Inspector Watts' great capture, or, The case of Alvord, the embezzler


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Inspector Watts' great capture, or, The case of Alvord, the embezzler

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Title:
Inspector Watts' great capture, or, The case of Alvord, the embezzler
Series Title:
Shield Weekly
Creator:
Bradshaw, Alden F.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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32 p. : port. ; 25 cm.

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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Detective and mystery stories, American ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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024870537 ( ALEPH )
07698492 ( OCLC )
S75-00002 ( USF DOI )
s75.2 ( USF Handle )

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serial

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No. 3. Price, Five Cents SHIElD WEEKlY lftSPECTOR WATT3 GREAT CAPTURE orlhe of Alvord, the Embezzler 5Y ALDEN F.BRADSHAW PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street, New Yo r k City. 1900, by Strut & Smil/J All rrg/J/s rtJtrvtd. Enltrtd al Ntw York Pos l-0.ffict as S r cond-C/ass Mal/tr.

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TRUE /srued Wul;!ly. No. CHIEF INSPECTOR WATTS. head of the detective force of the city of Boston. He figures prominently In the SHIELD WEEKLY stories, and is well known throughout New England as one of the ablest and most efficient police officials in the United States.

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Inspector Watts' Great Capture; OR, THE: C:1'SE: Of' 1'LVORD, TttE: MBE:ZZLE:R. By ALDEN F. BRADSHAW. CHAPTER I. THE S ECRET NOTICE. It w as to come like a bolt from a clear sky! It was to shock the community, stagger the bankers, send a tremor through sensitive Wall street, and a shudder through all the financial world. It was to quicken the pulse of the police i n every city of the globe, and set beating fa s ter the heart of every town constable and c ounty the contin ent ov e r. It was to startle an e w those tir e less sleuth hounds of jus tice, the Inspectors of the Secret S e rvice, as the shri ll cry of the hunts man, or the angry snarl of game that breaks cover startles th e h o unds just loosed from lea s h. Sev e n hundre d thousand dollars! It may Le said with a single breath. The figures may be written with the dash of a pen. It is not more than a drop in the bucket of the world's wealth-yet it would found a college, establish a hospital, or keep ten thou sand families in fue l for a year. "Let me see that notice once more, De tective K e ene." D e spit e the significance of the foregoing, the voice of the speaker was coldly calm as if he had asked but the-time of
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SHIELD WEEKLY. 3 Chief Watts bowed gravely as he received the paper from his subordinate, and signed the latter to a chair near his desk. "It is one of the old, old stories, told by far too frequently," he at length said, with some austerity, as his gaze rose to meet that of his companion. "A bank robbed of more than half a million dollars. Iri explicable I cannot understand how such stupendous thefts can be committed in any well-directed institution." "Nor I, Chief Watts," rejoined Sheridan Keene. "The amount of the em bezzlement is not specified, is it?" ''No. The theft has just been discovered, but tpe loss is approximately known. I in fer that the books have been manipulated, and may be in bad shape." "The First National Bank of New York, I think the notice states?" "Yes, and one of the strongest in the country. ''ls any reason given, Chief Watts, why the is not immediately made pub lic?" asked Detective Keene. "No," answered Chief Watts, shortly. "This notice comes secretly through the police, whose temporary silence upon the subject is emphatically required. We are simply asked to make strenuous efforts to locate and arrest one of the assistant clerks, who is ahsent on a short vacation." "Which possibly may prove to be a long one!" dryly suggested Keene. "Possibly, since the clerk is evidently sus pected." fThe description given of him is quite precise." "Yes, fortunately His name here appears to be Archer or Larcher. The uncer tainty is caused by the operator who transmitted the notice. I shall have to get it ac curately, and then will begin a quiet search for the man. When he left the bank, it was thought that he coming to Boston, but if his address was taken, it is not now known, and, perhaps, was destroyed:" "What do you infer, Chief, to be the mo tive of the bank officers in "'ithholding the publication of the embezzlement?" "Humph!" and Chief Watts tossed hi5-"Most likely they first want to ascertain the precise state of affairs at the 00.nk, and possibly plan to effect a restitution. That is always the way. But there are features in this notice which lead me to doubt whether the bank officers are on the right track. Indeed, I am beginning to think that the case may involve much more of a mystery than they even imagine." I Sheridan Keene was startled slightly. He well knew with what shrewd perception and keen, logical deductions the Chief invariably ,took hold of a case of this kind and magni tude. Pie drew a little nearer, asking with interest: "How so, Chief Watts?" He little dreamed that this efficient head of the Boston Secret Service had already begun his remarkable analysis of thi.s affair, the culmination of which was destined to startle police circles throughout the country, and place his name on the lips of the entire com munity. "To begin with," Chief Wci.tts replied, with forcible earnestness, "this bank has been robbed of nearly a million dollars. What has become of thi.!immense sum of money? No individual can alone and in ordinary ways spend anything like a million dollars without becoming notolrious as a gambler, a speculator, or a spendthrift." "That's true." "Some underhand scheme, then, has been in operation, If the deficit is ;;i.nything like what is here reported. If this money had been use
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4 SHIELD WEEKLY. "There is logic in that, Chief!" exclaimed Sheridan Keene, with enthusiasm. Chief \i\T atts turned his chair nearer, and the young detective instantiy knew what was coming. "You are not now .at v.rork on any case, are Inspector Keene?" "Not at present, Chief." "I want you to investigate this one, under my direction," said Chief Watts, sho rtly. "You will, as usual, be governed partly by your judgment, an
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SHIELD WEEKLY. 5 or not, may reach a broker or a bookmaker, and gamble without publicity. Of the lot, though he po11ed as a gentleman, Jim Green leaf was by far the most unscrupulous. "Hello, Maxwell!" he i:ejoined in rasping tones. "The market is all right, btit I am all wrong-:" "Short, eh?'' "As short as a museum dwarf! And the worst of it is---' He stopped short as he took another glance at the ticker, and then picked up his hat and started to go out. "Pardon me," lie said; "there's a man I must see right away." As the door closed he made a dash for the elevator, and on reaching the street, ran through the narrow Wall street entrance to the Stock Exchange, and in another moment had reached the gallery. There, standing by the railing, he spied a sallow, angularfeatured man, whom he quickly drew apart. "I've been watching for you, Haskins," he said, in excited whispers. "Where have yon been?" "In Gammon's office. You said you'd meet me there at noon." "It is not noon yet! Besides, I told you to drop in here first, in case we needed to reach the big finger." "How ab _ont it?" "This about it!" replied Greenleaf, with suppressed vehemenre. "Our margins will be entirely., wiped out unless provision against it is speedily made. Everything is going against us. I'vebeen watching for you since the market opened. You must get word to him at once-the usual story and the usual amount!" The matter engaging these men was evi dently very serious. Their intense earnest ness betrayed the vital nature of their dis cussion, and their care against being overheard was plainly significant. Yet such a scene is not uncommon in the corridors adjoining the New York Stock Exchange. Neither Jim Greenleaf nor his companion noticed the arrival of Detective Keene, who appeared in the doorway at that moment, too far away, however, to overhear their con versation. The angular features of one turned ugly and resentful when he replied to the other's censure. "It's all right to say get word to him at once," he said, with a growl; "but it's easier said clone. He is not at the bank this morning." "Not there!" "No, sir; nor is the signal card at his win dow as usual. I've been by there a dozen times, and I'll swear he has not come in this morning." "Can he be sick?" gasped Greenleaf, whose own suddenly wore a pallor that of illness. "Possibly that is the matter-and perhaps worse!" "No, no! He assured me only night be fore last that no unusual danger existed." "The usual danger is enough, and greater is always in a case of this kind," was the forcible reply. "One never knows when the lightning will strike!" "If it is about to strike, we are fools to stand idle here! Do you know where he can be found ?" "How should I know? Of course not!" "You are positive about his absence'" "Am I a fool ?" "\Vell, found he must and shall be!" dedared Greenleaf, vehemently. "The libert y of us all is at stake, if the worst has come. Wait here a minute. I wiil cover at once and pocket a loss. Better a half-loaf than none!" Leaving Haskins standing in the gallery. he rusher! b;tck to the broker's office, making a hurried purchase of several large blocks of stock, and taking a check for his balance of cre
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; SHIELD WEEKJ,y. wcu1d wager against their honesty, or Lavater is a liar." Yet was far from dreaming how closely related his interests were with theirs. He followed them with his gaze till they vanished in the crowd thronging the exit into Wall street ; then he decided to return to the office of Captain McClusky. This significant incident occurred within twenty-four hours of that momentous after noon, momentous in the life of at least one. unhappy man, when the First NationalBank of New York closed its doors at the end of its business day, and Cornelius L. Alvord, Jr., walked out of the bank building for the last time. And for the last time, with no adieu to the scenes in which for twenty years he ha, d been a familiar, pleasing and prominent figure, he departed with the freedom of old, a man as yet unconvicted of heinous crime by the ir refutable evidence of his own crafty handi work. Only the man himself could tell the burden he bore, what direful apprehensions weighed him down He alone could tell what resistless impuise drove him to return an hour later, to skirt with tremulous steps the imposing building, and to peer with wide dilated eyes through its clear plate windows. VVith a shudder shaking his massive figure, he beheld the bank clerks busily engaged in an examination of the books. There he stood while the moving crnwq eyed him casually and passed 011. Little did any person dream that the man he had seen, the well-dressed, important-looking man of affairs, was one of the most clever defaulters the country had ever known. To the passing multitude there was nothing strange in the man's appearance or manner. He might be waiting for a friend. If, perchance, some one noticed a hunted, wor ried look in his face as he stood there nerv ..ously clenching his hands, it was credited simply to the strain of a day's operations in Wall street. Perhaps he had narrowly es caped losing a large sum of money on 'ChaBge. It was nothing new to see a man in such a condition at the end of a day's excitement in this money mart. The occasion for the examination of the books \vas not difficult to determine. Its significance spoke in accents not to be ig nored. ARd then and there the truth came home to Cornelius L. Alvord, Jr., with all its force and all its sickening import. From that hour he was an outcast from society. From that hour he became a fugitive from justice-or a felon under the law! "So at last the chickens have come home to roost!" He muttered the words brokenly, under his breath. He stood staring for a moment as if undec::ided ; as if there were a battle within between that better self which ould have rushed fonvard and sought relief in con fession, and that more cowardly part which fears to face the consequences of its own transgressions. Then, pale even to marble whiteness, with a quiver of the lips under his light mustache, he braced himself anew by force of will, and turned and moved away-his choice the alternative which held out to him the slender promise of personal freedom only. It was a momentous decision, one possibly involving as great as those of the evil already done. For from the moment he turned from the past to embrace the unknown future, and vanished, as it were, into the moving world of mankind, he gave in ception to what threatened to become the greatest and most expensive' man-hunt ever recorded on the pages of criminal history. CHAPTER III. SHERIDAN KEENE MAKES A MOVE OF HIS OWN. That Captain McClusky was deeply im pressed with the of Chief Watts, as presented by Sheridan Keene, was appar ent in the fact that, accompanied by the latter. he visited the First National Bank immediately after their interview at head quarters. Already the chiefs of police i n all of the large cities had been startled by the main facts announced in the secret notice which had been issued, and, in all directions officers were active1y engaged in a quiet search for a man answering the description of the derk known to be absent from the bank. On arriving with Detective Keene, Cap..

