The Bradys and the man next door; or, The mystery house on High Street


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The Bradys and the man next door; or, The mystery house on High Street

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Title:
The Bradys and the man next door; or, The mystery house on High Street
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.: ;

Subjects

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:
030994140 ( ALEPH )
826868602 ( OCLC )
S50-00008 ( USFLDC DOI )
s50.8 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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BOYS, READ THE RADIO ARTICLES IN THIS NUMBER No. 1367 NEW YORK. APRIL 3, l925 As Harry leanecl out tiJe window the of a lasso encircled him. He g .rabbed tbe window cas. ing to save himself from bemg pulled out Alice sereamed and seized his coat and Old Brady rushed to her Allsistanct\. Price 7 Cents w

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.. Read Page 24 for Radio News and Hints. SEC RET SERVICE Issued WePl
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r I l l 1-! THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT D O O R trv to abate the nuisance since I also am the man next door. Here is my card." The card read: "Mr. William Stover." The ex-chief took the card and withdrew, presently returning with two gentlemen. One was a tall elderlv man of strikingaopearance and peculiar dress. He wore a long-. blue coat with brass buttons. an old-fashioned stock and standup collar, and a lar.!!'e, white felt hat with an extra broad brim. His ompanion was a fine looking youngfellow in his twenties. These were none others than the world-famous Bradys, of New York. Mr. S tover was intr oduced; also Mr. Redding-. "Braclv." said M r. Spalding, addressing the e lder detective familiarly, "I know yo u love a mystery, and we were just discussingone. We sho u ld like yo u r opinion upon it. It is a case of a so called haunted house." The old detective smiled. "I suppose," remarked Mr. Stover, "that you have had many such cases in your time, Mr. BradT." "A g-reat many," replied the o l d detective, "and I have yet to see my fir s t ghost." "I don't know' that there are any g-hosts connected with tQ.is," said Mr. Stover. "It is like this On Hij
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THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR 8 "Pardon me, :'.Irs. Acton, but mav I the o b .iect of ,our call?" broke in Old seeinl! no other way. "I am afraid somethmg has !!one wrong w1th the judge, was the reply. I le f t l1im he has been living alone there m the house and his meals at the hoteL About an hour I was called up on the telephone. I heard the judge at the other end of the wire .. 'Annie,' he call ed, and his voice. was muffled hke. 'for h eaven's sake, come QUJck and me out of thi s. 1--' That's as far a s he J!Ot. 1 heard a fall then. Of course, I was scar-ed, :'11r. Brady. J ca ll ed a cab and went around there. I can't in. The house is all locked up and 1Jar k, and nobod v will answer bell. judge once tol d me that in case anythmg ever happened to him. not. to go to the but to a private detectJve, so remembenng what hE' said about vou beinl! one of the bil!ge"t de tectives in the country, I drove here. And will vou p lease go back with me. I am terribl wori i e d Even if the and I have had OU!' dif ferences, and can't live toJmount to nothing-. 1 !'uppose we can get into the t-ack \ arc! from the allev. I presume he !?.'ate same as I have. Come with me. ''How about t h e noises?" inquired the o l d de tective a<: he followed Mr. Stover into the vard. "Haven't heard a sound since 1 got home." was the rPnlv. "so if vou had e-one on the watch it woultl not have done much good." "You have been in the house?" "Once with that man next door afi we have P'Ot to callini!' Acton. mY wife and I. and mighty surly he was about letting me in, too. 1t ha:; a l wavfi been my idea that he knew more about the mysten' than he cared to let on. I take no stock in thP .iudge. and never did Old Kine-Brady found no difficulty in openin g the rrate. but when he came to try t h e back door he 'found the same conditions. The door was not onlv bolted on the inside. but the windows were nailed. "We can do nothing here,'' declared the old detE-ctive. "We must trv the roof." "You will s urel y find the scuttle fastened down," replied Mr. Stover. "Have you a hammer and chisel?" "Yes." "It will take me but a few minutes to onen the scuttle then. Let us hurry. I left Mrs. Acton in great They hurried back into Mr. Stover's hous e. Scarce had thev entered it when a dull pounding made itself heard. "There! Did vou hear that?" demanded lllr. Stover. "They are at it .again." "Seems to be in your cellar,'' remarked the old cletective "Wouldn't you think so?" wafi the reply "Down there it sounds as if it came from the cellar next door, as it d oes, no doubt." "What did you see when you were in there?" "Nothingat all. The cellar was absolutely "Did the noise keep right up while vou were there?" "No; there wasn't a sound, but .iu. t as ever I into m y own house it began again." This conversation was carried on while 1\fr. Stover was getting the tools and leading the way to the roof. Bv this time they had reached it, and, crossing over to the roof of Ac ton's house, Old King Bradv tried the scuttle, finding it secured below, as he expected. With a pecu1iar tool w ch he produced from his pocl
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f THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR I see," remarked Stover. "All right. Go ahead. I've always had a lot of curiosity about the man next door." And adoptingthis form of speech, the Bradys came to call this the case of "The Ma11 Next Door." Mrs. Acton came right in with Harry and Alice now. "How did v ou finally g-et in?" she asked. "Bv way of the roof, madam," replied the old detective "Have vou seen of the judge?" "No, we have not looked. Allow me to in tloduce Mr. Stover, who live s two doors below. Now wh)ch is the iudge's room?" "It used to be the hac chamber upstairs on the next floor" was the reoly. "but the telephone is in the at the "nd of this hall." "We will look in there first." said the old detective, who had lighted the gas. As they walked to the back of the .hall they came upon three large trunks piled up. I "Why it look s as if the jud 'ge was getting ready go away somewhere. He never said a wr-rd to me about it." exclaimed the lady. 13ang! Bang! Bang! Three d ull, muffled strokes were heard next door. "There! Do you hear?" exclaimed Mrs. Ac ton. "That is goingon all the time. Do you wonder I could not live in this house?" Bang! Bang! Bang! Thrice again the pound imr was heard. and then s ilen ce. Old King Brady opened the librarv door The r oom was filled with packinl!" cases, littered with straw and news papers. ''Why, he has pulled everythingto pieces," cried Mrs. Acton. "It look s as if he meant to mov e away." Old King Bradv lit a gas-jet here. "And all the pictures are cried Mrs. -'Acton, lookinl!" through into the front niirlor, which was in the l':ame condition as the library. "What can it mean?" "No telephone here," remarked Old King Brady. "We better P'O unstairs." They ascended to the floor above where Mrs. Acton. hurryiTll!" ahead, threw open the door of the rear chamber. "Judge! Judge!" she called There was no answer. Old KingBrady flash ed h;s lil!"ht in through the dooT. "Mercy on us!" screamed Mrs. Acton. "They have murdered the '1)oor man." The floor, which was bare. was splashed with blood So were the walls. It looked, indeed. as if murder might have been don But if so, then where was the vict]m? Old KingBrady hastened to lig-ht the g-as. Nothinl! could be seen of Judg-e Acton dead or alive. Here everythingwas pack ed up as below stairs. The telephone was be tween the windows. The floor directly in front of it was where the worst of the blood stains were, but there were others near the door. "Dreadful! Dreadful! They have murdered him!" wailed Mrs. Acton, coveringher eyes with her hands. "Indeed, it looks like it," said Stover. "They-who, madam?" demanded Old King Brady. "Of course I don't know." was the reply. "I mean whoever they are who did it." Perhaps Old King Bradv mig-ht have passed the point further, but just. then the attention of everyone was drawn tQ. the mYstery of the hou, e next door, for at the same in stant a dull, muffied explu sion was heard, and the house slightly trem "There y ou are, Mr. Brady!" exclaimed Stover. "No more pounding to-night, and perhaps not for several days to come. CHAPTER III.-The Night Watch At the Judg-e's House. "Yes," remarked Old King Brady, "I have de cided to take up the case of The Man Next Door as Mr. Stover calls it. As to who I am working for, nothingneed be said. I shall not commit myself, either, to Stover or Mrs. Acton. The mysterv interests me, so I propose to work inde pendently of both." It was late on the following aftemoon that Old King Brady made these remarks to Harry and Alice at the hotel. The High street mys tery had.now become public property. The after noon papers were full of it. The police had taken a hand in the case, but with no succe&s. Not a trace could be found of Judge Acton. The man, it appeared, had not been see n since the day following his return from Kansas City, when he came over the plains on the same train with the Bradys. The papers had a lot to say about the judge's wealth, h is manners in money matters, and his peculiar habits. Exaggerated accounts of the mysterious noi ses also fi_gured in all the after noon papers. Thus general attention was at tracted to the mystery of the hou e on High street. Harry and A'lice had been busy with another matter all day, lmt Old King Brady had found time to make a verv thorough examina tion of both houses. If anything in the line of secret rooms or panels existed, then the old detective, who is most skilful in such matters, failed to find it. The m\'stery of the iudge's telephone call and di sappearance was made all the more peculia r from the fact of the h ouse being closed, for i t was the same with every door, and when Oid King Brady came. to examine the lower window:'!, he found that all without exception had been nailed up. The work appeared to have been recenth done. That Judg-e Acton was on 'the point of leaving the. hou s e pe.,;manently was made all the more certain from the finding of two !!.-rips packed with his personal belonging-s: These Mrs. Acton insisted upon taking away with her in the cab. As both were locked they were not opened. Old King Bradv s ugg-ested that he could easily open then1, but to this Mrs. Actqn would no.t li sten, saying that she did not propbse to disturb them until it became certain that her husband was dead. Old King Brady did not feel that he had any right to interfere, but he did not like it, and when Mrs. Acton wanted him to take up the case and search for the judge on her a
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THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT'DOOR 6 ; vide himself with ken to both houses, intending to put in the night on High street if it came around right. And it did. With Harry and Alice he went to Judge Acton's house about nine o'clock, finding an officer on g-uard there. "I'm 1ig-ht g-lad yo u s e have come," said the policeman. "It was likel y to be mig-hty lonely here. I don't know what's the good of me stop ping here, anyway, unless it is to guard all these things. The judge has been murdered all rig-ht, but how they ever managed to get him out and leave all the doors and windows fastened behind them is what beats me." "That's the mystery of it," replied the old de tective, adding: "But about the noi:;es ne:-..-t door, officer. Have vou heard anythine: ?" "Not a s ound," replied the policeman. "I don't know if there's any truth in that yarn or no." "Oh, there i s We heard the noises last nig-ht our;;elves." "Did v ou then? I didn t know but it was just newspaper talk. What did they sound like?" "Heavy pounding, ending up with a slight exvlo, ion, which made this house tremble a little." "It i ven strange." "Did you know Judge Acton ? "Only by sight, .Mr. Brady. He was a Queer man." ''ln what way?" "Well, what I had reference to was his habit of wandering about late at night. Many a time I've met him." "Near here?" "Yes si r. Alway s near here. Always going along with his head down." "How late, for instance?" "One or two o'clock in the morning." "Often?" "Very often. Two or three times a week." "Did you ever speak to him?" "Once 1 did. I says, Good-evenin', judge. Yer out late.' 'I can't sleep,' he says; and on h e walked without even raising his head and looking at me. There wa s sure something wrong with the old man in hi s mind .'' "If you have been long on this beat it's a wonder vou never heard the noi ses in this house next door, officer." "Well, I never did, sir, and many's 'the time I have listened for them, too. That's hy I never believe d the yarn.'' "We will go upstahs ," said Old King Brady. "] am goingto look fo1 secret panels." "Make yourself at home,'' s ai d .the policeman. "My order are to watch near the door, so I'll stop here." They ascended to the judge's room. We have spoken of everything being Packed up here, but the as;;ertion was a little too sw eeping. Certain articles of furnitm e, among them a bureau, a tabl e an d chairs, h ad not been disturbed. It was warm with the gas lit, for the day had bee n almost hot. The Bradys removed their hat s and even Alice took off hers, feeling that she would be more comfortable. A careful search for what ever secrets the room had to offer now began. "If there is a secret door here we'll find it,'' declare d the old detective ''Did the judge build t h e s e houses?" inQuired Harry. "He did not,'' replied the old detective. "I in Quired into that matter particularly. He bought the three houses as they stand, afterwards sellinp: the one Stover now owns.'' How long ago was this?" "About five vear s, I understand.'' "Do you know who did build them?" "No; that I failed .to learn.'' "But they have been built some time, evi dently.'' "Yes. for over twenty years, I am informed.'' "What is you r vers onal theory as to this strange business, Mr. Brady?" asked Alice. "I really can't say that I have formed one,'' replied the old detective. "It can s carcely be a case of counterfeiters. They never would choose a place so unsuitable and so publjc, but whatever it is l am convinced that Judge Acton knew all about it and was probably in the deal. It looks to me like a case of a man try)ng to pull away from a bad bunch wh,o were afraid to have him go. Hence the attack on the old man. They mav not have killed him, however.'' "The secret lies underground in n1y way of thinking,'' said Harry. "Decidedl y ," replied the old detective. An other thingI shou ld have mentioned. The real estate dealer I con sulted-he is a Mr. Hardy, on Lorimer street, who nominally has the renting of the hou s e next door-told me that Judge Acton did not really want to rent the house, and had given orders not to put it forward. He claims that the judge was a spiritualist and firmly be lieved that the hou s e was haunted. I think from the way the man spoke that he i s somewhat' in clined to that view himself.'' "Hark!" exclaimed Harry "It seemed to me that I heard t.he pounding then-very faint.'' Old King Brady put his ear ag-ainst the wall, Harry and Alice following his example. They all heard muffled s ounds like blows being struck, seemingly at a distance. It was very different from the sounds the old detective had heard the night "Doe s that noi s e come from the front or the rear, governor?" asked Harry. "From the rear, I should say,'' replied Old KingBrady. "I'm going out in the yard. I want to see if the s ound s can be heard underground. You two stay here and li sten.'' He de s cended to the yard. Alice watched him out of the window and could see him lying on the gTass with his ear to the ground, Indian fashion. Soon he returned, reporting that he could hear the s ound s very faintly and that they s eemed to be underground. "Mysterious business,'' he s aid. "Do they still keep up, Harry?" "No,'' replied Young King Brady, who s till had his em to the wall. "I can't hear them now." "Then let u s get to work on the secret panel theonr It mus t and s hall be found." They put in an hour on this story, and nearly a s long on the one above, but without the least success. The cellar as well as the parlor and basement floors had been so thoroughly searched before that Old King Bradv considered it useless to go over the ground again. "This is one too many for me.'' he said. "I tl ;ink we ma" a:well ::rive up there and try it

