The Bradys' bank book mystery, or, The secret of the torn page


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The Bradys' bank book mystery, or, The secret of the torn page

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Title:
The Bradys' bank book mystery, or, The secret of the torn page
Series Title:
Secret service, Old and Young King Brady, detectives
Creator:
Doughty, Francis Worcester d. 1917
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
030993688 ( ALEPH )
826859956 ( OCLC )
S50-00006 ( USFLDC DOI )
s50.6 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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. I was two men from the The the right on the job. He fiung open the door of the hack andlifted a gi'rl .out .:...The Bradys saw_it all over the lumber.

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Like Good Radi o New s? Turn t o pages 24 and 2 5 SECRET SERV ICE Issued Weekly-subscription price, $4 00 per ypar; Canada, $4.50; Foreign, $5.00 H arry E. Wolff Pnbllsber, Inc. 166 West 23d Sh ept, N e w York, N. Y. Entered as i:>econd-Ciass Matte r J n nnnrr 31, 1913, at the Pos t Office at New York, N. Y ., under the Act of :March 3, 1S7U. No. 1292 NEW YORK, OCTOBER 26, 1923 Price 8 Cents The Bradys' B ank B ook Myste r y OR, THE S E CRET O F THE TORN PAGE' By A NEW YORK. DETECTIVE CHAPTER I.-A Sunday In the Bronx. A rainy December Such was the state of the weather when at about four o'clock two men left the almost empty car of a subway train at the One Hundred and Seventy-fourth street station Borough Bronx, City of New York. One was a lo oking young fellow in his twenties; his companion was an elderly man of striking appearance a nd peculiar dress, wearing a long blue coat with brass buttons, an old-fashioned stock and stand-up collar, and a big white felt hat with an unusually broad brim. These two came out of the last car and were the last to leave the train. The ticket chopper looked at them curiousl y as passed through the gate. Perhaps he 1 :ecognized the elder man. It would not be surprising if such was the case, for he was a man known to many, not only in New Y ork, but in every other city in the United States, and his odd dress made him all the easier of identification. He was, in short, Old King Brady, the detective, chief of the Brady Detective Bureau, of Union Square. And it need scarcely be added that his companion was Young King Brady, his pup and partner. Young King Brady raised his umbrella when they hit the sidewalk, altbough it was hardly necessary, the rain having dwindled to ..,.-a mere drizzle, and for a moment they stood looldng about them in the fading light. "Don't see them," said Old King Brady. "Stop! There they go!" "Where?" "East. Towards that old hous e. "Oh, I see! Well, on t)1e job, Harry." They started away from the boulevard then, heading east. And the Bradys trailed on, always going east in spite of several turnings, because the men they Wjlre shadowing went east through the newly laid out streets, over short stretches of old countl'y roads but always east tln-ough the drizzling rain. One of the pair was unknown to the detectives but his companion, the Abe Cagney in question, w a s known well enough. He .1. was a notorious character in the lower Bowery district; a "strong-arm" man, a "second-story" man, a "shover of queer" coin, a man who would not have hesitated to rob a blind beggar or to have broken open the poor box of a church and stolen the pennies; in short, a all-around crook. It was the "queer" end of the business which had attracted the Bradys, who although not regu lar Secret Service men, are always interested in SecTet S ervi ce work. The neighborhood t hrough which they were passing was just beyond the lin{l of development at this end of the Bronx. Here and there were rows of new dwellings in course of erection; then it would be a long stretch of vacant lots, and newly laid out streets with the wreck s of once stately mansions thrown in Some of the houses were closed up and deserted, having been bough t by land' developing companies, which intended to pull them down in the near f uture. They seemed to offer ideal lurking p laces for gangs of q ueer makers. Indeed, more than one of them had been thus used, as the Bradys happened to kno w Hence from the surroundings of the two men the Braclys' suspi cions were confirmed "Hal They have turned again, exclaimed Harry. This time it was down a new street which extended on across the tracks of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. There was but one building in evidence on this street, and that was not yet up to the roof, and had a scaffolding around it. Always watching their men, the Bradys saw them pass around this building. They did not come into view again, so the Bra(jys drew carefully near. It was now du s k. Crouching behind a lumber pile, which was at the top of a depression the Bradys had little fear of being di s covered, for they stood a little way do w n the bank, where they could peer over the edge of the lumber without showing themselves. This they did when they first reached the spot, but could see nothing of Abe Cagney and his companion. But listening, they presently heard' voices which proceeded from the inside of the house. It was the crook speaking. "Sure this is the right place?" he a s ked. "It's vat he told me, olda top, and dat's alla I know," was the reply. ."That fellow has lived in London breathed Young King Brady. "Yes Hush!" said the old detective. "Yo u may speak, but not so loud

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2 THE BRAD YS' BA NKBO O K MYST E R Y "Do y ou know w h a t he wants the girl for?" the crook asked. "No ; nota z actty. "Oh! Then you h a ve a susp i cion ? "In a v a y; yair What way? "She s wiped someting vat he want to get." "O h! But s t ill I don't see h is o b ject in bring-ing he r here ." "No! I tinka h e trow von b iga scare into her." "Hold up!" bro ke in Cagne y I hear the sound of wheels "Sure tin g Mebbe h e c oma now." "That's what I'm thin ki n g. We' ll go out have a look." What they saw the Bradys had alr ead y see n It was a ca b c oming a long the n e wly paved street, drawn b y two horses although t he vehi cl e was a small one. It l o oked remarkably like a private t urnout. Cro ok e d work, breathed Old K i n g Brady. "No q u eer buying i n this d e al boy ." "Evid e n t l y not." "Bette r g e t ou t your revolver. we may wapt it f o r a blu ff. T here i s evide n t l y a w om a n i n the deal." Harry d r ew his revolver, and f r om b ehi n d the lumber they c ontinu e d t o watc h the cab. T h e cab came o n r a t h e r s l owly. The driver was a young man w e a r ing a sort o f 'half li v ery. Suddenl y the cab stopped a t a po int about a hundred yards -away f r om the h ou se A larg e man, wearing a derby got out, loook e d all a ro un d, and s poke a f e w wor d s to t h e d riv e r. He then waked o n ahead the h ac k remaining a t a standstill. Sud denl y 'they h e a r d a low whistle evid ently ing from the man w i t h the d erby An answe rmg whistle imm edi ately f o ll ow ed The man shoute d Come on.'' The hack driv e 1 came o n to meet a h o ld up. The hold-up was by t he two me n from t h e unfini s h ed house. T he man with the derb y was right on tht! j ob. He flu n g o pen the d o o r of the hack, a n d lifted a gi r l ou t The B r a d y s saw it all ov e r the l umber. The g i r l appeared to be half con s cious. Her head dro p p epd and s he stag gered "Come come! Brace up!" cr i e d her comp a n ion "This is a ll nQns e n se. There's nothing the matter wi t h yo u He tried to lead her forward. "Now then, Har ry, wh ispered O l d King Brady. They s u dden ly stepped ou t into view. "What's a ll this abo u t ? demand e d the old detective And that w a s the t ime his "trademark" clothe s certainl y did the bus i ness. Old King Bra d y, the detective bawl ed A b e Cagney and he t o ok to his h e e ls H i s compa n i o n instantly f o llow e d s uit. S o did the m an with the de r b y, r unning in the op p o site directi o n "Ha lt, there! sh ou t ed H a r r y and he sent a w i ld sh o t aft e r lhe fell o w But the man o n l y ran t he faste r CHAPTER !I.-The M ys t e r y of the Bank Book. Old King Bradf saw that he had something in tlie line of a wystery on his hands, and he preferred tha t he shou l d not be s epar ated from hiR partner. A n d s o he jumped t o the assi stanc e of the giTI. H e saw a t a g lance t h a t she w a s suffering from the effects of a d ose o f kno c k out drops. "Atten d to t h e drive r Harry," ordered the o l d detecti ve a s h e directed hj s o wn atte n t io n to the girl. Harry turned to the man o n the box, w ho had neve r uttered a word at the same time d isplaying his detective s hield. What's a ll t h i s about?" he demanded sternly. "I d o nn o n o m ore abo u t it dan y o u do," was the half d efiant reply. "You l ie 'Where's vour numb er?" The fell o w l ooked f ; ig htened "I take t hat b ack he s a i d "I'm c oachman for Mr. K lippstei.n, the banker." T Een what are y ou doing with these people? Make a cl ean breast of it or I ll run you in Well, den it's li k e di s I took Mrs. K lippstein over o n de b oul evard to call o n a fri end. As she e x pected to stay dere till ten o clock, I started back to de stable. When I got to de J ackson avenue s ubwa y station of d e s ub way I was h a iled b y dat man. "Go on." "He asked m e i f I wanted a fare. I he t o o k me f o r a p ubli c haak "And y ou took him up?" "Dat's what I did I to ught I m ight a s w ell m a k e a few do liars on de side." "Then yo u don t know him?" "No moren'n you do." "Nor the woma n ? "No." "Was she dop e d when you struck them?" "No, s he wasn't, o r if she w a s I d idn't notice it." Did they seem to be on good ter ms ? "As nea r a s I c ou ld see y e s "Then y o u k n o w abs olu t el y n o t hing abou t them?" Nothing whatever, a nd d!at' s h on e st." "Where did h e t ell you t o drive to?" The ca bb y n a me d the corne r where they now were. Wh at's your name ?: "Frank B ulger. "yYhat's Mr. Klip pstein's address? I hope y o u don t m e a n .to g ive m e awa y, Mr. B r a d y It w ill cost m e my j ob so." I can e a s il y fin d the address in t h e directory, so y ou bette r give it," replied Harry, c oldly. T h e driver comp li ed. "That: s all," said Harr y "I'm afrai d you have go t yourself into bad busine s s How muc h further t h i s thing g oes depen d s a good de a l upon y ou rself. He turned a w a r an d j oined Ol d K i n g B r ady, who was still try m g to r evive t he girl. He had g iv en her the antidote forknockou t d rop s which he always c arries i n h i s littl e med icine case: he had done a ll h e c ou ld to arous e h er, but in vain. So t he old detective ordered Harry to giv e him a lift, a n d they placed the woman in the car riage, Old Kirig Brady telling Harry s he would have to b e d r iven to a ho spital. They got her on the back seat, and the d r iver, meekl y taking his orders from Harry, drove in the direction of the

