The Bradys and the fatal letter; or, The messenger boy's secret

The Bradys and the fatal letter; or, The messenger boy's secret

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The Bradys and the fatal letter; or, The messenger boy's secret
Series Title:
Secret service, Old and Young King Brady, detectives
Doughty, Francis Worcester d. 1917
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Mystery and detective fiction. ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
030987547 ( ALEPH )
826174740 ( OCLC )
S50-00005 ( USFLDC DOI )
s50.5 ( USFLDC Handle )

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now two men were their best to the ladder. The Messenger Boy could do nothing. Harry crawled on the ladder, trying to reach him. "Back! Hands oft'!'' Old Xiiig Brady cried.


Are You In? See RADIO,' P ag e 24 SECRET SERVICE WeH:ly-8u b iiCri pt1 o n prteet._$3.110 per year; Cana d a ${ .00: Forelc n. ${.110. Har:ry E. Wollr, Publlab e r Joe, 181 We.t 28d SWeet. New York. 1'1. Y Seeond-Ciau Matter J an11an a 11111, at *lle Peate m at New York, N Y .. n odw tloe crt el Kareh I. 18'71. No. 12'12 NEW YORK, JUNE 8, 1923 Price 7 Cents The Bradys and the Fatal Letter OR, THE MESSENGER BOY' S SECRET By A NEW YORK DETECTIVE CHAPTER I.-The Bradys Busy On A Chicago Case. When Anderson's bank in Chicago went up verybody claimed to have long known its weak and it was "I told you so" all along the line. But it was not so. Nobody ltad suspected that Hiram Anderson was plunging wildly in grain, and E:verything else dealt in on the Board of Trade. In spite of what everybody said-and t,ioes not evforybody always say it-the crash took the financial world entirely by surprise. A reeeiver was appointed, experts were put on the : books, but there was little in the shape of either or good securities in evidence. As for the once high and mighty Hiram, where, oh where, was he? Nobody knew. The banker vanished the night -before the failure was announced, leaving his J. D. Lovett, behind him to do the an ouncing. This man was one o,f the cool kind; a rfect sphinx, in fact. He claimed to have been ined through the rascality of his principal, me of the directors believed it, and some "dn't. The secretary declared that he had noth-ng to do with the books. The head accountant f the bank, in accordance with modern ideas, ad been a woman, a Miss Canfield. Singularly en ough, this person was killed in an automobile accident the day before Mr. Anderson disappear ed. And thus stood matters at Anderson's bank an a certain afternoon in July, when Mr. Secretary Lovett, who had been writing a letter in itead of dictating it to the stenographer, sealed ,and addressed the same, and then gave the call for a messenger boy. This action was observed by two persons in the private office. One was Mr. Filson, the di treetor who had taken charge under the receiver; The other was a young man, by the name of 'te, who by Mr. Filson's request, had been JUt on as an expert accQuntant, and who was JIOW conducting an extra examination of the liooks as a sort of checker against the two ex s who were at work in the main room of' e bank. Mr. Secretary Lovett was quite well aware that he was being observed. He showed the least nervousness when a messenger boy, ring on his cap badge the number 1182, tered the o ffice. "Here, bpy!" called Lovett as the messenger stood looking around. The boy approached the desk. "You are to take this letter to Mr. Henry Silverman, at this address," said the secretary. "You are to deliver it only into his own hands. If you do not find him, or if he should happen to be out, you will return the letter to me-see?" "All right, sir," replied 1182. "I understand." He was off in a moment. Mr. Secretary Lovett lit a cigar and began putting things to rights on his desk. It looked as if he was preparing to depart. Director Filson twisted uneasily in his spring chair. "Pardon me, Mr. Lovett," he said, "but that letter had nothing to do with bank business, I presume?" "Nothing whatever,: the secretary, flip the ashes from hiS Cigar "Strictly a private affair." Mr. Secretary Lovett closed his desk and put on his hat. I don't suppose you want anything further of me to-night?" he asked. "No; I think not." "Very well. Then I'm off. Good-night, lfr. Filson." Mr. Lovett. Good-night, sir," re plied the director, and with that the secretary walked out. Mr. Filson arose and peeped through the door into the bank. "He has gone," he said in a minute. "Did you get the address with that mirror of yours?" "Yes, replied White. "It was a hard job, but I caught it, and I don't think he saw me do it. either." "I am not sure he didn't. I was watching him closely all the time. But what was the address?" "Henry 2062 Carondelet avenue." "Let us look in the directory." Mr. Filson hurried into the front office and returned with the directory. He was slow work ing over the bulky book, but presently he announced: "No such address attached to any Henry Silverman." " is there?" "Yes. There are five of them. What do you think?"