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6 t THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR next door. Harry, get that lantern you broug-ht alongand we will g-o in there." "Wha t was that noise?" exclaimed Harry. "Did you hear?" "Yes It sounded to me like the clank of iron, but it was certainly outside of the house." "So I thoug-ht," added Alice. Old King-Brady put his ear to the wall again, remarkingthat he could hear nothing. At the same moment Harry raised the window and leaned out'. He instantly dr.ew back and held up his fing-ers for silence. "What's in the wind?" whispered Old King Brady. ''I see nothing-," replied Harry, aloud, and he closed the window, then whispering: ''Why, governor, there is an iron platform outside that window extendingalongto the next house. It wasn't there before." Old King Brady peered throug-h the panes "I see no platform," he declared. "Your eyes must have deceived vou in the dark." "Not at all. It was certainly there when I looked." "Look again." Harry did so, but could see nothing-. "It beats the band," he muttered. "I am sure I saw it." Just at this minute there came a ringat the door bell. The Bradys stepped out into the hall and listened. 'Yes, ma'am. they are here," they could hear the policeman saying, "but my orders are to admit no one else." "But I am Mrs. Acton," a woman's voice replied. "I have a right to come in and you can't stop me. Besides, I want to see Mr. Brady." Old King Brady hurried downstairs. "It is all rig-ht. officer," he said. "Good-evening-, Mrs. Acton," he added. "What brings you here?" 'Oh I was sure you would be was the teply, "so I thought I would look in on you. I am so nervous that I can't sleep. Have you learned an,ything ? "Well, no, ma'am, we have not. Will you come upstairs?" Mrs. Acton thought she would come upstairs, and she did. "Have you examined those grip yet!" asked Old King-'lfrady. "Yes, I have," was the reply; "I changed my mind and concluded to do so, but I found nothing but Judg-e Acton's clothes and a few private papers." "Was he in anv business?" "No; he g-ave up his law practice a good years ago." "And even year he has grown richer." "That is what he claim s He always seemed to have plenty. I never could get him to change his style of living-, though. He was the most stubborn man you ever saw, Mr. Brady. I--" 'But in order to make all this money, he must have been in some business." "I suppose he speculated like other men." "Did manv people come here to see him?" "Nob ody ever came; that is, very seldom." Harry, not particularh interested in these inQ uiries, now raised the window softly, curious still about the platform which he felt so sure h e had seen. "Hear ?" inquired the old detective. "No; I just thoug-ht I would have a look." As Harry leaned out of the window, the no o se of a lasso suddenlv encircled him. He g-raspe d the window casini to save himself from bei n g pulled out. Alice screamed and seized his coat, and Old KingBrady rushed to her assistance. CHAPTER IV.-Old King Bradv Takes A Step Ahead. Before Old KingBrady could get to the window it was all over. Not that Harry went out. The pull on the lasso suddenly ceased, and he pull ed in the rope. "Who did it?" cried the old detective, looking out of the window. He could see nothingto explain the mystery. "The platform was there and a masked man stood on it. He threw the lasso," Harry ex plained. "He has g-one now, and so has the platform. This was a ruse to hold our attention at the back, I think. Quick! Get your hat, Harry. Some bod v will be sneakingout the front way." He ran into the front room and threw up the window as he spoke. A small man was in the act of descendingthe steps of the house next door. "On the shadow, Harry! Quick!" cried the old detective. "He has gone already, Mr. Brady," said Alice coming into the other room. "Quick, l\Irs. Acton. Have a look at this fel low and see if you know him," Old King Brady said. But Mrs. Acton was not quick enoug-h. She got a sight of the man, it is true, but only of his back, and she declared herself unable to iden tify him. Meanwhile Young-King-Brad'' had got OP the job, and continued to watch him as he hurried after the man, who did not turn h i s head. Old King Brady closed the window and thev returned to the back room. "Well, this settle one point, we have to deal with real people," he remarked. "But what a dreadful thing to do," cried Mrs. Acton. "Ifut for you, Miss Montgomery, they would have pulled him out of the window." "I don't think thev had any such intention," 1eplied Old Brady. "The cheme was to keep us busy at the back, while that fellow left the house next door." "But about this platform business.'' he added. "The mystery must be solved." "There is surely no platform there.'' declared Mrs. Acton. looking out the window. "Alice, stand behind me with your revolver while I lean out and make an examination," said the old detective. Alice did so, and Old Kin!!' Brady leaning far out, threw his flashlig-ht upon the brick wall. "I see.'' he said, after a moment. "The platform is there. It runs in through the wall under the floor. It is painted on the edge to match the brick." "There was surely nothing of the sort here