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THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY 3 nearest ho spital with all sp eed. As they rode alongHarry repeated what the man had told him. "Sounds straight enough," observed Old King Brady. "What could have been that man's idea in bring ing the girl to t'his unfinislied house?" "Hl!rd to tell." "I wish Alice vas here. She could make a more thorough search of the girl than y ou have been able to do." "Yes, Alice would come in very hand;r now." The allusion was to Miss Alice Montgomery, the accomplished female is a full partner in the Brady Detecti.Vellureau. The hospital was reached in due time, and the personal influence of Old 1\ing Brady was quite sufficient to secure the admission of the young woman. Having searched the cab thoroughly for some clew to the woman's identity, Harry told the man Bulger he might go, and he depa1'ted with the advice to keep his mouth shut as to what had occurred. Meanwhile Old King Brady had gone upstairs with the two attendants who took the slumbering girl from the cab. Harry remained in the waiting room for nearly an hour, where Old King Brady joined him. "Well? And how is the patient?" he asked. "She is dead, Harry," was the grave reply. "What do you propose to do?" "I am waiting for the women who are now laying her out. They may find some clew to her identity, but I fear it is rather doubtful." In about a half hour the superintendent gave the detectives all they had foun. d on the woman. It was a bank book. This alone would seem to offer a very important clew But it did not. The book had been sadly mutilated. The name of the bank and also that of the depositor had been cut from the cover evidently with a sharp pen-knife. There were many entries, the business recorded covered a period of a little less than a year. But it was the current year. The date of the last entry showed that the latest check had b een drawn three years before. The entri es also went t o show t hat there was a bal ance of $ 1 6,892 .54lying unclaimed in thi s bank during those three years. So m u ch f o r the front of the book. From near the back a page had been torn out. That this page had been hastily re moved waa evident. There was something in the way of a stub left, and the edges were ragged. Upon this stub parts of what appeared to be letters co u ld be traced. "This is all we found on her, Mr. Brady," sard the superintendent when he entered the reception room in w hich the detectives had been waiting. "If you can make anything out of it then you are able to do more than I can, but it looks as if there was in the neighborhood of $17,000 belong ing to some body tied up in this bank." "Where was it found?" asked the old detective. "C9ncealed inside her corset," was the reply. "Humph! And this is absolutel y all?" "Rely upon it. Mrs. our matron, made the search personally. She is perfectly trustworthy." I "And yet, do you know I am not satisfied With all clue re;;pect to Mrs. Gullagher; she is not a detective I s hould like to have the p1ivilege of making a search for myself. "Very well. Follow me "I should like to have m)' partner accompany There is no objection." The Bradys were then led to the matron's room, and introduced to Mrs. Gullagher. Mrs. Gullagher picked up a corset which lay 0 n the table. "Hers," she said "Examine it, pleas e." Old King Brady ran his fingers over the corset steel s. -"A steel has been removed here, and there is something else in place of it," he exclaimed. "Exactly," replied Mrs. GullagJ:!er, "a piece of paper. Turn the corset over." Old King Brady did so, and saw that the cloth had been stitched up on the inside. "Done after the removal of the corset steel," remarked Mrs. Gullagher. "I was just about to open it up when you came." "We will open it now," said Old King Brady. Producing his knife, he ripped up the stitches, and introducing the knife into the opening, drew out a thin roll of paper. This he unfolded. His face assumed a look of disgust. "What's the trouble?" demanded Harry. "The trQuble is these are flytracks," said Old King Brady. "I can't make them out." Harry took the paper, knowing that notwith standing the wide experience of his chief in the detective line, he possessed no knowledge of any language save his own. "Well, and what do you make out of it?" demanded Old King Brady. "Can't make it out at all," replied Harry. "This particular variety of fiytracks gets away with me." The Bradys looked at each other significantly. Each knew what the other was thinking of, but neither spoke. CHAPTER III.-Old King Brady Gets D o wn To Work. Now what the Bradys were both t hinking o f when they looked at each other was t his Ali ce Montgomery possesses a remar kable lm o wl e dge of language. "Alice can tell us what it is, if anyone c an," was Harry's thought when he looked at thos e peculiar characters. And Ol d King Brady's thought was much the same. By permissi o n o f the hospital s uperintendent, who knew that Old King .Brady could makeit all right with the proper authorities, the detectives took awaythe bank book and its torn page when they left. "We better get right home and see what Ali c e can make out of all this," sa id Harry, as soon as they had left the hospital. "If she can't read it, then we slfall ha:ve to strike for some learned professor," Old King Brady replied. But to his eye the writing had a dec idedly Ori ental appearance, and he knew that the name of qrief!tal languages is legion. Now th'e Bradys hve m an old brownstone house on Washington Square, where they have kept bachelor's hall for several years, while Alice has a suite of rooms of her own around th.e corner on Wav erly plact;. Old King Brady and Hany now repa1 red, feelmg sure they would find their

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4 THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY partner at home that evening, a nd s o they did. "You have taken a case!" exclaimed Alice as soon a s she saw them. "We certainly have had one put up to us; in a most peculiar way,'' replied Harry, "but whether we take it or not is for the Governor to say." "Oh, I propo se to see the thing through,'' added Old King Brady, "but as it i s strictly our own bu siness. we may take our time about it1 I hope. Here, Alice, read that," he added abruptly, and he handed her the torn page. Ali c e studied it for several minutes in silence. "Have you any idea what language this writ-ing i s in?" she then asked. "Not the faintest," replied Old King Brady. "Looks like Greek," said Harry. "You're miles away," replied Alice. "These characters are what is known as the. round <> alphabet. "Can you read it, Alice? That's the point," brok e in Old King Brady. "Indeed I would if I could," was the reply, "but you ask me too much. It may be Siamese; the ch ances are it is. On the other hand, it may be Bu rmese, Cambodian, Kling, Anamese, or either one of the several others, as I have said No, gentlemen, I must regret to be obliged to make the confession that it will be impossible for me to help you out." "And now for your learned professor, Gover nor!" Harry. "Produce him, for I want to get ahead on this case." "We shall have to ring off until morning, that i s certain," was the reply. "Meanwhile we will tell Alice all about it." They spent an hour talking it over, but, of course, could reach no conclusion. But that night before he went to bed Old King Brady made a slight discovery which seemed likely to afford a clew. It was that the pa,per of which the bank book l eaves were made up bore a water mark. The first thing Old King Brady did next morning was to telephone the hospital to learn if anyone had called to inquire for the dead woman. As he expected, no one had. Immediately after breakfast Old King Brady went down to Beekman street to consult a friend in the paper trade aoout the water mark. As he expected wou l d be the case, this man immediately named the mill whose monogram was on the bank book leaves, and the New York dealer who handled their goods. As this dealer was also lo cated on Bee km an street, which is somewhat of a center for the paper trade, he went with the old detective to this firm and introduced him The dealer examined the bank book 11nd his own books before committing himself. "Yes, we so ld that paper," he said at length. "I find that almost the entire product of what we had from the mill at the date of the earliest entry here ,went to the big printing house of Polhemus & Brown, on Fulton street. I have no doubtthat they made this ba11k book, and should advise an inquiry there. Old King Brady accepted the advice and here gained another point. Mr. Brown looked up his books, and found that this particular paper had been used by only three banks. He identified the book as the work of hi s firm positively. He pointtg 10ld 'King Brady that the p ape r was of rather an inferior grade for bank book work. The Bowery Bank had u se d it; also a bank in Brooklyn, and another in Jersey City. Mr. Brown was rather i nclined to think that the book be longed to the Bowery Bank, on account of the narrow margin, which had cut away from the top of the leaf. Acting upon these sugges tion s, Old King Brady hastened to the Bowery Bank, where he introduced! himself to the cashier and stated his ca se. Again h e had hit it right. The cashier merely glanced at the bank book. "It is one of ours,'' he said. "We have that account. It ha not been drawn-against in three years. We don't know the man is alive or dead." "I trust you will give me his name," said Old King Brady. "It is not our custom to give out the names of these dead account s as we call them, without an order,'' was the reply, "but I feel that I can safely make an exception in your c ase. The name is Jacob Dothan. His address was No. -Avenue D. His business was a junk dea ler." "And he i s no longer there?" asked! the old de tective. "No. He sold out to the firm of Reisling & Co., dealers in second hand building materials. You notice the last entry is $300 ?" "Yes." ''That's what he got for selling his stock and giving up his lease. He came here and deposite d the money. He stated to our receiving teller that he was going ouj; of business. We have neither seen nor heard of him since." "How old a man was he?" "He was far advanced in years. I should say at least eighty; he may have been over that. He was the dirtiest old-specimen you ever saw." "Did you ever take any steps to find him?" "Yes, the matter was placed in the hands of a private detective, but he accomplished nothing." "Who was he?" "Slyman." "He is dead these two years." "Yes, I know. I am g lad you have taken the thing 1.1p, Mr. Brady, and I wish you all success but I can't offer you much encouragement. Personally I have no doubt that the old fellow lie s in the Potter's Field. Chances are he dropped dead on the street, and nobody knowing who h e was,. he met with the usual fate. Of course this only added to the mystery, but at the same time Old King Brady felt that he had taken another step ahead. It seemed bu t little use to travel over to the far East Side and interview the firm of Reisling & Co., so Old King Brady walked back down the Bowery in the hope of being able to locate Abe Cagney. The old de tective now visited Panhandler's Hall, and several other places where crooks hang out, but without success. He spent a full hour over the matter, and was about to give up in despair when he sud denly saw Harry coming towards him in dis guise, down the Bowery. "He is shadowing,'' thought the old detective, and he stepped inside into a doorway. '" As he did so, he happened to glance down the Bowery. There was Alice, undisguised, comin g up. A little a}lead of Harry was a man of very peculiar appearance. A little ahead of Alice waa

