The Bradys' great bluff, or, A bunco game that failed to work : an entrancing detective narrative

The Bradys' great bluff, or, A bunco game that failed to work : an entrancing detective narrative

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The Bradys' great bluff, or, A bunco game that failed to work : an entrancing detective narrative
Series Title:
Secret service, Old and Young King Brady, detectives
Doughty, Francis Worcester d. 1917 ( New York Detective )
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (32 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
025662191 ( ALEPH )
71332548 ( OCLC )
S50-00023 ( USFLDC DOI )
s50.23 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Weekki.1-By Subacriptm $2.50 per year. Entered iu Class Matter at the New Y or k Office, by Frank Toose y No. 4. NEW YORI{, FEBRUARY 17, 1899. Price 5 Cents: Like human wolves the sprang upon the old detective. Death seemed certain, but at th(l.t moment Young King Brady, drawing his revolver, dashed madly to his assistance.


D AND YOUNG KING BR.ADY, DETECTIVES. Weekly-By Sub1cription $2.50 per year. Entered aa Second Clau Matter at the New York, N. Y., P<>&t Q1Jlce. Entered according to Act of Congreu, in the year 11J99, in the otftce of the Librarian of C-Ongreu, Waahington, D. C., by Frank Tomey, 29 Wut 26th 8., New York. o. 4. NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 17, 1899. Price 5 Cents. he Bradys' Great Bluff; OR, BUNCO GAME THAT FAILED TO WORK. AN ENT R AN CI N G DE TE CTI VE NA R RAT IVE. BY A NEW YORK DETECTIVE. C HAP T ER I. THE BUNCO a.urn. e chief of the Secret Service was at his wits' ends. some time past a great variety of criminal cases had under his eye and he had flattered himself upon his success in their handling. t now there had drifted into the Central Office the ls of the most remarkable and perplexing bunco case hief had encountered for years. r. Anthony Moore a wealthy and philanthropic en of Harlem. had offices in Cedar street and did a small but secure ing business. egularly every day Mr. Moore went to and from his Sometimes there was business to do and oftener the had not a visitor all day t this never disturbed Mr. Moore. was well provided for :financially and the matter of k of business wrui of small moment to him. e kept his office more in deference to habit and long m than aught else. ow, }fr. Moore was one of those good souls, of whom are none too many in this world, who delight in nthropic deeds. e day, in reading his morning paper, he came to a liar advertisement. us it read: \"anted-By 8. deserving widow lady in extreme cir tances, a customer for six shares of stock of the Far t Gas Company of Smartville, Wisconsin. Stock pays an annua l dividend of 10 per cent. Must have money to pay undertaker's bill for burying my husband. Will sac rifice. Intending purchaser please call at Mrs. Carter's flat, No. East Thirtieth street." J.: ow Mr. Moore read this advertisement through several times. Then he wiped his eyeglasses. "Hum!" he exclaimed; "that is a hard case. believe there is a chance for a man to do a charitable deed." The oftener be glanced at the advertisement the warmer grew his philanthropic heart. He sat back and dreamily drew a mental picture of it all. He saw Mrs Carter, the bereaved widow, in her flat in East Thirtieth street. No doubt she was of :fine figure, with a fair, kindly face and sorrowful eyes, in which moisture perpetually stood for the sacred memory of her dead liege lord. Now, if ever man could boast that the milk of human kindness flowed in his veins that man was Anthony Moore. "Sacrifice the shares of stock paying the munificent sum of 10 per cent. annually to secure money to pay her dead husband's funeral Hum!" exclaimed Mr. Moore. "That is sad--sad indeed! A very deserving case. Some good man of charitable propensities should call on this poor woman and either loan her the money to save her stock or purchase it of her at a good figure. "We are not sufficiently observing of the needs of our worthy poor. It is all right to endow foreign missions7 but here is a case right at home which would seem to be far more worthy of patronage. I-I believe I'll look into the matter. Sammy, my hat and cane "All right, sir."


THE BRADY GREAT BLl.JFF. The office boy leaped with alacrity to find Mr. Moore's hal and walking stick. A few moments later the good banker was stumping down Cedar street on his way to the L station. r p town he rode and alighted at the neare t station to Thirtieth street. Then he walked down that street until he came to the number he sought. The fiat hou e was one of the humble and not overclean found on the east ide. the vo tibule, Mr. Moore saw that :Mrs. Car ter's flat was on the street floor. He pressed the bell. At once the hall door opened and he walked in. The door of the fir t apartment opened, showing an humble parlor. A lady stood in the doorway. It eemed as ii }fr. foore's picture had found ''erifica tion. }!rs. Carter was a mild featured, benign looking lady of pa t middle age. She wore a veil of crape twined some way about her white hair in the shape of a becoming widow's cap. Gold bowed eyeglas es re ted on her Greek nose. She smiled and courte ied and said: "Do you wi h to sec Mrs. Carter?" "Y-yes," tammered Mr. Moore, who was always a trifle ba bful in the presence of a lady. "Are you the lady?'' "I am," she replied in a flute-like voice. "Pray walk in.'' Mr. Moore tepped into the flat. He gave a start as he saw that there was another occu pant. This wa a man of benign appearance, with a patrician air and a gold-headed cane. He was in fact o:( Mr. Moore's own type. And now we come to the intere ting part of the story, which the writer, as historian, will give .in as succinct and credible form as po sible. Upon the entrance of Mr. Moore the first visitor arose and stood in a questioning manner. Mrs. Carter looked from one to the other, upon which foore, eeing what wanted, said: "My name is Anthony Moore. "And mine is \Yilliam ston," said the first visitor. 'I was impelled to come here upon seeing Mrs. Carter's ad vcrti ement in the new paper de iring to sacrifice her Far West Gas stock." "Indeed !" aid Mr. Moore, ith unconcealed plea ure. "I came for the ame purpose." "I have made her a very liberal offer," declared Aston. "I know the martville company well, and that it is bed rock." ''l\fr. Aston is very very kind to take so much interest in the troubles of a much bereaved woman," said Mrs. Carter. "Ah, no doubt, no do\1bt," said Mr. Moore quickly. "I tru t he ha left some little field for me. I am not behindhand in the matter of deserving philanthropy, as most any one in Jew York can tell you." "I recognize your shining light, Mr. Moore," declared Aston with a laugh. "I have heard of you before. Your track has crossed mine. ow I propose that we compete in this matter." With plea, ure," agreed Mr. Moore. "W stock, Mrs. Carter?" ('Here, sir!" 'rhe widow took from a table the little pack certificate He examined them critically. So far as he could see they were all regular and countersigned by the actuary and secre marh'ille company. "All right," said Mr. Moore. "I will take par value, which I see is four hundred dollars. "Humph!" said 2\Ir. Aston. "I have offered o! fifty dollars per sh re." "Then I offer one hundred premium !" "Oh, gentlemen!" cried fr arter, "your do not deserve." "Silenc."C, madam !" aid Mr. Moore. "What l\Ir. Aston?' "'V-well," stammered the other philanthropis a richer man than I am, )foore. I can allow the. tock and give my premium grati .' "I will not con ent to that," cried the banker the other must own the stock." "Well, I will give one hundred and fifty pre1 "Two hundred!" "Whew You bt>at me!" 1\Ir. )foore pulled out his check book in tri now Aston said : "Wait a moment.. I have an idea." ''Well?" asked Mr. :Moore. "Moore, you are a man who loves to do chari Well I may say that I am the same. We shal reward some day." "Certainly." "Now I have a plan." :r ame it." "A plan whereby we can put this lady fore the demand of want." 'I hall be glad to know it." "I own stock in this gas company already," Aston. "I haYe sixty thousand dollars' worth o the best holding I have. I will place these shar hand I know where I can pureha e another s sand. You have my share of stock. Gi,,e me) for sixty thousand and I will purchase the hare one hundred and twenty thousand in all. Thi deposit in your bank a a joint fund, the income oo payable to Irs. Carter for ten years This will not hurt you or I and fix her all right." )fr. Moore thought a moment. What could be traighter? He did not hesi There could be no risk. Did he not have the har of Mr. A ton's to check? :Moreover, the fund was to find depo bank. Thi was enough. "It is a bargain> A ton," he cried. "I will n done!" And he wrote the check. ixty thousand dollars l He received the stock certificates. Mr. Aston was very polite.


THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. 3 Urs Carter was tearful and profuse. She even embraced Mr. Moore in the effusiveness of her gratitude. 1Ir. Moore was quite flustered. Mr. Moore went home and slept that night as he had not slept for many nights Poor old soul! What a pity that human kindness should be so mi erably requited. Several days passed. 1\Ir. Aston did not come to Mr. Moore's office. Then ::\Ioore, out of curiosity, began to look up the stock of the Far West Company. The longer he searched the less trace he found of it. A mo t astounding discovery was made. No such company was in existence. martville wa a bogu town. The flat occupied by Mrs. Carter was found empty. 'l'he bird had flown. Jlfr. Moore had been buncoed. The good, kind old gentleman had been made the victim of a parcel of sharpers. For a time it was hard for him to realize this fact. But when he found that his check, given to William Aston, had been cashed and he was really out sixty thou sand dollar there was a revulsion of sentiment. Mr. Moore was chagrined. But he was a plucky and resolute old man. He was de termined that the perpetrators of the fraud should be punished. So he went to the office of the chief of the Secret Service and told his story. The chief listened in sympathy Then he put detect ive on the track of the swindlers. Weeks passed, but nothing came of it. Mr. Moore became impatient He had offered a handsome reward. But the Secret Service chief was at his wits' ends. No plan that he put forward seemed to succeed. Thus matters were when one day the office door opened. Two men walked in. They were of remarkable appearance, and at sight of them the chief gave an exclamation of joy. CHAPTER II. "Then I take it such is the case !" cried the chief. "But your coming is opportune, for I have business with you al o." "Ah!" exclaimed the elder detective "I think I can guess it!" "What is it, then?" "A bunco case !" The chief was astonished. "That is true !" he cried. "How did you know it?" The old detective smiled. Sitting back in the chair he was seen to rare advantage A more remarkable man did not walk the streets of New York. It was easy to single him out of a crowd, no mat ter how large. Tall, but strongly built, he was a pattern of robust man hood, despite his years. He wore the same blue coat, tightly buttoned up to the stock collar, the same broad-brimmed white felt hat, be neath which his keen eyes gleamed For many year Old King Brady had been the terror of the evildoer in Gotham. Hitherto he had always been alone in his wonderful exploits. But now he had a companion, a protege as it were, who was of the same name, yet no blood relation. Harry Brady was a fine type of young manhood. He had made warm friends with Old King Brady, and, as it was the young man's dearest wish to become a detective, he had been taken in hand by Old King Brady. Wherever the old detective went the younger followed. Harry Brady was quick and keen and astute and became a ready pupil. It was not long before he had imbibed so much of the old detective's methods that he was scarcely inferior Old King Brady secretly recognized this and was pleased. He took great pains to initiate Harry into all the secrets of the art, and Harry was apt. It was not long before the crooks began to know and fear him, and he earned the patronymic of Young King Brady All over the country they were known as the Two Bra dys. They were a great team Their methods differed vastly from those of other de tectives. Indeed it was difficult for the sharpest crooks to fathom these. At times the two keen detectives dropped from sight entirely, and when they reappeared their case was solved. ON THE SCENT. Old King Brady never failed. ) The most baffling case, the most intricate mystery, never "Jut the men I want to see!" he cried. "I thought the phased him. Ile was bound to solve it. two Bradys were but memories of the past. I have not So it can be readily imagined that the chief was over seen them in so long a time." joyed to see these two remarkable sleuths enter his office. The younger of the two men laughed. He at once decided to put them onto the bunco case. o "Blame Old King Brady. for that," he cried. "He But to his keen amazement he found that they were 1 would not be here now but for me." already aware of it. "Tut, tut, Harry!" rejoined Old ;King Brady curtly ''Well," said Old King Brady; "it happens that the Art"You know that I have come here without any suggestion ful Trio have been included in our list of eligible victims from you. I visit this office only when I have business for a long time. Their treatment of Mr. Moore is only one out of many hundred similar cases.


4 THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. "'l'he Artful Trio !" "Exactly." "That is what you call them?'' ''Yes." "But Mr. :Moore mentioned only a man and a woman." "In his case it wa not necessary to call in the third ally. The victim was too easy." hich is flattering to Mr. Moore," said Young King Brady with a laugh. Flattering or not, it is tn1e," declared the chief. "!fr. Ioore was an easy victim. Then you are familiar with the details?" "So is everybody who reads the papers." "'rrue Eilough. But may I ask have you been subserv ing fr. Moore's interests?" To more his than others," replied Old King Brady. "Th re arc a dozen people looking for the Artful Trio." "Have you seen Mr. Moore?" "No." The chief was puzzled. "Ilow then did you happen to undertake the case?" he a ked. "As I said a moment ago," replied Old King Brady, "the Artful Trio were on our list, and, running aero s them, we have shadowed them quite a good deal of late." "I understand. It is therefore unnecessary for me to post you on the case. You understand Moore offers a larglii reward for the villains?" ''Ye ." "I trust you will succeed in rerreting out the gang. There is no doubt but that they are the shrewde t and most dangerous bunco gang ever known in this country." Old King Brady nodded "That is true," he said. "How do you propo e to go to work at first?'' asked the chief. 'fhe two Bradys shot surprised glances at each other. "Pardon me," said the chief with a smile. "I will with draw that question. But I wi h you would report to me at intervals the progress you are making." ''We will report the quieke t way when we get our bird ," replied Old King Brady. Then the subject was changed. The two detectives chatted a while and reviewed some former business, and then the Bradys shook hands with the chief and went out. The latter drew a deep breath. "It's all up with the bunco gang now," he muttered con fidently. "I would stake all I am worth that the two Bradys will dri-ve them to the wall. :Mr. Moore will at lea t get his revenge." When Old King Brady and his young protege reached the treet they walked a far as Broad way and boarded an up town car. At :Madison squaTe they alighted and walked over to Fourth avenue. Here they got upon a cable car, which took them through the tunnel to the Grand Central station. They walked into the station, where incoming trains were bulletined. The elder detective looked at the b1 letin. "Chicago express due at four -thirty," he said. time. That is our train, Harry. He will be on it!" "We have forty minutes to wait," said Young Brady. "Just so, my lad." ''You think Ann and Corcoran will him?" "Did not the dispatch indicate it?" Young King Brady drew a telegram from his pock It had been once torn to bits, but now was complete having been pasted in sections upon a whole sheet of pape The detectives glanced over it. Thus it read: "Con Corcoran, No. Forty-fourth street: "Will be in New York to-day. Meet me at four-thir Chicago train. Important business. "Snrnox IL\RDY." The two detectives had found this di patch immediate) after it had been received and torn in piece' that ver morning by Con Corcoran. Con Corcoran was one of the Artful Trio of bunco pla ers. Ann Prentiss, the crafti t woman in criminal ... e York, was another, and Simeon Hardy was the third. According to the telegram, Hardy was due in Tew Yor from Chicago at four-thirty. Corcoran was to meet him at the depot. This e. plain why the two detective were there. The two Bradys kept in the shadows as much as po ibl and critically surveyed -everybody who entered the depot. It was not long before Old King Brady clutched th younger detective' arm and whi perecl: "There he i !" A tall, finely dressed man entered the depot. He was attired in an immaculate Prince Albert coat with black tie, light trou ers and patent leather hoes. He wore a silk hat, nicely poli hed, and his ide wbis kers and nicely combed hair gave hftn the appearance of clerical gentleman. Kobody would have selected him for a. crook or a da.n gcrou bunco man. Yet New York ity held no more dangerous criminal His very appearanc of respectability inveighed in hi fa vor and enabled him to defy the law. Con Corcoran was an adept in hi profession. Hi victims were numbered by the hundred. Rich wer his gains, and he was the ring1eaJer of many a villainou gang. The two detective watched him attentively. The. knew, however, that he wa not identical with the Mr. Aston who participated in the buncoing of Mr. This wns Sim Hardy, an older man and of a different type, and the individual whom he was to meet on the Chi cago train. The time was at hand !or the arrival of the train. But it required some few minutes to back the cars down