/ 2 THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER "Maybe Anderson. You know it is Old King Brady's theory that the man has not left Chi cago." "I am sure it is Anderson. You better get. out there ahead of the boy, in your automobile." "Very well." "If you could only manage to pick up Old King Brady on .the way." "That will 'be impossible, for I have no idea where Old King B rady is. But I think I am equal to the situation." "You certainly ought to be. Lose no time." White vanished on the instant. Around the corner on Monroe street, a small automobile stood in waiting. "Two thousand and sixty-two Carondolet ave nue, said the young man, getting aboard the machine. The chauffeur started at once "That party went away in an auto, sir," he said, once they were started. "Which way was he heading when you last saw him?" "West." "All right. Keep your eye open for him; also for Old King Brady. Take him aboard if by any chance we are fortunate enough to meet him." "Very good, sir," replied the chauffeur, and no more was said until their destination was almost reached. "The next street is Carondelet avenue," remarked the chauffeur then. "I know," was the reply. "Stop about the middle of the block and wait." The halt was made. White got out of the ma chine and hurried around the corner. The number 2062 proved to_be on the next black. White, whose eyes were evefvwhere, saw nothing of either automobile or messenger boy. Two thou sand and sixty-two proved to be attached to a three-story frame flat. It was a house even shabbier than its neighbors, and there was a torn bill against the weatherboards announcing the top flat to rent. White came along on the opposite side of the street, and as he came up to the number he saw a tall man leaning against a fence which enclosed a vacant lot further down. Immediately he hurried towards him, muttering: "Old King Brady at last! This is dumb luck!" There would lulve been no difficulty in anyone who had ever seen the world-famous old detective recognizing him; For Old King Brady, when not in disgt1ise, and he was not so now, always affects a peculiar style of dress. We refer to the leng blue coat with brass buttons, the old-fashioned stock and stand-up collar, and the big white felt hat with its extraordinary broad brim. But young White, as we have thus far chosen to call him, would have been able to recogllize Old King Brady in many disguises, for he has :?een him in many. For truth told, he was the old detective's partner, Young King Brady, the junior of that famous firm of sleuths, the Bradys Detective Bureau. of Union Square, New And these detectives, accompanied by their equally famous female a ss ociate, Miss Alice Mont gomery, had come to Chicago at the request of Director Filson, to see what could be done to wards finding Hiram Anderson, and rescuing some of the vanished cash-of his once wonderful bank. "Well, Governor, I s ee you are right on job," remarked Young King Brady as he proached the old man. "ExactlY," was the reply. "But what on brings you here, Harry? I thought you were! fixture d<-wn at the bank." "Not so much of a fixture that I can't unfixed in a hurry if there is anything was the reply. And Young King Brady went on to about the letter written by Secretary-"That settles it," said Old King Brady. derson is hiding in that house across the under the name. of Silverman. I thought much." "How long have yo-q been here!" "Over three hours." "Tedious work." "It is, indeed. I am glad you came, for this not only confirms 'lllY theory, but it makes feel certain that Lovett is in the deal. As yo are aware, _Harry, I have suspected that fro the first." "I know you have. One thing is sure, Mr. Lovett is a very slick proposition." "You are right. Let us get in behind this fence. There are two knotholes though whic we can peep. They could not be better plac if they had been bored for the purpose." They adjourned behind the fence. They some time, but neither auto nor messenger put in an appearance. is Alice about?" Harry asked at last. "I haven't seen her since yesterday," Old King Brady. "I understood from told me over the telephone that she has trying to work in with some woman to whol11 Anderson has been paying attention. There something wrong with the wire. I couldn't gc the name nor the address." "She will get out of it whatever there is in it, though." "Yes. Alice is one of the reliable ones. Don I hear an automobile coming now?" "Yes, but Lovett is not in it. Just a chauffeu and two ladies." "Oh, I see." Harry saw the auto go on past the ho1.1se with1 out stopping, as he had expected it would. "It is time for thE:. messenger boy to be here,,. he remarked. "Perhaps he is n"llt one of the swift kind." "He did not look it. Hold on I Here comes a messenger boy now!" Old King Brady got hi"s eye up against the other peep-hole. "Well, is he the right one?" he a s ked And then in a min_ute Harry added: "Yes. He is the boy." It was Messenger 1182. He came down the avenue whistling and lool{ing up at the numbers. A moment later and he turned in at the door of of 2062. And the Bradys saw him ring the top floor bell, and apply his ear to the speaking tube. CHAPTER Happened On the Ladder. The messenger boy's name was Charley Angel, but he was an angel only in name. Without the faintest idea that he was going to get mixed


