CORHERE' D BY ltlCHES or A Robbery in Hi41h life 6t' ALDEN F. BRAD'SHAW POBLISHED WEEKLY BY STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street New York City Cotiyrir;ht 1 900, by Strut & Smith. All rights m'Vt!d. Entered al Ntw York Post-Office as Suo11d-C/ass Malltr.
I I TRUE DETECTIVE STORIES. STRAnGER THAn flCTIOn I ...... limed Wtt.tly. By Su!JScrijJtion $2,JO jltY' year. Entered as Suond-Class Mattel' at tlu N. Y. Post 0.1/lce, by STRBBT & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. No. 4. Entered Accordingt o Act o f C o n r ,-es s in the year Il}OfJ, in the Office of the Librarian o/ Conzre.rs, Was hinrto11, D. C NEW YORK, December 29, 1900. Price Five Cents. CHIEF INSPECTOR WATTS. The 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.
.. CORNERED BY INCHES; OR, A CURIOUS ROBBERY IN HIGH LIFE. By ALDEN F. BRADSHAWe CHAPTER I. A CURIOUS ROBBERY. It was snowing outside The feathery flakes were falling rapidly and abnormally large, covering the towering walls of the imposing new Court House in P e mbert o n Square and half-hiding, as w ith a chaste veil, the grim face of the brick H eadquarters building and the Bureau of Criminal Investigati on. Pedestrian cabman, outdoor humanity of e very degree and station, e v e n the snow flak e s thems e lv e s, s e emed to be in a hurry that stormy Decemb e r morning. But n o ne more so than the v e hicle that en t e r e d and crossed Pemberto n Square from th e dir e cti o n of aristo cratic Beacon Street, and approach e d the Headquarters building as if ab out to drive through its very doors. It was checked just short of this exploit, ho we ver. It was a very sty lish coupe with a da inty crimson and gilt monogram adornin g its polished pan e ls and was drawn by a fine Kentucky thoroughbred, black as night. With half an eye one could see that this was a private equipage, and the owner one of that gentry whose blood is the bluest of the blue. The cabman was in bottle-green livery unde r a tan mackintosh storm-coat, and he sprang down to op e n th e carriage door ; but his alacrity even did n o t fully satisfy the im patience of the occupant, who almost at the same moment gained the snowy sidewalk. "Wait for me, Joseph!" he commanded, 'in a nervous voice. He was a tall, rather slight, but distin guished-looking man of nearly fifty, wearing a seal coat and cap, and his thin, delicate features were quite pale. He stood doubtful for a moment. Evidently his mission was new to him, and this advent into the realm of the police wholly distasteful, as if his delicate senses already detected with aversion, as it were, a spirit of vice and force on the frosty air. Then he caught sight of a sign which re lieved him of his momentary anxietyBureau of Criminal Investigation. "Wait for me, Joseph!" he repeated ; then nervously hastened down the stairs, making his way into the office of the Inspectors of Police. Garratt was at the desk in the clerks office "I want to find the manage r here, or the head man, whatever he may be termed," said the stranger; and he flicked from his shoulders the few flakes which had gathered there, much as if he had regarded them decidedly pre sumptuous in having fallen upon him at all. Chi e f Inspector Watts, do you m e an ?" g rowl e d Garratt, with a sharp scrutiny of the visitor's anxious face. For neither dress, disti n gue nor the poli s h of culture, even, serves to divert the sus picious interest which these servants of the law entertain for strangers. "I think so, sir; I do not know his name ," was the quick response. "But I would like to see him at oqce !" Garratt glanced toward the corridor mak-
SHIELD WEEKLY. 3 ing-round to the inner office, and said rather sharply: "Step round that way, sir. You'll find him in his office. The room marked 'Chief Inspector' on the glass panel of the door." "Thank you thank you !" The stranger hastened through the cor ridor in the direction indicated and ap proached the office mentioned, the door of which chanced to be open. At the desk nearly in the middle of the room sat a portly man of light complexion, with a forceful but pleasing face, and with curiously calm, yet penetrating, blue eyes. This was Chief Inspector William B. V/atts, of the detective force. And Mr. Francis Grosman, aristocrat of Commonwealth Avenue, played in remarkably good luck when he found Chief Inspector Watts at leisure that morning, for there I is no busier man within the city limits. The chief glanced up when the visitor en tered. "Good-morning, Mr. he said, quietly. "Ah, you know me, then!" exclaimed G ro sman, with a slight manifestation of re lief. "I hardly hoped so much!" "Your face is familiar," smiled the chief. "What can I do for you?" "May I close your door, sir?" "If you wish." "Thank you ihank you !" Grosman nerv ously murmured, availing himself of the per m1ss10n. Then, in response to a courteous wave of the hand from Chief Inspector vVatts, the gentleman accepted the chair which already occupi e d a position at a con venient corner of the chief's roll-top desk. "What is the matter, Mr. Grosman?" was the kindly inquiry. "You appear a little ex cited, or nervous, rather. I hope nothing serious has occurred out your way." "I am nervous! I am gre atly disturbed! Seriously so!" exclaimed Mr. Gro. sman, acknowledging with the easy grace of culture and refinement, despite his perturbation, the kindly interest so quietly manifested by the chief inspector. "I have made a dreadful discovery this morning, and am here to employ you to thoroughly investigate the case. I beg that you will undertake it, and you may spare no ex pense to get at the truth and to apprehend the perpetrator. I am really in a state of serious nervous excitement over it." "Suppose you state the case itself," sug gested the chief, with an odd little smile. "Draw your chair nearer, sir." "Thank you! thank you! The fact is, sir, I have been very mysteriol;lsly robbed." "Not robbed of this, evidently," laughed / Chief Inspector Watts. And he glanced down at the contents of a red morocco jewel case, which his caller pro duced from his overcoat, and now opened upon the desk. From the dark velvet lining there gleamed up at him a magnificent dia mond necklace, manifestly of great value and blazing with the living light. "It appears not, sir, on the surface," Gros man hurriedly replied. "Yet this is itself the evidence of the robbery." "Well, that is rather curious," said the chief. "Please explain." "I'll do so! I'll do so!" was the reply, made with a nervousness which the visitor seemed utterly unable to overcome. "This jewel, Mr. Watts, was my bridal gift to my wife. It was a very beautiful piece of at the time, mounting fortytwo valuable stones, and it cost me, at the time of purchase, nearly "You say-was!" interposM Chief Watts. "Is it not as perfect and beautiful now?" "Far from it, sir!" was the impulsive ex clama t ion. "More than half of the original jewels have been removed, and imp e rfect ston e s of much less value, yet so nearly re sembling the original as to pass undetected a c u rs o r y examination, have be e n substi tuted. It ha s now less than half its original value sir." A curious expression stole about the eyes of Chief Ins p e ctor Watts. "Ah, I see!" he exclaimed, in a slow, thoughtful way, with his gaze still bent upon the g litering contents of the morocco case. "It is rather a clever robbery, indeed." "It is a case--" "Which will require equally clever investi gation," interrupted Chief Inspector Watts, w!th quick dryness. "I do not think I can
4 SHIELD WEEKLY. undertake the work persoually, but I will assign it to one of my me n ." "I would rather you yourself--" "Pardon, I cannot think of it just now! But it shall receive the attention of a man whom I consider to be quite as capable as myself, I assure you, and his reports will come under my persona l supervision, and shall receive my careful consideration Garratt and the chief hailed the clerk, as the latter passed through the corridor without; "Is Inspecto r Keene about here this morn ing?" I believe so, chief," was the r e ply. "I saw him come in a while ago. I think he is in the men's r oom. "Send him in here!" "Yes, sir." "I wish to ask you a few questions which possibly may have a bearing upon the rob bery, Mr. Grosman," the chief explained while waiting. "If my officer is present at the time, it will reli eve me of rehearsing all the details for his special benefit." "I see, sir." "Ah, Mr. Keene, come in and close the door. This is Mr. Francis Grosrnan, of Commonwealth Avenue, who has met with a lo ss which I wish you to look into." Mr. Francis Grosman glanced up at the athletic figure and pleasing, grave face of the young man who had entered. He ha d heard the name o f Sheridan Keene before, but was utterly unfamiliar with the exploits of th ese men whose vocati on is to pursue vic e to its lair. He had always felt that their business to ok them down to the plane of life with which he, with his inh erent pride in birth and wealth, could have no affiliation. Yet, and perhaps a 1 ittle to his surprise, he found in Sheridan Keene's clean-cut face and searching eye a corribination of qualities which imp elled him to quickly rise and extend his hand to the young detective CHAPTER II. WITHOUT A CLEW. In a few words Chief Inspector Watts in formed Sheridan Keene of the disclosure al ready made, then turned ag-ain to his visitor. "Now, Mr. Grosman," he said, q ui te brusquely, with that lighting of the eyes which, in men of g reat mental reserve, in dicates a sudden, sharp quickening of thought; "when. did you discover this rob bery, and what do you know about it?" Mr. Grosman drew a long breath. He was unaccustomed to mental excitement or physi cal strain, and this extraordinary occasion quite unnerved him. From childhood up he had kno\vn only the serene sweets of afflu ence, and had been reared to no greater care than that of his heritage of wealth; and no loftier ambition than that of preserving the unblemished integrity of a fine old family name. What wonder that he felt quite out of sorts and out of place. Yet he managed to command himself so far as to reply r e adily, and with an animation stimulated by his nervousness. "I know absolutely nothing about the rob bery, Mr. Inspector," he rejoined. "I made the discovery only this morning, scarce half an hour ago." "Under what circumstances?" "Circumstances?" "What led you t-o make it, I mean." "Oh !-I see! I'll explain. You know about the coming great ball for the benefit of the charity fund ?-of course you do. Well, sir, my wife is one of the promoters-she's always mixed up in some such an affair." "Stick to th e case, Mr. Grosman, please," observed the chief, with rather ca1:1stic dryness. "Surely, surely! Well, sir, it will be an oc casion when my wife will naturally want to wear her jewels, or some of them; and you know the great danger of wearing expensive jewels at such a time. Anticipating this dan ger, I decided to have my jeweler examine the ne c klace to sure the settings were all intact." "Who is your jeweler, Mr. Grosman?" "Elbridge Kenney, sir, of Boylston Street. He is a personal friend of mine, sir, and a man I implicitly trust. He examined the necklace about an hour ago, sir To my in tense surprise and dismay, he almost imme diately discovered the startling fact, which I have stated, that a majority of the original v al uable stones have removed and in.,
SHIELD WEEKLY. ferior substitutes set in place of them. That, sir, is all I can tell you." And the rather pale and insipid eyes of the gentleman from Commonwealth Avenue lingered with an expression of mute appeal upon those of the grave-faced chief inspector. The latter sat silent for some moments, with his inscrutable gaze bent upon the face of his visitor, from which he drew but one main only-that Mr. Francis Grosman was telling the whole truth, in so far as he was able. Sheridan Keene, who had remained stand ing, now drew a chair near an opposite corner of the chief's desk, where a block of blank paper yvas lying, and in a careless way took up a pencil. The chief observed, but made no comment. "You are sure that is all the information you can give me, Mr. Grosman, are you?" Chief Inspector Watts at length asked, thoughtfully. "Yes, sir, I am." "You know absolutely of no pers o n whom you would be inclin ed to suspect of such a theft?" "None, sir." "Nor of any occasion when, or circum stances under which, it might have been committed?'' "Neither, sir. I am utterly in the dark about it." "Very well, Mr. Grosman," bowed the chief, now turning his chair a little nearer and deliberately closin g the jewel case. "I wish you now to answer a few questions for me, and let your replies be as brief as com prehensiveness will admit." "I will do so, sir." "Evidently your jeweler, Mr. Kenney, was familiar with this ornament, since he de tected the difference in the stones." "Yes, sir, he was. The original purchase was made there. He detected the fraud im mediately." "Did he give you any estimate of the loss which you have suffered?" "He said the value of the piece had been depreciated about fift y per cent. sir." "Or in the neighborhood of $7,ooo." "Approximately." "What else did he say about the stones?" "He said that while they resembled the original ones in a degree, many of them had serious imperfections, observable with a glass, and that the fraud most likely had been perpetrated by some person in the jewelry business, or at least a dealer in precious stones." "He expressed no opinion as to the identity of such a person, did he?" "He did not." "Was there a third person present at the time of your interview with Mr. Kenney?" "No, sir. I was alone with him in his pri vate office." "Did you tell him you were coming here to see me?" "It was he who advised it, sir." "Did you come at once?" "Yes, sir. I had my carriage at the door. "Did Mr. Kenney tell any other person of the discovery just made?" "I think not, sir." The chief looked across the top of his desk and addressed a clerk in an inn e r office adjoining his room, the door of which was open. "Robert, you see if you can get Elbridge Kenney, of Boylston Street, by telephone. If you can, say to him that Chief Inspector watts asks that he will make no disclosure oi the discovery made this morning relative to Mr. Grosman's property. If you can't get him by telephone, send a messenger with a note." "Yes, si r ." The answer came from the adjoining room . "Now, Mr. Grosman, we will continue," said the chief, reverting to his visitor. "You say you have occasionally had this piece of jewelry examined. When was an examina tion made prior to that of this morning?" "Some tim e last March, Mr. Inspector; I can't' give you the precise date." "Did Mr. Kenney personally make the examination at that time?" "Yes, sir." "Nothing wrong then, was there?" "Not that he disclosed. I'm quite sati s fied there was nothing." ......... "Where has the necklace been since that time?" "It has been in my drawer in the safet y
6 SHIELD WEEKLY. deposit vaults. I carried it there direct from Mr. Kenney's office at that time. I was about going abroad for a few months, and this piece, with some other ornaments of my wife, I did not wish to take with me. They all were locked in my drawer at the safety deposit." "VI/ ere the other pieces of your wife's jewelry also examined at that time?" "Some of them, I think." "Who has access to your drawer at the safety de_posi t ?" "I alone, sir, so far as I know." "And when did you go abroad?" "Early in April, sir; and returned about the middle of September." "Then, to the best of your knowledge and belief, Mr. Grosman, your drawer in the safety deposit vault was not opened during that interval?" "No, sir, it was not." "When di
