No. 6. Price, Five Cents. WHO WAS THE MODEL? or MissinQ=A Beautiful Heires5 E>Y ALDEN F.BRAD5HAW PUBLISH E D WEEK L Y BY STRE E T & SMITH, 238 William St r eet New York City. Copyrirht, 1900, by Strut & Smit/I. All "Khls rtsuwd0 Enlnd al N w Y o r k Pos t0.ffiet a Smm d C /a" M all
TRUE DETE(TIVE STORIES STRAnGER-TH_Aft flCTIOfl j Issued WeeR!y. By SulJ.uription $2..50 :Jw year. Ettte,.ed as Second-Clau .Matter at tlu N. Y. Post Office, 6y STRBBT & SMITH, :138 William Sl.1 N. y. Entered Accorti'inr to .Act o/ C o Hpe.r.r, s'n the year T<}Ol, in tlie Offic e o f the Li/Jrarlan of Congress, Washington, D. C. No. 6. NEW YORK, January 12, 1901. Price, Five Cents. Who Was the Model? OR, I MI55ING: A BEAUTlfUL By ALDEN f. BRADSHAW. CHAPTER I. CHIEF WATTS' VISITORS. "Is Chief vV.atts in his office?" "Yes, sir." "Engaged?" "I believe he is, sir, just at this moment." The scene was the general office of the inspectors of police, in the Headquarters building in Pemberton Square in the city of Boston. It was o n a morning in D ecember, one of those pleasant winter mornings when mankind in general is glad to be alive. The terse inquiries above came from an imposing man in the uniform of a superior officer of the municipal police, the superintendent himself. He had just come down the narrow stairway which joins the inspectors' quarters with the extensive main offices of the Police Department, and his grave countenance and serious manner indicated a matte r o f u n usual im port a n ce. "Let me know at once when he is disengaged," he said shortly, to the clerk who had responded to his questions, and, turning sharply about, he returned by the way he had come. The clerk ventured s ending in word to the and the delay which less interest might have occasioned was there by obviated. It was not more than ten minutes later when th e superintendent again appea red, and im strode through the corridor leading to the private office of Chief Inspector \i\ r atts. On this occasion, however, he was accom panied by two men. One was young, less than thirty, and rather pale and effeminate fooking, with a plain, unattractive face, the main features of which indicated weakness of character and a mind easily influenced, whether to good or to evil. He was clad in a neat b u siness suit, evidently nearly new,
2 SHIELD WEEKLY. and a fop coat, and his general appearance, this, and I am absolut e ly cert?.in that some whateve r his fac may have suggested to one st:rious misfortune has befallen her'." versed in physiognomy, was that e>f a young "Let me know all of the particulars Dr. man of education and refinement if not o f Lawton," Chief Watts now said, resuming considerable means. his seat. "If they indicate a case of abduc-The other was an elderly' gentleman o f tion, I will have one of my inspectors inves seventy years, with gray hair and a refined tigate the matter at once. As you go out, and aristocratic countenance. He wore, superintendent," he added, as the latter over a dark broadcloth suit, a black over-turned toward the door, wiil you ask the coot with a cape, and his appearance was clerk to send Dete ctive Keene in here?" that of a clergy man, in fact, he was "Certainly." His step was tremulous as he foHowed the "We will wait until Inspecto, r Keene superintendent of police through the dim comes in. If it becomes necessary, I will de cor,ridor, and was in vivid contrast with that tail him to look into the case, in event of of the latter, while his manne r was one of which I now wish him to hear your story." subdued distress, as. if no ordinary mission "But every moment of delay, sir-" had brought him there that soft May mom"Pardon me doctor, interposed the chief ,. ing. 1 gravely, checking the old gentleman' s pro-The superintendent immediately ushered test, which was born of an anxiety which he two companions into the room, closing conld not suppress. "Haste in detective the door behind them. The chjef, with an work is never advisable. If your niece has eye quick to r ea d external appearances, in been abducted, or if any more serious fate stantly surmis ed something serious, and he has befallen her, the truth can be discovered rose to his fee t to meet them. only by careful and systematic work. Don' t "Good morning, Superintendent Elthink me disinterested, for I will do all in dredge," h e said gravely, with a mere my power to help you, but I must do i t in glance at the others. my own way." "Good morning, chief was the reply, "Oh, I already feel sure of your interest with a nod. "Thi is Rev. Dr. Lawton, the Chief Watts," returned the cle rgyman, striv l a t e r ecto r of St. Vincent's." ing to govern his nervousness. "But my "Glad to me e t you, Dr. Lawton. I know an..'-::iety at tim e s is greater than I can bear." you well by name." "Let me give you one word of encourage"Ansihly have been abducted." doctor," Chief Watts bowed; "for here is "I am sure of it, Chief Watts-sure of Inspector Keene." it interposed Dr. Lawton, with distressflli. The clergyman look e d up at the young fervor. "Either abducted or worse! Tillie man who entered, and both he and young never was absent before in any su.ch way as Mr. Wade bowed m aGknowledgment of
SHIELD WEEKLY. 3 Chief Watts' introduction; but neither ap peared in a state of mind to calmly suffer delay. "Sit down, Detective Keene," said Chief Watts, with a glance at a chair. "I may de tail you on a case of possible abduction, and I wish you to hear Dr. Lawton's statements. Now, doctor, what about this girl?" The chiefs change of manner rather surprised the dergyman, it was so business-like. He looked up quckly, and caugh!_ the glint of the chief's blue eyes, and instantly became aware that he hadl under estimated the energy and power of his questioner. But the change was to his liking. "She is my niece, and her name is Matilda Mason/' he hastened to reply. "We call her Tillie, for short." "A daughter of your wife's brother?" "Yes, sir; and an only child. She is an orphan, moreover, and has lived wrth me since she wasten years of age, and is like a daughter to me." ''Then you are well informed of her character and habits?" "Indeed, yes! A sweeter and more virtuous girl never lived. She has been carefully reared and educated, and has always been a moder of gentleness and refinement." "Now tell me why are so anxious about her," said Chief Watts, with a significant glance in the direction of Sheridan Keene. "Because she is mysteriously missing from her home," said Dr. Lawton, speaking hur riedly in his agitation. ""She went a.way day before yesterday evening, without even intimating her intentions, and has not returned. Such conduct on her part is unprecedented. She invariably has been a very dutiful and considerate girl. She fairly worships her annt, my wife, and would not willingly have caused her such anxiety and distress by a voluntary di.sappearance of this kind. My wife is almost distracted." "I can vouch for all this," interposed Mr. Wade, speaking with some eagerhess. "Til lie Mason is a girl who would not have vol untarily have committed this indiscretion." Sheridan Keene glanced across at the pale, effeminate face of the speaker, and did not quite fancy the expression of the young man's insipid blue eyes; but the tb10ught that rose in his mind was dispelled by Chief Watts. who turned hi& chair nearer that of the clergyman and demanded, snortfy : "Has your niece, Tillie Mason, any othe r relatives here in town or in the suburbs?" "Only a cousin who lives in Providence." "Does she ever visit her?" "The cousin is a gentleman, sir," replied Or. Lawton, gravely shaking his head. "I hiave telegraphed to Providence, and Tillie has not beei1 seen there." "Did the cousin sell:d you a wire pe>s.on ally?" "He did so at once, Chief \Vatts." '"Has Miss Mason ever been to any col lege or seminary?" "Yes; she: went two years to Vassar." "Did sh.e make any intimate friends while there, whom she may have visited at this time, and without having informed you of her intention?" "She made friends, no doubt, but I cannot for a moment believe she left home to visit any of them," teplied the clergyman, with graye decision. She certainly would have informed me of her intention, or if unex pecteclly .detained fromho1:ne &he surely would have written or telegraphed, if some extraordinary occasion had not prevented. Moreover, sir, she did not take away with her any clothing or garments, except those she wore." 'At what time did she leave home?" "About half-past seven Tuesday evening.'' "Who was at your h9use when she left?" ''Only my wile and myself. Includin_g my niece, we are the entire family. I have no children." "Did you see her shortly before she went?" "I did, sir," bowed Dr. Lawton, whose anxious eyes-steadily met the grave face of his questioner, asif he there would seek some encouraging sign. "I was seated with my wife in the library. Tillie came to the door with her on, and s-aid she was going out for a time. It is not unusual for her to do so on pleasant evenings, and I merely bowed'. to her over my newspaper. That was the last time I saw her, sir." The voice oi the aged speaker choked over the last sorrowful words, and his anxious
4 SHlELD WEEKLY. eyes swam with welling tears. He drew forth a silk handkerchief and dried them, but Sheridan Keene could see that he was softly sobbing back of the snowy folds. Chief Watts began to think there might be something more in the case the n mere im pulsive apprehension and misgivings. The character of Miss Mason, as described by her uncle, whose integrity and discernment were worthy of consideration was not that of a wild or impulsiv e girl, who might be given to doubtful escapades and the conventional duplicity which attaches thereto. CHAPTER II. CRIME OR ACCIDENT? Having established this much to his satis faction Chief Watts decided he would detail Sh e ridan Keene upon the case and he im mediately turned his inquiries more directly upo n a line important to detective work pure and simple. "Have you mad e any publication of thP. fact that your niece is missing, Dr. Lawto n ? he asked, "through the press or any othe r channel?" "No, sir, 1 have not," was the tremulous reply. I wis h, if possible, to avoid publicity, at lea s t until it becomes absolutely neces sary." "\Vhy so?" demanded Chief Watts. "Surely you have no less faith in Miss Mason's honesty and virtue than you have here expressed? For no other reason than that of her own character, sh o uld you demur from making public the fact of her mysteri ous abs e nce. Why do you not publish the precise facts in the columns of the daily papers?" "Because Chief Watts,'' cried the clergy man, with a sudden outburst of fervor; "I feel here in my own heart that the public cannot help me in this di stressing hour. I am already satisfied tha t Tillie has not volun tarily left home, and that sHe is b eing prevented from returning, or even communicating with us. If this is so, the public cannot help her or me ; and I now suppress the facts only to spare her needless notoriety, should she be safely restored to me, which God spet!d!" "Well, there is something in that," ad mitted Chief Watts, with a genuine apprecia. tion of the clergyman' s motives. "I will do what I can for you Dr. Lawton, since you wish to withhold the facts from the public at present. I will d e tail D e tective Keene upon the case, and he will investigate it. Now answer me a few questions." "I thank you very much for your interest, chief bow e d Dr. Lawton, with manifest I will answer any questions to the best of my knowledge." "Is Miss Mason a pretty girl?" "Very, sir. She is always noticed because of her beauty." "Light or dark?" "Medium, sir, with brown hair and eyes." "Her figure?" "About the ordinary size, I think, sir; y et--" "Oh, she is la rger than the ordinary, my dear doctor," young Mr. Wade interposed, with much interest and feeling. "She is a very beautiful girl, Chief Watts, and her figure is strikingly perfect. I have heard Tillie say that, when at Vassar and in prac tice in the gymnasium, her measurements and proportions were very near the classical model. "Then, Mr. she is .. a woman who might attract the attention of evil-minded men you think?" inquired Chief watts. "I know-that sh e always attracts atten tion," replied \i\T ade. "Is she inclined to personal display? By that I mean, does sbe enjoy drawing men's attention to her?" "Oh, no, sir! far from it," cried Dr. Lawton, with fervent assurance. "Tillie is modesty itself." "Dr. Lawton is right in that, supplemented Wade, with a corroborative bow." Chief Watts accepted their testimony, yet he made a slight sign to Sheridan Keene. "Now, Dr. Lawton," he continued, "where is your n ; sidence ?" "On Beacon street, near the Bay State road." "And Miss Mason left there at half-past seven Tuesday evening?" I "Within a few minutes of that hour, sir." "How was she dressed?"
