Robert Brendan, bellboy, or, Under the hypnotic spell

Robert Brendan, bellboy, or, Under the hypnotic spell

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Robert Brendan, bellboy, or, Under the hypnotic spell
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Brave & Bold
John de Morgan
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New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;


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Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Detective and mystery fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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028885583 ( ALEPH )
230447543 ( OCLC )
B15-00023 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.23 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Brave and Bold

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LOfUiER STORIES T H A N CONTAINED IN Fl VE C:E.aTe. AptY FIVE CEptT LIBRARY PUBLISHED I l A COMPl.&iTE STORY FM/f;RY WEEK: "Can you hold on a minute longer?" he shouted to Robert. "I'll try," responded the brave hero, making an effort to speak loudly.


BRA VE. BOLD A D ifferent Complete Story Every W eek /uwd Wullly, By S#/Jscri,J>Ullts per year. Entered according to Act of Congress in the year zqo3, in tlu Office of t/14 Librarian of Conpeu. Washinrton, D. c. STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. N o 29. NEW YORK, July 1 I, 1903. P rice F ive Cents. ROBERT BRENDAN, Bt:LLBOY: O R, Under the Hypnotic Spell By JOHN DE 1'".'.lORG.AN. CHAPTER I. ROBERT, THE BELL-BOY. The sun was just commencing to send its rays over the mountain tops and to smile on the grateful earth when what had ap peared to be a bundle of old clothes showed signs of animation, and dev e loped into a good-looking, well-formed boy. It was apparent that the green grass had been his bed during the night, and that he had slept as refreshingly as any one could, even in a richly-uph o l ste red He stood upri g ht, stretched his arms, shook himself and, strange to say, sig h ed. a mountain stream flowing near, after making sure that ,., c was absolutely alone, he undressed and jumpe d into the little creek. The water was so clear that he thought it could be but a couple of feet deep; great therefore was his astonishment when he found he was out of his depth. He was not alarmed, but pleased, for h e loved the water and could swim like a fish. There is a fascination about bathing in a placid river, or the grander and wilder ocean, which can never be understood by those who have no experienced it. Robert Brendan forgot his troubles, forgot his hunger, and laughed merrily as he splashed about in the water. When he felt that he had enjoyed the fascination long enough, 1 he left the water and ran up and down the field, having the rare tileasure of a pure sun bath. \Vhen he began to put on his coarse his happiness some what subsided, and his troubles again passed in panoramic order before his mind. He was hungry. Not that temporary h unger which many of our readers have experienced after a long walk or a fatiguing game. Robert Brendan had tasted nothing for two days save some wild berries, which he had eaten not caring whether they were poison ous or not; in fact, almost wishing that they would painlessly put an end to his existence. Two days without food, and the two days preceding those with scan;:ely enough food for one meal. He sat d o wn on a stone, alone with his misery, and began to think. A scrap of paper was blown across the creek and had falle n a t his feet. Almost unwittingly he picked it u p and began to rea d : "If so quickly I am do n e for, I wonder what I was begun for?" He read the distich over several times "That's so. I've thought that way myself several times. Some one else has had the same idea." He read the lines again. "Arn I done for?" he asked himself; and, as no o ne was near to answer his question, he r eplied to i t himsel f. "I don't think so


.. ti 2 BRA VE AND BOLD .. ,i He stood up, stretched himself again, struck his chest with his Thomas Graham had been leading the horse and. by .f fist almost dramatically, and ejaculated: Robert's side on the way to the hotel. \: ,.,,J "No, R obert Brendan, you are not done for yet. But you are ' .J:here was something in the boy which attention mighty hungry." i; \, ri.n'd made him feel deeply int e res te d in him.,/_,.-' He started off along the road, new energy lending Entering the office, he spoke to the clerk,;..

BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 The ladies' costumes, even in thewater, were superb, and Robert never thought such beauty could exist until he gazed upon it. He was stan

4 BRAVE AND BOLD. On the promenade Robert overheard a number of opinions as to her identity "European countess." "Not so, or she wouldn't travel incog." "\\That then?" :\ princess." "Or adventuress The unlucky promulgator of that op1111on was immediately cut Ly all, for how could one so lovely and with such good taste be an adventuress? The mystery was unsolved that night, and yet every guest of the Glenada did his best to penetrate through her disguise. She danced in the ballroom, and bestowed her hand on C\"ery one who asked; as a consequence she did not mis s one dance the whole evenmg. One thing attracted Robert's attention; she \\'ore a blood red artificial rose in her bosom, the \\'hole day and e\cning. She breakfasted in her room, but Robert noticed the rose, and he soon learned that she wore it with every costume, whether tailor made or negligee, and though she changed her dress several times a day, the rose was always con s picuous. CHAPTER III. ROBERT'S HISTORY. .\ week passed away without any incident out of the ordinary. Robert Brendan was making himself popular and that meant a great deal at such a place as the Glenada. His "tips" had during the week amounted to five dollars, and that notwithstanding the jealousy of the other boys, who often answered his bells and thus forced him into the background. Miss Speranza was as fascinating as ever, and the guests were all enthralled by her witchery of manner. The men were ready to swear by her, and the women wera not envious, though she was the best dressed of all the guests and posse s sed the greatest number of precious stones Perhaps the real reason why envy did not fill the female heart was the universal belief that Speranza was a pripccss in her own right, and therefore, according to the logic of their inferior "gray matter," a superior being. Robert was still her favorite, and at times she obtained permis sion for him to attend solely to her for an entire afternoon, the hotel proprietor not caring to deny anything to his wealthy guest. Although Speranza had bound him to secrecy, she could not understand that any one else should desire their affairs kept private. She continually questioned Rob about the guests, asking him about the ladies' dresses, their favorite jewelry, and Jots of things whi<;h were likely to catch the observant eye of a sharp bell-boy. Robert had been nearly two weeks clad in the uniform of the Gle1;ada when, instead of answering the bell of No. 13, he made his way to Ro::im 35, and in a frightened manne r told Mr. Graham that all was ove r 'What is it, Robert?" "He is here." '"Who?" "Tony Espartero." "And who is that? Wl10 is this Tony? Any one who wants to see me?" "No, no I Oh, sir, save me from him!" 'What is he to you?" "May I tell you all? I wish I had done so at fir st." "Sit down, Rob. Compose yourself. 0Stay, I will tell the clerk I need you for an hour When Graha m retu rne d R o b w a s still excit ed and imme d i a tely asked: "Is he there? Doe s h e wan t me ?" "No; I told Mr. Wallis--" "It isn't the clerk, sir, but Tony Espartcro." "I did not see him. This Espartero is :m Ital i a n, I st;ppos e ?" "Mexican, sir "Sit down"-Robert had rise n and was pacing the room-"and tell me why you fear this man." Robert Brendan did not sit down; he was too exc ited. He walked about the room nervously. "I do not know who I am," he commenced. "I was brought up by a man named Brendan, and was sent to a public school. About a year ago Brendan told me that I was no relative of his, that he had been paid for my support, that my father was traveling in foreign countries, but was expected home, and that when he re turned I was to go to him. "I was pleased, for I never liked Brendan. I asked why I was called by his name. "He laughed and said: 'One name was as good as another,' and added in a low voice that I might one day be glad I was called Brendan. "I could get no satisfaction, and so continued on at school, doing my level best, so that my father should not be ashamed of me "I have wondered why I never asked about my mother, for I do not think I once referred to her. "Brendan was kinder to me during that last year, and I am very grateful for it. "At last the day came when I was to see my father, a n d my heart beat so that I was afraid I might die "When I was called into the room I saw Antony Espartero, and Brendan said: 'Robert, behold your father!' I was very disappointed; I cried, not from joy, but sorrow, for I did not like Espartcro. "Not like your father?" exclaimed Mr. Graham. "He is not my father." "What makes you say that?" "I fee l it." "But you were away from him so loni." "Yes ; yet my w h..ole nature is cold when h e is n ea r .'' "Why did you run away from him?" "He was c r uel." "In what way?" "He wanted me to join his tribe." "What?" "Did I not tell you he was a Mexican gypsy?" "No; is he?" "Yes; he is the chief or ruler of all the Mexican gypsies, and he said I was to be their interpreter; that was why I had been sent to an American school." Mr. Graham had traveled very considerably in Mexico, and he knew t hat in some parts the so-called gypsies were re<1lly brigands who hesitated at nothing. He wondered whether this man Espartero was really one of these. Once, years before, when he was quite a young man, he had encountered a band of brigands, and only escaped losiug his ears by the payment of a big ransom. There was a dashing young fellow with the brigands who was selected as their future chief; could it be that he was Tony Espartero? Robert was looking out of the window, while Mr. Graham wo.s '\ r eminiscent mood