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THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY 5 a stout, overdressed woman, who waddled as she walked. "Both shadowing," muttered Old King Brady. "Which outftt shall I tie to? Alice was to go to the hospital and s ee if any one called for the re mains." CHAPTER IV.-HalTY a nd the Man. The man whom Harry was following was an undersized person of ::Jot more than twenty-eight or nine years of age. His skin was dark; his eyes were intensely black, very small and piercing. He looked as foTeign as pos sib le, but it was difficult to plac e him as to nationality, even foT so experienced a person as Old King Brady. And Harry' found the same difficulty when this man turned up at the offices of the Brady Detective Bureau, on Union Square. He sent in his card first, and it .bore the name of "Herman Smith, M.D." The address was on Cherry street, near Roosevelt, the worst part of the "Cheny Hill" section. Young King Brady sent out word that he would like to kno i< Dr. Smith's business before receiving him. Word came back that the doctor wished to consult him about a missing woman. This was enough to gain him immediate admittance, of "Well, sir?" said Harry, without rising. "What can I do for you?" "It was Old King Brady that I wished to see," said Dr. Smith. "Is he not in?" "Not at present," replied Harry. "When do you expect him in?" "I have no means of knowing. I am his partner. What is it wish?" Dr. Smith's wa"'j' o f looking at Harry was any-thing but pleasant. "I suppose you will do," he said at last. "I will have to do, since Old King Brady is not here. Kindly state your business, Dr. Smith." "I understand that your principal took a woman to. the ---Hospital last night who died there under the influence of chloral." "You understand correctly. Why do yo u ask?" "I think I know her. What is the name?" "I don't know. We have no information con cerning the woman. May I ask you who informed you of this?" "I learned it in two ways. First, I happened to overh ear a conversation in the street late last night b etween two men. They evidentl y had seen Old King Brady and his ass i stant put the woman into the cab. They spoke o:[her appearance and of her having been drugged. Thinking I recognized their description, I telephoned the different hospitals this morning and learned the rest." "And who do you think the woman is?" "A Mrs. Mabel Sievens, who was employed by me as a nurse in a case. You have no picture of the woman, I suppose?" "Not as yet. Her remains will be photographed, I presume. Why didn't you appply at the hospital? We only came upon her by accident. We have nothing to do with the affair." "Oh, I see." "Tl;s Mrs. Sievens is missing, I suppose, or you wouldn't be here?" "Yes. She left her patient ) esterday aftemoon b e gone two hours. Said she was to meet her husband, from whom she has b een separated for time.. She has not retui-ned, and a very singular thmg has happpened in connection." "What is that?" "Her patient-my patient-has been spirited away. I can't understand it. That is why 1 came here to consult Old King Brady. It is of the highest importance that I should find the man." "Who is he?" "Well, he is only a pauper. I was looking after old fellow out of charity. He calle d himself Jake. I don't kno w him by any other name. If could come down to his room on Cherry street With me, and see what you can make out of it I like it. I'm prepared to pay for your Vlces, of course." "But I fail to see into the busines s doctor. If the man is a pauper--" "He is more than that, Mr, Brad'Y. He is a fellow countryman of mine." ''Ah! What--" "I am a native of British Burmah-Rangoon. I took my degree as a doctor in 'the English medi cal college at Calcutta. Recently I started practice among the poor of the Fourth Ward and roundabouts. You see my peculiar appearance would prevent me from building up a practice anywhere else, and it suits me to live in New York." Of course by this time Hany's interest was fully aroused. "And what you want of me is to find out what has become of this man?" Harry said slowly. "Yes. !'Your name, of course, is not Smith, doctor?'' doctor !)miled, displaying a double row of wh1te, perfect teeth, unusually small in size. "Of course not," he replied. "I have a name as long as your arm, and quite unpronounceable -hence the Smith." "And your interest in this man is purely charitable?" "Well, not exactly that. It began so. When I was called and found he was a Burmese I had considerable talk with him. To be frank with you he posssesses certain information which is able only to myself. He promised to give it to me, but kept putting me off. Now he has gone." "And this nurse-you really feel no interest in her?" "Pardon me. I did feel a great deal of interest .in her. She has worked with me for over a year. If she could have got a divorce .from her husband she would have married me." "What was the matter with the old man?" "Bright's. General breaking up." "Would you kindly give me the address of this Mrs. Sievens? W!! propose to look up her his tory." The doctor hesitated for the fraction of a moment, and then gave an address on East Broadway. "But come, Mr. Brady," he instantly resumed. "Will you go with me or not? If not, I must look upsome other detective." "But let me first understand the circumstances of Jake's disappearance," persisted Harry. "All I know is that Mrs. Sievens went out, as I tell yo u She left word with the w o m a n

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6 THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY the hall that she would be back in two hours. She had told me that already, and what she was going out for. The woman across the hall was to look in on Jake from time to time. The old man could not even stand on his feet. She did look in on him several times, but as he seemed to be sleeping, she did not disturb him. At seven she looked in. Ten minutes later I came, and he was gone." "And he was there all right at seven?" "So the woman says." -"What's her name?" "Ryan. She is a widow, and owns the "And you want me to question her?" "Yes. To do what you can. Jake must have been carried off by at least two persons. Who were they? Why did they do it? All this I want to know." -' It all seemed to come freely enough, and yet Harry felt that he was not getting it straight. What was he to do? If he let the man go, there ,,as the chance that his card carried a false address that he should never see him agj!.in, and thus iose his chance of advancing the case. Harry concluded to take his chance and yield to the doctor's request. He said as much. To his sur prise, the doctor 1nstead of displaying pleasure, looked puzzled. "Well, Mr. Brady," he said; "we will go, but er-but--" He hesitated. "Out with it" said Harry. "If we are to work together docto;, at least it is necessary that you should tbve me your confidence." "Oh of course," replied the doctor. "Why tainly' The idea is this: I-er-I have enemies who, lf they I was employing a detective, might make thmgs _for. Would you mind followmg me. m disguise? "Rather a singular request, doctor." "I know it seems so." Again Harry re olved to see the matter through. 'Well, I guess I'll go, as you suggest," he said. "When?" demanded the doctor. 'Now if you wish." Harry went into Old K in g Brady's offic e and wrote a hasty note, stating whe1e and under what circumstances he was going. Then he skipped into the costume room across the hall and dis guised as a young tough, which seemed to him most suitable for a trip to Cherry Hill. The doc tor col!)plimented him upon his retum. "I never should have known you," he declared. would. be impo s sible for me to make up ljke that." "Well! Do you want to go to that house in disguise?' "1 should like it above all things ." "Come with me and I'll di guise you ,said Harry. Young King Btady took him into the costume room. "The only thlng I can do with you is to make you look more so," observed Harry.' ''More so-what do you mean?" "Why, I can't change that face of yours." "I should say not. My monkey face. I look like a dressed-up orang-outa'1g-oh, I know!" This was said with intem e bitterness. 1 did not mean to imply anything of the sort," said Harry. "You look like an Oriental as you are. I can't make a white man out of you, but I can alter your aP!Jearance a lot. Try on that wig." It was a wig of long, coarse, black hair. It fitted pedectly. Fortunately the doctor's hair was cut short. Harry then gave him a wash for his face and hands, which made them look many shades darker., He added a curly black mustache and a pair of heavy false eyebrows-the doctor had almost no eyebrows-all of which went a ]ong way towards alte1ing the man. Indeed the doctor was loud in his amazement when he looked in the glass. "I look like a cross between a Chink and a J ap," he exclaimed. "Exactly," replied Harry, "and that's what I was aiming at." They left them. The doctor boarded a Fourth avenue car. Harry got on with him, seated him self in a different place, and paid no attention to his man. The doctor got off at Grand street and started down the Bowery. There was nothing for Young King Brady to do but to get off the car and follow the man. CHAPTER V.-Alice and the Woman. When Alice got up to the hospital the first thing she did was to ask to be allowed to look at the remains. She was conducted to the place in which tbey had been deposited. Alice thought it pos sible that she might have seen the woman somewhere, but a glance was sufficient to assure her that this was not so. She thell.}Vent to the superintendent's office to inform liiin what she pro posed to do. "That will be all right, Miss Montgornery," said the superintendent, adding: "By the way, a doctor called up about that woman just now." "Indeed! What doctor?"' "A Doctor Smith, of Cherry street." "You don't know this Dr. Smith, I judg-e from the way you speak?" "No; I don't know himat all." "Would you mind looking in the medical li s t to s ee if he is a regiStered physician." "Certainly," said the superintendent, and after lookin.e: at his oook, he reported that he found the name there. "Then we ought soon to know who the clkad woman is," remarked Alice, and she settled her-self clown to wait." She expected a long wait, but it did not prove so. In a short time a woman entered the oute1 office and began inquiring about the deceased. The superintendent placed Alice so that she could both see and hear unobserved. The woma 1 was evidently Irish. She was elderly, stout and over-dressed. "I hear there was a woman fetched in h e1e last night by the Brady detectives," was the w a y she began it. "I hear she died on yer hands, and I tought mebbe I knowed her, so I came to see." "I will call the superintendent," replied the clerk, and that \\>'as-the time Alice got her tip. "We have told no one of this affair, and as it h11s not got into the papers yet, I wish you would