SHIELD WEEKLY. 5 "In a blue cloth suit with a mink cape." "Vv as that the suit she wore at dinner that evening?" "Yes, sir." "Then on leaving home she evidently had not changed her dress for any special occa !'ion?" "I am sure she had not." "Her hat?" "She wort! a hat of red velvet, with a rim navy blue beneath." "Did she habitually wear jewelry that would attract attention?" "She wore next to none, sir. She is not fond of .iewelry." "What have her habits been when at home, Dr. Lawton? Has she any special employ ment?" "Not as a vocation, sir, for she is an heiress and worth considerable in her own name. She maintains some of her studies, however, and is very fond of music and the arts. She is a girl of considerable culture, sir." "Yott say she is fond of the arts? Does she paint?" "No, sir; but she sketches very nicely." "Does she take music lessons?" "Yes, sir; once a week." "From a teacher at home or elsewhere?" "She goes to the conservatory, sir." "Has she any other duties that take her regularly from the house, and in one direc tion?" "None, sir," replied Dr. Lawton, wondering why these questions were of material importance. But Chief Watts left him to wonder. That they were of importance may safely be assumed, or Chief Watts would not asked them. "You say," he continued, "that your is wealthy? Is her wealth inherited from heT parents, one or both?" "From her father. He left Tillie several hundred thousand dollars." "In trust?" "Yes, sir. The trustee is Judge Gibbons, of the Superior Court." "Are there any" relatives who might have been disappointed because of this legacy?" "None, sir. Mr. Mason's will was probated ten years ago." 'We will come down to something more recent," nodded the chief. "I shall detain you only a few moments longer. Has Miss Mason many gentlemen friends?" "She has many friends, sir, both ladies and gentlemen," sai d the clergyman, gravely, "but none with whom she is especially inti mate. There is a tacit understanding that she will some time in the near future marry this -gentleman here, Mr. W :ade; but the engagement has not yet been announced." "Then, Dr. Lawton," said Chief Watts, slowly, "you absolutely know of no possible occasion or person to which or whom this mysterious disappearance of your niece could be reasonably attributed?" "I do not," Chief Watts," said the clergy man, with grave sincerity. "I am )n darkness as great as my I would give all I possess to have Tillie restored to my arms, for I love her as a daughter. I beg that you will leave no stone unturned to find her, and that you will spare no expense to that end." "\!Vhat have you done in the matter before coming to me?" 'I waited until yesterday morning, hoping the mail would bring some word from my niece," explained Dr. Lawton. "When I re ceived none, I wired to Providence, also to two of Tillie's college friends. In response to those messages I received only negative replies. Meantime, I consulted Mr. Wade, thinking Tillie might possibly be with him, and also visited several of the neighbors." "All of which was in vain," said Mr. Wade, sadly. "As for me, I have not seen Tillie since Sunday evening. I called to see her last night." "The case seems to be rather a curious ont>." observed Chief Watts, turning now to Sheridan Keene. "I think you had better look into it, and see what you learn." "Very well, chief," bowed the detective. "I presume, Dr. Lawton, you have a photograph of Miss Mason." "Yes, sir; several of them." "\Vith you ?" "Unfortunately they are at homP.. I was so anxious this morning that I started out
6 SHIELD WEEKLY. earl y and sought M r. Wade. I did not even think of coming h e re, or I should have brought a p11atogtcrph. It was Mr. Wa
SHIELD WEEKLY. 7 album on the table, and several from a fancy receptacle occupying a cabinet against the wall. Sheridau Keene received them with a bow, and then drew aside to one of the windows to consider them without interruption. To tpis stud ent of Lavater a photOl'-faph appealed with far more significance than to an ordinary observer. Those he now held presented characteristics which at once startled him by their import, yet he gave no sign of the inferences he immediately drew. The picture s w ere four in number, and had been take n at various times during the past year, he had been informed. The face was that of a very beautiful girl, with rare expressive eyes a broad, intellectual brow and an abundance of wavy hair. The mouth and chin indicated firmness of character, and the poise of the head a certain degree of natural dignity and pride. Keene quickly decided that the rectwwas right in declaring that 'l'illie Mason had not voluntarily desert e d her home and her friends. His deductions went further than this, moreover. Only one of the photographs was in street attire, evidently taken the previous wint e r. One of the other three was in conventional ev ening costume, and the r emaining two were in a much more fanciful and picturesque attire, displaying amid a. profusion of delicate laces the girl s perfectly formed neck and shoulders, and producing an effect of almost classical beauty. Sheridan Keene smiled within himself, and turning to his waiting observers, said inquiringly: I think I understood you to say, Mrs. Lawton, that all of these pictures had been taken within the past twelve months. "Yes, sir," Mrs. Lawton came forward to reply. last that in your right hand and in fan c iful costum.e, was taken about three m onths ago "And I presume all of the pictures are tolerably good likenesses of Miss Mason?" "Very good indeed, sir Tillie alw ay s took an e xcellent picture." "These wilt help me in locating her, thank you," bowed Keene, with grave courtesy. "Do you wish to retain them?" "No, I don' t think I shall need to take them away with me. I have a faculty for remembering faces and shall not easily forget so lovely a one as this I shall not require to see them again He returned the photographs while speak ing, but he did not say what astute deduc tions he had made from these tell-tale bits of pasteboard. Yet the frequency with which these pictures had been taken, and the char acteristics marking three of the four, had told Sheridan Keene as plainly as if imparted from the lips of the girl herself, that Tillie Mason, despite her inherent modesty, cher ished in secret a girlish pride in her pretty face and symmetrical figure, and had indulged .perhaps a pardonable vanity in this artistic display of herself. Only a clever and discerning man, a shrewd of character, and a deep rea soner, could possibly have drawn conclusions as astute as these Sheridan Keene already suspected that he had the solution of this mystery well in hand; but even Sheridan Kee ne sometimes ran against difficulties which would have defeated most men." "If you please, Mrs. Lawton," he now said; "I would like to have you take me alone to Miss Mason' s chamb e r." "Certainly, Mr. Keene," she readily assente d. "There is no objection to that. I will go with you." "If you will be so kind." Leaving the others, Mrs. Lawton led the detective up one'fligbt of stairs, and into the rear room above the library. It was a beau tiful chamber, furnished in light blue, and evincing all the characteristics of a girl of exquisite taste and refin e m e nt. A pretty desk, the top of which was open, stood in one corner, and almost immediately caught the det e ctive's ey e "Have you e x amined Miss Mason's des k, Mrs. Lawton, to learn if she has left any missive for you, or has receiv e d any correspondence that might explain her absenc..e ?'' he asked, gravely. "Oh, yes sir! l'.\.1rs. Lawton exclaimed "I have thoroughly examined the desk, an d have found absolutely nothing of an explan atory nature." "No letters?"