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SHIELD WEEKLY. '1 tain McClusky immediately led the way to the directors' room, where he found, in earnest consultation, not only Cashier Reed and Vice-President Hine, but also several of the bank directors and the bank's counsel, Mr. Fisher A. Baker. The unexpected appearance of the New York Chief seemed to create some little consternation; yet courteous greetings were passed, and Captain McClusky came at once to his business. "I wish to make a few .inquiries relative to this gentlemen," he said, firmly. "I would like to.kno w, to begin with,' why you are averse to publishing all of the facts, and at once instituting a vigorous search for the guilty party or parties?" "But Captain McClusky, Captain Mc Clusky!" one of the directors hastened to assuasively interp<;>se, rising to give weight to his words. "There are many things to be conS1dered before taking tbiat decided step." ,. are they?" demanded Captain Mc Clusky, shortly. "In the first place we are not ahsoluiely certain who is guilty. The books are now being examined. They are in a bad state. We are at present sure only of an enormous deficit. Possibly, when the precise facts are discovered, we may be able to recover -some of this money, either through litigation or some other judicious method." "Then your aim is to effect a restitution, is it?" demanded Captain McClusky, who did not appear at all pleased with the ex plci.nation. "Partly; only partly, sir!" was the reply made, with pacific earnestness. "Really, really, sir, this investigation should not ,be hastened. It will be best to first know the precise facts, and moderation is very desir able. If you can locate the clerk who is absent--" "One moment, please What is the clerk's name-Arch1erT' c;y e-s, sir; as was stated in the notice sent you." "When was he last at the bank?" "Several days ago, Captain McClusky; I think on Wednesday last." "Was his leave of absence requested, Mr. Hine?" "Yes, it was." "Did he have the usual vacation annu.ally given your clerks?" "No, he did not, which was <..me reason for permitting him to go at this time." "What did he say when he asked to go away?" "He merely asked if he could go away for a few days. He had been working hard an d his request was granted." "Did he say where he intended going?" "I think he said he wished to. visit friends in Boston." "Did you ask him to give you his ad dress?" "I did not," was the reply, with a head shake. "I did not think it necessary." "Have you his New York address?" "He lives on West Fifty-seventh street. V.ie have mad e inquiries there, but his Where abouts is not known." "What have been Archer's duties here?" "They have been rather general. At times he has assisted the tellers, and frequently has been called upon by our Mr. Alvord." "Has he had such access to the books and the funrls as would have enabled him to steal more than half a million dollars?" asked Cap tain McClusky, rather sharply. ''We ca1J. better judge of that, Captain, after the books have been thoroughly investi gated," was the quick retort. "In an insti tution of this kind, sir, great thefts are some times committed by methods and persons entirely 1.msuspectetl." Captai.n McClusky frowned, and Sheridan Keene anticipated his next questions. "What led you first to suspect Archer of the crime?" "The fact that he had asked for a vacation just at this time. It was suggested by Mr. Alvord as being a very signifis;ant fact, henc e our immediate action." "Do the books sllGlw .that Mr. Alvord mav be justilied j.n casting suspicion Archer?" "We cannot tell that, Captain As I have already informed you, the accounts are seriously mixed." /

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8 SHIELD WEEKLY. "What others of the employees of the bank are absent?'' ''Not one sir!'' was the emphatic re joinder. ''When did Mr. Alvord make this suggestion abont Archer?" "Yesterday afternoon, sir." Will you please call him in here, Mr. Hine? I would like to ask him a question." "He has not come in yet, Captain Mc Clusky, or I would do so. -He had business at his home in Mt. Vernon this morning, and was to come into town later in the day." "Do you expect him?" "He possibly may not return until to-mor row morning. His absence for brief periods is nothing unusual, sir." "I infer from your last remark," said Cap tain McClusky, dryly; "that you mean to imply that Mr. Alvord is quite above sus picion." "We have always so considered him, sir He has been with the bank for fully twenty years, and has held positions of the highest trust. To suspect Mr. Alvord--" ''Pshaw! Absurd!" cried one of the di rectors, and a close friend of the man dis cussed. "The very idea is nonsense!" Captain McClusky made no direct reply to this, but his grave face, for a moment tnrning quite white and severe, spoke vol umes. He came forward and rested his palm upon the large center table, saying deeply: ".[ came here to get a few fac.ts, if possible, bearing upon this bmentable affair, and not to discnss the relative merits of any of your employees! But there is one thing, gentlemen, that I wish, as Chief of the New York detective force, to impress up<:>n your minds!" "What is that, Captain ?" ''That a great crime has been committed; that both justice and the public good require a rigorous investigation of this case, and the pnnishment of the criminal And I demand of you that any facts contributing to that end shall be imparted to me as soon as dis covered, and that a warrant be sworn out for the arrest of the guilty person as soon as his iqentity is positively established This is all to-day, gentlemen!" It was the forcible advice of the man accustome
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. SHIELD WEEKLY. 9 after waiting till his train went on, he acKeene at once decided to be Mrs. Alvord, a costed the station agent. circumstance which also struck him as being "Pardon I" he said courteously "Have suspicious. Yet he raised bis hat and said, you noticed whether Mr. Alvord came out politely: on one of the earlier trains? Or have you "I wish to see Mr. Alvord, if you please, seen him since morning?" The agent stopped short and laughec!, cu riously. "I say, sir!" he exclaimed. "You are the second man who has asked me that sort of a question since noon to-day." "That so?" said Keene, pleasantly. "Who was the other ?1 "Nobody I knew, sir," said the agent, who was favorably impressed with his questioner's agreeable manner. "He was a solidly built man, with short gray hair and small eyes." "Smooth face?" "Yes, and rather red." "Wear a big diamond ?" "I can't say about that. He had his top coat buttoned." "Was he alone ?" "So far as I know, sir. He came down here in a carriage, and went away in it." "Didn't remain long, eh?" "Only to ask if I'd seen Alvord leave town. But I haven't laid eyes on him to-day, sir. Excuse me! Here's an in-bound train!" "The mystery deepens," said Keene to him self, as he left the station. "It's ten to one that was the face I found so noticeable this morning in the gallery of the Stock Exchange! I think, Mr. Alvord, I'll begin in earnest to look you up!" That the man with small eyes had been to the Alvord residence in search of the latter seemed highly probable; and equally so that he had not found him, else he woulCl have had no occasion to make inquiries at the station. Yet Sheridan K e ene was not to be turned from his original project by the failure of another. He inquired the way of a drug clerk, and just before seven o'clock he rang the bell at the front door of the fine Alvord residence on Chestnut Hill. CHAPTER IV. MR. ALVORD TAKES A DRIVE. Detective Keene's summons was answered by a lady, evidently not a servant, and whom madain." "Mr. Alvord is not at home, sir," was the reply "Not at home to callers, perhaps, but--" "Not at home, I said, sir!" "Pardon!" bowed Keene, half-smiling. "I thought, if it were known I had just come out from the bank, that he perhaps would see me, if only for a moment." At this menti o n of the bank, the woman's eyes flashed, and her frown deepened, per ceptibly "How can he see you when he is not here?" she demanded, sharply "If you expect him so on, I might wait," suggested Keene with pacific blandness. "What is your bu s iness with him, young man?" "I wish to learn if he has the address of one of the bank's clerks, madam, who is ab sent on a short vacation. That is all." "Well, if that is all, sir, I will so inform Mr. Alvord when he returns, and he will in form the bank officers, if possible, in tne morning. Goode vening, sir. With which, and a haughty nod, the speaker quickly closed the d oor. Sheridan Kee ne smiled oddly and re mained standing in the vestibule. His detec tive instinct now was deeply stirred. "Make a w o man angry," he reasoned, "and she will sometimes give her s e crets away." He waited about a minute then again rang the bell. It was answered by the same woman. She turned quite pale for a moment then a deep flush of passionate resentment imbued her cheeks. "You again!" she exclaimed sharply. "What do you want now?" "It is very madam," Keene re plied. with unruffled placidity "that the clerk's address should be learned to-night, if possible. If you will kindly tell me where I can find Mr. Alvord I will--" "I cannot tell you sir! Mr. Alvord does not always state where he is going, nor did he

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10 SHIELD WEEKLY. when he departed. Your persistence is annoying, sir Pleas e do not ring again, for the bell will not be answered !" "Thank you, madam, for--" but the door was quite violently closed before De tective Keene could express his obligations. He now decided that nothing would be gained by further persistence. He could not force himself into the house neither would it be well to enter surreptitiously. He left the vestibule and crossed the driveway to look the dwelling over, however; but a few rooms only were lighted, and his were repaid by nothing of moment. As he was about to depart, he suddenly heard from the direetion of the stable the sound of horses' hoofs on a wooden floor, as the animals were led across it. That a pair were out of stall at the same time was signifi cant. "A hitch out!" thought Keene, with a start. "The carriage may be going for some one-possibly Alvord himself. Yet I now \vould lay od9s against that t I'll take a turn out there." The large doors of the stable were open 1 yhen he approached, and the entrance was weTI lighted by two large lanterns. A man, t vidently the coachman, stood near the door, and was drawing on his gloves. In the semi d arkness farther back, two grooms were unhurriedly hitching a pair of well-mated thoroughbreds to a stylish covered carriage. Everything about the place indicated the lav ish taste of the owner. Sheridan Keene approached the coachman, who gave him a doubtful look, then flashed a quick glance in the direction of the car riage. "I am seeking Mr. Alvord," said Keene, in his agreeable way . "Do you know where I can find him?" "Sure, sir, gintlemin looking for Mr. Al vord gin'rally go to the house, not the stable," the man replied, dryly. Sheridan Keene was too wise to offend with a retort. "I have been to the house," he replied, "but Mrs. Alvord doesn't know where he is." "Faith, sir, if his wife doesn't know, his coachman's not likely to! Mr. Alvord doesn't spind much of his leisure in the stable. Toss a heavy robe on the box there, Jerry!" That this fellow had a goodly share of na tive artfulness and wit Sheridan Keene quickly had discerned, yet he did not antici pate the full degree of his cunning. He drew nearer, and said with some little show of authority: ''It is quite necessary that I find Mr. Al -vord, my man Are you about going after him?" The Irishman swung round and surveyed him with a curious grin. "Sure, I"m not, sir!" he said, with a quick nod. "N otillng like it, indade But you'd better be after going from here, sir, or like as not I'll turn the dog on ye." "If you do you 'll have him to bury!" said Keene, curtly. "Stand away there, now. or I'll be running ovei: thim toes o' ye and bruise 'em. Look out here, Jerry!" With whi-ch the coachman strode towards. the rear of the stable, passing the groom on the way, and saying a word or two aside. The groom instantly hurried to the stable door. Already vaguely s.usp1C10us, Sheridan Keene drew to one side to let the vehicle pass cnt. The coachman mounted his box, adjusted his robe, and received the reins from the hands of the second groom. Then he gave the restless animals a and clat t ered forth from the stab l e with a speed that canght Sheridan Keene unprepared. He sprang back to avoid the wheels. Yet. as he did so, the light from one of the lanterns flashed through the closed windows of the passing carriage, and re vealed to his startled gaze the figures and faces of two men within. One was Cornelius L. Alvord, Jr! The other was the man of the Stock Exchange gallery. With a half-suppressed cry, Keene darted in pursuit of the carriage, now a rod away and whirling furiously down the driveway. As he passed the groom in the stable door the fellow thrust out his oot. It tripped the detective, who failed in his excitement to observe the movement, and sent him headlong ;

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 11 into the gravel of the driveway as if shot out of a gun. Sheridan Keene was upon his feet in an instant, and, though he realized that the groom had tripped him, he did not stop, but dashed ahead, following in mad pursuit of the rapidly receding carriage, and fully alive at last to the fact that the deductions and sus picions of Chief Watts were eminently re liable, and that the man-hunt had begun in genuine earnest. I CHAPTER V. THE FIAT OF JlM GREENLEAF. The carriage was not Alvord's, but the horses were his. Alvord's horses were in variably noticeable for their style and speed, and bis penchant in this direction was fairly a The strange carriage, drawn by a pair of ordinary bays, had arrived at the Alvord resi dence less than a half-hour before the arrival of Detective Keene, and the team had quickly been taken by the groom and re moved to the stable. But not until the solitary occupant of the carriage had alighted and been admitted to the house, after a word to his driver, who im mediately departed. That the features were well known there, and that he was in close touch with the master of the house, were evident as the servant admitted him without a word, and readily answered the question he asked as he came over the threshold. "Is Mr. Alvord at dinner or in the iibrary?" he demanded, with a 1ow voice. "He's in the library, Mr. Greenleaf. You ("an go in." "I'll gamble I can go in!" growled Greem leaf to himself. He was in ill humor. His search for Al vord had been a \ong one, and the dangers involved in the delay had been a constant source of irritation. Without removing his top-coat, he proceeded to the library and unceremoniously opened the door. Alvord was seated in an easy chair before the fireplace, his head bowed, his g-aze fixed upon the glow of coals. His indifference indicated that Greenleaf was expected. He merely raised his eyes, and, with a slight gesture, signed the man to a chair, saying moodily: "Close the door. I heard from ;Haskins that you were looking for me, and would come out here. You were here earlier, I am told." "Yes!" said Greenleaf, shortly, with a re sentment only in part concealed. "And if I hadn't heard from Haskins after he met you, I should still be wild goose chasing. Where have you been, and what's wrong?" "Everything is wrong!" said Alvord, with his resoRant voic e, quite low and utterly with' out emotion. "Everything is wrong!" "Not at the bank?" "Yes, at the bank!" "Do you mean--" "I mean that the dance is up, and the piper now must be paid!" It was quietly said, with a calmness like that of a man who, after a long and severe mental strain, relaxes completely, and drops the tension of battle for the apathy of help less despair. Jim Greenleaf heard only what the circum. stances had led him to anticipate, yet when given the positive assurance his cheeks grew steadily pale, and the perspiration rose on his forehead in tiny drops that glistened visibly in the lamplight. / "I?o you mean"-he again began. But Alvord again him, now with some irritation. "You know what I mean, James Greenleaf! Must you see it in black and white, or have it proclaimed from the housetops? You know what I mean when I say that the game is up -hopelessly up!" Greenleaf frowned darkly, but the fiery .gleam of the crafty eyes under his drawn brows rivaled that of the stone in his shirt front. "Can nothing be done?" he demanded. "No, nothing." "Is the exposure imminent?" "Yes, very!" "The truth isn't already known, is it?" "I cannot say how much is known. I hav e not been to the bank today." -'4re you taking no steps to avert the dis aster?" asked Greenleaf, angrily.

