A haunted boy, or, The mad-house mystery


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A HAUNTED BOY "True." assented the doctor, with a cagy look in his yellow eyes, "but are there any specifications in reiard to the a-you would not do it, so I had to trace her name with my own hands, to overcome your scruples, so you could, with a clear conscience, swear you saw her affix her name to the paper." "Monsieur," sweetly said Marie, "I know I be ver' bad vomans to do all I deed do for gold; yet all I do can be remedied; but to once take ze false oath to von forgery you cannot recall." "The deuce take your nicety M conscience!" growled the doctor savagely. "But never mind, I'll get the paper back by capturing the woman. and then send it to Bings, so as to get control of the legacy-do you see? Ha! What is that?" The noise of voices in the hall and a wild howl were heard. He ran out, and there stood two keepers with the mad woman, whom they had captured. At the same moment there sounded a furious uproar upstairs. The doctor l'Ushed away in alarm, mounting the stairs three at a jump. In the hall on which the lunatics were confined, he saw Ruric striving to open one of the cells, the madmen all around creating the furious disturbance he heard. A cry of dismay burst involuntarily from the doctor's lips. For the cell con tained Ruric's father-Godfrey f.l,..uesome.. CHAPTER IX.-Down in the Dungeon. Having left his mother sitting in the elegantly furnished apartment the doctor had bl'ought her to, Ruric had gone out in the corridor on which the cells opened, and heard someone call him. It was his father, manacled hand and foot, in a cell. "Good heavens!" groaned the boy. "The doctor lied to me. He did not run away from the cot tage, a jesting impostor, but was sent here and confined! My mother is Crane's victim! She has committed big amy by marrying the scoundrel!" "Ru ric cried the prisoner frantically. "Ml{ son! By all you hold sacred and dear, get me cut of here! Caleb Crane did this. He wants to get me out of his way to perpetrate some rascality. In the midst of these madmen my brain will turn. Save me! Save me!" "You are really my father, then?" panted the boy. "I call Heaven to witness that I am!" "I believe you. Yet my mother denied it-she did n::it re(:ognize you." "Open the door, Ruric. Let out of here. And once I get my hands on the throat of that infamous reptile, Caleb Crane, I will wri11g a confession of the motive that actuates him from his villainous lips, if I perish doing it." He clutched a bar of his cell in a frenzy, and violently shook it, making his manacles clank with a dismal sound. Ruric's heart bled for the unhappy man, and he was endeavoring to get the cell door open when the doctor rushed un, pounced on him, caught him by the neck, and with one fling sent him reeling across the corridol', away from the door. "Clear out of here! Clear out!" he shouted furiously. "You liberate my father, you scoundrel!" cried the boy. "Your father'! Are you mad?" "No, Caleb Crane, not as mad as you often in timate I am!" The doctor savagely glared at him. then Rul'ic beheld his father behind the doctor's back, making warning gestures to him; and apprehending at once what was implied he was suddenly struck with an idea. "He wants me to keep still!" thought the boy. "It is a good plan. The doctor is sly and I must be cunning to outwit him. I'll throw him off his guard, and VAhen I have a favorable opportunity I'll come bac'k and liberate my father!" The boy walked away, while Crane called a keeper. "Watch that buy till he's in the room with his mother, then lock him in," said the physician. "The key is on the outside of the door. take No. 14 to celi No. 7 in the cellar. I am gcing downstairs to nave the woman taken down. Warn all hands not to let the boy know wh'ere the man has gone, and that the woman has been recap tured. Do you understand?" "Yes, sir," replied the keeper. The doctor then went down to the floor below, and the keeper obeyed his injunctions to the Jet ter, making a prisoner of Ruric in his mother's room, and conveying Godfrey Gruesome down into a dal'k dungeon by a back staircase. Upon l'each ing the lower floor, the doctor encountered the two keepers, who had captured the woman dowJ(

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12 A HAUNTED BOY by the river. The unfortunate woman was screaming and raving, and:crouching back agains t the wall, in the clutches of the rough, burly men. The moment her glance fell upon the doctor, a terrible fit of fury asailecfher, and she ,strove with superhuman strength to break away from her captors and get at him. "Don't let her get away, boys," grimly said the doctor. "Search her. She has a paper that is very valuable to me, and I must get it at :my hazard. Tear every rag off her b o dy, if ne.:-es sary." "No, no, no!" .c1ied the woman, quivering wiih excitement, as she wrestled in the strong grasp of her captors. "You cannot get it! You cannot get it! Ha! ha! ha! I have balked. your d esign, Caleb Crane! I have thwarted your plans, you fiend in human form! It is hidden-safely, safely hidden. Do you hear me? Ho! ho! ho! Hidden, hidden, hidden, safely-well-where you can never, never get it. Ho! hot ho!" "Confound her, she ha<; balke d me!" hr:arsely muttered Crane, "but l shall wring an avowal of the truth from her lip s if r have to torture her to death in order to find it. Away with herdown in the d4,llgeon with he1-.take her to No. 4, and bv heavens I shall force a confession of the paper;s hiding-place from her!" Harrlenect and brutal as the keepers were, they glanced at each othP.r and shuddered at m ention of taking the poor woman down to that cell, for they" knew what that meant! They were dragging her, screaming, away, when there came a ring at the door-bell, accelerating their rr.ov eemn t s, and causing a dark frown to appear on Caleb Crane's brow. He was obliged to forego accompanying them, and as they disappeared down a gloomy flight of stairs with her, the doo r-keeper admitted a man to see the phys ician about taking a patient. Caleb Crane's institution was a private asylum, and he did an excellent bus ine$s there since he started the madhou se H aving rid himself of hi s caller, he was about to g o down to the dungeon, when a furious ring at a bfll in the office summoned him upstairs to hi s wife's apartments. He hastily answered the call, softly unlocking the door on the outside, and pocketing the key. "Why, Caleb," said his bride, in surprised tones, "what ailed the door? I tried to open it and it seemed to have b ee n locked." "Pooh, pooh, my dear," blandly said Crane. "It was stuck in the jam. I must have a carpenter fix it today. It opened rather hard just now, I noticed. Did you want to come out?" "No; Caleb, but here wished to go out,'1 she replied. She was a sweet and gentle-looking woman, and seemed to entertain the most profound affec tion for the boy. Ruric smiled when the doctor entered, and then said: "Doctor, as you are now my stepfather, will }'l)U please write to my old professcrs for me, saymg you and my mother are satisfied with what they have done for me. It is most singular ahout you, mother. You tried to write the letter for me, as you were always an elegant writer, but I de dare your chirography was strangely changed; you inscribed the letters terribly, the spelling was awful and at last you gave it up in despair. Of course if you hurt your hand as you said, you A;annot do as I asked." Mrs. Crane looked at her husband, and he glanced at her iu a peculiar. manner, which the boy did not observe. The doctor readily con sented, though, and after the was written, the boy took it, saying he was going to the vilL lage to post it, and left the room and descended the stairs. When he got down in the lowe1 hall he pau.:;ed near the door of one of the keepers' rooms, his attention being arrested by what he heat:d two of the men saying inside the apart mEnt. "Yair, Bill, I catched her down bY' ther river terday, an' Jim an' me brung her in here, an' tuck her down in ther dungeons." "Why, Hank, that's where the doc told me to take the .feller who the boy was trying to get out of his cell. He's in No. 7. The old feller don't want the boy to know anything about it, neither." "And I brung ther woman to. No. 4." "Oh, ho! The torture cell, "Why," muttered Ruric, in amazement, "they have caught the unfortunate being J bel: eved to be my mother, and have put her down in the cel la1.. Fortune favors me. And my poor father is down there, too! Now is my chance! I'll slip down there and liberate my father. Then we can get the woman out, and if she ls my mother-but, pshaw! how can she be? I just left my mother up in her. room, smiling and happy." He hurried through the hall, and taking a candle from a rack with some matches, he west down to the vaults. A broad flight o{ stairs led to the cellars, and an arched passage, damp, cold, and reeking with filth and verm-in, met his vi e w. There were a dozen iron-barred cells opening on this passage, and by the aid of his candle he located No. 7. "Father!" he cried, running to the door. "Oh-Ruric Thank heaven! Is it you my boy"!" cried the man in the cell, as he to the door and peered out through the bars. "Ay! And I am here to release y(}u!" cried the boy. The door was bolted on the outside and he opened it. Godfrey Gru.ei:ome siepped out in the corrirlor, and Ruric rushed off to the cell numbered foul', held up his candle and peered in. 'l'here crouched the mad woman he sought, he1 back turned toward him, muttering incoherently to herself in low tones. "Ruric Ruric cried the man, in startled tones. "What is it?" demanded the boy, in alarm. womai:i turned around just then and glared at him ferociously. He was startled frightfully for it was his mother's face he saw! "Fly!" thrillingly cried his father, in smothered frantic tones. "Look there!" "The doctor and two keepers approaching with a lantern!" gasped the boy. "He may kill you for venturing to do this!" muttered his father. Ruric hastily extinguished his candle and glided over to his father's side, watching the approaching tig)it and men in alarm. He hardly dared guess what his fate would be if tney caught him there libera_ting his father from the dungeon. CHAPTER X.-Cell No. 4. Cell No. 4, down in the madhouse dungeon, wherein the crazed veteran crouched whom Ruric