PAGE 8

TIIE ETI..ADYS' BANKBOOK MYST..:.RY 7 ask her how s he knew the dead was here," Alice said. "Leave that to me," replied the superintendent, and he passed to t he outer office, making that his first question. "SurEl it was a friend of mine who told me," she replied. "I don't know where he heard it "What was his name?" asked the superintendent. "Name, is it?" cried the woman. "Niver mind dat. Me own is Ryan, and I keep a rispictable lodging house down Cherry street. Sure I own the house, .and I've paid taxes in this city f.or twinty years, and that ought to be enough." The superintendent did not press the point, and the woman was taken to the death chamber by an attendant. She soon returned to find the superintendent "laying" for her. "Well ? Do you know her?" he asked. "I do not, so," was the reply. ''She's not the person I tought she was at all, at all." But the 'attendant thought differently. "She evidently recognized her," the superin.: tendent said to Alice when he returned, "but she won't admit it." "Good!" replied Alice. "This is my job." "Wish you luck," was the reply. And Alice trailed after the woman. It was a case of the subway. The woman seemed ill at ease all the way downtown. She changed at Fourteenth street to a local, and got out at Worth street. Walking through to Chatham Square, she started up the Bowery. Intent on her shadowing, Alice did not see Old King Brady, butshe passed Harry. "Shadowing a woman," she said by a secret sign. The woman turned west at Hester street and entered a tenement. She pass ed clear through the lower hall, cro ss ed a court and entered a miserable old brick house in the rear. It seemed to Alice that sh e had probably come to the end of her rope. when she saw the woman start to climb the stairs. She crossed the court, entered the rear house and listened at the foot of the stairs. She could hear the woman-knocking on a door. First two raps, then one, then three. This the woman repeated twice while Alice stood listening, and it was to be supposed that s he had knocked at leas t once before. Then came a wait, and finally Alice heard the door opened. "Where's Abe? I want to see Abe," the wdman said. "He;s not here, replied a high, squeaky voice. "Expect him in soon?" was asked. "Sure I donno, Mrs. Ryan," was the reply. "He thinks Old King Brady is gunning for him, so I can't say." "Well, if he comes in tell him rve seen the woman. Catch dat ?" "Sure." "Tell him she's Je wan. Get dat ?" "Yes, yes." "Well, den tell h im to come to my p lace as s oon as he can, for I 've got work for him to do." ...). "All right, Mrs. Ryan. I'll tell him," replied the voice, and then a door s l ammed. Al ice pulled out as quick as po. sible, for s he heard the y;oman coming heavily down the stairs. She huiTied through the hall and out on to Hester street, where she almost ran into the arms of Old King Brady. "You here)" she exclaimed. "As you see. I saw Harry trailing a m l m down the Bowery, and you streaking after a woman in the opposite direction. I had to make up my mind which to follow, so I chose you." "Well, we want to get out of the way quickly, for the woman is right behind me." "Slide into this doorway, Alice, and let her pass. What is it all about?" She's looking for Abe," said Alice "Cagney?" "She didn't say Cagney, but I have no doubt it's he." Mrs. Ryan went waddling past the doorway, the ostrich plumes of her Divi s ion street hat wag&'ling in the wind. Old King Brady and Alice fell m on her wake, the latter explaining what she knew. :n is around about as I thought for," said Old Kmg Brady. "We will follow her up and I will lay for Abe Cagney. If I can once get my fingers on the fellow I shall probably not have the least difficulty in making him give up all he iknows. Bu ho in the world can Harry's man be?" "Hard to say. Did you think he was in dis guise?" "I was rather inclined to think so s till I could not feel quite sure." "Same with me He looked like an Oriental of some sort, didn't you think so?" "I did. Is he a Chinaman or a Jap, think?" "Mr. Brady; I am quite sure he j s neither. He looked to me more like a Siamese." They were on the Bowery now, and the waddling Ryan, with her waggling feather, was right ahead of them. She turned into Catherine street, and they trailed her on to Cherry, where s he turned south, and kept along on the right hand side. Just before s he came to Roo sevelt street she entered an old tenement where the:re was a sailor's boarding house, and a low saloon on the ground floor. "Well!" exclaimed O.ld King Brady. "What now?" demanded Alice. "Why I know that party." "Who i s she?" "Mother Ryan, of the Spider's Web! I never guessed it, seeing her fured up s o fine, but then it's several years since I saw her last." "And the Spider's Web?:! "Is the name given to her house. "Does s he own that house, then?" Yes, and the next, and the one beyond that. Her husband, long since dead, was an old crimp. He kept the saloon then, and died leaving a lot of of money. His reputation was the very worst. After his death his widow, finding the sailors too many for her, sold out the business and took to renting rooms. by the night to begga1 s, beats and bums. She did do a large busine ss in that line, and judging from appearances, does still. Our shadowing is at an end Alice, fo r here is where Mother Ryan lives." "Well, we c a n't stand here talking, we are at-tracting attention. "I suppose we are. Don't look around to see who is watching us, that will onl y make matters I .... ----

PAGE 9

8 THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK :MYSTERY worse. We will go in together and take our chances. If I meet Mother Ryan, I will fix up some excuse on the spur of the moment." They entered and started up the stairs. Of all the dirty, foul smelling halls she had ever encountered in her detective work, Alice had never met the equal of this. The floors seemed to be cut up into many small rooms, for ther. e was an unusual number of doors. Old King Brady explained that the crimp downstairs used the rooms on the second floor for his sailors, and that the real "Spider's Web" was not supposed to begin short of the floor above. Here it was just the same, and worse, if anything, on the top floo1:. But they encountered nobody, and saw nothing to interest them until, when they again descended to the second floor, a door was suddenly opened and a young man looked out. It was Harry in his disguise. "What! You two here!" he exclaimed in a hurried whisper. "Slide in." They lost not an instant in obeying, and he closed the door. The 1oom was just a dirty little den, into which was cro wded a bed, a cook stove and odds and end s of furniture. Another room opened off from it. This appeared to be unfurnished, save for a cot bed. "What brought you here?" demanded Harry. ''Have you been shadowing-me?" "Not at all," replied Old King Brady. "I've been shadowing Alice, and she has been shadowing Mother Ryan." "So you knew the place! But of course you do. This is the Spider's Web." "I saw you shadowing a queer looking man down the Bowery, Harry." "Not exactly shadowing. He knew I was behind him. But here we are up against another mystery. That n1an has been caught in the Spider's Web." CHAPTER VI.-Caught In the Spider's Web. "See that the doors are lock ed," said Old King Brady, as Harr? made the announcement which ended the last chapter. "We don't want Mother Ryan butting in on us here." There were no keys to the lock s bUt there were bolts, and Harry shot them;/' Secure now, he told the story of Dr. Smith aRtl listened to what Old King Brady and Alice had to' tell. "Th e case is assuming shape," said Old King Brady "I am strongly of the opinion that this. vanishing Burmese beggar Jake is none other than Jacob Dothan, the owner of that bank book." 'If you are right, then why did he wande1: about a s a beggar, when he had money enough in the Bowery Bank to support him for the rest of his life?" "Tha t is easily accounted for by the doctor's explanation that he was feeble-minded, and had lost his memory," replied the old detective. "He has forgotten his English, according to the doctor. It does not l!equire a very long stretch of imagination to suppose that he may have forgotten his bank deposit also, or at least that he did not understand what the book meant. Such ca s es are common. rlow often have we heard of people dying as beggars with money stowed away in mat tres!Oes or in savings banks? But as this account ... .... -has been drawing no interest in the last three years, we must assume that it has been forgotten altogether. But I want to know more about the disappearance of the doctor, Harry. You haven't told yet just how it happened." "Why, it was in this way," said Harry. "He led me upstairs, and when we got here he opened the door and we look ,ed in. There was certainly no -... one in either of these rooms then. He seemed greatly afraid, and he s a i d to me that he wished I would stand in the hall for a...few :a1inutes to see if anyone who might nave been following us came upstairs, while he hid the room here. I consented, of course, for I was working with him. After waiting about five minutes, and no one coming, I entered the room. He was gone. That is all there is to tell." "Then that spells trap doors, panels or secl'et passages," remarked Alice. 1 "It can be nothing else," said Old King Brady. "And there is nothing strained in imagining their existence, for many is the .unfortunate sailor who has been done away with for his money in the Web in the days when Ryan, the crimp, ran the place. But the question is whether the doctor knew of their existence." "Exactly," replied Harry. "And what do you think about it?" "I am inclined to think he did." "But 1emember he came to our office of his own accord." "I have not forgotten thatpoint. My theory is that he wanted to have a look into those secret hiding places before taking you fully into his confidence." "It may be so." "It is so, you may depe n d; but we must get busy and find out what it all means, for one thing remains certain, your Dr. Smith has traveled the same road as the old Burmese beggar Jake. It is up to us to find out what that road is." Now ce1tain it is that there could be no one better fitted for such work than the Bradys themselves At first it was a search' for trap doors, the search extending through both rooms, but it came to nothing. While they were still at it somebody suddenly tried the door of the living room. The Bradys stopped and listened. The door was tried again, and then after a few m{);ments' silence a key was fitted into the loc k. It failed to work, of course, on account of the bolts. "Who's.in there?" Mrs. Ryan's voice called, angrily. "Who's in there, now?" "Silence," breathed Old King Brady. "\'v'e don't want Mother Ryan butting in here. At least not a s yet." "Whoever youse is, open the dure!" she cried. "This is my house! Open, the dure, I say." But they neither opened the door nor a n s w ered. She called twice, and then went away. "If she had only given us a name to go by said Old King Brady. "However, we can' t expect everything. Next thing she will be back with s omebody to force the door. We want to hurry up with our work." It was the next, and the search for secret panels began. Harry took the inner room where the walls we.;re papered. There were two window s to this room. One had no blinds, and over looked a very' narrow well, formed by the walls of the house next door and a factory in the rear1 --...