THE BR.\DY GREAT BL FF. 5 into the station. Then a great crowd of travelers came up the platform. Among them was one who gave Con Corcoran a signal. It was im Hardy. A clever bunco steerer he was, and known from New York to California as a thoroughbred crook. Hardy was short and rather tout, with smooth, bland features, and dre s ed as a retired merchant or bank-er. Like Corcoran, he would neYer have been elected from a crowd a a man of dangerous proclivities. The two bunco stcerers met and shook hands warmly. Then they walked out of the depot and down Forty-sec ond street. 'rhe detective followed them. While they walked they seemed to be engaged in most earnest conversation. a word of this, however, could reach the d e tecti e When they reached econd avenue the bunco men turned and proceeded as far as Forty-fourth street. Along thi thoroughfare they went, and then a curious thing happened. 'They di appeared. One moment th detectives had their gaze full upon hem The next instant they were not to be seen. It was a most unexpected and a tonishing incident. or a while the Brady were at a lo s what to do. "Jupiter!' exclaimed Young King Brady. "Where in he world did they go to?" "Easy,>' said the old detective. "Step thi way." Into a doorway the detective drew his com anion. It was an unoccupied hou e. So, while in the deep l y cut doorway they were not easily en from the street, Old ing Brady then proceeded to arry out precautionary plans. CHAPTER III. IN TilE FORTY-FOURTH STREET HOUSE. The precautionary plans were simply the changing of er onal appearance. Thi was done in a skilful manner. The two Bradys were masters in the art of disguise. Old King Brady produced a soft woolen cap in the place his broad-brim hat. A wig and a mustache, with a pair goggles, completely di guised him. King Brady slipped on a Vandyke beard and a ond wig. Thus made up, the two detectives sallied forth. In a few moments they had reached the spot where the o bnnco stcerers had been last seen. They did not stop, but passing slowly and carelessly by, d King Brady took in everything in the -vicinity with s keen gaze. At the next street corner he stopped. For a moment he looked back up the street. Then he aid: "Harry, they are in that house with the high stoop entrance. The young detective looked surprised. "How do you make that out?" he asked. "Ba y enough. They disappeared suddenly. It is the only house along there with a deep basement entrance save the unoccupied hou e. "'l'he gate wa open and they dodged into that entrance. The blind of that house are closely drawn, not only to give the impre ion that the owners are away, but to forbid visitors al o. "They evidently went in by the basement entrance. I imagine this is the permanent home of the woman, Ann Prentiss. They are all there." Young King Brady aw that there was logic in Old King Brady's deductions. Ile glanced at the old detect ive admiringly. ''I am glad I am not a. criminal," he said. "and pursued by you. I should count my days numbered." "We must go back to the unoccupied house,'' said Old King Brady. "Why there ?" ''I will tell you when we get there. You go now and I will C'Ome along later.'' Young King Brady obeyed. He sauntered leisurely back to the unoccupied house. Ile ensconced himself in the basement entrance. It was not long before the old detective joined him. There was a satisfied smile on Old King Brady's lips. "We are not suspected," he said confidently. "The coa t i clear !" "I am glad of that," a.greed the young detective; "but what is our game now?" Old King Brady tried the basement door. It was locked. He drew a peculiar shaped wire from bis pocket. Then he "Cxamined the lock. In a !cw seconds he had very cleverly picked the lock. The door swung open. The detectives entered the base ment of the unoccupied house. They ascended the stairs to the first fioor. Fortunately all the inner doors were unlocked. Without difficulty they made their way to the upper stories of the house. Old King Brady kept on until he reached the attic. Here was a skylight which opened onto the roof. The old detective raised this and went out onto the housetop. Young King Brady followed him. To the roof of the next house they easily proceeded and so on until they reached the roof of the house in which the old detective believed the bunco steerers to be. It was then a easy matter to raise the skylight on that roof. Narrow steps led down into the garret. The detectives now drew from their pockets rubber noi ele oles. The e they applied to their shoes. This made it po ible for them to descend noi elessly, which they proceeded to do. From the garret they descended to the four th floor 0 the house.


6 THE BRADY GREAT BT.iUFF. Thi wa unfurni hed. The next tairs were carpeted and the third floor was well furnished. But nobody wa in any of the rooms, which were plainly sleeping chamber 'l'o the second floor they er pt. Then voices were heard. They came from a rear room on the first floor. Old King Brady bad noticed one important thing. The chambers were not heated save by openings in the floor of each room, which allowed the heat to ascend from the first floor. In each room was one of the metal cylinders and grat ings set in the floor. It wa to this fact that the detect ives owed the overhearing of some very important facts. Old King Brady, having noted this fact, first located the room from which the voice came on the first floor. It wa a rear room and very likely the dining room. He then examined the room over this. As he expected, there was a cylinder in the floor. Through it the detect ive could easily see part of the room below and hear every word pQk n. Old King Brady pressed the young detective's arm and they crept toward the cylinder. In a moment they were flat on the floor and taking in the scene below. Con Corcoran sat with bis chair tilted back against the wall of the room. He was rooking. Hardy sat at a table with a pen and paper in his hands. At the oppo ite side of the table sat a woman. She had larg e pre sive eyes and a bland sort of countenance. he was stout in figure and richly dre ed. Thi was Ann Prentiss, the most famous fence and con fidence woman in America. On her finger glittered a huge diamond ring. She drummed lightly on the table with her hand and listened to the villains across the table. "Lively Ann" she was known to the police. Many times she had given them the slip. "'l'here's no chance whatever to get at the game in Chi cago," Hardy was aying. "I canva sed the field carefully and they are dead onto us." "The Chicago papers have made a great deal of tir over the Moore case," declared "Lively Ann." "Confound the new papers! cried Corcoran with an oath. "They're always meddling and prying. The loane game have netted us a. hundred thousand, carefully handled." "But it's up now," declared Hardy. "Which calls to my mind a noteworthy fact," said "Live ly Ann." peaking of the Moore ca e--" "Ah!" exclaimed Hardy, with intere t, "what is it?" "Old Moore has taken the matter of abuse of bis confi dence greatly to heart." "Awfully sad," aid Corcoran facetiou Jy. "Perhaps it may prove grievous for us yet," pursued "Lively Ann." "Why don't you quit talking in riddles?" exploded Hardy. "What are you driving at?" "You're impatient!" "You're exa perating as well as charming." 'Lively Ann" giggled. :o ow you are getting personal," she purred. "Well, to : be brief, old Moore has employed the be t detectives America. Why, I hear that the famous Two Bradys havt:H been put onto the case!" th "The deuce you say !" exclaimed Hardy. "Is it "I think it is." : o "Then we had better draw our lines close and lie lo for a while." "Correct!" cried Corcoran. "That Old King Brady i: the greate t fox on earth and the young detective is nofl far behind him." "There is one way to '1.i po e of them," said Hardy omi.h nously. r you are indulging in riddles," said ''Lively Ann.''< "What i your plan?" "Put the Three Fleas on their trail as a counter scent.".l "'rhe Flea ?" "You know them-Brick Barton, Ted Hurley andf Jason Hart. They are the greate t fet-ret.s in the slum Tb re is no underground den or r treat that they do not know. 'l'he police of New York have hunted them for years. It is said that their natural home is the Bi ewer. They eat garbage and leep in a h heap The are mercile un crupulous and perfect thugs in the exe cution of ilent and deadly ven Do you know the e fellows ?" "A I do you!" "They are reliable?" "As time it elf." "Death to the Two Bradys!' The effect of all this upon the two listening detectives can be imagined but hardly described. To know that they were but a iew feet from the vetj. people who thirsted for their life blood and apt at an moment to be betrayed was by no mean rea uring. But Old King Brady only miled grimly and exchanged glances with Young King Brady. Both detective had heard of the Three Fleas. In all Gotham a. harder trio of toughs could not hav been :found. They were more than thugs. They were thugs an crafty murderers who were o thoroughly familiar with th hiding place of New York's slums that it was next to im po ible for th d t ctive to run them to earth. 'Io put such assassins a these on their track meant p sible erious re ults for the Bradys. But there wa one consolation. Forewarned is forearmed. The Bradys were aware of the impending peril an would, of cour e, be on their guard. "Now," said Hardy finally, "I think we need stand n more in dread of the Bradys."


THB BRADYS' GREArr BLUFF. 7 or I!'' cried Corcoran. ''You have a great head But why not go ahead with our new enterprise, then, if we were not hounded by the law ?" f course," agreed Hardy. "The Chicago scheme is lure. We will drop that. Now for the Ilayden We would like a r port from you, Annie." ou .. hall have it,'' cried "Lively Ann." "I visited er Hayden at his Westchester farm." OU did?" es." he result ?" will tell you. I think he will be easy plucking. I 'm a good story of my sick husbal;ld, who is a Kloniner." e !" n here must officiate as the sick husband." ll right," agreed Corcoran. "General utility is my you do your part well," said the woman impressively, an make a clean ten thousand out of that old jay." CHAPTER IV. AT THE HAYDEN FARM. is hardly necessary to say that the two detectivC8 up their ears. e was a revelation of the most important kind. .To the track of a new confidence game was rich luck. y could see how easy it might be to entrap the .Art io while in the very act of carrying out their ne:fariheme. hey strained their hearing. n't you fret," said Corcoran confidently. ''I alo my po.rt well." l right," agreed Hardy. "What is your system, e time-honored gag, as old as the hill of Rome, but tive and unfailing as the poison of a serpent,'' re he confidence woman. "The good old brick game." ld brick!" s." a moment there was silence. u think he is a safe subject to work on?" asked my opinion he is. I right. Go ahead then. I have faith in you at all When are you going to see him?" is coming to Kew York to-morrow forenoon. He it me at my humble home, in Second avenue. You the number. Th.ere he will see the r turned miner bed, and the gold brick made of nuggets, formed out ndike oil, will be there. The gold brick i given r security for money advanced on new claims near n City and to enable the miner to return and dig out ion. Ten thousand dollars Farmer Hayden will leave in our hand., and, as usual, he gets the brick of gold." The bunco steerers laughed uproariously. "You're a dandy, Annie !" "It takes a woman to fool 'em." "Every time." "All very clever!" ''Yes,'' mutte red Old King Brady under his breath. uAU very clever." "Hold on!" cried Corcoran. "Give me credit for a neat game, too. Behold the noble Count Giuseppe, who alone holds the inside track at the swell Mrs. Hadley-Larkin's palace, in Fifth avenue. She ha almost signed my check for twenty thousand, w ith Italian bonds as "Thirty thousand eas y if those two job pan out well l" cried Hardy with glee. "We can soon take up our abode in fair Paree and own a palace there!" What further projected schemes might have been re vealed to the listening detectives but for an incident it is hard to guess. But at that moment a light :footstep sounded at the threshold of the chamber in which they were. In the doorway appeared a colored serving, for the bunco steerers had nn organized household, w i th proper servants. he entered the room arl.d for a moment did not observe the two men stretched out on the floor. The Bradys saw her. Neither dared breathe. She crossed the room to the bureau. It was possible 1 that he might have retired without noticing the two de tectives. But over the bureau was a mirror. It was in this that she saw them very plainly. The result was thrilling. he instantly topped and for a moment stared at them. Then a cry of terror pealed from her lips. She made a wild dash from the room. Down the stairs she fied shrieking. Of course, all was in an uproar in a moment. Old King Brady sprang to his feet. Young King Brady did the same. The detective's first impul e was to dash for the roof and escape by the way they had entered the house. But Old King Brady ha(! a different plan. "This way,'' he whispered. Out into the corridor they sprang. r ear the landing was a closet. The door was open. Pulled back from the door, however, were heavy arras or hangings. The old detective reached this heavy curtain and hid him elf behind it, a d i d Young King Brady. Each held a cocked revolver in bi hand. In case of dis covery they would defend t hem s elves Of course the se rving girl gave the alarm to the crooks in the room below. Incoherently she told them of th-e two men in the room above. Hardy and Corco1m1, ith !;avage drew revolv ers and ped up the "tairs. The woman, Ann Prentiss,


8 'l'HE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. and the serving maid rushed to a rear window to see the invaders escape by the only avenue eemingly left open to them. Old King Brady coula have touched the two bunco stcerers as they passed by him. When they disappeared in the room from which they had just come the old detective slid out from his covert. Down the stairs the two detectives silently sped. Down to the street floor they went. Old King Brady noiselessly lifted the bolt of the front door. Both detectives went carefully and silently and unseen by its occupants out of the house. A moment later they were mingled with the pedestrians along Forty-fourth Street. Of course the quest of Corcoran and Hardy was fruit less. They found no traces of the two men described by the maid. The result was that they discredited her story. It was put down as a false alarm. The shadowing expedition of the two Bradys was a complete success. They had gained some exceedingly valuable clews. Young King Brady asked : "Shall we get a squad of police and surround the house?" "Too soon," said Old King Brady, shaking his head. "We have them corraled." "Very true, but we have no case against them. Their methods are so keen that nothing could be proved against them. We shall catch them red-handed soon, and then the result will be conclusive." "Then your plan is to follow the Farmer Hayden case?" ''Exactly." "That will do first rate. Now, I have a plan!" '.rhe old detective nodded. "All right," he said. "It will not be difficult to find the residence of Farmer Hayden in Westchester. Suppose I go there and engage work as a farm hand if possible. You can hold this end of the scent." "Capital !" cried Old King Brady. "You are doing well, Harry." "I have not done it yet," replied the young detective modestly. "If you want to get word to me, write or send to Jonas Pilkins, care Farmer Hayden, Westchester." "Jonas Pilkins ?" "Yes." "If anything occurs to alter this assumed cou-affairs, I will send you immediate word." !on "Correct." na1 "We will catch the rascals red-handed. It wilvei great scoop !" "I should say so!" Jo, The two detectives separated. There was no ti' e: lose. A half hour later a train from the Grand c" depot took Young King Brady out to Westchester)h, Farmer Hayden was well known in that rural lt 1 It was not difficult for the hulking country boy w 8 off the New York train to locate his farm. ay Farmer Hayden sat in his barn door chewing {01 of hay when the country boy lounged into his yard. l "Haow d'ye do," said Jonas Pilkins, with a glm Jersey twang. "Air yew Mister Hayden?" The farmer looked at Jonas critically. ) "'l'het's my name," he said. "How's crops over ifl e "Fair tew middlin'," replied Jonas with an aw" shufile of his cowhide boots. "Dew yew wanter hire t'.i dl:rned good all-round man?" .a Farmer Hayden chewed hay. t It was some moments before he made a reply. T:f! said: "Wall, I dunno. I'm pooty well fixed fer help. I not." "Look here, Mister," said Jonas, earnestly, ''I'm l fer work. Pay ain't no objec'. I'll work fer my That's fair, hain't it?" Farmer Hayden brightened up. This looked like a sinecure in the line of hired\: He stared at Jonas again. ''What kin ye do?" he asked. "Anything on a farm." Farmer Hayden arose. "Take a pail an' go in an' milk them cows," he1 "At six o'clock ye kin go up tew the house tew s1 Ter-morrer morning yew kin git up at five an' mil., then drive me to the daypo, fer I'm goin' to New If I like ye, I'll keep ye." Jonas Pilkins pulled off his coat. Now it was lucky for Young King Brady that so:. his boyhood days had been spent on a fa.rm. Therefore he was familiar with the art of Inilkint farm chores in general. 1 'l'he new man did the work up complete. That evening Farmer Hayden sat in his barn doo chuckled. ''You will go at once?" "By the first train.'' "If he only holds out," he muttered; "but most of "Good! I will remain in this 'Yicinity. The farmer kind of chaps don't hold out." will of course come to town first." "He will no doubt visit the den of the bunco-steerers on Second A venue. The gold brick will be there. But Farmer Hayden will not have the money with him, you may be sure. The bunco-steerers will have to carry the brick to his country home. You can then look out for your end of it.'' "Just so." At this moment Jonas Pilkins came out of the smacking his lips. He had just placed himself outside of a supper. He glanced shyly at his employer, but respectfull, astutely kept his distance. Hayden grunted with faction. "Knows hi place, tew," he muttered. Then he called out sharply:


TUE RR.\.DYS' mm.\.T BLUFF. 9 ome do,vn here, Pilkins." nas came shambling forward. He to sit on verturned waterpail at the other corner of the doorow's things in Jersey, anyway? I used to think I'd ersey. But I reckon Westchester tops anything over h, heaps better," agreed Jonas. "It's dead still over now. Hain't much call fer Jersey market stuff. 's why I came over here to find work." ayden grimly listened. ot a level head, too," he thought. Then, out loud: yew ever hear tell of a place called the Klondike?" na" looked blank. ope !" he said. urned ignorant," thought Hayden. Then, aloud : 11, it's a place whar they dig gold. They find it thar ap I've a mind ter sell this farm an' go thar." ou'd be a fool !" h ?" yden turned in surprise. The words were forcible, he on Pilkins' face was mobile, and almost cile. CHAPTER V. HAYDEN IS NOT SO GREEN. hat makes ye think I'd be a fool?" asked Hayden ly. ecausc tbar was a farmer over in Jersey who give housand dollars to a chap fer a lot in ther gold coun an' he found he'd been buncoed. Thar warn't no lot thar, an' he was jist out ten thousand. Thet's ho !" gasped Farmer Hayden. "You don't say !" ien he lapsed into silent thought. ut that Jersey farmer," he as1rnd, finally, "did busi with a man, didn't be?" ep !" replied Jonas. w-tbat's different!" 1e conversation now shifted to other topics. The dike was not again referred to. t Young King Brady could see that the farmer was nder the glamour of the golden spell cast upon him e cunning Lively Ann. that the chances were even that this unsuspect y would become a victim of the gloating spider un omething intervened. e r.a t day Young King Brady drove the farmer to epot. took a New York train. e young detective knew where he was going. Of e he could only guess, but he fancied that Hayden no large amount of money with him. d King Brady had guessed aright. utious, as all men of his stamp were, Hayden had decided to first look into the gold scheme before putting his money into it. The chances were good that he would only be roped in by the schemers after some amount of skilful work. The young detective was determined to be on hand when this time came. 'l'hat evening Hayden returned. He was in an abstract mood and his eyes burned with a curious light. He sat in his barn door chewing wisps of hay more energetically than ever. Jonas Pilkins tried to draw him out, but in vain. Ilayden was not in a talkative mood. He retired early, and Jonas did the same. The next day Hayden was lachrymose and surly. He spent much of his time studying illustrated pamphlets on the Klondike country. Young King Brady smiled. "He is an easy victim for the sharpers," he muttered. "Fools are not all dead yet. Ah, Farmer llayden, you may have us to thank yet for saving you from certain ruin." The second

10 THE BR.\.DYS' GREAT BLUFF. The old detective leaned over the fence and said in an undertone : "Corcoran and Lively Ann are on the way. Keep your -eye on Hayden." "All right,'' replied Young King Brady. "You got my letter ?" "Ye ." The hobo shuffled on and presently disappeared behind .a stone wall. A half hour later a wagon with three occupant drove up. Be ide the driver, who was also the station agent, there was a man dres cd in the rough garments of a miner and 3 woman plainly dre sed. They alighted at the :farm-house door. The man was on crutches. Hayden came out of the barn. He greeted them hospitably, and all went into the house except the driver, who went on his way. A mo ment later the hobo slid out :from behind the stone wall And went around the barn. Jonas dropped his fork and slid into the kitchen of the :farm house. The housekeeper was asleep in her chair All the other men were haying :far away in the fields. So the coast was clear. Jonas glided to a side door and lifted the latch. A man was crouched close to the house under the sitting:room window, which was open. It was the hobo. Young King Brady made a signal. Then he crept to the clo ed door of the sitting-room. The keyhole was large and of the old-fashioned kind. 'l'he young detective could both see and hear It is needless to say that he improved his chance Hayden sat at a table. Corcoran and "Lively Ann" were seated to the right and left. On the table was the gold brick. It looked shining and bright. That is was real gold there seemed no doubt Hayden was reading a paper. "There is the assayer's certificate,'' Corcoran aid con vincingly. "I don't see what more evidence ye want, stranger. He took ther sample right out of ther centre <>f the brick and assayed it ninety-eight per cent. pure virgin gold." Ilayden nodded slowly. he said; "I see. ten thousand only represents about two-thirds of what that brick is worth. I'm makin' a big sacrifice." "Why don't ye take the brick to the mint and git full value?" asked Hayden, with more shrewdness than he had shown heretofore. "Haven't I explained?" said Corcorl:ln impatiently. "I told ye that I want to keep the brick, and I only offer it to you as security for money enough to get back to the Klondike I'll redeem it mighty quick and double your money fer you in a year." Hayden's eyes glistened. It was a tempting offer. "What are you afraid of?" asked ''Lively Ann." "You've got security enough. You'll have the gold brick just the same. If we don't redeem it in a year yo keep it." Hayden drew a roll of bank notes They were of large denomination. He proceeded to count them slowly. The two bunco-steerers watched him like hawks. The two detectives heard all. They awaited the JJ with interest. Slowly Hayden counted the money paused and looked at the bunco-steerers sharply. "How do I know yc'll redeem the brick at all?' asked. ''Why, if we don't, you have the gold,'' aid Cor smoothly. ''You will be the winner and we are the lo "Have ye any other ecurity to offer-any real esta "You know we have not,'' said ''Lively Ann "I you that this gold is all we have in the world Hayden fingered the bank notes. Then he arose. "Wait a minute," he said. "Our time i valuable," aid Corcoran. "There others waiting for tbi ame opportunity we offer you. "I'll gin 'cm plenty of chance," said the farmer ca< "I'll be back in a minute." 'l'hen he tepped to the door through the keyhole which Young King Brady wa looking. The young detective had just time to leap out thro the outer room and out of doors Hayden pa sed through and came into the open Then he raised his voice. : "Jonas!" he shouted. "Jonas Pilkins!" Young King Brady came lumbering around the ho He stuck his pitchfork in the ground. "Aye, sir, I'm comin'." He came up to the steps. Hayden gazed keenly at him. "Jon as," he said, "ye're pooty level-headed. D'ye member what ye told me about ther Klondike yesterda. Young King Brady stared at the farmer He a tonished But he made reply : "Indeed I do, ir." "Come in here." The young detective was tartled at this turn in affa Truly Farmer Hayden was an eccentric character. without :further hesitation he :followed him. Into the little room jn which the bunco-steerers w Hayden led the way. Both Corcoran and "Lively nn" stared at Jonas surprise. It was an unlooked-for proceeding. "This is my hired man, Pilkins,'' said Hayden an off-hand manner. "He knows more about the Kl dike an' gold bricks than I do." "What is this?" exclaimed Corcoran, assuming an "Are you trifling with us?" "Come,'' said ''Lively Ann,'' rising, ''let us go, h band." "Oh, tut-tut! Don't git nervous," said Hayden. jest wanted to ask some advice, that's all. Now, Jo


TIIE BHADY" GREA'r BLUJ!'F. 11 ot a good head and he oughter be able to help me e buneo-stcerers crazed at J ouas. They saw a stupid 1g pattern of ru tic, and again a grin of as urance to their face at <.'Ould be ea ier than to also make a dupe of this man? If Hayden was cay, Jonas ought to be dough ir band. they began work. the mo t ski l ful manner they expatriated upon the of the gold brick and the large profit that Hayden deri e from it sale in the event of their failure to l it. ia grinned and wa awfully tickled. e mooth language and deft compliments pleased and the bunco-stccrers felt sure they had him solid. i tage Hayden said tersely: all, Jonas, wha.t do yew say? Would yew give 'em a f ten thousand dollars on that gold brick?" CHAPTER VI. A NEW LEAD. a a. moment full of su. pen e. cri is was on. grinned and scraped with hi foot and made an rd bow. He looked at Hayden, and then at Cor and la tly at 'Lively Ann." -durned ef 1 would !" he said. buncoteerers nearly fell over. en looked triumphant. y man,' gasped Corcoran, "you didn't understand ti on." !'' heplied Jona m you don't know what you're saying. Why t you loan ten thousand on a gold brick worth by 's certificate fifteen thou and?'' grinned and jerked hi thumb toward the brick. 't gold!" he nickered. ath dropped from Corcoran' lip that fool out, Hayden," he aid angrily. "I re do bu in s while he's in the room." en drew him ell up and folded his arms. o fa t, lister Man," he said. "When Jonas goes go out too." t do you mean?" ean that I don't believe thar fifteen thousand dol gold jn that brick, a11' Jonas is right." ie-hc !" nicker 'd Jona ran' face wa purple. icked up the brick and placed it in his satchel. donned hi bat. e, wife,'' he aid, "]ct us go back to ,.. ew York. t afford to keep the company of fool !" n go as quick as ye please," said Hayden loquaciou ly, "an' ye kin try some other sucker fer the ten thousand. But ye can't try me!" With black look the bunoo-steerers pa sed out of the bou e. At this moment Young King Brady saw the old detect-ive at the window. Swift signals passed between them. By this telegraphy the following conversation took place. hall we pursue the pair, or arrest?" :r o; let them go. We shall get at a deeper game.' Farmer Hayden watched the buncoteercr:; pa s out of sight down the road. Then he chuckled and smote his hip with his hand. "In course thet brick warn't gold," he cried. Jonas, you've saved me ten thousand dollars. You're the best hired man I ever had. B'gosh let's have some cider." Down from a shelf Hayden pulled a. jug and some mugs The jug held a good quality of hard cider. Young King Brady' eyes twinkled. He sat down to the table with Hayden. The :farmer poured the mugs full of cider. The young detecfae lifted his, and droppfog hi country accent, said in smooth, suave tones: "1Ir. Hayden, you're a man of sense. I'll drink to your success in defeating a bunco game." Hayden stared. "Jonas!" he exclaimed. "W-what-" But he went no further. "r-o harm would have come to you in any event, Mr. Hayden," said Young King Brady. Then, quick as a fl.a h, the young detective pulled off hi wig and threw open his coat, allowing a star "I am a detective !" he said. Hayden wa stunned. "A detccthe !" he ga peel. "Jerusha. Jimcracks Why didn't you say o afore? An' them two people-" "Were bunco-tcerers !" Hayden whistled. "Why didn't you tell me before?" "For certain rca ons. But, with your permission, I'll a k in a friend.'' '"oung King Brady went to the window and put up the ash higher. Old King Brady climbed over the sill. "The hobo !" ga ped Hayden. "Another detective," explained Young King Brady. "We travel together. We are known as the Two Bradys." The astonished farmer wa now quite overcome. He knew not what to say or do. But Old K'ng Ilrady made a transformation in his per sonal appear< nee by dropping off some of hi rag turn ing his coat and rubbing rouge from hi no e and cheeks'. He looked more like him elf The farmer tared and :finally managed to say: "So ye really followed them chaps here? Ye knew they had this game ready fer me?" ur !" replied Young King Brady. Hayden brought hi fist down on the table with a crash "Take what ye want,'' he cried. "Ther hull place is yours. Hang me, but ye've saved me a heap of money.


12 THE BRADYS' GREAT BIXFF. Jonas, my hired man, a detective! Well, well, I never l But, I say, aren't ye goin' to stick to yer job?" The two Bradys laughed. "Harry has another job," said Old King Brady. "I'm afraid he won't be able to milk the cows to-morrow morn ing All laughed heartily, and Farmer Hayden insisted on bringing more cider. Then Old King Brady exchanged glances with Young King Brady, and said: "I think we had better go along, Harry There is hot work ahead of us. We must go down on the same train with those people "Right!" agreed the young detective. "Well, good-by, Mr. Hayden." "Durn my ears!" ejaculated the :farmer, "ye're the best gentlemen I've met in a lifetime. I hate to have ye go." But the detectives shook hands with the farmer and started for the station It was quite a walk down the dusty highway. The day wa drawing to a close In a wooded section of the road the detectives paused and effected a new disguise When they reached the station they were just ordinary, plain looking countrymen. They affected not to notice Corcoran and "Lively Ann," who were in the waiting room. And the bunco-steerers scarcely noticed the detectives. At least their su picions were not at all aroused But when they boarded the train the detectives occupied the same car. It was dark when the train rolled into the Grand Cen tral depot. Corcoran and "Lively Ann" alighted :from the train. Old King Brady jostled them in the crowd and heard Corcoran say: "I can't show up in Forty-fourth street to-night, An nie. I've got to go down to the Brunswick and make up for Count Giuseppe. This is the night of Mrs. liadley Larkin's ball. I must be there." Old King Brady had learned all that he wished. Ile could see no necessity for shadowing the bunco steerers further. So he pulled Young King Brady aside. "What is the matter?" asked the young detective "Shall we drop them?" "Sure !" replied the old detective. "There is a warm night's work ahead of us, Harry. "What is it?" "Mrs. Hadley-Larkin's ball." "Ah! I see the point. Count Giuseppe will be there." "Yes." "Enough l What shall we do?" "Go to our lodgings, take a rest and participate in the fe tivities later on "Good!" First the detectives took a car down town to police headquarters Old King Brady :found the police chief in his private office. "Do i)'OU cover the Hadley-Larkin ball?" he asked "We do," replied the chief, ob equiously, to the fte detective. "You have cards for secret detectives ?" .e "Yes." .e "How many?" 1 "Ten." ie "Lay off two of your men and give me the card you, kindly?" "Certainly You suspect sharp work there?" "A party whom we are tracking will be there." The chief of police opened a drawer in his de 11 took out two handsomely engraved invitations tti swellest ball New York had seen in many days. i t Ile handed them to Old King Brady. i "I wish you success," he said. o "Thank you," replied the great detective. Thi bowed himself out p This matter settled, the two Bradys proceeded ton lodgings. c It did not take them long to order a good dn Then they rested a couple of hours, enjoying a smoke. At nine o'clock they proceeded to dress for the balh Old King Brady made himself up :for the Viscoun Fleury, to whom the p eudo invitation was directece which the officer who would originally have attendh this ticket would have used. t Young King Brady made himself up as Reginalr voe, an English snob. e They would never have been known for the two Ev when the make-up was accomplished. In their swell evening suits and 1.-id gloves, with cloaks over their shoulders, the two Bradys were t types of the denizens of swelldom l At half-past ten they were in a carriage bowli.ID regal Fifth avenue to the door of Mrs. Hadley-Lai house A rose-embowered walk led into the house. i The detectives presented their cards and were led this At the door they were announced : "Viscount de Fleury." "Reginald Devoe." rrhey passed into the gay assemblage. Nobody them but the fair hostess, who was in the secret, of c' that they were detective As a blind, of course, she welcomed them effu Then they mingled with the crowd. A carriage had come up right behind them leaped out and came very jauntily into the mansion; "Count De Giu eppe !" Instantly the features of the hoste s were seen to She started :forward with a :far different mann welcome this arrival. The two keen detectives saw There was Corcoran, tall, handsome and leoni1, evening dress. No finer looking man was in the room. He met1 ITadley-Larkin with a noncha.lant familiar grace th of a sort which can never be acquired, but must co1 the bone