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A HAUNTED BOY 13 saw by the light of his candle before he extin guished it, was a torture-chamber! The boy did not know it pos itively, .but surmised that there was something wrong about it from what he heard the two keepers saying in the doctor's office. He had the letter clutched in his hand which the doctor had written to his old professors at Albany, as he joined his father in the dark corridor outside of cell No. 7, to where Godfrey Gruesome stepped when Ruric unlock e d bis cell door. The man was manacled hand and foot, though. They watched the ]Jlnteri; carrie d by the doctor, a s Crane approached with the two .Keepers, and saw that Ruric could not escape by retracting his steps, for they were at the entrance to the damp, dirty and gloomy corridor jus t the n. Crane mjght injure the boy if he discovered him liberating his father, and what to do the boy did not know for a moment: to remain inactive, though, meant exposure! But he had no time to speculate over this just then, for the doctor and his assistants were dangerously near, and iheir grim looks showed that they were bent upon forcing the woman to confe s s whe r e she had hidden the paper, which she signed for the benefit of Benjamin H. Bings, the solemn-vi saged lawyer: .. "Into the cell-quick! Come with me!" gasped his father. "It is your only means of conc eal ment!" He caught tli.e boy by the wrist, and pushing him through the open door, he glided in himself and dre w the door shut. And he was just in time, tou The next instant the doctor and the two keepers reached the cell, and came to a pause in front of it, holding up the dull-glowing lantern, so that its rays fell upon the iron bars. There was a wretched iron cot in the cell. The moment Ruric got in he lightly got on to it and drew th,e c
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.. 14 A HAUNTED BOY tor Crane. Ho! ho! ho!" she added, with a sudden burst of lunacy. "I know you." Then she crouched back agains t the cot again in a fit of tremb'ling. He glanced at her furtively an instant, and added: "Where is the paper you signed which you stole from me?" "I don't know,'' she replied. "I don't know-I don't know." "You lie!" exclaimed Crane angr ily "You lie! Tell me where you have hidden it, or, by heavens, I'll force you to!" She began to laugh and cry alternately, meantime protesting with one breath that s he did not know where she put the paper, and with the n ext defying him and saying that he would never force her to tell. It was a heart-rendiug sight, but the men were used to it. Springing upon with, .bristly ferocity, the little caught lier by the throat as she was a.ri sing, and bore her over upon her back on the flag s tones. "Now tell me, tell me!" yelled. "I will have no nonsense from you. Do you hear, tell me, or--" 1 "Mercy! Mercy!" she s hrieke.ii. "Oh, heaven! This is terrible!" "Will you confess?" hissed the doctor sar-donically. "Oh, I do not know where I put it!" she wailed. The doctor was furious, but relentless. "Then, by Jove, she shall sign another!" he ex claimed hoarsely. "Anything! Anything!" groaned thtf poor woman. "Oh, this is too much-too much! You will kill me! You will kill me!" Foreseeing that he might be rlisapp_ointed. of discovering the paper, Crane Iiad provided him self with another, which differed a little fr.om the first and he now drew it out of his pocket. Bill had' pen and ink, and they loosened the woman's. arms. She was then ordered to affix her signature, under promise to be left alone if she plied; and with a renu;rkably firm,,hand she mscribed the name "Julie Gruesome at the bot tom. The doctor glanced at the chirography by the lantem light, and a look o ineffable joy crossed his face as he saw that there could be no denial of that name or handwriting. He left the cell with the keepers. The moment he was gone tbe mad woman got up from the cot. "I know not what that paper sa. id," s he muttered, "nor do I know what your game is, Caleb Crane, but I do know that you are the cause. of all 11\Y misery now, and that you would not 1mme here without a reason. But the paper s safely hidden-I know where-and, with what I ave jus t discovered, I shall balk your plot mo s t cunningly!" And as she spoke she crept over to the back o.f the cell, and grasping one of the rusty iron rings welded in the wall with both hands s he gave it a turn, and pushed against the large, fiat s ton e to which it was fastene d. The s tone swung back like a. door, di s closing a dark passage in the wall, from whic.h a cold, damp draught came. "How fortunate I remembered the history of lhis old Revolutionary building!" she whispered. well I remembered that it was the abode mce of the priests-and that its secret passages were discovered by my husband when he was with me. Godfrey told me all. And now I can escape from here and turn the tables on you. Caleh Qrane Farewell, my prison-den of horrorS-: place of loathing! Farewell! May your dark and gloomy walls never again contain s o unfort1fnate a being as I am, for I have almo s t seen the last of you now. Farewell!" And as a great sigh proceeded from her lips, she passed through the yawning opening, the se cret-door of stone swung back,i.n its place, and she. vanished in the mysterious passage that was destined to lead her to the culmination of a de sign had schemed ou't in her tortured mind. CHAPTER XI.-The Doctor's Wife. Godfrey Grues0me and Ruric had both been released from their cells by some mysterious means and Caleb Crane was furious over the news. And just as he learned of the escape an attendant acquainted him with the announcement that the mad woman in cell No. 4 wanted to see him. He set out for that cell immediately and was soon in;;ide it. Upon the bed, moaning as if in pain, the sick woman lay when the doctor entered, and the French woman was doing her best to comfort he.r "What is the matter with you, my dear?" he asked, as he sat down upon the edge of the bed and seizing her wrists, felt of her P\ll s e. "Oh, I am completely unnerved from all this ex citement," replied the lady, in. tremulous tones. "It was a strain upon you," said Crane, and then he looked at her face and her hands in a curious manner, and added: "But, by Jove, I never s aw a person change so in one night as you have done. It is startling. You look frightful. Indeed, one would suppo s e you had been ill a month, you are so altered. "You know how nervou s I am, Caleb," said the lady, a s she furtively watched the doctor. "That is true. And your disordered hair--" "Oh! do not touch my head-it i s splitting-and you would drive me wild if rou lay a fing'f!r upon ., me!" she cried, shuddering1y, as she d1 ew back. o from him. ; The doctor was very much perple xed, and fixed his yellow eye s upon her uneasily for an instant. "I wonder how Ruric and his father got free?" said Crane. "Heaven only knows," groaned the lady. "I hope they will not get out again to frighte n m e in this manner. I feared our effoi;t to get the boy's mon e y, and all the res t of our plot, was upon the e v e of expo sure, and that you and I would go to prison for it!' ''Oh, have no fears on that score," raughed Crane, "for I have got things fixed s o that we cannot f ail." "But if the y had managed to. e'scape?" per-si sted the lady. -"Of cours e it would have been bad for u s You must try to make that boy tractable in future, for he could ruin us." "I shall try," said the woman. "And now leave me-I am all unstrung-I want to be left alone." "An' me, madam?" queried Marie. "You can go too A good sleep will quiet my nerves.'' The woman was glad to get away, to hunt for her previous shorthand book, so s he bowed and

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A HAUNTED BOY 15 withdrew, accompanied by the physician . As soon as she was alone, the whole dem eanor of the sick woman changed, like a fla s h. $he sprang from the bed, glided to the door, bolted it, a s the lock was broken, and then went back '.:o the dressing case, whe r e she d eftly arrange d her hair, and bound her he a d around with a bandage that cov eted her forehead. Hastily d onning a wrapper, which lay upon a chair, she picked u p a shawl, and out from its fold s a book fell upon the flo or. It was M arie's sho rthand diar y. She picke:i it up, and o pening it, she sat d own on a chair and b egan t o perus e it, meantime muttering am not half so wicked as you imagine. Nor do I care for On the contrary, I loathe, hate and despi s e him. But he had instituted a vile plot to cheat me and my boy out of our rights. I must remain here until I discover all the details of this villainy. Then I will expose him and see that he is put jn a much-de served prison. Now you understand my motive and know why J want no interference in the counterplot I am forming to thwart our mutual eneniy. Do you con sent?" "But you repudiated me. You deni e d that I was your husband-you swore that y o u did not know me, although I have not changed a t r ifle in elev e n years." "How fo rtunate I understand phonography! I can learn from this book ev erything in connection with the plot the doctor has h atche d, now, and he will find hims elf mo s t s t rangely balked, when h e imagines s ucc e s s i s a ss ured! I c anno t permit thi<> vill ainy to go on. But h e is cunning and un s c r u pulo u s to an unusual d egre e, and w ould perhaps kill m e if he di s cove r s that I play him false. I n ever y e t saw the smartest man, though, who is equal to a woman, when she sets her wits t o work to dupe him." Having mas t e r e d the contents of the book, she lock e d it up in a drawer of the bureau and took the key. "And now," she miitte red, "while I have the chanre, I will commence the first step to thwart the doctor. She arose approached the wains coted wall, and after an in stant spent in searching, she opened the same concealed door in the woodwork th1ough which the mad woman had entered the room the night before. Swiftly taking a candle from the table, she ignited it, entered the dark aperture, clo sed the door, and found herself in a narrow passage between the walls. Gliding -ahead, the, dimly lighting up the surrounding dark ness she came to a flight of stairs reeking with dampnes s, and holding her light aloft, she softly descended. Reaching another passage, and a sec. ond flight of stairs, down she went to the cellar of the building. She arrived in a vaulted passage of brick, one s ide being built of stone masonry, and pursuing it a short c!istance, she cante to a pause at a large, fiat stone. The1e was an iron latch on it, which had become rusted from the dampness but she lifted it, forned the slab on a pivot, and disclosed the interior of Godfrey Grue-. some's ceU The man lay upon hiscot, bound hand and foot, and .as the woman stepped into his cell with the light, he aros e to a sitting posture, uttering a cry of amazement. "Hush!" admonishe d the woman, raising her hand. "You-here?" he gas ped, watching her sav-agely. ''"Ay, to liberate you on c ertain condition s." "Name them, wom an, name them." "I will get you out of her e if you will leave this a sylum and never com e near it again until I send for you B es id e s this you mus t promise not to divulge any of its se crets t o a li ving s oul outside of i t s walls unt il I give y ou my t o do so--w ill y o u d o it?" "And leave you-lp.y wife-wHh t h e fiend who brought m e here! N ever N o no, n o I won't do it! You r e ffr o nter y i s terribly--" "Hark L is t e n to m e, G o dfrey Grues ome," interrupted the l ady, in low, inte n se ton es "You are laboring unde r a great mis t a ke a b o u t me. I "Did I?" qu eried the woman, with a singular s mile. "Well, l e t u s not speak of bygon es just 11ow. Yon will understand the cas e b ette r when I unmas k Caleb Crane. Go to the Irvingdale Arms and live. I will supply you with money until I send _for you. Once l can pro ve a clear case against the delectable doctor his downfall i s certain, your restoration as my husband will follow and you will be amazed at all you will then learn. Pray, do not refus e to believe me." "Then I have misunderstood you?" "Greatly. I love you yet, dearly, Godfrey. Con sent! Consent!" "Then I will do as you say. But if within a reasonable time I do not have a lucid explanation of this mysterious affair, I will return with the po lice and have this place pulled to piece s.'' She found a penknife in his p o cket, cut his bonds, and as she bade him follow her, s he added, with a faint !!mile: "Y?n see, l hav remembered about the secret passages in this old rew>lutionary building, you once told me of, and by exploring them, I have learned all about them, and turned them to good account." They could hear the wild raving of the unlucky woman who was confined -in cell No. 4, acros s the corridor, as they entered the hidden passage. re closed the door and softly went upstairs. Upo n reaching the lady's apartment and closing the panel-door, she was just abcut to show him how he could escape from the building by a back staircase to the yard, wpen there came an impatient rapping at the door, and the doctor's voice cry-ing: "Open the door and let me in! Do you hear!" "Ah!" muttered the startled woman. "The doctor!" "Wher e can I hide?" panted her husband,. gazing wildly around. The doctor had grown impatient, as he had been there knocking since the -lady fir s t left the room, and putting hi s shoulder agains t the door, he burst it open and hurried in. CHAPTER XII.-The Man irl the Clo s et. D octo r Cra ne entered the r o om with an ang1 y s c o wl upon his face, and glanced around. His wife had b ee n too quick for him. She lay in bed, co vered up t o the n e ck, apparently asleep, and in the clo set, p e e r ing out through a crack, was Godfrey Grueso m e Not a sec ond had the y lost in conc ealing the m se l ves. "By J ove I've bee n kn ock in g fo r fiye minutes," fumedthe doctor "The door was l ocked or b oited,

