The head hunter, or, Steve Manley's secret mission

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The head hunter, or, Steve Manley's secret mission

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Title:
The head hunter, or, Steve Manley's secret mission
Series Title:
Shield Weekly
Creator:
Bradshaw, Alden F.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (32 pages)

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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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024876139 ( ALEPH )
64178599 ( OCLC )
S75-00018 ( USF DOI )
s75.18 ( USF Handle )

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. No. 20. Price, Five Cents -PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY STREET & SMITH, 238 Willi a m Street New York City Copyrig-t, 1 9or, by Street & Smit. All rit:hls rts
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. TRUE DETECTIVE STORIES STRAnGER THAft f ICTIOn . 111-utd WuRi,. By Suhc.,.illio n $2..JO.ltr yta,.. Enftrui as Suond Cla.rs Matte,. at tht JV. Y. P ost Oj}'ict lly STREET & SMITH, <1JI Wi!Uam SI., N. y Eflttrtd A ccordi,,r to Aa "/ C t m J[r tss, in tlu year UJOI, in the O ffice o f tht Libranan o f Conrrus1 IVa.shinrton D. C No. 20. NEW YORK, April 20, 1901. Price, Five Cents. The Head Hunter; OR, STEVE MANLEYtS SECRET MISSION. CHAPTER I. A MYSTERIOUS CRIME. "Haul that infernal trunk out of the way, one of you lubbers! What's it doing there, anyhow?" "I dunno, sir!" "Whose is it?" "Couldn't tell yer, sir." "Don't any of you know where it came from?" "I don't, cap'n." "Nuther do I." 'Twas here first thing this morning, sir. 1 was sittin' on it afore daybreak." "Yes, and you've all had a whack at sitting on it. You're better sitters, to a man, than you are workers. Lay hold, there, two of you, and run it out back. It's in the way." This interchange of words occurred early one recent morning on one of the riv e r land ings in the city of Pittsburg, and within a half-mile of what is known as the Point. The man evidently in authority, whose gruff words had been addressed to a half score of the rough":Jooking laborers who hang about the river front in search of em ployment, was a burly, middle-aged man nam e d Luscom, and was master of the lighter or barge whi c h was then hauled up at the landing to be unladen. The object which had occasioned his noisy disapproval was merely an old trunk of mod erate size with a rope and which plain ly was in the way of the work of unloa d in g soon to be begun. In response to Luscom's command two o f

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I I 9 / the men seized hQld of the,;{runk at either end to remove it back upt(n' the landing and out of the way. // Before it could> be raised, however1 one of the men stapt:ed i.lp with a sudden cry of alarm. / "There's something wrong here!'' "What do you say?" yelled Luscom, from the barge. "The bottom's covered with blood! Look at me hands!" And the man, with dismay and aversion pictured in his rough face, held out both of his hands to be seen Both palms, where he had seized hold of the bottom of the trunk, were stained red with half-congealed blood. Luscom sprang down from the rail of the barge and hurriedly joined the gang of men who quickly had gathered nearer the doubtful object. Consternation and misgivings were portrayed in every face. Angry words had been turned to gruesome interest, and the strange trunk now was endowed with all the qualities of sud den and startling mystery "See if there is any name on it!'' cried Luscom, as he approached. "I don't find "No card or tag?" "Divil a card or tag." "Pull off the rope and open her up," suggested one of the men. "Tllat's the stuff!" cried another. "::\1ebbe there has been a murder committed." "If there you guys ain't the parties to meddle with the trunk. Let it alone and send for the chief of All hands turned quickly to look at the person who had so curtly put in his oar, and beheld a youngster with sharp b T ue eyes and a very bright and determined face for one of his years. WEEKLY. It was Steve ::\Ianl;y, the boy inspector of Chief O'M ara 's force of local detectives. He had seen the gang gathered about the trunk, and ran down from the street to learn the occasion. None of the men knew him by sight, how ever, and one bluntly demanded: "\i\:ho in thunder are you?" "\\'hat's the oods who I am?" retorted "I know I'm talking about." ''Do you know anything about this trunk?'' asked Luscom, suspiciously. "I know only "hat I see, and if there is wrong with it you 'cl better let it stand where it is," said Steve, decidedly "I guess the boy's right," said Luscom. "Here, l\Ialloy, run up to the office and tell the clerk to telephone the police." The man addressed hastened up the landing and vanished into the office of the storage building. Steve l\tlanky waited about without dis closing his connection with the police department, yet kept an eye on the mysterious trunk to make snre it was not further dis turbed. N' one of men 11ow seemed inclined to handle the dismal object, however. and at the end of a quarter-hour, Inspector Garrity vvas seen hurrying down the landing. As' he approached he caught sight of Steve, but the latter at once 'made a secret sign to him that he : ; "but the bottom of this trunk is covered with blood so I sent for the po l ice .. "Quite right! Here, one of you men, pull off that rope."

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SHIELD WEEKT__.Y. 3 'Tll do it, sir." "Don t cut it! Here, wait a bit till I examine that knot." "It's a half-hitch! .. cried Luscom. ".-\nd this here. \\here the line's made fast, is a !lat fishhook knot. Looks like the thing was tied 11p by a sailor." "Thar was my idea," nodded Garrity. "Xo\\. loose it." It took but a few minutes to cast off the 1 i ne. Then Garrity snapped the hasps of the tru11k and threw back the cover. The first thing to meet the gaze of the group of anxious observers, was an old oil cloth, which had been doubled up and laid over the contents of the trunk. The detective seized it by one corner and threw it out upon the ground. As the interior of the trunk was disclosed a cry of amazement and dismay broke from the lips of all. "By thunder! It's a case of murder!" cried Luscom. "Kothing less than that!" muttered Gar rity, ominously. Beneath the oilcloth, crowded and doubled into the trunk, was th 1 e body of a man clad in a cheap gray suit now shock ingly stained with blood. But there was one feature which startled all the most, and brought an involuntary cry even from the detective, accustomed though he was to strange and terrible dis'"Shure, I'll not lay a finger to it," pro tested one, shrinking back among his com panions. At this, and seeing the aYersion with which the gang of men received the detect ive's command, Luscom turne d toward the barge and bawled lustily: "Here you, :.\Iadok, come ashore and lend a hand! Here is a fellow who will do the j?b for you, officer." The man to whom Luscom had caHed stood gazing ov e r the rail of the barge, from \Yhich he had been intently viewing the en tire scene describe.cl. On hearing the command,. he cleared with a single broad leap the span from the barge to the landing, a distance of fully ten feet and strode rapidly toward the group of men. Bis appearance \'Oas startling. He was more than six feet tall and as black as a negro, yet bis features were not those of the African race His hair was straight and quite long, his head and feet were bare, and he was clad only in trousers and a blue woolen shirt, the open front of which re vealed the huge muscles of his broad black breast. Though evidently a man of forty years or thereabouts, his step was quick and elastic, his brawny arms like those of a giant. and his povverful figure as erect as an arrow. Even Garrity was startled by the man s striking aspect. "\Vho is this fellow?" he demanded of coveries. Luscom in a low voice "Good God!" he exclaimed. "The man's "He is a Malay, and has been at work head is missing!" "Isn't it in the trunk?" gasped Luscom, horrified by the sight. ior me on the barge for a month or more." replied Lnscom, as the man approached. "He should be able to earn his pay.'' "You may see for yourself." "Yes; and he is as powerful as he looks," "I've no wish to see more." 1iodded Luscom. "Lay _hold of that body, "Lay hold here, two of you men," cried Madok, and place it upon the ground." Garrity; "and place the body upon the Luscom also indicated with gestures the ground. nature of his command, much as if the other )

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SHIELD WEEKLY. was not familiar with the English tongue; and the Malay, with absolute indifference to the ghastly object in the trunk, instantly stooped and raised the decapitated body and laid it upon the ground nearby. Despite that the victim of the tragedy was of consi derable size, the Malay accomplished the feat with such apparent ease that Gar-rit:v again stared at and wondered at sjrength. his Herculean figure the fellow's mighty The moment the body was removed one of the workmen cried, excitedly: "Sure, officer, I know this man. Look at the foot on him." Steve Manley wormed his way through the crowd and stared down at the member at which the speaker was pointing. There was rather the absence of the ex tremity mentioned. Instead of having a foot, the left leg of the dead man had been amputated below the knee, and only a round wooden peg about two inches in diameter protruded from the .bottom of the dead man's trousers. "\Yho is the man?'' Garrity instantly de manded. "I dunno his name, sir, but I've seen him stumping about the landings along the river here for many a clay." "Do you know where he lived?" ' I think h e jived U'P in Leary's place." ''Leary's boarding-house?" "Shure, sir; that's the one I mean," nodded tht informant. "I've seen him sit ting outside the door up there many a time." "Go up there at once and bring Leary down here," co111manded the detective. "Tell him that Garrity, of the police depart ment, wants him." ''D'ye think that'll bring him, sir?" ''I don't think; I know it will." As the man started off to obey, Garrity turned and beckoned Steve to his side and said, softly: "\\'hat have you discove red?" "I'm not on to anything yet, sir," replied Steve, in a whisper. "Yet you did not want me to recognize you." "What \\oulcl have been the good of it? I might tumble to something, and 'twould be just as well if no one ,,as on." "What were you doing clown in this local ity?" ''I \Vas piping off a junk man for the chief, who suspected him of swiping lead pipe," explained Steve. "\\'hen I saw the gang around the trunk, I chased mesel f clown here to see what was up." "Do you if they have a telephone over in the office yonder?" "Sure, they have." "Slip up there, then, and telephone to the chief. He was not in the office when I came away; but should have arrived by this time. Tell him what has occurred, and ask him to come down here "Der case has a wicked look, d'ye think?" "Very," nodded Garrity. "And the chief will want to investigate it in person. I'll look after here while you go and in form him.''. Steve winked understandingly. and has tened up the landing toward the storagehouse office, leaving the group of men still surrounding the grewsome discovery made that early morning, the least affected and most imposing of whom was the savage looking Ualay, whose grim and uncouth figure towered like that of a giant over those near him .. CHAPTER II. THE IRISHMAN S STORY. "Tip the trunk up on end. I wish to see the bottom of it." This was the first command of Chief O'Mara, after he had arrived on the scene