BRAVE AND BOLD. 5 "Why did you not go with him?" Mr. Graham asked. "I was afraid of him. He was harsh and cruel, and I-ran away." "vVhy do you think he came here?" "To look for me. He says that the law would make me go with him. Would it, "Not if you could prove h e was cruel or criminal." "What am I to do?" "Go about your duties, and I will protect you." "Thank you, sir. I will be all my life grateful to you." Robert left the room, feeling yet he trembled for fear he might be seen by his reputed father. CHAPTER IV. SENOR ANTONIO ESPARTERO. Robert was in the office, and nearly fainted when hl" s :nv hi> father enter, walk straight to the desk, and ask to b<" show n to a ro om. The gypsy chief wrote his name in large script, plainly am! without the slightest attempt at a flourish: "Antonio Espartero, San Diego ''I have no baggage," he said to the clerk, "but I alw:?ys p;iy in advance. Take a day from that." throwing a twenty-dollar !.>ill on the desk. The clerk gave Espart<'ro the change, and c alled to show him to a room. Rob appa rently did not for he never turned toward the \ Villiam another boy, stepped briskly forward, took th'= key of No. 93, and led the way to the elevator. In the afternoon Miss Spcra:,za was st rolling along the sands, as she often did, The guests of the hotel se('mc-d to be all on the sands, Espartero among them. He had spoken to quite a number, choosing unobtrusive ways of doing it, so that not even the most exclusive could take offense. He wonk! point out a p ecul iarly-shaped fleecy cloud or dir..,c t attention to some porpoises rolling over in the water a distance away. His manner was pleasing, his appe;,ra n ce fascinating, and soon the guests began to think the newcomer the most ent to the house for a book and as he turned to go he saw Miss Speranza drop her fan, which was picked up and h:mdcd to h e r by Espartero, with the most graceful bows and Southern gallantry. But did not stop there; he \Valkcd by her side until Robert rctum<'d. Here ai;ain was a mfstery, for he was the first one of the male sex \vho had been seen to interest the lady since she had been at the Glenada. ,In the evening Espartero entered the ballroom, and danced with the easy of the lVIexican gallant. The band was playing a dreamy waltz when a lou

6 BRA VE AND BOLD. I do not want to be recognized by you W e arc strangers pub licly, or I should not ha v e risk e d my life by climbing up the firecsc ape But y o u are in my p ow er, all the same and y o u w.ill h a ve to obe y me, wh e th e r you like it or not. All I want of you is that you let me know where you go to when you leave here. Do you h ear?" "I hear." "Will you do it?" "I do not know." I do. You have got to promise or--" "What?" "I will kill you." "The n you w ill have to die as well," retorted suddenly gaining courage. "Promise me." "I will not." "Then--" Espartero seized Robert's arm and was about to strike him, wh e n the bell boy gave his arm a sudden twist and wrenched himself away "Stand back; I am master here!" he cried b o ldly. "This but ton connects with the office, and this tube to the same place. I have only to ring the bell and call through t he tube to have the night p orte rs up here, and then what could y o u say?" "Tha t you were my son." "Who w o uld believe you?" "Every one." "But I am not your son. I know it and will prove it." "How?" "Ney. e r mind. Time will show." Boy I have need of y o u, but not just now I shall not di sturb you if you stay h e re, only I must know where you go to. Will you promise to tell me?" "No." "If you will I can show you how to obtain wealth. Perhaps you are not my son If not, then I can help you. I will be your best friend if you promise me." "I will not." A whi s tle was heard through the speaking-tube. "I am want e d downs tairs; you had better come down with me."' "No; I shall descend the way I came. Ta-ta I I will -see you again R obert quickly dressed and atte nded to his duties. The n ight porter had be'!n sent for to one of the cottages connected with the hotel, where a man was lying sick. As he would have to spend the remainder of the night there, Rob ert was summoned fro m his bed to take his place. Early in the morning the watchman was passing the front of the left wing, when he ;;tumbled over the handsome Mexican, who had fallen from the fire-esC'ape and was apparently badly hurt. Calling for help, the watchman raised Espartcro into a sitting posture. The poor fellow groaned and moaned in his agony. Robert was not without feeling, and when he saw Espartcro and heard his groans he almost gave way to his emotions. The two carried the Mexican into the house and placed him on a lounge in the parlor, until the doctor, who was a resident in the hotel, could examine him. Robert wanted the watchman to summon the doctor, for he w as afraid Espartero might mention his name, but the watchman declined. CHAPTER V. THE ROBBERY. E spartero was nol: hurt so badly as they feared. In fact, after an hour or so he made a very interesting invalid, lying in state and receiving the sympathy of all the guests. To all he gave the same account of his fall. "The night was so balmy," he said, "that I did not care to g<> to bed I stepped out on the balcony and sat there smoking my cigar for, I supp ose, hours. Then a strong desire to go on the sands possessed me. If I went down the stairs I should disturb some one, and that I had no wish to do. Seeing the fire-escape nearby, I stepped over the balcony rail and got one foot on the iron ladder; but I made a false step, and-here I am. The story was plausible, and had a basis of truth. He said nothing about his ascent to the top of the house, and so Robert also kept silmce. No nurse was ever more gentle than the bell-boy, for if Espartero was not his father, at least he had paid for his main tenance and education. Th,e accident was a fruitful topic of conversation all that day, and a s the rain f e ll heavily from early morning until night, the gue s ts were able to discu s s the subject in all its bearings. When evening came the invalid was carried into the ballroomthc doctor had prohibi t ed him walking-so that he might watch the evolutions in which he would like to have participated. Mi ss Spe ranza sto od by his side. "We shall miss you to-night senor," she said, sweetly. "There are plenty of cavaliers." "But none who can dance like you." "I feel A a ttered " I h a ve s poken the truth." / Miss Speranza was a blaze of light as she moved about the room She had diamonds in her hair, around her neck and on her fingers and as the light fell on them the sparkling was so bril liant that t he room s e emed filled wi t h constantly-recurring rain bows of unusual brilliancy "It is a good thing all are honest here," Espartero said, in a low voice. "Yes; but why did you make that remark?" "Because the jewe ls you wear are equal to a king's ransom." "Sir!" "I apologize. My admiration for diamonds got the better of my manners, and I could not restrain my remarks." What the Mexican expressed every one else thought, and many wondered how weal t hy she must be. In the morning Miss Speranza, with white face and red ey e s, which betokened much weeping, entered the office and whispered to the clerk: "I have been robbed!" "Impossible I" "Sir I" "I mean-I mean-improbable; that is--" I have been robbed. My diamond necklet has been taken." "Arc you sure?" "Of course I am. My maid has searched everywhere for it. I know I had it when I retired, and now it is gone." "Is your maid to be trusted?" There was a dangerous flash from the beauty's eyes as the question was asked. "She is a s hone s t as-myself." "Do you suspect any one?" "No."