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I 16 A HAUNTED BOY rather, as I see my men broke the lock getting in, Marie was fighting the doctor hard. But her and--Hello! Asleep, by Jove!" strength was no match for his. He soon got a The little wretch seized the woman by the arm firm clutch upon her, and slowly but surely and shook her. She started back, and held the dragged her over to the closet door, which stoo.e falS'e hair She entered the door outside of which she had slie had just worn was clutched in her hand, as been crouching and listening, as was her custom, it had come off when she fell, despite the bandage to all the doctor said. \vith which it had heen fastened on. "Thunder!" gasped the doctor, arising aghast. "You!" "Me, par bleul" acquiesced Marie, with a sneer; "an' by gar, monsieur, I sink zat you meek ze gran meesteck ven you geet rid of me so ve' easy." At the very juncture when it seemed as if a bit ter quarrel between the two would ensue, the keeper, Hank, ran unceremoniously into the room. "Ther man wot was in No. 7 is garn ag'inl" he exclaimed. "Gone!" gasped the startled doctor, turning deathly pale. "I jist diskivered his cell empty, h1s cut bonds a-lyin' on ther floor, an' ther cell locked up on ther outside, sir," proceeded Hank. "I must go and see;" muttered the doctor. "Go down again, Hank. I will follow you in a mo ment." The man hurried out, and Crane turned to Marie: "You must remain here until I return,'' said he. "No, no, monsieur. I do not wee s h zat you flays me some evilness, sair. I go immediate from ere to ze town. You break ze faith with me, sair. ;you weesh zat you ch eat me of ze money you promise. But sacre tonnerre, I veel 'ave not ze least maircy veeth you. I go to Airvingdale, an' zere I veel tell all about you zat I do know." A look of ungovernable fury cro s sed the doc. tor's smooth face, and he sprang toward her and seized her, crrng: "Traitoress Betray me, would you I But I shall not give you the chance! I have no time now to waste talking to you, and I will lock you U. this closet until I return!'. CHAPTER XIII.-Mari Joins the been liberated from his cell by the tor, &uric had just entered his mother.'s room in time to see his father escape from the closet; the physician ep.veloped in the counterpane, clutching Marie, was shoved in in Gruesome's stead, and his mother run out into the hall. Marie made a run for the door to get out, but as the doctor feared she would keep her threat to expose his plot to the authorities, he ran after and caught her. "Mariel Mariel" he gasped. "Do not be a fooll I was only jesting when I told my wife I would send you back to France on a ship. You are too valuable an assistant-" "No, no, monsieur, I do not believe you, sairl" she cried. But he held onto her tightly. Marie had seen what her mistress did, and beheld Gruesome's escape; but she was so angry over the doctor's admis s ion of treachery, which she overheard, that she did not intend to tell him anything about it. She had not seen her mistress shorn head, though, only having had time to see her appearing out the door, hear Ruric cry out that he was haunted, and see the boy hurry into the hall after his mother. "I tell you, you are mistaken I" shouted Crane, angrily. "Vell," said the woman, suddenly struck with the idea to humor him and make her e s cape :while he was off his guard.

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A HAUNTED BOY tl'7 "Zen you proi,;:.,ise me by ze oath zat you veel not do zat, sair?' "Why, of ceurse," said Crane, seeing her ap parently relenting. And so saying, Caleb Crane hurried out in the hall. Neither Ruric nor his mother were visi ble anywhere, and the doctor hurried down to the dungeon, to see for himself how truly Hank spoke, his mind tortured by a thousand fears, in the meantime. But he had no doubt Ruric would be warned by his mother to act diplomatically to keep matters concerning Godfrey Gruesome a dead secret, at last for a while. When he reached cell No. 7 in the dungeon, there stood Hank, }>ut, as the man said, the cell was empty, Godfrey Gruesome's bonds lay upon the floor, evidently cut, and the man was gone. While the doctor was wondering at the man's mys terious escape, the mad woman in cell No." 4 was glaring out through the iron-barred door, her closely cropped head lending her a most hideous aspect, as she kept yelling at him. In the mean-_ time Ruric saw his mother run into an empty room at the end of the hall, and he pursued her. When he got in she stood by the window, as calm and unconcerned as if nothing had occurred. The hair on her head was evidently undisturbed, the towel was b;mdaged around her forehead, and she stood glancing out the window in a pensive atti tude. "Mother!" gasped the bewildered boy, pausing in the middle of the apartment. "Mother, in heaven's name, explain this dreadful myst.ery, or I shall go mad." "What do you mean, Ruric?" asked the lady, calmly. "Have you a double, are you posse sse d of in fernal powers, are you a human being or am I indeed mad?" "My son," said the woman, in tones of sorrow, "you are sane, and I am not endowed with super natural power--" "But how is it that you at one moment appear to me the incarnation of a tender, loving mother1 and next you are a most horrible looking, crazeoth listened. The next moment the door opened and Marie entered. The French woman glanced curiously at her mistress. "Mon dieu!" she exclaimed. "So you are 'ere eh?" "Com.c in and close the doo1. I want no trifling, either." "Sairtainly, madam," said the woman, comply mg. "You saw all that passed in my room?" questioned the lady. "Everysing, madam. You gief ze prisonair bees leebairty.'' "True. And you are going to desert the doctor, eh?" "He ees voin rascals, aftair all I do for heem, to plot zat 'e send me avay, to geet reed 'Of me!' "lt certainly was mean of him. But you must not go away." "Ah, madam, I value my life too mooch to re main here.'' "He promised you five thousand dollars, didn't he? Well; he will not give it to you. If you will join m&-aid me in my plans, I shall see that you get the amount when he is defeated. Mark me, he will inl"ure you yet, if you give him the chance. As my al y, you will fare better." The French woman's black eyes sparkled. She loved intrigue, as most all her nation do. Seeing a chance to get the money Crane threatened to swindle he_ r out of, and the opportunity to retali ate on him, she was not long in assenting to join the lady's cause. A plan of action was then im provised, and the trio hurried back to the lady's bedroom, to avoid being caught plotting by the little doctor, whom they heard ascending the stairs. Crane was very much excited over the (to him) mysterious disappearance of Godfrey Gruesome, and hurried into the bedroom. Marie and Ruric had gotten out of sight, by retreating into the French woman's sleeping apartment, adjoining, and the boy's mother had gone !o bed again before the physician el)tered. Crane approached the bed, and while Ruric and Marie in the room listened they heard him say: "My dear, the man is gone, by Jove, and once he informs the authorities of what I did to him I may be arrested." "What ca'h we do?" queried the laciy. "Rapid work alone can save us. I got another paper signed 'by the mad woman giving me power of attorney. I'll hear from Bings soon." "You gave the lawyer the paper, then?" "Yes. And we will soon have your father's fortune now." "My father's fortune? Ahl So that is the game?" "Yes, of course. You know. I told you all about it. And once I am appointed Ruric's guardian I'll make a veritable lunatic of the boy, never fear!" The listening boy shuddered at this threat. It was the second time the physician said he would do it. "Make a maniac of him?" queried the woman. "How?" "Why, the same way I turned his brain once before. You know what effect the medicine has on the woman whom I've got safely locked up in cell No. 4. She was raving dreadfully a few min utes ago, as I had another dose, stronger, if pos sible, put in her food. I can give the boy some of it once the money is in my hands, anct lock him in a cell, where he will be safe enoug h till he dies." "What is the medicine? Have you got any of it here?" "Yes," replied the doctor, drawing the vial florr: his pocket and handing it to her. "That is thE stuff! It is an ingenious mixture of chlorJ lly