rHE BRAD YS AND THE FATAL LETTER 3 up in a case of the famous Bradys detectives, Charley, who had certainly taken his time in getting out to Carondolet avenue, pressed the bell of the top floor of No. 2062, and at the same time applied 'his ear to the speaking tube, as we have seen. After a brief wait a inan's 'VOice called dGWn asking WhO Wa& j;here. "Messenger!" replied Charley. "Got a letter for Mr. Silverman." "Who gave you the letter?" "A gent down in La Salle street. Anderson's bank." "What is his name?" "I dunno, boss. He didn't tell me." "Oescribe him." \ / "Well, boas, he wllll kinder short, and had a black beard. He told me to take the letter to Mr. Silverman, and if I didn't find him to fetch it back." "All right. I am Mr. Silvel,'man. I am open ing the door. Come up to the top ftoar." The latch clicked and the messenger boy vanished. When he reached the top floor he found a tall man, wearing greenspectacles, standing at the head of the stairs. The man also wore a bushy red beard. "Give me the letter," he said. Chariey delivered the letter and asked the man to sign the book. The man signed the book and Charley started to depart. "Wait," said the man, "there -may be an an swer." He tore open the letter, and as he read it gave a loud cry, threw up his hands and sank to the floor. "Gee! He has trowed a fit.!" gasped Charley. "What shall I do?" The man was gasping, too-like a fish out of water. "Boy!" he said hollowly. "Vinegar! Put it to my nose! Quick!" Charley 1tushed '\bout tryin gto find the vinegar. At' last he discovered a bottle of the stuff in a and he knelt down and .applied it to Mr. Sil'Verman's nose. If he had by_ any chance looked at the window just then he would have seen a man's face peering in under --the bottom sash, which was partly raised. He wa9 a dark man with a croppy black beard. In fact he looked remarkably likft Secreta:cy Lovett, of the Anderson bank. But if the owner of these eyes was Secretary Lovett, what then was the man standing on? For behind this house was a court yard, shallow to be l!ure, but still at least six feet deep, and this happened on the top floor. But as Charley Angel did .not see the face, he was not speculating on this question, but continued his attempt to revive Mr. Silverman. And in this he presently succeeded. Wifth a groan the man, who a minute before had appeared to be unconscious, opened his eyes and then staggered to his feet and -dropped into a chair. he fell the green glasses fell off, and when he arose he was not only without them, but the red beard was all crooked. Dem whiskers is false, surest ting," thought 1182. "Dis must be crooked biz, sure!" The man was still gasping. His face was a deep purple. If Charley had been better pasted he would have perceived that Mr. Henry Silver ;man had just had one partial stroke of -apoplexy, and was liable to have another, and a full-fledged one, at ar.y moment. But if 1182 did not realize the danger, the disguised "Boy!" he said, "I am a verY sickman. I be lieve I am dying. This letter you brought me has been a fatal letter for me." "Shall I go for a doctor?" "In a minute, yet. But listen! I am about to give you a letter. When you come back from the doctor's, if I am dead, you aeliver that letter to Miss Arabella Flynn, No. Hermitage avenue. Write that down in your book." Charley obeyed. "Nov go for J;he ddt:tor," said Mr. Silverm an. "You will find one on the next block. Dr. Hindmarch. Tell him hli! is wanted at once." "But stay!" he hastily added. "Let me first have a look out of the front window to see if the detectives are watching this house. If they are, you will have to leave it by another way." If 1182 had looked out the back window then he woulti have seen that a ladder had been pl'hced between that window and the window of a house immediately in the rear. Down that ladder, which was on something of a slant, a man was slowly descending backward. Meanwhile the rich man staggered into the front room, opened the blinds and looked out. "It is as I feared," he said, gaspingly. "This house is being watched by detectives." you, boss?" demanded Charley. "Unfortunately, yes. Look here!" He led the way to the back window and showed Charley the ladder. "If Y can get down that ladder and in through Jthat window, you can easily make the street without being seen," Mr. Silverman said. "Are you game to try it?" .I

4 THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER He elimbed on the window ledge. At. the same instant the door came in with a crash. It was Old King Brady and Harry, of course. They had seen the supposed Silverman when he looked out the front window. Moreover, Old King Brady was certain that he recognized the banker. It took a few moments to get into the house, and now here the detectives were to find them selves with a corpse to deal with instead of a man. But there was the messenger boy in the aet of climbing out the window. "Hold on, there!" cried Harry. "What are you about? Did you kill this man?" It was rather a foolislf thjng to say, for the case self-evident. It also aroused the mes sengel7 boy's fears of arrest, and he started to climb down the laddet head foremost. "Stop him!" cried Old King Brady. HalTy got on the ladder. His intention was to follow the messenger boy through to the other house and there get him. Suddenly two men appeared at the other window. Young King Brady recognizedone as Mr. Lovett, and the secretary recognized him. "Drop that ladder!" he shouted to his com panion. The situation had now desperate. The two men were their best to push away the ladder. "Back! Hands off!" Old King Brady cried, at the same time whipping out his revolver and covering the secretary. This was enough to send the rascally pair back out of "Back! Back, both of you!" shouted the .old detective. "The ladder is slipping." He drew away to give Harry his chance. Be fore Charley Angel could follow Harry the lad der lost its hold. Down it went into the court yard below, "Heavens and earth, boy! You have had a narrow escape!" IJasped Old _King Brady. "I must have been mad when I ordered you on that ladder." "Th11t messenger boy is done fori" cried Harry. Regardless of the danger of being shot at from the other window, the Bradys looked down into the court. none for, nothing!" exclaimed Harry. "What an eseapel That time I was all off!" The ladder had gone straight down, landing on it end. Now it was .leaning against the building with the messenger boy clinging to it halfway up. And as the Bradys looked the boy got busy. Down he scrambled, and instantly vanished. "After him, Harry!" cried Old King Brady. "I must investigate the state of things htre, for this is Hiram Anderson beyond a doubt. "Sh>.1ll I go for Lovett, too?" demanded Harry as he ran out through the door. "Ye.>; do was the reply, and a second later Young. King .t:Srady was gone. CJIAPTER III.-Facts, Theories and Arabella Fly'nn. Gone, to speedHy return I When Harry came back into the 'top h.all :tie found a number of people gathered. the tenants of the floors below, who had heard the racket and had been sent upstairs out of curiosity. "Keep back, all of you,'' Old King Brady

THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER in cash. Nothing else on him which has any bearing on our C{lse." "It is a bad jofl. If I could only have caught Lovett!" "Th'3re was no show for that from the start. The man recognized us both, of course, and lost no time. Now we have got to begin all over again, and get on his trail.'' Among the people in the hall was a woman who had acted as of the house, and Old King Brady now called her into the room. "You want to keep an eye .out here," he said. "We are going for the police. The remains must not be disturbed until they come." And they went. A reward had been offered for the capture of Hiram Anderson, but whether or not it applied to his corpse the Bradys did not stop te enquire. They merely reported the case at the nearest station and went their way. And Harry's automobile took them next to Mr. 'Filson's house. The director who had never'" di 'rected was disgusted. "To tell you the truth, Mr. Brady, I suspected Lovett of being in the deal from the first," he said; adding: "But he must be found. We want that money to the last dollar, but let me tell you, half a million don't begin to cover -it.'' "So my partner thinks," replied Old King Brady. "All I know is what the fatal letter says." "What a pity we did not arrest Lovett at the start," sighed Filson. "It would have been foolish as matters stood," cried Harry. "All wecan do now is to get on his trail. Where does the man live?" "At the Ardmore apartments, on North La Salle street," replied Mr. Filson, "but I doubt if you find him there now." "I have little expectation of doing so," replied Qld King Brady. "Still we can make a try for it." "Whatever do you suppose brought Lovett there in those vacant rooms? Who was that man With him? Why was the ladder placed as we saw it?" questioned Harry when they got aboard the automobile. "Softly! One question at a time," replied Old King Brady. "Now first about the ladder. My theory is that Anderson had it placed there himself so as to give him a chance to escape in case detectives came. T he janitress told me that the ladder was .put there by the agent, who would hardly have done so if Anderson had not ordered it." "Good! I accept that theory." "As to the other man, we might speculate until the cows come home, and arrive at no conclusion. He was a rough looking fellow. Doubtless a mere tool of Lovett's. As for Lovett's own presence in the room. it seems to me that he may have been spying on the ladder, anxious to lea?n .how An<;lerson took the fatal letter." It was a mere :theory, of course; but, as we know, Old King Brady had come very close to the truth. "We want that messenger boy, Governor.'' "Well, we will try to get him. What was his number? Do you know?" "Yes. 1182." "We will go for him. But first it is the Sherman House. I am anxious about Alice. There -may be some word." There was, and the word came from Alice Montgomery herself, who was at the hotel wait ing for the Bradys when they arrived. "So the man is dead!" exclaimed Alice, when 5he was told all. 'JWell, I know one person who will be sorry, and that is the woman I have been watching, Miss Arabella Flynn." "You are satisfied that she is the woman An derson has been paying attention to?" demanded the old detective. "Perfectly so. I have it from her own lipg.' "But tell me, Alice! have you ever heard this woman allude tQ Lovett?" "Never! Nor has she alluded to Anderson more than once, and that was only to confide to me th11t she had been engaged to him, and ex pected to marry him in September. Of course she is bitterly disappointed at the turn affairs have taken." "How did Anderson get acquainted with her?" "I don't know. I dare say I shall find out now, though. But really I ought to be going, Mr. Brady." "You shall go in the automobile, and 1 shall go with you," said Harry. Alice's designation vas the number on Hermitage avenue to which Hiram Anderson told the messenger boy to take the tetter. But if the letter had been delivered Miss Flynn told Alice nothing about it. :I'he place was a boarding house, and Alice had secured the next room to Arabella Flynn. As ooon as she entered her own room Alice knocked on the dividing door. "Is that you, Bristol?" called a voice from the other room. "It is, Miss Flynn. I have something important to tell you," Alice replied. The door was unlocked by a -tall blonde woman of at least forty .. possessing considerable beauty of a certain type. "What is the matter?" she demanded. "Why you must prepare yourself for a shock," said Alice. "Don't tell me Anderson is dead!" Arabella cried. "It is what I have to..tell you," replied Alice. "He fell dead of apoplexy at 2062 Carondelet avenue late this afternoon." Arabella Flynn made a dive into her closet, got her hat and began to pin it on. "What are you going to do?" demanded Alice. "I'ni going around there." "Shall I go with you?" "No. I prefer to go alone." And with this Arabella Flynn hurriedly left the house. CHAPTER IV.-The Angel Starts on a Career of Crime And while all th"ese things were going on, what had become of messenger boy 1182? Well may the question be asked, for when Old King Brady asked it at the office to which Charley Angel was attached, the manager could not answer it. 1182 had been despatched to Anderson's bank on a call hours J?efore. He had neither been seen nor