----8 SHIELD WEEKLY. "None at all, sir, bearing upon this dreadful affair. "No telegrams. or telephone "Not one, sir. "What are these, Mrs. Lawton?" asked Keene, and he glanced at a portfolio beside the desk. "They are sketches and studies in draw ing," was the reply. 'Tillie is much interested in that kind of wo rk." "May I look the sketches over?" "Certainly, sir." The detective placed the portfolio upon the desk to make a brief examination of its contents. Most of the sheets were crayon or pencil sketches. A few were landscape and water views, but the greater part were anatomical drawings, in mere sections. They would have suggested but very little indeed to an ordinary observer; to Sheridan Keene they suggested volumes. Presently he laid aside the portfolio and signed Mrs. Lawton to a chair. "I wish you would now answer a few questions for me," he said, gravely, still standing in the floor. "Willingly, sir." bowed Mrs. Lawton. "Is your niece, Miss Mason, a girl of cheerful temperament?" "She has a cheerful and very sweet dispo sition, sir," was the reply, with some wonderment at the question, "but is by no means what is commonly termed flighty." "ls she lively about the house?" "Not particularly, sir; she is rather in clined to be quiet and serious. "Of a rather thoughtful disposition, with an interest in things worth considering? In fact, a girl of considerable stability?" "That expresses it, sir." "Have you lately noticed any change in her?" "ln what way, sir?'' "That of noticeable reserve, or self-ab sorption, as if she had something unusual on her mind," Keene explained. "Why, yes, now that you speak of it, I replied Mrs. Lawton, readily. "I think Tillie has lately been more serious, and inclined to remain in the solitude of her own chamber. Pray, sir, what do you infer from that?" "Nothing at all significant," smiled Keene, with grave courtesy. "I wish merely to in form myself of thr.girl's disposition." ''Ah, yes, sir, I see," bowed Mrs. Lawton, with a faint sigh, as if she had-drawn some faint encouragement from the man!rer and of the officer. "Have you noticed anything curious in her conduct?" "I can't say that I have." "Is she at home most of the time during the day?" "Yes, sir; generally." "I think your hiusband told .me that she visited the conservatory regularly." "Once a week, sir, to take her music lesson." "Aside from that, has she lately been out more frequently than, say, six months ago?" Mrs. Lawton looked up with a startled expression in her eyes. "Why, yes, she has !" she exclaimed, impulsively. "Still I have not thought much about it. She has been out in the qute regularly of late. Really, sir, you already seem to know more about her actions than I do." Sheridan Keene laughed softly. "Constant companionship frequently blinds, they say," he said, lightly. "Has Miss Mason ever told you where she has been mornings?" "No, sir. In fact I never gave. the matter much thought." -"Did you ever ask her a direct question about it r" "Not that I can now recall, sir." "How long a time was she usually absent when out in the morning?" "She usually came home about her lunch hour, one o'clock," replied Mrs. Lawton. "And she often brought with her some small parcel, which indicated to me that in all probability she had been out shopping, hence I thought nothing special about her going." "I see," nodded Sheridan Keene, as indeed he did. "Your husband did not inform me of this absence of his niece mornings. Doesn't he know of it?" "Well, sir, I don't think he ever has no-
SHIELD WEIDKLY. 9 ticed it. Dr. Lawton is usually engaged in his study during the entire morning." "That probably explains it," smiled Sheridan Keene; now deciding that Tillie Mason had taken these opportunities for some out side excursions, the true character of which she ahd not yet disclosed. "I shall detain you only a few moments longer, he continued, consulting his watch. "I want to know if Miss Mason has confided to you anything relative to her engagement to Mr. Wade?" "We never have discussed it except in a general way, sir," replied Mrs. Lawtoll, with another iook of sm:prise "Has there been a definite time set for the marriage ?" "No, sir. The engagement even has not been announced. "Has Miss Mason been making preparations for the marriage?" "Only in a very small way, sir. It probably will not occur for a year at least, as Mr. Wade first wi s hes to firmly establish his bus iness." "What is his business?" "He is in real estate, sir. "Then Miss Mjlson has not said anything special to you, relative to her marriage or her affections for Mr. Wade?" "Nothing more than one might expect under the circumstc:.nces. What do you imagine she might have said, may I ask?" "Nothing at all," Sheridan Keene smiled, curiously. "I very rarely indulge in imagin ings, Mrs. Lawton, and at present am only seeking for some clue that may lead to an explanation of Miss Mason's sudden and mysterious disappearance. I think that is all at present, Mrs. Lawton, and I will not detain you here any longer." They returned to the library in company. "Will you remain for lunch?" Mr. Lawton immediat ely asked of Keene. "I will have it served at once, if you will." But Keene quickly shook his head. "No, I thank you, doctor," he replied, with a bow; "I wish to get at work upon this case as soon as possible and will get my lunch down town." "Can you say nothing to tne of an encouraging nature, l\ r. Keene?" said the clergyman, with a look of appeal in his anxious eyes. "No more than Chief Watts said to you this morning, sir," replied Keene, gravely. ''I think, however, that I would not feel too apprehensive concerning Miss Mason's per sonal safety." "I thank you for that much, sir," was the grateful reply. "Will you remain here to lunch, Mr. Wade?" Wade turned to the detective. "Not if Mr. Keene will allow me to go with him, he replied. "I may be able to help him in some way, in which case I shall stick to him \.ike a brotqer. What do you say, Detective Keene?" "That you may come along with me if you wish," said Sheridan Keene, with rather an odd intonation. "I think I may find a way in which you can aid me." CHAPTER IV. DETECTIVE KEENE'S SUDDEN REMARK. "Hold on !" said Mr. Vv ade, as he and Detective Keene emerged to the street. "The cars are too slow for me in my present state of mind. vVe will engage the cab yonder. Hi, there, cabbie Drive over here, ancl look sharp!" 'The cabman, though a block away, heard and waved his hand in response, then has tened to gather up his reins. Sheridan Keene halted in the sidewalk just in front of the rector's house and glanioed curiously at his companion. wade's vociferous summons had broken with startling abr11ptness the quietude of the aristocratic avenue. His eagerness to begin the search for the lost heiress whom he as pired to wed, was, to say the least, com mendable and consistent in the young man, despite his very nervous effeminate countenance. Kee ne decided that he was a bolder and more energetic fellow than he had at first inferred. Yet he growled disapprovingly: "Hold your tongue! Do you want to rouse the entire neighborhood? Whistle to a cabman when you want one. They resporid to a whistle as readily as a dog."
1.0 SHIELD WEEKLY. "The neighborhood can stand it, I guess," returned Wade, half laughing. "I am too nervous to contain myself longer." "There's nothing in that, my man. Get aboard." "Where are you going "To Vercelli \ for lunch. Detectives eat, along with other failings," dryly answered Keene, thrusting him into the cab which had drawn up at the curbing. "Did you hear, cabbie ?" Sure, sir! Vercelli's'." "Look sharp, then." And Sheridan Keene sprang into the cab, banging the door behmd him, and the vehicle was off and away down B aeon street before the detective had fairly settled himself in the seat beside Benjamin Wade. "Now what do you know about this af air ?" Keene at once demanded, plainly. "Let's have the whole story." wade turned like a flash, catching' his breath with amazement, then stammered forcibly, with some resentment: "Know about it? What do you mean, sir? Do you imply that I know more than I have told? If you do, you make a mistake." "I imply nothing of the kind," said Keene, s hortly. "Do not kick over the traces till y ou are touched with the whip. I m ean, what do you know about Tillie Mason more than I have already learned?" "Oh, is that what you mean?" rejoined Wade, quickly mollified. "I really know nothing more about her than you have been told." "You are quite sure about that, are you? I want you to come flat-footed with me, understand man to man; and if you know any thing, let's have it I must begin this search with my eyes open if it is to result in a dis covery of the girl." Wade replied with a fervor that should have been convincing. "I know absolut e ly nothing about her' ab s e nce, nor about. Tillie herself, more than you have been told, Detective Keene. God J"'!c his head. "If a detective of your ability cannot, surely you don't expect it of me, he said. "I am utterly at sea in the mattff'.' I thought detectives always had a regular plan of operations for such a case as this?" "Plans are shaped by circumstances, and by the evidence discovered Mr. Wade, Keene answered, pleasantly. "Detective work is not done by rule and square. Methods vary with various cases. Operations must be determined by discoveries and what discoveries indicate. Resort is made to
' -SHIELD WEEKLY. 1.1. al! sorts of sagaciotnS-sehiemes in order to ef fect the desired end. For insrance, if I were to tell you. point blank, that you are directly responsible for Tillie Mason's sudden and mysterious disappearance Good God, waiter! catch that man!" Keene sprang up with the startled inter lopation. And a wa:iter from one of the near tables darted to his assistance. But :tlue at tempt of both proved vain. For, :as the last word issued from the lips of the detective, Ben Wade, who had swayed slightly i his chair, with eyes rolled backward in his head, pitchetl sidewise fr.om his seat and fell with a crash to the restaurant floor. "The m:iti has fainted!" e.xdaimed Sheri-\ clan Keene, bending over him, and dashing a glass of water in the face cl the prostrate man. "Bring a pony of brandy, waiter Look lively!" 'fhe waiter has.tened :t.o obey, while a cro>vd of Vercelli's startled -p.atrnns gathered at the scene of the disturbance, eager to ren der aid Ne> assis'l:amce was 111e.eded, how ever; for Wade presently revived, .coming to himse.lif with a gasp and :Sigh, and was as s isted back to his .chair. "'I am all right TIOw," he said, faintly, draining the stimulant \vhic'h Keene pl&ced to his lip>-s. ""I don't see what knckecil Jlllle ,ofif my pins so suddenly It must have b.een the eKciteme.nt, or tthe oclor of food. I ha:ve eaten nothing since yesterday, Dr. Lawton came so early this morJ1ing." "You are better, are you?" asked Keene, with solicitude. "Oh, yes, thanks. I am quite myself now. It is not 1ilke me to turn my toes 11!1p in that w.ay." "I feared that yo111 might have been af fected by my remarks," gravely observed KWl'l.e, as he r esumed his seat opposite that of his companion. "I felt quite distressed for a moment, lest I thoughtlessly had caused you alarm." remarks were those?" asked Wade, feeling for his !handkerchief. "Pertaining to the girl, you remember," explained Keene. "I saicl, if I were to charge you with being directly responsib1e for her disappearance----but before I c0uld finish, you had popped out of y.our ch.air like a cork out of a bottle of Roderer." ''No, I was not afifect.ed by your remarl