PAGE 19

I 18 A HAUNTED BOY . drate, cocculus Indicus, belladonna and : dhatoora. Keep the vial here for future use." "I shall," said the lady, with a look of grim satisfaction. "I am going away to the city. This suspense will drive me wild. If Gruesome informs the po lice they will raid my house; but .if I am not here they can do e no harm. You can apprise me if anythin!! happens by telegraphing to the D-Hotel. Should the man not do me .any injury I will return." The doctor then kissed her good-by, gave her 'iOme minor instructions, and donning his hat, he went away. Marie and Ruric then entered the room. They overheard ail that was uttered, and lhe trio seemed glad that the doctor had gone as he did. The day passed uneventfully by, save that Ruric's mother had a long, earnest conversation with Marie, gave the girl her shorthand book back, and then Ruric was sent to the city with a note from his mother to a promin nt lawyer. When night fell the lady attired herself, put a shawl Jver her head and stole out of the huilding and across the yard. Approaching the tool-house, she went between lhe fence and the tiny building, drew a small st:Jne from the foundation, and out of the aperture thus made she pulled theJlaper which had been signed )n the night the ma house first contained Ruric's mother. .A.t the same juncture the dGor of the too l-house was cautiously opened and the physi dan thrust out his head, peE\l'e:i around the edge of the building and saw her kneeling on the ground. He had not gone to the city at once, wishing to remain upon the premises until nightfall, unbeknown to any one, and see fdr him.::elf what might transpire. He was evidently astonished to see the lady there, and more so upon ob;erving that the paper she clutched in her hand was the same one stolen from his pocket on the nif.ht Marie's bed was set afire. 'At last!" muttered the !ady, trembling with excitement. "I can bring this document to some account now to defeat him!" The doctor looked amazed, crept out and up be hind her. Reaching over her shoulder, he snatch e d the paper away. "This is mine!" he exclaimed, pocketing it, while the lady sprang to her feet, uttering a startled cry, "and I want you, madam, to tell me how it came hidden here, and how you knew just where to com e to look for it, by Jove!" CHAPTER XIV.-Bed1am Breaks Loose. Caught in the act of unearthing the paper, .to sign which the mother of Ruric Gruesome had been maddened by thedoctor, the lady became overwhelmed with confusion. "I havebPen questioning the mad woman-she told me where she hid the paper. I meant i could bring the paper to som\O! account by handing it over to you, Caleb, to defeat any resistance on the part of the boy, so that our success could be as "Oh," said the, doctor, his face clearing, "I see! But you mu:;;t be much cuter.than I am, managing ,o find out where the woman hid the paper. I even went to the extreme of torturing her to wring a confe ss ion of truth from her stubborn lips, but 11he would not admit anything to me." "Ah, a woman's tact is much shrewder than a man's." "That is so. I am glad you succeeded. This paper might have been the exposure of me. I'll destroy it now so that it will not avail any one." And so saying, he drew it from his pocket and tore it to fragments, scattering them on the sum-mer wind. "Then you are not going f.o the city?" queried the lady. "No. I have no fear, since Gruesome has made no move yet to get me into hot water. The gateman has closed up the grounds, and if any one comes he can inform me in p)enty time to get away by the river." The lady nodded, they separated, and while the doctor went down the graveled path, Ruric's moth er returmd to the asylum. Going upstairs, she met the boy in the hall. "Ah, m0ther," :;;aid he, "I have been looking for you." "Have you s0en the man I sent you to?" "Yes, indeed." "What did he say?" "That we are victims of a conspiracy, and that by this time to-morrow he and Benjamin Bings will have a conversation that will result in Caleb Crane's defeat." "Good! Now run to ycur room. The doctor is coming." As she said thisshe .ran into her own apartment and locked the door, as the lock had been repaired that day. The doctor was to take up his quarters in another part of the hou<-e, pending her recovery so she had no fear of being bothered by him just then. The b9y heard her lock the door, which, besides the exit leading to the .back.stairway, was the only means of getting out of the room, and then he walked away toward his own room. He had just passed the head CYf the stairs when he heard some one coming up. Pausing and glancing over the balustrade, he saw the dim, shadowy figure '.)f a woman softly ascending. There was something peculiar about her that caused the boy to stop and watch her until she reached the top The hall was dimly lit up, and all objects were but imperfectly to be seen; yet Ruric could distinguish her figure faintly. She wore a dress and waist, her s leeves were rolled up to the elbpws, and a cape thrown over her head. -"Who can she be, I wonder?" muttered the boy. Before he could discover, the woman reached the head of the staircase, and then, like a flash, she whizzed through the hall and dodged into one of the lunatic wards. "How peculiar!" mused Ruric, staring after her. He glanced up and down, but one one was in sight. His mother's door was shut, and he heard her talking to Marie; then he glided through the hall. "I'll follow that woman," he muttered, "and see where she goes to. If I c ou l d only have seen her face I might have discover e d whether s he was one of the servants or not. At this juncture Ruric heard footsteps in the hall behind him Glancing around, he saw the doctor coming up the stairs. A moment later. Crane approached him. "Hello!" said he, staring at the boy. "What are you doing here?" "Ah-the doctor!" exclaimed Ruric. "I'm glad you have come in."

PAGE 20

A HAUNTED BOY 19 "Why, what is the matter?" The boy started to obey; but ere he had taken a Ruric explained to him about the mysterious step three of the most ferocious-looking maniacs woman. sprang in his path. He could not advance a step "Can she be one of the servants, sir?" he now without getting them out of his way, and it asked, in conclusion. brought him to a pause. "Why, no, by J'tlve! My room is locked up apd "We are shut off from the main, hall!'' he cried. I've got the key." "To remain here is certain death!" gasped the "Then who was she?" aoctor. "I have no female patients, so she must be a "I .Carinot help it. Get these fellows out of mv servant-" way." "Hark!" suddenly interrupted Ruric. "Wnat The doctor started to do so, but several more, is that?" who were in close proximity to him, caught. hold There sounded a sharp click! at the end of of his coat. He aimed a vicious blow at them, and the corridor. The doctor started, his face tul'Iling as"it caught one and knocked him down the others very pale. retreated, uttering cries of anger and affright, "It sounds like one of the spring locks on the and he followed up this advantage. Running cell doors," said he. "They all open on The out-toward the lunatics who barred Ruric's exit, he side." drove them back, and told the boy to hurry away. "Then you think--" Before Ruric could advance a step, though, the "One of the cells was just opened!" men behind them rushed up, and both the boy and "Hush I there goes another!'' muttered Ruric. the doctor were obliged to back up against an There sounded another click and then another. open cell door and face them with a steady, un-J ust then the figure of the woman loomed up in fl.inching .stare. view, coming down the ward on the left-hand They sullenly and defiantly returned the glance side, with that strange motion; and with every for a moment; then t'hey were forced their pause she made there sounded the noise of a ga:z;e and retreat, with a sneaking, whipped air, spring lock opening. easy victims of stronger wills than their own The madhouse keeper looked very uneasy, and diseased minds. The doctor then ran in among lighting a match he ignited a lamp hanging on them, bidding the boy to follow. A hand clutched the wall. A dull glow was thrown out on the Ruric's arm as he attempted to do so. Glancing corridor. Its rays revealed the face and figure he saw the woman whom he imagined of the mysterious woman, and a simultaneous was his mother. She had a tenacious grip on his cry burst from Ruric and the doctor. arm and was dragging him forcibly toward one "My mother!" shouted Ruric, in bewilderment. of the cell doors. At.the same moment one of the He reeled back and glared at the woman with other lunatics set up a howl; one after another bulging eyes. She heard him, and started forjoined in with different cries-shouts, expletives ward a step, her dress fluttering, her hands raised" and fierce denunciations-and as this noise swelled to her shorn head and a wild, maniacal light ap-into a loud, hoarse chorus the place became a pearing in her startled eyes. The boy's amaze-veritable Bedlam. One of the unfortuna.tes, more ment was justifiable, as he had seen his mother deft and powerful than the iest, adroitly caught enter her room and lock the door. Indeed, when the d-Octor by the back of the neck, jerked him he first started in pursuit of this strange creature over upon the floor, and the whole yelling mass he heard his mother 'in her apartment talking to fell upon him. Beneath the entire crowd of strugMarie Montmedy in distinct tones. The lady gling lunatics the physician fought with ungov could not have emerged from her room without ernabJe fury, all the while calling for help. In the boy seeing her, and yet before him was the _the clutches of the woman, Ruric was suddenly living semblance of that mad being who had so pulled into the C!!ll, the maniac gabbling and ravoften puzzled him before in the same dress and ing incoherently all the while, and although he cloak, her hair cropped short, and the same terstruggled with might and main to get away, the rible expression of madness upon hei: face. boy's strength was inadequate to accomplish it. "She said she had no supernatural powers!" "Mother!" he cried, imploringly, "let me go! raved the boy, "and yet if this is natural the Those maniacs out there will kill the doctor! Are whole world must liave reversed the order .Of you, too, mad?" things! She is my mother; or I am1 as I have "Let you go? Never!" she shrieked. "Do you claimed before, a haunted boy!" know what I want?" "Ruric, my son!" yelled the mad creature, hold"No!" he panted. "You are a maniac! Let go ing,out he'r arms. of me!" "Thunder!" hissed the doctor. "She has es"Then I'll tell you. It is your life. You aide
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I 20 A HAUNTED BOY She uttered a cry of alan. But Ruric saw she was the exact counterpart of the crazy women Crane had brought down to the dungeon. CHAPTER XV.-Which Is Which? "Let us end this matter right here," said the lady. "I do not want you to question me any further. To-morrow or the next day you will find out all you want to know. Now, have patience, and retire to your room. You are absolutely makintj yourself sick, fretting over all these Ruric was obliged to be contented with this much information. Ruric's mother was taken by surprise and re-He was mystified over his mother's actions. a step, her hands going up to her head, Leaving the room, he sought his own apartment, covering the shorn crown. In the boy's hands was and after retiring, he lay awake fully an hour, clutched the false hair she had worn, and she saw thinking the matter over. that it was nothing but a switch, so. deftly ar"It .seems very strange that she should marry ranged as to cover her head after the manner of a the doctor, in the first place,'' mused he, "well wig. But without the bandage she wore to cover knowing that my father was alive, when he disthe sides and to hold the false hair on her head, closed his identity, at the now burnt cottage, in she could not have worn it as she had been doing the character of Dan. Yet ::;he did it. Then she for the past few days, even deceiving the lynxseemed to be an enemy of mine, too, in some .eyed doctor. things, in spite of the kind way she treated me "What did you do that for?" she demanded, after her marriage, for she agreed with Crane to make a maniac of me, so that the doctor could I wanted to see if my theory was wrong,'' re-gain possession of my third of the legacy left by plied the boy. James Forrester, her father. But the scene of "aive it .back to me, instantly!" she exclaimed. horror I beheld in the cottage that night-my "Certainfy; here it is, mother," and he handed mother a raving maniac-it seemed all so vivid back t'he hair. and real-yet next morning there was not a sign The lady walked over to the miri:or, and re-of it-she was home, in her accustomed place as arranging it upon her head, she turned to Ruric usual, and told me I must have dreamed that I with the remark: saw her carried here by Marie and Doctor Crane. "I don't want you to betray this secret:" Yet why is her hair cut short-why does she wear "I won't, if you want it kept." that false hair-who is the maniac woman that is "Should you do so, you will ruin my plans." the exact image and double of her in every re"Depend upon me, motlier I am wholly in the spect? My mother has some plan maturing to ruin dark as to what this strange mystery means, yet the doctor. Can it be that she only married him to 't supposeI shall have to see all these perplexing thwart his wicked designs? It must be so. But happenings and wait for enlightenment until the patience-patience! I may soon learn the truth of proper time comes." the maddening mystery of this infernal mad"There is no ot'her way to do, my son." house." "I am satisfied, thou.:h, of one thing,'' said The following day broke, rainy and gloomy. Rurlc, ln gloomy tones, and that is the fact that After breakfasting, Ruric saw his mother go to you have a double in this asylum. I have always her room, with the vial in her hand containing imagined that it was you I saw in two widely sep-the strange drug with which Caleb Crane had arated places within a short time of each occurmaddened the woman in the cell No. 4. rence. Now I have proved to my entire satisfac-The doctor was in his office, preparing some tion I was mistaken. Yet your double at medicine for a patient, and as. the four keepers times acted as if she knew I was her son, and were at breakfast in the kitchen, the boy resolved called me her boy. Naw, see here; I want to test to down in the dungeon, tc see if the mad wo-this discovery a little further." man was really confined there, and to gain a good "How do you mean, Ruric ?" look at her again, to see if he was mistaken. "Here is a pencil and a piece of paper. Will you With no one around to interfere with him, Rurie write for me, 'when in the course of human events,' so that I can see if you yet have :recovered took some matches, a candle, and descending to from the lameness you once complained of, when the cellar, he soon reached the cell in which the I asked you to write to my college professors some W_Qman was confined. time ago? Besides that, your chirography, spellShe stood at the iron-barred door, and was ing and composition were strangely altered at staring out at him when he paused opposite her. that time, and not at all like what you were in the To Ruric's amazement, he saw that her face habit of sending me while I was away at school." and her deportment had lost the madness char-The boy's mother smiled quietly, and sitting act. erizing her before. down at a table she inscribed the sentence Ruric "Ruric!" she exclaimed, efigerly, as soon as she dictated. .!'aw who he was. "Oh, Ruric, my son, for pity's The boy glanced at it eagerly. sake unfasten the door and let me out of here." "It is the same as you always wrote," com-The boy was startled. mented he. "The same pretty writing and cor-Her tone s, voice actions and all were those of rect spelling. Now how in the name of goodness his mother! is it you could not d6 this when I asked you once "Let you out?" he gasped. "No, no! 'You are a before, I'd like to know, mother?" fraud--" "That is something I cannot yet explain to you." "Ruric, I am your mother. Do you not recog"The reason I wanted to test you,'' explained nize me?" the boy, "was because I noticed that the writing "My mother? No; I just left her upstairs," on the envelope you sent to the attorney by me "Do not be deceived. The woman you have seen was just the same as you always wrote." is an impostor-a cunning maniac, who looks exr