'l'llE BR\DY" OREAT BLUFF. 13 two Bradys kept a close watch on the buncoestivities began. Hungarian bands discoursed music, the ball-room wung open and gay couples went gliding over the d floors. ore beautiful scene could not be imagined. grace and beauty, the brain and sinew, the heart l of Gotham's most brilliant social life was pres-as serenely joyous. was the surface. what was beneath it? who shall tell? ey and jewels and power and sway cannot blind the nd penetrating, all-seeing Eye to the heartaches gs, the hatred and jealousies, the treachery and ss-even baseness-lurking beneath that shining f content and joy. the Two Bradys, as they moved through the throng, tood it all. heir experience and keen perception they were able rve that which the ordinary person could never see. y saw that Count Giuseppe was one of the lions of ening. y watched him closely. pite of his deep game, they saw that he was not the petty measures of secretly appropriating the ine watch of one of the ladies. ything which came into Corcoran's net was game. had many little pleasant asides with Mrs. Hadleyne of these, Old King Brady, safely ensconced be pillar, heard the following: me to me to-morrow at four o'clock, my dear count. will have the money ready for those precious bonds rs. But I doubt if any enterprise of Italian conn can cla s with our own safe and sure United fours." CHAPTER VII. A REVELATION TO MRS. LARKIN. nt Giuseppe must have gone home that night with fl.dent assurance of success in his scheme. seemed to be in a most cheerful, and even hilarious, of mind after the champagne had popped, and was compelled to be assisted to his carriage. t this was nothing. ny others were in the same fix. four o'clock the next day he would be sure to have onderful interest-bearing Italian bonds on hand at Hadley-Larkin's house. course his rich patroness would unhesitatingly put ame to a nice little check for twenty thousand dol and he would-well, what? He would be a winner. Count Giuseppe would fade from the horizon of New York's social life even as the fleeting comet pas es into space on a new lap of its endless orbit. l\1rs. Hadley-Larkin would be surprised, perhaps a bit shocked, but twenty thousand dollars was a mere baga telle to her, and could not be allowed to ruffle the serenity and placidity of her daily life. She would forget it. But the wily Count Giuseppe, alias Corcoran, had not counted a third and fourth party in the game. He had not reckoned upon so grewsome a factor as a detective, or a brace of them. It so happened that exactly at one o'clock the next day the overtaxed but still smiling hostess was in her recep tion-room settling certain affairs with the detectives who had served the night before. Mrs. Larkin showed plainly the terrible strain which she had undergone. Her face was lined and haggard and her eyes swollen. Thus she was paying the penalty of assuming to be one of New York's leaders in society. The detectives had reports to make. Several crooks had been detected and placed under ar rest. The names of others who had, from that distressing complaint kleptomania, or some other cause, appropriated wilfully or otherwise the valuables of fellow-guests, were listed. It was a delicate matter. They were criminals of a higher class, and a polite note with a covert hint must be written to each. Of course if the guilty one was wi e, he or she, to avoid publicity, would return the appropriated valuables with profuse and innocent apologies and ex planations. Oh, human nature! Frail and inconsistent art thou. Kone can know this better than the keen, practical de tective. With him all men are thieves until proven in nocent. A lamentable fact. Old King Brady, in his tightly-buttoned blue coat, faced the fair hostess in a grave manner. "I was present last night in my capacity as detective," he said, seriously. "I have a very important matter to confer with you upon." Mrs. Larkin bowed. "Very well, Mr. Brady," she replied. "Kindly step this way." Into a small side room they passed. The detective seated himself before the lady. Then he said: "There is a gentleman who has won your esteem and confidence of whom I will speak. He is a foreigner." l\frs. Larkin gave a startled look at the old detective. Her face paled. "Well ?" she asked. "He will call upon you to-day and endeavor to foist upon you for twenty thousand dollars of your good money a quantity of Italian bonds." l\1rs. Larkin gasped. "Do-do you refer to-to Count Giuseppe?" The detective bowed.


'l'HE BIB.DYS' GREAT BLUFF. "Impossible Ile is entered in the Almanac de Got ha--" "Which is a German registry, and he claims to be an Italian. Very inconsistent, madam. He is an unmiti gated fraud!" Mrs. Larkin was quite overcome. She arose and paced the floor. "You know this?" she asked. "I do." "I have been much interested in the young man. Why, this is dreadful. You believe the bonds are bogus?" "I know they are." Mrs. Larkin recovered herself. "Well," she said, practically, "what would you advise me to do?" "I wish to entrap the rascal. I have already one case against him for attempted swindling at the gold brick game. That would make one indictment. Properly managed, this affair should make another. "You know, Mrs. Larkin, it is to your interest, as well as that of all respectable people, that such impostors should be put behind bars." Mrs. Larkin clasped her hands and walked the floor. It could be seen that she was much excited. "To think that this can be true of Count Giuseppe !" she said tremulously. "It is dreadful. I must have better proof,'' she suddenly asserted, turning about and :facing Old King Brady. The detective smiled. "I will arrange it so that you shall have no trouble in llroving his true character,'' he said. "I shall be pleased if you will do so." "First, I see that your window is very capacious and enables you to look up and down the street, and also to see anyone on your steps." "That is true." "Madam," said the old detective, "at four o'clock I will cross the street and ascend these steps. He will then be in this room talking with you. "You shall carefully examine the bogu bonds and draw out his scheme. I believe your own perception will be sufficient to satisfy you that he is what I claim. Be sure and do not give him a check for the bonds. "Put him off. Tell him to call again to-morrow. Then suddenly draw his attention to the window. Ile will see me. You will express delight at seeing me and propose calling me 1nto the room, and ask him to stay and meet me. Xou shall see the result." Mrs. Larkin bowed. "Kow?" "Yes." "Too early." "Why?" "It is easy to see,'' replied Old King Brady. first place, we have only made a beginning in truf I want to get to the bottom. I:f we arrest one of tht now you will not be able to catch another in a year. "That is so," agreed Young King Brady. 1 ''\Ve have one indictment which we can prove a. the Artful Trio. That is the Hayden gold brick Here is another, which we can secure now. I have bluff hand to play yet, which, if I succeed in playin1 bag the whole gang a completely and as handsorn anything you ever saw done." "A bluff hand?" "Ye s ." "Well, you beat me. Why don't you let me into of your plans?" "I will let you into the big bluff, and it is whol l purely a bluff." "Please do so.'' Old King Brady drew out his note book and m diagram. It was his :favorite method of illustrati varied form of deductions. When he had finished Young King Brady was ci away with the plan. "Hurrah!" he cried. "lt is a regular sweep! We1 work out the big bluff. Won't the rascals be surp The 'Bradys' great bluff' will be the talk of the crool one while, I'll warrant." Old King Brady smiled grimly. "But the time is not ripe yet," he declared. "T it soon will be. First, we mu t attend to this afi'E Mrs. Larkin's. At four o'clock we may expect to s festive Count Giusepp e drive up in state to the door< would-be victim. I must be in that locality." "Can I be of assistance?" "I think not." "Then I will hang around here until you have fini ''Very good." Old King Brady went back into Fifth avenue. watched the entrance to Mrs. house assiduc At exactly four o'clock a cab drove up. Out of it leaped the oiled and perfumed Count seppe. He sprang lightly up the marble steps and touch bell. A moment later he vanished in the mansion. Very slowly and methodically Old King Brady cn the street. "All shall be as you say," she said. With this Old King Brady retired. He walked down the street and turned a corner. Here Into Mr Larkin's reception room the affable was shown. He found the fair hostess there aw a man was standing in the shadow of a doorway. It was Young King Brady. "What luck?" asked the young detective. "Everything is all right." The old detective then detailed his plans. Young King Brady listened with interest. "Capital !" he said. "But why not take the rascal into camp?" him. Her manner seemed as cordial as ever and her smf less winning. The count indulged in light and ple1 talk for a while. Gradually, however, he approached the subject o visit. His hostess' mild eyes were fixed very attentively


THE BRADY GREAT BLUFF. 15 She did not fail to note with what dexterity he ht matters to a point. nally he drew the bogus bonds from his pocket and d them on a table with an onyx surface. have no bit of good fortune which I do not wish you are, Mrs. Larkin,'' he said glibly. "I know what this tment is, and I .h.-now my word is sufficient to you. a large holder of these bonds and profit largely by I want to share my good fortune with you." ow very kind!" drawled Mrs. Larkin, with a win smile. CH.APTER VIII. THE COU 'T RECEIVES A SURPRISE. fy motives are wholly disinterested," pursued the glib t. "I would corn to make a profit from a friend." rour philanthropy is unbounded, my dear count," Mrs. Larkin. "I would be worse than unapprecia not to avail of it." am glad to be able to put so remunerative an investin your way," as ured the count. "But I am able rocure only a limited amount of shares. Twenty sand dollars A pittance !" ndeed, yes. Is there no chance of securing ?" rcoran gave a quick glance at his intended victim. er half-do ed eyes were fixed on the bonds. But her ner was artless. He was dis9.rmed. t is possible that I might secure more shares in a few or, if you insist, I will surrender some of mine." could not think of that,'' said Mrs. Larkin. "Dear Where is my check book? I really believe I was d enough to leave it at the bank." s yours the Murray Hill Bank?" believe so." "'"o need for alarm, then. I have a Murray Hill Bank book right here. Perhaps it would be better to finhe transaction now, as I am going out of town for a ays to-morrow." o ?" exclaimed Mrs. Larkin. "For an extended stay?" brief week in the Capital City of Washington. My duties have been a tax, and I must rusticate--" nd you go to Washington," laughed Mrs. Larkin. y good! Let me see the check book. Oh, I forgot l Murray Hill account, I fear, is overdrawn. How dfully unfortunate. Will you not leave the bonds me until to-morrow? I might remit you the check ashington--" --er-well," stammered the perplexed bunco-steerer. see I have to account for the bonds to the brokers, I will consult them--" t is not necessary," said Mrs. Larkin archly. "I will put you to that trouble. I can send a messenger to office of my secretary, Mr. Bland. No doubt he will up and close the transaction with you. He is an able lawyer, and, really, I do no business myself at all. But, to change the subject a moment. I received quite a shock this morning." "Indeed!" exclaimed the count nervously. "I am sorry to bear it. Now this matter--" "You see it was this way,'' interrupted Mrs. Larkin with a charming laugh, "the detectives informed me this morning that I had as a visitor last night one of the most dangerous crooks in New York. He actually danced incog. once with me, and I did not know him. Think of it l It gives me a chill now. His me see I think they said he was a bunco man and his name was Corcoran!" Count Giuseppe's face turned slowly ashen and then livid. His fair companion was looking straight at him through half-shut eyes. There was nothing in her voice or her manner to indicate covert meaning. Tlie adroit villain for a moment feared that he had been betrayed. His craven soul trembled. But slowly he came out of the mist of dread and doubt_ Her manner was so frank, so could not be. He drew a deep breath. But Mrs. Larkin had sprung up with alarm. "My dear count," she cried, "you are ill. How pale you are. I will ring for a cordial." "No, no," interposed the villain. "It is but momentary. A slight affection of the heart. It is all right now." "I think I ought to call assistance," said Mrs. Larkin. "Are you sure you are quite recovered?" "Oh, yes, yes. It is all over. I'm all right," said thewretch. "But your story. I lost the thread of it. I sup pose this Corcoran is behind bars now?" ot so," replied :M:rs. Larkin. "He eluded the de tectives. But I understand they are close on his track_ .Ah! I believe there is some one at the door now." Quite lightly and artlessly she ran to the window. Corcoran tried to collect himself. Was she "onto" him? he swiftly asked himself. A nameless terror seized him. The impulse was upon him to wilt and fly-to abandon the game. "Dear me!" cried Mrs. Larkin from the window. "It is a very old and dear friend of mine. I would like you to meet him very much, my dear count. You will not mind my asking him in to meet you?" The "count" had strode to the window. He gave one glance through the glass. Then a gasping cry broke from his lips. He turned ashen pale. He shrank back and looked about for an avenue of escape. Horror and fear overmastered him. For standing there on the doorstep was a tall, strong figure in a tightly-buttoned blue coat and soft felt hat. He knew that figure and those stern features. They were a synonym of terror to him, as well as to other evil-doers. "Old King Brady!" he gasped. Then he rushed to the other end of the room, looking about him in a hurried way.


16 THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. "Why, count," cried Mrs. Larkin in affected surprise. can be the matter? Are you ill?" "Yes, yes l" gasped the terrified crook. "I am ill. I must get out into the air. I cannot meet your friend. I can see no one. I must get a cab and go home." "Will you not have some cordial?" "No, no, nothing. Let me see nobody. The side en trance. Let me out!" "This is strange conduct," said Mrs. Larkin with af fected sternness. "But I will accede to your request. There is a side entrance on the other street. Turn the corridor to your right-through that door. One moment! What about the bonds?" "When I get back from Washington," panted the crook. "Farewell. Pardon my strange conduct, but I am ill." Out of the room "Count Giuseppe" dashed. The ring ing laugh of Mrs. Larkin followed him. Then h e knew all. But he never knew whether he owed it to her magna nimity or the careless methods of the detectives that he made his escape. A few moments later Old King Brady stood in the room facing Mrs. Larkin. The old detective was triumphant. "Are you satisfied, madam?" he asked. "I can only say that you have saved me from a danger ous villain," replied Mrs. Larkin. "You detectives are wonderful beings." "Then you are willing to testify against this rascal when he is brought into court?" asked the detective. "I will gladly do so." "That i s all, then. Good-day." No attempt was made by eith e r of the Bradys to follow Corcoran. They knew that nothing was to be gained by it. Old King Brady turned into the sid e street where he was to meet Harry. He passed along a high capped wall of stone which fenced in the private ground of some resi dence. Just ahead a gate stood open. Sudd e nly the detective was startled to see two men spring out of this yard, and straight toward him. Then th e re was a sound in his rear and powerful arms encircled his body. No other per ons were visible in the street. The three men who so suddenly attacked Old King Brady were instantly recognized by him. They were the notorious gutter snipes and scavengers known as the "Three Fleas." They meant to murder him. This was certain. It all came upon Old King Brady so quickly that he was almost powerless to act. One of the trio had come up behind the old detective and seized him. But as the other two ruffians rushed out of the yard a third man followed them. The old detective knew him. It was Young King Brady. Lil--e human wolves the thugs sprang upon the old detectiv e D e ath seemed certain, but at that moment Young King Brady, drawing his revolver, dashed madly to his a a nee. One of the Fleas had a lntife and the other a club. the old detective had been quick enough to grasp the of each. :t The struggle which followed was fierce and savage.y Young King Brady could have shot any or all oh; three ruffians. But he preferred not to do this unl became necessary to save Old King Brady's life. rr With the butt of his pistol hr6 struck the nearest,.. :> fian on the skull. f The blow was sharp and hard, and the villain drO\ to the sidewalk. Leaving him, the young detective rlTJ upon the others. The numbers were even now and the struggle fur.1 But Old 1Gng Brady slipped, and a blow on the head11 him to the pavement stunned. Young King Brady was hurled aside by the two lains left. A curious whistle was sounded by one of and instantly they broke away and all three fled th the open gate. The first one stunned by Young King Brady ha( vived. The young detective saw that Old King It was only momentarily stunned. He also saw two officers running toward the spot. This meant assistance. So he gave chase to the trio. But in vain. Upon passing through the gate he saw that he was large yard. Back a ways was a large brick house. The blinds drawn, and it might be empty. But the Three Fleas were gone. Their first murderous attack upon the Bradys failed. Both detectives were much chagrined that they escaped. With the officers they searched the yard and the vie thoroughly. But not a trace of the scavengers coul found. After a while the chase was abandoned. It was now evening. Old King Brady had recovered completely from blow he had received. But he said determinedly: "Harry, those three thugs are not going to esca easily. I am going to devote the night to giving th chase." "I'm with you!" cried the young detective. "But about the bluff game?'' "We will have time enough to discuss that to-mo To-nigqt we will devote to the Three Fleas." Old King Brady now drew his note book from his po They were at the moment under a street lamp a corner of Third A venue and a cross street. The old detective scanned the pages of the note bo He found an entry. He had made it himself many months before. It destined to prove of service now. Ile read it aloud to Young King Brady.