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THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY 9 which came around the adjoining house at an angle. The other wind ow was closed in by iron shutters, and concealed behind a shade drawn com pletel y down. Harry did no t particularly obsen-e this before, but now as he came to look about him, it struck him as rather a peculiar ar rangement. He raised the shade and saw the Then h e tried to raise the window sash, but found it naile d fast. He threw open the other window and looked out, discovering, to his sur prise, that a flight of winding iron steps, very old and rusty, led down from the closed window. Evidently at s om e past time this window had served the purpose of a door, as there was no other way of getting on the steps from that story, and they extended no higher. Harry got busy about that window frame at once, and the result was an easy discovery of the fact that it opened inward by a hidden spring, carrying the plastering below and the iron shutters with it. Thus the whole thing formed a door, and one could walk right out of the room upon the iron steps. "Governor! Alice! here," he called in a low voice. "I think I have solved the mystery." They joined him, and Old King Brady went out on the steps. They were not overlooked by any windows, singularly enough, owing to the ar rangement of the enclosing walls, which it would take too long to explain, unless, indeed, someone happened to look out of the windows of the Spider's Web itself. "Probably this is the road the missing ones traveled," said Old King Brady. "We can only descend and investigate." "Would it not be better for one of us to stop here and sound the warning in case Mrs. Ryan at tacks the door?" suggested Alice. "I think it would," replied Old King Brady. "Then let it be me." "Very well. We won't be gone a minute, any how. I shall not proceed far without you, Alice. I just want t.o see what lies below here." They hurried down the steps, which landed them in a narrow flagged courtyard below the street level by several feet. From this court there appeared to be but one exit, and that was by way of an iron door set in the wall of the Spider's Web, which was locked. "That is probably the way they went," said Old King Brady, shaking the door. "Bolted on the inside," he added. "Nothing doing-here." "I suspect we shall have to tackle this place by night," said Harry. "It looks so. The case grows more complicated as .we advance. But Mother Ryan knows the se crets of the place of course. I think we better take her in hand." "It will be a dead giveaway, Governor." "We h ave given ourselves away already. She knows that I am interested in this busines s, judgingwhat Alice overheard her say in that .Hester street house." "Well, that's so, too Shall we return?" Old Kin g Brady tried the iron door again. "It is certaiu l y bolted," he said, "and even if it as not I doubt if our skeleton keys would touch that queer old-fa s hioned lock. Yes, we will return." And they retumed to face trouble. For when they got hack into the rooms the door of the Jiving room had been burst in, and Alice was gone. Harry gave an exclamation of disgu s t. "Here stand a pair of fools!" he exclaimed. "What in the world ever possessed us to leave that dear girl alone in this dangerous place?'' "Yes, but just the same we did it!" cried Old King Brady. "No time for talk now. We go for Mother Ryan on the jump!" He waited only to close the window-door, and followed Harry across the hall, where he was al ready banging on the door opposite. There was no answer, and the door was locked. Further along the hall women, attracted by the noise, looked out from doors: "Does Mrs. Ryan live in these rooms?" Old KingBrady called out. "Yes, sir, she does," re\>lied one of the womea. From a door on the other side a horrible old blind man, with eyeless sockets, and dressed in rags, stepped out. "Is it detectives? Is it the cops?" he called. Yes, it is," replied Old KingBrady. "What do you know about Mrs. 'Ryan? Is she in there, friend?" "She must be," replied the blind man. "I heard her hollering in the hall a few minutes ago, and then. I heard her telling them to break in the door of old Jake's room, and they did break it in, so." Old King Brady thundered on the door again. Now a shufflingabout was heard inside, and the door was opened by a frightened looking young woman, who demanded their business. The Bradys pushed past her into a of three wellfurn heel rooms, which the landlady of the Spi der' s Web reserved for herself. The woman did not attempt to stop them. The Bradys looked into all the rooms and could see no one. "Where's Mrs. Ryall?" demanded Old King Brady then. "I donno, sir. She's went out," the woman stammered. "You lie, and you know it. She was in the hall just a minute ago breaking in doors. There was a young woman with us, and she has disapppeared. Of course Mrs. Ryan had her brought in ,here "That's what she didn't then, boss, I tell you she's went out." "Harry, go for a policeman!" said the old de tective, with a sign which said "don't." But the ruse did not work. The young woman stuck to her denial. Then a policeman actually was summoned, and a thorough search of the Spider's Web was made. Every room was visited, but there was neither trace of Alice nor of Mother Ryan. In that brief moment the enemy had got in his fine work. Alice had' been caught in the Spider's Web. It is needless to go into further details as to these doings. Sufficient to say that it all s:ame to nothing. At the end of the dav the Brady were on wiser than they had been before they began. An officer was detailed to watch for Mother Rya"!l in her rooms, while the Bradys went at the case in another way. The only points the detectives kept to themselves was as to the disappearance of Dr. Smith and the existence of the secret window-door Of course this ,stirred up Cherry Hill pretty thoroughly. It was time for the Bradys to dis appear, and they did. But not until they had vis ited the rooms in which Dr. Smith 1esided, which were further do,;n the street. Th e y fouad nofa -

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; 10 THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY in g there to throw any li gb t upon this bank book mystery, however. Dr. Smith was a well-kn own character in the neighborhood, it appeared. People also knew all about old "Jake." But he was spoken of as a crazy beggar only, and no one with whom the Bradys talked even hinted that the old man might have money stowed away As for Dr. Smith, they called him a Jap, and the Cherry seemed to possess a high opin ion of his skill as a physician. Night settled down over the great city, raw, cold and damp. At about nine o'clock an old man l ooking altogether like a beggar, turned into Cherry street out of Catheri ne, and walked on until nearly opposite the Spider's Web. Here there was a yard occupied by a dealer in old steam boilers and second hand machinery. Upon a block of iron a trampish looking young fellow sat with his h ead resting on hi s hand, apparently half asleep. The old man shuffled up and sat down be s id e him. It was just the Bradys on the job again-in fact they had been on the job all day in one way or another. "Well, Harry," said Old King Brady, "you see I'm back agai-n. What's the worcl ?" "No word except that X am half frozen sitting here." "I suppose so. It is a wretched night." "I have not lost sight of that door sinc e I took up the watch, Governor, Nobody we are in the least interested in has g'one either in or outthat's a sure thing. What's the word with you?" ''I can find nothing of Abe Cagney. The rooms where Alice located him are kept by an old woman who boards a bunch of crooks. She claims not to know Cagney, even by name." "We have botched the business All Crook town knows now that we are out after him." "I am free-to admit that it is so. S t ill I fail to see how we could have acted otherwise than as he we did." "Well, perhaps we couldn't. All the same, we have made a mess of it, and in my humble judgment, there is no u se in watching that door any longer." "I don't suppo se there is. Let us get inside and see what the police man has to report." "Do you think 1 better show myself to him?" "No; I don't intend that y ou shall. Better get into Jake's rooms and wait for me to join you there." "You still intend to watch the iron door?" "I don't see any other way. I have a very strong idea that something will come of it, too." "Let us hope so. We ll, I'll go ahead and wait for you there." Harry got up, and crossing the street, entered the Spider's Web. Old King Brady gave him a f ew minutes grace, and then shuffled after him. He ascended to Mrs. Ryan's floor, and looked in at Jake's room. "I'm here," whispered Harry out of the darkness : Old Kin g Brady crossed the hall and knocked in a peculiar way on Mother Ryan's door. It was opened by the policeman, who had relieved the one first in charge. "What yer want?" he demanded gruffly. Old King Brady displayed his shield. "Oh! Come in!" said the policeman, and the t 'oor was closed. He was alone in' the room, for the gil'l proved to be a servant, and persisting in sile nce, had .,; b een arrested and taken to the Oak street station, where she was locked up. But even this did not prove sufficient t o induce her to talk. Old King Brady had seen her within an hour, and he was almost inclined to believe that Mrs. Ryan had not returned to her apartments after her visit to the hospital; and that the girl was tell-ing the truth. "Any news, officer?" the old detective now a s ked. "No," was the reply. "There hasn't been anybody at all here since I came on duty." Old King Brady gave the man a cigar and sat down for a minute to talk. "What do you know about Mother Ryan, officer?" he asked in his most confiden tial tone. "You can speak freely to me. I'll never l!ive you away." "Well, she's got a big pull in dis ward, Mr. Brady, and dat's no dream." "She has, eh? Then it can only come in one way. She's a fence." !'Lat's what dey say." "Has any attempt been made to trap her?" "Not dat I ever heard of. Of course you know how it is wit up down here, we jest have to mind our own business and do what we are told." "I'kn' ow. But where does she keep her stuff? There's no sign of it here." "You can search me. I'll never tell you, but she's a friend to every pawnbroker in the neighborhood, dat's a sure thing." Old King Brady sat looking around for a few. minutes, and then arose, saying that he would look in again later in the evening. "I don't tink it's no use," said the officer. "She's been tipped off by somebody, surest ting. She'll never turn up, not so long as I stop here." "I'm inclined to think so myself," replied the old detec t ive. "Still we will stick it out for a while longer. I'll see you later, officer." He left then anci pretended to go downstairs, but he came right up again and noiselessly entered Jake's room. "Still here, Harry?" he whispered, for he could see nothing in the darkness. "Still here," replied Harry. "Anything new across the hall?" "Nothing." "Then I suppose we may as well p;et busy?" "I think so." Old King Brady got out his flashlight, and they proceedd to op e n the wiiKiow-door, and then de scended the iron steps. The door was carefully clo sed behind them-they had already discovered, how to work it from the outside-and they found the iron door in the courtyard lo(:ked as they had left it. The Bradys now stationed them-selves in the darkest corner of that little court. .. Hidden in the shadows, the patient detectives settled themselves down for their lonely watch. VII.-Alice and Mother Ryan. Alice was trapped in the most beautiful fashion imaginable. The breaking down of the door was done so suddenly that she had no time to pre-, .. .j

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j J THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY 11 pare for trouble other than to draw her revolver. But there was no chance to use it-it might have meant death if she had cried out. Three men, followed by the women she had shadowed, burst in upon he/. All four h e ld revolvers, and all were pointed at poor Alice as she stood there. "She's the Montgomery woman-the Bradys' partner I" exclaimed one of the men. "Told you so!" echoed Mother Ryan. "I was listening at de keyhole. I don't make no mistakes. Shoot her dead if she don't drop dat gun." They closed about Alice, who saw nothing for it but to submit and throw down her revolver. Instantly Mother Ryan pulled from her shoulde1s a heavy cloak which she wore and flung it over Alice's head. "You die if you let out one squawk!" she hissed. "Mind what I tell yer now." She was gone for a minute, and then Alice heard her say: "All clear l Run her across, boys." Alice was hurried across the hall and into Mrs. Ryan's rooms. "You'll get yourself into trouble, surest thing," a woman's voice exclaimed. "Shut yer head!" was the fierce reply. "There'll come detectives here and mebbe de police. If Y011 go doing any talking, even if you get arrested, you know what to expect from me." "But I don't want to get arrested." "If you do, I'll get you out again easy. If dere's anybody in dis ward what's got a bigger pull den 1 have, I'd like to know deir name." This ended it. Alice's hands in the meantime had been tied behind her. The cloak was not re moved. A lot of whispering now followed. It took place in the adjoining room. Alice could not catch much of it. These are a few scraps' of sentences which reached her ears: "I tell yer she-speaks Chinee." "I know what--" "Anyhow she can charm--" "Don't blieve it." "Gwan wit yer. I know my biz, and I know de doctor." This last was Mrs. Ryan. She was evidently aroused, for she raised her voice. As for. the rest of what Alice heard it was too vague to amount to anythil'llg. In a moment the con versation ceas ed. Someone got hold of Alice and turned her quickly around several times. Then she was led forward a short distance and heard a door close behind her. A hand then came up un der the cloak, and she felt the cold muzzle of a revolver against her face. "Move and you die," a man's voice breathed. Alice was not moving. She felt comparatively secure now. From what s h e had overheard it was evident to h e r that the se people had some particular use for her in connecti on with Dr. Smith. If they had meant to kill her they would have done so in the p lac e she reas oned. Meanwhile Mrs. Ryan was making a thorough of her person. This fin1s h e d, the hand with the revolver was removed, and footsteps .io were heard Again a door closed, and for a few minutes all wa s still. Then suddenly Alice heard a movement behind her, and the eotds which secured her hands \\'ere cut with a pair of scissor s, and the cloak was taken off her head by Mrs. Ryan, who still wore the Divi sion street bonnet with its waggling plumes. She threw the cloak over her own shoulders, and dropped panting into the chair. '...The room in which Alice now found hersel:D was long and narrow, and lighted by a large hanging lamp. It was very neatly furnished as a lbed chamber. "Sit down, my dear," said Mother Ryan, who appeared to have lost her wind through her ex ertion. "Take the rocking chair. I want to have a little talk, but first let me say that if you are even half fair with me I'll go de whole fig,ger with you-see?" "What in the world is the woman driving at?" Alice asked herself. / It was all a dark mystery as yet. She sat silent, and this did not suit Mother Ryan very well, apparently. "Come," she cried. "Youse must meet me half way, Miss Montgomery. I'm _not going to do it all, dat's a sure ting." "What can you possibly expect from me after the way you have me?" demanded Alice. "I know, I know," replied the woman. "It was kind of rough, but how else could I act? I want your help, Miss Montgomery. I listened at de keyhole, and when I found who youse all were, and dat de Bradys had gone down dem outside s.teps, I says to myself, now is my chanst, and so I took dat chanct, my dear, and here we are -together, nice and sociable-see?" She was evidently trying to curry favor with her. Alice saw this and other t'hings plainly enough. To hurry matters along she resolved upon a complete change of front. "Look here, Mrs Ryan," she said, "if people tell the truth, then you are a woman who i s out for the money, first, last and all the time. I sn't it so?" "My dear, it is so," replied the woman hastily. ''Whoever told you me name and told you dat told de trute." "Then I am another of the same kind." "Oh!" "What's the matter? You seem to doubt me?" "An' I'll be after tellin' yer why. I have a frind who claims he knows Old King Brady well. He says de old man can't be bought. If dere is sich a man in de worruld, I d'n know." "Every man has his price, Mrs. Ryan. Old King Brady certainly can't be bought cheap. Of course he don't tell me when he is brought. But he is worth a great deaf of money. How did he get it all ? Like other men, I suppose." "Sure ting, my dear. Sure ting. His price may be high, but you may be sure he has it." "And I have mine, too. Make your bid if you want my service s It is for me to accept it or turn it down." "Now yer talkin' good since, s o yer are. But let me ask yer a question. I s it true dat you can spake Chinee?" "It is." "And where did ye learn it?" "In China where I was born." "Luk at dat now. Well, an' can you talk to anny kind of Chink?" "Sure. But do come to the point." "I will. Li s ten. I kape a lodging house for beggars an' beats." "Yes." ..... 1 1 _I 1 "'I' i-\ j I