PAGE 22

\ A HAUNTED BOY actly like me and, who is impersonating Jl!e to de. ceive you all." "Goodness! how sanely she speaks!" gasped the bewildered boy. "Last night she :was a raving lunatic-now she speaks as lucidly as I do! What am I to make of this ?11 He stared at the woman and saw tears were streaming from her eyes. "If you doubt me," continued the prisoner, plairttively, "grant me one favor. Send the doctor here. One word, of conversation with him i s all I ask. That will set matters right. I have been made the victim of that mad woman. She has some cruel design in view-probably to kill you all." "No,'' said the boy, resolutely Shaking his head., "I won't let you out, nor will I apprise the doctor, I admit that you do look like my mother-that you are her exact image, and have her voice and the salile actions. But there is some vile roguery going on here, and I'll s09n. know the truth." "Ruric-would you be so blinded-so deceived?" wHdly cried the woman. "Look upon my -watch me closely-can you not see that I am your mother? Oh, boy, boy, do not commit a. terrible error and murder me this way. I cannot live in this detestable cell much longer." 'Oh, I make no mistake" said Ruric, calmly. "Last night you were as mad as a March harebut now vou have got a lucid spell. That's the way with' most of you. I am not to be deceived, cunning as you are. 1 am going now." "No! no! no! frantically shrieked the unhappy woman, shaking the iron door in a frenzy. "Do not leave me, Ruric-come back! Come back! I will blame you with my dying breath if you do not lend me your aid. Will you--oh, will you help me, Ruric? For heaven sake-I implore you!" But the boy hurried away deterininedly, not knowing that she had re.gained her senses owing to the effects of the drugs wearing off Glancin g back, all he could see were her hands thrust out between the bars of the cell door, and hear her calling him back. Leaving the dungeon with a visible shudder, he entered a room adjoining the doctor's office, and to his surprise he heard Benjamin H. Bings, the lawyer, talking to Caleb Crane. Stealing over to a door the boy listened to hear what was said. CHAPTER XVI.-The Doctor's Little Plan. Ruric peeped through the keyhole of the door, and saw the d.octor sitting at his desk, while be .side him sat the stiff, straight, hollow-eyed lawyer, with his rusty plug hat on, without a smile upon his face. "I don't like the delay at all, Bings, and I won't put up with it much longer, by Jove-that is all!" "My Christian friend," observed the lawyer, "as heretofore said, I cannot help it. The se cond paper you caused to be signed and sworn to beforn a notary public will give you power of attorney for your second wife and her child, Ru:ric, the other heir, but I know that the lad is not crazy, as you have just said, and I cannot, as hereinafter will appear, use a false statement." "You say the boy must act for himself, and that his mother was legally appointed his guardian, eh?" "True-true, my worthy client." "Suppose I prove he ip incompetent-a raving maniac?". "If you can do so you could have yourself e,p pointed his legal guar. make the listening .Ruric shudder. "Well," said the doctor, "with. the power of attorney I can act in behalf of my wife and. her son; that is beyond all dispute. But you knnw my object now. I want to get the boy's portion in my ha:qdn, by Jove, and get it I will if there is any possible means." "The will,' said the lawyer, with a dry cough, "is worded so that if the boy is alive he will in herit, as aforesaid, at legal age. In event of his death his mother will inherit the entire fortune. The boy, as the Latin has it, is homo alieni-un der a guardian's control. His mother is the guar dian, as hereinafter will appear." "Then his share cannot be touched until he is twenty-one?" "Not a cent, my Christian friend, not a cent." "Then there is no need of mentioning him any more?" "N o;ne in the least. Finis coronat opus; the end crowns the work.'' "When can we finish the settlement?" asked Crane, after a pause. "To-morroV., as mentioned, I will begin work. Within a week the entire case will be settled. Expect me here to-m orrow with a legal friend. He will bring certain documents to be signed by you, as aforementioned, and you must be present with your wife and her son, your wit the 01e ntioned Marie Montmedy, and at 3 P. M. you can look for us." "Good!" said Crane. "I shall look for you, and will be ready." When he was gone, Caleb Crane returned to hi;; office, sat down, and Ruric heard him mut ter in faintly audible tones: "So there is no way to get the boy's legacy, ex cepting by his deat:1. That is very awkward, to be sure. I am not a murderer, but I think that I can kill him for a while, and yet gain mastery of the situation. Now there is bottle No. 37 in my case, which is equally as e:fficient as No. 44, with which I turned that woman's brain. It cont<1ins a very simple compound, but the effect is mon strously fine as I have frequently tested it. Curare-a fine neurotic paralysant of the motor nerves, which, when it is introduced under the skin acts like chain-lightning. The patient is to all appearances dead, and in reality not far from it, with the spine and heart paralyzed. Indeed there is only one way to tide the victim effect, and that, too, is a delicate operation. b:i