.12 SHIELD WEEKLY "A good idea I" exclaimed Wade, approvingly. "Meantime, I want a line taken to Chief Watts at his office in Pemberton Square. I wish him to detail another man on the case I was investigating yesterday. I find this affair will require me much longer than I at first estimated." I see, sir." "And I wish you to take this letter down to the chief s office, if you have no objec tion." "Not at all! exclaimed Wade, readily. "I will go with it at once." "Thanks, very much." "But, say, where can I see you again after having delivered it?" Keene was inclined to laugh at the fel low s persistency but suppressed his amusement. "If I can get around he replied, quickly, "I will meet you at Clark' s cafe at four o'clock." "OnWashington stFeet ?" "Yes." "I will wait there till you come. " All right, Mr. W a de ," K ee n e nodded agree ably "It may b e afte r four but I will turn up the re soon e r or lat e r The n I can tell you just what I have. accompli s h e d ." This se e med to giv e eminent satisfaction to ... M r. Wade, and the tw o m e n s hook hands an d parte d latt e r hurry in g a wa y with the m essage intrus ted to him b y the d e tec tive. Well well; th ere's a r e marka bl y curious chap. H e c ertain l y m eant i t w h e n h e said he d stick t o me like a broth er," s a i d Keene to hims elf. B u t I am rid of h i m for a time, at l east, a n d n o w I ca n op e n u p the g ame unhindered." He did n o t visi t the ca b sta tions. i n w hich he h a d in fact n o interes t He a t o n ce t ook a carriage and was driv e n to the Bos t o n Art School, where h e pres ently was r ece iv e d in the office of the principal director. I am Detective Keene, of the Bos ton inspectors," he explain e d when th ey we re seated. "I am engaged in inve s ti gating a very serious affair, the nature of which I am not at liberty to disclose, but which involves the personal safety of one of the community. I think you may be able to give me, in an indirect way, some assistance." The director was very much of a gentleman, and readily expressed his willingness. "I know you b y name, Detective Keene," he added, with a complimentary bow. "How can I serv e you ?" "To begin with I would like to look at your list of stud e nts. "Our pre sent list?" "Say, for six months back." "Tpis book will inform you, sir. It is an indexed record. "That will aid me materially," bowed Keene, turning at once to the l ette r M. He did not find what he sought, however, the name of Matilda Mason ; and he presently returned the volume. "Do y ou object to. my visiting your main studio?" he asked. "Not at 11," replied the director, rising. "Come out this way." He led the detective into a large room lighted by several broad windows. Some thirty students occupied various portions of the room, some at easels some at tables, and all busily engaged in their w o rk. A few instructors moved here and there among them and at one side of the room a woman w as posing for a group of students in model w ork. "It i s rathe r a pleasant vocation," observed K ee ne, smiling. Yes, in som e respects b owed the di r ector. "Th e lad y occupying the stand yonder is a m o del I pre sume.' Y es, s h e i s," was the reply. "Her's is a m o r e ardu ou s and less promising business than that of the students. They have at l eas t th e h o p e that is born of ambition." "True," nodded Keene. "Are these models hir e d to pose?" "Oh, yes." "How many do you generally have on your list ? "Oh th(' lis t varies constantly. At pres en t we hav e from six to eight." "Do y ou ever have women volunteer their services?" "Rarely," laughed the director. "It is not /
J SHIELD WEEKLY. 13 a very desirable task. Sop-ietimes, however, it occurs." "Have you recently had such a volunteer?" "Not for a year or more," replied the director. "The last was a girl whose parents wanted a sketch of the young lady in payment for the pose. We don t have many in stances of the kind, hbwever." "I think that is all, then," bowed Sheridan Keene. "And I thank you very much for your kindness." "Don' t mention it Detective Keene," smiled the leading the way out. "Call at any time when you think I can serve you." "You are very good," bowed Keene, withdrawing. His mission had resulted in no discovery of importance, but he did not stop with this v1s1t. He spent nearly the entire afternoon in calls at the several art schools in different portions of the cit y, at each of which the same inquiries and observations were made, and with the same futile end. Next he visited two private studios with the same result, much to his disappointment But the renewal of his s earch on the morrow was destined to be more satisfactory. It was six o clock when he rejoined Wade in Clark' s cafe where the latter had been im patiently waiting his arrival. "I was delayed at the cab headquarters," the detective explained; "and have seen some of the drivers. "Have you made any discoveries yet?" asked Wade, with an immediate display of eager interest. "Not as yet," replied Keene, shaking his head. "It is too early in the game . I may have soni.ething to report in the morning." "What are you going to do now?" "Go home to my dinner and then have a night's sleep," said Keene, shortly. "Not a bad idea," admitted Wade, with rather doubtful accents. "May I see you again in the morning?" if you wish." "I certainly do. Where shall I meet you?" "Oh, say at the chief's office at ten o'clock." "Why so late?" "Because I first want to go to the cab headquarters. I may be delayed there again, you know." "Very well said Wade, apparently satis fied '.l will be at the chief's office at ten o'clock." CHAPTER IV. A STUDY IN STONE. Though his appointment with Ben Wade was not until ten o'clock, Sheridan Keene was out betimes next morning (!nd eager to resume his visit to the studios of Boston's art votaries, in search of s9mething that might shed light upon Tillie Mason' s mysterious disappearance. To his engagement with Wade the. detec tive gave scarce a thought. It had been made only to avoid the persistent companionship of the young man, and Keene had no idea of going out of his own way to keep the appointment. The case was already assuming features which did not permit of conventional scrupl e s. The city clocks were on the stroke of eight when D e tective Keene turned into Boylston street, not far from Park Square, and approached the studio of J ohn Hale, the eminent young sculptor. T0he hour was rather too early for expecting to find the sculptor at his rooms but K eene thought he might possibly obtain admission and perhaps acquire from others the information he sought. A s to the first he was not doomed to disap pointm e nt. He climbed the stairs leading to Hale's elaborate studio and chambers, and uncere moniousl y tried the do o r. He found it un lock e d and immediate ly entered the studio, which served also as a reception room. It was a large chamber in the front of the building. There were tapestries at the win dows and a veavy Wilton covered the floor. Aside from the general furni s hings which indicat e d a man of wealth and refinement, there were features which suggested the art and culture of the occupant. In picturesque arrangement about the room there were innumerable pieces of the sculptor's handiwork, statuettes medallions in bas-relief casts, models and the like, the general effect of which, in a room otherwise conventionally
14 SHIELD WEEKLY. furnished, appealed with curious effect to an are discreet beyond your years. That's quite unaccustomed observer. a figure over there in the alcove, isn't it?" "Yes, sir ; it is." But that which appealed with mo.st sig" vVho was the model for that, I wooder? nificance to Sheridan Keene the instant he d I 11 th 1 h" eins Most of such figures are made from models, entered an sent a t 1n roug 1 1s v , ?" was the figure which occupied an al_ aren t t?ey h b "I t11ink so sir. c:ove at one side of the large c am er. _1 "You don't happen to know who the modct It was a lifesize study in marble, occupying h" d ?'' . was m t 1s case, o you a l ow pedestal a few inches htgher than "If I do, I am not allowed to tell." :floor. It was the draped figure of a beautiful gir1. presenting nude only a part of the trunk, "Yes, sir." after the Venus de Milo and exhi'biting a "What's the idea in that? Anything so "That so?" form of rare if not perfect symmetry and -Very private about it?" / beauty. ThJ pose was super1atively gracefu1, "I can't say as to that, sir," replied the and the figure eminently striking; but the 1 lacl, shakin. g the duster in the statue's face face of the subject was probably an idea with an audacity which the living subject one, or at least one that served no purpose of would have instantly resented. ur only know SheridarrKeene. that I have been told not to say anything Yet the detective ins inctively felt that he about Mr. Ha1e's models." here had run the game from cover. "Ab, I see," nodded Keene. "'Sti11, I sup-Tbe only animated oocupant of the room pose you know who the model was, don't when Keene entered was a lad of about you.?" twelve years, who was busy with a featl1er "No, sir; I don't." 'duster nearly as large .as himself. He came '"How does that happen?" forward when Keene entered, and th.e latter "Because I have been at work here only at unc.e said in that cheerful way which in-two weeks, sir, explained the lad. "'Mr. varjably wins a bo:Y's heart: Hale bad that figure done before I came here, "He!J.o, m:Y ladJ I suppose I am .a little so I never happened to see the model." earl y tG hit Mr. H'.ale ?" "So far as you know, I suppose you "What do you want to hit hi111 for, sir?" mean?" dema.uded the lad. "What's he done to ,you. ?" Keene laughed aloud. "Must I speak by the card, then? Dear me how early these Boston youngsters ma t11re" he ex.claimed., .amusedly. "I presume I sl;ould have said, 'l itoo early to find Mir. iflale in his studio' ?" "Ratber, sir," nodded the lad. "Mr. Hale 'don't come in till about nine o'clock." "I suppose I can wait here, my lad?" "Yes, sir; will you take a chair?" "I'll look over these odds and ends out here," replied Keene, carelessly throwing off his coat. "Curious lot o f truck, isn't it?" "Mr. Hale might not call it so sir." "Not likely my boy, I'll admit. I shall have to ask Mr. Hale's pardon." "There'll be no need for it, sir, for I sha'n't tell him." "Good for you," laugped Keene. "You "How, sir?" "I mean t1rnt she might have qi.lied here since the figure was finished, and you t'hen woukl have seen her." "But I shouldn't '\...--now her in street clothes !" exclaimed the lad, with artless sig nificance. Keerie laughed cleep1y. "You would have to see her just as she stands, eh? Well, well, my 1ad, you are all right. By the way, who was emp1oyed here in your place before you came to work for Mr. Hale?" "I dunno, sir. Some oth:er boy, I suppose." "Don't you know his name]" h d I 1' "No, sir; I never ear 1t. "I guess you could find out for me, couldn't you, if I were to make it an object?" "I might. sir; for--" '"If you were to talk less you wn111r! say