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12 THEBRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY "For de last tree years I had a queer ould man what dey call Jake livin' in dat room where you was to. He is some kjnd of a Chink. Dey tell me dere's different kinds, but I dunno When h e first came here he c ould speak s om e English, bu t he was weak minded, and he &eemed to for get' dat, so lately it's only Chink talk with him." "Do come to the point, Mrs. Ryan. What about all this?" "I'm comin'. For tree years old Jake came an' went and never said nothin' to nobody. As h e paid his rint regler I never paid no particklar attention to him, having enough bu si ness of me own to attend to. Last week h e was tuk sick, and tuk to his bed. I sinds for Dr. Smith, on the nixt block, who's some kinder Chink or Jap him self, anrl he says de old man is very bad, and i s goin' to die-see?" "I follow you. Go on ." "So it wint for a couple of days. Den Dr. Smith he says to me, 'Mrs. Ryan, rlat man's ,gettin' pretty bad. He must have a nurse.' "'Who's to pay for it?' says I 'He's already gaid for it so,' said he. 'What's dat?' says I. Den de old guy has money hid,' says I. 'Not a cint now,' says he. 'I've got it all.' "It made me mad, Miss Montgomery, to tink what might have been mine if I'd shown Jake more attintion, but I kapes quiet, an' de nurse comes A Mrs. Sievens, what had nursed a lot of people for pr. Smith around de ward." Alic e listened with growing interest. She had not been mistaken then. In spite of the dis a .dvantage under which she labored she was working on the case still. "She was notin' great," continued Mrs. RyaJJ. knowed her husband an' he's as mean a crook as ever came down de pike. Dey didn't live together, so sh e tuk up nursing under Dr. Smith and f1om de airs she put on an' de clothes she wore! Why you'd tort she was de finest lady in de land." "And she got on the blind side of old Jake and learned his secrets," said Alice, hoping to hurry matters. "She did. He came back to his English on hi s sick 'bed. He gave her a bank book what called for near twenty tousand. He writ someting in it in Chinee what told about a wonderful r uby wort tousands and tousands and tou sands, Miss Montgomery, what he'd hid in a junk shop what he uster kat:>e up on de East Side." "And how did you learn all this?" "Sure she told me herself, boastin' g like, before she went out yesterday afternoon. She went to meet her husband, and she went to her death, and well you know it. She's lyin' dead in de -Hospital no,v. n "I know wlB you mean," said Alice, quietly. "Av coone you do, my dear. De Bradys got her1 but Si evens had. knocked her out and she diea. And say, now we come to de point. Jake wouldn't tell her where dat ruby was hid He writ it in Chinee. 'You marrv de doctor. He'll read it for yer,' he says. 'Dat's yer weddin' prisent for de good care you tuk of me, he says,' Sure she came and told me, boasting like, de fooL 'I'll niver marry Dr. Smith,' she says. 'I'm not marryin' no Chink I'll find somebody else to read dat,' sh e says 'or me hu::;band will.' "I wonder if s h e got around to telling her husband about it," remarked Alice "I dunno, my dear," replied Mrs. Ryan. ''I hardly tink it; from what a good frind of mine told me-and I'll not deceive you, 'twas Abe Cagney, de crook, an' he got it from Tony de Greek; he meant to kill her annyway, so he could marry a vaudeville goil stuck on. But yo u can take dat for what it's woit." "And to get back to Jake," prompted Alice. "What became of him?" "What became of him, my dear! Why, I spirited him away, being left to watch him, for I'm out for dat ruby mesilf. What happened den? Mrs. Sievens got it in de neck. Whatever she did w i t de bank book I dunno. } Perhaps she had it on her an' de Bradvs got it. Perhaps she left it wit some frind. Mebbe you kin tell me abou t dat." "Unfortunately I can't." "She must have left it with a frind. It would be like her. She's a sly one. I've knowed her dese many years. But I care nothing for dat. I've got. Jake. Den Dr. Smith gets a smell of de ruby s o mehow He g o es for de Bradys to help him find de old man, and perhaps Mabel dat's Mrs. Sievens-too. Very good I expected it. I gets Dr. Smith, too, and s ure he'll stay locked in till I get troo my business, and now you know all." "Exactly," said Alice; "and I'm expected t o pump Jake and find out where the ruby i s hid den?" "Dat's it. Now suppose you fail. He's very low. Den I tink Dr. Smith must know a lot. Annyhow I shall want you to charm him and fiiJd out what he does know also to try and help me get dat bank book which will be a sure clue. Mebbe de hospital people tuk it off of her. I tried to pump de as to what was found onto her, but as I didn't dare to go too far, not wanting to let on I recognized her. I didn't make out very well about dat." "I see your programme, Mrs. Ryan;" said Alice "It is all well enough, so far as you have laid it' out. But where do I get vff the cars?" "You get off at halfway street, my dear. I'm fair-fair every time. It's halves between us so." "Very well," replied Alice. "I'll go you. Con sider. it a bargain. You didn' t have to go to half the trouble you did to get me, either. Now then, what's the first thing to do?" "To tackle Jake before he dies, and that may be anny minute." "I'm ready." "All :right All right, my dear!" cried the woman, in a tone of immense satisfaction. "You come along wit me." CHAPTER VIII.-All Hands Ha1d at Work. Little imagining that Alice's capture by the enemy meant an opening up of the whole case the Bradys siood there in the s hado\Ys of that little court vyaiting. And a long, dreary time they had of 1t. For over two hours passed before their patience was r.ewarded, which it fin ally was. They had almost given un hope. But at last the change came and Hany was the first to hear it