6 THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER heard of since. Probably the only thing that saved Charley when the ladder fell was the fact that he was too badly scared to think. Then he simply held on to the round which he had been grasping, and when the ladder landed in the court yard, fell back against the building and stood upright there was Charley holding on still. He was badly shaken up, of course, but when he came to take an account of stock, so to speak, he made the pleasing discove1y that he was not hurt a bit. Then down the ladder went Charley, but he did not go out through the house in which Hiram Anderson had been hiding-not he! The house on the other street also backed on this court. The hall door stood open, and Charley, to use his own expression, "beat it" in a hurry. He was just in the act of going out of the front door when he saw Secretary Lovett and his com panion getting into an automobile. Charley, like a wise angel, held back until they were gone. Then he took to his heels and never stopped until he hit M-adison street./For once pedestrians in that part of the Windy City were treated to the unusual sight of a messenger boy getting over the ground as fast as he could .. Instead of reporting at the office as he should have done, Charley went home. Home for him meant a dirty little bedroom in Mrs. Blank's boarding house on Desplaines street, which Char ley shared with Fritz Blank, his landlady's son, for 1182 was only a waif, and had not the most remote idea who was responsible for his coming into the world. Chadey's ih;st idea was to take his chum Fritz into his confidence, and that they would go for those millions And that was the time Fritz missed his chance, for had he been home at the time 1182 reached the room this confidence undoubtedl:r would have taken place .But Fritz was absent, and Charley, locking the door unblushingly opened the letter to Arabella Flynn and devoured its contents. Ratey street, in the GOose Island district. That building is a part of my assets. I took it for a debt after the Buckhalts people failed over a year ago, and the place is now unoccupied. The enclosed key will admit you. M for the rest, you must climb the ladder and pull 6ut the panel in the scuttle frame; then crawl in between the roof and the ceiling, following the boards I have laid down, and you will soon come to the box. "Arabella, you have, during your experience on the variety stage, often made up as a man. Do it now. Go to Ratey street at night in male dis guise, and look sharp to yourself that you are not trailed there by any of the numerous detectives who have been trailing me. When you get the box, light 'Out of Chicago as quick as the trains can take you. ..Hiram." 1182 finished this long epistle at last. He look ed in the envelope when he came to the allusion to the key and found it; a small, flat aft'air, evidently belonging to a Yale lock. "Gee! And is dat all!" muttered the angel. He felt as if he had lost just pine and a half millionc:;. And that was the time 'Charley Angel's confidence in the Chicago journals received such a jolt that nothing was ever able to restore it. But half a million seemed better than nothing. Charley resolved to go for it. Enclosed with the letter was a blank sheet of paper. Charley wondered at it,. and at fil'st was going to throw it away, but on second thought he conclvded to keep everything intact until he actually had the treasure in his hand. Ten came, and Charley started for Goose Island. He knew all aboutthis extensive manufacturing district. In fact there was no district in Chicago that 1182 did not know, but he could not remember ever having heard of Ratey street, so he concluded that it must be the name attached to one of the many blind alleys, that crowded section, and so it proved. There "Dear Arabella.-When this reaches your hand were two buildings on Ratey street, and one of I shall be dead. I don't know how sincse you them sure enough bore the sign "cork works," have been in your devotion to me, but this much. over its cornice, while lower down was painted I say to you, I loved you all I was capable of firm name: any one by myself. I leave no friend be-"Buckhalts & <:;o." me but you. Consequently I leave you And the building filled the bill. It was a long heu to all my wealth. brick factory. The windows were pretty nearly "I don't know how much I differ from most all broken. As Charley put it to himself, the men, but this I do know, I shall never die a place was "on the hog." whatever may happen. The crash which There were three doors, and as there was no is about to overwhelm my bank was not alto-one in evidence in the alley Charley began hie gether unexpected. Finding which way I was explorations by trying to find out to which one drifting, I began to secrete money in order to the flat key belonged. He easily located it, and protect myself and have something to begin again having opened the door, it suddenly occurred to with in case I failed to weather the storm. him that he was not going to be able to do any"This fund, Arabella, I bequeath to you. In a thing in the dark, way you may c!)nsider that you have no right to "I've gotter have a lantern, dat's a sure thing," it, and that it belongs to my creditors. But this thought the messenger boy. "It's a wonder I is not true; I have not added a dollar to it since ever have been sich a fool as not to think I knew that my failure was inevitable. So take of it before.?" it and keep it. Say nothing to any one. But if But where was he going to get his lantern? you are wise you will leave Chicago; and take Charley scratched his head a few minutes, and care for a while not to make too much of a dis-then remembered that at a certain place which plav of your wealth. he had passed on his way to Ratey street, men "Now, then, as to the Iocatlon of this m_oney. had been tearing down' an old factory, and that It is all in a steel box which I had made for the there were red lanterns placed on the rubbish purpose. That box lies concealed between the heaps tQ warn pedestrians,U their danger. ceiling and the roof in )luckhalts cork works, on So he chased back to this wint, and after