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12 SHIELD WEEKLY. "What's the use?" Alvord rejoined, in tones of somber moodiness. "The disaster cannot be averted. I tell you again, tlie game is up!" Green l eaf's voice fell lower, and his ma.n-11er, rather than perturbed and anxious, be came desperate and threatening. He started up from his chair, with his hands clenched and his sturdy figure shaken with suppressed feeling. "The game is up, eh?" he said, vehemently. "Well, what do you propose doing, in that case?" Alvord raised his heavy eyes to the man's pale knowing well by what apprehensions he was moved. "I haven t decided yet, Greenleaf;" he re plied, inclifferently. "Then, by heaven, I'll decide for you !" ''What do you mean by that?" "I mean what I say! I mean that you must ieave the country; that you must evade arrest; that not a moment shall be lost--" -"Oh, sit down!" exclaimed Alvord, sharply. "Your excitement wearies me. I don't know that my interests will best be served by es cape and flight. What use to exile myself from--" "Exile yourself from nothing!" interrupted Greenleaf, with suppressed passion. "Your exile should be of secondary consideration, now that the worst has come The interests of others must not be sacrificed, even if you are willing to throw up your hands and go to the wall." "Oh, that's it is it?" "Aye, that is it!" Greenleaf forcibly con tinued. "Your exposure may involve that of others, in event of your arrest. You have been a game sport, Alvord, and have cut a swell figure on the race track and at Sara. toga--" ''I wish I had never met" you at Saratoga, nor laid eyes on you or any of yours !" cried Alvord. bitterly. "That's neither here nor there!" retorted Greenleaf. "You were ready enough to take up with me and mine,-and to make through me your plunges there and in Wall street. Now that the game is up, mark me! I pto pose to stand between you and a betrayal of others, as I have stood bet.Veen you and earlier exposure There are no ifs, ands or buts about it, Alvord You must lea.ve the country!" "If I decline?" "If you decline, I will expose facts in your career--" "Peace!" Alvord now interposed, with a deprecatory sweep of his powerful arm. "You can expose nothing that will not speed ily be exposed without you. Don't imagine that you can intimidate me with your threats." "I want to know what you intend doing," Greenleaf still persisted, in threatening tones. "I am not here without a purpose, and I'll not be put aside. I want to know what you mean to do at this crisis of affairs, and know I will !" "I don't see how you can, Greenleaf, since I myself do not know," Alvord answered shortly. "I only know at present that I shall remain under cover till I have decided what is best to be done." "But you cannot safely remain here," pro tested Greenleaf, forcibly. "It's ten to one a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and that an officer may be here before morning in &earch of you." "Alas! that's true enough," Alvord dis mally admitted. "You must at least leave here until your own plans are laid-and mine !" the go -b e tween zealously argued. "The interests of others require it. Your arrest must pre vented, your escape insured. I will not an swer for your life, even, if it becomes known that--" "Peace! Don't threaten my life. I have ceased to value it." "But others have lives that are valued, and reputations, as well !" cried Greenleaf, stern ly. "Once for all, you cannot remain here. You are courting arrest by such indifference. An officer even now may be on his way here. If you were arrested to-night, the devil him self couldn't avert the downfall of--" It was at this moment that Sheridan Keene rang at the front door. The sound of the bell, following so closely upon Greenleaf's words, seemed to affect Al vord like an electric shock. He sprang to his feet, pale and trembling, and list ened intently for a moment; then he hurried to the library door, having heard a step in the hall. "Answer the bell!" he cried, softly, to the woman who met his startled gaze. -"Answer it yourself!" She hastened through the hall and the door, while the defaulter stood listening, his strained ears taking in all that was said. When mention was made of the bank, he shuddered violently, and peered between the door and the casing in an attempt to identify the clerk. "It's a lie!" he muttered, angrily. "That man is a stranger He does not come from the bank!" "More likely an officer, a detective!" said Greenleaf, with intense virulence, "If he has a warrant--" "Warrant or not I 'II not be taken yet !" cried Alvord, passionately.

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 13 Perhaps the sudden imminence of this fate, or the words of Greenleaf, or the natural aversion one would feel to being arrested in one's own home-possibly all of these com bined shaped Alvord's immediate conduct. He wheeled sharply to Greenleaf and said, as the front door was closed: "What's to be done?" "Leave here by all means!" cried Green ltaf, instantly. "But whe re can I go?" "With me! My carriage is in the stable! I"ll conceal you in New York for a time, then in Boston! From there you must leave the ceruntry before any arrest can be effected or your--" The bell again. "Answer it!" cired Alvord, with a wave oi his hand towards the woman in the hall. Then he swung round and caught Green Jpaf's arm. "This way!" he muttered, excitedly. "By the rear door Hasten haste n !" They passed out through th e gloom of the right, and reach e d the stable five minutes in advance of Sheridan Keene ''Hitch my horses in place o f thos e !" Al vord hurriedly commanded, addressing one of the grooms. "If a man com e s out here in search of me, I wish to evade him!"' "Sure, sir, lave that to me!" cried the groom. "Get into the carriage, both of you! Now, faith, let the man come!" CHAPTER VI. A SECOND MOVE BY DETECTIVE KEENE. Sheridan Keene did not overtake the car riage containing Alvord and James Green leaf. The fall to which he had been so treacherously treated gave the detective a considerable handicap, and, though he main tained a sharp pursuit for a time, h e finally was distanced, and the rapidly-driven carriage was swallowed up in the darkness. Cooling down from his temporary excite ment, Keene realized that he could have done nothing more than to have asked a few questions, which Alvord could have answered or not, as he pleased. He could not have detained the man. There was no warrant out for his arrest. Suspicion of him was not even general. No officer on the force could legally detain him. He decided to turn the episode merely tc his own use. He now suspected, assuming Alvord to be guilty of felony, that he had been plunging heavily in stocks, possibly con cealing the fact by making his deals through a third party or parties. It might be, too, that through speculation and gambling Alvord had indiscreetly put himself in the power of some clique of crooks or gamblers, by whom he had been driven deeper and deeper in vice. This last seemed very probable to Sheridan Keene, who did n o t fancy the looks and ac tions of Greenleaf; and he resolved that, if 5Uch a gang of crooks were involved, they sl:!ould meet their just deserts along with the defaulter. Yet they were not ordinary crooks and ruffians, of that he felt certain. Alvord was not a man to associate with these. More likely they were the polished scoundrels whose operations are the most difficult to de tect. Communicating with Chief Watts by the long distance telephone next morning, and imparting his discoveries and his own views of the case, Detective Keene was advised to remain in New York and continue his inves tigations. This he did, making during Saturday and Tvfonday a vigorous search for in \Vall street and about the offices of the Stock If he c o uld find the latter, ne through him could locate and keep track of Alvorrl until such action had been taken by the bank as would establish his guilt and warrant his arrest. He ventured but few inquiries, however, lest an alarm should be given Alvord and his confederates. His efforts w e re not rewarded by a sign, even, of Greenleaf or the man with whom Keene had seen him talking the Friday morning Meantime investigations at the bank were continued, the secr e t movements of the po lice were maintained, and the missing bank clerk still remained in the background, yet a much-desired person. By a stroke o f good luck, and a result also of constant vi g ilance, it fell upon Detective Keene to locate the missing man . Seeing nothing to be gained by a longer stay in New York, Keene left for Bo s ton on Tuesday morning by the way of Springfield. As his train entered the latter station the New York west-bound train was nearly due. Looking from the window o f his car, and giving him an irrepressible start of surprise, Keene beheld among the people waiting on the station platform a y oun g man answering the description of the mi s sin g clerk. Quickly leaving his car, K e ene caught the arm of a newsboy outside, and, slipping a half dollar into his hand, said, hurriedly: "Run out yonder my lad, and call out, 'Archer! Archer!' as if to some playmate. Then run away about your l:iusiness." The lad's native shrewdness was sharpened by the coin, and he darted off to obey. In a moment, his shrill voice rang through the

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14 SHIELD WEEKLY. station, and at the sound of the name Sheridan Keene saw the man he suspected wheel sharply about, and stare .perplexedly in all directions. The evidence was sufficient. The man was undoubtedly Archer. And Sheridan Keene followed him aboard the west-bound train, and took a seat behind him in the smoking car. At Bridgeport the detective telephoned to Captain McClusky to meet him on the arrival of the train at the Grand Central sta tion, intimating the occasion. As they left the train Detective Keene drew to the young man's side and asked, pleasantly: "Isn't this Mr. Archer?" "Why, yes," was the reply; "that's my name. But you have the best of me, sir." "Haven't I seen you in the First National Bank?" ''I am employed there, sir." "Beed on a vacation?" "A short one, merely a visit to friends in Boston and Springfield. But why do you ask me, sir ?" "I'll tell you presently," smiled Sheridan Keene, as they came down from the car. "Come out this way, if you please. The fact is, Mr. Archer-ah, here is a gentleman waiting for us! Mr. Archer, have y o u ever met Captain McClusky, of the police department? Permit me, Captain, to present Mr. Archer, of the First National Bank." The head of the New York police flashed a curious glance at the Boston detective, in which wonderment and admiration were mingled. He did not quite understand him, or how this move had been accomplished. As for Archer, he turned pale for a mo ment, then flushed to the roots of his hair. "Captain McClusky!" he gasped, instantly grasping the significance of what had transpired. ''Good heavens! gentlemen, there is nothing wrong at the bank, is there?" "Do you know of anything?" demanded Cc.ptain McClusky, with a searching scrutiny of the young man's face. "Indeed, I do not!" cried ,Archer, fervently. "I am just returning to resume my duties there to-morrow morning." "We will go there now, instead!" said Captain McClusky, with austerity I now will see that this matter nC?_ longer hangs fire." He already felt convinced of Archer's in nocence, as did Detective Keene, and, on their arrival at the bank, their convictions were c.orroborated. The examination of the books now revealed unquestionably that Alvord himself was the defaulter, an e mbezzler to the amount of nearlv seven hundred thousand dollars. There was a warm time there that Tuesday afternoon. Though no watrant for Alvord was immediately sworn out, a step which Captain McClusky finally was com pelled to enforce, the news of the enormous felony was given to the world, and the com munity thrilled through and through by the startling disclosure. Then it was that Wall street shivered and 1:-ankers shuddered. Then it was that the financial world trembled and stared aghast. Then it was that the pulse of police and sheriff was set beating faster, and that the outraged institution came forth with the of fer of a great reward for the defaulter's arrest. And then it was that there flashed to every police department of the civiilized world that circular of warning: "Look for Cornelius L. Alvord, Jr., 52 years old ; looks younger; 6 feet tall, weighs 280 pounds; brown hair, cut closely, and mixed with a little gray; mustache light brown, rather thin ; dresses slouchily; round face; blue eyes; smokes incessantly." CHAPTER VII. STRIKING THE TRAIL. Sheridan Keene returned to Boston that Tuesday night, via the Fall River Line. Since the exoneration of Archer, and the general publication of the great loss suffered by the bank, he was firmly reso'lved not on1y to capture Alvord, hut also to run down the gang of speculators, g:amblers, or whatever their nefarious vocation, through whom he now felt certain the defaulter had been opera ting, and by whom he very likely had been most outrageously fleeced. \i\Tho these parties were, and how many the gang comprised, he could only conjectt:re; but that the two men of the Stock Ex change gallery were of the number, and that Alvord was still in active relations with them, seemed reasonably certain judging by the incident in Alvord's stable Their past rela; tions, however, as well as their present de signs, were mysteries yet to be solved. At nine o'clock \Vednesday morning, the 24th, Detective Keene reported at the Boston headquarters, where he was received by Chief Watts with a hearty greeting and a word of commendation for the work already done. For more than an hour they remained in private consultation, until Keene had officially reported all of his discoveries, and the Chief had fully grasped the details of the case as far as it had progressed. Here again the ready faculty for analysis ,,