BRA VE AND BOLD. 7 "Tell me where you placed it last night, and how you missed it this morning." "Jeanne, my maid, had a bad headache, and I sent her to bed before I went downstai rs to the dance. When I retired she was fast asleep. I placed my tiara and rings in my jewel case-they are there now-and was about to put m y necklet there, a l so when I became very thirsty. I rang for some ice-water, and forgot all about the diamonds. When I awoke this morning Jeanne asked me where I had put my necklet. I told her on the dressing case. It was not there. We looked everywhere, but it has gone. It was worth ten thoi.;sand dollars." "Where was it when the ice water was brought?" "On the dressing case." "You are sure?" ''Of course I am." "Did you take the ice water at the door"" "No; I called to Rob to brjng it in ." "And he saw the diamonds?" "If he saw anything. "You do not suspect Rob? No; he is honest enough." "Yet he was the last to enter your room. Robert, come here." hYcs, sir." "Did you some ice water to No. 13 la st night?" "Yes, sir." "\Vhcre did you place the pitcher?" ''On the table." "Near the dr.esse t ?" "Yes, sir." ''Did you sec any j cwclry on !he dresser?'" I did. The diamond:; sparkle d so I could not help secini; them." "\Vhat did you do with thrn1 ?" "With what?" .. The diamonds." ''Left them !here; they were rnDt mine." ''You didn't take them?" Robert's face sca rlet ; he trembled and w1s unable to speak. "Your manner causes me t o suspect you." "No, I am sure Rob is innocen'. '.\li ss Speranza interjected. "I suspect you. You must stay here while I send for a de tective, and I hope-for your sake-that you may prove your innocence." Robert did not hear the last words. His brain grew confuserl. He had a vague consciousness that he was charged with theft, and wit h ihat thought burning like a hot coal into his bra in, he.: lost consciousness, and foll in a swoon at l\Iiss Speranza's feet CHAPTER VI. "llEFORE HEAVEN, I /AM I NNOCE:NT." "You will obl i ge me by withdrawing your o r de r for a detective." '.\i[iss Speranza spoke with charming sang fod and 11:n:'lt dignity. The ckrk looked amaze<:. have lost your neci{hcc ?"' "Certainly I haYe. "And you value it at ten thousand d olla r s ?" "That is its v;ilue." '"Then, for the sake of the hotel's name and honor, the matter hrn s t be investigated." "And I say !hat, should you do so, I leave the house; and, anyway, I s hould neYcr prosecute the thief." "\.Yhy, madam?" "Because--" Robert Brendan, who had been lying on the floor during this conversation, showed signs of returning consciousness, and Miss looked down at him, muttering: "Poor fellow!" She touched him with her foot, as she might a pet dog gentlr and like a caress Many a well-known man staying at the Glenada actually envied Robert because of that gentle kick. The boy groaned in anguish of mind, for he knew that even the mos t innocent are apt to be condemned at times, and he was the last one, as far as was known, to enter the beautiful woman's room. "Madam, I ask why yoll would not prosecute the thief?" Robert listened breathlessly for her answer. "The gems are such that he could not sell them, and he would wait for the off Pr of a reward. I could not entrap even a thief, and I wvulcl pay the reward willingly." "It is just such ladies as you-asking your pardon for boldness -that encourage thieves." "Who are you, sir, might I ask?" I am Percy Norman, and have the honor to be employed here as detective." "Indeed! And did you hear that I would not prosecute?" "I did, madam, but is immaterial. If we find the thief we can do without your testimony." Miss Speranza knew it. The very value of the gems would be evidence enough, for their possession by a poor man would not look like honesty. The mysterious girl was about to leave the office, when the detective stopped her !fy asking for a description of the gems, and when she had last seen them. She answered fully and without reserve; her manner had changed completely, and she appeared as anxious for the investi gation as before she h a d been opposed to it. Robert Brendan had stood sile ntly by and heard the questions and answers. He never offe red to leave the private office in which the in vestigation had commenced. "Do you think T took the necklace?" he asked, suddenly Before any reply in words coul d be made, he saw a smile on the detective's face, w hich answer ed him as effectively as the utterance of a distinct charge. "It can be pro,ed that I have not left the hotel once since last night, before the robbery. Search me, search my roo m, look in every place I hav e been. Before Heaven, I wea.r I am innocent!" "I believe you, Rob," said Miss Speranza, offering her hand. For some reason ht'. did not take it, and she appeared offended. ..No, madam; I w ill never take a person's hand until my innoccQce is proved." There was a manly dignity about the boy which caused even the detective to forget his taciturn manner and utter the word "Bravo!" under his breath. Jeanne, the French maid, was sent for, and she chattered so vblubly that not one-half she said could be understood, ,though the clerk could talk French like a Parisian. She said s he was asleep early, and s he, too, demanded that a search should be made. The investigation was thorough, but no trace of the missing gems could be found. Their di appearance wa a mystery, but all that, whoever was the t hief Robert Brendan was innocent. An advertisement appeared in New York papers the next day offering a large reward, and giving the promise that "no ques tion s should be asked."