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THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY 13 "Hist!" he breathed. "Somebody is unbolting the door on the il)side." "I hear! Not a sound!" replied the old de tective, and a few seconds later the door was pushed slowly ou t into the court. All was dark behind it. They cou l d s ee no one-hear no one. Whoever had op ened that door was evidently taking no chances. It was a mo ment of keen anxiety to the detectives. If a flashlight was turned upon them then they were done for, of course. They drew their Tevolvers and stood ready for instant action. But there was no light. Mother Ryan's bunch had not prog ressed as far as flashlights, it seemed. At last a woman's voice spoke. "Dere don't seem to be no one laying for us, Abe." The Bradys drew closer into the shadows of the wall. Here they wers up against Abe Cagney at last, it would appear. Harry half ex' pected to get the order to iump on the man, but it did not come. No, replied Abe. I told you dere wasn't no danger. I was up in Jake's room De door to de steps was closed. Dere wasn't no one dere." "It's dat blame cop what's boddering me.'" "Don't I know? Dat's what we are here for." "Go on up, Aby, and see if he's dere still, or if I can slip in and get some of me tings. It won't do for me to show mesilf on de street nor in de house, till de Bradys up altogedder." "Dat's all right, an' dat's what we are here for," replied" Cagney, "but before I go in dis job I want to know more about 1t, mother. Get dat?" "Of cours e I get it, you sassy guy. Are youse goin' back on Mother Ryan at dis late hour of de day?" "It's just de right hour to come to an under standin', an' don't you forget it. ,What's dis job all about?" "As dough you didn't know it's about Mab e l Sievens and Jake?" "Dem's dead ones, an' dat sort of talk is dead, too. Dere's more into it dan dat. No go, Mother Ryan. You've got to tell me more, if you want my help "Yer crazy gazabol As if I hadn't helped you with yer crooked jobs time and time and agai_n .'' "Yer blamed old fence! Yer never done a tmg for me in all yer dat yer didn't see a -hun dred per cent. in it. What's de matter wit me givin' de hull snap away. Dere's a man what pays good for all he gets.'' "I' ll tell yer no more dan I've told you already," retorted Mother Ryan, stubbo:r:nly. "Go to Old King Brady if yer dare! I'll put yer nose out of joint. I'll give de hull snap away to him mesilf, and see dat you get a free -pass up de river. I'll swear dat you was hired by Sievens to kill his wife wit knockout drops, and dat you done it-dat you told me so yerself.'' "You blamed old witch! I've a great mind to choke de life out of you where ver stand." "Lay a hand on me if yer dare, Abe Cagney! l) I'm good for de likes of you anny day in the week. It's lll).ore dan wan like yersilf I've helped Ryan lay out in de days gone by!" Cagney seemed to appreciate the threat. "Come, come, mother!" he said more mildly, "we mustn't quarrel." I should say not." "I'll g o ahead blind, as I always t o do with you.'' I s hould say you'd better, Cagney. Sure you know blame well dat all I've ,got to do is t o cross me little finger to have you railroa ded up the river.'' "Dere, dere, mother. Say no more. I'll go up and see how de land lays.'' He ascended the steps and was heard to open the( door. Again Harry expected the signal t o make a move, for he was sure Old King Brady would jump on Mother Ryan. It did not come, however, and Harry wondered. At last Cagney returned. "Well?" demanded Mother Ryan. "I was in de room by de other door. De cop is dere s ound asleep on de lounge." "Good enough, Aby. Does he seem to be a heavy sleeper?" "I should say he did." "Den we'll give him a dose of chloroform so, an' dat will let me out till I get all I want. Den we'll get back an' see how Miss Montgomery makes out wit jollying de doctor They both ascended the winding stairs now, and disappeared through the window-door above "At last!" breathed Harry. "She's gut Alice all right, it seems.'' ''Certainly. I am sme of it. I suppo se thought I would jump on the w oman ?" "I thought you would jump on both, Governor.'' "I knew you did, Harry, but I arrt resolved to give them a little more rope I want to under stand what all this i s about. Let the lover calm his patience. This thing is going to work ouL all right-in th,_e end.'' The allusi o n was to the deep affection whici1 Young King Brady feels for Alice. Practically they are engaged, but Alice simply will not hear to giving up the detecti ve business, with which she has become completely fascinated in spite of its many perils. Thus Young King B1ady has been obliged to bide his time. "We will get in there now and see what we can find," said the old detective. They groped their way to the iron.. door, which still stood open, and Old King Brady flashed his light inside. All they saw was a subcellar, dirty and foul-smelling. "Slide in," said Old King Brady. "I am going to bolt this door "There must be another way of getting in, remarked Harry. "I'm sure of it," was the reply. "Perhaps we shall find it. What we want now is Alice.'' "Of course." And what Alice wanted just then was the Bradys, explain which we mus t turn back in time. Havi!lJg come to her very satisfactory un derstanding with Mother Ryan, Alice arose and announced herself ready for business. "And so am I, my dear," replied the woman 'You just come along with me.'' She led her into the next room, which con tained a long table, two chairs and a stove. There was a row of closets built out from the wall on one side Alice wondered if this was where Mother Ryan carl'ied on her business as a fence, fo1: Old King Brady had mentioned the suspicious wh1ch had attached themselves to the woman.

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14 THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY "Would you mind turning your back a minute?" asked Mother Ryan. "Sure I don't let eyerywan Into dis little den of mine, and de way in and out I keep to mesilf." Alice turned her back. "Now! cried Mother Ryan. Alice turned again and saw that one of the closet doors stood open and there was a passage through to the room beyond. They passed into a vacant room, and' Mother Ryan pushed shut the door, which formed the back of the clo s et, which now assumed the appearance of a plain J?lastered wall on their s ide. The room was a small one, and bare of furniture. Mrs. Ryan produced a key, unlocked the door, and they passed out into a hall. Alice saw that they mus t now be in the adjoining tenement. "Do you own this house, too?" she asked. "Six of 'em, my dear, an' the ould machinery place acros d e way. Me husband did a big business wunst, and left me plenty do to luk after )hJis propert y, and a big botheration it is, too. Sure I'm tired of it. If we win on dis little deal, I'm going to quit and sell out, an' go live in' som e uptown hote l like a lady. It's what I am used to, Miss Montgomery. Sure I was a lady's maid in de old country, an' I've waited on de fin est ladies inde land." She led the way down to thP lower hall, and proceeding to the back, unlocked the door leading down into the cellar. They encountered no one on the way. When rs. Ryan shut the cellar door behind them they' found thems elves in the clark. "Stand where y ou are, my dear. I'll fix dis now," she said. She struck a match, took down a lantern which hung on a hook, and lighted it, then leading the way down into the cellar. Passing over into one corne 'r, she moved an old empty packing case, and pulled up a trap door, revealing a ladder beneath. "Let me go down fir s t and light the way. Sure I'm used to it, and you ain't," said Mother R:Vnn. They descended into a subcellar, which had a board floor, and along one side a wooden en closure extending out half its width, in which there were several doors. "Sure it's not a parlo1," chu c kled Mother Ryan, "but many's the dollar in rint I've tuk out of thim." "Beggars?" asked Alice. "Not at all, my dear. Crooks lying low. Bu t I'm out of that business now. It' s too ris ky. Come on. She advanced to the las t door; there was light streaming through the keyhole, and it was the same with another door of the row Mrs. R yan again produced her bunch of keys and unlock e d the door. "There you are," she whispered, before opening it. "Jake's inside. In wit ye and talk Chinee to him. See what youse can do, and I'll wait here." Alice slipped into the enclo s ure. It was w e ll furnished as a bedroom. Upon a single iron b e d on one side lay an old, old man, with terribly wrinkled face and snow-white hair. It was easy to see that he was an Oriental of some kind, aml he did bear some slight resemblance to a China man. His eye s wer e closed, and he lay p erfectly still. Alice went up to the bed and addressed him in Chinese to keep up her end before Mother Ry,an, whom she knew must be listening outside. There w a s no answer. She called out still louder, and then receiving no answer, laid her hand upon his head. The forehead was icy cold. It came as somewha of a shock -to She had not expected this. She stepped to the door and beckoned to Mother Ryan, w ho had asked her to speak low. The woman made all naste to enter. "Ah, bad luck! Su1 'e I r ead d e trute in yer face!" she breathed H e is d ead!" Indeed he is, Mrs. Ryan. ,Se e fol' yourself." "Well well well! Luk at d a t now! An dat's de w a y it all go es ." She laid her h and upon the old m an's f orehead. "Dead a s P a d dy s p i g, s h e muttered, "and it's a good while s inc e h e croa k ed too. M e own fault. I should have l ooked into me silf, instead, of leaving him to Abe Cagney. Now thin we are up agin D r Smit h Unle s s we ca n get our hands on dat bank book, and dat's a s lim chanst." She seemed di sturbed, and k ept' looking at Alice in a peculiar way. "Well, suppose I tackle the doctor?" demanded Alice. ''Is he locked iT) do w n h ere, t oo?" "He is, but the r e's the trouble, Mi ss Mont gomery. H e m)l stn't know you are working for me." I understand yo'u. You think the onl y way for m e to get anything out of him is. to b e locked in there with him a s a p r i s on e r ? "Don' t y e r se e it s o y erself'? But I don't l ike to put dat on yer, Mis s Montgomery." "It's all right," replied Alice "I con sent. In my business one has to do all kinds of queer things. "Sure yer de right sort." "Tie my hands behind me a nd pus h me into the room. Is he tied up? "He i s not. He can't g e t ou t of h e re. Even if he open e d his dure ; he coul dn't get up troo de trap door, for dat' s heavy b olted." Do as I tell you, Mrs. Ryan, and leave the r est to me. Mrs Ryan went\nto anot her room and return-. ed with a piece of rope with which s he tied Alice's hands. And Dr, Smith, w h o was in the .other room from which the ligh t came streaming, was surprised to s ee the door s ud denly open and a very good looking young woman come tumbling in. So noisel essly had Mother.. Ryan worke d that h e had not h eard a s ound. CHAPTER IX.-The My stery of Harry. Alice was no t in a s much danger as she f eared might prove to be the ca se The Burmes e are a mild, inoffen s i ve p e ople. The doctor, who was English on his mo t her's side, was a mild, inoffen sive man, a little secretive, and with a violent t emper-nothing more. If he had been quicker he might have forced l1is way out. Indeed, he did make a rus h for the door, but Alice bl o cked the way. Mothpr Ryan called out: "Now den, doctor, I've give yer a companion in misery. Jake's d e ad. It's up to you, man. If youse don't mal ; e uYJ yer mind to tell what yer know, to-night will be your last. Sure I'll come,