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I. ... ... SHIELD WEEKLY. 15 and discernment possessed by Chief Watts was apparent in his immediate deductions. "It is very evident," he said, when Keene had concluded; "that there is more knavery than mystery in this affair." "Do you think so, Chief?" ."I do, indeed. I think Alvord has been to some extent at least a tool in the hands of others. It is my firm belief that, if the others can be located, Alvord also will be found." "But why should he still cleave to them, Chief watts?" inquired Keene, doubtfully. "He must know that his crime is discovered, his guilt established, and that his only alter native is surrender or flight "That is true." "\!Vhy, then, should he cleave to these knaves who, perhaps, have helped ruin him?" Chief laughed in a quiet way. "The boot is probably on the. other leg!" he said, shortly. "The rascals are more likely holding fast to him. It is odds that they received some intimation of Alvord's impending exposure and, realizing how seri ously they are involved in his downfall, they no doubt are making strenuous efforts to prevent his capture, fearing it may result in a full confession on his part, and in their own exposure and incrimination." "By Jove, I believe that theory is correct, Chief Watts!" e xclaimed Sheridan Keene with enthusiasm. "Hence I r epeat, locate these scamps and you will probably locate Alvord. He no doubt has been speculating heavily if not gambling on the racetrack and elsewhere. ,In a case where hundreds of thousands have been stolen and thrown into the maelstrom of Wall street, who can say how many re spectable brokers are more or less involved and indirectly culpable? Alvord's permanent disappearance and silence may be vitally necessary to the reputation of far more men than appears upou the surface." "You are right, Chief Watts." "Now, then, as to the line of work/' Chief Watts earnestlv continued. "You have the names of some of Alvord's friends here in Boston. I want you to look them up this morning, and see ii from them any informa tion can be gathered." "I will set ab o ut it at once." "During t'he day you will also make it a point to visit the hotels. You are familiar with the features of at least one or two of the gang fo with Alvord. It is barely possible that you may run across one of these. If you should, you will know what to do." "Vl ell, rather," said Keene, smiling signifi cantlv "That is all now," nodded Chief Watts, approvingly. "Whether you succeed m making any discoveries during the day or not, report to me again to-morrow morning. I then may have further instructions to gi v e you. That is all." Detective 'Keene immediately arose and took his hat. "Good-morning, Chief," he said, simply. "Good-morning-and good !" Starting with the clues already secured, and following the lines laid out by the chief, Sheridan Keene devoted a greater part of the day to interviews with those acquaint ances of Alvord whose names had been given him when in New York. His inquiries re sulted in nothing of importance, however, as all of these friends of Alvord, who now had heard of the great defalcation, protested entire ignorance as to his movements. After lea\Ting the residence of one of these, and as he was returning down. Boylston street late in the afternoon, a sharp shower drove Keene. to seek shelter. He was near the Hotel Touraine and there he found cover. The magnificent office and rotunda of this fine hotel was thronged with people, many of them prominent business men, bankers and brokers, who had dropped in there on their way up town. Detective Keene had scarcelv entered when his attention was attracted by a group of men near the broad fireplace, tw o of whom h e recognized a s large operators in State street. Their con versation was animated, and that its subject wa s Alvord and his great defalcation lee! the detective to draw nearer, being more particu larly interested in the observations made by one of these men . "Oh, I am bv no means sure, Brooks, that Alvord has left the country, despite you are so certain!" he exclaimed, as Keene ap proaching. "I have reason to believe quite the contrary." 'Perhaps you are 111 touch with him, Mr. Lawton, and are carrying some of his securities!'' was the rep!y, which brought a laugh from the group. "I don't envy you in that case." "Well, that is not the case," Lawton re joined, coloring slightly. "But I met a man here less than half an hour ago who said he had seen Alvord this very day." "I guess his sight was dazzled by the five thousand dollars' reward offered for see ing him," was the ironical reply. "Why didn't he nail him?" "Oh, not so sure he was wrong! He claimed to know Alvord well by sight, and evidently had no doubts about the fact." "Did he say where he saw him?" "Right here, gentlemen In this very

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16 SHIELD WEEKLY. room!" declared Lawton, ignoring the amusement his statements were creating. "The man was no fool, moreover, despite that you think his claim was nonsense." "Possibly not!" laughed Brooks, incredu lously. "A fool was Alvord at all events, if he ventured showing himself in the Hotel Touraine. The very idea is absurd." Yet this same idea, and the assuranc:e with which Lawton had spoken, led Detective Keene to await an opportunity, and then draw Lawton away from the group. "I overheard what you said about a man who had seen Alvord," he explained, when they were alone. "I am Detective Keene, of the Boston force "Oh, yes! I know your face now!" Lawton pleasantly interposed. "I have seen you in company with members of .the bank squad. What can I do for you?" "Tell me precisely what the man said about seeing Alvord, if you please." "If you overheard me, you already know," laughed Lawton. "He merely said that he saw him here in this office." "Did he say when?" "To-day." "That doesn't seem very probable, yet it may be worth looking into. Are you ac quainted with the man who states this?" "Only casually, Mr. Keene." "Do you know his name, and where he can be found?" "I know only that his name is Alexander. He is a Western man, and I think he is a commercial traveler. I imagine he is at one of the hotels." "Ah, yes! Thank you." Though the story did indeed, seem rather improbable, the zest with which Detective Keene followed up a clue, even if a visionary one, was manifest next morning. -About nine o'clock he entered the office of Chief \iV atts, in a rather hurried and eager way, saying im mediately: "Pardon the inter.ruption, Chief! I have a man outside, with whom I wish you to have a word. He sa vs he has information about Alvord, but seeriis rather averse to dis closing it to me. Perhaps yoti can secure it." Chief Watts, who was very busy at his desk, looked rather doubtful. "Since a reward was offered for his appre hension, there are hundreds who imagine thev have seen Alvord. There'll soon be as clues as Alvord has stolen dollars," he said, dryly. "However, bring him in here!" And the portly Chief Inspector threw him self hack in his large oak chair, and impa tiently waited the brief interval till Detective Keene ushered into the room a rather prepossessing, well-dressed man, and forthwith closed the office door. "Chief watts?" '.'I am Chief Watts, sir," bowed the latter, with a wave of his hand. "Take a chair. What's vour business with me?" And now the Chiefs eyes suddenly met those of the stranger, with that steady, penetrating scrutiny which somehow irresistibly confuses one not well armed with a consciousness of his own honesty. But the stranger betrayed no disturbance. "I understand, sir,?' he replied, "that a reward of five thousand dollars is offered for information leading to the discovery and arrest of Alvord, the New York defaulter. Now, if I felt sure--" "One moment, please!" Chief Watts blandly interposed, yet in a semi-decisive way. "The reward will be all right, providing you have any information concerning him." The stranger demurred for a moment, then replied: "I know Alvord by sight, and I think I saw him yesterday at the Hotel Touraine." "At the Touraine, eh? At what time and what was he doing?" "I saw him once in the morning, sir, lounging back of a newspaper he was reading: and later I saw h11n reading a book." "Do you mean that he was in the public readillg-room ?" "Not in the library, Chief, but in the office," explained the stranger, meaning to distinguish between the general office, and the commodious and splendid library, which the magnificent Hotel 'I'ouraine provides ior its patrons. "He was smoking most of the time I remain e d watching him." "vVhat's your name, sir?" "Henrv 1-1. Alexander." "Resident here?" "My home is in Denver, Colorado. I am a traveling rnan." "Have you ever had any dealings with Alvord?'' "None, sir." "Then you don't know him personally?" "Not as an acquaintance. "At what hour did you last see this man at the Touraine ?" "Not far from oni:! o'clock; sir. I have not seen him since then." "Why didn't you inform an officer of your discovery?" "Because I had read that no warrant had been issued for Alvord's arrest." "1 see! I se e Did you mention your suspicion to anybo
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SHIELD WEEKLY. 17 "Can you anything further. in the upon which I want you to quickly get to movements of the man you think was work." Alvord?" "What is that, Chief Watts?" "No, sir. I have not seen him since yes''"A search after the man you saw with him terday ." in Mount Vernon. Very possibly an attempt "Then, that is all just now, Mr. Alexander. is being made to conceal Alvord in this city, You leave me your address here in Boston. and that this man is here and at the bottom I will look this matter up, and perhaps comof it. You know him by sight. To-morrow municate with vou later." morning a vigorous search for him must be "If it results in anything--" begun, providing we are assured that Al"In that case I surely will, sir." vord has been here. Detective Tinker will Chief Vvatts was evidently impatient to enable us to settle that." terminate the interview, and not until after "I think so, Chief." Alexancler"s departure did he express his "Do not fail to meet him when he arrives." views to Sheridan Keene. "Surely not!" Keene exclaimed, rising. "\1Vh1le I am not much inclined to credit "And I will bring him here at once." this story, it is worth investigating," he gravely observed. "Slfa11 I undertake it, Chief?" "I want yo u here. I will send Inspector Morrisse:v up there, and Douglass. It is hardly probable that Alvord has been hanging about in public, as asserted," Chief Watts slowly added with a thoughtful knitting of his brows; "yet certain reports that I have read are leading me to lay the founda tion of a theory which, it is barely possible, will not prove wholly erroneous. Yes, I'll look into it!" The expression which had settled on his grave. forceful face suggested more even than his words. He awse quite abruptly, and going personally to the general office he dispatched the inspectors menti o ned.. upon an inquiry to the Touraine, as well as the intermediate hotels. Later in the day he called Sheridan Keene to his office, and gave him his further instructions. "I begin to think after all, that there may be some truth in Alexander's story," he gravely observed, signing Keene to a chair. "Inspector Morrissey tells me he learns that a man answering in a general way Alvord1s description was seen in the officei of the Touraine, and that he now cannot be located. I want a man to come over here who is thoroughly familiar wit.h ,Alvord's personai appearance, and I then will extend my inquir ies. I have communicated with Captain McClusky by telephone, and he will send on Detective Tinker, of the central office." "At once, Chief?" "He is now on the way. He will arrive at the Southern Union at nine this evening. I want you to meet him there, and bring him here at once." "I will do so." "After I hear what he has to say of the de velopments in New York, we will visit the Touraine. If we discover positively that Al vord has been in Boston, there is a matter CHAPTER VIII. THE DEDUCTIONS OF CHIEF INSPECTOR WATTS. It was nearly ten o'clock that Thursday evening, a dull, damp disagreeable night. The multitude of people usually thronging the chief thoroughfares at this hour was thinned down by the chill and the dampness. The electric lights glowed with a halo through the mist fog, and the atmos phere wore a yellow haze. Yet there were more carriages than usual rattling and rumbling over the city pave ments. It is an ill wind, indeed, that blows a cabman no good. Their vehicles stood in long lines before the brilliant entrances to the theatres, and fairly blocked the crossings in the immediate neighborhood of the railway stations. One of these left the Southern Union soon after half-past nine, and, at a rate of speed indicating matters of serious moment, tore through Summer and Winter streets, and thence to Pemberton Square. Before quarter o f ten it had drawn up under the frown of the new Court House and the grim headquarters building, and at the office of the Inspector of Police. Without waiting the service of the cab man, Sheridan Keene opened the carriage door and sprang down to the sidewalk, closely followed by a quick, energetic man in civilian dress and a top-coat. This man was the detective sent from the central office in New York by Captain George McClusky. "Wait here, driver! We. shall want you presently!" Sheridan Keene said, sharply. "This way, Detective Tinker. We shall find Chief Watts awaiting us." And he led the way down the stairs, and straight through the corridor to the Chief's rrivate office. As Detective Keene had predicted, they