8 BRAVE AND BOLD .. While the investigation had been going on, Robert, even though very much agitated, had noticed more particu!arly the blood-red rose worn by Sp e ranza and s aw for the first time that small dia mond chips were.-e cured to the petals, looking like very brilliant dewdrops sparkling in the sunshine. Why it impressed him so strongly he did not know, but all day and through the hours of the night that rose haunted him. E s partero had been exam i ned as he lay on his couch, but as he had not moved from there it was not likely he could give any evidence about the robbery. He sympathized with Speranza on her loss, and loudly declared any one could see by Rob's face that he was innocent. Thomas Graham was also positive that his p1otege was guilt less though he wished that Espartero had not been so outsp o ken in the lad's favor A three-days' wonder, and the event ceased to be talked about. The Glenada was more prosperous than ever; not a vacant room existed. Crowds of summer visitors wanted to be able to say that they stayed at the same h o tel as Speranza, the lady who l ost a ten thousand-dollar necklace and made no fuss about it So that her loss was the hotel's gain. CHAPTER VII. THE RECOVERY OF THE NECJCLACE. E s partero had become the lion of the season. H e was as great a mystery as Speranza. One p e culiar t hing about this ma n was his inveterate habit of telling the truth about himself, but no one believed him. He declared in the ladies' parlor that he had been a brigand, and told how he had held most beauteous ladies as hostages for the ransom demanded; and as he told the story the ladies smiled and declared he was the most entertaining raconteur they had ever listened to. "Ah, ladies, you believe me not, but I tell the truth in earnest manner. I have heard the pretty senoritas scream when they saw me, and I almost r e lented; but then, as you Americanos say, bus iness first and kindness afte r ." When, o ne evening, he declared he was a gypsy, the impressio nable creatures exclaimed: "How charming! How delightful!" And some one even asked him to tell their fortunes. But at this request he shook his head. "I am not a wise man, neither am I the seventh son of a seventh son therefore have not the gift. Had I, your fortunes should be told, if good; but all the horses Cortez introduced into Mexico would not drag the words from me if those words would cause a tear to come into an eye or a wrinkle to form on the face." By these specehes he won favor, and both sexes were charmed with him He was polite and gallant, almost effusive in his attentions to the ladies and made no exceptions. If. Speranza ever met him before, neither gave any sign of previ ous acquaintance. R o b had gained many friends since the diamond robbery, for when it was proved that he was innocent, all thought he had been badly used, and he became the recipiept of many favors. A week after the robbery Speranza left the hotel late in the evening wearing a thick veil and clad in the darkest and plainest "costume she posses sed. 'Nhile every one wondered, none ventured a remark, for she was admittedly eccentric. She was away an hour, and when she re-entered the office her veil was removed, and all saw the sparkle of her eyes and the l:"low on her cheeks. "I have got it. See I My necklace, my beautiful gems. Oh I I am so glad. I feel like crying and laughing at the same time." There were several of the guests in the office awaiting the sort ing of the evening mail, which had just arrived, and they crowded around her. "How did you get it? Where did y0u find it?" "Did you pay a reward?" "Who was the thid ?" The questions followed each other so rapidly that it was im possible for her to answer any of them as they were asked. "I will telJ you,'' she said "Rob, come here. Senor Espartero, I want you to come, and you, too, Mr. Graham, for I want you all to know I was right when I said Rob was innocent." She spoke with all the impulsiveness of a happy girl, and her eyes sparkled quite as much as the gems she held in her hand. "Yesterday I received a note. It was badly written, and the spelling was even worse than the writing; but fron:i it I learned that if I would take a thousand dollars to-night to t\le old red barn at the end of Sea View Lane, I could get my diamonds; but I was warned that if accompanied by any one, or followed, I should Jose my diamonds forever." "\Vere you not afraid?" "No; why should I be?" "It might have been a trap." "What! to get the jewels?" "The greatest of alJ jewels, yourself,'' replied Espartero. Speranza laughed at the compliment, yet it was pleasing to her, for her face flushed and her eyes sparkled brighter than ever. "I went. I have just returned." "Tell us what you did, and whom you saw." "I did not see any one. When I got to the old red barn I heard a voice say: 'I saw you coming; have you got the dollars?' I r eplied in a monosyllabic 'Yes,' and then the same voice added: 'Pass them i:o me. Tie the string around them, and if they are all right, I will lower the diamonds.' I saw a string lowered from the loft, and did as I was bad .' "l should have been afraid." "Of what?" "Of losing the thousand dollars as well as the diamonds." "I never thought of that. I was only too anxious to get my pretty gems, so up went the notes and a minute after down came the diamonds.'' She showed the glittering gems, and laughed musically at the way they reflected tht lights. "Are they not pretty? Rob, I am so glad for your sake." She hurried to her room, and the guests gathered in groups to discuss the peculiar r estoration of the jewels. E s partero tapped Graham on the shoulder. "I don't think you quite believe her story; now do you?" he asked. "Why should I doubt it?" "I don't know, but I think you do. Now, as for me, I would believe her if she told me the most absurd story-ay even if she sa;d I was walking on my head and smoking a cigar between my toes." "Why?" "Because she is so beautiful." Robert did not hear the entire conversation, for he was called away to attend to his duties; but he, too, had formed the opinion that Mr. Graham did not completely believe the story. He had noticed also, that though Speranza had habited her self in some of her maid's clothes, she wore the red rose very conspicuously. "I wo11der why she wears it?" he asked hims elf many a time