SHIELD WEEKLY. 15 less, Johnny, my dear," interrupted a oice from the adjoining room-the sculptor's workroom. The speaker emerged while giving the !lt terance of the words, and came upon the scene not a little to the surprise of Sheridan Keene. She was a young woman o f twenty-five or thereabouts, with luminous dark eyes and a very handsome face and figure. The color in her cheeks was rather too steadfast to be natural, the lines of her pretty mouth were firm, and her expression \Vas that of a woman of strong will and forceful nature. She wore her street garments, held her muff in her hand, as if she recently had entered the place, and her dress and general aspect was decidedly of a type termed dashing-that of an adventuress or one of the demi-monde. The lad showed no surprise when this woman entered from the sculptor's workroom, nor did he resent her comment upon his loquacity. He looked up with a boyish laugh and rejoined artlessly: "Weren't tongues made to talk with, Miss Bell?" "Yes, Johnny, and feet were made to run with," replied Miss Bell, patting the lad's head. "Therefore, take this letter and run down to State street with it and wait for an answer. It will save my keeping Mr. Hale waiting should he presently arrive." The lad offered no objection. In fact, he was willing to enjoy the outside air. He took the missive tendered and snatched his Gap from the head of a bust in one corner and hastened out and away. Miss Bell looked askance at the detective ; he had turned aside and was looking from the window into the street below. The woman hesitated for a moment, then coughed slightly and smilingly said, as the detective turned : "Beg pardon, sir; were you waiting to see Mr. Hale?" "Yes, Miss--" "Bel( is my name, sir." / "Yes, Miss Bell, thank you ; I am waiting for Mr. Hale." bowed Keene, who was quite equal to reading a woman at her face value. "He doesn't usually come before nine, sir. Will you take a chair?" "Presently, thank you. I am rather inter ested in these various pieces of art. I presume they are Mr. Hale's work." "Yes, sir; most of them." "Are you also waiting for him?" "Oh, yes," said Miss Bell, smiling oddly. "I am employed by him at times." Keene instantly understood her to be one of the sculptor s models. "Perhaps you have .an appointment with him he observed, thereby aiming to learn if Hale was likely t8 put in .an appearance. "Yes, I have one this morning." Miss Bell replied. "I am to pose for his Diana. I infer from what I overheard you say to Johnny, -that you were interested in the statue yonder. It is a piece of work of which Mr. Hale is very proud-and fond! You've heard of sculptors falling in love with their own crea tions in marble, haven t you?" If this woman thought herself in communi cation with a man slow to grasp the full sig nificance of a glance, a tone or a gesture, she was overleaping her mount. The laugh with. which she had spoken, the subtle insinuation she hact made, the voice with which she had given the overt slur-all were given a far deeper significance by Sheridan Keene than the woman intended. Yet the face of the detective did not change by so much as a shadow. He decided he would give her all the rope she wanted. He laughed lightly, meeting with a responsive glance the flash of her lustrous eyes, and said: "Yes; I have J1eard it said of Phidias. But I think if sculptors fell in love with the subjects from which are modeled their creations, they would show better judgment." Miss Bell responded with a rippl e of laughter. do I!" she exclaimed; then added, shortly, "in most cases at least." "Do you know, Miss Bell, who was the model for thjs figure?" Keene ventured to inquire, with affected indifference. Miss Bell shot a quick glance at him and smiled significantly "Don't hide your interest because you are talking to me instead of to Johnny," she re joined, pointedly. "I heard what you said'
16 SHIELD WEEKLY. to him. Why are you so anxious to discover who posed for this figure, sir?" "Because I rather admire a beautiful wom an, and would lik e to learn the identity oi the living reality, said Keene, dryly. "Ah, indeed! Well, I will not tell you," was the curt response. "Perhaps Mr. Hale will do so." "Indeed, he will not." "No?" "He's not half so likely to as I am." "Would you tell me if you knew there was some urgent reason for my knowing?" asked Keene, with a searching scrutiny of her dark eyes, now half-frowning at him from under her brows. d<:m't know that I would," she replied, with a curl of her. lips. "It is unprofessional, you know. I am a model mys elf, but I'd not thank John Hale to generally advertise it." Keene noticed with what trenchant bitter ness she uttered the sculptor's name, but he gave no sign. (;I suppose not," he replied "Mr. Hale ought to be here soon." Again Keene caught himself affected by the woman's tone and remark. The latter was like an invitation for him to press his inquiri es-and he accepted it. He drew closer to her, saying in lower tones y et with semi-subdued intensity: "See here, Miss Bell, I will make it an object to you to t ell me who the model was for that figure. I am not here on a false errand, I will admit. I want to discover who posed for that statue. Will you tell me?" "What do I get for it?" Miss Ben asked with curious eyes. "I will agree to any reasonable terms." "Ah, you are indeed very anxious to learn," the woman laughed, tauntingly. "I guess I'd better not telT you unless you tell me why you wish to Know." "I will do th 'at !" exc,Iaimed Keene, with his steady gaze never losing a change of her expressive face "A friend of mine suspect s 2 lady, the one he is about to marry, of posing as a model, and he i:esents it very deeply. I've been engaged to verify the fact. You shall have half of What I receive if you will tell me who posed for that figure." "You're sure you are not lying to me?" demanded Miss Bell, with a sharp glance at him. "Indeed, I'm not. \\. ill you tell me?" "Suppose I don't." "I will bring the young man himself to see the statue." "Would he recognize it?" "Possibly, though the face is not that of his fiancee." An ironical laugh broke from Miss Bell's red lips. "If the face is not hers, pray, how could he recognize her?" she demanded, with scurrilour significance. She ridan Keene turned sharp about. There was a step sounding at the foot of the stairs in the adjoining corridor. "It's Mr. Hale," gasped the woman, quickly. "Then you'll not tell me?" Keene de mantled in a whisper, seizing Miss Bell's white wrists. She swung around, and looked at him with startled eyes. "Will you pay me my price?" "Yes, on y our word !'" "Then rn eet me at Reynolds' ladies parlor, at two this afternoon." I'll be there! Don't fail rrie !" "Not I!" The last was scarce uttered, when the door opened and John Hale entered his studio. He was a man of twenty-five, tall, finely proportioned, and of strikingly grave and earnest countenance. Taken altogether, he was a man who might have won the heart of almost any woman. "Good-morning, Jenny," he said, in a deep, mellow voice; then bowed to Keene, and asked : "Were you waiting to see me, sir?" But Jane Bell answered for the detective. 'No, Mr. Hale," she said, quickly, with a laugh and toss of he r head. "He is a friend of mine, who came down with me this morning. You'll have to excuse me now," she added, turning to Keene and winking aside. "I must prepare for my pose." Keene took the wink for what it was in tended, and bowed himself out of the room. t
...... SHIELD WEEKLY. 17 CHAPTER V. A TELEPHONE MESSAGE. Sheridan Keene did not go down / to chief's office to meet Wade, neither did he relieve Dr. Lawton with a visit. He hia.d no immediate use for either. The scene at the studio, and the suspi<;:ions he had formed, had extended the case to its very circumference, and the closing in was a process he best could accomplish unaided and alone. He did not waste the morning, however. Though he at present could only assume that Tillie Mason had posed for Hale, and that the latter might possibly have had some reason for wishing her to be out of the way, Sheridan Keene resolved to act upon the mere assumption, together with his other suspicions, and he at once sought the neighborhood of the Bay State road. "About what time, sir?" "That is what I want you to tell me, if you can," smiled Keene. "Wait one minute, please, till I look over my Tuesday slips," said the girl. "It will take me but a minute." "Very well." The detective waited patiently, and pres ently the girl returned, bearing a slip between her fingers. "Yes, sir, there was a lady who called here and sent a message," she said. "I remember it distinctly, now, sir." "And the hour ?" "It was about five o'clock, sir. I was here alone at the time, my assistant having gone to her dinner." "Can you describe her?" "Not her face, sir, for she wore a veil . "Can you tell if she was young or old .?" He figured out, in his own inc1s1ve "She was a young lady, sir, I am sure," the way, how such an abductio!Yas he had in girl quickly answered. "I could tell that by mind mig-ht have been accomplished; and for her figure." an hour or more he devoted himself to visit"What style of figure did she have?" ing the various public telephone stations in "She was quite good size, sir, at;J.d very the immediate neighborhood of Dr. Lawton's nicely formed. I noticed it at the time." residence. "Do you remember how she was dressed?" In one of these, the last he entered, and asked Keene, well pleased with the informa which was less than minutes' walk from tion he was acquiring. the rector's house, Keene made the discovery "Yes, sir," nodded the girl. "I you and acquired the information he had_/in a general way. She had on a blue suit, I Rhrewdly anticipated. think it was of a light shade, and wore a fur The station was one of the company's cape_'' offices. and a bright young woman was in "Di
18 SHIELD WEEKLY. gravely. "By the way, don't you sometimes hear communications from the closet yon der?" "Oh, yes; and I did in this instance ; sir." "Better and better !" exclaimed the detec tive. "Can you tell me in a general way of what the woman's !Ilessage consisted?" "It was me1 ely an appointment to meet Mr. Hale that evening sir." "Did the woman give Hale her name?" "No, sir," replied the girl. "She merely stated to him that she was his friend of Bea con street." "Ah, yes! Do you know what answer Hale made?" "I know only that he consented to meet her, and I judged he was pleased," said the g-41, laughing. "Do yau. know where the lady requested him to meet her?" "On the of the Cambridge bridge, sir; the upper one." "And the time?" "At eight o'clock,, sir." "Was there anything more said, that you can now recall ?" "Not that I think of, sir," replied the girl. "That was about all of their conversation, or at least the ten .or of it." "Did the woman then depart?" "Yes, sir; after having paid me." "And you did not see her face?" "I did not, sir." "Then you could not identify her?" "I think I might know her figure, sir," was pointment down town at two, and am in some haste. I want to see your officer who patrols the Cambridge bridge after seven o'clock iDI the evening." "That's Officer Mahon," said the captain, quickly. "He is not here, now, bu.t I -can have him for you in ten minutes." "Do so, please." Keene waited rather longer thaq the time mentioned, but the officer ultimately ap peared and the detective drew him aside. "Your beat is on Cambridge bridge even ings, Officer Mabon?" asked Keene. "Yes, sir." "You were on duty Tuesday night, I am told." "Yes, sir." "There was an appointment made between two parties to meet there, a man and a girl. They were to meet on the draw that evening at eight o'clock. Did you see apything sig nificant of that meeting?" The officer thought in silence for er mo ment. "I did not see any girl, sir; but I did see a man on the draw, and passed him twice. I thought, then, he waiting for some body." "Describe him!';' "He was a tall man dark, with a pointed beard--" "That's sufficient," Keene interposed, quickly, satisfied that the man was John Hale. "Do you know if he met the girl?" "No, sir." the slow rejoinder. "Yet there are many "D k h 1 h d t o you now ow ong e remame wa1 mcely-formed wonren, and I could not be ?" sure of it '-mg "Th : ll h ,, bo d K "I am "I saw him first about half-past seven sir, at 1s a t en, we eene. d h I d"d h. f h bl d B h an agam at e1g t. i not see 1m a tee very. muc o 1ge y t e v:,ay, say that." nothmg about these mqumes, please. "I will not, sir." It was nearly one o'clock when Keene hast ened to the street, and he at once went to the all," said Keene, sharply. "Much obliged." Then he shook bands with the officer and precinct police station near the Cambridge captain, and made his departure. bridge, where he found the captain at his desk, by whom he was instantly recognized. ''Hello, Inspector Keene !" he said in greet ing. "Good morning, Captain," bowed the de tective, as they shook hands. "I've an apIt was nearly one o'clock. Taking a north-bound car, Sheridan Keene now went down town and devoted a halfhour to lunch. Then he hastenedto the Rey nolds, to keep his appointment with Jane Bell, the sculptor's treacherous model.