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THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR 7 whe n I lived in this house," declared Mrs. Acton. cemented. Here they could find no blood. The "That is two years ago," replied Old King tlail see med to have come to an end. Brady "Question i s, can the platform be work"And now for the exit," said the old detecti e, ed from this side? This gives me a new line to fla shing the lantern about. "There i s certainly work on." nobody here. We have got every chance unless But he worked it in vain, for nothing in the we are attacked from above." of a secret spring or button could he find. It was the first time Alice had been in the But his search then was onlv a brief one. cellar, and she looked around curiou s ly. There "Mrs. Acton, Miss Montgomery and I are going was the usual coalbin in front of a few old in next door now," Old King Brady announced. barrels. There were two heaters of rather an "You can join us or remain here, as you please." old-fashioned pattern, being much la1ger than "I think I will go home," replied Mrs Acton. those u s ed nowadays. Glad to be rid of her, they let her go without "Why do you s uppose they have two heaters, objection, parting with her on the street. Old Mr. Brady?" inQuired Alice. King-B1adv then let himself in next door, carrywas just wondering myself," was the reply. ing with him the lantern Harry h.ad brought And Old King Bradv proceeded to examine along, fot there was neither gas nor electrjc the heaters. Opening the door of the first one light next door. They ascended to the back room he founa a dusty placard hanging inside upon on the third floor after carefully li stening. There w.hich was s crawled: was a cigar stump on the floor and a new spaper, "Out of order. Use the new heater." which certainly had not been there before. Old "This s eems to explain the mystery," he Raid. King Brady was now on his mettle. There were big pipe s extending off from it up "I don't leave this room until I have worked through the floor. Thinking that the whole thing that platform," he declared, and he began s oundmight be movable and conceal some hole, Old the wall s on the side towards Judge Acton's KingBrady tried it, but the heater remained house. Meanwhile Alice got down on the floor firm. Leaving the door open, he now turned his and began searching there. attention to the new one. "Here it i s !" s he presently exclaim ed. "I am afraid there is nothing in this," the old "Ha! Well?" cri d Old King Brady looking detective remarked. down. "Hush!" breathed Alice, who was still stand"This las t piece of baseboard is wiggly," said ing-bv the open door of the old heater. Alice. "I can't seem to pull it out, but I am sure "What now?" whi pered Old King Braay, com -it comes out." ing up. "Press it down." "I hear voices." "Yes, yes! Now it comes." He li s tened. Alice removed .the strip of board, which was "Surely!" he said. "Very faint!" about a foot in length. They could now s ee the "Yes, but di s tinct." iron platform stowed awav under the floor. Above "Can y ou make out words?" it was a s mall handle attached to a beam. Alice No; can you?" pulled on it and the platform shot outward. Old Old l)ing Brady bent his head and listened at King Brady opened the window and stepped out the door. At the same instant there was a crash upon it. i-f a pile of stones had .fallen. The sound "Very ing-enious," he exclaimed as ll e came certainly came from beneath them by way of the back into the room. "It explain s the di sappearopen door of the heater. And in the same breath ance of tlfe iudge, all right, and i s one great big a louder voice was heard to exclaim: point gained, but I don't see that this ouening "Now see what you have done, you careless extend s any farther, nor does it explain the wretch! Upset the whole business." noise s Let us see. If the judge was bleed"No harm. I can pick them up again," came ing when thev carried him out, then there ought the replv in a lower voice. to have been a trail left behind. Look fo r blood "This is it, Alice," said Old King B"rady. "The now, Alic e We may catc h om clue that so und comes up through this heater. If the way." pounding comes b y the same road, then those Their search was soon rewarded, for here and pipes ought to make it plainly heard all over the there blood s pot s were found on the floor. hou s e." T}lte foot of the stairs reached, they discove red They could now hear sou nd s which seem ed to a smear of blood on th floor boards howe ver. indicate that s tone s were being thrown into so me "Here is where they laid him down," declared vessel. Then after a few seconds another voice Old King Brady. "There was blood on hi clothes called out, much louder: T hey took him towards the basement stairs." "Hey, boss!" The action of carrying the judge down must If there was an answer they could not catch have started up the bleeding again, for they it. Then it found spots on nearly every step of the basement "Shall I fetch it through?" spoken in the same stairs voice. "Li s ten," aid Alice, as Old King Brady opened Silence. and then: the cellar door. "We don't want to run up against All right. I reckon I can wheel it in two any trouble now." -....... loads." "I hear nothing.. The coast seems clear. All And that was all they heard except the creak that demonstration was jus t to give that fellow of a wheelbarrow later on. At last they gave a chance to get out of the house." it up, and once more the old detective made an They descended into the cellar, finding some effort to move the heater, which failed. blood spots on the way. The cellar door was "We are on, Alice," he said. There is surely

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8 THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR an excavation under this cellar. It is as I s us pected from the first, but you and Harry have had so many remarks to make about my theoriz lately that I determined for once not to commit myself." Non sense!" said Alice. "What is your theory, then? That some bod y has struck a gold vein under this property?" "It is-most emphatically." "Do you think Judge Acton is in the deal?" "Presumably, but not certainly." "Then it don't follow that the entrance is from this house at all. It may be from his own cella r." "We must learn, Alice. Come! Our work now lies on the outside if we wish to solve the mystery of this house on High street. We have taken a step ahead." CHAPTER V.-Young King Brady Makes A Bad Break. If Old King Brady had taken a step ahead then, Harry had to take many in another sense before he got throug-h shadowing his man, who looked around just once after the start was made. He must have seen Harry. Turning down Fifteenth street, the man kept on until he C'ame to a large office building, where he entered. And here Harry lost his man temporarily, for the fellow boarded an elevator which started up before he could reach it. Tliere were now only two courses open for the detective, tq bribe the elevator man into giving him information, or to wait until the shadowed man come down. As being the quickest, Harrychose the former course. There was nobody but himself in waiting when the elevator returned to the -g-ro_und fioor. Harrv determined to strike high and make sure. He had a ten-dollar gold piece in his pocket, and he held it between his thumb and finger and with the same hand displayed his shield. "See that?" he said "What?" asked the elevator man, "the money or that badge?" "Both." "You are a detective?" ''Sure." "What is it you want to know?" But before Harry could answer two men step ped into the elevator. "Come on," said the boss of the "lift," and Harry knew he had him. Nothing was said until the men left the elevator at one of the upper floors. "It's that small man you carried up on your last trip, said Tarry. "I was aftaid so," was the reply. "Afraid?" "Yes. I can't earn the money as you put it, for I don't know his name." "Where does he go?" "Gets off on the ninth and goes into Pannan. & Co.'s." "What's their business?" "I don't know exactly, but it is something con nected with mine s .'' "Is he likely to stay there long?" "Don't think so. He s eldom does." "Do Pannan & Co. always keep "Mr. Pannan lives here, boss office s and makes a bedroom of people do that in this building.'' "I think you have earned your ten," said handing over the coin. Of course the man wanted to know what was all about, and equally, of cour se Y Brady did not satisfy his curiosity. the building then, Harry took up his watch the outside, and after a wait of nearh an hour the man came out. By this time Harry had so changed his appearance that he had little fear being recognized, and he took up the trail again. Now he got a good' look at the man. He walked briskly down to Larimer street and kept on by the necessary turnings until he came to the freight yard of one of the railroads running out of Denver. Which one it was we propose not to state nor to mention the name of the man who came out of the freight office with Harry's man shortly after the latter came in. It is a name now known to every one in Colorado. They went down through the freight ya rd to gether, and again Harry feared he had lost his man. And so it would have been had this hap pened in daylight, for no one but em ployees were admitted to that part of the freight yard to which they went. But Harry in the dark manag-ed to slip past the watchman at the gate in time to keep his man in sight and continue the trail. It led him to a remote switch where stood an emph freight car. Here cigars were lighted and the pair stood talking in a confidential manner. It all seemed very puzzling to Young King Brady then. To get near enough to hear what was being said would have been impossible without exposing himself to plain view. There a big gate in the high fence wh ich surrounded the freight yard at this point. At last after a wait of nearlr half an hour the rumble of a heavy cart was heard and a covered wagon came up outside the gate which seemed to be verv heavily loaded. The driver gave a peculiar whistle, which the superintendent immediately answered, ihen opening the 1!'ate. Assisted by the driver and Harrr's man, 'they now began unloading small and exceed ingly heavy boxes from the wagon into the freight car, tluowin1!' off their coats and going about it like men well used to their work. One of the boxe s fell and broke open, scattering pieces of rock about These were carefully g-ath ered up and taken into the car. The wagon being emptied, the man in charge drove off. The superintendent !hen pulle d the door of the car shut and with Harry's man "hur ried away through the of>en yard, where it would have been impossible to have followed them without discovery. But Harry did not propose to follow. What he wanted was to get a look at the contents of that broken box. For Young King Brady had already come to the same conclusion that the old detective had arrived at. "It's a hidden mine under the house on street, surest thing," thought Harry. They are ship ping off the ore and I must secure a sample of it if possible.'' Sneaking up to the door, Harrv opened the door and climbed in, closing the door behind him.