SHIELD WEEKLY. 7 "Very well, Mr. Grosman !" Chief Inspector Watts now exclaimed, with a succession of short little nods. "The question now is: Do you want me to undertake to ferret out the criminal in the affair, and bring him to justice?" The blue eyes of Sheridan Keene were casually raised from the block under his palm, and rested briefly on the face of the man opposite; but the pale, refined counte nance of Mr. Francis Grosman did not change by so much as a shadow, with the asking of the chief's last question. "Most assuredly I do!" he cried, with em phasis, like a man without even a thought that the investigation might incriminate one of his own flesh and blood. "Am I not here to ask that service of you? Good heavens, sir! this is a most extraordinary robbery the like of which may threaten others also! A man's property is not safe in his own house! You may spare no expense, Chief Inspector Watts, in an effort to discover and arrest this crafty scoundrel !" "And you are prepared to aid me, and to follow my instructions to the very letter?" demanded the chief. "My experience with you men of wealth has been, Mr. Grosman, that you are rather inclined to have too much faith in your own beliefs and deductions, and are quite likely to deviate from given direc tions. This investigation promises to be a very qelicate piece of detective work, and only on one condition will I undertake it." "And that, sir--" "That you rigidly follow my instructions as long as I am engaged on the case." "I pl edge my word, sir, that I will do so!" cried Mr. Grosman, earnestly. "Very well, then! We will proceed with that understanding," bowed the chief, with some relaxation of his brief austerity. "I will ask you no more questions this morning, but will rather give you my immediate in structions." "I am all attention, sir." "First, then, you will command your coachman not to disclose to any person that you have made a call upon me or upon your jeweler. And see that you make your commands so impressive that they will be obey ed." "I will, sir." "Then I want you to replace this case and necklace in your safe, unobserved by any per &on. And I want you to say absolutely nothing of the theft-not even to your wife and children. In a word, I want this case re piaced in your safe, and to have it appear that no suspicion of any wrong exists. Do you understand?" "Precisely, sir! And I will insure all you have asked." "Now, again! Between now and the day after to-morrow you will, undoubtedly, take from home two or three other pieces of your wife's jewelry, and submit them to Mr. Ken ney. I want to learn whether the theft is confined to this piece alone." "I will do that, sir." "But let it be done at a time and in a way that w ill give no probable occasion for suspecting your intentions. Make sure of that, Mr. Grosman!" "I will, sir !" "At about what do you value your wife"s jewels, collectively? I think I have heard them remarked upon." "At about forty thousand dollars, sir." "Ah, indeed! A more valuable collection than I had imagined," observed Chief Inspector V/atts, in his quiet way. "Select for this second examination by Mr. Kenney one or two of the larger pieces-those which Mrs. Grossman wears the less frequently, and which may, therefore, be moved more discreetly from the house for a time." "I understand, sir! You may safely leave it to my discretion." "Very well, then! And that will be all this morning. On the clay after to-morrow, at this time, come h e re again and report th e restilt of Mr. Kenney's examination. At that time I shall be prepared with a definite plan upon which to operate in the case. Onc e more-don't fail to follow my instructions Sir!" CHAPTER III. A DIAMOND CROSS. "He seems quite void of any suspicion that cne of his own family might be guilty of th s crime," dryly observed Chief Inspec tor
8 SHIELD WEEKLY. watts, rising to watch from his window the carriage of Mr. Francis Grosman, as it crossed Pemberton Square through the ing Possibly the disclosure of a similar case would have startled him, had I th ought it wise to have o p e n e d his eyes." "Then the case has a parallel, chief?" in quired Sheridan K e ene, looking up from the block upon which he had made various mem oranda. "Oh, yes, several!" nodded Chief Watts, whose fund of information covers most of the crimes in the categ o ry. "There was a case of one Gordon Fiske, out in the city of Denver, who adopted a simil a r schem e to get money with which to cover peculations from his father, in whose silk house he was em ployed. "I recall it, n o w that you mention it." "Then there was a case in England, although the matter was hushed up at the time; and, in fact, n e ver was disclosed out side the circle of Sc o tland Yard. I got it from one of the Bow Street runners. It was the affair of Lady Laura Radcliff, who took prec i sely this m e thod of jewel substi tution, and ultimately ruined her entire col lection, in orde r to sati s f y the demands of a gentlemanly sc o undrel with whom she had become cland e stinely associated in a way that might not have been pleasing to her husband had he l e arned the whole truth. Lady Laura slipp e d out of the n e t nic e l y h o w eve r, and manag ed t o h oo dwink his lord s hip ." She ridan K ee ne laughed s o ftly, and the chi e f quickl y add ed: "But I wouldn t as yet carry the anal o gy to a d e finit e suspi c i o n of an y o f the Grosman family We will await his further report. Meantime, y ou had bett e r take the ca s e and see first what y o u can learn at the safety de posit office "I will begin an inv e stigation immediate ly," said Detective Keene, rising. "Also see K e nney, the jeweler, and make sure that he di s closes nothing." "I will, sir! And wouldn't it be well to learn if Mrs. Grosman or her son, both of whom have the combination of the house safe, have lately been to Kenney with any in quiries?" "Yes-a good idea And warn him specially against disclosing to either of them anything pertaining to the robbery, should they call hereafter. "I will do so." "If you run upon anything of consequence report it to me. Also make it a point to be rresent when Grosman calls here Wednesday morning." "I will be here, chief, without fail." And Sheridan Keene bow e d, taking his hat, and presently .withdrew to the general office, while Chief Inspector Watts, once having given the investigation in charge of the former, in whose sagacity he had an abiding faith, instantly dropped the matter entirely from his mind. The report returned by Detective Keene on the following Wednesday morning, prior to the arrival of Mr. Grosman, served chiefly to r.arrow the circle of reasonable suspicion. Careful inquiry at the office of the safety deposit vaults had revealed that illicit access could not possibly have been had to the property of Mr. Grosman without the irregularity being detected; and, further, that only Grosman himself had twice applied there for the purpose since the previous March, these visits fixing the precise dates of the deposit and removal of the jewels. A n interview with Eldridge Kenney, whose integrity in such a matter was consid ered reliable, had established the fact that he pers o nally examined Mrs. Gro s man s jewe lr y in March; that none of his empl oy ees had so much as seen it, hence could have had no part in the fraud; and that Mr. G r o sman per, sonally had carried the property away, with the expressed intention of immediately plac ing it in his drawer in the safety deposit. Hence, if Grosman had told the truth, it became reasonably safe to assume that this crafty robbery had been accomplished since the removal of the jewelry to Grosman s resi dence on the 23d day of September. "I think it is there we must look for the criminal," concluded Chief Inspector Watts, while he sat with Sheridan Keene, awaiting Grosman's arrival. "We will make a beginning there, at all events." "How about the removal of the original stones, chief and the setting of the substi-
SHIELD WEEKLY. 9 tutes ?" Keene suggested. "Is it not prob able that that work was done outside?" "In that case, some outside party is in volved, though the work possibly may have been done by some inmate of the house That remains to be discovered. The entire investigation is a decidedly delicate piece of work, and the field of possible suspects is wide; but I have form ed a plan by which I think you may ultimately drive the game from cover. I am glad you happen to have no other case o n hand, Detective Keene, for you are the very man for the work." An inquiry as to the chief's plan rose to the lips of the young detective, but it was uttered; for, at that moment the man for whom they were waiting came hurrying into the office, without the ceremony even of announcing himself by a knock upon the d oo r. That Mr. Francis Grosman was even more nervous and excited than on his previous visit was immediately apparent. His delicate feat ures were quite sallow, his eyes dilated, his tall figure tremulous and unsteady. He bore clasped in his arms, as if hurriedly gathered up from the seat of his carriage, no less than seven plush or velvet jewel-cases, of various shapes and sizes, making a burden which this punctilious gentleman, if in an ordinary state of mind, would not for a moment have thought of assuming. "Dear me, gentlemen, I'm so glad I find ) ou !" he at once exclaimed. "The half has not been told! I'm robbed of more than--" "One moment, Mr. Grosman!" interrupted Chief Inspector Watts, with considerable sternness, though young Sheridan Keene felt very much inclined to laugh outright at the ludicrous distress of this man of years and wealth over so commonplace a matter. "This excitement of youi:s is inexcusable, Mr. Grosman!" the chief bluntly added "You act like a man robbed of all his pos sessions. The loss of a few thousand dollars' worth of diamonds is not a matter for you to lose your head over. This perturbation of yours will not help matters; quite the contrary ; and as you are said to be worth a million or two, you should meet such a loss with at least reasonable composure." "Good heavens, sir, it's not the loss!" Mr. Grosman impulsively replied, with no appar ent resentment of the chief's reproof. is not the los s, I assure you; it is rather the shocking fact that I have been made the victim of such an outrage, and the bare possi bility that the criminal might at this moment be one of my own household! That's what distresses me, sir Not the mere l oss, I as sure you." "'0l ell, sir, kindly sit down and compose yourself," replied Chief Watts, drawing a chair for his caller. "I'll relieve you of those boxes; there is room on my desk. If the criminal is indeed one of your household, we shall certainly run him down. But I wish you to entirely drop the affair, as. a personal matter, and leave th e investigation to us alone. Any self-betrayal on your part may ruin all our efforts." "I will be very careful hereafter, sir; I will confess I have been greatly distressed ." "Now, what have you to report, and why have you brought these jewel cases down here?" asked the chief, when Grosman more composedly took the chair offered him. "I have just come from Mr. Kenney's sir," Grosman hastened to explain. "These cases contain other pieces o"f my wife's jew elry. Mr. Kenney has just examined them, and states that, with but one exception, eyery piece has been treated in the same way as the necklace. Furthermore, that not less than $15,000 is involved in the outrage." "Did your wife take any of these pieces abroad with her last summer?" demanded Chief Watts. "Yes, sir, several." "Well, that is something! It establishes the fact that this robbery has been com mitted since your return, as it inv o lves als o the pieces left at home." "I will show you these several pieces, sir, if you wish to see th e m," said Mr. Grosman, And Chief watts suffered him to open, with tremulous hands the various cases, and display upon his desk a collection of orna ments one might well have e nvi ed him of possessing, even in their present condition. It comprised a large brooch, in the rather mocking form of a horseshoe; two h a r lacepins; a valuable chatelaine; a pendant cross,
10 SHIELD WEEKLY. fully two inches in length, together with sev eral smaller ornaments of less value. "With the exception of this"-and Mr. Grosman removed the cross from its velvet receptacle--"each of these jew e l s has had one or more m:iginal stones replaced by one of materially Jess value. I cannot understand why this, even, has been spared, for it con tains no less than eleven diamonds, all of con value." A curious expression came and wrnt from the face of Sheridan Keene ; but he merely glanced at the blazing ornament, and volun teered no remark. "Has it been as easily available as the others to the person guilty of this theft?" asked Chief Inspector \V a tts. "Yes, Mr. Inspecto r," was the reply; "the case has been with the necklace about all the time." "At the safety deposit?" "Yes, sir." "And in your safe at home? "Yes, sir." "Do all these pieces belong to your wife?" "All but one of the bar pins, which is the property of my daughter." "We will close the cases again, Mr. Gros man. You are s ure that their temporary re moval from your hous e will not be discov ere<'l ?" "Quite so, sir. I brought them away less than an hour ago." "I wish you to return them immediately after l eaving h e re, and to ri g idly adhere to my previous instructions ," Chief Watts now commanded. "Have you observed an indi cati o n of suspicion or uneasiness on the part of any of your household, as if from appre hensi on that this theft may p oss ibly have been discovered?" "None whatever, sir.., "What is your coachman"s name?" "Joseph H o lly, sir; he is English." "Note the name, Inspector Keene." "I have it ; chief." "How long has this man _Holly been m your employ, Mr. Grosman?" "Nearly five years; he is a model servant." "Give me your butler's name?" "James Vincent." "That of your valet?" "Jean Deverge." "French?" "Yes, sir; I brought him from Paris." "Your wife's maid?" "Louise Fenster." "That of your chef?" "John Paul." "And the chambermaid?" "Mary Dalton." "Except the coachman, Holly, these ser vants are comparatively new ones, are they?" "Yes, sir. I have had them in my employ only since my return fro1n Europe." "Give general satisfaction?" "Yes, sir. If not, I shoul