.. SHIELD WEEKLY. 19 CHAPTER VI. THE TREACHERY OF JANE BELL. At precisely two o'dock, Keene entered the Reynolds Hotel, and his way to the ladies' parlor. He was not without some misgivings that the Bel1 girl might prove false to him, as she had appeared willing to be false to Hale for a remuneraJ:ion; but, to his intense satisfaction, he observed, on entering the parlor, that the girl was waiting for him in an obscure corner. She came forward at once, on seeing him approach, and joined him almost on th.e threshold. "I don't want to be seen here with you," she whispered, with her eyes glowing brightly through the meshes of her ve.il. "Can't you get a private room?" "Certainty, if you wish," assented Keene, readily. "I do," she said. "It might cost me my occupation, if Hale were to discover that I run not to be trusted." "Wait here, then, and I'll engage a room and get a key." "I will wait for you in the side ce>rridor yonder," whispered the girl. "I don't dare meet you again in the parlor, for fear some one who knows one or both of us may see me." "AH right," nodded Keene. "I will not be gone very Jong, and will join you out yon der." "Very well." The detective hastened down to the hotel office and secured one of the private parlors, and presently rejoined Jane Bell in the cor ridor indicated. "Come this way," he said, softly. "I know the location of the room. I asked the clerk about it." "So much the better." The girl was evidently nervous. The glow was bright in her eyes, yet her cheeks had grown pale since morning, and even her lips had lost some of their crimson color. But she followed close at the detective's elbow, and he led the way to the room he had se cured, and closed the door The girl heaved a sigh of relief. "Order me a drink," she said, shortly, throwing off her veil. "I am shaking worse than I did in my first pose. "What will you drink?" asked Keene, laughing. "Hot sherry," said Miss Bell, without a moment's indecision "It acts quickest on me, and I want something that will act quick." "Why are you so nervous?" asked Keene, pressing the annunciator. "Your life's not at stake." "Oh, I know all about that," tl1e girl re joined. "But I have a living to earn, just the same; and if Hale should know of this little episode, there's no studio in town in which I would be received. I guess I know what I am about." Sheridan Keene decided that she did. "I shall not betray you to Hale," he said, reassuringly. "I don t expect you will," she replied. "You don't look like that sort of a man; I am rather over the average ip taking a.man's measure. Yet I am tolerab1y we11 known here, and I presume you are, if you are a de tective; and it might come to John Hale's ears that we had been seen together here." "That's true," smiled Keene. "I never thought of that." "I was a fool to meet you here," added Miss Bell; "but I suggested the first p1ace that came into my mind this morning. Hale entered so unexpectedly, that I thought I'd better get rid of you at once so I said anything that came intt> my )lead." "Oh, I guess we shall be saf e enough here." "I hope so. We are, now at all events; and we might as well stay here. We'd be done up by going out now, as surely as later." A knock upon the door announced the ar rival of the stimulant which Miss Bell had requested, and Sheridan Keene took the tray from the waiter without admitting him, and gave the girl her drink. She drained the glass before speaking ; and then said, with a loud c!t1ck of her tongue : "Thanks! That will set me right. Now let's get down to business." "The sooner the better said Keene, dryly. "That's what I am here for." He drew a chair nearer that which Jane Bell had taken, but the latter opened the di11-
20 SHIELD WEEKLY. cuss1on with a business-like celerity that at once indicated her to be a woman of the world. "In the first place, where do I come in at the finish ?" she demanded, flashing her sharp eyes at the detective, with a searching gaze. "What do I make, providing you get the in formation you are seeking?" "Well," said Keene, thoughtfully; "you shall have half of what I receive, providing I can prove that a certain girl posed for the figure I saw in Hale's studio." "f..nd how much is that?" "Your part will be one hundred dollars." "Do you get two hundred?" "Naturally, since I give you half." "How do I koow I will get my half?" de manded Jane Bell, with a rather doubtful squint at her hearer. "Well, I guess you will have to take my word for it," said Keene, smiling oddly. "Or, stay, I will give you a retainer at once, they say in law. Here's a twenty-dollar note for the starter, and to bind the bargain. I give you my word that I will give you the balance, if your information proves reliable." The girl took the note, curled it around her forefinger, and then thrust it into the bosom of her dress. "That's good enough for me," she said, shortly, with a mingled smile and leer at the detective. "Now, one thing more." "What's that?" asked Keene, who never lost the slightest outward expression of the girl's character. "I want you to promise that you will not hetray me to Hale, nor to any other person," she replied. "I give you my word, I will not." "Cross your throat!" "I'll do that," laughed Keene, rather tickled by the occasional levity in which the girl m dulged. "Now order me another drink!" "And that," assented the detective, rising to comply. "Now then, it's up to you, as the saying is," laughed Jane Bell, when he resumed his seat opposite her. "What do you want to know?" "First, the model's name," said Sheridan Keene, with his eyes fixed on the girl's steadily flushing face. Jane Bell cleared her throat, as if the be trayal did not come with perfect ease; and answered curtly : 'The model's name is Mason." "Don't you know her first name?" "I have heard Hale call her Tillie. I sup pose that is short for Matilda, isn't it?" "No doubt of it," assented Keene. "Is that the name you expected?" de manded Miss Bell, with a curious smile. "Yes, it is," Keene replied, nodding. "Do you know where the girl lives?" "On Beacon street, I think." "Don't you know?" "Well, yes, I know. She lives on Beacon street." "Why didn't say so, then?" "Because I didn't agree to tell all I know," retorted Jenny Bell, curtly. "You will not lose anything by so doing," Keene replied, assuasively. "Are you ac quainted with Miss Mason?" "I should say not!" exclaimed the girl, with a contemptuous toss of her head. "Miss Mason isn't in my class." "What do you mean by that?" "I mean that she's one of ti1e swell set. She swims in the same tank with the Four Hundred. You don't imagine, do you, that she has posed for John Hale open and above board? Well, well, I should say _not! She always came alone and veiled, oh the strict Q T, as it were." "Is that so?" "Sure thing! It's my opinion she's a bit stuck on her own shape, and that Hale took advantage of that, and persuaded her to do the posing. Probably she wanted to see herself in marble, and he had no great difficulty in gaining her consent. But it has all been done on the sly, mind you." "How did you happen to know of it, then?" asked Keene, rather pointedly. "Because I am in and out of Hale's studio nearly every day, and I have two eyes and two ears, which my brains have taught me to use to the best advantage." "I see," laughed Keene. "You are rather a clever woman." "I know my business."
SHIELD WEEKLY. 21 "Also that of a few others, I imagine," said Keene, dryly. "Now, what do you know about the existing relations between Hale and Tillie Mason?" "Well, I am not sure," said Jane Bell, eva sively. "What do you hink ? "Well, I think he had been making love to her." "What leads you to think so? "The same old eyes and ears, laughed the girl. "Are you not sure of it?" "I said I wasn't; but I am, she now ad mitted wi t h an odd smile. I have and h eard Hale talking to her, and I know well enou g h that they are quite as fri e ndly c.s they ought t o be." "W c ; mld y o u testify to that in court, if nec essary?" "Why not, indeed exclaimed Miss Bell, with a shrug of her sh o ulders "But I don t want it to appear that I have disclosed their relati ons!" I'll take care to prevent that; replied Sheridan K e ene. "You shall be impli cated in any way whate ver. "That' s good enough for me,. sir." .'Now what s ort o f a h1an is Hale, as you have observed him?" "Oh, he's good en o u g h in his own way," was the reply. "But he has a devil 's own temper, wh e n it i s r o us e d ." I see nodded Keene. "I suppose, if he thought himself in an y v e ry serious scrape he w o uld not shrink fr o m something despe rate, would h e ? "I will wager he would not," said Miss Bell, instantly. "But there s notj1ing like that in the wind is there?" N othing that I know of as yet," replied the detective, shaking his head. "Is this all you can tell me about them?" "Isn't that enough?" demanded the girl, with a quick upward glance at his earnest eyes. "Well, it's much better than nqthing," was the reply "I take it for granted that you will say nothing outside about this inter view." "Well, I should say not, sir !" "I also will keep it secret, then," said Sheridan Keene. "Where can I see you to give you the balance of the money, when this l has been brought to a head? "Anywhere you say." "You are in Hale's occasionally t you stated?" "Yes, nearly every day." "I will see you in the street doorway about noon to-morrow," suggested Keene. "How will that suit you?" "It will suit me all right." "Be there at that hour, then, and I will give you the balance of the money." "All right, sir," nodded Miss Bell, extending her hand. "With "that eighty dollars coming you may count on my being prompt." "I will not fail you said Keene shortly "Do you want I should go out of here ahead of you?" "Yes, sure! I will follow you presently." "Good-by, then "Good-by." The detective pressed her hand, smiling down into the dark eyes she raised to his, .. then wit1fdrew from the room and the house. CHAPTER VII. AN APPROACHING CRISIS. For reasons of his own, Sheridan Keene made it a point to leave the Reynolds H o tel behind him as quickly as possible. He had no idea of permitting Miss Jane Bell, who m he rightly inferred was as clever and designing a woman as one ordinarily encounters, to discover any of the motives by which he was actuated, as she very possibly might have done had he allowed her to leave the hotel in advance of him or if he now left her the op portunity of tracing his movements. He slipped around the corner and across Washington street, then entered one of tqe large dry goods stores, where he evaded pos sible pursuit in the moving throng of people. Haif an hour later he entered the private office of Chief Inspector Watts, in Pemberton Square. "Well, Inspector Keene, you are quite a stranger," said the chief, looking up when the entered, and signing him to a chair. "I take it you have been busy."