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SHIELD WEE.KL Y. and learned the few details imparted by Gar rity. One of the workmen hastened to obey, and the chief quickly ordered all others to stand back from the immediate scene of his investigation. It was less than a half hour since the crime was discovered. The body of the man la y upon the ground, but now was covered with the piece of oilcloth, hiding the dismal re mains from morbidly curious eyes. The news of the startling crime had spread rapidly, and at the head of the landing a great crowd of people had collected ; but three policemen now were stationed there and prevented them from coming nearer. Other than those already on the spot, only additional detectives and the lo cal reporters were allowed to approach. It took the chief but a f{\w moments to make his examination of the trunk. It was one of t_he cheapest sort, made of wood and covered with sheet tin, painted green, and was very much worn and soiled. "It is evidently a back number," he said, addressing the several detectives gathered near. "It looks as if it had been discarded, and had been lying out in some dump heap." "The dirt on it may have been collected in bringing it here," suggested Garrity. "Possibly," nodded the chief. "It is quite an important question, howf'ver, as it may indicate whether the crime was committed in a house or out of doors. Notice that there are several small cobwebs next to these slats which run across the bottom.'" "As if the trunk had been standingun moved on a floor for some time?" "Precisely. Notice, also, on the back edge of the cover these marks of \\ hite." "What do you make of those. sir?" "The trunk evidently has stood next to a whitewashed wall," explained the chief. "And when the lid was lifted, the back edge of it evidently scraped the wall in places, re moving some of the lime. Note that for a clew. We must discover where the trunk came from." "f have noted the fact, sir." "What is that oilcloth?" "It is an old enameled table cover." "Wait a bit! Have you got a rule?" "Here is one, sir!" cried Luscom, ven-turing to approach. Chief O'Mara took it and passed it to Gar rity, then waved the bargeman back from where he had come. "Measure that bend in the -edge of the cloth in both directions, Garrity, he com manded. "That will give us the size of the table on which it has been laid. Stand back, there, all of you people!" he added, sharply to the crowd. "When I have anything for your ears I'll tell you so.'' Garrity quickly made the measurements desired, and noted them upon paper "We may be able to locate the table from \\hich the cloth was removed though there doubtless are many of the same size," added Chief O'Mara. "Still, if we can find such a table occupying a whitewashed room, the wall of which has been marred by the opening of a trunk, the combination of circum stances will be worth considering." "I should say so, chief." .. Start off a half dozen detectives at once on this search continued the chief, softly. "Instruct them to visit all the tenements and doubtful houses in this locality, and those round about Leary's place, where this fellow is said to have resided. Set Steve Manfey upon the work along with the others. Let it be done at once, and without too much publicity.'' Garrity immediately turned to the waiting detectives and gave them the instructions: and Steve, along wit h the others, hurriedly departed from the landing.

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6 SHIELD WEEKLY. Meantime the chief turned his investigaposed Luscom, hastening to explain. "The tion .in a new direction. "'Vhen was this trunk brought here, Wat son?" he demanded. addressing the manager of the landing and the storagehouse adjoining, who had just come down from the office. "I cannot tell you, Chief was the reply. "I know nothing about it." "Who is the master of this barge?" "I am, sir said Luscom. ''i\!hen did you haul up here?" "'Yesterday morning." "How mJrny men have you aboard?" nigger don't understand English very well." 'Ah, that's different!" "I think you can make him understand what you want, however." The chief tried again. Pointing to the trunk, he asked more slowly: "Do you know when that was left here?" The l\falay grinned again, and now shook his head. "i\le no tell," he repeated. "Me sleep." "He means he was asleep when it was left here," explained Luscom. "Who was aboard the barge with him last ''Three, sir; this Malay here, and two othnight?" ers." "He was alone. The other t\\'O men were '''i\T ere you about here all of yesterday?" at the hotel with me." "Either myself or my men." "''-.hat time did you go to sleep?" de-"Then some of you must know if the trunk manded the chief. -turning-to the Malay. ,, as here yesterday." "It was not," said Luscom, promptly. "I saw it for the first time this morning. It was not here at darklast night." "vVatson, is there a watchman here nights?" "1\'o, sir; "e don't keep one. The gates yonder are closed at night." 'i\!ho was aboard the barge during last night?" ''Only this man here," replied Luscom, pointing to the Malay. Chief O'Mara turned quickly in his direc tion, and said sharply: "YVhat do you know about the trunk? Anything?" The Malay looked a little doubtful Jor a moment. then drew up his huge figure and showed two glittering rows of white teeth with a grin. "Me no tell !" he exclaimed, with a voice as deep and sonorous as distant thunder. "You vvill not tell?" cried the chief, with a quick frown of displeasure. "He means that he cannot tell, sir," inteF-The latter raised his brawny arm and pointed to the western sky. ":\loon there," he said, shortly. "Ah, he means that the moon was setting!" exclaimed Chief O'Marn. "Then it must have been nearly two in the morning." "Yes, two!" cried the Malay, quickly hold, ing up two fingers "Hear bells two." "He means," interposed Luscom, "that he heard one of the church clocks strike two." "I understand," nodded the chief. "'Vas the trunk then here?" .. o here then !'" ''It must have been brought later than two o'clock. then, and after this fellow went to bed." "It was here at four o'clock, sur. I'll swear to that!" cried 011e of the gang of men, who was within hearing of what had been said. "Were you here at four?'' demanded Chief O'Mara, turning in his direction. "I was that, and me friend Ferguson here'll bear witness." "'Vhat were you doing about here at that early hour?"

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 7 "Shure, we knew the barge was to be un"Of course you know where he came loaded, and were rowed up rom below in from?" t]'le skiff tied yonder, hoping to get a job by being here first." "That's right!" cried the :\Ialay, whose intensely black eyes had been flashirtg with restless interest between the several speak ers. ".\le see them settee on box when me get up l" And he now pointed to the trunk, as mean ing the box mentioned. "We were waiting ab,"'ut here from four o'clock until six," addt!d the laborer; "and then the gates yonder \Yere opened and the bargemen came down." "Evidently, then, the trunk was brought here bct\\een two and four this morning," said Chief O'l\fara, turning to Garrity. "Call Leary this way, that J may learn what he kno\\s about the victim of the affair." In re ponse to the detective's summons there achanced from among the crowd a .i;hort, red-faced Irishman. \Yhose crafty gray eyes and expression of distrust rather belied readiness with which .he approached. ''Ha Ye you seen this body, Leary?" de lllanded Chief o:dara, "ith a sharp scrutiny of the man's face. For Tim Leary's place near River street bore about as tough a reputation as any in the city, and the fact that Leary knew anything at all about the man and the affair was quite enough to warrant suspicion. "Yis, sur, I \\as afther seeing it before "Shure, sur, I don't," protested Leary, evi dently not liking the chief's sharp tone. ''I only know phat he was afther telling me." "What was that?" "'Twas as how he'd been masther of a vessel phat wint to Chiny, where tay cames from, and to all the furren counthries on the bottom side o' the \\orruld. He said as how he was afther losing his fut on his lflst trip, and gave up going to say fur good and fur all." "\!Vas he a man of means?" "Shure, sur, he niver told me -phat he had. He paid his board ivery wake and that's all I was afther wanting." "Diel he pay you with a check or with cash?" "vVith the reddy money, sur." "\,Vas he in the habit of receivingfriends ,,, "Phat came to me house to see him, do yer mean?" ''Yes." "Divil a friend do I think he was afther having in all the worruld." ''\Vhy so?" "Shure, no wan iver came to see hit"n. and he niver had no letthers, and he was as odd a stick as the bit o' timber he stumped round the house on, as much noise as a man driving nails with a hammer." "You mean that he was eccentric?" "Bedad, I don't know if he had that dis-'twas covered up,'' he replied, jerking out the ease or not." words \Yith some rapidity. ''You said he was an odd stick." "Can you identify it:>" ''That's phat I said." ''Aisy, sur: by the fut that's missing." "V,Tho is the man;" "His name's .Hogan, sur." "What do you know about him?" "Divil a thing do I know about him, sur, saYe he came to me house to live more'n. three inonths back." "Well, that means the same as eccentric." growled Chief O'l\Iara, impatiently. "Was he a drinking man?" "In a mild way, sur." "Did you ever see him drunk?" "Only wance, sur." "When was that?"

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8 SHIELD WEEKLY. "Only a month back, sur." "Dn you know -when he was last seen alive?" "Shure, how wud I know!" cried Leary. "The last I seen of him, he was pegging off down the street yesterday morning, not fur from noon. He didn't come back to his din ner or supper, and the next I knew was when I saw him here with hrs knob gone." "What was his first name?" "Bin, sur. He was called Cap'n Bin Ho gan." "Captain Ben Hogan," echoed the chief, glancing again toward the dismal object on the ground: "Do you, Leary, know anything further about this affair?" "No, sur, I don't!" cried Leary, again re senting the chief's tone. "I'm afther telling you all I know about it." Yet a vague, fleeting expression in the crafty gray eyes of the Irishman led Chief O'Mara to suspect that he was telling the whole truth. CHAPTER III. STEVE S SECRET MISSION. At th.at moment the coroner arrived upon the scene, and Chief O'Mara waved Leary back among the crowd, ending his inquiries for the time being, and presently returning to his office at headquarters. Before noon, however, after the body had been removed to the morgue, the reports of the score of detectives set at work upon the case began to come in, and the investigation took a more definite shape. Yet the mystery was as dark as ever. From all that could then be learned, Cap tain Ben Hogan was a stranger in Pittsburg. He had taken a room at Leary's between three and four months before, where he lived quietly, almost like a recluse at times, and had made no intimate iriends. He was said to be a man of nearly sixty years, and claimed to have been at various times the master of vessels in the merchant service between the States and the Orient. This fact, which was afterwards substan tiated, would have indicated that he was a.., man of some means; yet an examination of his effects in his room at Leary's revealed that he was without money, unless the mo tive for the crime had been that of robbery, and his property stolen. There was no evidence of this except the fact that his trunk and bureau were in a state of great confusion; but, as this disorder was characteristic of the entire room and closet, as well as all of his belongings, it definitely signified nothing. On the man's person was found only a key to the room, a small sum of money, and a cheap silver watch. The glass crystal of the latter was broken, the fragments still remaining in the case, and the watch had stopped at precisely half-past twelve. Yet it still was partly wound, and it was plainly evident that the watch had l;ieen broken during the assault in which Hogan had been killed. "This should establish the precise time when the crime was committed," said Chief O'Mara, when discussing the case with sev eral of his detectives that afternoon: "The question is, where and by whom was it clone? It seems impossible that the man could have been murdered in broad daylight and out of doors, without there having been some wit ness to the crime." "He certainly was out of doors most of the morning," rejoined Detective Morrissey; "for I have traced his movements until nearly noon." "Run the facts over once more." "He left Leary's, before eleven o'clock, sir, and was seen going down Second street. Half an hour later, or about half-past eleven, he was sitting on the landing next to Wat-