SHIELD WEEKLY. 11 "So I do depend upon Chief Watts rejoined, shortly. "And you, in turn, may rely upon Detective Keene to get at the bot tom of this affair, if any man can accomplish it. After his advent into your house, more over, you will be guided by his instructions -remember that!" "I will, sir, surely!" "That is aJl, this morning,' bowed the chief, approvingly. "Take these gems home and replace them as usual, and expect De tective Keene at your home at a seasonable hour to-morrow morning. Receive him as a stranger, not as an acq uaintance. Good day, sir." CHAPTER IV. THE GAME BREAKS COVER. It was not without some misg1vmgs that Sheridan Keene entered upon the detective work assigned him. He fuily realized its delicate character, if the perpetrator of the crime was indeed an inmate of the Grosman residence, and that any pronounced innova tion there might tend to alarm the criminal. Hence, ostensibly it was a verv unassuming young man who presented himself in re sponse to the prearranged advertisement, and was ultimately employed as a private secretary by Mr. Francis Grosman But the advent of a new servant into the well regulated household of Mrs. Grosman did not appear to create even a ripple of disturbance; and for four days and. nights, or over the following Sunday, the artful ;,atchfulness of Sheridan Keene was unre wai:.ded. It enabled him to measure the inmates of the house,-however, which also was not at all encouraging. Mrs. Grosman was a woman of forty, nearly twelve years young e r than her husband, and a lady of culture, beauty and womanly dignity. Her daughter was a girl of eighteen, rather a spoiled miss, yet pretty, and, for the most part, pleasing. The son went daily to college in Cambridge, and was a manly youth, and the last person in the world to have been ;;uspected of a crime. Indeed, the last might have applied to the entire Grosman family, Detective Keene was fairly compelled to decide. Nor in the servants' quarters were his ob a whit more promising. The coachman, Holly, was an Englishman of fifty, with a face as honest as that on a government coin, and an interest confined solely to horseflesh. "' Deverge, the valet, was a French youth of exc e edingly good manners, who talked in pigeon English, when he talked at all, which was seldom, and who appeared like anything but a criminal. Sheridan Keene soon dis covered that he had been in America but about three months, and for the first time, and soon disregarded him entirely. The cook-. John Paul, was a stout, phleg matic man, inclined to be very lazy, and who never showed his face outside of the kitchen except to seek his bed or his beer, which latter he favored in a modest way on the sly. Of the women, of whom there were but two, Mary Dalton was a woman from the Provinces, well into middle life, and whose duties were of rather a general character, from the basement to the roof. She, too, was soon sifted out of the circle of general sus picion. Louise Penster, Mrs. Grosman's maic!, ancl the only remaining servant, was a pretty brunette of twenty-two or thereabouts, of whom her mistress appeared noticeably fond. In fact, she was remarkably pretty, with feat ures of classical regularity, with a rich com plexion and warm, dark eyes, and a graceful and well-modeled figure, from her rounded arms and plump hands down to her dainty feet and ankles. Mrs. Grosman evidently found her com panionable, and fancied her for her beauty, openly displaying for her a fondness which the girl seemed to appreciate and strive to merit. Inde ed, on Sunday morning, when Detective Keene saw this girl leave the house with h e r prayer-book reverently clasped in her pretty hand, and her eyes modestly low ered when she passed him in the sumptuous hall, the secretary quickly decided that she was by long odds the most attractive being of the entire house. Yet, for four days, in so far as making any discovery pertinent to the robbei:y, the ob servations of Sheridan Keene, at times when
12 SHIELD WEEKLY. te was not for appearance sake engaged with Mr. Grosman, were absolutely re sults. But on Monday the game seemed to break cover. There occurred an incident upon which he seized as a clew. Dusk was falling outside, and Deverge was lighting the lamps in the front hall. From his desk in a small room opposite the large double chambers occupied by the heads of the house, Detective Keene heard the French man strike a match ; and almost at the same time he heard also the rustle of skirts, and the fall of hurrying feet toward the main stairs. Quickly rising he cautiously glanced out and saw Mrs. Grosman hasten down the front stairs, her manner indicating serious excitement. Making sure that he was not observed, he stole to the balu.strade and looked over. At that moment the mail-slot in the front door closed with a snap, and three or four l e tters fell to the hall floor. Upon these Mrs. Grosman pounced with startling avidity, and quickly selected one, the superscription upon which evidently met her gaze. She thrust it into her pock e t, then turned and gave the others to the valet. "Hand these to Mr. Grosman, Jean. He is in the library, she c o mmanded, quietly, with a flash of her eyes in the direction of the room indicated, as if she were anxious to feel certain of having escaped observation. "Say those were alt!" "Yes, madam," bowed Deverge. Then Mrs. Grosman hkstened to her room again, while Sheridan Keene slipped into his own; and presently the detective heard her forcibly tear open the cover of the communi cation received. "So, sot She has been watching for the carrier," he decided. "She is up to something unbeknown to her husband I will fol low where the thread leads me." His room, allotted him at his own sugges tion, was on the same floor as those occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Grosman. Off that of the latter was a smaller one occupied by Mrs. Grosman's maid. The valet had a room back I> of the detective. The parlors, dining-room, and a fine library, were on the floor below. Though Mrs. Grosman had at first oppo sed it, her husband had insisted that his private secretary should take his meals with the family, rather than be compelled to associate with the lower servants. This naturally was one of the provisions of Detective Keene. The latter had an eye for Mrs. Grosman when she came down dinner that Monday evening. Though she carried herself about as usual, her face was observably pale, and her occasional taciturnity indicated a rather serious train of thought. Yet she was a woman of much beauty and refinement, and was not easily to be suspected of deliberate evil. But Sheridan Keene was a man who worked upon facts. "Detain your wife and children in the drawing-room for a time," he said, aside, to Grosman, immediately after dinner. "Invent some story, if necessary, and make sure of holding them for a quarter-hour or more." "But what's that for?" irritably demanded Grosman, who was not greatly pleased as yet with the success of the detective's efforts. "Don't ask me what it's for," Keen e re turned, curtly. "Do what I bid you." And without awaiting a reply, and disre-garding Grosman's frown, he hastened up stairs to his room. As the servants dined after the family, and the latter were to be detained below ; Detect ive Keene felt insured of the opportunity for which he had planned-thM of getting at the interior of Mrs. Grosman s private de s k, wl:rich occupied a corner of her chamber. .... Leavll1g his own room, he crossed the hall and entered that of Mr. Grosma11, wh e re he extinguished a dim light left by the valet "I will at least have an avenue of retreat, if needed," he mentally declared. This room adjoined that of Mrs. Grosman, in which a bright light had been left. "It saves me the trouble. Evidently she meant to return soon after dinner," thought Detective Keene, with a curious smile on his resolute face. Entering Mrs. Grosman's room from that of her husband, the detective quickly ap proached her desk and tried the closed cover.
... SHIELD WEEKLY. 13 Both were securely Jocked and the keys re moved. "She's taking no chances, eh Feeling in his pocket for his own keys, he was about to drop to his knee at the desk, when, from the direction of the hall, the door to which was opened, there sounded a step as light as that of a cat, and just the faintest rustle of moving skirts-a sound that would have failed to reach any ears less alert and sharp than those of Sheridan Keene. His face hardened instantly. Mov:ing rapidly silently, he slipped back through Grosman's room and into the hall. It was il lumined only by the light in the hall below, and by that in Mrs. Grosman's chamber yet objects were clearly discernibl e Standing motionless near the open door of her mistress chamber was Mrs. Grosman's i:,rctty maid. \V1th a quick smile, whatever he may have felt, Detec tive Keene imm ed iately ap proached her, saying affably: "Hello Miss Louise! Y o u haven't seen anything of a small package of pape rs tied with a r ed string, have you?" The girl flashed a quick glance at him from her lustrous eyes, half-smiling, half-quizzical; then with a captivating laugh, displayed her pre tty te eth. "No, I haven't, Mr. Greene," she r e pJ:ed / glibly, calling him by the name h e had assumed. "Have you Jost it?" I have mislaid it or else l\Ir. Grosman took it away. I thought perhaps h e had laid it down n his room, or his wife's. I have been in there for it." "Yes, l heard you in th e r e," smiled the girl, from under her drooping lids "I won dered what you were doing!" Her lowered voice carried a signific;i 1 ; ce which Detective Keene decid e d to meet ha lf way. He drew nearer to h er, saying so ft ly, as if with some misgivings: "You don't think I did \Hong in g ing in there, do you ?" "Well, I can't you did just right. "Do you think Mrs. Grosman will find fault?" "She would if she knew it." "And perhaps you mean to tell her, Louise.?" "Do you think I do?" the girl laughed, with an arch, upward glance at face. "I'd rather have you say: I will not tell her!' he muttered, pointedly, slipprtlg his hand around hers. "What do you say, Louise?" "What you would have me say-if you promise not to disclose it,'' she answered, with a curious light in her lift e d eyes. "I'll agree not to tell her, if you don t "I'll give you my word I will not." "I'll give you mine, then! I will say noth il'lg about it." "Say, Louise, you are a good--" But s he interrupte d him with a soft, tantalizing lau gb, slipping with a lithe movement from the arm which Keene would have placed around h er; and, flashing a backward glance at him, half-inviting, half-taunting, sh e rnade for the near stairway. Mrs. Francis Grosman was just ascending from the hall below. CHAPTER V. CHIEF WATTS TAKES A HAND. Mr. Francis Grosman was a proud man, punctilious to observe all that culture, char acter and soc ial etiq u et te require. He was proud of his aristocratic name, of its ancient lin eage and honorable distinction. He was proud of his h ome, his affluence, and of his childr en; and, most of all, perhaps, of hi s beautiful wife, and th e dignity and grace with which sh e sustained the Grosman pres tige in society. Anything of the nature of a scandal, invo lving his name, would have been n othing short of a crushing humiliati on. Yet, that Mrs. Francis Grosman was engaged in some sort of an episode or an esca pade without the knowledge of her hus band. Keene had not the slightest d o ubt. \VJ1y else should she hav e troubled herself to watch for the mail-carrier, to inter cept Cl. letter fro m those he delivered, and to put a lie concerning them upon the lips of her husb
14 SHIELD WEEKLY. before her step was heard on the stairs. She was not alone, moreover, but was accompanied by her maid, with whom she was in earnest conversation. From his seat at the table Keene could look into the front hall. As the women came down he observed that the maid carried her cloak over her arm, as if about to go out. The most natural conclusion was that 1vlrs Grosman was about dispatching her upon some mission. The circumstance was so unusual that De tective Keene attempted to turn it to account. With graceful conventionality he excused himself from the table, observing to Mr. Grosman, who glanced up when he arose: "I will put a seal on the contracts that I am to take down to Mr. Hyatt, and go down with them at once. It will be well, don't you think, if they are delivered as early as pos sible?" "Yes, I think so," nodded Mr. Grosman, taking his cue without any noticeable self-be trayal. Emerging from the dining-room, Keene encountered Mrs. Grosman on the threshold, and politely stepped one side to admit her. He noticed that she was paler than usual, and her eyes had the appearance of one who had not slept. She had parted from the maid, Louise Fenster, who was now putting on her hat and veil before a mirror near the front door. On a small stand just beside her she rad laid a letter, evidently one s!J.e was about tc c\' Ji ver. rietective Keene glanced back. Mrs. Gros man hid closed a11d latched the dining-room door. While she, no doubt, served some pur pose of her own in so doing, it also served the purpose of Sheridan Keene. \Vith a smile, he casually approached Miss Fenster, whose veil required th" e usual amount of feminine manipulation, and, in fact, so had taken her attention that she did not yet observe him. He did not speak until he was fairly at her elbow, when, with a mere giance at the missive on the table, he observed pleasantly: "You are going out early this morning, 1\1 iss Louise-and a perfect morning it is. I you have been as good as your word, haven't you?" \Vith a quick. movement, so impulsive that she involuntarily betrayed her startled misgivings, Louise Fenster caught the letter frcm the stand and thrust it under her cloak. "Oh, Mr. Greene!" she exclaimed, wheeling about to face him, with cheeks now red and pale in turn. "How you startled me! You move about lik e a cat. What do you mean hy--" But Keene interrupted her :ith a playful little laugh. ''What's the matter?" he demanded. "I didn't mean to startle you. I have just come out from breakfast. Were you afraid I'd see your letter and be jealous?" The girl blushed deeper, shrugging her shoulders and laughing, and the light in her eyes was manifestly that of relief. "Oh, no! Your jealousy would not bother me. I am not troubled with so many men that any one of them could be reasonably jealous. You asked if I had kept my word. Yes, I have; but I mustn't stand here talking with you," she hastened to add; "or I'll not hear the last of it." Keene laughed, walking with her to the door, which he opened for her, saying ere she passed out: "How bright the sun is on the snow! I wish you could wait ten minutes; I'd go along with you." She paused for a moment on the threshold, and bent a look of mingled amuserpent and suspicion at him through the meshes of her dark veil; but the expression on Keene's attractive face was supremely innoce t. "I am sorry I can't wait," she rejoined. oddly. "Won't some other time do as well?" "May I anticipate that other time, then?" the detective softly asked, with some eager ness. Her eyes flashed sharply. "If you like!" she exclaimed, just above her breath. "I do like, Louise!" Keene rejoined, sig nificantly. Then he closed the door behind her, and watched her for a moment as she went down the broad granite steps. Two minutes later, not a little to the surprise of Mr. Francis Grosman, who had, however, sufficient amount of discretion to