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18 SHIELD WEEKLY. found Chief Watts at his desk and alone, where he had been for hour after hour, his mind concentrated upon operations already ably directed, and upon the greater and more delicate work he instinctively felt was before him. Yet no sign of weariness was in his resolute face, and the eyes were bright that greeted with an eager smile the New York officer. "How are you, Det'ective Tinker!" he exclaimed, springing up to warmly shake the latter's hand. "How are you, Chief Watts? I'm glad to see you." "Thanks! And I am g lad that vou're here. Take this chair. Stay, Detective Keene Did vou bid the cabm an wait?" "Yes; Chief." "Remain with us. We'll presently v i sit the Touraine. I first want a brief talk with De tective Tinker. Close both doors, please." For the first time since the inception of this g1 eat case, and the inauguration of a search which, if successful, would the expenditure of thousands of dollars, the voice and manner of Chief Watts betrayed momentary nervousness and excitement. He dropped back in his chair, restin g both hands upon the arm nearest the seat occupied by Detective Tinker, and his face assumed a steady, studious expression. "We'll presently visit the Touraine, Detec tive Tinker," he repeated. "No doubt wi th you r knowledge of Alvord, we can satisfy ourselves as to whether he has really been there." ''I think so, Chief." "There is no special haste about it h ow ever, for I am already certain that he is not there now. So, befor we leave, I would like to ask you something about Alvord's move ments in New York, if you have no objec tion." "Surely not, Chief watts!" said Detective Tinker, heartily "By the way, Detective Tinker," asked Inspector Watts, "do you know just when it is sa fe to assume that Alvord was last seen in New York city?" The searching scrutiny to which he was being subjecJ:ed, as if back of it existed some purpose not easily surmised, led Detective Tinker to hesitate for a moment and weigh his answer with caution. "Well, Chief vVatts," he presently re joined, "it is r easo nably certain that Alvord was seen some day last week, subsequent to his lGaving the bank for the last time. He called upon Lawyer Jacob F. Miller, and re tained him as counsel." "Does Miller state the precise day?" "I cannot say. He states, howeveo, that Alvo rd called at his law office to consult him 1 upon this matter, and that he was engaged counsel." "Do vou know if Alvord was seen at his home after Friday evening last?" It was then that Detective Keene had seen him in the carriage with Greenleaf; but Chief \i\T atts now was seeking not im arting it. "It is not positively established when he v>as last at home. He has always been a lav ish entertainer, and it is known that invita tions were out for a large dinner party on the 17th. But o n that very day the invitations were recalled by a messenger, and that night the house was closed and in darkness. Further inquiry has Jevealed that Alvord was next day reporte to be ill, to friends that called." "Were any of the callers admitted to the house, o r did any o f them see Alvord?" "None have be e n found," replied Detective Tinker, shaking his head. "It was said by some of the neighbors after the defalcation was published. that he had left town on the 17th, and embarked for South America. But this is not corroborated." "Nor will it be, to my way o f thinking," said Chief Watts, shortly. "Since Tuesday afternoon detectives have heen watching the Alvord residence," continued Detective Tinker. "It was thought at 0ne time that evening that Alvoi;d had returned home." "Why so?" "A closed carriage was driv e n rapidly up to the house, and a man of Alvord's bulky fi'gure was seen to hurriedly enter the ves tibule. The outside doors, which had been dosed and secured all day, were opened for him b efo re the carriage had fairly come to a stop. "Indicating that the man was expected!" "Precisely, Chief!" nodded Detective Tinker. "Immediately after, several of the rooms were lighted, and. there appeared to be some excitement in the house. Then the lights suddenly went out, about a quarterhour later." "Did the man who had entered come alone in the carriage?" "No, he did not. He had two companions, a man and a woman. After he was safely in the house, the carriage was driven around the square and back to the Alvord door. It wait e d barely a few seconds, then started rapidly away and did not return. "Nor take away the passenger who had entered the house?" "No, sir." "Were there any inqmn es made at the house by the detectives?"

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' SHIELD WEEKLY. 19 "An attempt was made, but repeated rings at the door-bell brought no response." "And the identity of the man who en tered?" "Cannot be established." "Nor that of his companions in the carriage?" "Neither, Chief," replied Detective Tinker; yet both Chief Watts and Detective Keene decided the, man was Greenleaf, upon some mission for Alvord. "Where is Mzs. Alvord?" "She was at home until this morning, when she came into New York with the expressed intention of-remaining. The Pit;ikerton men make it rather unpleasant for her at Mount Vernon." "Do you Jcnow if she and Lawyer Miller have had arty conferences?" "Several. Both Miller, his partner, Mr. Decker, were at the Alvord house all of Tuesday night. Decker and Mrs. Alvord went into town from Pelham the following tnorning, and Miller went from Mt. Vernon on the eight-thirty train." "Can't the detectives learn anything from the servants?" "The coachman, Barney, is about the only one accessible, and he's as close-mouthed as an oys ter. He did drop the remark, though, that Alvord had no idea of running away." "Ah, is that so?" "The opinion about there, and among Alvord's friends, in fact, is that he is not far away and can be reached if wanted." "Yes?" "And there is no doubt in my mind that the bank officers are making strenuous efforts to secure a restitution," added Detective Tinker. "Do you know whether any considerable sum has been located which the bank people are these efforts to recover?" "I know only what comes from the office of Peabody, Baker & Peabody, who have entire charge of the civil and criminal action against Alvord." "And what do they say?" "That while no inventory has been made, a rough estimate of Alvord's personal effects, household goods and jewelry, would be about $200,000. It is likely to fall short of that, however." "Do they make no statement concerning Alvord's continued absence?" demanded Chief Watts, with a slight frown betraying his censorious sentiments." "They deny having any knowledge of his whereabouts, and claim that, if they could locate him, his arrest should immediately fol low. I think they are perfectly honest in this statement, though one of them is inclin ed to b e lieve that Alvord has left the country." "And that is the belief of a lawyer, a man presumably an anarlyst and logician!" exclaimed Chief in accents so derisiv e that Sheridan Keene, who well knew the characteristics of the speaker, instantly realize d that he was about to state his own b e lief. And the younger detective, alwa ys r eady to profit from observation of the methods of his able superior, quietly drew nearer. "I am rather surprised at that!'' Chief Watts continued, drawing up hi s portly figure in his chair. "Why, D e t ec tive Tinker. there is absolutely no evidence whatever that Alvord has left the country, save alone that of his sudden disappearance and its analogy t o like cases. But hundreds of men tempor arily disappear in the course of a year, yet not n ecessarily from the country." "That is true, Chief Watts," admitted th e detective . "On the other hand, gentlemen, there is the strongest kind of evidence that Alvord not only has not resorted to distant flight, but that he really has had no intention of s o doing," Chief Watts warmly argued. "In cases of this kind there is one feature that is too generally overlooked, yet its signifi cance is of the greatest consequence." "What feature is that, Chief?" asked Keene. "The conduct of the criminal himself, as indicating the probable plans he carries in mind!" Chief Watts declared with emphasis. "Just revi ew some of the features in the case, and see for yourselves to what they point," he continued, with a flush steadily deepening in his f.!orid cheeks. "Alvord left the bank on the r8th, and for five days after, until the 23d, when his defalcation was made public he is reported to have been ill at home. Never mind whether that is true or not! We know that up to the r7th, when his dinner invitations were recall ed, he certainly had no plan for immediate departure. It is a hundred to one that, on the t8th, he observed something at the bank which led him to anticipate. speedy exposure, and to leave the bank for good." "By gracious, Chief Watts, I believe you are right!" exclaimed Detective Tinker. "Now what follows? It doesn't matter just where he was during the next five days. Of one fact we are reasonably sure; that he called upon Lawyer Miller, with whom he discussed his situation, and whom he re tained as counsel." "Yes!" "Were those the acts of a man seriously contemplating flight from the country?" de-

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20 SHIELD WEEKLY. mantled the Chief, with forcible earnestness, "Not at all! Positively the contrary! The embezzler who really intends to abscond, and to flee the countrv, dbes not wait tO" con sult an attorney. Heconsults a shipping list instead! He packs his grip the instant he suspects hims eif exposed, and takes the first out-bound steamship. Did Alvord do this? Not at all!" "But, Chi ef--" '"Wait one moment! Now, again! Why did Alvord consult Lawve r Miller? Was it io learn if there was any way by which he c o uld evade arrest? No! His own common s t nse would have informed him to the con trary. Was it with a hope of evading prosecution, in event of a partial restitution?" "Possihly--" "No, sir. Alvord's expensive living, his ex penditures at Saratoga, the evidence of his h a bit of speculation, all go to show that he has little or nothing to restore. It was not for that that he consulted Miller." "I guess you are right!" "Now, again! Did he hope to secure through Mi-lier the assistance of friends? Not at all! No sane man, sho rt in his accounts three-quarters of a million of dollars, would think for an instant of asking the help of friends. It would be absurd, far<:'.ical even! He had no such motive!" "Yet he must have had a motive," cried Detective Tinker, irresistibly moved by the forcible logic with which Chief Watts was depicting the case. "To be sure he had !" exclaimed the Chief, with a quick nod. "And the mosnikely one is, that he aimed not only to protect his wife s interest in their p e rsonal estate, but also to prepare the way, prior to his arrest, for such operations and advice on the part of his counsel as would be most to the advantage of .both his wife and himself after his apprehension. "Mark my words, gentlemen!" camcluded Chief Watts; with augmented feeling as he drew his deductions to a close. "Cornelius L. Alvord, Jr., has had no intention of leav ing the country, save that it has been very recently formed. His own acts since the publication of his crime, the testimony of Lawyer Mill e r, the delay of the bank officers in swearing out a warrant, and their evident desire to effect something yet to be discov ered, the frequent conferences between Mil ler and Mrs. Alvord, the remark oI the coachman at Mt. Vernon, the testimony of friends and of persons who are said to have seen Alvord-every particle of this evidence declares on the face of it, not that the de faulter has fled the country, but that he is concealed .somewhere within a reasonable distance of New York, and actuated in delaying arrest by motives best known to his wife, his attorney, and to Alvord himself!" It was an effective argument, not alone because of astute analysfs and logical deduc tions, but also because of the dramatic force with which tht conclusion had been drawn. Although he was not a man easily moved to excitement, Detective ] ohn Tinker sprang impulsively to his feet, his face flushed, his eyes flashing. "By Jove, \iVatts, you amaze me!" he exclaimed, with an irrepressible outburst of familiaritv and frankness. "You're a marvel, and your perception is wonderful !" "Not so !" cried Chief Watts, rising. "This case has features that speak for them selves, and in no uncertain tones." "You are right, sir!" "I am conv.inced that a soul of truth is contained in my deductions. I am satisfied that Alvord has not fled the country. I firmly believe that the statements of some of these informants are true-and why not, then, that of Henry M. Alexander?" "In that case, Chief?" "In that case, Detective Keene, we must move sharper than any gang of friends or confederates by whom Alvord may be surrounded and influenced!" cried Chief Watts, forcibly. "If Alvord has been in Boston, the trail should be hot and our course plain Come, gentlemen, we will visit the 'fouraine !" CHAPTER IX. BYRON STEERLING, NEW YORK. Again the cabman s carriage rolled noisily over the pavements of the city streets and through the mists of approaching midnight; and in addition to its former occupants, it now contained the man whose clear foresight and indefatigable efforts were destined to be crowned with a veritable triumph of detective art. The ride was not a long one, and presently Sheridan Keene leaned from the window and called sharply : "To the side door, cabbie !" "All right, sir." The towering walls of the magnificent new Touraine were already looming up against the dull night sky. Some of its hundred windows were still illumined, despite the late but the greater number were in darkness. The elaborate office, gorgeous with the frescoes and art work of master-hands, was brilliantly lighted, however, and a warm glow ;