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 9 son's, watching the barges hauling up the 'stream." "Was he alone?" "Yes, sir," replied the detective. "Fur thermore) I learned it was quite a habit of his to sit about the water front by him self, watching the boats on the river. Yet he is said to have been a rather grim and silent old chap, and had words with others. That 1s what was said of him at Leary's, also." "Could you trace his movements after he left the landing this morning?" ''Not continuously, sir. When ast no ticed on the landing, it was close upon noon, and I can find no person who saw him leave. But about quarter-past twelve he was seen hurrying through K street, five blocks from Leary's, and that was the last seen of him, so far as I can learn." "Was he walking in the direction of Leary's?" "Yes, sir." "And hurrying?" "The party who saw him is a saloon keeper, who was standing outside of his door when Hogan passed. He states that Hogan then was moving as fast as he could, with his foot, and weht around the corner of K street." ''Evidently bound home?" "It would seem so, chief; and I can find no person that saw him after the saloon man." ''The fact that he was hurrying," said Chief O'Mara, decidedly, "indicates that he had some unusual incentive. It is not like a man. maimed as he was, to hurry without some serious occasion. Have all the tene ments in that locality been visited?" "Yes, sir, and the men still are engaged in a search for such a room and table as has beeg described. There has nothing come of it yet, sir." Nor did anything come of it until several hours later. The noon edition of the papers contained long stories of the affair, and before the day was gone the main features of the tragedy were generally known, and most of the city was in a ferment of excitement over the startling mystery. If not for robbery, why had the man been murdered? Where and by whom could the crime have committed? What had been the object in removing the body to \Vatson's landing? And why had the victim's head been re moved, when there was ample room in the trunk for it to have been left there? These were the questions every man was asking his neighbor, yet to none of which a reasonable answer could be returned. One of the last to report that afternoon at the office of the chief was young Steve Manley, and the moment he entered Chief O'Mara knew by his face that he had made some startling discovery. "What is it, Steve?" he quickly demanded, signing for him to close the door Steve's shoes were covered with mud, and he looked tired and dragged, yet he replied with his usual enthusiasm "I've found a room like the one you're looking for, Chief O'Mara." "Where is it located?" asked Chief O'Mara, with quick interest. "Down in P street, sir, next street to the one Leary's place is on." "In a tenement?" "No, sir; it's in back of a drug store." "Who runs the store?" "An old duffer by the name of Wagstaff." "I know of the man; he's a half-crazy old fellow, who lives alone." "I guess that's right, sir. for I have be e n looking him up pretty sharp."

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\ 10 SHIELD WEEKLY. ""What have -vou learned? Tell me just \\'hat you have been doing?" 01ief O'Mara knew that Steve's boyish methods were not at all conventional, yet the fact that his young detective instinct had resulted in many clever discoveries, led Chief O'Mara to give him considerable lee \\'ay "It \Yas like this, Chief O':\Iara," Steve eagerly explained. "I run on a guy who had seen the old man stumping through K street this morning." 'A saloon-keeper?" ''Yes, sir." 'Tve heard about him. What did you do then?" "I went piping off all the houses I could look into between there and Leary's." "Searching for the room described'" Yes, sir nodded Steve. "But I didn t get on to anything till I struck P street. Then I thought I'd go into the drug place and ask old map if he'd seen anything of the one as was kiiled "\!Vhat did he say?" I couldn't get into the shop, sir. The door ( was locked." "Then I sneaked through the alley next to the place, and looked in the back window. H's a little room where the drug man lives by himself." "Do you mean that that was the room you discovered?" 'Yes, sir "Are the walls \\ hite\Yashed ?" "They were once, sir: but it's most worn off now, said Steve. "And on one side, just the height of the trunk, there's a line worn where the white is all barked off the boards." "As if a trunk had been standing against the wall?" "That's the \\'ay it looks. sir." "\i\That else is there in the room?" "There's a table about the same size as the oilcloth found in the trunk, and it's non; got a new cloth, nearly like the old one." Though Steve' disclosure. were decidedly startling, Chief O'Yiara \Yas not one to betray excitement. "You have clone well," he said simply. "\!\'hat else is there in the room?" "Onlr a stoYe, sir, and some common of furniture." ''Diel you attempt to enter?" "I tried the indow and the back door, but they \\"ere locke-d." "Could you see any further evidence that the crime wa committed there?" ''l\'"one <\tall_. sir." "Had the floor been recenth washed?" ''Judging from the looks, Chief O':\fara. I'd say it hadn't been washed for a year." laughed Steve. "And I don't think the man wa3 killed there, sir." ''Why not?" "Because, \\hen I couldn't get in. 1 made. it a point to find out where \!Vagstaff had gone." "Did you learn?" "Easy, sir. I asked a bit of a girl ,,ho lives near by, and she said he was back in the hills, looking for plants ,,hat he makes bitters of. She said he'd been away early every clay for a \\'eek and came home along about dark." "\Vas he a\\ay o n one of these expeditions yesterday?" "That's \\'hat the girl said. Then I thought I'd best make sure it was so, and I found out which way he'd gone and started o .ut after him." ''Diel you find him?" "Less'n an hour ago. sir." nodded Steve. I met him comingover the Point bridge. \\'ith a hii bag of '"'eecls over his :;boulder." "He had been after herbs." saicl Chief. O'Mara. gazing thoughtfully at the floor for several moments.

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SHIELD WEEKLY. "Yes, sir; that's what the girl said he was ''Did she say he was absent all of yester day?" "Yes, sir. all day." ''And is that why you think he may not have committed the crime?" "That's the way I looked at it, sir." ''Yet the man may have taken this ven method to avert suspicion ... said the chief, shortly. "Do you kno\\ \\here he is at pres ent?" ''He \\ as in his shop half an hour ago, sir ... "Alone ?" "Yes. sir: he was sorting ove r the weeds he'd brought in, and had 'em dumped on the floor of the shop." Chief glanced out of the window. It was approaching evening and dusk was falling. "Have you had your suppe r. Steve?" he presently turned and demanded. Steve thought he saw a chance to get another important assignment, and though he 'had eaten nothing since noon . that became a secondar\' interest. "I have had all I want, sir." "Then I wish you to undertake a mission for me to-night." "I'm ready. sir." "You sav thi place is 111 the r eighbor hood of Leary's?" "They're near back to back, sir." 'I want you to go down there, then, and watch this man V.'agstaff and see what he does to-night. Keep yourself out of sight, and above all things, out/ of his clutches, and see if he has any communication with Leary's lodgers. Can you do this; do you think?" "Dead easy, Chief O'Mara !" cried Steve, eagerly. "Sure, a job like that is a snap." "Set about it, then, and report here in the morning." CHAPTER IV. STEVE MEETS WI1'H \ !.fISH.\P. It was dark when Steve Manley arrived in P street, and approached the shop occupied by Wagstaff, the apothecary. It v\as one of the most inferior localities in the neighborhood of the river. The buildings and innumerable dwellings were wrecks of the past, with tenement houses predominating, into "hich \\'er e cro\Hlecl an army of impoverished people glad of any shelter whatsoever Numerous alleys abounded on every side. The streets were thronged nightly ith noisy collections of idle men and women, while squalid, half-dressed children scream ing at play or at fighting, raced the neigh borhood until midnight. Two out of every three shops were rum shops, and for a half-d o zen blocks in either direction a more degenerate and tumble -do wn district would have bee n hard to find in any city of the globe. It \\'as decidedly a locality in which such a crime as that committed might h ave been expected. Half the people who liveu there either were criminals. or willing to b e if the crime would show a profit: and their sym pathies \\'ere much less with the police than the offender, whom nine out of ten would have helped to escape an officer Throughout this broad area was a laby rinth of dark passages. with gloomy courts and alleys, and innumerable back yards and tumble-down stables. For a stranger to have ventured after dark into this hive of wretchedness and vice was like taking his life in his hands. Yet old Zenas Wagstaff, the name upon a faded sign above his shop door, had occupied his present quarters for nearly forty years. Amici such surroundings, it is not strange that he should have developed into an ugly, crabbed and suspicious old man; for he had