smELD WEEKLY. 15 conceal it, Sheridan Keene, clad in his top coat, softly opened the dining-room door and s'.lid in an explanatory way: ''I'll take the contract down to Mr. Hyatt at once, sir. It was his wish, you remember, that it should be brought in at as early an hour as possible." "Very well; very well, Mr. Greene! Do so, by all means !" So natural was the incident, despite that this stranger in the house was so quickly fol lowing her maid, that Mrs. Grosman's eyes were not so much as lifted from her plate. Taking his hat from the rack in the hall, Sheridan Keene hastened to the nearest pub lic telephone station, a walk of scarce a min ute, and called up through the central sta tion the office of the Inspector of Police. "I want Chief Watts!" he announced over the wire, the connection having been made. "Is he there ?" The call was answered by the clerk in the chief's private office. "He has just come in," he rejoined. "Hold the wire, and I will call him. Who shall I say wants him?" "Say Keene-and in haste!" The delay was momentary only. Then Sheridan Keene recognized the low, resonant voice of his able superjor. "Hello!" "Hello, sir! Glad to reach you so promptly ,,, "What news have you?" "Both news and a suggestion !" said De tective Keene speaking quickly, and with a significance which he knew Chief Watts would immediately understand. "I am listening !" "I have been watChing Mrs. G. All is not right. Correspondence douptful. Unable to examine any as yet. Appearances bad. Will give you details in person during the morn ing." "I understand What more?" "Her maid has just been cautiously sent from the house with a letter, evidently an answer to one Mrs. G. received last night, and was very careful to unobserved. I think it would be well to discover its contents, if possible. The maid evidently is about to deliver the letter in person, as it bore no stamp. She is now on her way, and with haste may be intercepted." "You secured the address?" "By good luck. It is James Barrister, No. Salem Street. The girl cannot reach there before an inspector from Headquarters, if he siarts at once. I consider the letter impor tant. Can t it be secured without awaking the girl's suspicion? That should be avoid ed, I think." "No doubt of it !"'Chief Watts said, quick ly. "Leave .the necessary artifice to me. De scribe the girl briefly !" "Medium height, dark, and very pretty; clad in a black cloak, a black hat, with feath ers, and she wears a veil." "Sufficient! The address once mqre "James Barrister, No. Salem Stre et!" "I will attend to the case! Can you easily r<'part here in person an hour hence?" "Yes, sir!" "Do so! That's all!" Explanations and instructions require time, and time was valuable. Chief Watts, there fore, did not detail one of his men upon th e delicate work, but gave it his personal atte n tion. He at once hastened to Salem Stre e t, which is but a short distance from Head quarters, yet more than two miles from Gro s rnan's house in Commonwealth Avenue. Louise Fenster had not yet covered the dis tance, so expeditious had been the movem e nts of Detective Keene and Chief Inspector watts. The Salem Street number mentioned was a lodging-house, one of the inferior dwellin g s oi that ancient and run-down quarte r of the North End. Yet the locality was tolerab l y respectable, with many clothing stores near by, kept mostly by Jews. One of these stores was next to the door of the dwelling-in fact, und e r a part of the house, which had been remodeled to meet the encroachments of business ; and Chief Watts, with a quick glance, to assure himself that the maid was not yet approaching, immediately entered the shop. A bearded Jew, well along in years, met him fairly on the threshold, with a profuse bowing and scraping and rubbing of his bands, and an eye that betokened his eager ness for trade. (
16 SHIELD WEEKLY. "Vat vas you looking for, mine--" "I'm looking for information!". Chief Watts curtly interrl!pted, flashing his badge. Answer me quickly! Who keeps the lodg ings overhead?" "Mine Gott--" "Don't delay me with any of that! I ex pect somebody along here at any m o ment, and I want the information before she arrives. Who keeps the house?" "Mrs. Isaac Cohen, a vidder, and a vorthy voman, sir!" declared the Jew, governing his surprise. "She vouldn't harm ; __ ,, "Oh, I'm not k1oking for her, but possibly one of her lodgers! How many has she?" "Only three or four--" "Men?" "Two vimen and two men, sir." you know them by name?" "All but vun. sir! He came the udder tlay, and--" "Is he a man named Barrister?" "I don't know that name, sir. He might be the last vun who came. The udders haf been here for years! For years, sir; and are vorthy beeble Mrs. Cohen vouldn't--" "Never mind Mrs. Cohen!" said the chief, 2.bruptly. "Yonder is the person I expect. Come out upon the sidewalk with me, and pretend you are trying to sell me that coat in the corner of the window. I wish to stand by your side, while I overhear what is said at Mrs. Cohen's door!" "Mine gracious! but I vas so shaky I--" "Silence! Pretend to be forcing this sale, and take heed you notice nothing else Come out here!" Through the store window Chief Watts had seen Louise Fenster approaching on the opposite side of the street, her evident un certainty as to the precise location of the house at once indicating to him that this was her first visit. She discovered the number on the door, while he was thus instructing the Jew, and she at once crossed the street and mounted the wooden steps adjoining the shop window. Then the door-bell of the house was heard to ring. The Jew was brought to his sens e s by the severity with which Chief Watts had given the instructions. The latter caught up a coat from a pile on a near counter, and, as if he were in reality demurring over a purchase, he led the way to the sidewalk, as if better to view one displayed in the shop window. He thus could take a position near the house steps, with only his shoulder visible to Mrs. Grosman's maid, had she by chance any misgivings; and, while he sustained a cursory dialogue with the clothier, he also could over Lear what was said on the steps Louise Fenster's ring was answered by the l
JSHIELD WEEKLY. 17 then he laid his hand heavily on the Jew's shoulder, adding with stern significance: "And you keep your lips closed about this; E you ask a question, even, I shall know it -and 'twill be the worse for you Mind that!" "Oh, mine gracious, sir! I vouldn't of it!" protested the Israelite, waving his l;;.rge hands about his unkempt head. "I vouldn't think about it if you told me not to I vouldn't even dream--" But Chief Watts thrust him forcibly into the shop, and sharply closed the door Having with this celerity disposed of the clothier, Chief Watts waited on the sidewalk till Louise Fenster had disappeared in the di rection of Hanover Street. Had he had less faith in the acumen of Detective Keene, he might have felt doubtful about taking the step he now contemplated; that of securing, by hook or crook, the letter just received by ---Barrister But he rightly inferred that Keene deemed it important to discover the precise relations between this man and Mrs. Grosman, and that the letter alone would pos sibly reveal /what both of the principals might, if their suspiCions were awakened, successfully conceal. To accomplish this object, Chief Watts adopted what seemed the most promising method-that of getting at Barrister before the latter could have destroyed the letter, if any occasion existed for so doing. If not, some plausible explanation of his intrusion cculd easily be invented. His ring again brought Mrs. Cohen to her door, when the Chief said, blandly, in a mod erately low tone: "I want to see Mr. Barrister. He expects me, and I'll go right up to his room, if you don't object." The woman drew back and let him enter, yet evidently wondered. "Second floor, I think he told me?" said Chief Watts, inquiringly. "Am I right?" "Yes, sir; the back room!" "Thanks !" And without further delay the chief mounted the and unceremoniously opened the door of the room mentioned. A man stood in the middle of the floor, with his back to a small parlor stove, the door of which had been opened to check the glow-ing fire. The man started slightly when Chief 'vVatts abruptly entered; but further than that he betrayed no perturbation. Yet, with apparent indifference, he quietly turned and tossed both the letter and its c.over into the stove. Instantly the light paper was in flames. CHAPTER VI. BY THE BERTILLON SYSTEM. Though by no means a man to betray him self, the chagrin with which Chief Watts wit nessed the destruction of Mrs. Grosman's letter may be easiiy imagined; yet this act of Barrister had been performed with an air of unconcern that really offered no grounds for exception. He was a man about forty, with a well built and quite commanding figure, and a rather handsome face. His eyes were dark, and his hair and moustache plentifully sprin kled with gray. His coat and vest had been discarded and lay upon the bed, for the room was very warm, as if the fire had been in advertently neglected. With the destruction of the letter, Chief Watts instantly changed his plan. Without evincing the slightest interest in the burning missive, he at once said, courteously: "Good-morning, Mr. Barrister! I am glad I find you in." James Barrister stood looking at him with a steady gaze "Well, sir, glad or sorry, you have the best of me!" he replied, shortly. "I don't recall your face." "Na tu rally not, since we are strangers. I am Chief Inspector Watts, of the police department. "Oh, indeed!" said Barrister, with rather haughty indifference. "What is wrong, pray, that you are glad you have found me? I am not aware of being of any special in terest to the police department." "I don't say that you are," said Chief Watts. "But I am investigating a matter upon which I think you can give me some information. I want you to go up to my
18 SHIELD WEEKLY. office with me. Very likely you will not be long detained. "What is the matter, sir?" "I will tell you at my office." "I would prefer--" "But you will please give my wish the pref erence, Mr. Barrister," the chief curtly in terposed. "Surely, in the interests of the law, you can have no objection to accompany ing me." The latter was said with a significance that brought a half-disdainful smile to Barrister's lips. "Whether I object or not, there evidently is no alternative," he retorted, dryly. "Wait a minute and I'll go with you." "There's no special hurry. Take your time in making ready." Without replying, James Barrister com p}eted his toilet and put on his overcoat and hat; and Chief Watts now observed that his garments were of superior quality and fash ionable make; in fact, those of a man quite out of place in his present inferior lodgings. The chief made no comments, however, wishing first to learn the precise nature of Sheridan Keene's suspicions; and, with only conventional remarks on the way, the two men the lodging-house and walked to Headquarters. Not once did James Barris ter betray either nervousness or anxiety; his very indifference, in fact, was to the mind of Chief Watts, just a little suspicious. "Take a seat here for a few minutes, Mr. Barrister," he said, on entering the general office. "I'll be ready for you presently." Barrister nodded carelessly and dropped into a chair. "Keep your eyes on that man till I want him," said Chief Watts, to an officer in the corridor. "Is Inspector Keene about here?" "He is in your office, chief. He just arrived." The latter nodded and immediately joined Keene, and closed the office door. A conference of half an hour followed, in which Keene reported all the evidence he thus far had gathered, and which had led to bis suggestion of tlie ear l y morning. At its conclusion Chief Watts said decisively: "Is it very evident, Sheridan Keene, since Louise Fenster neither knew this man Bar-rister nor where he lived that the letter she delivered was, indeed, written by Mrs. Gros man?" "I am .satisfied of that, Chief Watts!" "Hence it becomes very necessary, despite the side issues you have mentioned, to dis cover the precise relations of Mrs. Grosman and Barrister. I don't fancy the fellow. Have him brought in here, and you remain while I quebtion him." An expression of grave austerity had set tled on the chief's face, when Sheridan keene returned with James Barrister. It was not a look inviting equivocation nor evasion. "Sit down there, Mr. Barrister," he com manded, indicating a chair near him. "I want you to answer a few questions." The compliance appeared willing; yet, when Barrister entered the ro9m and observed one piece of furniture, sorhe of his color had faded, and Chief Watts noticed a fleeting change in the depths of his dark eyes. The pie ce was the broad oak cabinet with numer ous small drawers; that lettered, "Bertillon System of Measurements and Photographs." Chief Watts gave no sign of what he had observed. He glanced at Keene, who took a position near the chief's desk, and to the right of Barrister, who had removed his hat and laid it across his knees "What is your full name, Mr. Barrister?" asked the chief, with his searching eyes re verting to the man's face "Why are you subjecting me to this inquiry?" Barrister resentfully demand ed, in stead of replying to the question. "What have I done, that I should be humiliated in this fashion?" "An honest man should feel no humiliation at being asked to aid the law in its efforts to discover crime and punish criminals," said Chief Watts. "Why do you object to an swering my question?" "Because I have rights in common with all good c itiz ens cried Barrister, hotly. "You would not bring one of your prominent men in here--" "I would bring the mayor himself in here and question him, were the circumstances in volving him the same!" Chief Watts sternly interrupted. "There has been a robbery
--... __________ .,.,,.,. SHIELD WEEKLY. 19 committed, and I think you know something about it. Now, the sooner you fall in line with me, the better it will be for you. Answer my questions. What is your full name?" For the fraction of a second an expression of bittery ferocity fired Barrister's eyes, but ht held himself in check, and he kn ew there was no escaping this inquiry. He sat silent for a moment, grim and pale, his gaze stead if y meeting that of the chief; then he an swered, sullenly : "My name is James Barrister." "Do you live in Boston?" "I am living here now." "Where?" "Where you found me." did you come here?" "Four or five days ago." "Where from?" "Out. West." "That is indefinite," said Chief Watts, with ominous severity. "Look you, my man, don't try to evade me, for I'll not stand it very long." "I came from California," said Barrister, with a sullen sneer. "I been in the Klondike for a year back, and just came this way." "At what place in the Klondike region were you located?" "At Dawson City." "How long were you there?" "Nearly a year." "Who heads the police department there?" "I don't know his name," said Barrister, with a quick color showing in his cheeks "What!" exclaimed Chief Watts, deri sively. "Do you mean to tell me you lived for a year in such a place as Dawson City, yet never learned the name of the chief p o lice official? That is absurd, sir !" "Absurd or not, I don't know his name," said Barrister, with a steadily eepening frown. "You are not telling me the truth, Mr. Barrister!" cried Chief Watts, with severity. "If you think that, sir, my assert ing the contrary won't help matters," Barrister r e torted. "Where were you born, my man?" "In Australia." "Humph! You've been a good deal o f a traveler, haven't you?" "Rather! I never stay long in one place." "I can ima gi n e so! What business brought you to Boston?" "Nothing special." "Got any money?" "Enough to stave off the 'Vag. law,'" said Barrister, curtly. "Any friends here?" "None." "Any acquaintances?" "Not a soul." "You are sure of that?" "Of course I'm sure." "Yet Mrs. Francis Grosman, of Common wealth Avenue, claims to know you," Chief Watts said, sharply, already convinced that the man had been lying from the first. For a bare instant Barrister hesitated; then he said, slowly: "The woman has the best of me, then, for I'm blessed if I know her, or ever heard of her." "Oh, yes, you have!" "All right, sir!" "And you received a letter from her this morning. And you burned it the moment you saw me enter your room ." "Is that a ?" Barrister sneered, with ; undisguis e d bitterness. "Since you seem to know it all, Chief Watts, what th e devil's th e use of questioning me?" "Spare your sarcasm, my man." "I say I don't know any such woman, and never heard of her." "Didn't you receive a letter this morn ing?" "Yes. "Who was it from?" "Nobody I knew! I've forgotten the name that was signed to it ." "Wasn't it addressed to you?" "It was addressed to James Barrister, qut it wasn't meant for me. There 'must be some othe r man with the same name." "Why did you burn it then?" "Because I had no use for it." "Barrister," said the chief, sternly; "you have been lying to me from the beginning to the end." "Do you think so?" was the qu i ck re-
