the Same :M.an. 25-Trim on the Road; or, A Leave of Abse ce that Turned put Gold. 27-Trim in Kansas City; or, Th e Detective's Ex perimen t in Secoud Siglit. 28-Nick Carter at the Track; or, Row Re Became a Dead Game Sport. 29-Trim in the Dark, or, .A Long Road that has n<> 'rurning 30-Nick Carter's Railroad Case 31-'l'rim's Electric Machine; or, The Man Wh<> Had Charge of the Office. 32-Nick Carter at tbe Iron Pier; or, The Body Found in the Boat 33-Trim Tums Prof{'ssor and Teaches a Lesson to a Queer Pupil. 34-NicklJaner's Wheel of Fortune. 35-Trim's 8tock Case; or, Th e Man Answered the Advertiseme1Jt. 14 36Nick Ca. rLer in a Tight Place; or, a Haul wurtti making I' 3!i-Nick Carter does bis Best; or, a Fortune In the Ballace. 38-Trim Behind the Footlights; or, the Hold Up. at the Casino. 39-In Nick Carter's Bands; or, A Fool and His Money Soon Parted. 40-Nick Carter's Detective School; or, The Yo .ung Reporter's First Case 41-Nick Carter at Headquarters; or, Work on. the Inspector's Scrap Book Carter's Brightest Pupil; or. The t.;ouuterfeiting Case. 43-Nic Carter Arrested by Mistake; or, The Man on the Window Sill. 44--Nick Carter's Magic Hand; or, The 01 'l'b e Chinese Highbinders. 45-Nick Carter's Promise; or, Miilions at Stake. 4,6-The Gold Wizard; or, Nick Carter's CleverProtege 47-Nick Carter in the Chinese J oint; or, A Bar gain in Crime. -tttlllllllllllllll STREET & SMI TH, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK. :F'or Sa.1e by all New-sdea.1ers.


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