'l'IIE BRADY GREAT BLUFF. 17 CIIAPTER IX. IN THE BLACK ALLEY. was almost a year ago," he said, as he showed the "that I came across a sailor who had been knifed in atham Square fracas. his sailor's name was Holden and he was an Eng an. He told me of his experience with these three e was decoyed into an opium den in a small alley, n as Black Lane, and not far from Chatham street. he passage was not more than two hundred feet long. ovable flagstone enables the patrons of the place to to an underground series of cells. Once in there, if are possessed of money or valuables, they never get ith them-at least not alive. folden told me of this place. He described the three and on his dying bed at the hospital gave me this ram by which I might find the passageway and locate en. wade several ineffectual efforts to :find it. Other ers have so wholly occupied my attention since that I not been able to work the case up. But now is my rtunity." Id King Brady and Harry Brady closely studied the ram. he young detective said confidently: believe I can locate that place." h ?" exclaimed Old King Brady. once chased a crook into just such a place as that. s blinded by the :first two stories of an unoccupied e. I think I got into the place by means of a baset or sub-cellar. There is a pawnbroker's shop near spot." t least that affords a clew,'' cried the old detective. will try your memory on that, Harry." All right." h e two Bradys boarded a downtown Third A venu".l oon they were bowling through the Bowery. In due e they reached Chatham Square. e re they alighted and work was begun. A surging of people were in that thoroughfare. oung King Brady led the way through one dingy et and another. This part of New York is of the old and there are side streets and alleys which only those he better class of people who go slumming ever dream e tectives and charity commissioners and Sisters of the r sometimes find their way into these labyrinths of tchedness, d e pravity and sin. he two Bradys wandered aimlessly through this sec for hours. t was near midnight when suddenly Young King dy clutched the old detective's arm. seemed only the blank side of a building facing on another $treet. Old King Brady looked puzzled. "I see no passage," he said. "It is back of that wall." '"Wall?" "Yes." "I see only the side of a building." Young King Brady laughed. "I might as well explain," he said. ''What seems to be the side of that two-story building is in reality a wall. Or, rather, that building has two walls, one being the wall of the building proper and the other the wall independent of that." "Don't talk in riddles, Harry. I can't understand you." "Do you see--yes, there is the pawnbroker's shop. This is the locality I visited once in pursuit of a crook." ''What is beyond that wall?" "A passageway." "Ilumph !" "I investigated the matter at the time to satisfy my curiosity. A certain builder purchased this corner lot for a building. "After he had erected the walls of the building it was found that his deed called for only fifty feet front ex tending west. Now he had fifty-four feet front. The extra strip four feet wide he discovered was involved in litigation for a hundred years back, and pre-emption of it would injure his own title. ''Well, he proposed to move his wall back, but I be lieve an ancient law was raked up which compels for feiture as the penalty for a building trespass on another's land. The truste e s of that little four-foot strip of land com pelled him to sacrifice his wall on front and side, and he was compelled to build a new wall four feet inside of the outer one. It is a curiously complicated matter and may again be raked up in the courts. "But the fact remains, and so this curious passageway, known to but few and completely walled in, exists to day. "It makes a good hiding-place for crooks and thieves, and has been a secret den for years. I believe it must be the place into which your sailor Holden was decoyed." "Exactly,'' cried Old King Brady. "But how do you get into the place?" "I got in through a sub-cellar. derground chambers connected knows where." There arc actually un and extending nobody "Just a likely place for the Three Fleas." "Exactly." "Well," said Old King Brady astutely, "we are lucky to know about this. We are as likely to get track of our birds here as any place in New York." "Sure!" Leisurely the two detectives crossed the street. Along the false wall of the two-story building they walked. beli eve I recognize that corner," he said. "It is the t !" Looking at the building from the front, it was easy to he young detective pointed to a high brick wall which see how the secret recess could really exist.


'l'JlE BRADY. GREAT HLrFF. But Young King Brady wa unable to find auy trace of the llar or by which he had entered. L t cemed that it had been clo ed by tone flagging. How o ain an entrance to the ecrct den .known a Black Alley, o named on a count of its perpetual gloom, wa a puzzle. But Old King Brady uddenly remembered the antemortem statement of Ilolden the sailor. Ile had poken oi a loo flags lone in the idewalk. At once the detective began to carefully search for thi They only pursued the carch at uch moment a the street was free from passersby. it wa a idc str t, aL that late hour, near mid night, th p er were few and far between. 1. ft r a long period of earch the detective were about to abandon the effort when suddenly Old ing Brady stooped with an exclamation. Ile placed hi fing r under the edge of a flagstone, part of which wa under the wall. The light was dim, but it occurr d to him that there wa a crevice in the wall above the flagstone. Ile tried to lift th tone. Buth wa unable to do o. It would not yield. o use said Young King Brady. ''I tried that. It cant be the right one." The old detective drew hi dark lantern from his pocket. Ile hot it ray along the base of the wall. He aw that the cement and filling clo ed all aperture between the other flags and the wall. But over thi flag tone wa a perfectly di cernible space of half an inch in width. The old detective studied this peculiarity a moment. Then he aid: 'I have it! "What?" exclaimed Young King Brady with intere t. "Look l" The old detective in erted his :fingers under the flag and pu .. hed it back, as if on a greased track, under the wall. It lid back readily. And under the fiag was an aperture large enough to acl mit a man' body. It wa a well-like opening and in the darkncs looked clangerou enough. But Old King Br dy shot the rays of hi lantern down into it. Ile saw tep leading downward into what seemed lik a uh-cellar under the The limit of thi ub-ce1lar were not visible. But enough had been learned. The two detectives looked about cautiou ly to make sure that they were not cen. o per-on wa in igbt. Down into the ubellar the old detective went. Young King Brady followed him. The detecti\'e dark lant rn lit the way. They pa ed into a quare excavation under th idewalk and then fol lowed a narrow pa age a few feet into a part of what might have been the main c liar of the building as first con. tructecl. Thi in it. elf wa a long, narrow underground chamber. It contain d nothing which would indicate recent occ pation. 'l'he detective went through it carefully. 'I he to be but one other outl t and that wa at it fu ther end. tone tep led upward. The detective mounted these. A flat stone was pu h a ide and they emerged at la t i11to th Black lley. But a they did so a tt rtling thing occurred. A wift blow from the darlrnes ent Old King Brady lantern flying. It rolled to the far -end of the alle , but till contiuu to hine and cnt it' powerful ro.y the length of the plac hadowy figures ere een and muffled curses filled t air. In that instant the two Brady realized that they h been ii. trifle reckle s in Yenturing into a death trap u this. But now that th y were in it, there wa no other w, but to fight, and fight for life too. lt'or they were murderers and it depended alo on their prow cS whether they (')'Caped alive or not. teady, Harry! id Old King Brady. "Ilold the off if you can!' All right!' agr ed the young detect.ive. "They'll n g t llS ca.y! Young King Brady hacl pull d his revolver and no opened fir Of course b wa obliged to fire at random. But howl and cur e followed. lub and heavy objec cam hurtling about the detecti e h It wa the revolver though which terminated the affa and saved the live of the two Bradys uddenly distant foot teps sounded and then all w till. 'l'he detectives waited for a renew, 1 of the attack. It did not come. All wa 'lcnce where a few moment before there h been riot and uproar and avage battle. CH PTERX. A CLEVER DODGE. Old King Brady wa the fir t. to take in the situation. 'They have kipp d!" he cried. "They have got awa Ilarry!" "Whew!" cried the young detective. \Te ought to thankful for that. I thought they had us sure." ''It wa a clo e call!' "I fe 1 that it wa Old Kin()' Brady recovered hi dark lantern. Then th two detective went through Black Alley 'J'hey explored the place thoroughly. But not a thing wa di overed to indicate by wha the bird had .flown. 'l'here was only one outle di. covered and that was the one by which the detecti e had entered.


TIIE BRADY GREA'l' BT.LFF. But in the sub-cellar there wa found a rude trap-door, tl in an excavation under it wa piled a heap of mis llaneou articl of plunder. The detective had no use for the e. 'o they did not trouble them. In vain they earehed for an explanation of the di aprance of the rook. T o clew wa found. It sati fied them of one thing. Th re were other secret means of entrance and exiL. r that matter there might be other uh-cellars or pa But the Brady were bafiled. They could not find them. pla he of blood were found on the tone flagging in e Black Alley. This indicated tbat ome one of the ng had been wounded by Young King Brady's hot r niil near morning they searched. Then Old King Brady aid: ",. o use, Ilarry. 'l'hey\ e got the be t of us. .All that can do i to gfre up the cha c now and wait for another porlunity. "Which may not come," said the young detectiYe lugu iou ly. "That i true." The two detecfrre returned to the ireet. They pushed flagstone back and emerged. It behind them. 'ome of mechani m behind the wall thus clo edit. A they emerged Young King Brady clutched the old ective's nrm. "Look!" he E:aid. A 1>kulking figure wa seen in the shadow at the corner the next treet. It in tantly disappeared. "We are wat ched!" ld IGnu Brady roiled. 'Ahem!' he said. 'hen he dre w a big plug of tobaeco from his pocket bit off n piece. lie buttoned his blue coat about him, ked up at the sky and then ca ually long the treet. He started at a camel-like gait up th narrow street. ung King Brady followed him. oon they were in Chatham quare. Id King Rrady led the way to City Ilall Square and detective presently came out on Broadway. hey leaped on a car. \ they did o Young King Brady aw two men with ched hat at the corner of Chambers treet. is keen gaze sized them up at once. N' e'rc followed!" he said. 'Eh?' exclaimed Old King Brady nonchalantly ''Is t o?" 'Yes. There are two of the gang." lcl King Brady glanced at them. Ile made no com t. ut the two detectives continuing to keep an eye out, that the two men kept a n arly abrea t of the car as ible. There was a car ahead, which stopped often, and enabled them to keep up by wift walking. either of the Brady knew who thee two pursuers e. 'l hey might be Lwo of the 'l'hree l<'leas, but more likely not. 'rhey were well dres ed and looked re pectable. This fact only convinced the detective that they were a yet only at the berrinning of the deep rrame which they were unraveling. Every new development only howed that new factor were constantly appearing on the scene. The bunco teerer wcr in league with the 'l'hree Fleas, the latter with other organized bands of The end was remote. It wa Old King Brady's purpose to rro to hi lodgings. 'Certainly we can gain no more at presenl by chasing 1.he 'l'hree Fleas," he said. "They are right onto us. We mu t wait until they are again off guard." ".And meanwhile let them follow u.," said Young King Brady. "So be it, if they wi h." "We mu t have our eyes open!" Old Illig Brady glanced back through the car window at the two pursuers. It wa plain that they never su pected that the two de tectives were aware of their purpo e. The old detective bit hi. lip. Ile knew that thi wa not desirable. He resolved to shake the pnrsuer o he said to Young King Brady: "We' e got to drop these fools. When the car reach -Ni11th treet drop off. Cut through to Sixth avenue ancl take a surface car for home. If they follow you, .hake them with a If they don't, you'll know that 1 am doing the ame." "Settled !" cried Young King Brady. He dropped off the car .Along treet he proceeded at a rapid walk. But by glancing back at intervals he .aw that the two villains had not followed him. Old King Brady still remained the object of their pur uit. He saw thi grimly and quickly formed hi plan. If these two rogues flattered them elve that they could out general the keen old fo. of a detective they were certainly reckoning without a ho t. At Twenty-third street the car made a spurt and got ahead of the pur uers almo t a block. Old King Brady aw that they were running, He quickly dropped off the car and turned into Twenty-fourth treet. Quick as a fla h he darted into a deep hallway. At that early hour few people were abroad. Out of hi pocket came a false beard, a wig and a oft cap. Into an inner pocket went the hat. The old blue coat was turned inside out. In an incredible space of time thi wa& done. The old detective wa back on the sidewalk in the remarkably brief space of half a minute. IIe wa transformed into a bowed and grizzly-bearded old beggar. He hobbled along in the very direction from which his pursuers were coming. In fact, just a he turned into Broadway he met them face to face. But they hardly glanced nt him.


20 THE BRADY" GRE.\.T BLC".lt'F. 'uch a subterfuge they never dreamed of. They eagerI Young King .Brady drew a deep breath. He ftickcd th\: ly wept Twenty-fourth street for some sjgn of their bird. ashes from his ci

THE BRADYS' GREAT BL"GFF. 21 Thus it read: ''Wanted-Some wealthy and philanthropic gentleman o purchase of a widow, with the privilege of future redemp ion, valuable bonds of a well known corporation at a great acrifice. Said bonds pay semi-annual dividends of ten er cent. Write or call on Mrs. M., sixth bell, apartment ouse No. Sixtieth street, .r ew York." The next day the following advertisement appeared right elow the above: "Wanted-To inform Mrs. M., of No Sixtieth treet, tl\at if she will call at Jacob Schwartz's store, Getty quare, Yonkers, her request may be granted When the bunco steerers read this a broad smile rested n their faces. "Heigho!" cried "Lively Ann." "We have a rural bird hand this time I don't mind a trip to Yonkers chwartz Good old Holland name. I'll wager there is oney there in plenty." "qertainlyl" agreed Corcoran. "Do you want another me husband, Annie?" "I'll see. I haven't matured my plans yet,'' replied the arp woman It did not take her long to form her plans, however The result was that the next day she took a morning 1';lin for Yonkers It was easy to find the store of Jacob Schwartz on Getty quare A respectable appearing lady in widow's weeds entered e shop A young clerk with stunning siders stood be' nd the counter. "Vat can I do for you, madam?" he asked with a Dutch cent. "I called in response to this advertisement," she said in low tone. "I am Mrs. Miller, of Sixtieth street, New ork. Are you Mr. Jacob Schwartz?" "Oh, dear no, madam," replied the young man. "I am e's zoon. I vill call mine fader." And he dodged out of sight behind a curtain into an ner room. "Lively Ann" sat down Her eyes roamed curiously over the store and its cou nts It did not differ :from any other store of its class A moment more, however, and a t\111, kindly-featured ollander stood before her. '"_\.h, madam,'' he said with a simple and artless manner. read your request in der paper and I felt so veery sorry r you dat I told mine zoon I wouldt write you." "You are kind, good sir!" said the pseudo Mrs Miller a p1pmg voice ''I have great need of assistance, or 1 uld never part with the bonds which my dear dead husnd left me Good Herr Schwartz nervously wrung his hands. "Ah, gud e vrow, do not complain," he said sympatheticy "You shall not be cheated. I haf given my vord. u shall haf more dan you ask. J vill lend you dat money and you shall keep dot interest of ten per cent. for your self." "Oh, no, no!" protested the tearful widow. I could not think of that. But you will give me a chance to redeem them?" "I weel, certainly." "I thank you." "Haf you de bonds wit you?" The widow drew a packet of papers from her satchel. "They are here," she said "They are the bonds of the Far West Gas Company, of Smartville, Wisconsin If you wish I can bring my banker to vouch for them." Under his stunted beard the disguised detective smiled broadly. But he affected deep interest and examined the certifi cates. They were the counterpart of those which had deceived Banker Moore. "Umph !" exclaimed Schwartz, as he glanced over them "Dey be all right, madam I see no trouble. But I haf not so much money to-day." "Oh, I am not in a hurry,'' replied the widow in spright ly fashion "You can have the money ready any day you may name, and I will call. The sum is sixty thousand dollars." "Ah, eef you put these bonds on the market you might get a larger sum for elem !" "But I do not want to sell," replied the widow. "They were left me by ml dear husband, and I wish to always keep them if po silile." Schwartz rubbed his hands and nodded spasmodically. "I see, madam r" he cried. "You shall leave dem. No?" "I must take them with me, but I will bring them back after making the transfer," declared the widow. "What day shall I call, dear Mr. Schwartz?" The Hollander bowed with his hand on his heart. "To-morrow eef you desire "To-morrow at three !" "An' bring your banker, madam." "I will." Mrs. Miller, with a great load apparently lifted from her sorrow-weighted soul, picked up her bonds and de parted. When she had gone Jacob Schwartz & Son laughed until the tears rolled down their faces. "How could you deceive the fair Widow?" roared Young King Brady. "The homeless and the friendless Ah, you heartless man!" "Be not too sure," said Old King Brady shrewdly. "She is deceiving us, and may yet do so with comp l ete suc cess." "Lively Ann" went back to New York and her compa triots in Forty-fourth street. She was in high spirits. "He was the easiest thing I have struck !" she cried. "Dear me, but it is a walkover I am to call to-morrow w:ith my banker!" "Me !" said Corcoran. "You!"