BRA VE I AND BOLD. 9 during the day and his waking moments at night, but could not satisfactorily answer the question. After that first night Espartero had never shown that he knew Robert Brendan, and the boy was not sorry. But there was a new mystery which taxed Robert's brains to the utmost. He was sent to take some hot water to Espartero's room, and on reaching the door he heard voices within. Knocking gently he was immediately bade to enter. Espartero was alone. True, some person might have been concealed in the closet, but why should such concealment be nect>ssary? Robert placed the pitcher of water on the washstand and withdrew. As he was leaving the room he involunt;irily turned. and his eyes fell upon a rose, lying on t he table, which was eith e r the one so constantly we>rn by Speranza, or its counterpart. The boy could not help a shudder passing down his back, for he began to feel that there was a mystery about the red rose which he would like to solve. Should he tell Mr. Graham of the coincidence? "No; he will laugh at me; for what is there mysterious in two persons wearing or possessing red roses?" The idea seemed so absurd that he laughed at it himself and tried to banish the suspicion from his mind. The quiet serenity of the hotel was soon rudely disturbed by another robbery. Again the victim Jost diamonds, and, unlike Speranza, she suffered a complete loss. There was a growing suspicion that some of the servants were dishonest, for many of the guests came forward and acknowledged losing little things. 0ne had lost a ring, another a scarfpin, a third one of those elaborate pins with which some women adorn their hair. Robert felt, instinctively, that he was being watched more closely than the others, and he resented the suspicion. But he was powerless. Had he left the hotel, the suspicion would have become a cer tainty to many, and he had no other way by which he could escape the unjust insinuations against his honor. He followed the detective, heard all the questions asked, and wondered why so apparently brilliant a man should fail to detect the thief. A strange, faint perfume pervaded the room in which the rob bery had taken place, and the lady guest was positive she had never used perfume like it. Robert examined everything as carefully as the detective, but he did more; for, after all had left the room, he took the pillow .slip from the pillow, folded it very carefully and hid it under his vest. The disappearance of the pillow-slip caused no excitement, for the chambermaid believed the detective had taken it for some purpose of his own. For three days detectives were on the alert. No one could move at night without being watched. Every one was under the strictest surveillance-and perhaps, as a consequence, the jewelry was safe. It was the last week of the season before another sensation start led the guests. Espartero, who had left the hotel some time before, was re ported to have been killed in a duel with an American on the banks of the Rio Grande. The night the news came of the reported duel and death of the gypsy chief, thieves baffled the detectives and robbed no less than three rooms, that of Miss Speranza being one. She lost a tiara of diamonds, which her maid had careldsly left out of the jewel case. The proprietor of the Glenada was almost insane with excitement. The frequent robberies would ruin the reputation of his house, and cause his downfall financially. The same perfume was apparent in each of the rooms, and must have been used by the thief. The guests and servants were called together by the proprietor, and he explained to them how much he felt disgrace attached to the recent and frequent robberies. "I will do all I can," he said, "to find and punish the thief, and I will give a thousand dollars for such information as will lead to his detection "Will you, sir?" asked Robert. "Yes, my boy, and will double it if need be." "I will claim that reward, sir, for I will never rest until the real thief is found." Robert was so much in earnest that no one smiled at his oositive assertion. would he succeed where the detectives had failed? We shall see. "My boy, find the thief, and I will gladly give you the two thou sand dollars," replied the pro prietor. Robert thanked him, :ind boldly added : "I will succeed, sir!" CHAPTER VIII. SUSPICIONS. The earnestness displayed by Robert Brendan checked the laughter which would otherwise have greeted his remark: "I will claim the reward, sir!" In every community there are people who see some suspicious circumstances in every happening. They were to be found at the Glenada, and here and there one of these suspicious people would insinuate -that either Robert knew just where the diamonds were, or else that he had been accessory to the theft and was going to become a State witness against his partner for the sake of the reward. So insinuating were these remarks that even Mr. Graham was puzzled. There is always plausibility in suspicion. When Thomas Graham returned to the room to read, he was so worried that line after line passed before his visual organs, but conveyed no meaning to his mind. "Confound that fellow!" he ejaculated; "I wish he wouldn't hint such things. I b e lieve the boy is honest, and yet--" That was just the difficulty. There came the suspicion. What a host of prob,ability arose when once the hint was given. "What do we know of his antecedents?" one had asked concerning the bell-boy. "Nothing," was the universal verdict Graham knew more. but that knowledge only added to the trouble, for, as he reasoned it out, it looked black against the boy. "He says he ran away from Espartero, a gypsy, a brigand, and yet, when both are under the same roof, the;y appear to be strangers." No wonder that even he sJ:iould think there was something sus picious about Robert. He rang for the bell-boy, and when William answered requested that Robert should be sent.


u IO BRAVE AND BOLD. "Sit down, Bob." It was the first time Mr. Graham had called him anything but Robert, and the change pleased him. "You wanted me, sir?" "Yes; but sit down. l want to talk to you as a friend, not as a guest of the hotel." Robert obeyed, and for some few seconds silence, save for the ticking of the clock, prevailed. "So you are going to tt1rn detecti:vc ?" Graham commenced. "Yes, sir." "And you think you will win that reward?" "I do. "Why?" The question was asked quickly, with a view to throwing the hoy off his guard. "Because, sir, I must." 'Must?" "Yes; there are many who think I took the diamonds, and though they have no evidence, my character will be ruined. So, to save myself, I must prove who is the real thief." "Have you any suspicion?" "No, sir." "How do you expect to succeed, then?" Robert was a philosopher, not through study, but through nature, and clear, calmly and tersely he replied: "The reason detectives fail gene rally is that they start in with a strong suspicion; they work on tliat, try every means to entrap the suspected person, and by the time they have demonstrated their own error, the real culprit has escaped." "Bob, I am proud of you ; I never thought you reasoned so well." "Thank you, sir." "May I ask you a few more questions?" '"Yes, Mr. Graham; I will answer you, becau s e it is to you I owe 1ny very life I thought death would be the best end to my -trontiles that morning I met you." "Talk of life not death. If you have no suspicions, how do you intend to go to work?" "I cannot yet say. I know the police have telegraphed to all the large cities, and any person offering the diamonds for sale, or to a pawnbroker, would be arrested. So the gems will be difficult to dispose of." "Do you believe Espartcro-you shudder-w:ts really kilkJ ?" "No." "Why do you doubt?" "Because I have heard Brendan say Espartcro 11ad a happy knack of being killed whenever he was wanted." "Do you think he is wanted now?" "I shouldn't wonder." "You do not think--" "No. Mr. Graham, I do not think he is a common burglar or sneak thief. He would hold u a man on the road, but he would never enter a woman's room and take her jewelry. I hate him; I am sure he is not my father, but I do not suspect that he had any thing to do with the robberies." "I admire your warmth, and hope you may be right.'' "I think I am." "Bob, you will want money; will you Jet me help you-?" "Yes, sir; if, when I get the reward, you will let me r epa y you. "Certainly." "Then, sir, whenever I want any m o n ey I will se e or write t o you.'' "Do so. It shall be a matter of business between us, and I hope you will make it profitable." "I shall succeed; I feel sure of it." "And yet you have no idea where the j ewcis a re?" "Not the slightest." Mr. Graham felt it would be useless trying to get any further information from the boy, and so dismissed him. "I hope he is right. I hope he will find the thief, fo r his own sake." In the very short time-less than an hour-that Robert had been with Mr. Graham, a scene was being enacted in the office which changed many of his plans Jeanne, the French maid, had asked for Miss Sperani a's bill, and for an immediate settlement. The clerk looked astonished "Is Miss Speranza going to leave?" "Ma foi! ccrtainement! Why should she stay where her diamonds, her beautiful di-a-mends, are stolen?" "We are trying to recover them." "Qui, 011i, really, but they are gone.'' Miss Speranza entered the office at that moment. Her red rose blazed forth with brighter hues, and its diamond dewdrops glistened and glittered in the sunlight. "I want a settlement at once," she said "I leave in just twenty minutes. I refuse absolutely to stay one more night in your house." "I am very sorry--" "Of course-so am I. When I went to school, I was told to write as a copy, 'Soft words butter no parsnips.' Give me back my jewels and I shall know how sorry you are." "You surely dpn't think I have them?" "Some one has.'' yes but--" "As 'rm are all so honorable here," she s11eered, "one 1s as likely to possess them as another." "You insinuate--" "Nothing. I only want to leave before all tny money, as well as my jewels, is gone." ''I assure you--" "Nothing more, please. I can stand the loss of my diamonds. If they are recovered give them to Rob. If they are not, well, I shall not know it. Please hurry forward a settlement." The clerk looked at his ledger and began to make out the account. Speranza had left a thousand dollars in the clerk's hands, and he was puzzling his brains to find out a way to keep as much of it as possible for the hotel. When the account was made up it was found that there was a balance of one hundred and five dollars due her. "Divide that among the servants-stay, I know the proverbial liberality of hotel clerks; give me the mpney and I will divide it myself." Do not let it be thought that the hotel clerk overcharged his guest. She had occupied a most expensive suite of rooms, and had indctlged in extras. The clerk hoped the balance would be the other way, but he was disappointed, and had to return to her the hundred and five dollars. She kept her word, and after dividing the money, left five dol lar s 'for Robert. vVhen he returned from Mr. Graham's rooms Speranza had left the hotel, and the train which bore her a way was already a few miles from the Glcnada. "Do you still think you will recover the jewels?" the clerk asked "I do." "Then you will be a lucky fellow, for you are to keep Speranza's diamonds and will get the reward as well." Rob went to No. r3 to remove an extra table which had been taken from another room. He walked through the three rooms and looked at every scrap of paper on the floor. One piece, evidently the flyleaf of a letter, he treasured carefully. There was no writing on it, but a stain like grease in the corne o f the thin, highly-calendered paper. He noticed the same perfumed air as in the rooms occupied b, the victims of the recent robberies. "It's st -range that it should linger in this room more than in the others," he' mused; but beyond thinking it odd he gave 'it no fur ther consideration. Not until late in the evening, and then he made a sudden resolve to find Speranza and learn from her all she suspected.1 "It will be the key to the mystery," he said ''and she may furnish me with the clew I want." Telling Mr. Graham that he was leaving the hotel at once, and getting that gentleman's address for future use. he astonished the clerk by asking to be relieved from his duties immediately. No sooner had the boy gone than the clerk whispered to one of the favorite guests: "The boy knows all about the thief. mark me if he doesn't.'' "Why did you let him slip through your fingers?" "There was no evidence against him.''