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THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR 9 He now got out his flashlight and, searching for the broken box, found it piled full of loose piece'S of rock. These he pulled over, spending some little time at it. They seemed to be all quartz, well filled with mineral, but Harry was not iudge enough to be able to determined their quality. Having secured two or three good specimens, Harry now started to leave the car. At once he discovered that he had made a tel' rible mistake in closing the door. For while be was fumbling among the ore specimens and ma-king noise enough to prevent him from hearing what was going on, someone had locked the door. He kicked on the door and shouted, but all in vain. An hour passed and Young King Brady's -efforts to attract attention to his situation had been quite unsuccessful, nor could he with all his efforts force his way out of the car. And now s uddenly came a bump. The car was being coupled on to a train. At las t the train got on the move. "I'm in for it now," groal'!ed Young King Brady. "Question is, where are we going? If it's through to the Eas t ; then the chances are I'm a dead one Of cours e, he remembered all sorts of horrible stories about tramps starving to death in freight cars But it was useless to borrow trouble. Harry now sat down on the boxes, lit a cigar and tried to 'hope for the best. He rode all through the night and the be s t part of the next day. No body came near the car. Harry s situation was now most discour a ging, and the confinement was beginning to tell on him, when at last, the train stopping, he realized that his car was being taken away from the rest. The engine pulled it for a considerable distance, backed down and uncoup led. The car continued to move, however. Harry realized that it was running down an incline by its own weight. But at last it reached tpe level and, running on for some di s tance, s topped. "Shut the gate!" he heard a man s hout. Nobod y came near the car, however Harry's effort s to make himself hea:rd failed, and at last night came again. Worn out with it all, Harry, who had cleared a space for himself before this, lay down and s lept. How long he had been sleeping he had no idea, when suddenly he was arous ed b y a lantern being fla s hed in his face. A man was bending over him examining his s hield, which, fooli shly he had not concealed. "Why, he's one of the Brady detectives!" the fellow called out. "You hear, voung feller?" he added, for Harry was sitting up now. "Why y e s I beard what was s aid," replied Young King Brady with all the calmness he could assume. "Come out of this Jump down out. of the car," ordered the man with the lantern. And Young King Brady jumped to almo' s t fall into the arms of a big, rough-looking fellow on the ground, who held a gun. This was imme diatel y leveled at Harry s head. He could see mountains all around him Close by was a Quartz mill. which stood on the bank of a rushing stream at the bottom of a deep gulch. "Speak up or I fire!" cried the man with the gun. "Who the mischief are you? How did ou ever come to yourself locked in that ear?" CHAPTER VI.-Old King Brady Keeps Pegging Away. It was about eleven o'elock when Old King Brady and Alice left the vacant house on High street. "What about going back and questioning the policeman more closely as to just where he saw Judge Acton?" inquired Alice. "Don't think it is worth while," replied Old King Brady. "I am satisfied that there is a tunnel under the yard either behind this house or the judge's, so what we want to do, Alice, is to find out where the other end of it is. That's our work now, but it is very doubtful if we can accomplish anything at night. Let us begin by getting around on the next street." This took them to lower ground, for High ,street-we have taken the liberty of altering the true name of this street, bv the way-was lo cated on the side of the hill, on which a large part of Denver stands. Carefully taking his bearirtgs, Old Kin!!' Brady worked aro)ind imme diately in the rear of the High street hou s e s Here there were several old-time res idences which had been altered into tenements The r e was also a coal yard and a moulding mill. It was one of the tenements which stood directl y in t h e rear of the hou s e of mystery But adjoining this house was s omething more promising. A high fence cut off a double lot, and bekind it stood a low brick building the t o p of which could .ius t be seen On the f e nce was the sign "Antelope Spring Co, Office, No. Fifteenth street." "No Admittance" was promi nent upon the gate. "That might do," mused Old King Brady A spring supplying a fancv table water would b e excuse enough for burrowing in the ground. Alice, y ou go back and ask that policeman what he knows about the Antelope Spring Co. while I prowl about here a bit." After Alice had departed Old King Brady lean ed against the fence and pressed hi s ear to it, picking out a place where there was a pos t whic h might be supposed to convey sound from belo w but he could not hear anything. -And while h e waited a covered wagon came rattling down the street. It appearetl to be empty, and it bo r e upon its side the name of the Spring Compan y It stopped before the hte. Anticipating this, Old King Brady had moved on, but it was to take a po s ition from which he could see into the yard if the gate was opened. The driver jumped do}Vll and rang a bell; then in a moment the gate "1\ras thrown open and the man led his horse into the yard, the gate bein.e: immediately closed. But in that brief moment the old detective saw several things. The buil d ing was a neat brick structure. A light burned in one of the lower windows. In the yard were numerous small boxes, very stoutly made. He now thought of the alle y and recalled that h e had seen the wall" of a low. brick buildinlt there the night before when he and Mrs Stover went into Judge Acton's vard. "That will be the rear wall of this water com pany's building, I suppose," he said to him s elf, "but before getting around there I will wait alld h e a r w h a t Alice has to s a y ." 'r

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10 THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR She came Old KingBrady met her at the end of the block. "Well?" he inquired. "He says that the Antelope Spring doe s a big business ," said Alice. The spring is inside that building. It has been used for several years. Thev bottle the water and ship it West to Ari zona and New Mexico, where water i s scarce. They also do a business supp lying offices in Denver, and it is largely used in saloons." "I believe we have hit it, Alice. A spring means a hole in the ground, and that is what we are gunning for. An empty wagon has just g-one in there. It seems queer that they should have been ship ping their sp ring water at midnight." "All well enough for your theory, Mr. Brady," smiled Alice. "but what are you going to do about it? What excuse can we make to get bt>hind that gate?" "None. Let us wait a few minutes and see if the driver and the man who opened the g-ate for him don't come out." They keot moving on tl)e block, and in about fifteen minutes saw two men come out through the gate. They did not look behind them, how ever. "We will get around on the alley and take a look at the rear," s aid the old detective, and they did so. It was just a dead brick wall taking up the entire lot. There was no po ssib ility of effecting an entrance here. "It is no u.se Alice We sha ll have to give it up," said Old King Brady. To-morrow remains for us, but there's no more to be done to-day." They took in.. High street on the way, and remained for so me moments watching the vacant house from around the corner, but nothing came of it, and finally they went back to the hotel. Harry, of course, had not come in, but this was nothingstrange. When next morning he was found to be still mis ing, Old King Brady began to wonder what it meant, of cour se but he pretended to consider it all right on Alice's account, for she and Harry are practically engaged. "He probably found that he had to shadow his man out of town," the old detective said. "I dare sav we shall hear fro"m him during the day." Old King Brady received a letter by the morn ing mail which seemad on its face to change everything. but it was not from Harry. Mrs. Acton wrote: ''My Dear Mr. Brady: This is to inform you that I have heard from my husband. It is all right. He was seized with a slight hemorrhag-e, he informs me. which accounts for the blood. He is now stopping a little way out of town with a friend, and he wishes me to come to him. He g-oes on to say that he will personally explain to me all that is mysterious about the matter, and he requests that you drop the ca se. If vou will send in your bill I will remit a s soon as I return to Denver. "Yours, truly, "Margaret Acton." Having read this letter, Old King Brad\" passed it over to Alice in silence "What do you think of it?" she a s ked when she had finished reading. -"I should like your opinion first." replied Old King Brady. "The woman is hiding something." "She surely is. Note the suspicious po ints Sh e does not say how she received this information, but tries to make it appear that it came to her in the form of a letter from her husband. doing it so clumsily that no one can be deceived. Then she makes a point of concealing where Judge Acton i s and does her best to throw dust in our eyes about the very singular mannel" in which he disappeared. Lastly, she offers to pay us, when I distinctly told her that I was not working on the case on her account. Taken altogether, the letter suggests a reading between the lines whic'h to me is very plain." "Let me state what I read between the lines and see how close I come to your idea,'' said Alice. "Do it." "That somebody known to Mrs. is in the deal, and came to her .last night to get her to use her influence to call us off." "That's just about what I think. The woma n mus t be shadowed, Alice. Your job, my dear, and the sooner you get on the trail the more likel) yo.u are to s ucceed. You know the woman's address, so get right down to it. Something tells me there isn't a moment to be lost." And so promptly did Alice act that she left the hotel withi1;1 twenty minutes, cleverl y disg\}ised. Far from inducing him to give up the case, Mrs. Acton's letter made Old King Brady all the more determined to vigorously push it. He hurried. to the old Tabor block, and there called on a lawyer who ltad been mixed up in the matter which called the Bradys t o Denver. Smith we will call him for the sake of a name. To this man Old King Brady could speak freely, and he told a ll there was to tell. "You know everybody in Denver," he said. "Now, piece out my story with your information, and let me see where it leaves me." "It will leave your theory strengthened," said Smith, promptly. "In the first place, Judge Acton's reputation is decidedly shady and always was. This woman is his second wife. She was formerly a Mrs. Fink. Her first husband, who i s dead, was 11gambler and a crook. She married the judge for his money about ten years ago. l!'hey quarreled con stantly, it is understood, and finally separated, but the juc\ge continued to support her; there was no divorce. I believe that Mrs. Acton would turn down the judge in a moment if s he thought she could increase her income by doing so. Indeed, I have grave doubts about the story of the judge calling her up on the telephone. It is just as likely to be false as true." "I believe it," s aid Old King Brady, quietly. "So far I don't see that you either helped or hindered my theory." "All I have tried to do," n:plied the lawyer, "is to impress upon you what is certainly a fact, that Mrs. Acton is money mad and not be to trusted. PersonaHy, I have always believed that she had some hold over the judge, and that was why he continued to support her in the style she lives, for he is as close as the bark on a tree."

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.. THE BRADYS AND THE NEXT DOOR 11 "Let me pull away from ?lfrs. Acton and get to the water company,' said Old King Brady. "Miss Montgomery has her in hand, and I have faith that something will come of it." "What will come of shifting to the water com pany i s jus t this, it will brinl!" right back to Mrs. Acton. Mind you I don't say that she was in the deal to do up the .iudge, or that she had the le a.st idea that a hidden gold mine was beinl!" worked next door, if it is so, but the president of this Antelope Suring Co. knows her well. His name is Albert Fink, and he is her first husband's brother." "Indeed! Is. he a man of any prominence here in Denver ? "' "Sure. Crooked prominence. He made a bag of money running a bucket-shop and to it bv mining operations. He i s worth a milhon to-day. That"s all I know about the water company; ex-. cept that it exists and is suppos ed to do a large bu siness. But now Jet us see how well my memory serves i11e. What's that number on High street?" Old King Brady named it. "How long si11ce the noises began?" "About two years, according to Mr. Stover, the man next door." opened by one of the men Old King Brady and Alice had seen the night before. "Good morning, Mr. Fink," he said. "Good morning, Joe," replied the stout gentle-man. -"Why don't you go on about your business?" he demanded, turning on the old detective almost fiercely. "Sure my bu siness is to find a job, sor." replied Old King Brady. "I didn't know but what you might change your mind, s o." No, no, I told you we have no job to give you." "Excuse me butting in, boss," said Joe, "but we are short-handed this morning. Morlein sent word he was sick. I think Mr. Brown would like a heloer on the bottles." Mr. Fink turned and looked Old King Brady over, searchingly. "You CSln follow me," he said. "Come into the office." He led the way through tlie yard towards the low brick building, the interior of which Old King Brady was s o anxious to see. CHAPTER VII.-At the Hidden Mill In the Gulch. "Let us have a look at the Denver directory of two years ago. If I don't greatly mistake, at that time Albert Fink lived in that very house. Far away from DE!'nver, and with no idea in He was well-to-do then, but he lived very plainly. what direction he had traveled, Harry faced the It is just about two since he launched out man with the gun, wondering how seriously he and began to put on style." to take his threats. And from a set of book-shelves, Mr. Smith "See here. boss," he s aid, am just nobody I h t at all. It won't do you the least bit of good to took down the directory and ooked t e mat er kill me. I am only an accident, and that's the up. truth." "I was rig4t," he declared. "Fink was living "It won't work," said the gunner, grimly. "You in that house then." are a detective. You are Young King Brady, I "Have you older directories?" asked Old King believe." Brady. "No, no! _Of course, I can't deny that I am a "Yes." detective, but I am only a helper. As for the "Look back a vear or so. I sho uld like to rest, it is as I tell you." know how long he lived there. He must have "Were yo u working on a case which took you been the last tenant who remained any length of into the freight yard down there in Denver?" time in the house." "No. I was trying to pump a man in a aloon This matter was looked into. It appeared on a Prairie street. We both got full; the rest that Mr. Fink had occupied the house next door is as I tell you 1 say." tc Judge Acton for at leas t three years. Feel"What's your name?" ing that he had at least scored another Point, -"Jack Kennedy. Why can't you Jet up on me Old King Brady pulled out and going to a cos-and Jet me travel on?" turner's disguised as a laboring man. He was "For the best of reasons. There is only one determined to see the inside of the Antelope way out of this place, and I don't choose to show Spring Company's premises, if possible, but he it to you. It would cost me mv own life if I had not much hope that this scheme would help dip." forwaTd his plans any. Still, it was worth the "Can't I follow the track? It is steep, but I try. Thus disguised, he went to Lowe street and can climb up if I try." finding the gate closed, rang the bell. The ring "Xes, but you can't be allowed to follow the was not answered. Old King Bradv tried it track. Did you break open that box of ore?" again, .with the same result. He was just about "I certainly did not, unless I did it while I was to try it a third time when a stout, well-dressed drunk." man came up and stopped. "Don't be too hard on him, Jim," interceded the "Well, old man," he exclaimed, sha1ply, "what other man. "Of course, I appreciate your posi-is your business here?" tion and my own, but I don't much stock "Sure, I am Iukin' for wurrk, sor," replied Old in killing. At least, we to put it up to the King Brady. "I didn't know but what I might boss." vick up a .iob in here, so." "And a lot of good that would do. He'll order "Well, you won't." him shot at sight." The man shrugged his sho ul"Are youse de boss?" ders. /' "I believe I am. Toddle on. You will find no ( "Then it is up to him, and none of our funeral," work here." He pulled the bell twice in quick s ue-he said "I say, give the poor feller a-show." Jim cession as he spoke. Immediately the gate was lowered his gun.