22 'l'lIE IlRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. "You are sure it's straight?" "Straight as a black line. A dear old duck of a Hol lander. I'd trifle with his heart if there was not so much at stake. Oh, it is a rich haul !" Corcoran and Hardy laughed. All felt gay and glib. Several bottles of chalilpagne were popped on the strength of the prospect. 'l'hc next day ''Lively Ann," Corcoran and Hardy all boarded a train for Yonkers. Hardy accompanied the pair to officiate as secretary to the pseudo banker, Mr. Wellington Ilall. The distin guished trio entered Mr. Schwartz's shop exactly at the appointed time. He looked with surprise at the two men, but bowed affably as the pseudo Mrs. Miller introduced them. "Mr. Wellington Hall, my banker, and Mr. Leeds, his secretary." "I am happy!" said .T acob, bowing low. "I veel be glad eef you come into my private room!" The three bunco steerers, exchanging wink-c;, entered the little square room back of the shop. They were quickly seated at a table. cliwarlz left the room for a moment. ''Lively Ann" gave her companions the wink and whispered: Jice old duck, eh?" "lle's a peach," said Corcoran. "I wonder if we cou l ft u't pull him for a side issue?" ".:.lake sure of this deal first," arlr1onished Hardy. "Th ,( is best!" At this moment Schwartz came back. mine frendts," he said, rubbin_ his hands, "I be lieve we are now ready for busine s." He carried a long leather pocketbook in his hand. As he opened it a number of documents fell out. There was a bundle of coupon bonds. They bore the stamp of Uncle Sam and were handsome ly printed. But they represented only a small sum. 'rhe bunco steerers eyed the paper' as wolves will watch their prey. Old King Brady smiled under his beard. He turned the papers over and picked up a blank check. It was on the Bank of New York. "Now, madam," he said simply, "you shall tell me about dis Far West Gas Company. You say it ccs all right." ''You may ask Mr. Hall, my banker, who is an authority on stocks," replied "Lively Ann." "The best dividend paying stock in America," declared Ilall emphatically. "Ah, dat is enough, madam. I vill write you my check now for thirty thousand dollars, an' -JOU shall haf dem stock certificates back shoost ven you may vant to call for elem." "You are very kind, my dear Mr. Sclnntrtz," said ''Live ly Ann," feigning emotion. "I feel sure they will be safe in your hands." "As safe as could nefer be," asserted Schwartz. "One moment," said Hall blandly. "You mistake the amount. These bonds call for sixty instead of thirty thou sand dollars !" "Oh, yes!" said "Lively Ann." Schwartz's eyes opened wide. "1\fein Gott !" he exclaimed, "dat is more money den I haf got!" "What?" The exclamation burst simultaneously from the lips of all three buneo steerers. For the fraction of a second con sternation showed in their faces. It was almost a betrayal. But instantly they recovered. "Thirty thousand," said Hall brusquely. ''Well, that is hardly adequate. However, if you say so, Mrs. M:iller--" "I-I hope there is nothing wrong!'' faltered the widow. "Oh, no, madam, I assure you !" cried chwartz. "It ees mine leetle meestake. I haf only thirty thousrnd dollars in money. But I haf the equivalent. See! here are mortgages Notes Ach t here is van here against min" dear friendt, Breitstein, for dat same amount. You shall see. I vill get dot money of him. Myn<\ert I say, Myndert !" In response o the call young Schwartz appeared from an inner room. "1\fyndert, mine zoon, vill you step out an' ask Herr Breitstein to come in a moment?" CHAPTER XII. TIIE BOSCO GAME TIIAT FAILED TO WORK. "All right, fader!" replied Myndert and vanished. The faces of the bunco steerers cleared. The outlook was better. It seemed a certailJty that they would get their sixty thousand after all. They would have taken the thirty thousand rather than nothing, however. Some time passed. Ilerr Schwartz proved a pleasant conversationalist, and kept his visitors entertained until suddenly a man came into the store. He was not quite so tall as Herr Schwartz, but he was plainly a Ilollander. Ile was Herr Breitsteiu. He was briefly introduced, and then Herr Schwartz re cited to him the story of the widow's needs, and presente1l to him the note for payment. "Ach, mein Gott!" he cried, holding up his hands. ''I haf not dot much money, friendt Schwartz. I haf only a cashier's check on dot New Am terdam Bank for one hun dred and twenty t'ousand dollars." "Let me see your cashier's check," said Wellington Hall, the pseudo banker. Herr Breitstein drew a long leather book from his pocket and produced the check. It was examined by the steerers. They had no doubt that it was genuine. It did not once occur to them as at all strange that these simple merchants should deal so largely in money. They knew that people of this class are hoarders, and in


TllE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. 2 3 I iany ca e the humblest Dutch or German shop keepers All was seemingly traight. ave fortunes stored away. It looked to them like a dead certainty. Herr Schwartz as looking at them over his spectacles in his most bland tanner. "Veil, shentlemens," he said, "vat do you say to dis eek?" "It is all right," said Wellington Hall. "We will ke it. Herr Breitstein looked puzzled Then he said: ':Mein Herr Schwartz, I only owe you sixty thousand llars 'Thi w ,as true. It was easy for the bunco steerers to see at here wa another difficulty Sixty thou and dollars change for the cashier's check of one hundred and twenty ousand dollars mu t be returned to Breitstein They looked at Schwartz. He looked at them Then Hall looked at his watch It was after four o'clock. All banks were closed. It was impossible to cash the check until the following y. "Wait until to-morrow," said Schwartz. "You shall haf money den." Now, all three of the bunco steerers knew the fatality of ocrastination. Before another day many things might ppen. There might come a slip There is no time like the pre ent in bunco games. l\Ien ange their minds in the course of a night and a day. o Hall looked at the pseudo Mrs. Miller and said : "I-I think we had better settle the matter to-day My e is valuable. I cannot come to Yonkers to-morrow "But we cannot settle it to-day," declared Schwartz. 'I [1st give Herr Breit tein his money." "Will he not wait?" "Dot does not help it. You may haf dis cashier's check one hundred and twenty t'ousand dollars if you haf sixty t'ousand-de decference. You see?" Herr Breitstein was impatient. The bunco steerers ked at each other all again examined the check. It i not my bu iness," he said, "but to accommodate s. Miller I will advance the sixty thousand dollars to "Ah, dat is all right Den it ees settled," said llerr wartz with beaming face. 'Before I pay it, though, I would like a few words with s. Miller," said llall. he two withdrew to a corner of the room. hen they returned Hall counted out upon the table ty dollar in bank notes hey were the very notes paid him on Moore's check at New York bank. Herr Breitstein laboriou ly counted m. hen the papers were made out transferring the gas ds to Herr Schwartz. Herr Breitstein with a receipt m chwartz took his departure. \.11 wa regular. 11'.!rs. Miller thanked Herr Schwartz. Then the bunco steerers departed with the cashier' check on the ew Amsterdam Bank for one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. What a haul! Sixty thousand dollars clear! Sixty thousand for a few pieces of worthless paper! They had no doubt of their success. Dutchmen are slow. Dead slow! Herr Schwartz would not find out that the bonds were bogus for perhaps months. At least not until dividends were due. The ca bier's check should be cashed the next morning when the bank opened its doors "What do you think?" chuckled Corcoran "The best deal we ever made," said llardy "Am I not a gay widow?" asked Ann. Thus they jested and traveled back to New York. Be hind them as they left the Schwartz store a curious wa being enacted Herr Breitstein had gone out the front door, only to come in at the back The two jolly Dutchmen laughed and counted the sixty thousand dollars. The buncocrs were buncoed. "Well! well!" cried Old King Brady. ''What a stroke of business. We bluffed them right of their money !" "I feared they would not come to the mark, at one time," said Young King Brady, whom the reader, of course, knows as Herr Breitstein and also Myndert "Well!" cried Old King Brady, "we have got Mr Moore's money back. Now we have only to pick up the buncoers and put them behind bars !" "Good!" ''We have evidence enough to lock them up for twenty years!" "I believe it!" "We shall not soon forget, nor will they, the bunco game that failed to work." "Or the Bradys' great bluff!" "Ha-ha-ha !" Old King Brady stepped to a speaking tube connecting with apartments above. He blew the whistle. "l\Ir. Sharpley !" he shouted. "All right," replied the shop keeper. "Our game is finished We turn your shop over to you!" An hour later the two Bradys were on their way back to New York. If the bunco steerers could have seen them then they would have been surprised and discomfited in deed. That night the two Bradys perfected plans for the cap tnre of the three bunco steerers. Officers were detailed to wait at tbe door of the New Amsterdam Bank. When Corcoran should appear t o cash the big check he would be arrested at once


24 THE BRADYS' GREA T BLUFF. Other police were in a cordon about the house in Forty fourth street. There seemed little doubt that the career of the Artful Trio would speedily be brought to an end The two detectives separated. One waited at the door of the bank and the other at the Forty-fourth street house. The morning passed and noon came. Then a messenger boy entered the bank lle thrust a package through the rail at the cashier's desk. The cashier opened a letter, and a check purporting to be signed by himself, for one hundred and twenty thousand dollars, fell out. He instantly recognized it and gazed at the boy sharply, for Old King Brady had made the previous arrangement with the cashier. A letter was with the check. Thus it read : "To the Cashier: "Please pay to the bearer the enclosed amount He will carry a leather bag, which lock and seal. Yours, "WELLINGTON IlALL. At once the cashier stepped to the window and made a sign to the detective The boy was taken into a private office. His story was straight. He had been summoned by the clerk of the North River Hotel, in West street, who had turned him over to a man with a long beard. He had been directed to go to the bank and return. That was all. Old King Braily's face fell. "Hard luck !" he said. "The game is not bagged yet !" Secretly he wondered how Corcoran had tumbled to the game. That he was only suspicion however, was evi denced in the iact that he had ventured upon the effort to cash the check. The only thing left to be done now was to let the mes senger boy return to the North River Hotel with the money presumably in the bag. But this resulted in nothing Corcoran had followed the boy. At a safe distance he had seen the detectives enter the bank Then he had fled. No clew could be found. Old King Brady went quick l y over to Forty-fourth street. The house was surrounded and entered. But not the least trace of the bunco steerers was found. The furnishings were there, but the occupants gone. They would not return The game was up Once more the detectives were at sea. The bunco steer ers had eluded them most skilfully How they had got warning of the failure of their game it was impossible to guess. The two Bradys were chagrined. Rut they kept low. 'l'hey knew that their work must all be done over agai But this did not discourage them One thing they had accomplished. They had recovered the money lost by l\fr. Moore. T they proceeded to return to him at once. The banker was delighted. He regarded the two Bradys as literal detective marve He could not sing their praises loudly enough But now a new factor appeared to give the Bradys e citing work. The Three Fleas had by no means aba doncd their purpose to wreak vengeance upon the two d tectives. It was possible that the Artful Trio had joined for with this interesting gang, in which case there was live work ahead. But Old King Brady went on as cool and methodical ever ..c o rebuff disheartened him. He knew that time and proper effort would bring t gang to the wall. He kept straight. And presently developments of an exciting kind beg to come along thick and fast. CIIAPTER XIII. OLD KING BRADY'S ClllSE. Working upon the assumption that the Three Fleas a the bunco steerers had joined forces the Bradys now hau ed the slums once more They felt sure that "Lively Ann" and her two co patriots were somewhere in hiding in New York To round them up would be no easy matter, for it certain that they would keep out of the way of the dete ives for some time to come. It was easy to assume that they had a more wholeso respect for the Bradys since the bluff so successfully work by them. Old King Brady had decided upon a change of plan the future. Thus far the two detectives had worked on the bu case in company. Now the old detective decided to give Young Ki Brady one end of the case, while he would take the oth "All right," said the young detective "I'll hold i end up." "I know you will," said Old King Brady "What end of the case will you take?" "The Three Fleas "Good! I will take the Artful Trio And so it was settled. Old King Brady now made himself up for a gen type of Bowery l ounger. Then he dropped into the sl and became a fixture there He hung around bar rooms, pawned various articles went about trying to dispose of the tickets He slept in twenty-five-cent hotels; ate, or pretended


THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. 25 n Beefsteak John restaurants, and, in fact, identified imself completely with Bowery life. He knew that sooner or later such a course must bear ruit. As all roads once led to Rome, so all New York's crooks re sooner or later sure to turn up in the Bowery. Among the lower types of criminals there are none whom New York detective may not ultimately trace by simply aunting the resorts of New York's famous thoroughfare. Days passed without result. But Old King Brady was patient. That was one of his" traits. He watched and waited, and studied every face, and raced down every shadow of a clew. And finally he once more got track of the Three Fleas. One night he was coming out of Chatham Square when startling incident occurred. The hour was past midnight and respectable pedestrians ere mostly wending their way homeward. But they were ew in number. Suddenly in a patch of gloom under the Third avenue levated structure Old King Brady saw a number of hadowy forms. There were the sounds of a scuffle, a hoarse, smothered ry, and then a human body fell athwart the curbstone. A gurgling sound reached the detective's ears and a oliceman's whistle sounded. Nothing more was needed. Old King Brady was in the game. In an instant he was on the spot. At the same moment two officers came up. One sprang own and lifted the unknown from the gutter. Blood was on his face, and he was unconscious. His ppearance was that of a man in good circumstances. oubtless he was a stra.nger in the city. "Who is it, Jack?" asked the first officer. "Don't know." "It looks like the work of the Three Fleas." "That's it!" "Ring up an ambulance." "Then he's alive?" "Yes; but he won't be long if he don't have help." This was all that Old King Brady waited to hear. The hadowy figures had vanished down a side street. The old detective was upon their track like a sleuth ound. In one swift glance he took in the street, the possibilities or escape and the natural 11venues therefor. Then he ran without hesitation through an open gate nd into an area between two buildings. He had not seen the three crooks run into this pla.ce. But he had seen that it was the only logical avenue of scape. The block was too long for them to have covered in that short space of time. Into the vacant area the detective dashed. For a moment e gloom prevented his taking in all objects. 'l'hen he saw the lower rounds of a fire escape against the side of one of the buildings. He followed it up to the roof critically with his eye. Against the sky he saw a dusky figure. It was visible only an insta.nt. The detective waited for no more. Up the iron fire escape he went like an agile monkey in spite of his age. Up he went rapidly. But just before he reached the upper landing he glanced up. It was lucky that he did so. A man's shoulders and muffled face jutted out over the edge of the roof. Down with force came a brick hurled with all strength. If it had struck the detective he would have been seri ously if not fatally injured. It struck one of the rounds of the ladder and :flew into pieces. The old detective whipped out his revolver and fired. But the fugitive had vanished. The bullet struck the gutter and rattled down a lot of lime and dust. That was all. The detective now sprang upon the roof. He looked about him. The fugitives had vanished. But Old King Brady did not lose time. He dashed away across the roof at full speed. From one housetop to another he went. Then far ahead he saw three flying figures. Drawing his revolver, Old King Brady opened fire upon them. He did not take accurate aim, for he wished to take the birds alive. It was his belief that the shots would bring them to terms But in that instant the three Iugit. ves d..::mf)lJCll:i:ro Astounded at the suddenness of the thing, the old detective kept on, however. He reached the spot where they had last been seen. It was at a point where three buildings met in an angle, leaving a vacant triangular space between them To cross to the next building meant a leap of four or five feet. They had certainly not done this. The old detective looked about in mystification. He saw no skylight or chimney near. Swiftly he studied every chance and every point. Noth ing escaped him. Yet he was baffled. He could see no chance for concealment or escape. What then had become of the villains? He knelt down and carefully examined the roof with his hands. It was tinned and perfectly smooth. Along the roof he crept until he reached the edge. He lay on his stomach and looked over this. There was a :fancy iron fretwork under the steel gutter which ran along the edge of the roof. Dangling from this in the night wind was an object. The buildings were dwellings. A high iron fence separated two yards. een difficult to scale this. The detective reached down and grasped it with his It would liave hand. He drew it up. The detective dropped that theory. It was a rope ladder.