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.J.2 SHIELD WEEKLY been jeered at by ragged urchins, and made the butt of their vicious pranks, until his head fairly had been turned against them, and he hated a boy as the devil hates holy water. It was through the dingy street window of this man's shop that Steve paused to gaze that evening, just as the city clocks wer e on the stroke of eight. "I'm on time," he said to himself. "There's the old fossil, now." The light in the narrow shop was dim, only that of a smoky oil lamp which hung over the counter. On the shelves was an array of dusty bot tles, in wrappers faded with age; while scat tered still upon the floor, as if to dry, was fully a bushel of herbs and plants which the man had brought in an hour or two be fore. At the back of the room was a narrow door, which led into the kitchen. Bet\\'een t he two rooms was a narrow stairway lead ing to a single chamber and loft on the floor above. In the midst of his dismal surroundings, with his bowed figure hanging o\er the counter, stood Wagstaff himself. He was reading a paper spread ope n be fore him with his sallow hands resting on the counter on either side of the open sheet. His thin features were pinch e d and drawn; his parchment-like skin wore a greenish pallor ; the steel spectacles on his hooked n ose were trem1 bling visibly, as the man's head shook with suppressed excite ment. A more vivid picture of subdued fear, dis tress and agitation could not be imagined. Steve guessed what the matter was with him. "He's reading up the crime," he said to himself. "He's just on to it that the murder has been discovered. Holy smoke he looks as if he'd seen the ghost of the man himself." Wagstaff had suddenly thrown back his head, till the light fell full on his ghastly face. Then he fiercely crushed and crumpled the paper he had been reading, and stood for a moment like one in a riot of wild con jectures, with his staring eyes fixed on the shelves opposite, and his tall figure shaken from head to foot. "I guess the chief's hit the nail on the head," thought Steve. "A man don't look like that who's dead easy in his nut, for sure. Hello, what game is he up to now?" Wagstaff had suddenly wheeled about and started for the back room. Steve 's impulse was to steal around the building to the back window, yet he briefly hesitated. The man went only as far as the door of the kitchen, into which he stood gazing for several moments, with his fingers wildly clutching his sparse gray hair. "He's looking at the kitchen wall where the trunk scraped it, decided Steve, watching his every movement. "The newspaper has told him what we're looking for, and he--" Dut Steve was suddenly obliged to dart out of sight. \ Vagstaff had turned again, and was totter ing violently toward the street door. He locked it, how ever, instead of leaving the shop. ';fh en he put out the lamp, though it was only eight in the evening, and left the place in darkness. Steve ran back to the window. and saw his gaunt figure disappear int o the lighted kitchen, closing the door after him. "He's up to some game to fool us." thought Steve. "I must pipe that off for sure." The gate of an alley through which he that morning had passed to reach the rear of the building was now closed and locked. On the other side of the shop was an-

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SHIELD WEEKLY. other, making in between the drug store and a tenement-house, too far gone in decay to be occupied. The ground in this alley was strewn with rubbish, old tomato cans, empty bottles, and no end of such refuse. Carefully picking his way, Steve crept through this dark passage and reached the open space back of the buildings. It covered quite an area. There was the yard back of Wagstaff's place and the empty tenement-house. Just beyond these was an old stable, with a musty back shed. Next to this was an old shed and dump heap, which belonged to a junk shop which fronted on the next street. At quite a little distance across this con fusion of dirt-heaps, sheds and rubbish, for the place was as disordered as can be im agined, was the rear wall and yard of Leary's lodging-house, in the next street. Only a straggling, tumble-down fence separated this place from those adjoining, and the lighted windows and doors of Leary's were plainly visible. On reaching this miserable locality Steve heard a sound which caused him to hug the building for concealment. The back door of Wagstaff's kitchen was being unbolted, and the next moment the man emerged. He carried a small lantern, which shook violently in his scrawny hand, and at once started off in the direction of the junk shop. Steve crouched down and watched him. For five minutes or more he prowled about back of the junk shop, vanishing once into the gloomy shed near by; and, at the end of that time, Steve saw him returning. "I'd better take a sneak till he is under cover," he decided, and slipped back into the alley. He waited only until Wagstaff had re entered the house, then he crept around to the kitchen window. It was without a curtain, and Wagstaff now was tacking a piece of dark cloth across the lower half of the frame. To look in, Steve would require something to stand upon. Steve laid low and waited For five minutes he heard the man mov ing excitedly about in the kitchen, and then a curious, scraping noise began. "I've got to see what he's doing," thought Steve. "Mebbe the old duffer's going to hang Or mebbe he's up to some game to queer the case against him." After briefly searching about in the dark ness, Steve found an empty barrel which he had noticed that morning. This he brought and softly placed it under the kitchen win dow. Carefully mounting it, he then could look over the cloth and into the room. The mysfery of the noise was instantly ex plained. wagstaff was on his knees upon the floor, engaged in scraping from the side wall of the room every sign that a trunk once had stood near it. "So that's the game, is it?" said Steve to himself. "He thinks no fly cop like me is on to the room yet, and he means to head 'em off. I guess the chief'll have a use'.1 6 r him in the morning, all right." The last thought had barely crossed his mind, however, when the ticklish perch on which Steve was standing suddenly col laipse
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14 SHIELD WEEKLY. The noise of his fall was echoed by a half smothered yell from within the house, fol lowed by a furious rush of feet; and, be fore Steve could begin to clear himself from among the loose hoops. and staves, the alarmed and excited old druggist issued like a madman from the back door of the house. CHAPTER V. WAGSTAFF GIVES STEVE A SURPRISE. Evidently \Vagstaff had suffered from sim ilar intrusions, for he located Steve almost instantly, and pounced upon him like a ter rier on a rat. "You little devil! he narled, furiously, seizing 'Steve by the throat. "You were spying on me, were you?" Steve had enough of his "its about him to know what had happened though he could scarcely move from the shock. "Lemme alone!" he cried, feebly, as he tried to resist the bony hands of the wiry old man ''Lemme alone, I say! If you don't, I'll--" "If I do, you'll be the luckiest little scamp there is in Pittsburg!" Wagstaff furiously interrupted. And with surprising strength, against which Steve, in his weakened condition, was quite unable to cope, the enraged old man snatched him out from among the hoops and staves, and carried him into the house and bolted the door. ''Lemme down!" cried Steve, who was quickly recovering, wiggling about in the old man's arms. "Lemme out of here! If you don't, I'll shoot the top of your head off!" But \Vagstaft caught the gleam of the weapon Steve had succeeded in pulling. and with a snarl like that of an angry wolf he snatched it out of the young detective's hand. "You'll shoot me. will yon)'' he muttered, angrily. "I'll fix you so that you'll not shoot, or do anything else. I'll teach you to prowl about here watching me." And \\hile giving vent to his anger and resentment, he threw Steve face down upon the floor. and quickly bound his hands behind his back. "You '11 shoot, vvill you?" he snarled, catching him up again and standing him on his feet. "You'll more likely get shot yon little mongrel." "Say, old man!" cried Steve, gasping de fiant ly, qu ite himself again; 'you want to handle me kinder easy. You might break me. What do you think I'm .nacle of, 111JUr rubber?" "\Vhat were you doing out there?" "I wasn't doing anything." "You're lying. You were looking through my window!" "Well, what if I was? That didn't hurt der window, did it? I wanted tet! see was yer ter home." "vVhat did you want of me?" "I wanted ter buy some parrigoric. l\le little baby brother has der cramps in his stummick, and me muther sent me ter get it." "You're lying!" "Does I look like a feller as would lie about a baby what's dying with der cramps? I'm giving it ter yer straight. \iVhen I found der shop door locked--" "You didn't try the shop door." cried Wagstaff, glaring fiercely down at Steve's defiant face. "I'd have heard you. if you had tried it.'' "Huw could yer hear \\'hen yer was busy?" demanded Steve, cornered for a moment. "Yer was making such a noise with yer scraper you couldn't have heard me." \Vagstaff looked alarmed, and glanced sharph at the wall at which he had been at work. Then the revolver he had lflid on the table caught his eye, and gave him an idea.

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 15 Taking the lamp, he held it down to study Steve's face mo;"e closely, at the same time demanding, harshly: "What's ,our name?" "l\1e name is Peters," said Steve, promptly. "T 1 ive clown on der Point, and my father \\orks in cler coal yards." Dut the \Hat'h pictured in \Vagstaffs face alrea
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16 SHIELD WEEK.LY. of lime sprinkled over the floor near by, but the look in his sunken eyes was no longer that of fear. "I'll tell you why I was scraping it," he said, grimly. I have been away all day, and I heard of the murder only when I re turned. I didn't think much about it then, and not until I read my evening paper did I discover in what way I was involved." "You mean you read about the trunk?" "Yes," nodded \Vagstaff. "And about the oilcloth, and the fact that the detectives were looking for the room they came from. All the evidence is reported i11 the paper." ''Then you had nothing to do with the job?'' 'No more than yourself." "But what was you scared of?" "Because the old trunk and tablecloth were mine, and I lately had them in this room." "Were they here yesterday?" "No, I threw them away the day before. You see, I've a new cloth on the table, and the old trunk was falling to pieces and took up too much room. So I threw them out on the dump-heap back of the junk shop." "If that's the case, why was you scraping the wall?" demanded Steve. "Because I was not sure that any person could testify to having seen me throw the trunk away!" cried Wagstaff, quite excited ly. "Nor can I prove that I was not here when the crime was I was away gathering herbs; but I was ailone." "Alone?" "Yes, alone. How could I prove an alibi? Suppose the police were to claim that I returned here and killed the man? How could I prove that I did not and that the old trunk and tablecloth were not here in this room when the deed was done?" "Oh, I'm getting wise to your game, now!" exclaimed Steve "You started in to fix the wall so that you'd not be suspected." "Precisely. That was my first impulse when the fear seized me. I just went out back to make sure the trunk was gone, and when I failed to find it I knew that I might possibly be suspected. I did not suppose that this room already had been located." "I was on to it this noon," said Steve, somehow feeling that the old man was telling the truth. "But what made you change your mind and release me?" "Because I recognized you, and knew you were serving the police." "You're dead right in that." "And what use to lie in that case?" cried Wagstaff, with some feeling. "When a man is in a desperate situation, he had better tell the whole truth. If I already am suspected, it would be madness for me to conceal the true facts." "I say, sir," cried Steve, suddenly thrusting out his boy's hand; "put it there! I be lieve you're giving it to me dead straight." Wagstaff smiled faintly on seeing that he had won Steve's favorable opinion, and gravely shook his hand. "Your belief may be worth something to me," he said, in troubled tones; "H you'll do what I ask." "What's that?" demanded Steve. "That you look into the case along with me, till we see what we can make of it "I'll do that," said Steve, readily. "I've got the whole night before me, for I'm down here just to watch you." "You need have no trouble in d oing that, for I'll keep you here until morning, if you say so," grinned Wagstaff. "Wait till I get the paper containing a report of the evidence, and we'll see what we can make of the case." 'All right, sir," said Steve. "And if we can run down the right game-say, old man! Keep still for a second!" Steve had suddenly sprang up and caught him by the arm, as he was about starting for the shop.