BRA VE AND BOLD. II CHAPTER IX. BAFFLED. Every one within five miles of tbe Gl e nada Hotel knew Miss Speranza. Therefore, whe n Robert asked at the depot which way she had gone, the agent at once remembered that she had taken tickets for New York. "Going there?" ask e d the agent, thinking Robert was going to foll o w the mysterious lady "Not just yet." "Oh, thought you were going to the Empire City to seek your fortune." Inste a d of answ ering thi s scintill a tion of brilliancy, Robert took a d o llar bill from his pocketbook and asked for a single ticket to Watford. The train came al ong almost immediately, and so put a stop to any further qu e sti o ning. 'Why he wante d to go to Watford he could not have said save that all p a s se n ge r s for New Y ork pas s ed thro ugh Watford Junc tion, so the time table s said; but in r e ality the little line fro m Glenada r ea lly ende d at Watford. and all pas se ngers had to chan g e cars s o m e tim e s mi ss ing connections and being kept at the Watford hotel for hours. R obert w a s kn o wn at Watford, for he had visited the place sev e ral times in the interest o f the Glenada. "Hello, sonny I Want a trip che ap?" exclaimed the hotel porter, whe n he saw Robert cross the platform. "Where to, Jim?" "New York. I would like to go, but can't, and I mayn't be able to sell the tick e ts "What are you talking about?" "Two girls, real stunne r s high-up swells came in fro m Glen" ada and ch a nged their minds as to where the y wanted to go I b ought 'em ti c k ets for Langto n, and then one of them said: 'Arc these any g oo d to you? If t h e y are you can have the m.' And she gave me two tickets to New York." "Fun ny "I s hould say it was, sonny.'' "What time was that?" "What?" ''When they gave you the tickets?" "Two o'clock." "And now it is six." "Right you are sonny; you are as good as a prophet W e ll, will you have a ticket? Take it as a Christmas from yours truly." "Wis h I could, but I am going to Langton. What time is the next train?" "Seve n-fifty-five." "Not before ?" "No; you'v e just missed one.'' "The n I must walk I wonder who the ladies were? Several left th e Glenada to-d ay." Jim had no id e a how to describe a lady's costume or appear ance, so a fter m a kin g the attempt he gave i t up, and added : "Bless me, I don't know whether I am ri ght or not, but I do know the y each wore the reddest rose I ever saw." "Each?" "Yes, the tall one had hers ri ght up by her neck; and the other on her breast. They were beauties." "The ladies or the roses?" "Both." "I think I know them, but a bell-boy has to have his wits about him to remember every one who visits a summer hotel." "I should say so; I find it hard en o u!fh here, (;lnd we never have more than a dozen staying at one time "The Glrnada has been full all summer; as many as four hun-dred people at times.'' "What shall y o u do with yourself until the train goes?" "Stroll around." "Stay with me.'' "Sorry, but I want to get something in the village.H "Then you won't u s e the tick ets?" "No; but why d o n t you sell them? A ticket is property, and the railroad will refund the price paid.'' "Do you think so?" "Sure of it.'' "I'll try it." "See you again, Jim.' "All right." Robert walked up the village street, not that he really wanted to purchase anything for he did not, but he desired to think. Why should Sp e ranza change h e r m i nd and go to Langton? Who w a s the second per son? Could it be Jeanne? If so, how was it she wore a red ros e and seemed to be on an equality? The m o re h e thought the greater was his perplexity. Why have th e y gon e to Langton? That puzzl e d him more tha n anything else, for Langton wu about the mos t uninteresting place he knew. He walked about the little villa g e un til nearly train time. Back again, sonny? Really going to Langton?" "Y es "Ca n t get back to-ni ght.'' "I know th at; sh all be back to-morrow." "Here s he c o m e s I" The train was tearing a1ong at such a speed that it seemed quit e impo s sible for it to s top at the depot. But as the platform was reached the s peed slackened, a few extra snorts w e re giv e n then a l ast one like a dying groan, and the mighty en g ine b e came motionl e ss. Robert was the only pas se n ge r, a nd s o the t rain h a d s carcely s topped before the engineer had again grasp e d the throttle and turne d on the steam. The train w a s 311 express, and did n o t stop until it reached Langton? The aftern o on train, by whi ch the l a dies had traveled w as a s low way train, and made four stops ere it reached L-mgton. "Ncx sto p L1ngton !" shouted the brakeman :md cl'>scd the door with a bang loud enough to shatter the nerves of any pas senger. As an afterthought, he op e ned i t again and shouted: "Langton, change for Baltimore, Wash' ton, an' points West an' South." N o t that he spok e as clearly as we have written, for the wholo sent e nce was uttered in a single breath, and sc;emed like one long word. A g ain R o bert's th o ughts were busy, for was it not likely Sper anz a had g o n e S o uth or \Vest a nd if so how c o uld he trace her? He rem e mber e d t hat s h e h a d bought tick ets only as far as Langton, so must needs re-book, and through the ticket agent she might be traced. T he train st oppe d s udde nly, and jerked everybody ab o ut as tho u g h they were of no more importance than bales of merchandise. Robert and an old gentl e man were the only passengers for Langton, and the train starte d again on its way. "What time is train for Washington?" the old gentleman asked. "Si x -thirty.'' "But to-night--" "No train to-night. Good waiting room, capital restaurant, good hotel a block away," replied the agent, evidently repeating a fre quently-uttered l e ss on. The o ld gentl eman grumbled and growled over the chances of a night's misery. "Waiting-room, indeed! And who wants to spend a night in a waiting-ro om? Restaurant-