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THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY 15 or sind in an hour to see if you've made up your to know or don't know already. But even if mind to be good." had been living, what could you have done'? The "You wretched old hag!" shouted the doctor. man could speak perfect English if he wanted to, "How many times have I to tell you that I know but you can't speak Burmese, of cours e." no more of what you want to find out than you I cannot, but I can speak Chinese, and Mrs. do? Take this woman out of here! Let me out, Ryan persisted in believing that the dead man if you know when you are we ll off." was a Chinaman." Mother Rya n went away laughing. It had "You can speak Chinese! I don't believe it!" been arranged betWeen her and Alice that she cried the doctor. should not return for an hour. Also that if "Nevertheless it is so, and I pass over your imAlice wanted to be let out she was to pronounce polite way of putting your doubts." a certain word. Dr. Smith sat down on the "As it happens, I can speak Chinese," retorted edge of the bed. There was only one chair in the the. doctor, dryly, and he immediately began talk-room. ing in that language. "Who are you?" he demanded. "Another vicof course he had to haul in his horns, for tim of this wretched business? Where do you Alice met him at every turn. And now that this come in?" bond of union was discovered, the doctor broke "Wait until she r is surely gone," whispered silence. They continued to talk in Chinese, and Alice. I am here as a friend, not an enemy, the doctor told a story which perfectly fitted the Dr. Smith." one Mothtll Ryan had given Alice. This settled The doctor looked puzzled. It was evident that it, of course. Alice explained the situation fully. he did not believe her. Alice stood silent until "Well, this is a queer turn of affairs," declared she heard the heavy trap door fall, the doctor, "but I can a ssure yo u Miss Mont"Now, then, it's all ri;ght," she said. "Supgomery, that I have no furtheT information to pose you untie my hands." give. You have told me more about the matter Dr. Smith silently complied. Alice dropped than I knew myself." into the chair. "So I perce1've" epl1'ed Al' e "D o "OU be"You asked who I was. "Allow me to introduce r lC D lieve old Jake really had a ruby?" Miss Montgomery, of the Brady etective "I do. He told me so with his own lips. MoreBureau," she said. h ld h' d I h "Oh!" exclaimed the doctor. over, e to me IS true name, an appen to "You -have heard of me?" have heard my father say that a man of that d Are name was once a priest in the big Bhuddist "Yes. Young King Brady mentiOne you. temple, or wat, as we call them, at Bhanga llapore, you aware-" in British Burmah, from which h e stole a ruby, "That he was working for you? Certainly." one of the priestly ornaments, and disappeared Alice went on to explain the circumstances of with it many years ago." her capture. She made it appear that she had "Is it possible! That certainly make it look been brought directly to this secret den. She as if the old man spoke the truth." wanted to become a -little better acquainted with "He told me that he was the priest, and that he Dr. Smith before she took him into her full con-had always kept the ruby. He lost hi s memory ftdence The doctor listened gloomily. about three years ago, and it did not come back "This is bad business," he said. I have known, for some time that Mrs. Ryan was a desperately to him until he was taken sick -in Mrs. Ryan's bad woman, but I did not suppose she would g o Spider's Web, but he was crazy s t ill, He took to any such length as this." a great shine to this Mrs Sievens. While he wouldn't tell me where he hid the r uby, I can "And why has she done it? What is it she readily believe that he may have written it in wants you to tell? You kept all tllat back from the bank book, as Mrs. Ryan claim s. I only wish Young King Brady, doctor. It would have been you had that torn page, Mi ss Montgomery." better if you had given him your full confidence. "I wish I had, doctor. But Old King Brady has Then he might have advised you, and this would it, which is next to the best thing." not have occurred." "And what do you advise?" dem.anded the The doctor looked glum. "Which is as much as to say that you want me doctor, for they had now come to a perfect un-to give you my full confidence," he replied. "How derstanding. do I know you are what you pretend to be?" "Two things," said Alice. "First, let us try to "Easily proved," said Alice, and she exhibited get out -of here if we can. Failing that, that we her detective's shield. wait for the Bradys to find u s which they surely The doctor examined it closely. will." "It seems straight," he remarked. "You think so?" "It is straight." "I am sure of it. If you knew them as well aa "And do you actually know old Jake to be I do, you also would feel sure." dead?" "But the getting out part. I am afraid you I do. 1 was taken to his room fir t. I saw him won't find that so easy. The door seems to ba double bolted." dead with my own eyes." "Wh y did Mrs. Ryan do this?" "It i s but the bolts are well oiled, that is wh7 "She thinks that Jake was a Chinaman. and .you did not hear when Mother Ryan opened them .l; that you are one, too." I noted their position. If you have a kni fe, and. "I know s he has that fool id ea. 1 h1aYe told cou ld cut a hole in the door now--" her half a dozen times that neithe1 of u s were "Unfortunately, I have no knife." Chinese. I am a Burmese. So was the old man., "Nor have I. I always carry one, but when I I have nothing to tell the woman that she wants was searched it was taken away."

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16 THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY "Then we seem to be up agains t it. There is nothing fo;r it but to wait." Alice did not sub s cribe to this until she had made some effort to get the door open, in which she failed. They sat there talking. Alice took quite a fancy to this little Burmese doctor. She qu e stioned him further about the ruby, which he now frankly admitted that he wanted to get when h e w ent to engage Harry, and a s ked-him what he intend ed to do with it if he succeeded. "Why, restore it to the temple, of course," replied t h e d octor emphatica lly. "The n you are a Bhudd i s t ? "That's what I a m, M iss Montgom ery. I care no thing for mon ey. M y life practicing medicine a mon g the poor exactly suits me, and !would not c h a nge it for anything. B e li e v e me or not, I had no other idea in conn e cti o n with the ruby than to restore it to the religiou s o rder to which it rightfully belong s ." "Is it the eye of an idol or anything of that sort?" "No; but it is supposed to po ss e s s sacred prop erties. I really can't explain. It i s something w e are forb i dd e n to talk about to outs iders." Just the n foot steps were hear d outside, and there came a loud knocking on the door. Hello!" s hou t ed the doctor. If Alice had only known it, Abe Cagney's was the voice which answered. "I want to speak to the woman," he cried. "Well?" said Alice. Got any word for Mrs. Ryan? She's tuk sick. She can't come now." No, I have no word that I know of except that I want to be let out of this," replied Alice. "All right. I'll tell her," said Cagney, and he went away. A wait of hours followed after that, and no one came near them. It was now night, and Alice began to wonder how it was all going to end. Dr. Smith had grown very impatient. He had been skeptical from the first about the Bradys finding them, and now he declared that he did not believe they would ever come. We mu s t get out of this some way, he de clared. "We can't stay here all night. If Mother Ryan comes, you better go out yourself and jolly her along, Miss Montgomery. Never mind me. You will have a better chance to rescue me out side than in." And at last footsteps were heard approaching the door. Suddenly a voice exclaimed: "You go on in there, Governor, and see what you find. I've struck something I want to look into. Be with you in a second." "The Bradys at last I" cried Alice. "Mr. Brady! Oh, Mr. Brady!" she called, and in a moment the bolts were shot back and a skeleton key had picked the lock. "Well, Alice!" exclaimed the old d e tective. "And this, I suppose, is Dr. Smith." The doctor, who had done away with his dis guise, shook hands. "You have been a long time getting here, Mr. Brady," he said, "but you are none the less wel come, now that you have come. Where is my friend, your pa1tner?" "Left him in the other cellar," replied Old King Brady. "But come I'ight along. Now is our chance to escape. Later it may not be s o ea y. We can talk as we go." They hurried after him, and he led them through an iron door which separated this subcellar from the one under the Spider's Web. "Harry! I've got Alice I" cried t he old detect ive, flashing his light about. There was no ans wer. "Harry! Where are you?" he r epea t ed Still no ans wer. "Dear me! More trouble!" sighed Al i c e "What in the world has the boy done with himself now? That was the qu e stion. Old Kin g B rady and Alice searched that subcellar thoro ughl y but no t a t race of Harry could the y find. CHAPTER X-Young King Brady Gets Off on New Lines Harry's sudden disap p earanc e see m ed a great mystery, of course, and it really was mysterious I under the circumstance s, but yet it was s i m ple enough. In looking about the subc ellar u nder the Spider's Web which they entered from t h e court the Bradys discovered an iron door leading th:r:ough into the subcellar of the hou s e be yond the one beneath which Alice and Dr. Smith w ere confined. This door proved to be lock e d, and while Old King Brady was trying to w ork his skeleton keys in the lock, Harry was fla shing his light about. That was the time he discovere d in a corner something which neithe r he nor the old detective had at first observed. This was a flagstone of no great size standing upright against a post. Hany went over to see what it meant. and discovered that the stone had originally cov ered an operiing in the floor, whi ch was flagged all over, while the floor of the other s ubcellar was made of boards. Harry flashed hi s li,ght duwn into this opening, and saw that ther e was a ladder below. Just then Old King Brady had already passed through the open door and Harry did not care to shout out too much talk. So he slipped down the ladder to have a look while the old detective, hearing Alice's voice, pressed on. The ladder took him rjown into what might once had been one o f the many private abandoned sewer s which certainly are plentiful in that sec tion of N e w York. On the other hand it might have T' into it, saw what it was like, and started to return, wh e n s uddenly, for some unexplained reason, the stone fell back into place and could not be moved. If Old King Brady had not been in the room t alking with Dr. Smith and Alice he surely must have heard the crash. But as it was, he did not hear it, and as this flagstone fitted in with the rest, here was poor Harry penned underground with nothing to iQdicate where he had gone. He called and called, but the stone wa.s thick, and they did not hear him. And still he called until at last it seemed useless to keep on calling, for he felt sure Jhat by this time Old ;King Brady must have given it up and gon e a w ay. And now the young detective resigned himself to. .._ his fate and set out to do the best he could under the circumstal)ces. The passa.ge ended o r began directly under the fallen stone, which was edged in so tight that ali Harry's efforts failed to raise it. Thus there was nothing to do but to presa

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THE BRADYS' BANKBOOK MYSTERY 17 I forward through the passage and f;ee where it was going to lead him. And this Harry did. He was dress ed like a young tough, it will be remembered, and he felt thankful now that he was thus disguised. The passage ran about northeast, and soon came to an end at a place where there was another ladder, with another stone above. Harry, wllo was careful to take his bearings, felt that i t may be under the secondhand machinery man's buildings that he had come, or perhaps beneath some house in the rear. He gave up the sewer ide a now. At all events. h e r e Young King B rady was at its end. He climbed the ladder, which was old and shaky, and put h i s h ands against the s t one. It moved. A few efforts were sufficient to raise it. It went back against a post like the other stone, and remained in place. Harry got out his and found himself in a cellar. There were no stairs, and no windows. Over m one corner was another leading up to a wooden trap door. This proved also to be unfastened, and raising it,' Harry found himself in a narrow enclsure where there was a standing ladder against the wall. There were no signs of a door, either secret or otherwise, so it was a case of pushing ahead up the ladder, which Harry promptly did, and in a minute he came abreast a secret panel, the working of which was plainly shown on this side. Harry listened, but could hear no sound. He worked the spring and the panel opened. He was looking into a lo!lg room where there were several bunks agamst the wall. In three of them were men asleep. A stove with a good fire in it stood against the chimney. There was a long table in the middle of the floor, and several chairs. "Some kind of a lodging house," thought Harry, and carefully closing the panel, he tiptoed to the bunks, and had a look at the sleepers. They were the tou,ghest of the tough. "Crooks surely, thought Young King Brady. "I must be getting out of this.". But he had delayed too long. As he turned towards the door he heard heavy footsteps on the stairs. Acting on the spur of the moment, Harry crawled into an empty bunk, pulled an old comfortable over him, and turning his face to the wall, lay still. He was just in time, for the door now opened and two men entered the room. Harry did not attempt to look around then. He was d cvoutly hoping that he had not got into the bunk in which one of these newcomers proposed to sleep. Thus it came as a relief when one sat f that white, wick e d face made him r ealize the danger of his own situation all the more. "Yes, Tom," continued Sieven s, nlacing the bot tle and glasses on the table, "Mabel i s dead at last, and, of course, I am responsible for her death, but I tell you /honestly, when I gave her that knockout stuff I never thought it woul biz." "I can't cut it out altogether, man, for it's part of the programme. I made up my mind to that, I tell you, so I fixed up an engagement to hav
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