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 17 For a moment both stood listening intently. answered, drawing back a step or two "You "What did you hear?'' Wagstaff at length may come in, if you wish." muttered. "There's some one out back there," whis pered Steve. "Wait a bit, till we see what his game is." They had only a moment to wait. Approaching footsteps were heard, and then a sharp knock sounded on Wagstaff's back door. The old man looked surprised and per plexed, much as if a visitor was very unusual; but Steve cried, softly: "See 'tis! But don't giv.e it away that I am in here I'll lay low in the shop. Mebbe we'll strike a clew." Wagstaff caught the idea, and nodded his approval; and Steve slipped silently into the gloomy shop, and partly closed the door. CHAPTER VI. LEARY SHOWS HIS HAND. With a look of serious misgiving on his sallow face, Wagstaff went and opened the back door. A man standing in the gloom outside at once said quickly: "The top o' the evening to yer, Misther Wagstaff! So I'm afther finding yez to home?" The man was the red-headed little Irish man whom Chief O'Mara had suspected of concealing at least a part of the truth. It was Mr. Tim Leary. He had cGme across from his back door to that of Zenas Wagstaff, at whom he now stood grinning over the threshold. "What do you want)" demanded wag staff, who had every less love for this neigh bor than any of those around him. "Shure, seeing the light in your windy, I thought I'd run over to pass a bit of talk. Have yez heard of the murdher ?'' "Yes, I have heard of it," Wagstaff coldly "It's a bad piece of work," grinned Leary, as he entered and took a chair. "Bad, indeed !" "I don't 'spose Y.OU was afther knowing the old cap'n ?" "No, I did not know him." "He was a foine bit o a man, and it's a sad ind he's made. There was a cold glitter in the eyes which Wagstaff fixed upon his visitor, when he sat down in a chair opposite to him. He suspected that the Irishman had called with some evil design, but he could by no means guess what. Yet he knew that Steve was watching the scene frorn behind the shop door. "Was he a drinking man?" Wagstaff asked, for want of a better question Leary tossed his ugly red head and laughed. Then he made the same answer he had made Chief O'Mara. "He was afther taking a drop now and thin, but I niver saw him good and dhrunk but wance." ''Once?" "Yis, wance," nodded Leary. "When was that?" "Bedad, twas afther a fright he tuk." "A fright?" "Yis, and a fit." "A fright and a fit? What caused them?" "Shure, he was afther seeing a big black pagur come into me barroom wan day whin he was sated with a drink before him, Leary explained "A _negro ?'' "Yis, a nagur. He was death on nagurs, he was. He hated a nagur. And this wan I spake of eame in suddin-loike, and whin the old cap'n seen him he gave a bit of a yell and fell stiff as a stick on the flure, wid only

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18 SHIELD WEEKLY. the white balls of his eyes a-sho\\'ing. and a froth on hist,,o lips loike that on a av bock." ''Do you say he was 111 a fit?" demanded Wagstaff. '"Shure, 'twas a fit! And whin he came out av it he loaded himself up wid rum till he \\as dhrunk as a goat, and for three days he didn't la\'c his bid. Thats the wance I seen him clhrunk." ''Did he kno\Y the negro ho startled him so: ":\iver a bit of it," said Leary. 'But he w as death on all nagurs, h e was." \Vagstaff made no response. A. moment of ilence follO\ Y ed Leary"s crafty eyes briefly left the old man's face,_ wandered tovvard th_e wall and the sprinkling of lime on the floor beneath, and then reverted to those of his observer. Wagstaff was a sh r ewd and discerning old man, and he saw that Leary bad on his mind some evi l project, which he was a little cau tious about approaching. [t was several moments before the crafty little Irishman l ed up to it "ls your business afther b eing pretty good, l\listher Wagstaff?" he fihally inquired. Wagstaff frowned grimly, yet gave him line enough t o discover what he was after. ''It's good enough," he r e joined. "It's never too good." "But you've been here in this old shop for many a day, ::\1isther V/agstaff." "For nearly forty years." ''ls that so?" cried Leary, \\'ith a great displa y of intere s t. "That is aftJ1er being a long time. Shure, a man oughter lay by a good bit o' money in forty years. Is it pretty well off yez are'" I have enough for my needs." Yis, and a good bit besides, I'll bet." said Leary, significantly. "Well, suppose that I have!" cried Wag staff bluntly. "What's that to you?" 'D'ye think it's anything to me?" gnnned the Irishman. "I think you are here with some object,"' \\'agstaff sharply rejoined; "and you may as well out ith it. \\'hy do YOU ask these. questions, .. Leary no\\ did not like hi tone. .. Becau e l'\'e an offer to make ye, the \\'hich you'd better be afther accepting. or the 'rorse'll be yours." he rej o ined, with a resentful sco\\l settling on his crafty. red face. !\\'hat offer have you to make me?" "Shm:e, you're afther knowing the scrape you 're in, and ye can't deny that?" "T am in no scrape." .. It's ai sy to say it, me man; but the worri.1k you've been afther doing here on the wall gives it the lie." It would be impossible to descr.ib e the ex press ion 11hich had ri se n to \\'agstaff's grim and wrinkled face. from which his angry eyes 11ere glowing like sunken balls of fire; yet he held in check his rising passion until he couid learn at precisely "hat this vicious little fel l o w was aiming. 'Nithout a glance to\\ ard the \\all at which Leary was pointing. he snarled harshh: ''Gives "hat the lie? \Vhat do you mean, Tim Lean'" ''Shure. yo11'rc afther kno\\ing 'twas your trunk that Hogan's did hody-41jlas found in, ::\[ishter \Vagstaff: and you've been afther doing this job here on the wall to throw the cops off the scint." "Did YOU come here to tell hie that?" ''Redad. I did not!" exclaimed Leary. ''That spakes for itself. I came here to tell ye ho" I could san you. if you'd make it \\orth me while ''Do you mean that 1ou can save me from suspicio n and arrest?" "Shure, that's jist phat I mane." "And you want me to pay you for such a service?"