20 SHIELD W EEKLY. joinder. "You might as well quit asking me questions, then, if you are better informed than I am." "I think so, too," said Chief Watts, shortly. "You evidently aim to conceal your identity, my man, and bury your history under a rub bish-heap of untruth." "You only take that for granted." "But I think we may be able to corner you by inches," continued the chief, referring with an idiomatic anomaly to measurements based on the metric system. "Detective Keene, take this man into the measuring room. We will see what the Bertillon Systern will disclose." He rose while speaking, and Sheridan Keene bowed, saying: "Very well, chief. Come this way, Mr. Barrister." "One moment'!" interposed Chief Watts, as the suspected man arose. "There yet is time for you to make a voluntary confes sion of who you are, and why you are here in Boston. I will add, moreover, it will be wise in you to do so." Barrister's face, despite his general self control, had become very pale. He met with a sullen glare of defiance the steady gaze of Chief Watts, and replied, coldly: "I have nothing to confess! Y o u may do what you like!" "Take him away," said the chief. "Search him, and take his measure." "This way, Barrister!" commanded Sheri dan Keene. The man followed, pale and frowning, but without a word. The humiliating process to which he was to be subjected, was that of identification by the Bertillon System, invented by the French Chief of the Judicial Service, Alphonse Ber tillon. It is a system based on the fact that cer tain physical features do not change after maturity ...and full growth. The length and width of the head, the length of the middle finger, the foot, the forearm, the reach and height, the trunk, with the dimensions of the ear, the color of the eyes and hair, the pro file, contour, etc.; these are chief among the features of this descriptive signalment No two persons being exactly alike, it is impossible that two ultimate measurements can precisely agree. If, then, a criminal has been measured and recorded, a copy of which record is sent to all the police headquarters where the system has been adopted, a subse quent measurement in any of these l ocalities will inevitably reveal the subject's identity and history, so far as was at first known. If James Barrister had been previously measured, the only chance he no w had of escaping identification, was that the measure ment in one instance or the otpe r might be inaccurately made. He was removed to a room in which the appliances for measuring are kept. He made no further objections, knowing well that re sistance would be met with force. Sheridan Keene summoned two assist ants. "Search him first," he said, quietly. It resulted in next to nothing. An inferior pocket-knife, a key, a few coins, and a small sum of money, were all that were found upon Barrister. Not a card or paper indi cating his character, name or vocation. "Take off your coat and vest, and your shoes and stockings," commauded Keene; and Barrister, sullen and pale, slowly obeyed. "Sit down here, Mr. Barrister," said Keene, indicating a square stool of wood The assistants took the measurements, and Keene noted them upon a card. With a pair of caliper compasses, graduated to minute variations, the length and width of the subject's head were taken. Then, with a caliper rule, the precise dimen sions and distinctive features of his right ear. Then, against a background of white, his beight, reach, and length of trunk ta ken. Then the left forearm was bared and measured upon a table. Then the left middle finger, and then the left fovt, while he stood on that alone. "That will do now,., said Sheridan Keene. He took to Chief Watts the card on which he had noted the measurements The chief turned to the cabinet with numerous drawers. To facilitate comparison and identification, all records are classified into compartments, 2nd these in turn are subdivided, and so on to the minute details of eyes, ears, lips, hair and eye l ids even.
SHIELD WEEKLY. 21 Chief Watts glanced at the head measure ments, and turned to a set of drawers. The height and reach reduced the range of dis tinction. And so on until he presently opened one of the tiny compartments. A series of questions followed, relative to the peculiar facial features, and presently Chief Watts quickly drew forth a card, smiling as he did so. It was the signaletic card of the man in the adjoining room; and it bore his photograph, front and profile. "Bring the man back here," said the chief, gravely. He read the card while waiting; and when Barrister entered the room, he turned the pictures towF(rd him. "Do you recognize these, my man?" he de manded, sternly. Though very pale, Barrister was now very calm. "The system is a good one," he said, sim ply, then sat down in the nearest chair. "I will read you the record here !" said Chief Watts, standing before him. "Your name is James Barrows. You were born June 12th, 1859, and parentage unknown. Profession, locksmith You were convicted in Chicago in 1889 of burglary of a jeweler's store, and sentertced for ten years to the Illinois State prison, where you were measured two years ago. You--" "I served my time and was discharged a month ago!" cried Barrister, forcibly, and he leaped to his feet. "Why am I brought here and subjected to this? You have no charge against me, for I have done no wrong, save that one! A convict cannot redeem himself because of men like you!" There was fairly pathetic in the man's sudden resentful violence, but Chief Watts demanded sternly : "James Barrows, what do you know of the robbery of Mrs. Grosman's diamonds?" Barrows, or Barrister, reeled as if struck a blow. "Nothing at all!" he cried, vehemently. "I repeat again-I know no such woman!" Chief Watts swung r ound to Sheridan Keene. "Continue your work, D etective Keene," he said, significantly. "I will hold this man in custody pending your investigation." CHAPTER VII. .. AFTER THE CHARITY BALL. It was on-Tuesday that James Barrister was identified as the ex-convict discharged from the Illinois State prison, and detained in custody by Chief Watts on suspicion of being concerned in the Grosman robbery. It was on Thursday, two days later, that one of the chief events of the Boston social season occurred-the Charity Fund Ball. All the Grosmans were there, including even Mr. Francis Grosman. But he was bored by the occasion, and distressed by his knowledge that the jewels bedecking his splendid wife were wholly unworthy her own surpassing brilliancy. He was glad when it was over, and he could come home and again bury theii:.__mocking blaze in the gloom of the great safe in his library, and turn the com bination on them. For him the whole af fair had been shadowed by a very dismal and distressing cloud. Breakfast was laid an hour late in the Grosman residence next morning. The last to appear was William Grosman, the son; and his immediate interest, rather than in the first course of chilled Malagas, was in the morning paper which was always laid beside his plate. "Good gracious!" he excla.imed, the moment he opened the sheet. "Have you read the new"'s, father?" "No, not yet," was the reply; "I never read it at the table with others, nor should you. It's not good form." Despite this reproof, Mrs. G3:-osman im mediately asked : "What is it, Will ? Something about the ball?" "Something after the ball! The Couzons, of Brookline, were near being robbed." "Robbed! Read it!" cried Grosman, el der, with a great start of surprise. "Where? When? By whom?" Sheridan Keene looked gravely up from his seat at one end of the table, and saw the color fade by slow degrees from Mrs. Gros man's cheeks, and a light like that of simu-
22 SHIELD WEEKLY. lated apprehension show in the depths of her hazel eyes. "Yes, read it, William!" she said, faintly. "Robbed-by whom?" "Highwaymen! Foot-pads!" the young man replied. Then, while he glanced through the rather startling story given by the press, he imparted in desultory phrases the main features, at which Sheridan Keene noticed that Mrs. Grosman was intensely disturbed within, and scarcely able to prevent the quivering of her jeweled hands. "They were on their way home. Had nearly reached it. Were in a Russian sleigh, with their coachman driving. Mrs. Couzon had on nearly twelve thousand dollars' worth of diamonds and jewelry. Their house is on Brickston Park, off the Brighton Road. It is somewhat isolated. They had just entered the grounds, driving slowly in, so as to make the turn at the gate, when three men sprang out from among the trees, one o"i whom seized the off horse by the head. A second drew a revolver, and covering the head of the driver, ordered him to keep still and sit on his seat." "Mercy !" exclaimed Mrs. Grosman, with white cheeks and quivering lips. "The third rushed to the side of the sleigh, and with a weapon in hand, ordered both of the Couzons to give up their jewelry. Mrs. Couzon begged that h e r life should be spared and then fainted. Her husband's courage is extolled here at considerable length." "Husband-what did he do?" asked Mrs. Grosman, faintly. "He first pretended to yield, and begged the ruffian to commit no violence. Then, catching him unawares, he threw back the heavy robe and quickly drew a revolver, which he had carried as a provision against anything of this nature. He fired instantly at the fellow beside the sleigh, and thinks he wounded him in the shou!'der, for the scoundrel uttered a cry of pain and fell prone upon the snow and ice in the driveway." "Dear me, what a tragedy!" muttered Mr. Grosman. "The report of the weapon so late at night frig-htened the spirited horses," continued his son; "which broke from the knave at their heads, and dashed up the driveway. The robbers did not follow. The Couzons quickly reached the house, and the alarm was at once given. No trace of the scoundrels up to time of press, however. All three wore masks. One thought to be badly wounded. Blood found on the snow where the assault was attempted, and traced to the woods on the op.posite side of the road. Police are making a hot search. They think the highwaymen knew of the ball-t as well as the fact that Mrs. Couzon's jewelry would be of value, and that they took advantage of the isolation of Cou zon's house to attempt the outrage. Great credit is here given to Mr. Couzon. That's about all." Mrs. Grosman made an effort, and com manded her voice sufficiently to falter: "Does the article-describe any of theruffians ?" "No, I think riot," replied her son, glancing back over the story. "No, nothing more is said of that. They all wore masks." "How very fortunate-their escape!" Mrs. Grosman now murmured, in accents of relief. "My coffee-Louise!" "Fortunate?" demanded her husband. "You don't mean--" "I rriean the escape of the Couzons, of course !" she interposed, with a quick frown of displeasure. It silenced the head of the house He re verted to his grapes, and presently ventured taking a furtive glance at the detective. Sheridan Keene, with a face as inscrutable as that of a sphinx, was staring at his plate. Whatever its occasion, the perturbation of Mrs. Grosman on learning of the attempted robbery was noticed only by Keene and pos sibly by Louise, in the capacity of a table-girl, as well as maid to Mrs. Gros man. Louise had observed that her hand trembled violently when accepting the coffee for which she had asked, but the girl was too well trained to remark upon it. Before the rr.eal was ended, however, Mrs. Grosman was as composed as usual. "I suppose you are acquainted with the Couzon family, Mr. Grosman," Sheridan Keene casually observed, the two being alone in wt:he library a little later, ostensibly en-
........... _ SHIELD WEEKLY. 23 .., gaged in the business for which the latter was supposed to have been employed. Mr. Francis Grosman shrugged his narrow shoulders. "Only indifferently," he replied, in a dep recatory way. "Don' t visit them?" "Oh, no! Couzon is rather a parvenu. His father made money in soap, and died a millionaire, which was all right enough in a way. But they have no blood distinction." "That's a drawback, yet a man in the soap business ought to have had a pretty clean rec ord," said Keene, dryly. "Doesn't Mrs. Cou zon call upon your wife?" "Oh, no, no! Mrs. Couzon paints and is vulgar. She has none of the characteristics of my wife-none at all! She never calls here. Why do you ask? and how could you get such an idea?" "Don't know, sir, I'm sure. cause Mrs. Couzon also owns els. I thought perhaps your had tastes in common." Possibly be valuable jew wife and she "Indeed, no! Mrs. Couzon wears jewels ostentatiously, like an Amazon queen. My wife is quite the opposite in her tastes. By the way, sir, isn't it very curious that this attempt to rob the Couzens should follow so close upon my own experience?" An odd smile stole about Sheridan Keene's lips. "Either that or the opposite," he replied, equivocally, with a significance which the other failed to detect. "It doesn't appear to me that you are mak ing any headway with this case here," said Grosman, dubiously. "Doesn't it, sir?" "No, it does not! I'm afraid you're only wasting your time." Keene frowned slightly and rose to his fret. "I do not waste anything that I value, Mr. Grosman," he replied, pointedly. "It would require a man of perception, sir, to see wherein I am making headway in this case. Of one fact I beg to assure you, that when I have ceased to make headway, I shall have ceased also to be an occupant of your house." This trenchant rejoinder brought Mr. Grosman to his feet with an apology. "Oh, I beg pardon!" he cried. "I do n o t mean to offend, nor to interfere." "I absolve you of the one as promptly a s I would prevent the other, Mr. Grosman," laughed Keene, pleasantly. "I now am going away for two hours. Kindly give any curi ous people about here to understand that I am out upon business for you, not my own !" "Surely, surely, sir! I really believe I am encouraged by your remarks." Sheridan Keene did not particularly care whether he was or not. He went to his room for his coat and hat, had a bantering word with Louise in the upper hall, and presently emerged from the house into the frosty air and bright sunshine of Commonwealth Avenue. His mission that morning took him in an opposite direction to that of Headquarters. Few persons, observing him, would have taken him for a detective, and one of the shrewdest analysts of human character and circumstantial evidence that ever devoted himself to investigating crime and running down criminals. And not one, indeed, though conversant with all of the superficial facts in the Gros man case, would have dreamed of what Sheridan Keene already knew on that bright, wintry morning; nor have foreseen with what sagacity and cunning he was about to evoke disclosures that were to amaze the entire community by their startling exemplification of detective genius. CHAPTER VIII. DETECTIVE KEENE TAKES AN ASSISTANT. The mission of Detective Keene that morning took him to Brickston Park, and about ten o'clock he approached the pretentious suburban residence of the Couzons. It was an expensive place, somewhat off the main avenue, and in a native woodland that was gradually dwindling under the encroachment of dwellings. As was intimated in the reports of the previous night's outrage, the locati on was well chosen for such a design. In the driveway near the e ntrance to the grounds, several men and boys had collected, and were curiously regarding a few patches