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22 A HAUNTED BOY Jove! Yet I am not afraid to risk using it on the boy." "Oh, but ain't you?" muttered Ruric, with a grimace. "It will serve my purpose admirably," went on Crane. "And I won't submit to it!" muttered Ruric. "I'll use it to-night," .said Crane, "and a coroner's inquest would only reveal the fact that he died from paralysis of the heart. from natural causes, and then 'can revive hint, and bury a mummy-that is, if I don't actually kill him under the operation, by Jove!" "The deuce you will!" Ruric thought. "Then," continued Crane, "I can gain possession of his share of the legacy for my wife, and it will fall into my hands afterward." "I doubt it!" muttered Ruric, grimly. A moment later thdoctor left his office. Ruric went out of the room, his mind trouble with mis givings over what he overheard. "That man would not hesitate at any foul means to carry his point!" thought the boy with a shudder, "and I must beware of him. He won't operate his infernal drugs on me if I can help it.' He went to his mother's room and told her what he overheard the doctor and the lawyer saying, and in conclusion he repeated the soliloquy of Crane, whereat the lady looked startled. She warned the boy to be careful of what he ate and drank, and told him to look out constantly for an unexpected attack. The boy went eut afterward and had his supper in Irvingdale. Returning to the asylum, he retired to his room. It was a pleas ant bed-chamber near his mother's apartments, furnished very nicely, having two windows, one door and a closet, in the top of which was a scut tle leading to the roof. He locked and bolted the door leading to the hall, lit the lamp, undressed, and within an hour he w .ent to bed and fell asleep. The clock on her mantel chimed the hour of ten. As the last silvery note of the bell ceased, the closet door was pushed open very cautio:11sly and the doctor glided into the room. By an0Ule1 scuttle he had gained the roof, crossed it to the one over Rul'ic's room, and thus gained ingress to the apartment. Ruric had turned the light of his lamp low, and in the dim and uncertain light, the doctors' figure looked shadowy and obscure. In one hand he held a small sponge saturated with chloroform, and in the other a tiny vial of curare, and a sharp lancet to puncture tlie sleeping boy's skin. in order to administer the deadly drug. Creeping stealthily over to the bedside, he hovered over the boy an instant, and then reached out his hand to place the saturated sponge under Ruric's nostrils. It touched the boy's face-he awoke with a start, but before the doctor could stop him he sprang out ef bed. "Rascal!" cried "So you have come to drug me, have you?" CHAPTER XVII.-Preparing the Trap. Seeing that his plan to chloroform Ruric and administer the fatal drug to the boy was defeated. Crane uttered a cry of rage. The sponge dropped from his hand, and he hastily thrust the lance and vial of curare into his pocket. The open closet door showed Ruric how the man got into the room, for Crane had left the scuttle open. "He knows what I want to do to him," mut tered the doctor, in amazement. "How did he discover it?" Ruric overheard this remark and replied: "Yes, I do know that you want to drug me. You want to give me the semblance of death in order to cheat the law out of my inheritance. I'll tell you how I discovered it. You and Mr. Bings were talking over the matter of the fortwie in your office while I was in an adjoining room. When the lawyer was gone I overheard the solil oquy covering what you are now contemplating doing. That is how it was." "Oh,I" exclaimed Crane, his queer yellow eyes snappmg. "Now you leaye this room!" exclaimed Ruric, pointing at the door. So, without a word to Ruric, and unsuspecting that his wife and Marie were plotting his downfall, he unlocked the door and left the boy's bedl'Com. Rune uttered a sigh of relief when he was gone. "A good riddance! I just awakened in time," thought he, "and as I'm safe for the rest of the night I'll retire again." Following this suggestion he went to bed and slept undisturbed until the following morning, when his mother suwmoned him to her room and gave him a note to cfeliver. "Why-it is for my father!" he commented. "Yes. You will find him at the D--Hotel, Ruric." "Have you determined upon anything?" "I have-you shall discover what it is later on." Ruric then told his mother what happened the previous night. "I am in constant danger now," he added, "for jf I remain under this roof"1nuch longer the doctor will make another effort to get me in trouble." .,Have no fear, my boy, he shall not injure you." Ruric then left the asylum with the note. Pro ceeding to Irvingdale, he went to the hotel and asked for Godfrey Gruesome . His father was quartered in room No. 5, and the boy was ushered upstairs and admitted. "Why, Ruric, what brings you here?" was his father's first query. "My mother sent you this note," said the boy. With eager, trembling hands, the man took the note, opened the envelope, and read the missive. A look of intense satisfaction overspread his face. "At last. At last!" he exclaimed. "What is it, father?" "She wants me to call at the asylum this afternoon at three o'clock. This fatal mystery will then be ended." "Thank heaven!" fervently exclaimed the boy. Returning to the asylum, he told his mother what his father said, and saw the doctor drive away in his buggy. Marie came in with her bonnet and shawl on while the boy was conversing with his mother, and the lady said: "Well, Marie, have you been to New York?" "Y ais, madam," replied the woman, sitting1 down. ''You brought the vial the doctor gave me to the lawyer?" "Zat I deed, madam, an' 'e say zat 'e 'ave ze contents analyzee by one doctaire, -1;.Q proove vo1i eet do." "Then he will call here?'

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A HAUNTED BOY 23 "N<>; but Mr. Bings, he come for sure." "No! You shall not murder me!" gas ped Mr. _"Did lie confer with Mr. Crane's lawyer?" Gruesome. "Oh, yais, an' Mr. Bings ees ver' mooch dis"This way-follow me!" cried Ruric. gust at ze doctaire eez such a b a d mans." There sounded the hurt ied patter of approach"Naturally. Ah, such a surprise this will be for ing footsteps, as the keepers came running Mr. Crane!" through the hall. Godfrey Gruesome saw Ruric "But, madame, eet eez safe enough fQr me?" d _ash up the stairs, beckoning to him, and the man "You need fear nothing, Marie." hastened after him. The moment Gruesome ."I 'ope not, reached the upper hall he saw Ruric standing in "Give all your evidence and no one will harm front of his mother's room door, beckoning to him .. you for all you did against me. I have promised The door wasthrown open the next moment, and you that. Besides, you shall have five thousand the lady app'eared upon the thres hold. dollars when all is ended. Had you the "Ruric, what is the matter?" she cried upon doctor; he would never have paid you the sum b eholding the boy. . he promised. You know how tricky and treach"My father!" he panted, pointing at the man. erous he is. He would have cheated you and i "Ju!ia!" interposed Gruesome. -the end he would have shipped you out of tlie "Oh, Godfrey-my husband." country.. You know enough !lgainst him to secure cold not wait until three. o'clock to come his imprisonment, and he feared you. Being an here--" unscru. pulous man, you lmow he would hesitate at "Ah! What are those voices-those footsteps nothing to secure his own afety." approaching--" "True, madame, true," asserted the girl. "Eet "The doctor and the keepers!" cried Ruric. eez bettair zat I stick to you, an' sen' heem"to ze "They are pursuing me!" panted Gruesome. jails." . "Come in here, then-quick!" ''You gave the lawyer your shorthand book?" Just then Crane and the keepers appea:ted at "I deed; an' eet; eez all translate by zees time."' .the head of the stairs. "Then no better proof can be produced. You "Hold on! Don't .let that .in your room I" have a 4etailed record of all Crime's villainy Crarie roared, from beginning to end in it, and nothing more The two keepers made a dash at Gruesome. conclusive could be produced." But ere they had taken two steps, the lady "Besides madam," 1!.dded Marie, "ze attorney caught hold of him, pulled him into,.the room, and meek zat I swear to ze evidence, vile I am r:;ri as Ruric glided, in after him the door was slamhees office." . med sh.JU" in the enraged keeper's faces with a The lady smiled and nodded. bang, the key was turned, the bolt shot into the "Good! And now I am ready!" she exclaimed. socket, and they were barred out. Ruric left the room and w ent out in the yard. Bang! went Crane's fist against the panels. "Such a series of events have followed my re"Open the door, or, by Jove, I'll burst it in!" turp. from school!" he mused. "I never heard of he shouted. anything like it before! Haunted by the image. Godfrey Gruesome put his back against it. of my own mother-a helpless witness of a s in-'What sha_ll I do?" he panted. gular train of occurrence whis:h I cannot under"Why didn't you stay away unti l I told you to stand, it .is a wonder I am not crazy myself-. c ome?" his w i fe. "You may ruin my maddened by all t .hat has happened." plans." He saw the doctor r eturning a few moments "I couldn 't! I couldn't!" r e plied Grue s ome. later, and not wishing to me e t the yellowe yed "They may make a prisoner of you now." little rascal, he turned t o enter the building wh e n Se e I am arme d." he saw a man dash at the d9ctor's out in He drew a r e volver from his pocket. the :road. It was his father, and the mom ent "No bloodshed here," remonstrated his wife. Crane saw him he sprang out of the vehicl e leav"N;ot unless they drive me to it!" he replied, ing the driver in the seat, ran to w a r d the asylum, grimly. and just as Ru r ic in the main_ But just then the sliding panel in the waft th:e doctor follo w ed, leaving the door standing opened and the crazy-looking w oman from cell wide open. No. 4 boundE:d into the room. The doctor was the Inh-an the furious Godfrey Grues ome after him, fi"rs t to rec over from his surprl se the doctor slammed the door hut, and then, turn"That woman has e s caped again by Jove'" he ing upon the returned sailoT, he hissed, in sibilant cried . tones: "Mon ster!" s hrieked the crazy-lookin<>' c reature "You run intq a tr_ap, Godfrey "you have gon e back on me. But, tha';;k h e aven: for you will never leave this a s ylum agam ahve I found a secret passage leading from that cell,, and have managed to g et out. I s thi s the way you treat me after all I have done for you ? Is it? Is it? Is it?" I CHAPTER XVIII.-Conclus ion. Ruric had drawn 41-side fro m the tvv o men, and stood at the foot of the staircas e, and as the doctoi; finished speaking Crane raised a whistle to his lips and blew a shrill bl}lst . It was a signal sumn10ning the keepers. "Father! Run for your life!" shouted the boy. "Stand where you are!'' roared Caleb.Crane. There was a dark look upon her face, and Rurie. and his father now had ample opportunity of seeing what an exact image she was of the woman who f!gur e d a s the doctor's wife Not only did she look like Mrs. Gruesome, but her voice and every ge sture were exactly the same. "Fool!" commenced the doctor. "Caleb Crane," interposed Ruric's mother. "Ah! you--" "Do not deceive yourself any longer." I I