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WEEKLY. 19 Phat the divil else wud I he here for?" "Are you sure you can do what you say?" 'Faith, I am that!'' In what \\'ay ?" "Dy sho,,ing that the trunk ,wasn't here in yer h o u se \\hin Hogan \Yas kilt." "Then you saw me thro\\ it out on the dump heaj) the night before. did you?'' demanded \\'agstaff, eagerly. .. I did, sur; and I'm the only wan that did! I \\'as looki111g out av me back winclv at the time!" cried Leary, \\ith an emphatic shaking of his little head; "and I held me pace whin the cop asked me about it, thinking I--" "Thinking you could thus get the best of me, and force me to buy from you the testimony that \\oulcl save me from suspis:ion !" interrupted \Vagstaff, with an ominous shake in his voice. ''That's phat I did!" admitted Leary, with a era fty grin. 'And you knew that the trunk was mine?" "Faith, \\ hy wucl'nt I know it'" ''Yet you withheld this evidence from the police?" ''Shure. 1 did! Phat could I make by telling 'em?" ''Do you think that I will pay you for making the truth known?" "Shure. that's for you to say." grinned Leary, \\'ith a wave of his hand. "If ye're afther thinking more of yer money than yez
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20 SHIELD WEEKLY. Then Wagstaff strode back into the house and closed the door. CHAPTER VII. SIZING UP THE CASE. As Wagstaff entered by one door Steve Manley emerged by the other. The young detective's face was aglow with satisfaction and triumph. "That settles it. All right, Mr. Wag staff!" he cried, joyously; "and you're a peach! It shows where the trunk was when the man was killed, and it's dead lucky I was here to overhear his nib's little game." "So it is!" exclaimed Wagstaff, clapping Steve on the shoulder. "I knew you were listening, so I let the ugly little cur betray himself to the limit. He has -done me a service without intending it." "Sure, he has," cried Steve; "and in return you didn't do a thing to him." Wagstaff laughed at the boy's tone of ap proval. "I gave him what he deserved," he re joined. "And you did it to the queen's taste! It's odds he takes his dinner standing to-morrow. Der chief was on to him in some way, but he didn't know just what the little Turk's game was. So I was here to pipe off the both of you." "Perhaps the chief thought Leary and I did the job together, in order to rob the old captain." "I wouldn't wonder if pe thought 'twas done by some of Leary's gang. Der old man's money was all gone when Garrity made der investigation in his room." "But the papers say that Leary showed how he was employed all of yesterday, hence he could not have committed the murder." "But mebbe der ugly guy went through Hogan's room after he heard he was dead," suggested Steve. "\Vhen did he learn of the fact?" "When Garrity sent up word for him to come down to der landing. Then he may have waited to swipe what money the cap'n had in his room." "That is more likely the case!" exclaimed Wagstaff, quickly appreciating Steve's clev erness. "And, in addition to that, he aimed to rob me in his rascally way." "But vve've got the best <:If him now!" cried Steve. "That we have!" "And it looks like the man was killed out back here." ."So it does." "He was seen coming this way, you knO\Y, just a short time before the crime was pulled off." "So the paper states "Oh, I'm on to all that"s in the papers. He was clown near Watson's landing 'bout twelve o'clock." "Isn't he said to have been hurrying home?" 'Sure he was !" "Is it known why he was in a hurry?" de manded Wagstaff. ''There don't seem to be any way of explaining that,' said Steve, doubtfully. 'Yet, if he was really in a hurry, he may have come through P street and taken a short cut through the alley out here, in order to reach Leary's back door." "There'd oughter be a way of settling that!" cried Steve, suddenly. "How so?" "Der groun
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SHIELD WEEKLY. 21 "What's the use of waiting till morning?" demanded Steve. "Strike while the iron's hot." "But it's dark out there." "You've got a lantern. Light her up, and we'll get down to the case at "Good!" cried Wagstaff, hastening to bring the lantern from a closet. "I should have thought of this myself, for I have lately been using it." Steve did not tell him that he had been watching him all the while. It took but a moment to light the lantern, and the two men then left the house by the back door, and repaired to the alley in which Steve lately had been hiding. Holding the light close to the ground, they began their search. It was not long before Steve's sharp eyes made the anticipated discovery. "Here you are!" he suddenly cried. "Here's a hole just the size of the peg." Wagstaff examined it carefully. "You are right, I guess," he said, presently. "The hole was made by something round," cried Steve, "and evidently with Jots of weight. And this edge shovvs that he was moving in this direction, if we are right, for it shows where the peg had dragged a little when he made the step. Now to look for an other a few feet that way." "Here it is," cried Wagstaff, suddenly. "And precisely like the other!" exclaimed Steve. "There's no doubt about it; we are right. Look for the next step." It was found almost within a minute, and Steve then measured the space between them. "What's that for?" demanded Wagstaff. "By the length of the strides we can tell about how fast the man was going!" ex plained Steve. "Yes, this is a cinch. He was hurrying at the top of his speed. Follow the tracks till we see where they end." This required longer. For a quarter-hour they continued their careful search, locating one indentation after the other, and thus establishing the course taken by Captain Ben Hogan the day before, when he hastened through the alley and across the deserted back yards. At the end of that quarter hour Steve and \iV agstaff found themselves standing on the dump heap of the junk shop, and nearly under the adjoining shed. From where they stood, the gate entering into the yard back of Leary's lodging-house was but a little distance to the left. Itwas very plain that the old sea captain, perhaps hurrying for life, had left P street and made a short cut through the alley de scribed, and then aimed to reach Lear
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22 SHIELD WEEKLY. sassin then hid the b o dy in the trunk. It stood right there. That's what he did, right enough!" Steve continued; ''and then he sneaked up here after dark and took the whole busin ess awa y." "He must have had help in doing that." "Mebbe so. But what could he have wanted of the old man's head ?" "That is a hard question to answer," re plied \i\ T a gs ta ff. si nee Hogan's wooden leg was sufficient to iclcntify him, even if his head was gooe." ''I'll be hanged if that part of the job don't puzzle me," rejoin ed Steve, dubiously. "Let's go back t o th e house, and \l'C will try and fathom the mystery," sa id \ \' agstaff, now starting o.ff acFOss the gloomy yards. Steve followed with the lantern. Although he now felt quite sure that Cap tain Ben Hogan had been murdered out there ou the dump heap, the solution of the mys tery still seemed as far away as ever. "It don't seem as if Leary or any of his gang would have killed the man out there." he observed, as vVagstaff locked the door after them. ''And why would the y have taken the man's head and then lugged the body clown to the landing and left it there," answered Wagstaff. The detective looked at the old man, and then he exclai med, excitedly; "I don't think that Leary did it." "You don't?" "l\o, I don't. Neither Leary nor any of his gang would have had the nerve to kill a man out there in broad dayiight. They would have selected a different time and place if they wanted to get rid of him." ''I guess you're right," the old man ob served, with an admiring glance at Steve "The deed was done by some person a good deal more determined and clespe,,rate than am of the Learv gang." continued \ Steve. "Besides, the evidence we have just discovered looks to me as if it pointed to some party we haven't suspected, and perhaps don't kno\\ anything about." "How do you make that out?" inquired the old man, opening his eyes. "Little things have lots of significance in a case of this kind," Steve replied, as he rose to get the newspaper from the other room. Returning. he took. a chair opposite \Vag staff. "Read it out loud.'' said the latter. ''Ylay be I'll get an idea, too." The young man complied. and nearly an hour was spent in reading the long story of the crime. as given in the latest edition of the local paper. \Vhen Steve finally laid ci0\\'11 the printed sheet the clock on the kitchen shelf \\'as striking ten. :\"ow, \\ hat do you make of it ;i., de manded the old man, who had been watching with interest the detective's changing face. ":\Iuch !" SteYe replied "Both much and nothing!" "Ho" can that he'" "I mean that there are some mighty queer circumstances. even if there is no definite cle\\ to the wily assassin." "l\ot even myself.'' laughed \\'agstaff. "No, not even yourself." replied Steve. "There's where the cops have been dead asleep; but I guess the laugh's on me, too, because I thought I \Yas on the track. when I was chasing the oilcloth and trunk. There's another clew \Ye ought to have been chasing all the time, and that's no jok<". There's another man in the pie, I'm thinking." ... What man is that?" ''The man \\ho was murdered." "\Vhat about him?" "\Veil, to begin with," said Steve, "Hogan was a seaman, and he recently retired because he lost his foot, didn't he?"

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SHIET .. D WEEKLY. "That's true for a starter," nodded 'Vagnodded "'agstaff. "Hogan probably s aw staff. ''He has been leading an idle life at Leary's for more than three months, and had money to pay his way with. So, now, yesterday, as usual h e l e ft his room and walked clown to the river, \\'her e he sat. watching the boats. There's al\\'ays a string of the old guys clown there." "That's very true.'' sai d \Vagstaff, attenti ,ely, ondering \\ hat Steve was driving at. "Cp to the time he reached the river," con tinu ed Steve, "he appeared as usual for the pa p e r says he sat smoking on the landing near atson 's until almost noon "Yes, my boy, that's so." "The next see n of him h e ,,as hurrying for clear lif e through P street, and we t\\'O n o\\' kno\\' that he lit out through th e alley out h e re and \\'ent up against omething o n the clump heap or under the shed. D o YOU see,., The old man looked at him for a moment with his brow ,, ri nkled, but he could see 11othing strange in Steve's recital. Then Steve suddenly sprung from his chair. "The old man \Yas frightened by some one down hy the river!" he cried, quickly. "Do you think so?" exclaimed 'Vagstaff, his eyes brightening. "Sure thing," said Steve. ''Xohody saw him leave the landing. and he probjthly stole away on the sly. because the old duffer have thought he might be seen and chased." "Then he probably was pursued!'' cried the old man. "And that's why he was hurrying-." "You're on to the idea If that's the game, then we Ay cops better look along the rive-r front for the man \\ho kille
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SHIELD WEEK.LY. the negro ?" "He said he was a Malay, who came from one of the islands--" "Not from Borneo?" interrupted Wagstaff, with a sudden outbreak of excitement. "Yes, that's just the place he cried Steve. "He said he was a native of-what did you call it?" "A native of Borneo." "Those were the very words, sir." "And those words solve t):ie whole mys tery," Wagstaff now cried, deeply. "That native was the man who killed Hogan, and he now has the old seaman's head. This Malay, beyond any doubt, is a head hunter." "A head hunter?" gasped Steve, with eyes dilating. "What the dickens is a head hunter?" "I'll tell you," Wagstaff said, quickly. "Borneo is a large island near China, and the natives are of the Malay race, and are called Dyaks." "What's that?" Steve quickly interposed. "Did you say they were called dagoes ?" '"No, not dagoes," grinned Wagstaff. "They are called Dyaks. They are a wild and treacherous people, and are very super stitious and cruel. Not only are they canni bals, but they have also among their frightful customs the practice of cutting off the head of an eneiny, when the enemy can be found and killed. It is a part of their vengeful religion, and these severed heads are often given in payment for a slave, or even for a wife." "And you think this man on the barge is one of the head hunters?" asked Steve. "I now have no doubt of it," said Wagstaff, with considerable assurance. "Hogan probably has visited Borneo on one of his voyages, and very possibly com mitted some outrage offenaing this native Dyak, who doubtless threatened to be avenged, and who since had followed Hogan even to this country. It is a hundred to one that they saw each other before Hogan le-ft the landing, and that the native pursued and overtook him, and killed hi.m under yonder shed before Hogan could regain sufficient strength and breath to give an alarm." '"And that explains why the head is gone," said Steve. "Precisely!'' cried Wagstaff. "The native. according to his custom, aims to take the heaLI back to Borneo with him as evidence that the wrong or outrage, if such there was, had been avenged." "I must go up to the office," said Steve. seizing his cap from the table. "The head hunter must be arrested." "Wait a while," commanded Wagstaff. "You must not be in a hurry." "But I can't let the head hunter escape." "He wil! not attempt to escape unless he thinks himself suspected." "Mebbe that's so." "He will remain on the barge till it is un loaded, surely," continued Wagstaff. "And since you have no positive proof of his guilt, that is. the first thing you should seek to ob tain, even before arresting the man "Do you mean the head of the old cap tain?" demanded Steve. "Certainly that is what I mean. If you can discover what the Malay has done with it, and produce it as evidence against him, you will have the man dead to rights." "That's the very thing!" cried Steve, again pulling ,off his cap and tossing it aside. "I'll not report yet. 1"11 lay low with you until morning, and then I'll go head hunting my self. Say, I'm glad yer gimme back the gun, for I'm like to need it against a man worse than you by the longest kind of odds." CHAPTER VIII. THE HEAD HUN'l'ER. With "impatience born of his ambition to be foremost in securing the grewsome object which would serve to solve the mystery of