---.. SHIELD WEEKLY. "'Rather busy, Chief Watts," smiled SheriClan Keene, accepting a cigar. ., "Are you rounding up the game?" "I am getting to it by degrees, chief," was the reply. "I shall require about one more day, I think." "Have you discovered the .missing heir ess ?" ''Not yet, sir," said Keene, shaking his head. "If you have time, just now, I'll report the case as I see it." "In just a moment," bowed Chief Watts. / He turned to his desk and his sig-nature to several documents, which he presently called his secretary to receive, then turned again to the waiting detective. "Now, Inspector Keene, I can hear you," he said, gravely. "What do you make of the case?" \ "It is a case of abduction, Oiief Watts," said Keene, readily. "Of that 'I am satis fied." "What facts have you gathered?" "First, that Miss Mason_is a girl of good character, a:nd not likely to be indulging in any sort of .any escapade requiring so extended an abser:i.ce. The faclt:s are as stated by her uncle. She left home Tuesday evening, and has not been heard since." ''Did you see her photographs?" "Yes, chief, I did," bowed the detective.. "They at onse suggested to me a possib-ility which I since have verified. The girl is very beautiful, a fact of which she evidently is secretly vain, and which has 1ed her to consent to a proposition, nature of which she since been keeping in the dark." -\ "'What is that?" "She has been posing for a semi-nude statue for John Hale, the sculptor." "Ah, I see !" "Of course, her natural
' SHIELD WEEKLY. 23 I "Not for any purpose as yet, Chief Watts. I now want a warrant for his arrest." The chief looked a little surprised. "Can you sustain an allegation? he asked, gravely. "I will go a l i ttl e d ee per into the case, Chi e f Watts b e fore I answer that qut:sti on," s aid Keene, wi t h a curious smile. "The af fair has feature s which are not s o sup e rficial as those presen t e d, and from which some rather curious de,ductions may be drawn. I will run them over, if you say so." "Do so all means," bowed the chief. "Perhaps I can suggest some effective steps in the emergency ." Sheridan Keene drew his chair nearer, and for a half-hour the two clever officers dis cuss e d the mysterious affair in all its various lights and shades. At the end o f that time or a little later, Sheridan Keene left the Headquarters building alone. And he carried in his pocket a warrant for the arrest of John Hale. CHAPTER VIII. A BROKEN STATUE AND AN A RREST. About half an hour before noon o n the following day Sheridan Keene approached the studio of J ohn Hale, in company with an officer in citizen's dress. "You wait here in the corridor, Brackett," he said, "at the foot of the stairs I don't anticipate any resistance from this man, but one never can tell what he may run against. I may be with him a quarter-hour or so be fore I arrest him, however." "I will wait sir, until something comes off." Despite his observations to the contrary, Sheridan Keene eased the revolver in his hippocket as he ascended the stairs. He did not knock at the but open d it and entered. John Hale was seated in a chair near one of the windows, engaged in studying a de sign in an art magazine. He was the only occupant of the room and evidently was at leisure. He looked up when the detective entered, and showed some surprise on seeing the man whom he had found with Jane Bell in his studio on the previous morning; but he at once laid down the gublication and arose to me e t him. Keene closed the door and stood moi\ionless on the floor "You are Mr. Hale, I believe, he said quietly. "Yes, that is my name, bowed the sculptor, with grave composur e Y o u are the gentleman I saw here yesterday with Miss Bell, I think." "I did not come here with Miss Bell sir," responded steadily regarding him. "I merely chanced to find her here when I en tered "Is that so? murmured Hale, with surpris e "Yet I und e r s t o od her to say--" "What sh e said is o f very little conse quence, inte rposed the det e ctive "I called here then with an object, and am here now with an object. My name, Mr. Hale, is Sheridan Keene, and I am one of the Boston Inspectors of Police." Mr. Hale started slightly and by slow de grees the color faded fro m his ch e eks ; but in a11 othe r respects he retained his outward composure. "And pray, Inspector Keene what is y our missi o n h ere?" h e asked, w ith an indescribc.ble hardening of tone, and a steadier scrutiny of the detective's face. "I presume we are alone," said Keene, gravely. "We are, sir; but what if we were not?" "I might shrink from saying what it still would become my duty to say," Keene re plied. "I have called here, Mr. Hale, to ascertain, if possible, the name of the subject
24 SHIELD WEEKLY. who posed for the fi'gure occupying the al cove yonder." The sculptor's bearing instantly underwent a change. He drew himself up with haughty dignity, darkly frowning, and replied with considerable sternness: "At whose instigation do you come here to ask me that question?" "Why do you object to giving me the m formation, Mr. Hale?" replied Keene, instead of respondingto the other's inquiry. "Chiefly because I do not wish to do so "You must have more stringent reasons than that of mere personal sentiment, sir." "I have several reasons," cried Hale, quite angrily. "Models do not care to be adver t(sed as such. You ask for information which it is not customary to disclose. By what right, sir, do you come here with such a question?" "That of an officer of the law in the per"Yes; I have met the young lady." 1 "Has she not frequently called at your studio during the past six months?" "She has been here occasionally." what object?" "Doubtless that which brings many other people here," cried Hale, striving hard to con tain his resentment and impatience "She is interested in art, has purchased some of my work, and is a girl of unquestionable refine ment and culture. You ate doing her an in justice, and me an outrage, by these ent inquiries." "Yet I am doing only what my duty, under the circumstances, requires of me," Keene re turned, with unabated decisiveness. "When did you last see Miss Mason?" "I have not seen her for a week." "You are sure of that?" "Do I speak iff any uncertain tone?" cried Hale, forcibly, his fine countenance white formance of his duty," said Keene, with with rage. grave austerity. "Then you may as well take yourself hence, sir, for I shall not answer the question," said the sculptor, shortly. But Sheridan Keene did not move from his position between him and the door. "Mr. Hale," he said, sternly ; "I hope it may not become necessary to compel you to disclose the information you are withholding. It i intimated that a certain young lady of Beacon street regularly visiting your studio, and that she .was the subject from which yonder figure was made." John Hale was steadily growing more pale. "You are misinformed !" he cried, vehemently. "That is not true!" "Then you deny th(! rumor, do you?" "I do, emphatically!" "Are you not acquainted with Miss Tillie Mason, of Beacon street?" "The niece of Dr. Lawton?" "The same. sir." "You had an appointment to meet her last Tuesday night." The sculptor started as if struck a blow. Surp. rise that Sheridan Keene should have learned of that appointment was sufficient to have occasioned this perturbation. "Suppose I did," Hale answered, violently. "What of it?" "You went to Cambridge bridge to meet her." "I did not meet her! I have not seen her since--" "Wait one moment," commanded Keene, with abrupt and startling severity. "As a matter of fact, Mr. Hale, was not Tillie Ma son the model for that figure ?" "I deny it!" "Consider for a moment, and--" "I will not I deny it !" "Have a care!" cried Keene, with eyes never leaving h.is hearer's hueless face. "It will be an easy matter to bring the girl he re ...
SHIELD WEEKJ,y. 25 to this studio, and by measurements and com parisons establish the absolute truth." "Do you say so, you dog of a !" The words broke with indescribable vio lence from the sculptor's twitching lips Pale as death, shaken from head to foot with sup pressed passion, with eyes in which appre hension and furious resentment battled for supremacy, he turned sharp on his heel and entered his work-room. the hammer with a laugh that -rang through the room, so intensely bitter, yet so scornfully, triumphant, that the blood of the detective fairly chilled. "Now bring along your girl and make your compar ison," Hale cried, with furious con tempt "Thus I will always stand between any good woman and a meddlesome man !" Keene drew himself up, meeting the speaker eye to eye, and said with genuine He was absent scarce an instant. When he sadness : returned, he bore in one of his muscular "You have done yourself and me an injus hands a heavy sledge-hammer, with a head of tice, John Hale. I would have prevented iron. Sheridan Keene suspected his purpose the moment he saw it. With a cry he sprang forward and caught the infuriated man by the arm. "What are you about to do?" he cried, forcibly struggling to stay him and secure the tool. "Thwart a meddlesome scoundrel, sir!" thundered Hale, with terrible violence. "Let go my arm!" "Wait! you will ruin--" "Let go, or I'll strike you first," roared the sculptor, wrenching free his powerful arm, and hurling Sheridan Keene, despite the latter's utmost efforts, far across the room. Then the heavy tool rose and fell, swung by a man whose very muscle was developed like that of a trainMathlete, and given re doubled strength by his awful passion. The blow was like that of a triphammer. The heavy head of the tool met the breast of the marble figure, shivering the stone into num berless ruining forever the labor of weeks and months, destroying a piece of art wrought alone for art's sake, and sending the shattered fragments of chaste stone to the floor with a crash that seemed well-nigh to shake the building. Sheridan Keene uttered an irrepressible '?roan of but John Hale flung down that destruction, could I have done so." "No doubt of it!" sneered the sculptor. "But not for the reason you at present in fer," said Keene, striding to the door and throwing it open. As he did so, a clock on a neighboring church struck the hour of noon. "Come up here, Officer Brackett," the de tective instantly called, and the officer sprang up the stairs. "What's the meaning of this?" Hale now demanded, with an indescribable expression in his glowing eyes. "Another officer here?" "There's our man, Brackett," Sheridan Keene said sternly, with a commanding wave of the hand, and utterly ignoring Hale's question "It means, John Hale, that you are under arrest upon this warrant. I will read it for you, if you desire." "Arrest-warrant?" gasped Hale. "What charge?" "That of having abducted Miss Matilda Mason, who has been missing from her home since last Tuesday night." "Abducted! Tillie Mason abducted!" cried Hale, now white as the linen at his throat. "My God, you don't mean--" "Take him away, Brackett!" "Wait, wait!" pleaded Hale, like a man
26 SHIELD WEEKLY. breaking down under sudden, overwhelming news. Tell me first--" "Brackett, remove that man!" Keene inter rupted, with voice grown violently stern. And despite hts rep e ated prote sts and ap/ peals, John Hale, the last man known to have seen Tillie Mason aliv e the man who had gone on that fatal Tuesday night to meet her on Cambridge bridge, was removed fr o m his own studio, and forthwith incarcerated in the city jail. CHAPTER IX. KEENE' S MASTER STROKE. If any one had doubted for a moment that this was a g e nuine arrest, upon genuine sus picion, then one must have known far m o re than appeared upon the surface. As a matter of fact, Detective Keene did not even suspect that John Hale had abducted Miss Mason. There was also a special occasion for Sheridan Kee ne's g etting rid of John Hale in so speedy and decisive a He had caught sight of a dark blue skirt and the fa miliar figure of Jane Bell among the p e ople who had _gathered in the corrid o r, drawn -there by the disturbance. Sheridan Kee ne had timed this arrest to the very hour wh e n he had arrang ed to meet th e sculptor's be,trayer, Jane Bell. Possibly it was calculated to save the detective a second journey to Boylston street. As Hale was forc e d fro m the studio too dismayed and ov e rc ome t o off e r much resist ance, Keene caught the g irl's e ye and with a significant movement o f hi s h e ad, invit e d h e r into the r oo m. She came at onc e slipping out like a from among .the crowd and the detective quickly clo sed the d o o r "What's the matter?" sh e a s k ed, w i t h amazement pictured on her painted feature s "What have y o u done to Hale? ' "Arrested him, said Keene, bluntly. "For what?" exclaimed the girl, in great surprise. "For abduction of Tilli e Mason "You don't mean it?" "I do mean it. Miss Mason has been missing from her home since last Tuesday night, and Hale met her that evenin g on Cambridge Lrid ge. I guess I hav e finally run down the game. " But what has he done to the girl?" "What he has not d o ne could probably be told more easily, said Keene, with grim se Yerity. "He has outrageously wronged her, and doubtless found it necessary to put her out of the way. It is a hundred to one that her body now lies at the bottom of the Charles river." / "Merciful heavens! exclaimed Jane Bell, quite pale and shock e d. "What a terrible tragedy. Who destroyed the figure y onder?" "Hale himself." "But why?" "He found himself cornered and probably feared the girl s bod y wo uld be recovered and brou ght h e re for identification, by comparing it with the statue, K e ene hurriedly explained. "Oh, it is a dastardly piece of work a ll through! I will se e that Hale swings fo1" it in the end." "He des erve s to! -He des e rves to!" reit erated Mi s s B e ll, with passi o nate bitterness. "It is a w onder Tillie Mas o n s fate hasn't been my o w n ." "What do you m ean?" ask e d Keene with man i f es t surprise. I mean what I sa y," cried the girl, warmin g u n d e r s o me b itte r r e c o ll e ction J ohn Hale is a sc o undrel He made love to me b efo re h e e v e r saw Tilli e Mas on. He would have ruin e d me as h e d o ubtl e ss has ruined her. I am g lad o f it that he has been brou ght to justice. I h o pe in my heart that he will swing for th e hideous crime." There was no doubt that the girl meant
SHIELD WEEKLY. 27 what she said. Her angry eyes and twitch ing lips, the clenching of her white hands, the passionate trembling of her shapely figureall indicated her bitter and irrepressibl e re sentment, and that she was a woman of furi ously jealous and veEgef ul spirit. Sheridan Keene nodded in grim approval d her passionate words, and said, firmly: "There's no doubt about his guilf. I will take mighty good care that he's brought to the ringbolt." "I hope so." "I know so! Here, boy," he added as the door of the studio opened and Hale's lad en tered the room "Have you a key to this place?" "Yes, sir, I have the lad replied, in evi dent astonishment and dismay. "Lock the studio, then; and keep out of it till Hale is informeq and gives his own in structions." "Has Mr. Hale been arrested, sir?" was the sorrowful inquiry. ''Yes, and is likely to remain under arrest," was the curt rejoinder. "Where's his key?" "Here, sir." Get what things that belong to you, then, "Run home, then, and stay there mantled Keene. "I shall want you later. Now, M.iss B;ll, come with me." Tak.ing Jane Bell s arm with friendly faniil iarity, Sh7 idan Keene descended the s.tairs >vith her and cr?ssed Boylston Street, entering the Public Garden. "Now, Jenny, my dear, he laughed, light ly; "I will make good my promise to you." All right, Mr. Keene, she said, with a significant smile and flash of her seductive eyes. "Not a bad day's work, is it?" "Not bad for either of us, Jenny, laughed Keene, producing a roll of btlls. "Here' s the eighty, and I hope I shall meet you again." "Any time you say," whispered the girl, drawing nearer and slipping into her pocket the notes she had received. "Then I wi11 meet you right here Sunday evening at eight o clock," said Keene, softly. "I will be here." "I shall be off duty, then." "You can count on me if you will come." "Rest easy as to that." "Do you live at home?" The girl shrugged shoulders and laughed significantly. and come along with me," Keene perempto"My own home," she replied. "I have a rily said. "Come, Miss Bell, we will go out r room in Gleason's Court." in company. I have not forgotten our little "Sunday night, then, at eight o'clock." compact, and will fix you up outside." "Sure thing." The girl nodded approvingly. They shook hands and parted, Sheridan Keene waited until the lad secured his few belongings, and then led the way to the corridor and locked the studio door, putting the key in his own pocket. "Now, my boy, what's your name?" demanded Keene, delaying his departure for a moment. "John-John Miller, sir. "Where do you live?" "Number Beech Street, sir." "With your parents?" "Yes, sir." Keene returning to Boylston and the girl starting off across the garden. She looked back twice ; and with the last Sheridan Keene was lost in the crowd. But the girl was not lost to the d e tective, nor did he intend sh e should escape him so easily The hundred d o llar s with which h e had parted was-a sum he did not care to permanently lose. With skill born of experience, he shad owed the girl till late in the afternoon, when she was evidently returning to her lodgings.