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24 A HAUNTED BOY ''What about?" "About this woman and I." "How do you mean, you traitress?" "I am not your wife!" "Not m_y wife?" . "..Nol I am Julia Gruaome--" "Impossible." "This woman is your real wife-" "My wife?" "She is Laura-my twin sister!" "Great heaven!" "She never died in Europe as you once gave out, but came here in concealment so that y9u could cheat me and my son out of the fortune left us by James Forrester--my father I I know all about your plot now!" Godfrey Gruesome could only clutch Ruric's arm, and with a look as if ht;! doubted the evidence D'f his senses stare from his wife to her sister and then at Crane. The moment the disclosure came, so intent were they all 'with what was transpiring1 they did not notice that the negro porter hatt admitted two men to the building and that they now stood in the doorway. The two new arrivals heard all that passed, and were as much interested as the other spectators. One was Benjamin H. Bings, and the other a stranger. "To continue the deception," went on Mrs. some, in excited tones, "the physician was married to his own wife at the Irvingdale church, people imagining she was me. I was recaptured the same day and dosed with more of the-diabolical medicine with which Caleb Crane hired Marie Montmedy to drug me. Confi1'ed in the dungeon cell, a raving maniac, I was helpless to undo the deception--" "Then, when Dan-my father-at the cottagedeclared his identity, as it was Laura Crane he to, it no wonder she did not recoglnze him, said Rune. 1 "Exposed! Alli Everything!" g:Eoaned the docJ tor. "I now see why I imagined I was haunted I" cried Ruric. "And I," said Godfrey Gruesome, "understand whv I was deceived." / 1A word from me, if you please," interrupted Laura Crane. "Say what you will," said Ruric's mother, bit terly. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself for your complicity in this work:-'.1-"True," said the woman, sadly. have been a wicked woman, and I am now heartily sorry for the part I took in this 'plot. I have been amply punished. But it was my wicked husband who induced me to do what I did." "Fool! Fool! Shut up I" yelled Crane, glaring at her angrily. "No, l won't! I have been your victim too long!" the poor creature retorted. "I was forced into it. Julia-my sister-for pity's sake forgive me! I am very, very repentant." She fell upon her knees before ,Ruric's mother, with her clasped hands upraised supplicatingly, and tears streaming from her eyes. "You have grossly wronged my husband, my sori, and myself," Ruric's mother, "but as you are repentant I freely forgive you, Laura, and hope you will profit by the lesson Jou have learned. Be a good woman in future an you will prosper." At this juncture Crane caught her by the "You must be mad!" he hissed. "We have notl entirely lost the game yet. We have got the three of them caged up in this house ,by Jove, and I will call every one in the establishment to help me hold them here. I will not accept defeat. I am notl yet baffled. Orice I make prisoners of them I will finish this game, and-win!" He sprang toward the door as he spoke, but the stranger accompanying Mr. Bings caught hold of him by the arm. . "Caleb Crane, you are my prisoner, in the name of the law!" he exclaimed, showing the startled doctor a detective's badge. "Your prisoner?" stammered Crane, turning very pale. "This lawyer has. made the cI1arge against you. in behalf of Mrs. Gruseome. We just overheard all that passed!" Crushed at his defeat, Crane uttered a dismal groan. am lost-I" he gasped. "I 11hrow up the sponge." "And it is about time!" said the officer, as he snapped a pair of handcuffs on the man. "Anc[ as these two keepers are accomplices of yours, I'll haul them in ,tool" The detective then went away with his prison ers. Then Ruric, his mother and father, and Marie bade Laura Cr ne good-by, and knowing that the doctor would leave her enough for her subsistence, they went away. Taking up their quarters at. an hotel, there they remained until they came in receipt of the fortune which had caused so much unhappiness, strife and intrigue. Caleb Crane, Hank and Bill were tried for their offenses, the drug and the French woman's short. hand book, added to the evidence of all the parties interested sending them to jail. Marie was paid by Mrs. and went away to France. The wife of the perfidious madhouse keeper disap.. peared from Irvingdale EOOn after, and the re united husband and wife went to New York to take up their residence wit:h Ruric, to escape the scene of their past misery. No longer a haunted boy, since the madhouse mystery was solyed, and soon after his graduation distinguished himself as an honor to his profession. And so we mustl leave them-the innocent and just enjoying bene fits of their fortitude and courage-the wickecl and designing reaping the whirlwind of their ini-quity at last. Next week's issue will contain "NAT 0 THF.l NIGHT; or, THE BRAVEST IN THE REVOLU TlON." : Be A Detective Make Secret Investigations Earn BiMoney. Worlt home or travel. Faacinatinr; work. Excellent opportu nity. Experience unnece1sary. PartioJJlars free.'-Write: ...J GEORGE R. WAGNER Detective Training Departmenl ; 2190 Broadway, New: York -',._

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PLUCK AND LUCK 25 AL, THE ATHLETE, OR, THE CHAMPION OF THE C]..UB By R. T. BENNETT (A Serial Story) CHAPTER lX.-Stealing a Boy, "When they reached the place Bud told them she lived in she was gone," replied Miss Harlow, "and no one seemed to know where she went." "Some of her husband's work no doubt.'' "Papa thinks so, too. But he has Detective Fox hunting 'for the woman, and sooner or later he will run her down While they were speaking Bud had been chang ing his clothes, and he now appeared in his street costume, and said: "I'm read y to go home Jenny." "Remember what I told you about your breathing exerci s e s, warned Al, as he s hook hands with Jenny and bowed her out of the door. "I'll do "as you ordere d," an8wer e d Bud, and they departed Ten minutes l ater M arsh came running int.o t.he gyfu, and taking Al as!de, he said in low t<>_nes: "Say, thos e tramps who had Bud have a camp in the woo d s beside the road l eading into Mid wood. While pass i n g I h eard them talking, and I crept up clo s e aDd li stened to what they were saying. The fellow c a lled Scotty was telling his friends tha t he h a d s ee n Mi ss H arlow go by to ward this gym and h e state d tha t the y oun g l a dY' was on h e r way in the buggy to g e t h e r little brother. The brute then told his g a n g tha t they mus t not fail to aid him h i h oldin g ul? t he c ar riage, for they had t o get the bo y mto their hands a t any hisk as they woulQ. get a good sum of money fo r hi m fro m i:;o me person w h o had en gaged Sc otty t o do t h e job S o I ran b ack to warn Miss H arlow not t o g o that w a y, and "You are too l a t e sai d Al, despairin g l y "They left a few m o m e n t s ago And no w i t's up to u s to run--a.f ter h er, a n d see if w e can t prevent this vill ainy. Are yo u ready?" "Run!" was N i ck s o nl y r ep l y The two b oys p ull ed their c aps d o wn firmly ort their head s a n d t h e next i n s tant they were speeding d o w n the dusty road l ike a pair of race horses, h aunted by t he wors t o f fear s for Bud's safety. "Where was t h e h o l du p t o tak e pla ce?'! g a s p ed Al, a s they dash ed a l ong. D id the rascals mentio n w h e r e t he ambuscade would be?" "No; but I imagine that i t will b e somewhere near their camp. "And that was--" "About a mile from here--near road which leads to the old quarry. W e can make it in a few minutes at a sprint." J "Put on steam. Nick." Faster ran. the two boys, and presen_tly they twned a bend in the road.. 'i'bere ....-u 211. c*i., ahamfmrei d: SllilJ4 I d istance ahead, and peering through the arch they saw Mis s Harlow's buggy standing in the htlddle of the road, a dirty, ragged tramp holding her po n y by the bit. A wild shriek from the -girl was now wafted to their ears by the breeze, and they saw two more of the hobos pulling Bud out. The little fellow was struggling with all his might, but he was no match for the powerful men who held him, and they him out of the carriage and one of tnem picked him up in his arms and started for the woods. The other one now saw the two boys approaching, sl!id something to his companion, and pointing at them, they up some stones. "Going to fight! commented Nick, grimly. "I guess we can do something in that line ourselves," replied Al. Whiz! came a fusilade of stones as he spoke. "I'm hit!" groaned' Nick, pausing. A stone had taken him in the head, and he flung up his arms, and fell to the stunned. "Heavens!" gasped Al, glancing at him in alarm. But he did not stop, for he imagined that his chum was k!ll64, and he had mind made up to avenge him if it were lJOSsible. Jennie saw the boy commg, and it seemed to inspire her with new courage, for she grasped the reins and drove the pony straight after the man w ho was running away with her brother. ;;Help All" she screamed, beckoning to him. Run him down!" shouted tne/boy vigorously. tie dodged stones the tramp let fly at him, and as he was now pretty close to the big brute, h e leaped fQrward fearless ly, and got a grip on the villain's throat with his hand. The man b eat him with hi s fists, but the boy paid no heed to this and bore tli.e fello}V back ward, b oth f alling to the ground. Her e they rolled around in the dust, in a furiou s struggle J e nni,e had driven her pony straight at the tramp, who now dropped B u d, and as the horse !ang ed up ibehinq the man, s h e struck the anima l with her whip. . With a n eigh qf pain, the pony went up on its h a unche s, and the n its hoofs came down like a thunderbolt upon the tramp' s back! The h o bo was sent flying to the ground. CHAPTER X At the Old Quarry. Altho ugh A l Adams w a s a powerful little f e llow for h i s age, he was no mat c h for the man with w h om he was struggling. T he result was that t he man turned him o ver upo n &'!oun.d, a n d wrenching iboy's grip from h is wmdp1pe he sp r a n g to hi s feet in an instant. It was Scotty, and he was in a fearful r age when he saw who Al was. "Blast yer!" b.e yelled, as be raised his heavy hobnailed brogan, "1 owes yeJ! a grudge, an' I'm go.in' ter pay ye:r o flt right: nowf And' he th.e boy a savage kick, w!i:Wi. l.V'l1mg a groan from Al that stunned him fo:r an i=C!nt. Rushing oVEll to his friend upon wham 1 em.iii