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 21 through the plate windows was shed over sidewalk and street. The cabman crossed Boylston street and drew his steaming horses down at the curbing opposite the broad Tremont street en trance to the hotel. "Wait for us !" commanded Sheridan Keene, when he alighted. Chief Watts and the New York officer im mediately followed, and together the three men entered the Touraine. Turning to the left, the Chief first led the way to the broad inclosure which comprises the business office, and was at once recog nized by the night clerk at the desk. "Good-evening--" But the Chief checked with a quick glance the mention of his name. A few late loung ers were about the office, the library still was lighted and occupied, and a party of ladies and men were in the nearer parlor. The en trance of the three officers, although in civil ian dress, had already attracted as much at tention as Chief Watts cared to create. "I understand," nodded the clerk, as they approached nearer the countt!r. "I can guess what you wish, for I had a talk with Mr. Morrissey this morning." "I want to establish, if possible, the idt!ntity of a man who was here," nodded the Chief. "You evidently know which man I mean." "Yes, I do." "Were you on duty at any time while he was here?" "I was on duty when he afrived. I imag ined at the time he came in on one of the New York trains. It was about half-past six." "Did he register?" "Yes." "Show me the name." The clerk quickly turned the register around, and ran his finger down the page till it reached the signature: "Byron Steerling, New York." "Humph!" muttered Chief Watts,. then glanced at Detective Tinker. "Do you know Alvord's hand?" "No, I do not. What's the name?" "Byron Steerling." "Very pretty." "Isn't it? Sounds rather like him! I wish, my friend, that you would give us as precise a description of Mr. Steerling as you are able. This Detective Tinker, of the New York Central Office, and a man ac quainted with Alvord. Cover every point you can recall of this man Steerling ; and presently I want you to summon two or three others of your employees who saw him." "Won't you step inside the office, Chief?" "I think it will be as well." Oblivious to the curious gaze of the guests in the rotunda, as well as that of several ladies who had emerged from the nearer par lor and stood in the dining-room corridor, Chief Watts, with habitual dignity, led the way into the inclosure. The interview there, however was of com paratively brief duration. With the detailed description given by the several employees, aided by sundry_ inquiries on his own part, Detective Tinker soon had assured himself that Alvord, the defaulter and the stranger, who two days previous had registered as By ron Steerling, New York, were one and the same man. "I am reasonably certain of the fact, Chief Watts," the New York officer declared, as the three men left the Touraine and returned to the waiting carriage. "I am fairly without a doubt that Alvord was at this house no longer ago than yesterday noon." "I believe so, too!' said Chief Watts, as the arriage wheeled to return to Pemberton Square. "And I now am further satisfied that Alvord still is here in the city, or at least not more remote than one of the suburbs "Surely, Chief!" exclaimed Sheridan Keene. "With the publicity given him t o day, he could not have ventured far without observation, and s o me informer would have turned up Five thousand d o llars are not to be gathered from every bush." "Nor every defaulter," laughed Detective Tinker, thus far well satisfied with the suc cess of his hurried journey "You are right. Alvord, moreover, is a man of too prominent a type to. travel far without attracting attention, and he well knows it," Chief Watts resumed "He knows, too, that the Boston police are on the watch for him, and what it would cost him to venture in sight of a bluecoat." "What are your plans, Chief, may I ask?" inquired Detective Tinker. "To keep our discovery secret and go quietly to work. That is why I cautioned you against betraying at the Touraine the conclusions at which we arrived. I shall impart the facts to my inspectors only." "A wise step, Chief! But how about Cap tain McClusky?" "Naturally, I shall communicate the facts to him, requesting his discretion and assist ance," Chief Watts replied. "I shall ask him to instruct you to remain in Boston, pending developments, and -to identify Al vord, in event of his arrest." "He will consent to that, I am sure." "And to-morrow, Chief Watts?" "We will take up the search anew. I will if necessary, press into service every officer on the force. I will have every suburb con-

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22 SHIELD WEEKLY. stantly watched. I will leave no stone unturned, no house within Boston's limits-ah, here we are at headquarters! Will you come ;n again, Detective Tinker?" "\"!ell, I hardly know, Chief," the other briefly demurred. "If there is n othing spec ial until morning, I think I'll snatch a wink o f sleep. Otherwise, command me." "No, no; get some rest, by all means," gravely rejoined Chief Watts, with a warm hand-shake. "You already have done us a valuable service, and I thank you. Detective Keene!" "Yes, Chief!" and the young officer sprang nearer. "Take our friend under your wing and en tertain him royally. l regret,John, that my own duties d ep rive me of the privilege." "Not a word, Chief Watts! Don't speak of it." "I have several letters to write, and then wish to probe this case a little deeper. Hence must bid you both good-night. Report early to-morrow morning, Detective Keene!" he added, significantly. No later than the very next morning there cam e r eports which, if verified, would have crumbled to the dust the entire edifice of Ch ie f \V atts' subtle rleductions-reports which would have been like a wet blanket upon tne energ, y of m o t men, ancl hav af fected, perhaps fatally, the convictions which else might have led to success. "Have you seen the morning ?" he asked of Sheridan Kee n e, when the latter re-ported soon after seve n o'clock. "No, 11rnve not, Chief. Anything impor tai;it in them?" Keene quickly inquired. 'It is reported that Alvord was seen in Mount Vernon the night before last ." "Impossible!'' "Surely so, if my theories have feet to stand upon." "Who makes the statement?" "One Patric J. Ring. He owns the Peo ple's Opera House, in J\1ount Vernon. He reports that while on his way to the opera house l as t night, after eating his dinner, his attention was drawp to a fashionable closed carriage that was passing him He states that it contained four men one of whom was Alvord." "Does he say that it was in the evening?" "Yes; but that electric lights are on the corne r at which he was standing at tne time. He states that he plainly saw Alvord through the carriage window; that he knows him well, and is absolutely sure it was he Ring was so surprised, m o r eove r, that he crossed the street and asked an acquaintance, a man n amed Weber, if he had the carriage." "Had he noticed it?" "Weber replied that he had, and further r ema rked that one of the men was Alvord. S o both appear to have noticed him. Ring was so impresse d that h e called to see Chief of Police Foley, to t ell him what he had seen; but the latter is now in Boston. He the n hunted up Commissioner Dewitt, who gave the statements to the reporte rs. "Do you know about what time the car riage wa-s seen, Chief Vlatts ?" ''Between six and seven in the evening." "If the statement is true, Alvord could not possibly have been at the Touraine, nor m Boston, on the afternoon. of that day." "Sure ly not!" "What do yo u think of the report?" "I think the men are honest, but that both were mistakeo," was the immedia te r eply. "It is very easy to mistake a man in the im perfect light of evening, and particularly under the conditions Ring described. They were very likely deceived by a personal re semblance. I shall hold to my belief that Alvord was in that afternoon, and is still somewh e re in this l ocality." Having thus implied that his faith in his own deductions was not to be shaken, Chief \Vat! s glanced over a tablet of m e m oranda made the night before. "There i s a side of this affair to which I now wish to call your attention, Detective Keene," he said, with grave ear n est n ess. "For that reason I aske d you to report early this morning." "I inferred that you might have special work for me, Chief Watts." "So I have. It concerns the relations which may exist between Alvord and the man you saw leave Mt. Vernon with him last Friday night. 'When you reported that circumstance to me, I said that if you could locate that man, you would find Alvord also. It is a poor rule that will not work both ways." "It would seem so, Chi e f Watts, surely." "Yet there is some mystery here that I find difficult to explain. I feel very sure that Alvord was at the Touraine day before yesterday, as stated. Yet I cannot learn that he had intercourse with any strangers, and he certainly appeared to have no companion. It is very possible that the man who left Mt. Vernon with him did not accompany him to Boston ; yet I somehow cleave to my first H"elief-that they came here in company." "Do you think they have some interest in common?" "That is my belief. Otherwise this stranger would hardly become an acc esso r y in such an affair, knowing that Alvord's guilt is already established."

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SHIELD WEERLY. 23 "That is a point well noted, sir," said Keene, quickly. "If, then, they have a mutual interest," Chief Watts earnestly continued; "it is qdds that they have not permanently separated, despite that Alvord was alone at the Touraine. It may be that the other was engaged in securing a safe concealment for the de faulter, while Alvord waited in the Touraine, thinking he would be least likely to encounter an officer or attract attention in a hotel of that kind. His sudden disappearance, moreover, indicates that quarters were ob tained for him by some person outside." "That, Chief, is also very true." "The special work I now want you to undertake, Detective Keene, is that of finding the stranger you saw with Alvord," Chief Watts explained. "You are familiar with his features, hence the work naturally falls up o n yon.'" "I am very willing to undertake it, Chief," said Sheridan Keene, readily. "Have you any suggestion to offer?" one only. If you locate the man, do not give him occasion for alarm. Shadow him constantly, till you can learn whether he is in communication with Alvord, either directly or through a third person. Should you locate Alvord, you will know what to do." 'Assuredly!" said Keene, smiling. '"That is all, then." The young man bowed, turned on his heel, and went out through the corridor and thence to Pemberton Square. Boston is a toierably large city. To locate in such a community a stranger from New York, whose name even was not known, is an undertaking that would stagger if not daunt the hearts of most men. For a moment it staggered even Sheridan Keene. But it did not daunt him. That evening he reported to Chief Watts at headquarters that his search that day had been futile. He was instructed to continue it. On Saturday evening he made the same report-and received the same instructions. He left the headquarters building with his perseverance unshaken. As he crossed Pemberton Square, he noticed a man standing near the grim wall of the new court house, his features plainly re vealed in the glare from a near electric light, and his gaze intently turned toward th!:i lighted windows of Chief Watts' private office. Sheridan Keene felt his blood move faster. Yet the strange was not Jam es Greenleaf. But he was the man with whom had seen James Greenteaf talking, in the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange. The man named Haskins. CHAPTER X. RUNNING DOWN SIDE ISSU ES. For nearly half an hour Haskins continued watching the offices of the Inspe ctors of Po lice; and, for the same duratio n Sheridan Keene continued watching Haskins. For the interest of the latter in this quarter, and the persistence with which it was maintained, soon assured the detective that a promising due had finally been struck, and that Haskins r.ow was probably associated with Greenleaf in Boston. Through the one Sheridan Keene now hoped to run down the other. Not for a mo ment did he l ose sight of Haskins, nor even take a chance thereof by hurriedly r eporting at headquarters. It was nearly eight o'clock before Haskins left his position, and the detective followed him. By the way of Beacon and Park streets he gained the subway. and there t.oarded an uptown car. Sheridan Keene oc cupied the rear platform. At a quarter after eight Haskins entered a reputable boarding house in one of th e best avenues o f the city; and five minut es later Detective Keene ap plied at the basement door, and presented a request for an intervi ew with tbe landlady. The latter r esponded coming down to the t;ining-room and expressing mu ch su r p rise that a gentleman should have se)ectecl the lower door in ste ad of ringing at that su r mounting the lofty Bight of brown-ston e step. Yet Detective Keene had already made his way into the dining-room. "There is a reason for my conduct, ma d am," he said closing the door by which she had entered the room. "I will explain to your perfect satisfaction." "I hope so, sir," the lady answerea, regarding him doubtfully, and remaining standing. But Sheridan Keene had a taking way, and he soon favorably impressed h er, even whil.e he astonished her. "I did not wish to question you in your parlor, madam, lest I should be observed o r possibly overheard," he explained. "Have you lately received any new boarders here?" "Yes, sir, I have. Only two or three days ago." "Gentlemen?" "Yes, sir." "More than one?" "I should say so, sir! No less than four, who now occupy my double front rooms over