I 28 SHIELD WEEKLY. He saw her enter a rather doubtful house in Gleason's Court, and having concealed him self in a doorway, he decided to wait till she should emerge. It was not like girls of her character to remain indoors evenings. He had waited about half an hour, when he saw a man approach the place, and after some delay effect an entrance. The fellow wore a top-coat, with the collar turned up about his ears. Still the detective waited. At the end of nearly an hour the man emerged, and started down town . Sheridan Keene followed him nearly to the Common, then crossed the street and met him as if by accident. "Hello, Wade!" he cried. "You are just the man I anl looking for." Wade was very pale, and there were dark rings about his eyes. He started nervously, yet smiled and shook the detective's hand. "What have you been doing, Keene?" he demanded. "I have not seen you for two c!ays." "I could not help disappointing you," re plied the detective, regretfully. "I have been so frightfully busy on this case." "What
... SHIELD WEEKLY. 29 "Is it possible?" groaned Doctor Lawton, ir!gly. "Sit down and give me the particu faintly. "But my niece! My dearly belars." loved-" "Oh, she is all right, sir!" interposed Sheri clan Keene, with a wave of his hand toward the open door. Instantly appeared on the threshold a girl whose beauty pen could well de scribe, with her pale face a picture of remorse and sorrow, yet with eyes in which there shone a light like that of infinite love. Mrs. Lawton started up with a sharp cry cf mingled gratitude and affection. Then Tillie Mason was upon her knees before her, vith loving arms clasped around the woman's waist. Sheridan Keene quickly rose to his feet, and beckoned to the abject figure in the cor ner. "Come, Wade!" he said, sternly. "You will have to' go along with me!" CHAPTER X. HOW THE PLOT WORKED. There are scenes from which a considerate and well-bred man instantly withdraws, and that of the reunion of Tillie Mason with her oving foster-parents was one of these. Leaving all further disclosures and explanations until a subsequent time, Sheridan Keene im: mediately removed Ben Wade from the house and took a carriage which the detective had \aiting outside. An hour later Wade was lodged in jail, and at precisely nine o'clock Sheridan Keene en tered the office of Chief Inspector Watts, ho was waiting his coming. "V.Tell," he said, inquiringly, as Keene en tered. "The case is ended, chief," replied Keene, quietly. "Miss Mason is safe at home, and Wade and the Bell woman are in custody." "Very good!" exclaimed the chief, approv-"They may be briefly told," replied the de tective, taking a chair near the chief's desk. "As I at first suspected, they have had Miss Mason forcibly detained in a house in Glea son Court. I saw Wade go there about five c'clock. Ho remained there for an hour or. more, and I followed him when he left, and made sure of catching him at Lawton's hous later in the evening. Then I entered the house in Gleason Court with an officer, and arrested Jane Bell and rescued Miss Mason." "What did the Bell woman have to say for herself?" "Oh, she wilted like a wet rag, and con fessed the whole business." I "That's well. And Miss Mason?" "I took her to her own home a little later, and sent her in by a rear door, telling her to enter the room in which I should be received, when she got word from me. She obeyed me to the letter. I wished to prepare the way a little for her, and tone down her offense, for she is really an awfully nice girl." "Very considerate in you nodded Chief \Vatts. "How about Wade?" "I brought him away at once, chief. The people up there have no further use for him. He cried like a baby in the carriage, and for all I know is crying still." "What did he have to say?" "He told the whole story, chief. It cor mborates that of Jane Bell." "What was the story in brief?" "It seems that Miss Bell has been posing for John Hale for a year or more, and got it into her head that she ought to have him for a husband. I am satisfi e d that Hale never gave her any encouragement, for he is not that sort of a man. Nevertheless, she dis covered the vanity of her affection, and that Hale was seeretly receiving Tillie Mason as a model, and had fallen in love with her."
30 SlllELD WEEKLY. "Ah, I see." "Then Miss Bell, who is a very clever, de-' signing and unprincipled girl, laid in wait tc trap Hale in some way, and satisfy her jealous hatred of Tillie Mason. She found that Miss 1.Mason was engaged to marry \Vade, who is a weak sort of a chap, and evi dently aware of it, and she mad) him her tool by arousing his jealousy and resentment." "Was the abduction planned by him, or Miss Bell ?" inquired Chief Watts. "Oh, Wade could not plan a dog-house," laughed Keene. "It all was Bell's work. She -nade Wade believe that, if Tillie Mason could l:e abdt!Cted, she could be forced into a mar riage with him, and the matter squared up afterward. "So they worked the scheme together? How so?" "It was plann!-'.d Tuesday morning, chief, executed that evening. Wade sent word to '.f illie Mason, and wanted her to meet him that evening which she did; and he took her to the house in Gleason Court, where she has since been forcibly detained. That part of the design was dead easy." "Naturally," bowed Chief Watts. "About five o'clock Tuesday afternoon, Jane Bell dressed herself up in garments re sembling those Tillie Mason wore usually when out of doors at that time, and sent a telephone message t-o Hale, making an ap pointment." "Ah, yes, I see." "Hale suspected nothing, and of course kept the appointment; but did not meet Miss Mason. He hasn't looked deeper into the affair since, merely because he has been very careful to do nothing that might tend to expose Miss Mason's purpose in visiting his studio. Hence things have looked rather rtark against him at times." "Yes, that is true." "Jane Bell's hatred was so strong, more,. over," continued Keene, "that she would have
SHIELD WEEKLY. 31 fellow to stand so true to the girl, and he even ruined the work of months in order to shield her from exposure. I really h o pe she is in lov e with him, as I already am sure he is in love with her." "I guess there's no d o ubt about that," 1aughed Chief Watts. Why so, chief?" Keene asked, eagerly. "For I have detained Hale, and have told him the whole story," replied the chief. "They are very much in love, and been for some time. I guess Wade's chances for Miss Mason were growing very slim weeks ago." "And Hale?" "I have him in the adjoining room said Chief Watts, laughing geniall y "I thought you might like to meet him under pleasanter circumstances." "And I you, Mr. Hale, laughed Keene, thrilling with pleasure. "But I am awfully sorry that I permitted you to ruin that mag niiicent piece of statuary." Hale gave vent to a glad, ringing laugh. "But you did me an everlasting servi c e a t -the same time, Detecti v e Keene," he cri ed, with joyous fervor. "You gave me a clear title to something ten thousand times more beautiful and desirable!" "What was that?" demanded Keene, engerly John Hale drew up his splendid figure and threw back his head. "To the live reality God willing!" he cried, with joyous ferv e ncy. THE END. "Under Seal; or, The Hand of the Guilty," "Indeed,. -I would J" cried Keene, springanother story of the deepest interest and one _, ing up. dealing with a recent crime of wide impor"Garratt!" called the chief. "Show Mr. tance, will appear in next we ek's SHIELD WEEKLY (No. 7). Chief Inspector Watts Hale in this way!' "Yes, sir." J oh.n Hale enter e d the room with a glad and Detective Keene will again appear as the smile on his face, and with extended. principal characters. You cannot afford to "Sheridan Keene," he cried, warmly; "I miss these stories. Nothing like them has am glad to meet you again!" ever .J;>een published before. No. 1.-Sheridan Keene, Detective; or, The Chief's Best Man. Issu e d W e dnesday, D e cemb e r 5th. No. 2.-Silhouette or Shadow? or, A Question of Evidence. Issu e d Wedn e sday, D e cember I2fh. No. 3.-lnspector Watts' Oreat Capture; or, The Case of Alvord, the Embezzler. Issued W e dn e sday, D e c e mber I9th. No. 4.-Cornered by Inches; or, A Curious Robbery Jn High Life. Iss u e d W e dn e sday, Decemb er 26th No. S -The Man and the Hour; or, Sheridan /(eene's Clever Artifice. Issu e d W ednesday,]anuary 2d. No. 6-Who Was the Model? or, Missing; A Beautiful Heiress. Issu e d W e dnesday, January 9th. No. 7.Under Seal; or, The Hand of the
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