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12 THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR "I'm willingto humor you," he said, "but we shall both get it in the neck." "I'll take mv dose," replied the other. Of course, we can't let !urn go, but we can put it up to the boss." "Come on," said Jim. ahead, and I advise you not to be too ob servinz if you want to live It was foolish advice, in a way, for it was impossible not to understand the nature of the place. It was a small Quartz mill of the simplest pattern. As thev drew near, Harry could hear the great stamps up the ore. A big stream of dirty water, escaoine: through a sluice, plunged over a precipice into a deep and narrow ravine, throul!'h which a mountain stream ran swiftly. In one corner of the mill was a door which looked as if it might lead into an office, and it was towards this that Harry was directed to go. But before he reached it the door was thrown open and a stout man in his shirt sleeves came charging out, swearing like a pirate. Who had they there? Where did he come from? How dared they let a stranger in? "Now hold on, boss, hold on!" protested Jim. "We hain't responsible for this-see? He came in the sealed freight car. What's more, he's a detective. Works for the Brady Bureau of New York, so he says. You know Old King Brady & Co." Thi s did not help n;)atters any. "Why didn't you shoot him on sight?" stormed the superintendent, for s uch Harry rightly judg-ed him to be. "You know the rule. We shall all get into trouble for this." Hacry tried to ex plain, but it was no use. He could not get in a word. As for Jim and his companion, they waited for the man to blow himself out, which he pres-ently did. "Well, is he to be shot?" the former demanded, then. "Of course he is," was the reply. "Can I say a word?" beg-an Harry. "Not one,;' was the reply. "Not a solitary one. Our rule is strict. No stranger can come into this g-ulch and live." The superintendent himself took Harry's shield and revolver. What little money Harry had about him, it was not much, he told the two men to divide between themselves. He then took the g-un from Jim and ordered Harry to walk ahead, around the mill. The two men did not follow. A few moments later a shot was heard, followed by sounds which "'made it seem as if somebody had fallen into the g-ulch, taking down with him a Quantity of loo se rock. Doubt less. Jim and his companion thought this the end of YounJ!: lUng Brady, but it was not so. The unexpected happened. In spite of his loud talk, the superintendent had not the slightest intention of killinghi s prison, er then, for no sooner werl) they out of 'hearing than he said, in a law tone: "Young feller, can you hear me a s I am talk ing now?" "Yes," 1eplied Harry "Is your conlinghere an accident? Answer truly, for your life depends upon it." "It honestly was an accident." -''How came you to be locked in that car? Mind, now nothingbut the truth will serve you." "You shall have it. I was shadowinga man, and I followed him into the freight yard." "How came you to be shadowing him, then?" "I was ordered to do so by my boss." "Old King-Brady?" "Yes." "What's your name?" "Jack Kennedy." "Go on. What }iappened, then?" "My man g-ot away. I saw two men piling boxes into the freig-ht car. It was eleven o'clock at night, and it looked susPicious. One of the boxes broke open and the ore was spilled out. I was curious to see what sort of ore it was so I climbed into the .freight car. While I was examining the ore I was locked in. I couldn't make any one hear me so of course I couldn't g-et out. The car brought me here." They had now nearly reached a place where high cliffs cut off further advance "Slow down ordered the superintendent, and Harry obeyed. "Look ahead of vou. Do you s ee a hole low down by the edge of the e:ulch ?" "I do." "Well, then, if you want to s ave life you dodge in there. and do it pretty blame Quick. Don't try to get out again. Wait till I come to you, for out of this gulch you can never get, alive, without my helo. I have something I want to say to you. youngfeller, and it is likeh to prove worth vour hearing-." Harry started, but the superintendent called to him: "Hold on. You don't understand. Stand on the brink of the gulch until I fire, then drop and dodge into the hole." He fired over Harry's head and at the same instant, with his foot, rolled a heavv stone over into the gulch. Harry dropped, crawled through the opening and lay there. A few moments passed and then he heard some one call: "Baker! Oh, Baker!" Hello!" replied the suPerintendent's voice "What in thunder are you firing at out there?" "Shooting a spy." "You don't mean iU Who is he?" Evidently this other man had come u_ p with Baker now. "He said his name is Kennedy and that he worked for the Brady Detective Bureau of New York. "Gee whiz! that's bad! If the Bradys have caught on to us there is no telling where it will end. They are in Denver, a s I happen to know." "Did he go over into the gulch? I suppo se, of course he did." "Sure. D -on't I know m y business?" Their voices, which had been growin_g: fainter, now died away in the distance. Harry waited a few min utes and then sat up with difficulty, for his hand s wer-e still tied behind him. "If I coul d only strike a match and see what sort of a place I am in." he muttered. I s uo po se it is some sort of cave ." He waited a long while, but no one came. At last he heard foot teps approachinrr and he thought it was going to prove to be Mr. Bake!' again. Perhaps it was, but if so he disappointed Hatrv terribly. Of course, Young King Brady waited to be spoken to, but instead of that happeninP: a heavv stone was rolled in front of Harry's 'prison, cuttingoff even what little light there had been. What did it mean? Had the superintendent betrayed him, after all? Was he to be left to die bv that most terrible of all death -starvation'? Hour>! passeu anu no

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THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT D O O R 13 one comintt. Harry was about ready to give up in de spair. CHAPTER VIII.-Old Kintt Brady Tries A Bold Move. Alice had undertaken a task which, -at the outset, seel'\'led rather difficult to perform. She did not know, of course, whether Mrs. Acton was still in Denver or not when s he drove up to the Silverton, a large apartment house on one of the most fa hionable streets in whic h the lady resi ded. How to gain the information was some thin_g Alice had been puzzling over all the way. She came to the conclu sion to leave it in the hands of the cab driver, and she called him to the window when he stopped. "Driver," she said, slipping him a five-dollar bill, "I want to explain to yo u that I am a detective. I am anxious to ascertain if a Mrs Acton, who li ves in this hou s e, is in at the present time or not. I do.n't want to see her, understand, nor do I want her to see me. Jus t to know if she is in. Ring the bell and inquile Say that a lad y in the cab wants to know." It was rather a crude way to do it. we must admit, but Alice could think of no better plan. It was just a s wel1 that she tried no other, for this worked perfectly. In a moment the driver returned with word that :\irs. Acton was in. "The man at the door wants to know the lady's name," he said. "Drive on," replied Alice. "Keep on j;he move or. the block. If a lady comes out of that house, instantlv inform me." And she went on to de scri be Mrs Acton. This s cheme worked out all right, too. In about hal f an hour Alice saw a cab drive up to the Silverton and stop. As it passed her, she observed that it wa empty. In stantly she told the to stop, and sh e watched and saw Mrs. Acton enter the cab. "That's the part y ," Alice said to the driver. "Now fo llow. She had no doubt that Mrs. Acton was going to leave town, for she carried a bag with her and a small steamer trunk was broul!."ht out and placed on the box. The shadowing now proceed ed without interruption. Mrs. Acton was driven to the Union Station. Alice managed, by quick work, to get to the ticket office behind her and to hear her ask for a ticket for Union burl!:. It was a place she had never heard of, but after she had bought her ticket, Alic e look ed it up and found that it was a mining town in the mountains, some eighty miles northwest of Denver. All was easy now. So cleverl y made up was Alice she had not the least fear of recognition. Indeed, so confident did she feel on that core that she took her seat behind Mrs. Acton. There was some delay, meet my husband." It began to look as if it might be all straight. Alice could imagine many 1easims why Mrs. Acton might desire to conceal her identity, especially owing to the notoriety case of the judge's disappearance had at tailied. She. determined not to press matters further, but jus t to cultivate the woman's ac quaintance. When thev arrived at Unionburg they both went to the big hotel and Alice was able to secure a room very close to that of Mrs. Acton. But she saw nothing of the judge. Mrs. Acton informed her that her husband, Mr. Fink, was expected to arrive from the West at anv time, but sh e could not tell jus t when he might come. Thus all Alice could do was to settle down to await developments and she sent a cipher despatch to Old King Brady, in care of a party in Denver, whom she knew would promptly deliver it to that effect. This was received by the old detective when he returned to the hotel that evening His scheme to work into the plant of the Antel ope Spring Co. had been a s uccess so far as it went, for he was engaged tQ take the place of the sick employee, and all through the day _the old detective worked hard at washingbig bottles and filling them. The water was there all right. There was no fake about that. It was raised by a steam pump insicle the building The company cet tainly did an extensive business. Many wagon-_ loads of water bottles of various s ize s were shipped tbat day. Mr. Fink was around the place until a late hour in the afternoon. He seemed to be a worker and to take personal charge of nearly all details of the business. There was nothing suspiciou s about the plac e except the secrecy with which everything was conducted, but then as Old King Brady assured himself the natUl'e of the business called for that, in a way. Manv of these bottled waters are merely ordinary s pring water, charged with carbonic aci d v:as, of course, but this was not. All that the old detective saw bottled actually was pumped up there in the building, and one of the hands as sured him that it was always so. Night came and Old King Bradv had gained no inform:.t. ion