26 'l'HE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. Here was the explanation. The rest was easy. Five feet beneath the gutter pipe was a window, one of a row extending along the back face of the building. This window was open. The crooks had no doubt slid down on the rope ladder and entered the building by means of this window. The detective hesitated a moment. He raised himself and looked again about the roof. Then he swung himself over the edge. He grasped the rope ladder and began to lower himself. In a few moments he was at the ledge of the open window. It was a very easy matter to swing himself over this and into the building. Beyond that window all was blackness. To the detective it was a risky feat. For aught he knew, lurking in that pitchy blackness was a horrible death. But his feet struck the floor and he crouched there. He listened intently and tried to pierce the gloom. But in vain. No sound broke the stillness. If the fugitives were in the place they were extremely still. Old King Brady soon regained assurance. He drew a pocket lantern from his coat. It took but a moment for him to light it. Then he flashed its rays about the room in which he was. He received a startling surprise. It was well furnished, with chairs, a table, a bureau and a bed, and the bed held a sleeping occupant. It was a man. The detective flashed the light in his face. He had never seen him before. He was doubtless an inmate of the house. He, of course, had no idea that his room had been in vaded by thugs pursued.. by. a detective. All this was lost in e realm "Humph!" thought Old King Brady, "they might have murdered him. Ugh !" The last exclamation was caused by a sudden awful dis covery. The detective noted that the sleeping man did not respire either audibly or to the eye perceptible. Struck by this fact, the detective leaned forward. A horrible discovery was made. On the white coverlet was a jellied pool of blood. Under the coverlet was the handle of a dagger. This was sunk to the hilt in the breast of the man in the bed. He was dead! It was murder Old King Brady was a man used to the hard side of life. But, in spite of himself, he drew back, sick and faint with this awful discovery. What was the crime perpetrated for? Who was the murdered man? Had the assassins just accomplished their awful deed? Had it been done for fear he would wake and give the alarm? Or was plunder the object? .All these queries flashed through Old King Brady's brain. 'l'hen he leaned forward and placed a hand on t brow of the corpse. It was warm and moist. He had not been dead long. At that instant soft footsteps sounded outside the roo door, and it swung open. CHAPTER XIV. THE FATE OF THE "THREE FLEAS." Old King Brady acted with the quickness of thought. He sank down behind the bed and extinguished his 1 tern. He was none too soon. Dark figures glided into the chamber. He saw one of them go to the window. Then he hear a hoarse whisper: "I tell ye, Brick, we'll run into thet fox of a detective." "All right, Ted; it'll be as good a time as any to slit hi gullet with a knife." "We don't have any luck at that." "He has a charmed life!" "I believe it." The detective slid noiselessly lower until he was actua1l under the bed. Then he felt safe. "Jason, ye're sure that covey in the bed is dead?" "Dead as a herrin', Brick!" "He didn't make any fuss." "Wall, he didn't hev time." "Do ye know him?" "His name is Peter Burns. He runs a Bowery shoe shop Oh, I don't reckon he's got much of a fortune. The mone you got outen his clothes is about all he'd likely haTe." "Ugh! Strike up yer lantern, Ted. That's better, reckon." Light now filled the room. One of the crooks had lantern. Old King Brady knew that these three rogues were th notorious Fleas who had for so long evaded the police. He was determined that they should not escape him. They should pay for this awful crime in a fitting manner. He kept perfectly quiet and awaited his chance. "How many families are in this house, Ted?" "I kain't say, Brick. They're all roomers." "Oh, that's it, eh?" "Yaas, I reckon." "D'ye s'pose any of 'em heard us when we cum in?" "Naw! Nobody in a lodgin' house pays any attention ter noise. We might make any amount of racket and non of ther lodgers would trouble us. They are ther be people in ther world for mindin' their own business." Old King Brady knew this was true. He also knew that this meant that he must depend wholly on his own resources in bagging these terrible mur derers.


THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. 27 'Qr he had a deadly determination to wind up their er this very night or lose his life in the attempt. o he watched them closely from his position under the He could see their faces plainly. deous and cruel were the expressions. The Misera of Paris, as described by the great French author, could outclass these disreputable scavengers of New York. arton was searching the dead man's clothes for valus. urley was inspecting the bureau drawers, while Hart t a close watch at the window. inally Hurley said: What shall we do? Kin we git out of ther house by downstairs?" Cert!" replied Barton. "On ther way down we might inter another room. It's too good a chance ter lOse." he detective's eyes flashed. He made a silent writhing ement to emerge from beneath the bed. e did not intend that the villains should go down ugh the house, with the p0ssibility of another murder, if he could help it. uddenly liart at the window whispered in an alarmed I hear footsteps!" ar?" asked Hurley. n ther roof!" he divil! It's old Brady hisself. Douse ther glimmer et him come in. We'll salt him !" ut went the light. he detective saw the three silhouetted at the ow. was his moment. riftly and noiselessly he crept out and reached the door. s hand he held a revolver. e placed his back against the door. en he produced his own lantern and pulled the slide. light was focused on the trio. e effect was startling beyond description. The three hes turned as by one common impulse. ere they crouched at the window ledge like three wild s. eadful was the expression of their crime-hardened in the light of the detective's dark Ian tern. ords are almost inadequate to depict that sifoation. e Three Fleas were cornered. ey saw the barrel of the deadly revolver covering them. tempt to move meant death! r Old King Brady would have killed any one of them as little compunction as he would have destroyed a t this alone did not deter the wretches from an att to escape through the window. e sounds on the roof warned them that s9me other ier was near. might have been some midnight prowler of their own but more likely it was another detective or police r. they were between two fires. r a full half minute the tableau lasted. The detective ot speak, nor did the trio. Not until full thirty seconds had elapsed, and then Bar ton hissed: "Curse it! Old King Brady!" The old detective looked like a statue carved out of stone as he stood with his back to the door. "You dogs have run your race!" he said in a metallic voice. "The last human life you have taken shall send you all three to your end, and a fitting punishment. If you had rather die now under the pistol, move a hand or foot!" What the sensations of the three villains were can only be guessed. But they were too hardened and crafty to abandon hope, and their cunning brains were busy. "We cave!" snarled Barton. "What do ye want us fer, Brady?" "The category is too long to enumerate,'' replied Old King Brady. "Barton, put on these wristers." The old detective placed his lantern on the table and threw a pair of handcuffs onto the floor. "Eh?" said Barton stupidly. "What did ye say?" "Put those on, and properly. If you don't I'll shoot you like a dog!" Barton reached forward to pick up the handcuffs. Slow ly he extended himself along the floor. Then Ilurley made a slight movement. It diverted Old King Brady's attention for the smallest fraction of a second. But this was enough. Like the flash of a tiger's lithe body Barton shot forward toward the detective. Crack! The pistol spoke. An awful yell of pain went up. Barton fell in a writhing heap, but Hurley' and Hart had acted at the same moment. One sprang to the right and one to the left. Hurley struck the dark lantern and dashed it under the bed. Hart leaped clear over the bed with its gruesome occu pant, and leaped upon Old King Brady. Crack! crack! '11he pistol spoke. But in the darkness no aim could be taken. Old King Brady's right arm was seized, and the next instant he was grappling with his deadly foes. A terrific struggle followed. Barton lay in a wounded heap in the middle of the floor. The combatants rolled over him. Old King Brady was a strong man in a fight. Few could worst him. But it was two to one, and the Fleas were terrible fight ers. Several times Old King Brady felt the point of a knife at his side, but each time by a superhuman effort he twisted the powerful wrist of his foe aside. But so desperate a combat could not last forever. In the order of nature it must soon come to a decisive point. But just as Old King Brady felt the deadly :faintness of complete exhaustion overpowering him there appeared on the sill of the window a lithe form. Down into the chamber it dropped. The overturned lantern gave yet a sickly, pale light.


28 THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. It was enough to show the newcomer Old King Brady's powerful form yielding to the two thugs. Swift as a flash the newcomer took part in the game. A terrific blow on the skull laid Hurley out senseless. The affair was then quickly terminated. Hart's murderous knife was dashed from his grip and he was held firmly to the floor. He foamed at the mouth and fought madly, but in vain. Handcuffs held his arms behind him and his ankles were tied. Then Hurley was secured the same way. By this time hurrying footsteps and loud exclamations were heard outside the door. People in the house had been aroused and the police had come. Into the room they rushed with lights. The scene was a terrible one. But in the centre of the room Old King Brady now for the first time saw who had come to his assistance at so for tunate and critical a moment. It was Young King Brady. There was no time for explanations just then. The prisoners were turned over to the police. The two Bradys were then for a long time in conference with the police captain in the murdered man's room. At a later hour the coroner arrived and took charge of the place. Then the police went away and the two Bradys disap peared. The next morning the newspapers heralded the exciting affair in the Chatham Square house. It was known from one end of New York to the other that the Three Fleas had at last fallen into the clutches of the law. It was easy to predict their fate. They would be summarily dealt with. If one of them escaped the death chair he would be lucky. The effect of thi.s bit of news upon the bunco steerers, or the Artful Trio, could only be imagined. Their plot against the life of Old King Brady had cer tainly resulted in a dismal failure. But the two detectives had not as yet accomplished their prime purpose, which was the capture of the bunco steerers. Young King Brady's experience, however, in tracking them had not been without good results. In fact, he had been close on their track only a short while before the turn of events which had so luckily hap pened in his coming to Old King Brady's rescue. CHAPTER XV. YOUNG KING BRADY'S RUSE. Young King Brady had not been idle all the days that the older detective was haunting the Bowery. He had assumed his task of looking up the Artful Trio in a zC'alous spirit. The young detective's plans were all in kel:!ping with accustomed originality and shrewdness. He had an exact picture of Simeon Hardy in his He had noted carefully every detail of his makeup, e to the color and texture and cut of his clothes. Young King Brady was about the size and build Hardy. He proceeded at once to very cleverly make himself for Hardy. He was completely successful. Dress, features and even the peculiar walk of the bu ste e rer were very cleverly imitated. It was an original idea. It certainly was a clever one, and, as incidents s proved, effective. Having succeeded in thus disguising himself, the yo detective next laid his plan cleverly. He knew that the bunco steerers were in hiding in t quarter of the city in which the Three Fleas held forth. This was the region contiguous to Chatham Square the Five Points and vicinity. He accordingly proceeded to haunt certain east side loons and resorts. One evening he dropped into a m hall. He had just called for a glass of beer as a blind whe heard a purrir:g voice b e hind him : "Hullo, Sim! What are you doing here?" Young King Brady looked up. A woman stood over him. For a moment he was thrilled. It was Ann Pl."entiss. "Lively Ann" did not for an instant suspect the iden of Young King Brady. She sank into a seat at his ta "I'll have sherry, Sim l" sh e said. "Sherry for one !" said Young King Brady to the wai Then he avoided the woman's gaze and pretended to his beer. She seemed to be laboring under some emot "Sim," she said in a whisper, "aren't we taking cha here?" ''Ugh!" grunted the pseudo bunco steeerer. "I'd to know how ?" "How?" repeated "Lively Ann." "Why, the foxes, Bradys, might happen in here at any moment, and the where would we be ?" "They'll not tackle me and live to tell of it!" "But the odds, you know. The police would have t>Oth before we could get out of here. Oh, I tell you tisky. I know you like your beer, and--" leaned forward and put a soft hmd on Young K Brady's shoulder. ''You know I love you, Simeon. I never loved any before. We are to be married, you know--" "Don'ttell all New York of it!" said the young det ive, feigning irritation. "Oh, Simeon," said the confidence woman in an e tional tone, "don't take any chances. We ought to 1 this country to-day." "To-day?" ''Yes. I have a good fortune, and it is all yours.


THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. 29 11 go to gay Paris, to the Riviera. We will see the rld !" 'And the world will see us!" She drew back pettishly. 'You are horrid to-night, Sim," she said. 'I don't like love-making in public." 'Then let us go home. I know that Con is waiting at room to see you. Will you go ?" oung King Brady experienced a thrill. ere was a development he was unprepared for. A ing plan flashed across his mind. f it succeeded the game was won. f it failed. He shivered as he thought of the possible sequences. But the young detective was not the one to w a white feather. o he said: All right, Annie. We'll go home and talk it all over!" hey arose and Ann led the way out of the music hall. n the street they made their way through the jostling vd and turned into a dingy thoroughfare leading to d the docks. rom this they entered a narrow alley and crossed a k court. hen they ascended the stoop of a dilapidated dwelling. opened the door and they were in a dark hallway. 'he young detective's nerves were tingling. e was in the den of the bunco steerers. ere was where they had been hiding since the betrayal heir Forty-fourth street house oung King Brady knew full well the awful risk of the erous game he was playing. e knew that he was taking his life literally into his hands. ailure meant death. ut he was resolved to succeed. Certainly no detective undertook a more daring coup. His nerves were steel. nn led him along the dark passage. rough a transom over a door he saw a glimmer of the room beyond, what should he :find? Corcoran undoubtedly there. But what if Hardy was, too? hat would be the result? e young detective felt for his revolver. It might be sary to draw quickly. He was ready. vely Ann" pushed open the door and they were again blaze of light. e room revealed was furnished fairly well. an easy chair under a shade lamp a single occupant sat O'ed in reading. ung King Brady felt a thrill. was not Hardy! was Corcoran. e bunco steerer-turned his head, and at sight of them testily: ell, Sim Hardy, I've waited here a long while to see Where did you :find him, Sis?" came across him in a music hall," replied "Lively "He didn't want to come home." a music hall?" gasped Corcoran, aghast. "Well, I at! Exposing us all in such a reckless fashion!" Young King Brady made a great bluff. He yawned, strode to the :fireplace and lit a cigarette. Then he yawned again. "What do ye want to see me about?" he asked. "Why, that matter we were talking about the other night." The detective shivered. His ingenuity was taxed. But he managed to say: "Well, what do you decide?" "Decide? Why, it is for you to decide!" "Of course. Oh, yes." "Well, what do you say?" "I can't tell you to-night." "Can't tell me to-night? Why put it off? It is an eas.Yl matter. Speak right out!" "But I must have more time to think-that is, allowing that it will not interfere with the plan." "Time to think? Plan? Why, what are you talking about? I believe you have been drinking, sir. None but a fool would get drunk at such a critical time." "Critical time?" said Young King Brady, grasping vainly for a clew to aid him. ''You're always borrowing trouble. Always talking about a critical time." Corcoran stared at the presumed Hardy and then at "Lively Ann." The woman, however, in her wheedling way came to the rescue. "Sim is awful tired to-night," she simpered. "Don't tax him with anything of a perplexing sort." "But I tell you we've got to settle it!" roared Corcoran. "The longer we stay in the country now the nearer we shall come to the death chair. It's waiting fo us!" "All right," said Young King Brady, suddenly grasping a theory. "When do you propose to leave?" "Have you entirely forgotten our talk of the other night?" "No!" roared Young King Brady, for he felt that it would be fatal to drop the bluff. "Then wkat are you hedging for? I tell you we've got to do it!" "I'll agree." "That settles it!" said Corcoran with alacrity. "We won't quarrel further. I suppose you and Annie will hitch up?" "Likely," said Young King Brady at a venture. The woman threw her arms about his neck. The young detective gave her a squeeze. "There, that will do!" he said. "It's all settled." "You haven't said anything yet about the money," cried Corcoran. "Oh, dear!" thought Young King Brady. "What is coming next?" Aloud he cried: "Oh, confound your money. I don't want it. All I want is Ann!" Now both the woman and Corcoran looked startled The latter rose to his feet. "Hardy, you're crazy!" he cried. "What has come over you? You don't act natural." Again the woman, Ann Prentiss, came to Young King Brady's rescue. She turned on Corcoran like a tigress.


30 THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. "You let him alone!" she cried, with flashing eyes. "He "It's that cursed detective!" is not feeling well. You shall not persecute him!'' Young King Brady, with a quick backward step, pla ''I am beginning to think you are both fools!" said Cor-himself against the wall of the room. coran contemptuously. "You're the most lovesick pair 1 His revolver was gripped in his right hand. ever saw. Go and get married and be done with it!" ''Yes!" he said cooly. "It is one of the Bradys. "No, no!" said Young King Brady, putting "Lively Ann" for your timely arrival, Simeon Hardy, the sequel wo aside. "Let us discuss matters calmly It is agreed thai have been far different." we have found it too warm in New York." The bunco steerers were not only for the moment ast "Now you're talking sense," said Corcoran readily. ished, but terrified. Young King Brady felt that he had struck the right That they should have been readily duped dazed th chord. In that moment they saw the verge of the pit "Good he rejoined. "Shall we separate in going into which they had almost walked. abroad?" Into the minds of the three there crept a questi "Of course!" cried Corcoran. "Just as we planned the Were these detectives omnipotent? Were they aided b other night Before we go we must aim a revengeful blow supernatural power? at the two Bradys They must pay for their interference They seemed to have the happy faculty of omniprese in our affairs!" and a divination far beyond human ken. Was it feas "Exactly!" t&> attempt to cope with such irresistible power? ''If we can get them in the right place one blow would do But this was succeeded by blind rage and hatred. it. It will be murder, and we shall have to skip the counThey turned on the young detective like human wol try. But that is all right Ten years abroad. won't hurt Had he been unarmed his fate would have been spee us, and when we come back we shall be better prepared settled than ever for a renewal of business!" But they looked into the muzzle of the deadly revol "Capital!" affirmed Young King Brady "Now the matand pau ed. ter is all settled, let me propose a plan for entrapping the "Brady," said Corcoran tensely, "what does this me two Bradys What do you want here?" Corcoran and the woman looked expectant. "You !" replied the young detective in a steely vo It was a great moment. "I intend to put you behind bars!" Young King Brady had seized the dilemma by the horns Corcoran bit his bloodless lip and laughed fiendi bl and began to foresee wonderful results. "That is well enough to say," he said tensely. "But It looked at that moment as if chance had put a great one thing you may depend. You shall not go from opportunity into his hands. alive !" But before he could make use of it an unlooked-for fatal"That remains to be seen." ity happened "How can you expect to escape? y OU are in our Suddenly footsteps sounded outside the door of the room. and we are three to one!" The door swung open "A movement to attack me will make you one less!" The scene which ensued baffies portrayal. O n the the young detective. threshold stood the double of the man whom ''Lively Ann" "But it would mean your death!" and Corcoran were waiting to hear speak. "I am not so sure !" It was Simeon Hardy himself Corcoran looked at Hardy. The latter had a er CRATER XVI. IN THE TOILS. In all his career Young King Brady had never faced a more thrilling situation than this. The expression upon the faces o f the three b unco steer ers was beyond description Simeon Hardy stared at Young King Brady and all stared at him Then Corcoran looked from one to the o t h e r. An oath dropped from his lips. "What is this?" he h i ssed. "Treachery e are betrayed l" gleam in his eyes. He still stood in the doorway. Young King Brady watched them narrowly Not slightest move escaped his vigilant gaze. He knew that he had by no means the best end of situation. Corcoran and ''Lively Ann" would have been easy ga But Hardy held a position of vantage. The crafty lain knew this, and it did not ta1i:e him long to decide u a move. ''We might as well cave, I guess Con," he said with fected re ignation "I suppose the other Brady ain't from here "I'll not do it," said Corcoran resolutely. ''Li Ann" was silent and very pale. It had been a shoe her. "He's got us dead!" continued Hardy. "Put up ha n ds for the bracelets, Con 1" "Not by a jugful!" Young King B rady was not deceived.


THE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. 31 I i He drew a small whi tle from his pocket with his disengaged hand. On it he blew a shrill blast. The Artful Trio only laughed. "What's that for?" a ked Corcoran scornfully. "There's no chance of that being heard in the street, and there is nobody in this house would give you a bit of assistance. You're off your trolley !" Young King Brady only blew the whistle again, disre arding their comments. He saw that it had the proper effect and just what he desired. The bunco stcerers looked furtively about and appeared to listen. It was plain that they were inclined to regard this as a signal to Old King Brady or some other colleague. It, however, resulted in an action which Young King Brady had not anticipated. uddenly Hardy, swift as a flash, dodged back into the corridor. In that instant Young King Brady fired. The bullet splintered the jam of the door against which Hardy had leaned. Then exciting things happened. Corcoran gave the lamp a swift blow. It was dashed to the floor and all was instant darkness. The young detective heard a skurrying of forms about him. 'fhen he tried in vain to clutch them. But they eluded him. He was baffled. When he was at last able to light his own dark lantern and take a look about the bunco steerers were gone. They had given him the lip in the most surprising manner. To say that the young detective was chagrined would be a mild statement. He was angry at himself. And yet he reflected that the odds had been against him, and he had indeed been lucky to escape with his life. In vain he searched the house for some trace of the fugi tives. It could not be found. They had made their escape good. Defeated but not discouraged, Ymmg King Brady found his way back into the street near Chatham Square. It was now a late hour. Young King Brady was just turning into Chatham Square when he heard cries and blows and the sounds of a l struggle. This was at the upper end of the Square, under the ele l vated railroad structure. It was the same fracas which had attracted the attention 0.1: Old King Brady and had resulted in his pursuit of the Three Plea. Young King Brady reached the spot shortly after Old Ki _ng Brady left. The young detective, believing that the affair was con nected with the ca e he was working on, took the trail. He followed Old King Brady into the dingy courtyard and lost trace of him. After a long search he finally thought of the roof. At onec he proceeded to climb the fire escape. Up he Ment until finally he reached the roof. After a long search he found the rope ladder leading \ down into the room where Old King Brady stood a chance of being done to death by his foes. The reader is familiar with what followed. The Three :Fleas were brought to the bar of justice in a summary fashion. The two detectives kept dark after the affair which re sulted in the capture of the three thugs. They conferred in secret as to the next best plan to pur sue. It was extremely unfortunate that "Lively Ann" and her two colleagues had escaped the young detective. Old King Brady, however, commended the younger de tective upon his skilful ruse which had nearly resulted in bagging the game. "I wish I had been there also!" he declared. "They would have been ours." "That they would," agreed Young King Brady. "But I will not give them up yet. They have not yet left the country." "They will try to do so!" The two detectives exchanged glances. "I heard Corcoran once speak of Italy,'' said Young King Brady. "We might try a line on the Italian steamers which come into New York." So the two detectives began work with the assumption that the three bunco steerers would leave America at once by some foreign bound steamer They haunted the piers of all out-going steamers and inspected the passenger lists at the steamer offices. Two days later Young King Brady found an entry on the steerage list of the Campania which at once interested him. The names given were: "Hans Schlatter." "Gretel Schlatter." "August Biel.'' "Reading these names one would easily suppose the own ers to be German emigrants returning to their native clime. But the keen detectives by careful questioning discovered the fact that the passage had been engaged by a tall, clerical man who was by no means a German, nor an immigrant. "That was either Corcoran or Hardy-more likely the latter,'' said Young King Brady with conviction. "We will be on hand when those German travelers go aboard," declared Old King Brady Finally the day set for the Campania to sail arrived. The decks of the ocean liner were crowded and the gangplank was almost ready to be cast off. Suddenly there appeared on the wharf three nondescript characters. They were just about to step onto the steerage plank when an unexpected thing happened. Two officers suddenly stepped from the throng and plaeed hands on the two men. The woman stood aghast. "Simeon Hardy," said the taller of the two officers, "we arrest you for bunco steering and other crimes. Con Cor coran, you the same. And Ann Prentiss, do not attempt to eS

'l'HE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. The three Germans looked stupid and stolid, and one of them said: "Mein Gruss geschickt !" "Nein!" asseverated the woman. "Ach you no under stand We go back to Shermany all dot same nefer no more come back. Dot all right? Ach, Himmel!" "Your German is not pure," said Old King Brady, with a smile. "I am afraid you'll not see Germany this trip." The detective swept one arm over the head of the tall man. Off came the cap and blond wig, revealing a bullet head. It was Simeon Hardy. What followed was as swift as human thought. Realizing that their game was up and their chance lost, Hardy had exchanged glances with Corcoran. Quick as a flash of lightning he made a complete back somersault and cleared the edge of the wharf. A great shout went up from the crowd, and they surged forward. Corcoran had tried to do the same thing, but Young King Brady floored him and slipped manacles upon him. He was quickly handcuffed to the woman and she in turn handcuffed to an officer who came up. Then all were interested in the fate of Hardy. CHAPTER XVII. "LIVELY ANN'S" TREACHERY.-THE END. It looked as if the villain had leaped into the dock with suicidal intent. He could hardly have expected to escape in that manner. Down into the water he went with a great splash. For some moments he was lost sight of. Then a steam r hand ran out on the gang plank with a boat hook just as the villain's head bobbed above the surface. The hook was inserted in his collar and he was drawn up onto the plank. Ready hands seized him, and, dripping and gasping, he was pulled onto the wharf. Explanations were made to the steamer offi9ers and the three bunco steerers were closely handcuffed. The steamer cast off from the pier and started for Europe, but minus three steerage passengers. It was with difficulty that the officers got them into a ] patrol wagon, and they were taken to headquarters. Now that the game was up, they became tractable and confessed many things. One day ''Lively Ann" sent for Old King Brady to visit her in the Tombs. As he approached her cell she broke down and wept bit terly. The detective came to the grating and said: "What is the matter, Ann? What can I do for you?" "Oh, Mr. Brady," she said brokenly, "it is awful to think of the end to which I have come. I was once a pure, innocent girl and never dreamed that my life would turn out thus." Old King Brady pitied her, as he had many others. "It is too bad," he said sympathetically. "Perhaps for good conduct your sentence may be shortened." But "Lively Ann" shook her head. "I shall not live it out,'' she declared prophetically. "So I am going to make to you a great confession." It was not the first experience of the kind. He drew out his note book. As he did so he bent nearer the grating. Just in time his quick eye caught a glimmer. He dodged back. Through the bar there had shot a long, keen dagger blade, held in the grip of the human tigress. It barely missed his throat. Aghast, the old detecti"7e dropped his note book and stared at the woman. In that instant her whole being had seemed to become transfigured. From her abject position. of repentance and weeping she had changed to a cunning, leering evil-eyed, dark-souled murderess. She hissed at her escaped victim like a veritable serpent. She tore the prison bars feverishly and madly in the vain attempt to get at tha man she hated so venomou.>ly. "Heavens!" gasped Old King Brady. "Did you mean to kill me?" "Kill you!" shrieked the insane woman. "Why should I not? You have balked me of my life's desire. You have blackened me forever. Another hour and I should have been upon the high sea, speeding to safety and another life. Think of it, you fiend!" Old King Brady's narrow escape was miraculous. "Lively Ann" thereafter emulated her name most effectively. She became one of the most obstinate and troublesome of prisoners. The strait-jacket was often her lot. Con Corcoran died in Sing Sing of a lingering disease. 1 The ill success of his plans was a bitter disappointment to him. Simeon Hardy's career was a more varied one. With three compatriots he one night made an escape from Sing Sing prison and swam out to a passing tow of canal boats. The skipper of these welcomed the convicts and took them into his cabin for shelter. Hardy requited this kindness by conspiring with his companions to render the canal boat captain hors du com bat and rob him of his money. So they overpowered him and his helpmate, cut the tow line and after tying both men in the cabin set the boat on fire and started to row ashore in a skiff. But the tugboat crew gave chase and upset the skiff. Two of the convicts were drowned, Hardy being one of them. And thus he ended hi s black career. The two Bradys soon became absorbed in another case of mystery and crime, but t!iey have not forgotten these details which have just been given the reader, of their great bluff hand, or the bunco game that failed to work. Read IN AND OuT; on, THE Two KING BR.A.DYS ON A LIVELY CHASE, which will be the next number ( 5) of SECRET SERVICE.


'l'HE BRADYS' GREAT BLUFF. The three Germans looked stupid and stolid, and one of cent girl and never dreamed that my life would turn out them said: thus." "Mein Gruss geschickt !" Old King Brady pitied her, as he had many others e._vm:ated the woman. "Ach you no under"It ;0 t..-' -OLD AND YOUNG KING BRADY, DETECTIVES. Who has not heard of" Old King Brady," the celebrated detective, who has unraveled more mysteries than any sleuth ever heard of. In the series of stories to be published in SECRET SERVICE, he will be assisted by a young man known a s "Young King Brady," whose only aim in life is to excel "Old King Brady" in w orking ur: dangerous c ases and running the criminals to earth. How well he does s o will oG fully explained in the following stories published in SECRET SERVICE. PRICE 5 CENTS. 32 PACES. / Colored Covers. Issued Weekly. Ko. 1. The Black Band; or, The Two King Bradys Against a Ba.rcl Gang. An Interesting Detective Story. Ko. 2. Told by the Ticker; or, The Two King Bradys on a Wall Stree1 Case. Issue d F e bruary 3rd Ko. 3. The Bradys After a Million; or, Their Chase to Save an Heiress Issue d F e bru ary 10th. Ko. 4. The Bradys' Great Blu:ff; or, A Bunco Game that Failed to Work, I ssu e d F e bruary 1 7th. For sal e by a n newsdealers o r sent postp aid o n receipt of pl'ic e 5 cents per copy b y TC>-USE:::"Y", :E>11, 29 WEST 26TH STREET,


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