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 25 Captain Ben Hogan's death, Steve felt that he could not wait Chief O'Mara 's arrival at th, police headquarters the next morning, but that he must at once begin his search for the missing head, and at the same time fall to watching the Malay in order to prevent his escape. The moment he had finished the early breakfast Wagstaff had provided, Steve maie ready to depart. "Where are you going so early?" de rnanded with a rather anxious ex pression on his wrinkled face. "Yet you must remember that such a sav age as this Dyak sets no value on his own life, and much less on the lives of others, if that were possible," persis.ted Wagstaff. "The very fact that he could murder Hogan in broad daylight, and within a hundred feet of nearly as many people, shows how little he cares for hims elf and for out laws and pen alties. ful." I say again, you had better be care 'Tl! look out for myself,'-' returned Steve, confidently. "If you really think the odds are so strong against me, I'll tell you what you "Down to Watson's landing," replied can do. At the same time you'll be doing Steve. "For what?" "To begin a still hunt for the cap'n's head." "You don't intend going alone, do you?" "Why not?" "You will take a dangerous risk." "That's part of the business." "If this Dyak savage thinks himself sus pected, or irhe should suddenly find himself in a corner from which he could not escape, he would become a thousand times more reck l ess. and desperate than any white man," Wagstaff remonstrated, in a way which indi cated that he now entertained a very friendly feeling for this young detective. "But I'm not going ter pull the man my self," rejoined Steve. "D'ye take me for a jay? I ain't in his class in the scrapping business. He's the heaviest kind of a heavy." But Wagstaff had no appreciation of Steve's boyish display of indifference. "You had better take a posse of officers with you," he replied; "or, at least, have them within call." "But I'm only going to make a hunt for Hogan's missing head, and see that the head hunter don't cut away and run," rejoined Steve, looking very much bored at thus being cautioned against the possible danger. me a favor." "What is that?" "Go up to headquarters when you can get the time, and, when Chief O'Mara comes in, tell him the whole "That wouldn't hurt my case with him, would it?" said Wagstaff, rather approv ingly. "Sure, 'twouldn't !" cried Steve. "It would be more lil
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26 SHIELD WEEKLY. chief, and he'll tell you all about me. Now, hands \\ould be likely to o rder him off. "Are sir, I'm off after this head hunter." "Good-by, then." "So long!" vVagstaff smiled faintly. but the same anxious concern for SteYe s safety lingered till in his aged eyes. He did not waste much time before setting forth on the mission he had accepted. Be fore Steve fairly had turned the.corner of P street \Vagstaff from his shop door and started for the police headquarters. you most unloaded?'' 'Pretty nigh." "Get through to-clay?" "Easy," nodded the man. ''\Ve'd have wound up yesterday, only for the police taking so much of our time, and bein' in the way.'' ''\Vas this where cler body was found in cler trunk?" The ma11 n odcled again. At the same moment Steve saw the huge It w:i.s not quite seven o'clock when Steve. Malay put in an appearance on. the forward deck. arrived at \Vatson's landing. Seven ''"as the hour the men were expected to go to work. The barge was still there : and evidently was not wholly discharged of her freight. On ome of the numerous boxes and cases which now occupied the landing a number of the laborers were seated, smoking and talking. As he approached, Steve observed t\YO of the boatmen on the deck of the barge, but he saw nothing either of Luscom or 6 the for midable Malay. vValking down to the boat, Steve boldly went aboard of her and accosted one of the hands. "'vVhere'll I fine\ Mr. Luscom ?'' he 111quirecl. "He's not clown here yet," rejoined the boatman, indifferently. "He is at the hotel." "Ain't he coming down?" "I reckon he'll be down in the course of an hour or so." "I s'pose I can wait till he comes, can't I?" asked Steve "I guess so. There's no law against it." Steve fished out a couule of cio-ars, and gave one to each of the men, both of whom appeared willing to accept. ''I'll stay aboard here till he comes," said he, having thus made sure that neither of the He had suddenly is ued from some quar-ter helow. "\i\fho's the nagur ,, asked Steve. "He's one of the hands," replied the boat-man. "He's a corke r, ain't he." "Rather ... grinned the man. "He eats a ki(i about your size for his breakfast about every morn mg. 'Is that so?" said Steve, dryly. ''l\Iebbe 1 could get the job for to-morrow if he has no odder one engaged .. ''Do yon think you' cl like?" "I think he"cl find me the toughest little squab he ever tackled ... "His teeth are tolerably good," laughed the boatman. "He'd need a new set after he'd got through with me," grinned Steve. 'By the way he is looking at you," added the boatman, ''I reckon you'd have no trouble making the date with him." Steve was very careful not to betray him self by too sudde n an interest in that direc tion. He believed that this Dyak chieftain and cannibal was quite as dangerous and desper ate as the old druggist had stated. He gradually turned his gaze from the man with \\horn he was talking, and then took a look at the l\falay.

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 27 The expression on the black face of the savage had undergone moment he discovered barge. a quick change the Steve aboard the "\\-by you here?" he demanded, with a frown None of your business,'' said Steve, curtly. "Are you the skipper of this craft? He had { ecognized him at once as the boy Have you got a wheel that you're Admiral he had noticed on the landing the previous Dewey? I'm not looking to steal anything." morning, ancl he had seen him talking with Garrity, and that he aftenrnrd departed in company \\'ith the detectives. Even a native of Borneo could put this and that together, and as he abruptly ap proached the boatmen a;1d Steve, on seeing the latter turn and look at him, the face of tbe Dyak was not an agreeable picture. Suspicion \\'as plainly manifest in his in tensely black eyes. "He's coming after YOU now, kid," 'You no looking for anything?" "Sure, I'm not! \Vhat would I be looking for?" : Me no tell." "I just came aboard to take the morning air," grinned Steve. ''The breeze from the riwr is good for me health." "Ko good if you say bad of 1Iadok !" said the Malay. with a look and movement so significant of cutting Steve's throat then and there that one of the boatmen quickly sprang laughed the boatman. "You'd better light up and thrust the savage back several paces. out.'' Ste\'e read aright the l ook on the native's face, and realized that he indeed was doubt l ess the cause of the :\Ialay's approach. But Steve "as not the sort of a who takes back water. "I guess I can look out for myself," he re joined, with no idea whatever of following the boatman's advice. Then the latter said, jokingly, as the Ma lm came nearer: "Here's a youngster "ho is looking for you, ".\Tadok. He'll ans\Yer for to-morrow's breakfast." \,\'ith the expression on his repulsive features intensified by the boatman's remark, the .\Ialay halted and gazed sharply clown at Steye's indifferent face. Get away forward!" he c ri ed, sharply, "ith a threatening look. .. .\1e no like--" r don't care what you like!" roared the boatman, catching up a stave from the deck. ''You get away for\\'ard. or I'll break every bone in your infernal ebony hide. The boy's doing' no harm here. and you "ill let him alone. Be off with you, I say!" The Malay reluctantly obey<;cl. and slowly returned whence he had come. But the diabolical look on hi face, as he glanced back over his shoulder at the inno cent cause of the altercation. \\'as one to have curdled one's blood. ":\Iuch obliged!" said Steve. turning to the boatman. "But I "asn't afraid of him." ''He's a bad stick, just the same," was the ''\Vhy look for me?" he demanded, with a reply. "I think he'd cut a man s throat as deep voice and in his broken English. '\Vho's looking for you)" returned Steve, \\'ith a laugh. "Go chase yourself. The boatman is giving you a jolly, and you .ain't on to it. Get wise, old man." Evidently, indeed, the Malay did not understand any of this, but he still persisted in his suspicious inquiry. quickly as I'd cut an orange." "\\'here' d he come from '" "Luscom picked him up from some vessel three or four months ago, 'and has had him ever since." "\i\That does he keep such a cutthroat for?" "Because he can get much work out of him fer very little money."

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28 SHIELD WEEKLY. 'Is he always on the barge?" '::.fost of the time. Once in a while we let him off for a few hours but he nearly al ways gets drunk when he has the chance, and then he's a very devil." I s'pose you'd miss him if he wasn't here all the time, wouldn't you?" asked Steve, aiming to learn indirectly whether or not the Ma lay had left the barge for any length of tim e during the previous day. And he succeeded admirably:. "Yes, we'd miss him soon enough," replied the boatman, tossing down the stave again, and grimly gazing at the herculean figure of the Malay, who then was lounging over the rail of the barge a dozen yards away. "He fooled u s only yesterday," he added, indifferently, "and sneaked oft for nearl y an hour. "Is that so?" Luckily he came back here sober, how ever, or Luscom would have broken his ugly head. "Mebbe h e had an errand," suggested Steve. "What errand would he have, save.' to buy rum," growled th e boatman. 'He might have had," laughed his com panion. "At least he brought back a bundle with him when he came, all ro!Jed up in a piece of dirty burlap." "I was not here, then." o I was here alone, Jim," said the oth e r. You and Luscom had gone up to dinner:" "Mebbe he'd be en buying a suit of clothes, or a watermelon," said Steve. I s'pose he d idn't say which? "No; and I didn t ask the ugly cuss." "Does he sleep in der little hole up there in der deck?" Little hole eh?" laughed the boatman, \': ith a curious gla.nce at his companion. "That little hole is the hatch of the fo'castle. Yes. he sleeps down in there." "All b):' himself?" ''You don't think any of us would bunk in the same place with him, do you?" "Well, der ain"t no accounting for people's tastes," grinned Steve. "Still, I reckon I wouldn't want to." He now had learned what he at that mo ment desired. He now felt sure that the Malay was the party guilty of the murder, and that he had left the barge the previous day solely for the purpose of following Hogan and committing the crime. The fact that he had brought bac a bundle wrapped in burlap also was and Steve decided that, without any doubt, it contained the severed head of the Malay's victim. If this could be discovered, the chain of evidence would indeed be complete. And Steve, despite the desperate appear ance of the savage, now resolved to make. a hunt for it. With this aim in view he had asked concerning the quarters occupied by the Malay, and he now believed that the missing head would be found there. "I'll lay low for the chance," he said, to himself, "and slip down there and see." CHAPTER IX. IN CLOSE QUARTERS. Steve scarce had made the venturesome de termination mentioned when the bells and whistles throughout the city told the hour of seven. These sounds immediately turned the landing into a scene. of animation. The half score of men who had been lounging about sprang up to begin work, and the voices of the barge men, the tumbling about of boxes and cases and the incessant rumble-of truck wheels combined to drown all lesser sounds. "Come do.vn this way, Madok !" yelled one of the boatmen, signing for the Malay to ap-