PAGE 15

THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR of the lea s t interest. FindingHarry s till absent, without explanation, when he returned to the hotel, it worried him not a little. It began to look as if sometningserious must have occurred. Alice's despatch seemed to connect Mrs. Acton with the mystery, for it mentioned that she was passing: undet the name of Mrs. Fink at the Unionbur_ghotel. Another day passed, and still the situation remained unchanged so far as Harry was con cerned, but Old King Brady was able to score a point. Mr. Fink did n ot show up that da.v. Old King Bradv wondered if he had gone to Union burg to meet Mrs. Acton. Duringthe afterno9n the old detective was kept at work in the yard, up the wooden crates in which the bi_g water bottles were shi pped. This g-ave him a chance to g-et in a little of his fine work. The gate which cut off the yard from the street was secured by a large lock, there were no bolts. Old King Brady, who had nrovided hirpself with a piece of wax, was able to g-et an impression of this lock, unob served, during the day. And havin_gplaced the wax in a cool place, he carried it. away with him when he left Jat five o'clock, and to a locksmith had a key llj,ade. Whether it would work or not was a question, but the most important point was whether the place was "!Uarded at or rrot. One of his fellow-workmen assured the old detective that there was no one there at night, but rememberingwhat he and Alice had seen Old King Brady was inclined to doubt this. It seemed probable that the day employees knew nothing .of .rhat went on inside that bil1' gate at night. But Old King Brady was determined to. know at any risk when he took his wax impression, and he was all the more so when upon reaching the hotel he received the follo wing: despatch from Alice: "Man named Fink here. From conversation overl;leard, believe judge to be alive and held a prisoner in this se ction. Think yo u better come." Old Brady thought so, too. Moreover, he came to the conclusion that Harry's trail must have led him in the same direction and that this accounted for his complete disappearance. If there had been a train out of Denver that night for Unionburg, Old King Bradv would have dropped everything and have gone, but there was not, so he determined to go ahead with his plan for the night and leave first thing in the morn ing. He realized the risk he ran, fully, but the old detective never takes personal danger into a01ount. "I 'am bound to get in there and s olve this mystery if the thing is possible," he said 'to him self. "I mav run into trouble, but I shall go fully prepare'd." He accordingly procured an extra revolver, which he concealed in a secret pocket, and a little before midnight started for Lowe street to see what he could do toward solv ing the mystery of the house on High street. He was dressed in his usual fashipn, and before going to the company's plant he called aroundon High street. Here he found Judge Actonl s hou se deserted. It looked a s if Mrs Acton had s aid or written something to the police which had caused them to give up their watch. Old King Brady let himself in with his key, listened for the noise s but heard nothing. As he was comihg out, Mr. \ Stover hailed him from his own stoop and came forward. "Well. Mr. Brady, still workingon the case of the man next door?" he asked. "Still working-," was the reply. "And with what success? I have been meaning to look you up, but I have been very busy." "I can't say that I have met witL any very success," replied the old detective: "at the same time I have pretty well solved the mystery in my own mind." "H.ave you, then." "Have you heard the noises since nig-ht b'efore last?" "No. There were none last nig-ht, and they only lasted a little while the before. Does that help out your theory?" "It neither help s nor hinders it." "If you don't mind, I sho uld g-reath like to know what your theory is?" Old KingBrad\' had rather taken a for Mr. Stover, whom he believed to be perfectlv sincere. He. therefore. decided to tell him all that was in his mind, and did so. "Do you kno w ." said Stover. "I believe you. have solved the mystery. The same idea occUlTed to me, but it se emed so far-fetched that I s aid nothing about it." "I don't know about it beingfar-f. etched. Can you think of any point in Colorado where _g-old mig-ht not occur?" "Scarcely any. Certainly none in the moun tains." And Denver is eig-ht thousand feet up. Beside s il:old was found here in earh-da\ ." "Sure it was. My father washed g-old l'ig-ht out of Cherry Creek." "Then, there you are. In digg-ingfor this spring-, Fink may have struck color and g-one ahead, keepinghis find secret from everv one but Judg-e Acton." "But why attack the .iudg-e? Why kidnap him, as seems to have been done?" "That part of th-e bus iness mav have no con nection with the secret mine. Fink seems to be an all-around rascal. There is no telling what he may be driving-at." "He is all of that. I don't know him personally, but I do know his reputation. He is. no good at all, although of late he has pretended .to do a straight bus ine ss Do y ou know, I'd just like to take a hand in with you, to-nig-ht. "Woul d you. then? Rather a risky business." "Oh, I don't mind that. I have s ome fight in me ye t. wife is away, so I don't have to put it up to her. I'm with you. Brady, if you say the word." "All right, then," replied the old detective, "come ahead, but be prepared for failure. Th e chance s are a hundred to one that we hall find a nig-ht shift at the waterworks and outselves with our hands f ull at the very start. Have you a revolver?" "Yes, in the house." "Go and get it, then. It is necessary to be prepared." Stover s oon returned with the re volver, and he and Old King Bradv then went around on Love street. Li s tening at the gate and hearing nothing, the old detective fitted his false key into the lock, sc a1cely expectingit to work. It did, however. Cautiously Old King Brady

PAGE 16

THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR 1 5 opened the gate. The buildingwas dark. He could ee no one in the yard. "Well," he whispered, "success seems to attend the first step. Come on, Mr. Stover. We will take the next, which is to get into the building if we can." CHAPTER IX.-Prisoners Underground. Harry's efforts to free his hands ignally failed, and the coming of night found his situa +ion unchanged. AI:, the evening advanced, he fpll asleep, put he had not long thus 'ten he was aroused by hearing heavy footsteps. arrv sat up and listened. He had already a,;certained that he was in a cave of considerable size, but he had hesitated to attempt" its exploration in the dark, hampered as he was. Now he caught sight of a glimmer of light in the dis tanc.e, and soon he saw Superintendent Baker approaching, carrying a lantern in one 1land and a basket in the other. "Well, youngfellow," said the s uperintendent, in a friendl y tone, "I sup po se you thought I had forgotten all about yo u." "I was bee-innin.sr to wonder." "If I had gone back on you? Well, I don't blame you, for it looked that way. It isn't so, however. I expected to be able to get in here before, but it was simply impossible. Now let me untie yc
PAGE 17

16 THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR "How?" cried the superintendent. "You don't mean to say-" "That I have signed. Yes." "The deuce! When was this?" "Rollins was here about .an hour ago. I couldn't stand it any longer, Baker. It was no use, so I gave up and signed the will. This is what comes of being with that wicked woman. I o ught to have divorced her two years ago. But 1 propose : to stand to it. After all, what does it matter? I have no children. It is ndthing to me what becomes of my monev after I am dead." "I am very much afraid, judge, that you have but a poor understanding of the situation," said Baker, gravely. "What promises did Rollins hold out?" "I am to be set free in the morning and taken to the hotel .at Unionburg Springs. Margaret will be there and, although I shall not see her, she i s to look after mv comfort and see me nursed back to health again, if s uch a thing is posssible." "Then let us hope that they stick to their agreement," said the superintendent, "but I can be of no se rvice to you in that regard. If you take my advice, yo u will make .a new will just as soon as you do get free. You are not bound by either law or honor to stand to any agreement entered into with such scoundrels as Rollin s and -and company." "Judge," said Baker, I believe you are deceived. I don't, and can't believe that Mrs. Acton was a party to this plot." "You deceive yourself," replied the judge. "Who should know my wife if I do not? But, besides that, I have Rollins's word for it." "As to that, I wouldn't believe him under oath," declared Baker. "But I must leave you now," he added, "and I am leaving Mr. Brady with you. Reme mber, he knows nothing of the busine ss h ere and nothing is to be told him. I have risked my own life in bringing him to you, so be careful." "I thank you, I am sure, but I don't see what he can do for me," said the judge, and after a little further talk the superintendent left them and went off through the cave in a different direction from the one in which he and Harry had come. The judge now lay down, and for a few moments did not speak. Then he asked Harry how it happened that he was there. Seeing no reason why he sho uld not tell all, Young King Brady did so The judge immediately sat up and paid close attention. "And mv wife came to you at the hotel and engaged you r services?" he asked. "Yes, sir. She seemed very earnest about it, too. It is all just as I tell you." "H'm! Tho se noises next door concern no one but myself. It would be a good scheme if my neighb-ors would find their own business. As for you, let me tell yo u, young man, that you, have got yourself into a pretty mess. Baker cant get you out of here if he tries, nor can I. The chances are a hundred to one that this is going to cost you your life." "May I ask how thes e people came to llet you?" inquired Harry, scarcely expecting an answer. "Oh, they came in by the window," replied the judge. "There is a way which I can't explain. Masked men. They knocked me down and l cut nw head terribl y, That is where all the blood came from. I suppose you saw it. Afterwards they drugged me and brought me here." "But the house was found all locked up, judge. T his is what p u zzled Old King Brady and me. The wi n dows were nailed down, too, and the doors bo lted on the inside How did thev get y ou out?" The judge seemed amazed. "Now look here, youn_g; man, that's my busi ness," he said. I nailea those windows and fastened the doors. I was ryreparing to go on a journey. Take it straight from me that I don't want any detectives meddling with my affairs. He spoke with considerable feeling. Harry felt, on his part, that he was anything but a welcome vi,sitor There was strained si l ence for a moment, when, suddenly hearing footsteps and catching a of light. Harry remarked that he wondered if Mr.., B'aker could be coming back again. "It may be so mebody else," said the judge. "If you are wis e you will make yourself scarce, young man." It seemed good advice and Young King Brady retreated into the shadows. But it proved' to be Mr. Baker back in a high state of excitement. "Why, look here, judge!" he cried. "The lock has been changed. My key won't work. I begin tc think that I have been s pied upon and am locked in ." "Nonsense!" snapped the judge. "The y would never dare. But go try the other door, Baker. Probably you can get out by the way y ou came in and take this young man along with y ou. I don't want him." "Come," said the superintendent, and Harry followed him through the cave. No word was spoken until they reached the iron door which had been left open It was clo s ed now, however Baker inserted his key, which turned the lock all right, but still tlre door would not budge. "It's bolted!" said Harry. "Sures t thing you know!" cried Baker, who was now deathly pale. Remember the laugh." "I'm remembering it for all am worth, young man. They have lock ed us in with the judge. I have been spied upon and this is the result. They mean to leave us here to starve." CHAPTER X.-The High Street Mystery Solved. Old King Brady tackled the door of the spring company's house with his bunch of skeleton ke ys and after several attempts succeeded in finding one which would open it. They went in s ide, and leaving the door unfastened behind him, Old King Brady, with his flashlight, looked up a lantern, which had been left in a certain place, and lighted it. "We seem to have the premises to ourselves, all right," remarked Mr. Stover. I don't hear a s ound." "Yes, it is apparently all right so far," replied the old detective, "but we must be very cautious. There may be some one sleeping upstairs. We won't talk." During the day, Old King Bracly's attention had been drawn to a certain door at back of the building, which was always locked, and he felt pretty certain that here, if anywhere,