1 THE BRADYS t..ND THE FATAL LETTER 7 watchi!l g out for a few minutes for a watchman, and seeing none, Cha)ley began his crooked work by swiping a lantern. He immediately blew it out, and hiding it under coat", started back for Ratey street. CHAPTER V.-Alice Captured by Mistake. Alice was very doubtful about remaining be hind in the Hermitage avenue house after Ara bella Flynn went away. She would have shad owed the woman, but she had been at so much tropble tpgain her confidence that she hated to run the risk of losi n g it now by a misstep. Alice improved her opportunity. It was the first time she had been able to get into Miss Flynn's ro1>m alone, for the woman kept very close. Alice at once proceeded to make a careful examination of her effects. But what she learned did not amount to very much. As the hours dragged, and Miss Flynn did not return, !Alice became alarmed. At eleven o'clock, finding her still absent, Alice decided to give it up and go to bed. It was just as she was about to carry out her intention when she heard the voice of a chambermaid call: "Miss Flynn! Note for you!" Alice jumped up and was l!bQut to open the door when a sealed letter came flying ove;,; the trwsom, which happentljj '

8 THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER how much of Hiram Anderson's money have you got stowed away?" "Not one cent." "I'll put it differently. How much of the money Hiram Anderson stole have you got stowed away?" "My answer to that question is the same as to the other. Not Qne cent." "I believe you lie." "Yes, Mr. No-gentleman. It is like your kind to tell a lady she lies." "Anderson got away with at least a million." "I know nothing apout it. He never gave me any money." "I question that." "Ah, ha! You are learning manners by de grees. I question that's is a little better plain you lie." "Come, come, Miss Flynn. There is no sense in this feflcing." "I quite agree with you. It is quite a.renseless J.. roceeding." "I have every reason to that Anderson had at least half a million stowed away. I hapJ.Oen to know that he was without a relative in the world, and practically without a friend except yourself. He once told me that in case he died he intended to leave you all hiS property. Now all his property has been attached by the re ceiver of the Anderstta bank, and precious little it amounts to, but that doesn't say that he hasn't stowed away money, and that you haven't got the clue to where it is." "You seem to be pret.ty well posted about Mr. Anderson's affairs." "I am." "I can think of only one man who should be so well postEkl., and his name begins with an L." "It m&kes no difference who or what I am," was the reply. "I am out f9r the money-Hira.m Anderson's hidden money. I mean to get It, too." "You say a lot-too much, in fact. As for me, I have nothing furthe:f to say." And Alice was as good as her word She was 11atisfi.ed that the man was none other thjm Secretary Lovett. She was also tired of talking, and she resolved to see what a little silence would do. But it accomplished nothing. Her captor was indeed J. D. Lovett. He accepted Alice's thallenge to stop talking, and during the re mainder o f the ride said no more. At last the cab stopped, and Alice, looking out, saw that they had d rawn up before a ruinous old factory. She had followed their route in a general way, and she kne w thatthis must be located somewhere on t h e North. Side. "Is t h is your prison?" she now asked. "This is your prison," replied Lovett, "but you clon't have to enter it. "Take me in at once, sir. You are asking the impossib l e or in words, that I shall $live up mone y which 1 haven't got, and tell you things which I don t know." "Ycu!" w is h shall be granted," sneered Lovett. He thr ew open the door and spran-g out. Alice as about to follow him, but the other man her arm. "Wait." h<' said. "Take your time." I ovett opened the door with a key, and then wav;ng his hand, his companions led Alice inside the factory. As he crossed the side"Vtalk Alice was able to read the large;f;igns painted on the building, for the moon was at her full. "Cork Works. Buckholts & Co." was what she made out. CHAPTER VI.-Putting It Up to 1128. There did not appear fo be anything further for the Bradys to do that night, so they went to bed, hoping to hear something from Alice in the morning which would give them a good working due, but no word come over the telephone as had been arranged. When the detectives looked over the. morning papers they found a full account of Hi.m Anderson's death, with their names mixed in with it. It seemed that while the coroner was examin ing the remains, Miss Arabella Flynn suddenly put in an appearance at the Carondelet street fiat, an1 anouncing herself as engaged to Mr. Anderson, had demanded what money he had a bout him, and his papers and other effects, en forcing her demand by producing a will signed by Mr. Anderson, leaving her everything he might die possessed o This will was dated the day before Andersozt disappeared. Of course no at tention was paid to the demand, and the result was a scene. Miss Fl);IY;l grew violent; so much so in fact that she 168.4 to be forcibly removed l1y the police. At nine o'clock Old King Brady strolled around to the Anderson bank, where h& found Mr. Filson already on hand. "Good morning," said the director. "I suppose you thought there was no use in keeping in the back-ground any longer after what was published this morning." "That's the way it seemed to me," replied the old detective. "The receiver has not arrived yet?" "No. He has not been here in three days. He may not come to-day. There is so little to re ceive that he takes but small interest in the busi "No big fees being in sight?" "Exactly. Is there anything new?" "Nothing beyond what you probably saw in the paper about the doings of the Flynn woman." "Yes, I read that. It only confirms my theory that Anderson had , stowed away. Per haps this woman already has it. The will may have been intended as a basis on which to build a legal fight to retain it in her possession." "I am. much inclined to agree with you, but J don't thmk she already has it. If she had"1'ha never woum have gone to that house trying to get what Anderson had about him at the time of his death, which I handed over to the police." "And which I almost wish you hadn't done, Mr. Brady." The old detective abruptly changed the subject. "Look here," he said. "I suppose my partner examined Anderson's private safe, but do you know, I should like to examine it, too." "Go ahead. He made a most thorough examina tion, and if 'I have examined it once, I certainly have.half a dozen times." "Which is it?" "'rhe small one in the corner there." "Well, I will take a look," said Old King Brady, and he went to work on the safe in his usual


THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER thorough way. Mr. Filson watchedhim for a while, a.nd then went about his own Old King Brady kept busy for over half an hour. Every time the director looked around he saw the 'old detective standing there rubbing his chin and staring fixedly at the safe.' "You don't seem to be making much headway, Mr. Brady," he said at last. "I had no expectations of finding anything without trouole," was the reply. "There is sure ly a secret compartment in this safe. I have lo cated that, but I can't seem to open it up. That's what is puzzling me now." "What makes you feel so sure?" "Look here," said the old detective, pointing to a set of pigeon holes in the middle of the safe at the top, These he had emptied of the papers they con tained, and he now produced a foot rule and ran it into one of the pigeon holes. "You see the depth,'' he said. "Now com pareit with the depth of the safe." He laid the rule on top cf the safe. There was a difference of about six ir.ches. "Ha!" exclaimed Mr. Filson, "and are. all the other holes six inches deeper than those four?" "They are." "Then it would seem to be as you say." "It certainly is. You can see for yourself that those four pigeon holes are dovetailed, and are at the same time detached from the others. Look!" "I don't need to look any closer. I already see what you mean." "Exactly. The question is to find the secret ,epring. Here, take hold with me, Mr. Filson. Perhaps it is in the back of the safe. I think we can pull it out together." They easily succeeded in moving the safe for ward on its rollers. Instantly Old King Brady spied a nickel-plated button set in the back di rectlv behind the pigeon holes in question. "Pull!" he cried, and as he pressed the button, Mr. Filson at the same time pulling, out came the four pigeon holes in a bunch, revealing just such a space as Old King Brady had calculated upon. It contained simply a letter. Mr. Filson made a grab for it. "Brady, .you have a long head!" he cried Now we have found something tangible, surest thing." "Don't be too sure," said Old King Brady. "'What have you got?" "The letter is addressed to Arabella Flynn-." Mr. Filson opened the envelope and took a look at a sheet of letter paper. As he unfolded it his face assumed a disgusted look "What's the trouble now?" demanded Old King Brady ", we seem to have drawn a blank." "Let me see it?" Old King Brady took the paper, and putting on a stronger pair of eyeglasses, proceeded to ex amine it. Then he went over to the window and held it up against the light. ''Covered with writing," he said. "Invisible ink?" cried Mr. Filson. "Certainly. Look I" Very dimly Mr: Filson was able to discern a difference in color along the lines. Qld King Brady lighted the gas and waved the paper ba';!:r and forth in front of the flame. "Yes, it is coming out,,. he said. "Take it down as I read it, Filson." And Old King Brady read as follows: "De:1r Arabella.-As I am liable to drop dead at any moment, I want to say a will be found on IIJe addressed to you. It tells of money I have hidden, which I want you to have, but the money is not in the place the letter says. Circumstances made it seem best for me to re move it. I am writing this in a state of great uncertai.J1ty. With it I am also writing a de scription of the place where I have hidden the money. I may enclose that sheet with the letter or you may not find it. 1--" Here the writing abruptly ended. "Look in that envelope and see if there is an other sheet!" exclaimed Old King Brady. "There is none," replied Mr. Filson, examining th&envelope. "The man was interrupted in.writing this," said the old detective. "That is certain. He probably hastily p_ut it into the secret compartment." "By Jove,] know .f" cried Filson, slapping his foreheaQ. "What do you mean?" "I did the interrupting." "How? When?" "The day he disappeared I came in here about three o'clock. Usually I walk right in. That afternoon the door was locked. I knocked and spoke my name. 'Just a second.' Anderson re plied. When he opened the door I noticed that the safe was drawn out from the wall, and while we were talking I called attention to it. 1Why, so it is,' he said, and he pushed it back. !'ll bet you he had just clapped that letter into the se cret compartment." "It may be so. Let me see if I can pull the safe out alone." Old King Brady tried it, and found that l1e could easily move the safe. "It is by no means as heavy as it looks," he said. "I believe you are right; but just the same, I don't understand why he did not finish the But, of course, we .shall never know now." "It confirnis what I said, however. Anderson had money stowed away. We want that money, Mr. Brady." "And it is up to the Bradys to get it, you are saying between words." "I should certainly like to see them get it." "And they will certainly try their best to do it. Pity this letter bears no date." "And we can't tell whether the writing is fresh or not on account of the peculiar kind of ink ilsed." "And boiled down, the proposition amounts to just this: We are no -better off than we were before." Detective and director sat looking at each other in silence for some minutes. "Certain it is," said Old King Brady, "that Hiram Anderson had many days in which to com municate with Miss Flynn. That he did not do it up to the time of his death seems to me to stand proved, from the fact that the woman went