12 BRA "VE AND BOLD. "Yes, of course, that is the most likely thing. Well, I'll go to the hotel and get some supper and a good night's rest." "Say, no offense, but I can find you a bed cheaper than at the hotel. How do you like the idea?" "First-class." "You'll come?" I will." "I am glad; my wife was wish ing I could get her a board er sometimes, but I've never had the courage to ask any one. She will only charge you a dollar a day. The hotel charges two fifty ." Robert was glad of the chanre to save a little, for he was not too well proyided with money. All the same he wanted to go to the hotel and look at the regi ster. An opportunity was o ffered him immediately, for the agent said he had to walk as far as the hotel, and asked Robert to accom pany him. Carelessly, and as though he was doing it to pass away time, Robert inspected the register, and saw that no names had been written there since the preceding day. Robert was puzzled, but the more perplexing the subject was the greater was his determination to solve it. He did not s leep that night, but spent every minute evolving schemes by which he might be able to track Speranza, for to find her had now become a mania. He l earned that the cond ctor in charge of the tra in leaving watford Junction at two o'clock passed through L angton at eight-fifteen in the morning, and so Robert booked by that train back to Watford. The station agent had treated Robert so well !hat the boy al ready felt he had a new friend to whom he could apply in time of ne ed. CHAPTER X. "HY CHILD I WHERE IS SIIE ?" "Yes, we do see strange people," said the conductor to R obert, as the trai11 sped along toward Watford. "'Now, only yesterday I had two ladies on board, with tickets Lan!!tOn; well, when we reached Blakseton Springs, one of them asked me if my train ran through to New York." "To New York?" "Yes.'' "\tVhy, you said they were going to Langton." "So they were, and the youngest said she thought the licst way would be to go to Langton, and then to New York. I told her she would have to come back throt!gh Watford. She sur prised, and asked me how long s he would have to wait for a train. You know, ours is a single track, I had to wait for the down train at Blakeston Springs." "Did they get out?" "They were so nice, so fascinating, that I did a thi11g for them for which I may get "Did you?" "Yes." "You have a kind heart." "I suppose I have; but what could I do? They said they were anxious to reach New York, so I signaled the down express, and they stepped across from my train to the Kew York cars, and got their tickets on board." "\tVe re they poor people?" "Not much; I shot!ld say they belonged to the Four H unclred. One of them had enough ring s on her fingers to pay my salary for a year." "Plenty of jewelry and flowers, I St!ppose ?" Robrrt hazarded. "Not flowers. Each wore a red rose, but that was all." Robert thollght the jotlrney to Watford a long one, and whe n the train stopped th e re he caught sight of Jim. "Hello, sonny! Back again?" "Yes, it seems o. Have you sent away those tickets?" "No." "I will buy one." "I'll give you one." "No, no, I will pay you for it." ''Seeing you are so positive, I'll sell you one for a dollar." "I will give you three-that is half price; and as I am too old to travel on a half ticket, I am getting off cheap." "When do you want it?" "Now. I want to catch the fast express." "Getting quite a traveler, aren't you?" "Yes; I thought matters over, and guessed the Empire City was the place for me." "Stay here a day first." "No; when I make up my mind I am like a streak of lightning. I want to get there at once." "Well, I wish yo u luck. There is an express due in half an hour." "Yes I want to get that. By the way, did the ladi es come back?" "What ladies?" "Those who gave you the tickets!' "No; why should they?" "Because they did not go to Langton." "Not-go-to-Langton? How do you know?" "Because the station agent told me I was the only person "'"" had stopped there yesterday." "That is curious; but then you know a poet says women arc : 'Uncertain, coy and hard to please, And variable as the shade By the light-quivering aspen made.'" "So you read poetry, Jim?" sometimes; it is soothing to the mind and sends me to sleep quicker than anything else except a glass of beer." Watford Jt!nction was six hours' distant from New York by fast express, but nearly double that time was taken by the ordinary way trains. Robert was fortunate in getting a ticket at half price, and also in being in time for the fastest train of the day. When the train had been an hour's away from the junction, Robert began to wonder how he should find Speranza. He ha

B R A VE AND B O LD. He was near the door at the rear of the car. A little child-a sweet girl of about five years-came through the car, looking as unconcerned as though traveling was no novelty to her. Perhaps it was not. Robert looked at the child. and saw it try to open the door. Then he realized how dangerous it was for the child. He arose quickly from his seat and hastened to stop the child, but she was quicker. She opened the door. She stood a moment on the platform, unnoticed by the other passengers Her hat flew off, her dress was blown over her hea