PAGE 18

THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR 17 he was I!Oingto find a clew to the secret. He now went to work on the lock and easily found a skeleton kev which would master it. A discovery which at once confirmed his theon was the result. For the door concealed a shaft and a hoist ing apparatus. There were electric lig-hts here,. but the old detective did not venture to turn them "MMn. He leaned over the mouth of the shaft and held his lantern down as far as he cou ld reach, but he could not see the bottom. There was a standing ladder fixed against the side of the shaft. Tlie hoist consisted of two ordinary ore tubs and a windlass, which was intended to be worked by hand. "Plain case," whispered Stover, obeying the old detective's caution not to speak aloud. "So it would seem," was the reply. "Let us listen carefully If we hear nothing we will venture down." Not a so und reached their ears, so Old King Brady descended the ladder, Stover following-. And now the mystery of the ho use on High street was to be explained. For the lad der ended at the mouth of a twmel, which extende d in the direction of High street. A few feet from the bottom of the shaft they came upon the uipe which drew the water from the spring. It ex-. tended down into a circular pool walled about with stone and crossec;i by a bridg-e. Further on they came upon a chamber of some s ize which had been blasted out of the ledge and through it Tan a s pretty a quartz vein as one could wish t o see. Old King Brady examined it in several places, but could find only traces of gold. Not so with quite a pile of ore which had been blasted out. Much of,this was very rich in g-old. And here there were mining tools, wheelbarrows and explosives everythingneeded for the work. A l ow tunnel extended further on, following the line of the vein. "Well, this tells the story," r emarked Stover, "but I don t think we can be under the house yet." "Not yet, but that tunnel w ill take u s there," replied the old detective. He had scarcely spoken when both were startled by noises in the direction from which thev had come. "Listen! They are lettingdown the tub," whis pered Old King Brady. "Brother Stover, we are up against trouble now." "Surest thing you Rnow! Do we run for it or stand and fight? I'm with y ou on either count." "Let u s run, by all means, if we can. Let us take to the tunnel, and be quick!" They hurried ..on, coming presently to the mouth of another and smaller shaft, where there was a ladder. By this time voices could. be heard behind them. "Shoot 'em at sight, whoever they are!" one c ried. "Up with you!" breathed Old King Brady. Stover lost no time, taking the Tantern with him. O ld King Brady quickly followe d "Here's the top!" called Stover, in a minute. "There is' s ome kind of queer contraption here-a handle!" "Work it! Work it!" called the old detective. "It is the road out probably." Jus t then a lig-ht Jlashed at the foot of the ladder. Three men were there. Old King Brady heard himself addressed by a name which woul d not look well in p1int, and instantlv a shot was fired. "Co me down out of that! Come down or you're dead one s!" the same voice cl'ieU. But Old King Brady did not wait for the order to be finished That shot was a miss, but the next one might not be. He fired three in quick s uccession. It cleared the deck s. Some one yelled out that he was shot. "Now you fellows stand from under if you know when yo u are well off!" shouted Old King Brady. "I've got it open!" called Stover. "UP with vo u, then," replied the old detective, and when his turn came he found himself coming out through the bed of the old heater. The thing was a fake. It concea l ed a hole in the cellar floor When Stover pulled on the handle it swung to one side Waiting only to push it back into place so as to delav their pursuers as much as possible Old King Brady and Mr. Stover rushed upstairs a nd out through the basement door to :vhich the old detective had had a key. It was an Immense relief to find themse lves safely on the street; of course. "Let's s lide into your house, Brother Stover," said Old King Brady. "There is no sense in our being seen. They can't have identified us, I fancy." They were inside within a minute. Listening against the basement wall they could hear their pursue-rs moving about. Old KingBrady jumped to the window, b u t the men did not show themselves on the street. "Well," cried Stover at length, ''it s eem s we got. there." We certainly did smiled the old detective. "I have formed a habit of g-etting there." "I'd .iust like to know if those fellows are un-der my property?" "What g-ood would it do yo.u? If they have located that claim you can't help vou r self :fwther than to claim damages.If they haven't thev will probably lose no time in doing s o. "But we have done enoug-h for one night," he added. "Now I am g-oing to bed." On hi s wav back to the hotel, Old KingBrady passed through Lowe street. Two rough-looking men were stand ing at the gate of the s pringcompany's premises. They eyed him sharply, but did not speak.' As he _passed a drug store on a neighboring corner, which_ still open, the old saw two men ms1de, one of whom was havinghis arm b a ndag ed Was he the ma n who had been shot'! Old King Brady wondered. But it was all he ever knew about the matter. "None of my business how manv secret mines Judge Acton and his friend Fink \vork," he said to him elf. "The call from Alice i s the next thing on the program. To-morrow I go to Unionburg." There was a way-train leaving bv that railroad at si.x the next morning, and Ol d King Brady caught it, reaching Unionburg at a little before time. Alice was at the station to meet him. I felt sure you'd come on this train and not w:;tit for the express," she said "and it i s well that you did Things have taken altogether an unexpected turn. You want to get to the .hote l and see Mrs. Acton right away." "What! Am I up agains t that woman again?" lauvhed the old detective. "Yes; we were all wrong about her. She i s perfectly sincere. She i s weak and foolish but there i s nothing crooked about he r :" "What's the word'!"

PAGE 19

18 THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR "Why, it is like this: She came up here under the name of Fink.?" "Her fhst husband's name. "Yes, I know now, but I didn't at first. It se ems she did that to avoid being questioned about her husband. A man of the same name came yesterday from Denver and joined her." "Her ex-brother-in-law, so to speak?" "Yes. They had an interview and it was .a very stormv one. I managed to slip into a vacant roo in next to hers and overheard part of it. It appears that Fink confe ssed to her that he had kidnapped Judge Acton imd was holding him a prisoner until he made a new will in her favor. Mrs. Acton was most indignant. Fink tried to ca lm her. He offered to marry her as soon as the judge was dead, and intimated that he would put him out of the way. Then the storm burst. Fink fled for his life and managed to get a!Vay, whi ch was lucky for him, for she tried to have him arrested. I jumped in, then, and declared myself. I had an awful time with her, for alih. ough you may find it hard to believe, she s eems to have s ome affection for her husband still. I told her I had sent for you and she is most anxious to l1ave us take up the case again." "And Harry, Alice?" "Hasn't he turned up yet?" "No, and no word." "And I have none. This is getting serious "Very, but I have solved the mystery of the house on High street. And Old King Brady went on to explain. He finished his story before thev reached the hotel, where Alice at once conducted him to Mrs. Acton's room. That lady re ceived them in her bo14doir. "Mr. Brady, I can't tell you how sorry I am I made such an awful. break," she exclaimed. "I s uppo s e dear Miss Montgomer y has told yo u all about it. The idea of me marrying that wicked wretch and being a party to the murder of the judge, who, stingy as he is to other folk has treated me liberally enough. I can't imagi ne what I can ever have said or done to put it into Fink's head that I was that sort of a wo man. I never--" "Did he give you the least hint as to where Judge Acton is?" broke in Old King Brady, try ing to steer her onto Bu siness street. "I'm coming to that," replied Mrs. Acton. "That's why I wanted so much to see you I am sure the ju dge i s alive and that he is locked in somewhere near here. He belongs to a whole lot of companies, the judge does. O ne of them is up here. He used to often come to Unionburg. Some quartz mill. I'm afraid it's crooked; they kept it awful se cret. Fink was in it, too. From a re mark he dropped y e sterday I an idea that may be the place, but, of course, there is no tell ing. You see--" "I'll look it up," said Old Kin g Brady, satisfied that unless he checked her she would never stop. "I have made such a fool o f myself," groaned Mrs. Acton. "I ought not to have written you that letter, but then, you see, I believed what Fink said. Of course, I was an awful fool. The man' s a gambler and a crook. M y fi'rs t husband was his brother, Mr. Brady. He never trusted Al. He always said he was the bigge. t liar in the worlt!. ancl if then! is a hiP"P'Pl' onP anvwhere l don't know where yo u will look for him. The idea of him thinking I'd marry htm after him killing my husband! Who ever heard of such a thing? Thi s comes of the jpdge living alon e. He couldn't stand me around, but he ought t o have had a housekeeper or some woman to keep him straight." There was nothing to be learned from Mrs Acton that was certain. Tired of listening to her talk, Old King Brady pulled ou t as s oon as he could, taking -:Alice with him. "You are wasting time with that woman," he said. "Aside from the judge, we want to get busy on Harry's account. I am satisfied that he has got himself mixed up with these people, and I bep-in to fear the worst. If this man Fink would murder Judge Acton for his mone y he certainly wou ld not hesitate to put the boy out of the way.'' "Don't talk like that, Mr. Brady," said Alice, anxiously. "I can't and won't believe that Harry is dead. Think how shrewd he is and how much he has been through with. I don't doubt that he has fallen into trouble, but he will be able to take care of himself, I an;.,sure." "Let u s hope so ," replred Old King Brady, "but in the meantime we must act. I am going now to see the proprietor of this hotel to trv to learn something of Fink's movements, if he knows the "11 man. Wait for me in the parlor, Alice I shall return as soon as I can." He was gone som e time, however, and when he did return, Alic e s aw by his face that he felt encomaged. "You have learned something," she said "I have," replied Old King Brady. "It is nothing so very definite, but it is certainly a pointer. The landlord know s Fink only by reputation, bu t he has heard that the man has frequently been s een in a wild 1egion to the south of here. Coyote Gulch they call it. A place that is so inaccessibl e that it is rarely visited, and yet it, is close to the railroad. He has sent for an old prospector who reported this to him. The man i s an oddity. The landlord feels sure that he knows more about Fink's movement s than he has told." "But about -this truartz mine which Mrs. Acton says Fink and her husband are both interested in," said Alice "There is only one quartz mine in this vicinity, and that is the Blue Jay," replied Old King Brady. "It is a valuable and extensive property and lies in the immediate vicinity of this Coyote Gulch. It is run strictly on bu s iness lines. No stock for sale; owned by an En_g-lish syndicate. It turns out an imm ense amount of gold by work ing low-grade ores on scientific principle s Accordin_gto the landlord, its affairs are kept very close. I can scarcely believe that Fink and the .iudge are interested in this prope1-ty, and yet what else brings Fink up here so freQuently? h is a problem, but when this wiseacre turns up we may get a point. Let u wait and see." All of which was very wise reasonin_gon Old King Brady's part, no doubt, but it scarcely relieved Alice's anxiety about Harry. She wanted to be up and doing, but. there are times when inaction... see ms to be a necessity, and this was certainly one of them. CHAPTER XL-A Strike for Freedom. Superintendent Baker was a badly frightened man. That he had P"ood rP.ason to be. Yo\lll.R