24 SHIELD WEEKLY of red blood in the surrounding snow and ice, and Detective Keene at once inferred that that was the imniediate scene of the attack. He had no time for listening to their com ments, however. His interest there was un like that of any other caller that busy morning. "I wish to see Mr. or Mrs. Couzon," he said, to a girl who answered his ring at the house. "Mr. Couzon has gone to town, sir," she replied. "Mrs. Couzon will do." "Come in, sir. Will you send your card?" "My name is not I.mown here," said Sheridan Keene, pausing on the threshold of the elaborate reception-room. "Say to Mrs. Cou zon, however, that I will intrude only briefly, yet upon a matter of serious importance." A response from the girl was made need less by the mistress herself, who evidently had been looking down from the hall above. She at once came down the stairs, a large woman clad in an elaborate morning-gown, and with a rather handsome, yet masculine, type of face. Keene saw at once why Mr. Grosman had likened her to an Amazon queen. "You may go, Rosa; I will see the gentle man," <;he said, as she descended the stairs. "How can I serve you, sir?" The last was addressed to Keene, with a free-and-easy smile, and a wave of her hand toward the reception-room, into which he entered. She closed the door and stood wait ing, while he replied: "I presume you are Mrs. Couzon," he said, in his pleasing way. "I am an inspector of police, madam, and wish to ask you a few questions bearing upon th e attempted rob bery of last evening." "Goodness, sir!" she exclaimed, laughing, quite as if the notice she had received through the affair \vas rather to her taste. "You are the third officer who has called this morning!" "Is that so?" smiled Sheridan Keene. "Were the others members of the regular po lice, or of the detective service?" "One was a policeman. The other said he came from Pemberton Square." "Well, I come from Chief Inspector Watts, and I imagine that my inquiries will be in a line quite different from that of the others. And possibly quite as productive of desirable results," he added, significantly. "I trust you will consent to favor me." "Why, surely!" bowed Mrs. Couzon, with just the least bit of coquetry in the flash of her dark eyes. "Take a seat, Mr.--" "My name is Sheridan Keene-thank you." "Now what can I say for you, Mr. Keene? The. attack upon us was made just after--" "Pardon me, Mrs. Couzon, bm my interest lies entirely in the things anterior to the crime. I work from deductions chiefly." "Dear me Logic is quite out of my line, Mr. Keene "You can best serve my purpose by answering a few questions for me, Mrs. Cou zon." "Ask them !" laughed the lady. "To begin with, then, how many servants do you employ?" "Five, when here in town. I take but three to our shore house." "You have five at present?" "Yes, sir. I think I guess your suspicions, now, but I am quite sure my servants are trustworthy." "Because they have been with you for a long time?" "Partly for that reason. I have had the three I take to the shore, let me see, for nearlv six years." . "Ah, yes. And the other two?" "Both are young girls, merely; a n:iaid and a table-girl." "When did you engage them?" "In October, on my return to town." "In place of two djscharged when you went away in ?" "Yes, sir." "Who were th two discharged, please?" "One was a girl named Lizzie Maxwell. The other was named Mary Fallon." "Have you seen either of them since they left your employ?" "No, sir." "And, presumably, do not know where either can be found?" "Indeed, no! I never keep run of old serv ants. Those I have are enough!"
SHIELD WEEKI.Y. 25 Detective Keene joined in her significant laugh. "Do you happen to be acquainted with the Grosmans, of Comonwealth Avenue, Mrs. Couzon ?" he asked. "Oh, yes! and the lady swelled a trifle "I know Mrs. Grosman well !" "Do you call upon her?" "Well, no, not exactly, sir! Still, we are good friends "Could you identify any of your assailants of last night?" "Dear me no! I fainted dead away-like a w e ak fool! If it hadn t been for my hus band the scoundrels could have carried me off bodily, say nothing of my jewels." Keene had vague doubts of this, looking her over, but did not express them. "I suppose you would like to have the knav e s apprehended, Mrs. Couzon ?" he said, gravely. "Indeed! yes." "Would you be willing to co-operate with me in a very simple way, if by so doing, their arrest would be insured ?" "I think so; yes. But I don't know in what way I can do so." "I will explain very clearly. What you will have to do will be simplicity itself. But I shall be compelled to insist that you do pre cisely what I require and absolutely nothing more." "I will hear what you require of me, Mr. Keene, and if it appeals favorably to my judgment, I will consent to your proposition said Mrs. Couzon a little perplexed "No one could ask more than that!" Sheri dan Keene said, warmly, with a grateful bow. "Now kindly give me your attention and I w ill tell you in confidence a curious little story It required a half-hour, however and when he departed, taking with him the assurance he desired Detective Keene left Mrs. Cou zon very pale about the ears; and upon her face a look of mingled amazement and dis may to which a verbal description could not half do justice. It was after one o'clock when Detective Keene to the Grosman residence ; and the sharper light in the depths of his grave eyes would have been attributed, by those who knew him best, to the near cul mination of that delicate task upon which he craftily had been at work. Yet there still remained the most delicate and hazardous move of all, so imp ortant that succ e ss and failure therefrom hung evenl y balanced. It was at such a time, how e v e r that Sheri dan Keene habitually r o s e to the v e ry height of his detectiv e genius It is when under the very wire that a thoro ughbred s nerve and mettle attain their limit o f p o wer. Luncheon had been served wh e n he arrived, and he found Grosman impatiently pacing the drawing-roo m, irritated by his wife's unusual petulance, a nd m o r e b y his renewed doubts of She ridan K ee ne s ability. The latter paused for a m o m e nt only and said: "Wait here, sir. I wish to speak to you presently "Why not now?" asked Gros man, impa tiently. "Because I prefer lat e r, K e ene replied, curtly. "Kindly do what I ask!" He did not wait for an answer, but w ent up-stairs to his room Throw in g off his c oat, he hurriedly wrote a n o t e to Chi e f Watts, r e questing him to invent some pl a usible occa sion for detaining the b earer until afte r dark, and carefully sealed the missive. The n he returned to Grosman. "I wish you to take this l ette r down to Chief Watts," he said quietl y "Ple ase do so at once, and by way of th e electrics. Grosman turned fairly livid. "Am I a common mes senger?" he said, an grily "I will send my valet." "I have other .work for y our valet sir!" "But I refus e to!" but the fire that leaped up in Sheridan Kee n e' s e y es sil e nced him then and there. "Sir, you will do what I ask, or I will in stantly throw up this case for good and all said the detective, with terrible sternness Grosman drew in his horns. "I'll take it," he said sullenly; then turne d back to add: "But if nothing comes of y our efforts by to-morrow, I will appeal to Chief Watts for a more competent offic er!" "You will have an opportunity to make the appeal when you deliver the letter!" retorted Keene, dryly "If you don't find him at his
26 SHIELD WEEKLY. office, wait there till he comes in. Remember that, also Five minutes later Mr. Grosman left the u glier than a bear. Ten m i nutes after his cie P.arture, Keene ca ll ed the valet into his room gave him a seal ed envelope, also. The sheet within was blank, h owever. "Jean, do you know the way to Hyde Park?" he demanded. "No, monsieur: but I can find it." the young Frenchman replied seeing an opportunity for a n outing. "Take this l e t ter out th ere, then, and de liver it," said Keene, shortly "If yo u fin d the street and number, yo u will do wonder fu lly well. Yo n ca n inquir e, if you h ave any difficul ty. Start a t o n ce, please. The valet n"eeded no second bidding, and th e detective rid of h im more easi ly than of his master. Within another quarter-hour the butler had been sent from th e hou se to South Hoston. Of the servants, there now re mai n ed only th e cook and the kitch e n-girl, and Mrs. Grosman's maid, who was with her mistress in th e latter 's chamber. This state o f affairs was apparently satis factory to Detective Keene. He n ow cleaned 11p his desk put in order th e room he had oc cupied, and laid his overcoat and hat con ven i ent l y up on a chair, as o ne might who contemplated presently making a permanent departure. The n he sat d ow n and waited, with the door o f his room ajar. An hour passed, and the clock in the hall struck three; yet Sheridan Keene did not move, nor was his patience seriously tried. He had abiding faith in his own perception and deductions. Nearly' a half-hour later the doorbell rang. Presently it rang again and then he heard Mrs. Grosman say, irritably: "\i'Vh y doesn't James answer that b e ll? L ou is e Louise is the butl e r out? Go answer th e bell." Keene rose and s tole softly to his door. He h eard the maid quickly leav e Mrs. Grosman's room, and hasten ed to the hall stairs. Then h e followed her, saying cautiously: "I'll go down, Louise, if you wish!" "No, I'll go!" she called back. "James is probabl y out1 o r asleep---" Then Keene saw the girl sudde nly stop, when half. way down the stairs, and cover h e r face with her hands. He sprang down, and caught h e r about the waist. "What's the matter?" he asked, i n a hurri ed whispe r. "Oh, oh, I'm so di zzy !" she gasped. "My he ad i s whirling! I-you go! you go-please!" She scarce could speak the words. She swayed in his arms; as if fainting, and Keene hurriedly thrust her up the stairs. "Sl ip into my room!" he said, softly. "There's water there. I'll answer the bell." H e went down to the door without one backward glance. From where the brief in cident had occurred, he could see the caller on the outer steps, through the window of the door. It was a lady-Mrs:-'Couzon. Yet she met Sheridan Keene like a total stranger. "Is Mrs. Grosman at home?" she asked, simply. "I think she is, madam. Will you walk in?" bowed the detective, showing her to the r e ception-room. "I will speak to her." "Say, please, that Mrs. Couzon, of Brook line, would like to see h e r for a few moments conc erning th e ball of last evening." "Certainly, madam." As Sheridan Keene reached the head of the stairs, Louis e met him with a l ow, hurried wh isp er, and a l ook of infinite gratitude. "I'll tell her! she said. "Let her think I went down !" Keene nodded, and winked, understandingly. A little later Mrs. Grosman went down to her caller. Presently Louise also had an errand down-stairs, but not to the reception rnom. At the end of ten minutes she returned, and knoc ked softly on Keene's door. "Come in," he said, pleasantly. The girl entered quickly. Her cheeks were still quite pale, but she was smiling, and her eyes were bright. Evidently she had heard somethmg that had pleased and relieved her, for the last sign of the late attack of vertigo had vani shed. She ran ea-
SHIELD WEEKLY. 27 1 gerly to Sheridan Keene, who sat at his desk, and threw her arms around him. "That was awfully good of you, Mr. Greene!" she cried, with fee ling. Ke. ene l ooked at her as if amused. "vVhat was?" he asked. "Helping me on the stairs. I don t know what caught me so suddenly. I guess it's my heart. "vVell that makes us even," laughed the detective, pres s ing her hand. "You once did me a turn, you know." "And I'll do you another, if it comes in my way," said Louise Fenster, with a flash of l er warm eyes. "Which I am sorry to say may not, said Keene, "for I get through here t<1-day." "Not for good exclaimed Louise, with amazement. For an instant the girl s gaze met his as if s h e would have read his very soul. "It' s true, Louise. I'm remaining now on l y to settle a bit of bad business with Mrs. Grosman if I can catch her alone in her room The girl looked perplexed, and said: "W ort't I ever see you again?" "Would you like to?" "Why, of course!" "The n I'll try to fix it so you can," said Keene, with a genuine intention to do so. "Hark! Mrs. Grosman is coming now. She mustn' t find you here !" The street door was heard to close Mrs. Couzon had gone Louise Fenster quickly withdrew from K e ene s room, and h e heard p a ss throu g h M rs. Grosman's and enter her own, which adjoined it Now, my lady! he said to himself, rather grimly; "we will force the game to break C'over !" CHAPTER IX. A STRATEGIC MOVE. Sheridan Keene heard Mrs. Grosman re tu rn to her chamber, and when she did not spe ak u pon entering, he drew a n accurate conclu s i on -that he r maid still was i n he r own r oom, do ubtl ess with ea r s al ert t o dis cove r th e n ature o f h i s i n t e r view w ith M r s. Grosman. He had no particular objection to this. He did not delay for a moment. Crossing the hall, he softly closed the door of Mr. Grosman's room, then proceeded to that qf his wif e The door wa s partly open, and he closed it b e hind him afte r enterin g. M r s G rosm an, who h a d paus e d for a mo r.1 ent b e for e h e r mirror, h eard th e latch catch, and turne d ab o ut as if startle d A wave of crims o n sw e pt to her hands o m e face, then instantly reced e d "Why do y o u ent e r my room, sir?" she de manded, sharply. L eave it at once!" "Presently, Mrs. Grosman, Keene firmly, yet c ourteou s ly, rej oine d "I first want a word with you a lone h e re. "I will see y o u in th e library, sir." "Bette r h e r e than in the library for your own sak e Wha t I hav e t o say--" I refuse to listen her e sir! You are in solent Leave here at once, or I will call an officer and have y o u eject e d from the hous e How dare you--" "Pardon, m adam!" and Sheridan Keene checked h e r an g ry sp e ech, and threw back the lap e l o f hi s c oa t and display e d his badge. "I am an office r, if y o u r e quire one I am an inspector of polic e Mrs. Grosman ; here, 1 : ot as your hu s band s s ecre tary, but on a duty far more s e riou s and exacting. My duty compels me to be firm I earnestly beg that you will not, by r esis tance, force me also to be severe." Every vestige of color had left Mrs. Grosman's cheeks, and she was trembling l rntly. ( "A detective!" sh e e x claim e d faintly staring with wild eyes at his grave face. "Mer ciful heavens! what do e s it m ean? Am I lost? Do e s my hus band su s pect? Tell me why you are here? T ell me-tell me!" The last broke fr o m her tremulous lips like a cry of passionat e dism a y D,t s pair and t e rror were pictured in h e r hueless face Sh e ridan Keene had mercy, and he waved her to a chair ; yet he said quit e sternly: "Calm yourself, M rs. Grosman! Exciterne will avail you nothing. I want you to a question. What i s James Barrister t o you?" I t seem e d t o answer he r own q u estion.