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24 SHIELD WEEKLY. the parlor. But why do you ask me these I hope this state of affairs will not last long. questions?" I shall not only be very nervous, but the repu"Because I am an inspector of police, and I tation of my house may suffer." suspect-pray, don't be alarmed, madam! I "If you say and do nothing unusual, but assure you, to begin with, that your house is leave the matter entirely to me, madam, I known to be above reproach, and that any think I safely can assure you that there will unpleasant incident occasioned by my duties be no disturbance, and that the actual facts here shall have absolutely no publicity. That will never be known." is, madam, provided I have your co-opera"In that case, sir, you may have the room." tion, rather than if compelled to act against "On what floor is it, please?" your wishes ." "Two flights up; one above the first hall." "What is the trouble" asked the woman, "Is the door locked?" now reassured. "Have I admitted doubtful "No, sir. I will show yo u the way, characters ?" if--" "I suspect that is the case, and I wish to "Pardon! I prefer to go alone-as if my make sure," Keene replied. "You say there advent here were not recent. Kindly say are four men?" nothing to these men, or to your help; but "Yes, sit." leave the matter entirely to me." "Did they come in company?" He gave her in addition other cautionary "No, sir. The rooms were engaged last advice, and having further informed himself Wednesday a.fternoon, by a man named concerning the customs of the house, presGreenleaf." ently went up alone to the room given him. "What kind of a looking man, please?" The halls w ere vacant through which he "A stout man, with a smooth face and passed, and he noticed that the house wa1> small eyes--. well furnished. "That will answer, thank you! I sus-He easily located the room assigned to him, i:ected as much. When did his companions 2nd noticed, ere entering his, that the door arrive?" of -what evidently was a commodious front "One came the next evening, sir; and the room, was closed. Yet, above the silence in other two the following morning." the hall, he could hear the sound of men' s "Is there among them a very large man, voices in animated conversation, if not even full featured, with a small, brown mus-dispute. tache--" Sheridan Keene immediately decided it "You are describing Alvord, the default-was a circumstance of which he should take er!" the woman exclaimed, quickly. "I've advantage. He glanced over the stairs, then seen his description in the papers." stole to the closed door and listened. The first "True!" said Keene, smiling. "Is he \1ords that reached his ear told him he had t:.ere ?" nm down the men interested with Alvord. "No, sir; 1 wish !" and now the "There is no sense in searching longer for woman laughed significantly. "One can put him, Jim, of that I am sure! The man has up with a littl e annoyance for five thousand jumped the country, and we may as well go dollars." hack to New York, or light out ourselves if The detective smiled and nodded. you think he'll be caught. Even the inspec"I am sorry also," said he. "But I suspect tors have no clues to work on. I've been that your new boarders are in some way as-watching the Chief's office for an hour, and sociated with Al'vord, and may be informed of there's no sign of activity there." his movements." "The activity of the inspectors is all on the "I hardly think so, sir. They have no mail, c1utside," retorted Greenleaf, in surly tones. and one or two of the m are out much of the "If you had been half as active as an intime, as if on business." ::.pector, Greenleaf," growled another, "he "At all events, madam," said Keene; "I wouldn't have given you the slip the mowish to watch them for a time It probably ment you landed in Boston in the same train will not be long, and you shall suffer no in-with him. That was the lamest thing of all! convenience. Haven't you a room I can oc-Knowing as well as you did that he wasn't cupy for a few days, as if I were a boarder inclined to cut a\'{ay for good and all, you here?" should have kept your eye on him constantly, And Sheridan Keene now displayed his till he had been forced to go." credentials and badge. "Well, that's neither here nor there, and "Well sir there is a small back room on what's the us e of constantly flinging that at the with that occupied by these me," cried Greenleaf, angrily. "The man esmen the woman admitted rather reluccaped me, and that's all there is to it." "I suppose you can that, sir; but "I wish that were all of the whole affair."

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 25 "W-ell, it isn't!" Greenleaf cried, curtly. "The man must be found; and found by us, tefore Chief can lay hands on him! If he is caught, he will tell all. He must be gotten out of the country. If it is known how we jobbed him in Saratoga, and how he has blown his money into Wall street, and through whom, Alvord is not the only one who will suffer for it. I say--" "Shut up! You're speaking too loud! If a person were in the hall your own words would be enough to convict you Particu larly with your reputation There was the sound of a step approaching the door. Keene moved like a flash, and so.ught the back room ; and though later he Yentured forth, his further efforts that night were fruitless. But he had heard enough to serve his present purpose, and to explain the features \\'hich had mystified Chief Watts. It was r-Jain that Greenleaf, with interests too seri ous to be made public had followed Alvord to Boston, only to lose him after their arrival. It was plain, too, that this racetrack gambler and his companions had committed them selves in their relations with Alvord, and that both their own safety, and perhaps that of men into whose hands Alvord's gigantic theft had willingly been received, depended upon the defaulter's flight and permanent dis appearance. That he now had them weW cornered, and felt sure that Chief Watts would ultimately evoke the truth and bring them to justice, was enough for Sheridan Keene. And he settled himself to keep; them under sur veillance until next morning. CHAPTER XL C 0 N V E R G I N G T H R E A D S. To the little army of men who were at work upon this case and whose several duties necessitated their facing the inclement o utdoor conditions that Sunday morning, the 28th of October, will be long remembered. The day dawned cold and raw, with a beastly east wind tearing over the housetops and sweeping through the city streets, chill ing one to one's very marrow. The storm of that Sunday morning was so severe that only some extraordinary need could take a man out of doors, and Sheridan Keene, though now resolved to keep Green leaf and his confederates under carefltl sur veillance, felt it would be safe to leave them for the few minutes required for a very necessary report to Chief Inspector Watts. He did not go down to headquarters., however, but availed himself of the neares t telephone station. Chief Watts received the report, and, having taken Detective Keene's address, commanded him to remain in the house with the Greenleaf gang, and await instructions by letter or a messenger. '.'There is one thing more, Chief Watts," called Keene, after concluding his report concerning Greenleaf. "What is that?" "I have this morning encountered a man who will presently come down to see you. "'\Vho is he?" "I don't know. He is averse to informing me. His manner and observations, however, are significant of something important. "Has he made any specific statement to you?" "He declines to do so, but wishes to con sult with you." "Have you sent him down here?" "He said that he would come during the morning. I think he is l oc ated in a house on Commonwealth Avenue. "You don't mean that the person we are seeking is located the re ?" ''No, no, sir! l mean the man who will call up o n you." "I understand." "I was led to suspect from something he said. however. that he possesses the information Ne desire." "He appears to be very mysterious over it." "That is true." "Describe him partially !" Detective Keene complied. Chief Watts, had he had less confidence in the acumen of Sheridan Keene, might have had less hope from this mysterious development. But he knew also that mvsteri es sometimes bear good fruit, and that' a five thousand-dollar reward is not infrequently the incentive to curious schemes and indi rect conduct. As it happened, he was compelled to con tain his impatient curiosity for less time than he had feared. Scarce half an hour after his talk with Detective Keene, a knock sounded at the door of his private office, and through the ground-glass pane he discerned the shadow of a man's dark figure. He was seated at his desk at the time. He leaned forward an.cl pressed in the desk a button loosing the electric latch of the door. and the latter sprang ajar. It was immediately pushed open by the caller, and Chief Watts instantly recognized the person described by Detective Keene. "Chief Watts, sir?"

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26 SHIELD WEEKLY. I a m Chief Watts. Wi11 you s tep in?" The stranger was a well-dressed and in tellig entl ooking man. His shoes and cl o th es w e r e somewhat wet with rain. He ackno wl e dged with a bow the invitation to ente r and h asten e d to place his dripping um b r e lla i n the stand f o r tha t purpos e. In appea r a nc e and conduc t h e w as a gentle m an I ha ve called upo n a rathe r curious mis sion, sir ," the strange r said, smiling faint ly, as h e t ook the chair indicatd and removed h i s hat. "But I think you will be in cline d t o consider it o f suffi c i e ntl y s erious importanc to w arrant my intruding upon you. Chi e f Watts smiled in a curious way. Chief Watts, I have call e d upon y o u at the reque s t of another perso n a friend of min e here in to w n "\i\Thy didn' t he c all in p e r son?" Because he d o e s n o t at prese nt wish to appear in the matte r I have called, as his deputy, t o discuss "In a nutshell," the stranger sa id rapidly, "my frie11d knows iust wh e re yo u ma y put your hand upo11 Cornelius Alvord, the New Y ork d e faulter. h l s he sure of it? asked Chi e f Wat ts, with out t he s lightest s h o w o f s urprise Y e s sir." "Wh y don't 'he c o m e forward, then, and impart his information ? "Well, Chief v Vatts, th e r eward offer ed--" "Ah the r e w ard is th p ose d the w i t h r e as on!" inter so m e c urtness. Y es, sir, it is," th e strang er r e adily as sented M y fri e n d i s a m a n who is t ole ra bl y w ell know n and h e d oes n o t wis h to publicl y figur e i n thi s m a tt e r Y e t h e w o uld like, o f cour se t o secure the re ward off ered for th e information resulting in A lvord's arrest." "Welt?" "He positiv e ly knows just wh e re Alvord is at present hiding, from which, in all prob ability he will make no immediate change. He--" "\.Vhat do you mean by immediate change?" interrupted Chief v,r atts. "Neither to-day nor to -morrow, sir. Be fore that time his arrest can be effected." "Well, go on your friend. Wha t are his wishes in the matter? Why does he object to my knowing his name T' "He does not object to it, Chief, providing you will not disclose it." "If that is his wish, he may safely confide in me. "'And you wil1 not disclose it?" "Certainly not. "Then, sir, with a 1ike understanding, I will tell you mine ; and here is a note from my friend, which I now present in the ..;.ay of c r e d e ntials With which, stating a t the same time his own name, the stranger produced a brief l e tter, and placed it in the hands of the Chief Inspector. Chief \1\' atts glanced it over, starting slightly at the end. "\Vhat does he wish me to do in order to obtain the information he possesses?" he demanded, with his gaze reverting to that of the man opposite. "He would like to see you in person, and then will tell you.'" "\!\Thy doesn t he come down here?" "Because he will not take that chance of being at present known in this affair If, however you would consent to meet m e uptown at s o me late r h our to-day, I will bring you together, and the entire matter can be ea sily and p e rf e ctly adjusted ., "And Alvord, meantime?" cri e d Chief Watts, rather c e nsoriously. "There will b e no danger of losing sight of him! Of that I assure you!" Chi ef vVa tts rose to his fee t and glanced from th e window ; th e n as if under sudden impul se, wh ee l e d sharply about. "Whe r e do y o u wish me to me e t you?" he ask e d, quickly. The g o -between named a convenient place "And the hour?" demanded the Chief. "Say two o'clock, sir "Enough rn be the r e 1" It ceased raining about noon, though the clouds still hung dense and heavy and the day continued damp and cold. About one o'clock Chief Inspector Watts donned a heavy . .

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SHIELD WEERI.Y. 27 ., top-coat, increasing materially the amplitude of his imposing figure, and left the office at headquarters. He
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28 SHIELD WEEKLY. "Is it a single house or one of a block?" "One of a brick block, sir." "Will you presently show me the block?" "Y' es, sir." Chief Watts stood silent for a moment, his grave face indicating a serious trail} of thought; then he abruptly laid his hand on the informer's shoulder. "I want you to meet me here to-morrow noon," he said, gravely. "I will do so." "You then shall have the paper Mean time, be discreetly silent upon the matter. If I am delayed, you must wait here until I come." "I will do that, also!" "Very good Come, now, and show me the place The arrest shall be made to-mor row !" But from that hour, if the information re ceived was reliable, the escape of Alvord would have been impossible: Chief Watts returned to headquarters. That he was satisfied to rely upon the infor mation he had received, and the observations he personally had taken, was manifest in his immediate action upon arriving at his office. He sent an officer with a note to Sheridan Keene, instructing him to arrest the Green leaf gang at once, and bringthem to head quarters. Detective Keene read the note, bade the of ficer wait on the stairs, and, having put on his coat and hat, went and knocked sharply on Greenleaf's door. "Who is that?" growled a startled voice within; while another said, disapprovingly: "Be quiet! It may be the landlady! Come in!" Sheridan Keene opened the door and en tered. There were four men in the room "Good-afternoon, gentlemen!" he said, agreeably. Greenleaf turned suddenly white, and sprang to his feet. "Who are you?" he cried, sharply "My name is Keene, sir. I am one of the Boston inspectors. Chief Watts would like to see you gentlemen at his office." ''For what purpose? What has Chief Watts to do with us?" "That he will tell you." "I'll not go! Have you a warrant--" "No!" said Keene, with sudden sternness. "But I have an officer outside, and you will go with me, either in a hack or in a patrol wagon You may make your choice! "Well, in that case," growled Greenleaf, consternation still silenced his companions, "we'll choose the hack!" A half-hour later the four men were ush ered into the private office of Chief Watts. Though little could be learned fror:i them, there and then, they were held, despite their protests. And, incidentally, it will be safe to assume that, wh e n Chief Watts is through with them and the whole truth disclosed, th e y and all in league with them will have faced the bar of justiee. CHAPTER XII. T H E CL 0 SI N G I N. Before dark that dismal Sunday all the preparations had been made for the final act of the Alvord drama, and the curtain hung ready to be rung, down. Chief Watts ,again communicated with Captain McClusky, imparting the startling news of the discovery of Alvord's location, and asking that another officer be sent to Boston who could positively identify the defaulter and assist in h'is arrest. "I will send two," Captain McClusky re sponded instantly making his decision. "I will detail Inspector Carey and Sergeant Edwin Armstrong." "Will you have them come by the night express?" fail!" announced Captain Mc Clu&ky. "Furthermore, Armstrong is just the man for this duty. He knows Alvord intimately, and has visited him in Mount Vernon. Both of these inspectors shall be in Boston early to-morrow morning." They were met at the Southern station by Detective Keene, and, not far from two Monday afternoon, all the prelimi naries having been satisfactorily arranged, a closed carriage drew up at the curbing a shQft distance from the suspected house on (.