) 14 BRAVE AND BOLD. "Robert Brendan." "And mine is Vernon Vane. I always give and sign it in full, because my friends will have it that my first name should be Very-Very Vane, you see," and Vane laughed at the conceit, but his laughter was almost hy ster ical. "Where are you going?" he asked, as he stopped his laugh abruptly. "New York, sir." "To friends?" "No, sir." "Ah, I see! to some situation?" "No, sir; to seek one. I have to make my own way, and must work to live. I have to find some one first." "You have his address?" "Whose address, sir?" "The one you are going to see." "I said to find; I have not the least idea in what direction to look. Is New York very large?" "Bless me You don't mean to say you are going to look for some one in New York without knowing in what direction to go? What is his trade?" "It is a lady "Worse yet. A man might be found through the directory, but a woman, bah I" Eloise was sitting up, and was able to tell, in her simple, child ish way, how she wanted to go to her papa, who was in the smoker, and had opened the door o f the car. The wind was so strong that it slammed the door and she was outside. Then she told how she tried to walk across to the next car, but the wind blew her hat away, and her curls almost blinded her as they were blown into her face. The crisis came, the train was all on one side-it was going around a curve. She heard the do o r open, and was glad A sudden gust of wind blew her down, and ,5he did not remember any more. The rescue seemed like a miracle, and Robert became a greater hero than ever. People heard varions versions in the other cars, and every one on the train want .ed to shake him by the hand. He had to hold a reception during the balance of the journey, and when the conductor announced: "Jersey City next stop," there was quite a commotion. The little girl who had spoken about the nation giving heroes lots of money had started an idea. "Why not raise a purse on the train?" Marie's father took up the idea and went through the cars. Every one had contributed, and when the conductor had given the notice of the final stop, Marie's father called for silence in the car, and proceeded to make a speech. "We a ll honor the brave. We all feel that heroes should be made, in some way, to realize that their heroism is appreciated. My little girl thinks. as we all do, that Robert Brendan 1s a hero Our fellow-passengers may never meet together again, and so they have given Marie a little, and ask, through her, that our hero should accept it. not as payment for services or as a reward, but simply as a token of appreciat10n, a souvenir of our trip." When he had finished Marie gave Robert a parcel, which was said to contain twenty-seven dollars and fifteen cents. Robert had no time to reply, o r to refpse the gift, for the train had stopped, and all were hurrying and skurrying to get their things together and reach the ferry. "Come home with me, Brendan," said Vane. "No, sir I thank you I want to commence my work." "You will call and see us? "Some time, yes." "To-morrow-come and dine with us, and go to the theatre after. I am manager, you know, or perhaps don't know, and we ope n next week, so I am pretty busy." "I will see you to-morrow, Mr. Vane." "That is right. We dine at five, but come as early as you like. Wish you would come now." Robert was confused. Never had he seen so much bustle. \Vhich ferry should he take? He thought there was only one, and found there were three starting from the same point. He took the middle one, and found that it landed in a down town street. A boarding house was found, and Robert paid for bed and brea kfast in advance. The next day he &tarted out to see New York and commence his work. All day Robert walked up and down the streets, and when night came he sat down and cried. "It's no use-it's no use; I shall never find her. I shall never get the reward. I will give up." That was a sensible res o lve, and early next morning R obert found Mr. Vane and offered him many apologies for not fulfilling his promise to dine at Murray Hill House the night before. Robert was perfectly honest in the matter, and said truthfully that he had forgotten all about ir until it was entirely too late. Vernon Vane laughed, and insited that Robert should s pend the entire day with him, so rhat there should be no other chance of forgetfulness. Eloise was pleased to see her young preserver, and showed him all her toys. CHAPTER XII. NEW SENSATIONS. New York was given a sensation on the Monday following Robert's arrival whi c h threw into the shade the theatre openings Vernon Vane had invested many thousands of dollars on a 11ew spectacle, and expected that all New York would flock to see it, and that on the .morrow all Gotham would be reading and talk ing about it. Robert had taken a position of usher at the theatre, actuated by two motives. It gave him an opportunity to make enough money on which to live, and he would see all the fashi o nable pe ople in New York. This latter was his real motive, for h e knew Speranza W3S feud of the theatre, and that, if she were in the Empire City, she would assuredly see the new spectacle. The house was cro wded. It was a regular first-night audience; boxes, parquet and circle presented an array of brilliant costumes and s'parkling jewels. It wa s a gay scene, and to Robert Brendan seemed too beautiful to be real. It was a picture of Fairy Land. He examined every face, watched each one as opportunity was afforded, but no Speranza. He saw several who had been guests at, the Glenada, and was delighted to see Tho mas Graham, who had not forgotten him. "Glad to see you Robert. Have you given up yo14r work?" "No; Mr. Graham." "Then you are comb i ning the two?" "Yes; I want to find Miss Speranza--" "I saw her in the park to-day." "You did?" "Ce rtainly; she was driving in a phaeton, with a spanking pair of horses." "Did she see you?" "If sh e did she never showed it. I am not in her set. I think she must be a princess in disguise." Robert's duties called him away, and he had no further opportunity of conversing with friend ai:id patron. But his thoughts were with the subiect of the con versation. "Speranza driving in the park," he thought. "So, then, I will be able to see her, and I can follow and find where she is staying." Vernon Vane was excited. The house was appreciative, and he was confident that on the next day the papers would devote considerable space to his new venture. Events were transpiring that night which upset his calcu lations and crowded out more than a few lines of criticism. To enlighten our readers and not keep them too long in sus llense, we must go back a and speak of the journey taken by Speranza and her French maid. The poets have said, in all ages, that woman is fickle, and had they known Miss Speranza, they would have had very good reason for their opinion. In all good faith she had started for New York, but with a sudden impulse she thought that n ewspape r reporters and de tectives would be on ht!r track to interview her respecting the loss of her diamonds. To the surprise of Jeanne, she gave the tickets, as we have seen to the porter at watford Junction. "Jeanne, J shall go to Baltimore, but shall only take tickets to Langton." "Y cs, mademoiselle."


BRAVE AND BOLD. 15 But before Langton was reached she had again changed htr mind. ''Jeanne, we will go to New York, after all. what do J care about the reporters or detectiv es ? Besid es. who will know us?" The maid was accustomed to all the vagaries and uncertainties of Miss Speranza, so said nothing. The conductor arranged the transfers, and six hours later the eccentric girl was in New York. She called a carriage and drove to one of the most fashionable up:own hotels. Search the register of the h o tel a n d no s uch name of Speranza appears but there is inscribed thereon in bold and

16 BRA VE AND BOLD. "The diamond robbery." "You think--" "That you have some suspicion of the thief. It is the work of my life to find the thief and bring him to justice." "No, don't say that." "Why should I not?" "He is punished enough." "How do you know?" Robert was bold when he felt he was doing right. "Any one who does a wrong action lives in perpetual fear of being found out, and that must be torture." "But he will sell the diamonds and be rich!" "You are young, Rob, and do not know. ThPre never was a rich burglar yet. Easy come, easy go. The majority live in ab solute poverty. They get very little for the jewels, and what they do get they lose very quickly." "But I was accused--" "Yes; but you were innocent." "All do not think so." "Perhaps not, but you may never see any of them again. "The world is sm8ll. I have already met you and Mr. Graham, and the other day I saw Mr. Snellgrove on Broadway." "You will min your life if you persist in your determination." "My life will be ruined if I fail." "Be it so. I will p lace no obstacles in your way. I shall not help you, but will not hinder. You accept my offer?" "I must set: Mr. Vane." "He dines here to-night." "And Mr. Graham." "He, too, will be with us." "Then, subject to their approval, I accept." "One thing, Robert-I suppose I 111ust call you that rather !han Rob-I am a creature of impulse. S o metimes I like to get away from myself, forget my rank, and title, and wealth. I masquerade as a poor girl sometimes, and once went to a town as Jeanne's maid; it was funny, and I enjoyed it. I tell you because you must never be surprised at anything I do." "No, madam." "Don t talk about me outside; don't know me unless I ask you so to do; don't b e suspicious I am a Bohemian in my manner at times, !O never judge me by the standard of other people." Robert heard all this, and his brain was in a whirl. At times he thought Speranza mu s t be slightly deranged; then he remembered how clear-headed she was, and he put down all her peculiarities to eccentricity. "Do you play any instrument?" she asked. "I tried to learn the mandolin." "Splendid; I will teach you; you shall play duets with me." "I am very slow to learn music." "Soon get over that; I will play something for you." She took the mandolin and played so sweetly that Robert was enchanted. Never had he heard such music before. At first she impr o vised, a nd the music was soothing and soft; gradually the strings gave forth chords almost angrily discordant, and again the music changed into sweet cadences, and Speranza sang softly: "It may be that this world is .bright and fair; Bright and fair, But that these eyes of ours are d e n se and dim; Dense and dim, And have not power to see it as it is, Perchance because we see not to the end." There was a prophetic meaning in those last lines impressed o n Robert's mind, and he sighed as Speranza l aid down the instru ment. At dinner Speranza detailed her plans and propositons as made

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