10 THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER there demanding his effects, but, my dear Mr. Filson, it may have been his last act. He may have hastily written to the woman after receiving the fatal leiter, and have given that messenger boy the communication to deliver. That has been my theory from -the first." "In which case we want the messenger boy," rer,lied Mr. Filson. 'Yes, if we can get him." "What? Is he missirig then?" "He was last night. But let us see." Old King Brady consulted the telephone book and th;m called up the office to which Charley Anrrel was attached. "Still misstng," he announced as he hung up the receiver. "There is but one conclusion to draw." "Which is?" "'(hat Hiram Anderson in some form or other confidei the .secret of the hiding place of the stolen cash to Messenger 1182. The young ras cal went for the money instead o:f going back to the office, but whether or no he got it is something which to be proved." CHAPTER VII.-The...Angel Goes From Bad to Worse. To return to ou_r angel. Angels ought to be good things to get back to; but our angel was not a good thing. He had fallen. He had begun by stealing a lantern, and a red one at that. Other crimes were to follow. Of course Charley could scarcely be accused of breaking and en tering. He now entered the old cork factory, but he did not break in, he opened the door with his key. The first thing he did was to get his red lantern into business. Then he made sure that the door was fast, which it was, for the lock operated by a spring. Charley stood for a minute listening, and not hearing a sound, he started upstairs two steps at a time. He was in a hurry to collar his half million J Reaching the top floor, he had quite a seach for. the scuttle ladder. The place contained several pieces of machinery, and niariy boxes and barrels. It looked as if an attempt ha

THE BRADYS AND THE FATAL LETTER 11 removed, and the man appeared to .be busy with the bootes. At last Charley heard him say: "All ready, boss!" "All right," was the reply. "Light the other lantern and remain outside until I come." "Now then, Miss Flynri," the voice added. "Be good enough to walk inl;o your prison, please." "Miss Flynn I" thought the angel aloft. "Oh, gee!" Did he feel conscious stricken? Not a bit of it. He only felt hopeful that in some :way he might be going to learn something which would .till give him a chance to push ahead in his career of crime; or, in other words, to get his :fingers on Hiram AJlderson's treasure box. And so 1182 crouched by the opening, which appar ently had not been discovered, listening. It Lovett and Alice, of course, and so with the understanding that the angel was drinking in every word, we will get down into the room and join them. Alice was watching her man as a cat watches a mouse. She bad her revolver, and she WII.S fully determined to use it if necessity de m!lllded. The door, which was operated by a spring lock placed on the outside .. was now shut. Lovett, who held a lighted lantern in his hand, placed it on the floor, and pointing to a solitary box,. which had been left behind, said: "You can sit down if you want to, Miss Ffynn." "Many thanks, Mr. Lovett," returned Alice, mockingly. "I prefer to stand. I presume you will not deny that you are the party named?" "I shall neither admit nor deny it. You drawn your own conclusions. You will get 1!_0 information out of me." Alice was now doubtful what she ought to do. One. min)Jte it seemed to her that the proper course would be to declare that she was not Arabella Flynn. The next, and it seemed to her that she had now gol)e too far to and that such a denial would be of no use. It was a difficult problem to solve. But on the whole it seemed best to stick it out. She had her revolver, her flashlight, and her skeleton keys; thus it seemed to Alice that she had a fair chance to escape after Lovett left her. So she boldly faced the man, and asked : "Do you propose to leave me here?" "Yes, and until I have starved y6u into sub mission," was the reply. "My friend, I have said all I can say: to hold me a prisoner is simply useless." "Wait," said Lovett. /''I have not quite shown my hand yet, Miss Flynn. That is why I am now \Seeking this opportunity to hold a few minutes' private conversation with you. "Listen! You were not Hiram Anderson's best girl when I first got acquainted with the man. l'hat one is dead, and I happen to know that he used to correspond with her in a peculiar way. He wrote his love letters in invisible ink. Did he do the same with you?" "No, sir, he never wrote me a letter in invisible ink." "I do not like to tell you again that you lie, for fe-ar you will tell me again that I am Mr. No-gentleman, which might seriously injure my feelings; but I hold the proof that you are not putting it quite straight right here." The angel did the rubber act then. He saw Lovett, whom he instantly recognized, produce a letter from his inside pocket. See," said the secretary; found in the letter box at the Anderson bank waiting to be mailed. It is addressed to Arabella Flynn." "Indeed!" retorted Alice, mockingly. "And you have read the letter?" "I have, in spite of the fact that it is written in invisible ink.ll. "Well!" "Now do you deny that you have received o-thers. like it?" I never go back on my word, Mr. Lovett Make the most out of that you can." "Perhaps you w

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