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THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR 19 King Brady was willing to assume, for whatever else might be said of the superintendent he was certainly a man of much common sense. "Let u s examine this door and see if there is nc> way of breaking through," suggested Young King Brady. "Do it, but you will find none," said Baker. "I these doors myself _and I did not build them to be broken down. It i s as I tell y ou, Brady. M y taking up with you has brought this thing upon me. They mean to leave me here to starve to death, along with the judge. There is no way out of it unless-" He checked himself ab-ruptly. "Well," said Harry, "and about the unless?" "We will wait and s ee, replied Baker. O f course, there i s the possibility that I may be wrong. Until I am satisfied that they have ac tually turned against me I am not giving any thing away." And that was the beginning of a long wait. We pass over the dreary hours which followed All that day, all the next ntght, half of the following day dragged by-they were wait ing still. No one came near them. Young King Brady had tried his hand at both the iron doors, and more than once, but all in vain. Judge Acton slept most of the .time; he seemed to have fallen into a mental condition, which d_ulled his senses. "They will come to u s the\ will come," he kept saying. I have Rollin s promise. I can't believe that he will go back on me. Some oversight. Something has happened. Yes they will surely come But they did not come, and the case began to look very seriou s Young King Brady made many trips about the cave. All through the day he could hear miners at work in the distance, and once a blast was fired which brought down great pieces of rock dangerously near their heads It was during one of these trips that Harry discovered the location of fall ing water which he had heard when he fir s t en tered the cave. It came down through a seam in the rock over in a remote corner. The stream was as big around a s a man's It fell from a height of about forty feet, dropinto a narrow rift in the floor of the cave, about twenty feet deep through which it ran with gTeat swiftness. Ha-rry traced it to a point where it passed in under the rock s and disappeared. What lay beyond? Harry a s ked himself. He put the question to Baker, but the superintendent did not appear to want to talk about it. "Brady," said the superintendent, next clay, "do vou realize that something has to be clone or we s hall be dead ones before manv hours have passed?" "I do," replied Harry, "and siri ce we can't open those doors I s ee but one way." To what do you refer?" "T)1e stream. It must have an outlet s omewhere. Would it not be oossible to fo llow it in der thos e rocks? It can't be very deep." "You have hit it," replied Baker. "It i s the only way, and that i s what I referred to when I suggested that there might be a way out, y e sterday. But I know nothing definite, and in ease we can't take the judge." "Don't you think, Mr. Baker," said Harry, "that the time has come for you to speak out and tell me something of this place?" "It has," replied Baker.' "and I am going to do it right now. This is a crooked mine, Brady. That is all there i s to it. Judge Acton i s in the deal, but the leading spirit is a man 'named Albert Fink. A third partner is this man Rollins the judge talks about. He is a Denver lawyer and is one of the coldest-blooded scoundrels who ever went unhung. Let me tell you something of the history of this place." "I wish you woul:d replied Harry, "and under the circumstances I feel that I have a right to know." "It is like this," continued Baker: "On the other side of this ridge lie s Long Guleh. There, for the las t twentv years, an English syndicate have been working a wide quartz vein which i:; full of low-grade gold ore, running so wonderfullv uniform that it has proved immensely profitable. The Blue Jay is a very close corporation, and their ,operations have been carried on with much secrec y. Once I was superintendent of that mine." "I begin to understand," said Harry, "and while you acted in that capacity yo u discovered a way of tapping their vein ." "You hit it. This cave is one of three. The one adjoining extends far in under the ridge and away over on to the B lu e Jay's claim. On one wall the vein lies exposed. This d i scovery I made by accident, and having made it, I set out to turn it to my own advantage. To this day the Blue Jav people have no idea of what i s going on. We have been tapping their vein for the last five years. It was I who organized the company. I did it through Fink. He got the judge into it and through the judge came Rollin s I had no money, s o all I coul secure .was the superintendency and a block of the stock. "And it has paid?" "Indeed it has We built a little qua1tz mill in a gulch, so completely surrounded by cliff s as to be almos t inacce ss ible, and there is almost no point from which one can look down into it. 'Yet there i s a wav in, and by that road alt our ma chinery has been hauled and ore and supplie s pass in and out. Rollin s had pull enough with the railroad to get them to build a private track. the one over which you came. And in this mill of ours we have not only cruShed the ore we have been stealing from the Blue J.ay, but we have also handle d other ore which comes up from Denver." ;' "And which i s mined right there in the city under a house on High street," put in Harry, for now the truth dawned upon him. "It i s so Who told you?" said Baker. "Pieced it out fro-m facts I know and your story," replied Harry Go on." "There i s little more to tell. That Denver l ead is onl y a pocket. It is about worked out now. Fink d i scove red it while digginga well in t he cellar of a building he owns on the adjoining street. A s he could not do anything straight i f he tried, he worked it crooked. Judge Acton stood in with him. They made money oy the hat!ul. Now, like all other crook s the:v are beginning to turn ag ains t each other. You s ee how the y have turned on the judge. Fink wants to get rid of him and to grab hL fortune by marrving thP.

PAGE 21

20 THE BRADYS AND THE MAN NEXT DOOR iude's wife. As for me, I draw a big salary and know too much, that's why I have been slated for extermination. Now that's about all there is to it, Brady. Fink and Rollins would either one of them sell his .own brother. You can thus see how little we have to hope for. There isn't the least. doubt as to what the:v intend our fate shall be." "Then all the more rason why we sho uld act now while we have strenth left. Where do :vou imagine that would lead us to providing we can fo llow its course?" "I haven't the most remote idea. It is a matter I have often wondered about. There are two streams running through Coyote Gulch. Whether this is one of them .or not I can't s ay. The only thing for u s to do is to make the try. It may, indeed, bring us directly to our own mill." "Well," said Harry, "it seems to me we have talked enough. Now is the time for action. Shall we take to the stream and s ee where it leads us?" "Yes," replied Baker, "let u s do so We won't ;;ay a word to the judge. He is too n "ear a dead one to make it worth while.1 "We may as well strip, I s uppo s e, and carry our clothes with us. It is entirely possible that we shall have to swim for it." Baker assented. The, undressed and tied their clothes into com pact bundles, which each secured to his head. The. superintendent then led Harry to a point where the descent into the rift was comparatively easy, and they went down. Harrv s ounded the water with a stick, while Baker held the lantern. It proved to be abaut up to his waist. "Come on," replied Harry. "The sooner we make the venture the sooner it will be over," and he boldl y entered this natural tunnel, which was just about hih enough to enable him to stand up right. And now the bed of the stream appeared to de s cend. Not only that, but it narrowed and the water g-rew deeper. A few feet more and it was up around their necks. Baker had to hold up the lantern to keep it being submerged. "This is gettinl! : strenuous," he growled. "We ghall have to wim for it in a minute." "Eithet that or be swept off our feet. It i s running twice as fast as it did," Harry replied. They advanced, and the pull of the stream increas ed, although the depth remained the same. Suddenly Baker vanished, the light going with him. Breathlessly, Harry listened for him to rise and as he did so hi s ears caught an om i nou s f;Ound. It was water falling and apparently from a considerable hetght. Did the stream take a drop on ahead? Baker!" shouted Harry. I am here! I stepped into a hole, I suppo>:e ," the superintendent's voice replied. I am swim ming now. We must go back! You hear!" "I do, indeed! But can we breast the currr.ent "? lt see m s prettv strong. Even as Harry spoke his feet s lipped from under him. He struggled to recover himself, but the pull of the current was too strong. "Look out for yourse lf I'm a gonei!" he cried. There was no .answer, or perhaps the roar of the falling water, which had now greatly in creased, drowned it. The next instant Harry felt himself falling. He had r d over the brink. Down he went in the da1 n.11ess. He was falling into unknown depths. CHAPTER XII.-Conclusion. At about the same time when Harry Superintendent Baker started on their QJd King-Brady, accompanied and a rough-look ing man, left a l<>>lv
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