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SHIELD WEEKLY. 29 proach. "Come down here and pass up these i;:ases." The Malay obeyed, but in the sullen fash ion of a man with doubts and misgivings on his mind .) The \Vork brought him aft on the barge, and well away from CiUarters he occu pied. Before he sprang down among the cases in the hold of the shallow barge he glanced again at Steve and scowled darkly "You'll to get out of the way, boy," cried the boatmen. "Move up yonder, if you are waiting for Luscom, and give us room l1e re to work." This was just what Steve wanted. 'Vithout a glance in the direction of the Malay, whose head and shoulders only were visible above the hold, Steve walked forward in obedienc e to the command. Then h e took a stand near the rail, and ithin a dozen feet of the open hatch entering to the quarters mentioned For nearly ten minutes he stood there, ap parently gazing at the work of the men on the landing, but all the while furtively watching the busy savage. ''.The ugly mug is keeping his lamps on me all the time," he said to himself. "It's a risky job to go down in his joint, but I reckon it's got to be done and mebbe the boatmen will keep him busy. I think I'll try playing the fox on him." Waiting several minutes, until he felt sure that the Malay was observing him, Steve suddenly mounted to the rail of the barge and then sprang down upon the landing. There he was out of sight of the savage. But he already had discovered a way by which he could watch the native. Moving along the landing until he could see through the hawser hole, he then could 'watch the movements of the Malay without being seen. The latter still was busy passing up the cases of merchandise, and the clearing and raising of each, which required his stooping into the hold, his head and shoul ders disappear e d b e low the deck and re mained for s e veral moments. ,-'I'll take a chance when he's down out of sight, and try to make the move, Steve finally decided, seeing no other way by which it could be accomplished "If he gets on to it, I'll make a sneak for the landing again, and go for the police At the end of another minute Steve saw the chatrne for which he was waiting. With a bound he regained the deck of the barge, and shot a swift glance in the direc ,, tion of the Malay. The latter still was out of sight in the hold. Without an instant's hesitation Steve darted through the open hatch and sprang down into the dismal little fo'castle. The Malay had not seen him. Steve found himself in a small, dingy room, the ceiling of which was so low that he easily might have touched it. At either sid e t h ere was a wood e n bunk, one of which was empty. The oth e r wa s half fille d with old and musty bedding, in a state of indescribable disorder. There was no e g ress from the place but the hatch Steve's first thought was of retreat, in case the Malay should unexpectedly approach discover him The forward part of the room was not boarded in, however, and made toward the narrowing prow of the barge Nearly at the stem of the craft was a vent hole through the deck, made for the purpose of ventilation . For some six or eight feet approaching this the space was so narrow that Steve scarce could have jammed himself through it, nor

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30 SHIELD wEERLY. \Yas the apper\ure itself ufficicntly large for him to haw cra,,led through. "If the ugly guy finds me here, he'll have m e cornered like a rat in a trap," he said to \\bile making a hurried survey of the d i smal place. ''I guess I'd hctter work sharp and get out." \Vithout further delay he began his search. The place was so small that not much time was required for this. \Vithin a minute Steve had covered one en tire side, and felt hurriedly among the bedding in the opposite bunk. His efforts proved vain, however, and he .,. b e gan to fear that he \\as on the wrong track. Th'en he caught sight of the edge of a piece of burlap under one corner of the bunk. But th e side board ran so close to the floor that no object of any size could have been thrust beneath it. ''It must be in there, just the sai:ne !" Steve excitedly muttered, quite forgetting his own danger for the moment. By throwing off the bedding from the bunk he exposed the boards across the bottom. Gne or two of these near the foot were loose, and he quickly removed them. Then a common wooden bucket with a cover, such as salted and pickled fish are packed in, met his gaze. Quickly raising it, he set it clown on the floor at hi feet. The cover had been tightly put on, but it was not nailed, and by using his knife Steve speedily removed it. Instant_Jy he beheld the object of his search. 1n the little bucket. half covered with dis colored hrine and pickle, was a human head. Ste.ve caught his breath for an instant, the f: g-ht \YaS SO shocking; an cl tJ1e11, clapping on i ,_ cover, he caught up the bucket and started f 1 :t he hatch. if I can get out with it before the saYage tumbles to dcr little racket--" T\ut the Iala, alrearh had tumbled,, though not because of ha;ing seen Steve, nor because of suspecting his \\ here a bouts. His alarm, and his immediate apprehension of the dange1 hy \Yhich he was menaced, ernanatcrl from another cause. \\'heeling rapidly clown the landing. there suddenly had appeared one of the police pa trol ,, agons, containing Chief O':\Iara and Inspector Garrity, along with half a dozen blue-coated policemen. T\w instan t the :\Ialav saw them, he sus pected their mission and realized hi danger. His first thought was of the severe
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SHIELD WEEKLY. 3 1 At the same moment the ::.Ialay landed on the floor, flat upon his back. His feet had struck the bucket when he sprang down from th e deck, and he had been To this mishap alone Steve -:\Ianley probably O\\'ed his life. It gave him time to scramble out of the way before the :Malay could regain his feet. The latter was up in a moment, however, and instantly saw what had occurred with such a yell as is rarely heard in a civilized comimuni.ty, and with all that was savage and vengeful in him raised to the limit, the l\lalay caught sight of Steve and snatched a knife from under th e bunk near by. A ;cream of terror broke from Steve when the fiend made a dive at him: "Help! Chief O'Mara, help!" And then occurred the mo s t curious cir cumstance of all. In his wild desire to e s cape, Steve had 1 jammed himself so far int o the narrow space in half and come in here in sections. Don't yer know this is a private way and dang e rou s passing?" But the taut;ts were fairly drowned by the cries of fury issuing from th e l\la.lay, who now drevv back his arm a nd for an instan t poised the knife bet\\een his thumb and fin ger. "Don't you throw that at me!" yelled Steve with renewed apprehen s ion. But the l\Ialay did not throw it. Before his uplifted arm could move the report of a revolver rang through the place, and a bullet had brok e n the Malay's wri s t The nexit: mOlment Garrity and three of the policemen cam e p ouring down through the narrow hatch To their surpri se the -:\Ialay off e r e d n o further resistance. \Vith a composur e that wa s alik e s a vage and dignified and with utte r indiffer e nc e t o what must hav e been a frightfull y painful wound, he suffered him s elf to b e arrest e d and raken out on deck. ii] the prow that the huge Malay was utterly Nor did he thereafter s h o w the slightest unable to follow him interest in what might befall him; and wh en, At the very best he could not reach within two months later, he met the death to which a foot of the slight figure of the boy, and his he was legally it was met with savage manifestations of disappointment and the same grim dignity and s toical jndiff e rrage would beg&"ar description. ence which characterized him from the m o -The moment that Steve beheld the Malay s .moment in which he realized that his end curious predicament, and realized that be \\ as out of the man's reach, the more ludicrous s i de of the situation seized him himself farther into the narr.ow p a ssage, he looked back over his shoulder and shouted, tauntingly: "Go chase yourself! You're a misfit for a pla ce like this. \Vhy don't you come in? The door's open!" Me kill! me kill! me kill !" shrieked the Malay, in a horrible frenzy of rage. '"You've clone your killing," yelled Steve. It'll come the other way, now. Cut yers e l f was inevitable. Before he was executed. however, h e was prevailed upon to make in his rude way a statement of the cause for such a crime. It proved to be very nearly what old Zenas Wagstaff had conjectured On his last trip to Borneo, nearly two years previous, old Captain Hogan had com m i tted an outrage against one o f the native i slanders, and this man had followed him even to America to avenge the wrong. It had taken him nearly th e entire interval to locate Hogan, and the latter had seen the

PAGE 33

32 SHIELD WEEKLY. Malay aboard the barge when it was being hauled up to the landing. He did not then think that he had been seen, howeveP, and not until he reached :'.:" street did he discover that he was pursued. Then he had resorted to the short cut through the alley, hoping thus to reach Leary's back door before he could be over taken. The Malay caught him on the dump-heqp, however, weak and out of breath, and the crime was committed a lmost within the mo ment. Though many afterward said that they had seen the Malay pass through the streets, none thought of his being in pursuit of Hogan, or of ascribing to him the old seaman's death Cleaving to his native custom, the savage had boldly removed Hogan's head in a piece of burlap found on the dump and left the a11 into the river, he had returned at night and succeeded in conveying it as far as the landing. Before he could do more, however, he had heard the two workmen approaching . in the skiff, and had delayed until they should pass. they had hauled directly up to the landing and remained there until morning, thus giving the Malay no alternative but that of leaving the trunk where it stood. Though efforts were made to accomplish it, it never could be proved that Hogan left any money ; but if he did, and if crafty Tim Leary did indeed sec ure it he enjoyed it un discovered. l}ut perhaps Leary had as good a right to it as any other man; and Satan, it is said, does not al ways prove false to his o'yn. THE END. Next week's SHIELD WEEKLY (No. 21) body in the trunk, as described will contain "$ro,ooo Reward; or, Steve With the intention of throwing trunk and Manley in a New Role. SHIELD WEEKLY L A T EST ISSUES: .. ... 20-The Head Hunter; or, Steve Manley' s Secre t Mission. 19-A Skin Game; or, Steve Manley Among the T anners. 18-Called Down; or, Steve Manley In a Desperate Strait. 17-Found Guilfy; or, Steve Manley Against Court and Jury. 16-A Paper Gold Mine; or, Sheridan Keene After Money Order Boolt 2409. 15-Behind the Asylum Bars; or, Turned Down as a Hope less Case. 14-The Mysterious Signal; or, Sheridan Keene on the Water Front. 13-In Bad Hands; or. Sheridan Keene's Help to Some Country Visitors. 12--Arreste d at the Tomb; or, Sheridan Keene on & Curious Case. 11-Under the Knife; or, The Cloak of Guilt. 10-A Frozen Clue; or, The Cold Storage Mystery. 9-A Double Play; or, Two Mysteries \n One Net. 8-A Lion Among Wolves; or, Sh-=ridan Keene's Identity. 7-Unde r Sea l; or, The Hand of the Guilty. 6-Who Was the Model? or, Missing: A -Beautiful Heiress. 5-The Man and the Hour; o r Sheridan Keene' Clever Artifice. 4-Cornered by Inches; or, A Curious Robbery In High Life 3-Inspector Watts' Great Capture; or, The Case ot Alvord, the Embezzler. Z.-Silhouette or Shadow? or, A Question ot Ev! de nce. 1-Sheridan Keene, Detective; or, The Chief Ins.pec tor's Best Man. Back numbers always on hand. If you cannot get our publications from your newsdealer, fiv e cents a copy will bring them to you, by mail, postpaid.

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Ill Nick Carter is the best known Detective in the world. Stories by this noted Slellth are issued regu larly in NICK CARTER WEEKLY and all his \Vork is written for us. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, NEW YORK


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