28 SHIELD WEEKLY. She totte r ed like one whose k nees g i ve way Then, suddenly, she covered her face wit h her hands and burst into tears, sinking into the nearest cha i r and sobbing convulsively. It was the collapse of a woman whose heart was broken by an exposure she would have sacrificed a fortune to prevent, yet realized was now beyond prevention "I am sorry to distress you, Mrs. Gros man ," said D e tective Keene, considerately, yet with unabated firmness; "but the circum stances. require that I sh o uld know the whole truth. If you confide it to me, you may be spared the pain of being forced to tell it to others. You must answer my question. What is James Barrister to you?" Instead of what he ask e d, she moaned, pa thetically, and cried: "I will tell my husband; not you! Please call my husband! I will conf ess--': "Pardo n me ; your husband is not at h o me. T h e r e is no alt e rnati ve, Mrs Grosman You rr,u s t answer my question What is James Barriste r t o you? Eithe r answer, or I shall be c o m pe lled to arrest you." S h e l oo ked up at him with a great fear in her s w imming eyes. "To m y e ternal shame, sir," she sobbed, pit eo u s l y ; the man you speak of is my b r o th er!" "Your brother!" exclaimed K e ene, without a c h ange of countenance. Ye s my broth er! But his name is not Barri s t e r. It i s J a m e s Barrows." "Do you know wh e re he is? " H e is here in Bost o n ," s obbed Mrs. Gros m an. "Have you s ee n him lately?" No, s ir." Y o u h a v-c communicated with him "I admit that." "What wa s the nature o f th e communica tion?" "Why do y o u a s k me that? Why must I tell you? I will confess all to my husband, a nd implore --" "One moment Mrs. Grosman There may be no ne e d, n o w, of your t e lling" him \vhat you seem to have in mind. I am not he t e to exp o se family secrets; and if James Barrows is reall y you r brother, I may have been all wrong in my deductions. You must 1 tell me the whol e truth." Mrs. Grosman, with a sudden flame of hope lighting her eyes, started up from her chair. "Do you mean that my husband does not already know my dreadful secret?" she "Did he not bring you here to expose it?" "Nothing of the kind. But I cannot tell you, b e fore knowing the nature of your se cret and of.what your relations with Barrist e r consist, why I was employed to come here," said Detective Keene sternly "If you will tell me the whole truth, it may pos sibly operate much to your advantage." "I will I will do so !" cried Mrs. Gros man, impulsively, grasping at the pos s ibility he suggested. "I will tell you everything," "Answer my questions, then. What are yc.ur precise relations with Barrows?" Mrs. Grosman dried her eyes, and ex plained "James Barrows is my brother, sir, two years my eld e r. He went West in his youth, and at tim e s was very wild. But, at l e ast, h e w as kind and gen e rous to a fau l t and I dearl y l o ved him, d e spite his weakness, and could n o t have b e liev e d he would commit a crime." "I appreciate y our sisterly feelings." "\iVh e n I marri e d Mr. Grosman," she con tinu ed; I was advis e d by my father to say nothin g of Jim, who had not been East for years, and o f wh o se habits we all were much asham e d Mr. Grosm a n is a proud manproud of his conn e cti o ns and his family honor-and I fo o lishly deceived him, ,and concealed the fact that I had a brother of whom I was ashamed." "I understand." "Ten y e ars a g o news came to me from the \Vest, that Jam e s had been convicted of a ter rible crime and s ent to prison for ten years I cannot d e scribe my distre ss. I cannot tell you what eff o rts I made to keep the shame ful fact from my husband. But I succeeded, and to this day have beli e ved him ignorant of the fact that he is married to the sister of a convict." "From what I have seen o f Mr. Gros man, I eas i ly can appreciate your delicate consideration," said Sheridan Keene. "Go o n p l ease."
r __,,/-----SHIELD WEEKLY. 29 "A month ago, sir, Jim was liberated from prison. I wrote him a letter, begging him to begin life anew: and offering to give him financial aid, if he only would do so; and I at the same time sent him money, and wrote hifI!. how I had deceived my husband, and im plored him not to betray me in any way . Then I received a letter from Jim, saying he would kill himself before he would disgrace rr.e in the eyes of my husband, and so evoke his censure. Jim was always loyal to me in liis poor, weak way," added Mrs. Grosman, v"ith a sob. Sheridan Keene now plainly understood Barrows' conduct; why he had burned the let ter, and denied both himself and this woman; and for his loyalty at least, the detective could admire the convict. "I received a letter from Jim after he arrived here," Mrs. Grosman continued. "He is at a house in Salem street. I sent my maid to him with a note, telling him not to come here, and that I would visit him as soon as I could. I was so busy preparing for the ball, tliat I could not go at once; and to-day I have been utterly unable to go. I wish to carry him money; I wish--" "That is quite sufficient, Mrs. Grosman," interposed Keene, moved by her emotions. "You have opened my eyes to my own misin terpretation of your conduct. I now will as sure you of two things." "Yes," she murmured, with lips quivering. "First, that there will be absolutely no oc casion for you to. undeceive your husband, who is quite as well off ff he doesn't know all there is to be known." "Oh, sir !" "And second," smiled Keene; "if you will plan to come alone to the office of Chief Watts to-morrow afternoon, you there can meet your brother ; and I will add, too, that I am inclined to think he will prove true to his promise of reformation; and not only I, but Chief Watts, also, will do all in our power to aid him and to shield you Mrs. Grosma_n's splendid eyes were flooded anew, and she impulsively came and gave both her hands to Sheridan Keene. "Oh, let me ask your pardon for--" "Hush! there is no occasion!" "But how did you know Jim?" "He is at this moment under arrest here." "Arrest--" "Don't be alarmed. He has committed no wrong." "But why, then?" "Because, Mrs. Grosman," and Keene's voice now rose several degrees ; "there has been a robbery committed in this house, and he was at first suspected. Your diamonds have been stolen, and inferior stones have been substituted in place." "Good heavens! My diamonds!" "Your husband knows all, and hence my presence in your house. He will explain to you this evening. But I see, now, that I have judged your conduct erroneously. I am very much chagrined, and I beg your par don. But since Mrs. Couzon called here, I think I may be able soon to get on the track of the men who not only attempted to rob her, but lik ewise are guilty of the theft com mitted here." "Oh, I am so amazed I can't understand it all!" cried Mrs. Grosman. "And really I cannot stop now to explain," said Keene, in more hurried tones. "It all will be cleared later. I must hasten to Chief \iVatts, and tell him of the new developments. But have no fear. We presently shall run down the guilty. "God grant it!" "I will go now, and shall return no more. Make your call at Headquarters to-morrow, and meantime say nothing of your brother. I now must take up a more promising clue. Don't trouble to come down to the door. I must hasten, and will say good-by to you here!" "Good-by, Mr. Greene." "My true name is Sheridan Keene!" "Oh, I shall always remember it!" Again, with tearful eyes and breast heav ing, Mrs. Grosman gave him both her hands. Then Keene hastened from the room and the house. CHAPTER X. HOW THE ARTIFICE OPERATED. The victim of what had appeared like abject failure, Sheridan Keene left the Gros-
30 SHIELD WEEKLY. n ;an residence, and started down town without so much as one backward glance. The early darkness of the winter afternoon was rapidly falling. The air was sharp, and the streets white with the last fall of snow. Keene walked a block, turned the corner, and stopped. When it became a little darker, he stole back to a doorway, from which he could view the house he had left, and fel! to watching it. He had waited less than thirty minutes, when his anticipations were realized. The figure of a girl, whom he instantly recognized to be Louise Fenster, emerged from the Grosman house, and started down town. She was clad in a dark cloak, and her features were hidden by a thick veil. Her every movement, after she was safely out of the house, was that oLintense excitement and ungovernable haste. Detective Keene, with the skill of an ex pert, took up the pursuit and constantly shadowed her. At the end of a half-hour, she entered an office building well down-town, and climbed the stairs to one of the offices. On the door was a printed sign: DICKSON AND KELP, Diamonrj,s. Keene followed her as far as the head of the gloomy stairs. She tried the door and found it locked. Then she shook it with all her strength, as if wild at the mere fact of the occupants' ab. sence; and Keene saw her beating her hands with mingled rage and dismay. Then she drew a letter from her bosom, and stooped to thrust it under the door ; but, after an instant, impulsively changed her mind, as if the chances to be taken were .too desperate. Then she darted toward the stairs, and Sheridan Keene slipped out ahead of her, and waited in the street. He was not kept there long. Down came Louise almost directly, and started off in a new direction; and the detective smiled grimly, and resumed his pursuit. At seven o'clock the girl approached a small wooden house on a side street in the suburb of Chelsea. Evidently she had been there before, for she went direct, and at once tried the door on arriving. It yielded, and she entered the house. 1 Tjlrough the starlight of the clear night, Sheridan Keene darted into the yard, and quickly approached a side window, one of a room in which a light was burning. Be tween the lowered curtain and the casing, he could see a part of the room. It was the dining-room of the house. In an easy chair in one corner sat a man in middle life. His face was pale, and his arm was in a sling. He had been shot. At the table, a younger man was seated, eeiting his dinner. But he bore no marks of violence. These were Dickson and Kelp, commission dealers in diamonds and precious stones, and a pair of precious scoundrels they were-as well as the bright beauty and artful maid who operated with them. Dickson started up from his chair and uttered a cry of amazement, when Louise entered the room and threw back her veil.. Her face, despite her haste and excitement, vvas as white as that of the dead; but her eyes were ablaze with living light. "Good God!" cried Dickson, clutching his v 1 otmded shoulder. "You here!" "Yes, I am here!" cried the girl, with her voice shrill and thrilling with bitter dismay. "What's wrong?" "Everything! The game is up! I've been to your office, and then came here." Keene did not wait to hear more just then. He stole round the and tried the back door. He found it unlocked, and softly stole into the back porch, and thence to the kitchen. It was dim there, but the door of the adjoining dining-room stood open. Louise Fenster was still speaking. "There's a devil been in the Grosman house!" she was saying, in tones so fierce a n d passionate that Keene fairly wondered at the art of which she had been capable. "His name is Keene-Sheridan Keene!" "The detective?" "None ot11er Grosman knows all, and Watts is after us !" the girl continued. "Keene surely connects the robbery there with the attempt on the Couzons. God only knows what clue he found-but it's enough l