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 29 Huntington Avenue, and two solidly-built men alighted. One was Chief Inspector Watts, of Bos ton. The other was Sergeant Edwin' Armstrong, of New York. The faces of both men were grave, their eyes determined, their manner composed. The day was raw and cloudy. The side walks were damp from the previous day's storm, and water stood in pud4les in the streets and gutters. In the distance was the great Mechanic's Building, and far away against the dull sky rose the tower and pin nacles of Trinity Church. The block near which the carriage had halted was one of moderate. length. Its front elevation was under the const ant watch of Inspect!=Jr and at the rear were Detective Tinker and Sheridan Keene. If the dull red walls of this building did indeed hide tilt massive figure of the great de faulter, the hour long since had passed when escape would be possible. "Wait here, driver!" Chief Watts shortly commanded, when he and Armstrong had alighted and paused for a moment on the sidewalk. "All right, Chief." '"I'll give you the word when I want you." "Very well, sir." "This way, Armstrong! Yonder is the house, the one with the lower window partly open." ''I see it, Chief." And the two men walked moderately toward the dwelling They attracted no attention. The passers by might have taken them for ordinary men upon an ordinary mission. As they drew nearer the door, Chief Watts made a sign to a keen, thin-featured man who was loitering some distance away; and the man returned it, and presently took a station nearer the house. Another man was approaching the dwell ing, all by chance, and a total stranger to all concerned in the Alvord affair. Not a little to the surprise of Chief Watts, this man turned and ascended the front steps to the door, precisely as the Chief did so in company with Sergeant Armstrong. Chief Watts was quick to grasp the pos sibility of the curious little incident. He gave Armstrong a swift glance, nodded and smiled to the stranger, and mounted the steps at his side. The stranger opened the door with a latch-key and entered. Chief Watts thrust his foot forward and laid one hand on the door. "I may come in presently," he said, blandly. "You can save me the trouble of ringing." "Certainly." The stranger murmured a word, and wondered ; but nothing more. He evidently was a lodger, and in a moment had ascended the stairs to his own room. Chief Watts adjusted the latch so that the door could be opened when he desired. 1 Again he made a sign to the officer near by, and Inspector Morrissey presently ad vanced and took a station at the doorstep. Three or four minutes passed. "Now, Sergeant Armstrong!" the Chief said, gently. "All ready, sir." Chief Watts softly opened the door, and the two men entered the hall, the Chief closing the door behind them. It was an ordinary hall of a tolerably well furnished lodging-house. The parlors were vacant, the curtains partially lowered ; there was no inmate of the house visible The presence of the officers was not so much as suspected. "This way!" whispered Chief Watts. Sergeant Armstrong nodded, and the Chief led the way up the stairs, both walking with cautious tread. In a moment he paused before the dosed door of one of the back chambers. It was a moment of supreme suspense. The work of many a weary day was at its culmination. The possibilities involved were more than words could enumerate. Despite all assurances, one bare uncertainty still existed ; and though a thousand years were lived in the detective service, with all experiences that such a life would in clude, there still would be no escaping the feelings and impressions of such a decisive moment.

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30 SHIELD WEEKLY. Sergeant Armstrong was noticeably pale, and from the cheeks of Chief 'Ii\' atts, even, gome of the habitual florid hue l')ad vanished. But with both the occasion was suspense alone, the bare uncertainty of that one fate ful moment. Then Chief Watts raised his hand and rapped smartly on the panel of the closed door. There was a sound from within, as of some one quickly starting. Yet what pen would dare attempt to portray the feelings of the one who heard, perhaps, in that sharp, resounding knock the first terrible tocsin of alarm. 'rhen a voice from within the room called deeply: "vVho is it?" "T am the gas inspector, and want to look at your meter !'1 Chief \Vatts answered. Again that mome'Iltary pause. With cheeks pale, with nerves quivering, with startled eyes vainly seeking the machine mentioned-thus, possibly, the occupant of the room was wildly gazing about. "There is no meter in this room !" Despite the above conjecture, the voice was deep and firm that gave the answer. "Yes, there 1s," cried Chief Watts, in tones consistent with his artful assumption. "There is one i11 the closet!" "Oh, all right! Come in." Had the words of the Chief carried some reassurance of safety to the speaker? His st. ep a heavy stride, was heard across the floor The Chief stepped a little to one side, better revealing Sergeant Armstrong. \iVithin a hand was laid on the knob of the door. As the invitation to enter Jell from his lips, the occupant of the room, whatever his sentiments, threw open the door-and beheld across the threshold the familiar face of an old acquaintance and friend, and at the latter's elbow the tall, imposing figure of Chief Inspector Watts. The man who had opened the door, who had bidden them enter, who had voiced the knell of his own liberty for years to come" was the man they had been so assiduously and persistently seeking. Cornelius C. Alvord, Jr., the defaulter of the First National Bank! "Hello, Alvord, I'm glad to see you!" in stantly cried Sergeant Armstrong; alld the voice of the inspector was as genial and hearty as if the man addressed were still with name and honor unsullied by crime. He was clad in his trousers and night-shirt, and evidently had been lounging in the room. It was a small chamber, twelve by fourteen feet in size, and in this cheap back room, rented in the name of Charles Smith_, New York, a room bare of the 1 uxuries of home, <>nd in inconceivable contrast with his magnificent chambers at Mt . Vernon, Cornelius L. Alvord, the defaulter, had been in hiding for nearly a week, self-exiled from the world. The room contained t!ie daily papers, however, a box of choice cigars, and a quart bot tle of whisky, partly emptied. For a minute Alvord stood nonplussed, with his fleshy features growing ghastly pale rnd his lips quivering. He .seemed unable to comprehend the situation, and to realize that the figure of Sergeant Armstrong was not the vision of a dream. Then he choked slightly, drawing a deep breath, and pulled himself together. "Hello, Armstrong!" he rejoined, huskily, txtending his hand. "How do you do?" Then he wheeled about, reeling slightly, his large figure unsteady upon his limbs; and then he started to cross the room and ap-proached the window. As he did so he placed both hands in his hip pockets, a habit of his. Chief Watts misinte-rpreted the movement, and suspected he sought a weapon, either for 'iolence or suicide. With a single bound the Chief had overtaken him, and had his wrists held with a grip of steel. "None of that!" he comanded, sternly. Alvord looked curiously back at him over his shoulder; then understood. "It's only a habit," he explained, in tones he still was striving hard to govern. "I am not armed." He spoke the truth. The hip pockets were empty. Meantime Sergeant Armstrong had closed the door; and when he turned again, Alvord had in part recovered from his surprise, and,

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 31 though pale and haggard, was able to com mand his feelings. "Well, Armstrong," he said, deeply, look ing the detective in the face; "I suppose the 0 game is up and I am under arrest." "Nothing less, Mr. Alvord,'; said Sergeant .., Armstrong, firmly, yet not with austerity. "I am to go back to New York?" "Surely!". "Well, if I must go, I am glad you are the officer to take me," said Alvord, with mani fest relief. "I know you, and I do not know a lot of men who might have been sent after me." "This is Chief Inspector Watts, Mr. Al vord." The defaulter slightly. "Must I hu,rry to prepare myself, Chief Inspector Watts?" he asked. The Chief shook his head. "No; take your time," he answered. "Well"-and for the first time something like a .{int smile rose over Alvord's pale face, the smile of a man who in arrest, even, found 1 elief from solitude and its nameless horrors-" well, Chief Watts, this is once the gas-man fooled me !" Chief Watts made no reply. For ten minutes, while the defaulter com pleted his toilet, the detective patiently waited. From the box on the table he handed each a cigar, and the brand was of the best. "Have you remained in this room, Alvord, since you left the Touraine ?" the Chief asked, as he accepted the cigar. "Yes, Chief Watts," was the reply. "I have not been out of this room since I enkred it. I shall not feel sorry to go out now, even under these conditions !"1 "Why have you kept yourself so close?" "You don't havt: to look at me and ask that question do you, Chief?" Alvord de manded. drawing up his three hundred and twenty pounds of flesh and tissue. "But there are other large men in this city -men as large as you," said the Chief In spector. "Yes, that no doubt is true," admitted Al vord: "but no Chief Inspector is looking for them, and that makes all the difference in the world!" Chief Watts smiled faintly at this, and, as lhe defaulter seemed communicative, he sus tained the conversation. "When did you leave New York, Mr. Alvord?" he asked. "On the night of the twenty-third," said Alvord, knotting his scarf. "Did you come alone ?" The defaulter wheeled sharply about and looked at the Chief with a frown. "I came here alone!" he replied, evasively, neaning that room. "Alvord," demanded Chief Watts, sternly; "who is James Greenleaf?" "You can find out by making inquiries in Wall street." "What have been your relations with him ?'1 But Alvord shook his head decisively. "I shall say nothing of others," he replied, firmly. "What must be said of me, is e:.nough." "Quite likely! However, I already have Greenleaf and his confederates in custody, and I will see that they receive their_just de serts, either thr.ough your confession or my own efforts. 0 that you may rest assured'!" Chief Watts, with convincing severity. "Now, Alvord, what do you mean to do? Will you fight requisition papers, or will you waive that and return to New York without any trouble?" "I'll go back," said Alvord, instantly. "When?" "By the first train out of Boston. What t;me does it go?" asked the defaulter, care lessly. "A train leaves for New York at five o'clock." /. "Very well, sir! I will be reaqy if the Xew York officers are." Sergeant Armstrong gave Chief Watts a quick glance and nod. The Chief put one more question. "What have you to say about this matter, Alvord, anyway?" he demanded. Alvord turned about and looked the Chief in the face. "There is very little for me to say!" he re iJ!ied, with a ponderous swing of his !luge figure. "I have played and l ost, and now I will take the consequences." Chief Watts rose to his feet "Are you ready?"

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32. "All ready." "Come, then!" There were nc manacles used. SHIELD WEEKLY. ing the city of Boston, probably for the city's good . Together the trio quickly descended the stairs and emerged from the house Chief Watts softly closed the door. A gesture di s missed the watchful officer. A sign brought the waiting carriage to the spot. The pris one r and his custodians entered it. Then it wheeled rapidly away. He left .behind him only two things espe cially worthy of note in closing One-his picture in the "Rogues' GalA master in his art from the very first, Chief vVatts had arr ested and removed his prisoner from the house in Huntington Avenue without the inmates becoming aware. even that h e was there. * * * At five o'clock that night, making his way through the morbidly curious crowd that had gathered near, a slouchily-dressed man in baggy. trousers and a light top-coat, with soiled shoes, his hat drawn over his e y es, and his massive figure bowed and unsteady, boarded the steps of the New York train, a grave-visaged inspector of police stood at either side. The man was the defaulter, Alvord, leavl e r y!" The other-a mantle of well-earned glory, upo n th e should e rs of Chief Inspector Watts and Detective Keene THE END. Following the brilliant capture of Alvord Inspector Watts and Detective Keene had scarcely time to recover from the strain they had been through before they were called up to grapple with one of the strangest cases of robbery ever brought to the attenti o n of the police. Both officers destined to '!Ppear again as the principal characters, and to solv e the mystery on th e same novel 1ines which have already made them so w ell kn o wn to readers of the SHIELD WEEKLY. What this case was, and the way the two famous officers went to work on it, will be t o ld in next week's SHIELD WEEKLY (No. 4), in a story entitled "Captured by Inches; or, A Curious Robbery in High Life. THI: SHlt:LD Wt:t:KLY will present each week a new story of the exploits of the noted INSPECTORWATTS and his associate DETECTNE KEE NE. .:1-.:1-.:f. .:1-.:f. .:1.:1-.:I---o----The Following are the First Four Titles: No.-1. Sheridan Kf!ene, Detective; or, The Chief' s Best Man. Issued Wednesday, December 5th. No. 2.-SJ/houette or Shadow? or, A Question oi Evidence. I ssued Wednesday, December I2tll. No. 3.-lnspector Watts' Oreat Capture; or, The Case of Alvord, the Embezzler. Issued Wednesday, December I9t!t. No. 4.-Cornered by Inches; &r, A Curious Robbery Jn lligh Life. I ssue d Wednesday, D ecember 26th. Back numbers always on hand. If y ou c annot g e t our publica t ions from your newsdealer, five cents a copy will bring them t o y ou by mail, postpaid. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 238 William St., New York. ,.

PAGE 34

ANOTHER NEW IDEA The Shield Weekly RUE detective stories are stranger than fiction. The Shield Weekly is a new series of detective stories, but it is "some thing different." Street & Smith's long experience in the publishing business has taught them that the average man and boy like nothing better than good detedi

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