SHIELD WEEKLY. 31 that he found it! He's a devil! He' s an artful devil !" "Hold your noise !" commanded Dickson, sharply "Tell me all the facts. There yet may be a way out of the scrape without ex posure. Tell me the facts." "They are here," cried Louise. "I wrote them down, thinking I might not find you at the office, and I meant to slip the letter under door. But I dared not! I dared not! That devil may know more even than I fear! This letter will explain--" But Sheridan Keene then sprang into the rcom, and snatched the convicting letter from her extended hand. "I'll take it, instead!" he cried, with terrible sternness. "Sit down in that chair!" A roar of dismay broke from one of the men, and a shriek from the lips of the girl; but Keene whipped a revolver from his pocket, and thundered, sternly: "You are under arrest, all of you Sit still I will shoot the first to move, and I'll shoot to kill !" -CHAPTER XI. CONCLUSION. At eight o'clock that evening, Sheridan Keene, with the assistance of one of Chief Drury's Chelsea officers, brought his pris oners to Headquarters, and personally entered the private office of Chief Inspector Watts. The latter looked up from his desk, on hearing the door opened. "Well, Detective Keene?" he said, inquir ingly. "I have to report, chief, the arrest of the persons guilty of the Grosman robbery, and two of the men who waylaid the Couzons," said Keene, quietly. Chief Watts smiled and rose to his feet. "I expected it! You have done excellent work, Inspector Keene, and I congratulate you," he said, simply. "I will go with you and look them over." And they passed out to the general office together. "Oh, it was not such a difficult case after chief, with your assistance and sugges tions," laughed Keene, as the two sat in company an hour later, th e prisoners having been lcdged in jail. "Not difficult, perhaps," srriiled Chief Watts. "Yet it required quite delicate work." "In a way, yes," nodded Keene, knocking the ashes from his cigar. "Still, the case h ad features which, from the very start, directed one pretty accurately." "That is true. The very nature of the robb ery showed that some person in the Gros man house was acting in conjunction with parties outside." "Curious that the affair of Mrs. Grosman should have turned up at just this tim e however. For a short time, after observing her, I could by no means account for her conduct, anc:l felt compelled to sift it to the bottom. Yet I clung to the first clue that we struck." "You refer to the diamond cross." "Yes, and the fact that the stones in that had not been disturbed. It indicat ed that some religious or superstitious person was guilty of the crime, and was deterred from taking the valuable gems in the cross becaus e of its significance." "No doubt o f it." "And when I saw the Fenster girl going out to church on Sunday, the first thing I notic ed was the gilt cross in her pray e r b o ok. Egad, chief, it was like a cross-road signpost." Chief Watts laugh ed in his genial fashion. "Then, when I caught the girl listening to me, and watching my movements in Mrs. Grosman's room, and later using her pretty eyes to captivate me, I f e lt comparatively sure of my game. It seems she wasn't sure herself why I was there, and wouldn't take chances of earlier flight." "So she now admits." "Then," continued Sheridan Keene; "when I heard of the attempt to rob th e Couzons, which, on the face of it was the job of novi ces, I at once suspected that Louise had pre viously worked for the Couzens, and that their diamonds had been treated to a similar substituti on, making it necessary to get hold of them, if possible, lest it should be learn ed that this girl had worked in both plac es." "Yes, I see." "It indicated that Louise had warne
32 SHIELD WEEKLY. confederates of her susp1c1ons of me, and that they had planned to effect the r obbe ry. Well, we have two of them, and through them may secure the third." "Surely!" "Another feature was the evident distress of Mrs. Grosman, on learning of the attempt en the Couzons. Since learning about her brother, I now know she feared l est he was one of the parties guilty of attempting the Couzon robbery, he being here in town. That explains her agitation." "Quite mixed, after all, I think." "Well, chief, I didn't like to act hastily. I knew that, if I could frighten the Fenster girl sufficiently, I could drive her to seeking her confederates and warning them. Then I could bag them all." "Very wisely done." "So I went out to see Mrs. Couzon, and told her what I feared had happened to her jewels. She could describe the Fenste r girl only in a general way, for she had been in her house under the name of Maxwell. I told Mrs. Couzon to have her jewels examined that morning, and if she found I was right, t : J call in a convntional way, merely, upon Mrs. Grosman in the afternoon. Then I fixed things so Louise would be likely to answer the bell, and r knew that seeing Mrs. Cou zon would give her the scare I desired." "And it was w ell designed, too, said Chief Watts, with approval. Keene laughed at his recollection of the in cident. "The poo r girl nearly fainted, he con tinued. "She saw her former employer from the stairs. I h e lped h e r out poor thing! Then I made sure she would be in hearing while I squared myself with Mrs. Grosman and left the house. It wasn't a half-hour be fore out came Louise I" '.:Well, it will be a long time before she comes out again, or her confederates, said Chief W atts dryly. "She has confessed that she. seized occasional opportunities to ab stract the various ornaments, when the house safe was left open, and to have the substi tutions effected by her accomplices. Well, they will do a long time for it, and they de strve it." '"Vv'here is Barrister, or Barrows, at pres ent, ch ief? "I have sent an officer for h im. We will 1 elease him." "I told Mrs. Grosman that you would help him along, in a way, if possible." "So I will," said Chief Watts, heartily. "If there i s one man in the world whom I most prefer to aid, when his intentions are honest, that man is an ex-convict I will do everythink I can." "And Mrs. Grosman's secret?" "Pshaw!" and Chief Watts tossed his hea,d cl.isdainfully. Let Grosman continue blind, and nurse his pride to his heart's content," he added, bluntly "He has nothing else t o occupy his vacuous mind. Come Keene, let's go and have some lunch!" THE END. Next week's SHIELD WEEKLY (No 5) will contain one of the most brillia -nt exploits ever undertaken by Inspector Watts and his famous a ssistant, Detective Keene. The story wi ll be entitled, 'The Man and the Hour; or, Detective Keene'e. Clever Ar tifice." No.-1. Sheridan Keene, Detective; or, The Chief's Best Man. Issued Wednesday, December 5tlz. No. 2 -Silhouette or Shadow? or, A Question of Evidence. Issued Wednesday, D ecember I2tlz. No. 3.-lnspector Watts' Oreat Capture; or, The Case of Alvord, the Embezzler. Issued Wednesday, December I9ih. No. 4.-Cornered by Inches; or, A Curious Robbery Jn lflgh Life. Issued Wednesday, D ecember 26th. No. 5 -The Man and the flour; or, Sheridan Keene's Clever Artifice. Issued Wednesday, January Back numbers always on hand. If you cannot get our publications from your newsdealer, five cents a copy will bring them to you, by mail, postpaid.
The Nick Carter Stories ISSUED EVERY SATURDAY BEAUTIFUL COLORED COVERS When it comes to detective stories worth while, the Nick Carter Stories contain the only ones that should be considered. They are not overdrawn tales of bloodshed. They rather show tile working of one of the finest minds ever conceived by a writer. The name of Nick Carter is familiar' all over the world, for the stories of his adventures may be read in twenty languages. No other stories have withstood the severe test of time so well as those contained in the Nick Carter Stories. It proves conclusively that they are the best. We give herewith a list of some of the back numbers in print. You can have your news dealer order them, or they will be sent direct by the publishers to any address upon receipt of the price in money or postage stamps. 730-The Torn Card. 731-Under Desperation's Spur. 732-The Connecting Link. 733-The Abduction Syndicate. 738-A Plot Within a Plot. 739-The Dead Accomplice. 746-The Secret Entrance. 747-The Cavern Mystery. 748-The Disappearing Fortune. 749-A Voice from the Past. 752-The Spide r s W e b. 753-The Man W!tb a -Crutch. 754-Tbe Rajah' s R egalia. 755-Saved from D eath. 756-Tbe Man Inside. 14-The Silent t>assenger. 115-Jack Dreen's Secret. 16-Nlck Carter' s Pipe Line Case. 17-Nlck Carte r and the Gold Thieves. 18-Nlck Carter' s Auto Chase 19-The Corrigan Inheritanc e. 20-The Keen Eye of Denton. 21-The Spider's Parlor. 22-Nlck Carter' s Quick Gues s 23-Nlck Carter and the Murde r ess. 24-Nlck Carter and the Pay Car. 25-The Stole n Antique. 26-The Crook L eague. 27-An English Cracksmao. 28-Nlck Carte r s Still Hunt. 29-Nick Carter' s Electric Shock 30-Nlck Carter and the Stolen Duchess. 31 -The Purple Spot. 3'.?.,--The Stolen Groom. 33-The Inverted Cross. 34-Nick Carter and Keno McCall. 35-Nlck Carter' s Death Trap. 90-Behlnd Prison Bars. 91-The Blind M ans Daughter. 92-0n the Brink of Ruin. 93-Letter of Fire. 94-'l'he $100,000 Kiss. 95-0utlaws of the Militia. 96--The Opium-Runne rs. !J7-ln Record Time. 98-The Wag-Nuk Clew. !HI-The Middle Link. 100-The Crystal Maze. 101 A New Serpent in ,Eden. 102-The Auburn Sensation. l 03-A Dying Chance. 104-The Gargonl Girdle. 107 -Up In the Air. 108-Thc Girl Prisoner. 109-The Red Plague. l 10-The Arson Trust. 757-0ut for Vengeance. 758-The Poisons of Exlll. 759-The Antique Vial. 760-The House of Slumber. 761-A Double Identity. 762-"The Mpcker's" Stratagem. 763-The Man that Came Back. 764-The Tracks In the Snow. 765-The Babblngton Case. 766-The Masters of Millions. 767-The Blue Stain. 36-Nlck Carter's Siamese Puzzle. 37-The Man Outside. 38-The Death Chamber. 113-French Jimmie and His Forty 768-The Lost Clew. 770-The Turn of a Card. 771 A Message In the Dust. 772-A Royal Flush. 39-The Wind and the Wire 40-Nlck Carter's Three Cornered Chase. 41-Dazaar, the Arch-Fiend. 42-The Queen of the Sev en. 43-Crosse d Wires. Thie v e s. 114-The D eath Plot. 115-TLe Evil Formula. 116-The Blue Button. 117-The Deadly Paral]el. 118-The Vivis ectionists. 774-The Great Buddha Beryl. 44-A Crimson Clew. 45-The Third Mao. 119-The Stole n Bratn. b 775-The Vanishing Heiress. 776-The Unfinished Letter. 777-A Difficult Trail. 782A Woman's Stratagem. 783-The Cliff Castle Affair. 784A Prisoner of the Tomb. 785-A R esourceful Foe. 789-The Great Hote l Tragedies. 795-Zanonl, the Transfigure d 796-l'he Lure of Gold. 797-The Man With a Chest. 798-A Shadowe d Life. 799-The S ecret Agent. 800A Plot for a Crown. 801 --The Red Button. 802-Up Against It. 803-The Gold C e rtifi cate. 804-Jack Wise's Hurry Call. 805-Nlck Carter's Ocean Chase. 'l07Nick Carter's Advertisement. 08-The Kre goff Necklace. 11-Nick Carte r and the Nihilists. 12-Nick Cartq r and the Convic t Gang. 13-Nlck Carter and the Guilty Governor. 14-The Triangled Coln. 15-Nlnety-nine-and One. 816--Coin Numbe r 77. NEW SERIES NICK CARTER STORIES 1 -The Man from Nowhere. 2-The Face at the Window. 3-A Fight for a Million 4N!ck Carter' s Land Office. 5-N!ck Carte r and the Professor. 6 N!ck Ca ter as a M!IJ Hand. 7 A Single Cle w. 8-The Emerald Snake. 9-The Currie Outfit. 10-Nick Carte r and the Kldnaped Heiress. 11-Nlck Carter Strike s 011. 12Nlck Carter's Hunt for a Treasure. 13-A My stery of the Highway. 46-The Sign of the Dagger. 47-The Devil Worshipers. 48-The Cross of Daggers. 49-At Risk of Life. 50-The Deepe r Game. 51-The Code Message 52-The Last of the Sev e n. 53-Ten-Ichi, the Wonderful. 54-The S ecret Orde r of Associated Crooks. i f;5-The dolden Hair Clew. 56-Back From the DE1ad. 57-Through Dark 58-Whe n Aces Were 'Irumps. 59-The Gambler' s Last Hand. 60-The Murder at Linde n FeUs. 61-A Game for Millions. 62-Under Cover. 63-The Last Call. 64-Mercedes Danton's Double. 65-The M!lllonalre' s Nem e sis. 66-A Princess of the Underworld. 67-The Crook s Blind. 68-The Fatal Hour. 69-Blood Money. 70-A Que e n of Her Kind. 71-Isabe l B enton' s Trump Card. 72-A Princess of Hades. 73-A Prince of Plotters. 74-The Crook's Double. 75-For Life and Honor. 76-A Compact With Dazaar. 77-In the Shadow of Dazaar. 78-The Crime of a Money King. 79-Blrds of Prey. 80-The Unknown Dead. 81-The Sev e r e d Hand. 82 -The T errible Game of Mllllons. 83-A D ead Man's Powe r. 84-The Secrets of an Old House. 85-The Wolf Within, 86-The Y e llow Coupon. 87-In the Tolls. 88-The Stolen Radium. 89-A Crime In Paradise. l 20 -An Uncanny R e v e nge. 121-The Call of D eath. 122-The Suicide. 123-Half a Million Jfansom. 124-The Girl Kldnape r. 125-Tbe Pirate Yacht. 126-ThP Crime of the White Hand. 127-Fouod In the Jungle. 128-Slx Men In a Loop lW-The J ewels of Wat Chang. 130-The Crime In the Tower. 131 -The Fatal Message. 132-Broke o Bars. 133-Won by Magic. 134-The S ecret of Shangore. 1 35-Stralght to the Goal. 136-The Man They H e ld Back. 137 -The Seal of Gljon 138-The Traitors of the Tropics. 139-The Pressing Peril. 140-The Melting-Pot. 141 -Tbe Duplicate Night. 142-The Edge of a Crime. 14fl-The Sultan's P earls. 144-The C'lew of the White Collar. l4fi--An Unsolved Mystery. 146-Paying the Price. 147-0n D eath's Trail. 148-The Mark of Caln. 149-A Date d July 24th, 1915. 150-The House of Fear. Date d July 31st, 1915. 151-The Myste ry of the Crosse d Needles. Dated August 7th, 1915. 152-The Forced Crime. Date d August 14th. 1915. 153-The Doom of Sang Tu. Date d August 21st, 1915 154-The Mask of Death. Dated August 28th. 1915. 155-Tbe Gordon Elopement. Dated Sent. 4th, l!ll5. 156Blood Will Tell. PRICE, F1VE CENTS PER COPY. If you want any back numbers of our weeklies and cannot procure them from your newa dealer, they can be obtained direct from this offic e. Postage stamps taken the same as money. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 79-89 Seventh Ave NEW YORK CITY ..