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26 PLUCK AND LUCK had driven the pony, he pulled the horse back, and paying no heed to the shower of blows the girl rained on him with her whip, he yelled, ex-citedly: "Git up, Mike, and save yerself!" Up scrambled the fallen hobo, and seeing Bud sprint away, he ran after the little fellow and caug>ht him frnm the ground in his arms again while Scotty was backing the pony. The third man now aided the man who had Bud, and the pair dashed into the woods, where they disappeared among the trees. The girl sprang from the carriage, but Scotty dashed away i n pursuit of his companions and vanis hed from view. Then Miss Harlow's courage gave out, and, too nervous and excited to go any further, she burst into tears, and cried, appealingly: "Al! Al! Where are you?" She had not seen what ihappened to her sweetheart. The young athlete had recovered his senses, staggered to his. feet, and glaring around in a dazed fashion, he saw the girl and heard her cry. In a moment more he was himself again, and hastened over to her. "Jennie he exclaimed, "have they injured you?" "Oh, Al!" she sobbed, running to meet him, "they got away with Bud!" "Hang them! Where did they go?" "They carried him into the woods." "I must go after them!" "No, no! Not alone! Where is Nick?" "Lying up the road, either stunned or dead from a stone which those villains fired at us. Did they hurt you?. "I am not injured in the least-only very nervous." "Wait here and I will follow them. Nol I won't permit you to run the risk. Alone they will kill you." "But, Jennie, they will get out of reach" with your little brother." "Never mibd that, now," she answered. "You are not equal to three of them, for you are not armed, and they would be sure to get the best of you again. It is sheer folly to attemJ?t the im riossible, Al. I know that your courage is equal to the task, but your strength is not. The boy felt deeply over his defeat, but he realized that she spoke the truth, and he sighed and said anxiously: "I hate to let them get away with the kid, but it can't be helped; so I will go back to Nick and see if he i s alive yet. Come along; it will not do for you to remain here, for they might come back :tt you and make it very unpleasant. I'll get a s >istance and we'll go after those villains and run them down. I am bound that they shall not kee p vour brother, if there is any way for me to recover h.im. The pony'was standing by' a tree quietly enough now, and Al and Jennie ran back to the road, where they arrived just in time to see Nick rising. He had a nasty wound on his head where the stcne had struck him, and his face was all bloody and as white a s a sheet. "Al!" he cried tremblingly. "Safe?" "Oh, I am all right, but you werelaid out with a stone. "My head feels as if a dynamite cartridge had explodedJnside of it." "Let me bind up that wound, or you will bleed to death," said Jennie, and she tied he1 ; handkerchief over the boy's head. ''Where is the kid?" asked Nick uneasily. "The hobos got away with him," answered Al in discouraged tones. "You boys get into this carriage, and I will drive you both over to Doctor Grimes, for you both need his attention," said Jennie. "To the police station first," said Al quickly. "We can stand our bruises a little longe r without injury, I guess. Every moment i s precious, as far as notifying the police is concerned.'' "V cry well," assented Jennie, and the next mo ment they were racing up the road and speeding into tcwn on the way to the station-house. As the vehicle pulled up before the brick building, Al jumped out, and hurrying inside he saw the captain behind his desk. "Hello, Adams!" was the officer's greeting, as a smile spread over his face. "Looks as if you had been in a fight." "So I was, sir." "Come to make a complaint against anyone?" "Yes You know about Mr. Harlow's son?" "He told me the whole story." "Well, someone hired the tramps who escaped us that day to abduct Bud again, and they got the little fellow." "Serious business. Give me the details." Al omplied as briefly as possible, and as sdon as he had finished the captain rang a handbell, and two officers came from an. inner rbom. The captain told' them what Al had said, and finished with: "Go to the place where the boy was taken, get on the trail of the tramps, and don't you come back until you bring the boy and his abductors with you. Do you understand?" The two officers nodded and withdrew. .Al then went outside, and having told Jennie what he had done, he got into the buggy, and she headed for the doctor's. "I dread to go home and tell my parents what happened," she exclaimed. "It wiU drive them wild with alarm." "Then don't do it," advised Al. "Why not wait until we learn the result of the officers' search?" Jennie eagerly snatched at this suggestion, and as she pulled up ip front of the doctor's she said to AI.: . 1 "I am going qver to my friend Daisy Robin.son's house for an hour or two. I sh.all remain there until I get s ome news from the police." "That's the plan!" assented Al. "And as soon as Nick and I are fixed we Intend to go off and aid the officers in the hunt." Jennie left the two boys, and they went into the physician's office and had their injuries attended to. A s they returned to the street Al asked his chum: "If the tramps. went in a straight line through the woods, where would they fetch up?" "At the old abandoned lime quarry," answered Nick promptly. "A good place for the hobos to hide, eh?" "None better." "Then we shall take a short-cut for the quarry." (To be

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P LUCK AN D PLUCKA N D LUCK NEW YOR_ J(, MAY Pfi.; 1927 TERMS T O SUBS CRIBER S Single Coples ................... Postage Free 8 centa One Copy '.rhre e MoMhs . . . " One Copy Six Months........... 2.00 Ont Copy One Y ear.............. 4.00 C anada, $4.50; Foreign, $5.00 HOW TO SEND MONEY-At our risk send P. O. Money Order, or R egistere d Letter; remittances in any othe r way are at your risk. We accept Postage Stamps the snme as cash. When sending silver' wrap the Coin in a separate pi ece or paper t o ..J).Yoid cutting the envelope. \Vrit.e your name and ncraress plainly. Address letters to WESTBURY PUBLISHING CO., Inc. 140 Cedar New York City. FRED KNIGHT, P rt's. and Treas. R. W. llIARR, Vice-Pres. a n d Sec. INTERESTING AR TICLE S The University of Paris is said to have 17,000 students; the Mohammedan University in Cairo, 10,000; the University of Berlin, 9,600; the universities of Moscow and of St. Petersburg, each 9,000; while Columbia University, in New York City, has nearly 8,000. American candies are exported in larger or smaller quantities p retty much all over the world, and our candy exports are steadily increasing. We send some to Europe. You will now find Ameri can candies 011 sale in London, Paris and Berlin: Lots of American candies are sold in South Africa and are sold also in considerable quantities in India. You can buy them, for instance, in Calcutta, and they are sold in Australia. Th'ey are sold in many places around the world, and then, comin g around this way again, they are sold in' Mexico and all the Central American countries and all through the West Indies and thro11ghout South America. The forging of cinfeter blades in Japan was once a flouri shing industry and the workers formed a clo s e and powerful corporation. But the industry has declined for years, and now only two makers are left-Messrs. Sqnkyama and Myamoto. No young Japanese has come forward to offer himself as an app rentice, and the question was referred to the M!kado, with a view of perpetuating the industry. The Mikado has come to the rescue and has found e d two schola rships of $500 to induce two lads to offer thems elve s for initiation into the art and mystery of making cim e t e r blades The large red flying squi r r e l is interesting; but not beautiful. It i s wholly nocturnal, and, like most no.ides ma? Pa-No, Willie. But why. you Little family rec ord m the Bible says you married Anna Domini, 1877. "Well, Mi s s Mulcahy, Oi see be th' papers Danny's been di scharged from the pinitinchery" 'Observed M r s. O Hooligan. "Yis," s ighed Mrs.' Mul cahy. "Danny niver could hould any koind of a job." Taddy, aged 4, often called on his nearest neighbor, Mrs. who petted J:iim a good deal and usually gave him a couple of mce cookies and if she hlJ.ppened to forget to pass them out he sometimes reminded her of it. His father lea:ned of this and chided him for begging, and told him he must not do s o anv more. A day or two later Taddy came home with cookie crumbs in evidence "Have you been begging cookies from Mrs. again?" asked the father rather s ternly. "N 0 said Taddy, "I didn't beg for her any. I ju;t said this house s mells as if it was full of cookie-, but what's that to me?"

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28 PLUCK AND LUCK The Strange Story of Alfred Britt There lately arri'\ed at a country house in Ohio a man with a record so strange thatit should be preserved in hi story. : He was received under tJ:i.e name of Alfred Britt, and his age was .recorded at twenty-five. He was partially paralyzed, the result of a bullet wound in the back, and, although he was an inmate of _the house for a year or more, it was ;not until a few .days before his death that he related any facts about himself. Britt was born in Boston, and when three or four dkys old was put into a basket with a supply of clothes and $100 iii money and left on the doorstep of a humble mechanic named Alexander Gray. It was one of a score of cases occurring every year, but in stead of the boy being bundled off to the poorhouse or an asylum he was taken in and. adopted. Gray was doubtless decided in his action by the money, which, to a man of his circumstances, and in those days of a dollar-a-day and store pay at that, seemed a fortune. However, he had no children of his own, though having been married six o r seven years, and the wife gladly fell in with the idea of .adopting the little stranger as their oWn child. The fine texture of the clothes and the roll of money were proofs that the baby's father belonged to the wealthy class. The basket arid clothes -were laid away, the child was tenderly. cared for, and the money was used :to better the condition of the family. Only two or three ot the neighbors knew of the child being-left an
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PLUCK AND LUCK 29 decided to remove to Cincinnati, where he hoped to have Alfred with him. He made a secret move again, got the boy from Indianapolis, and had scarcely got settled in his n ew home when the enemy appeared, having probably. tracked his every step in spite of his precautions. Alfred was run over a crosswalk by a horse and buggy as he. was coming from
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80 PLUCK AND LUCK ITEMS OF INTEREST From Mount Genevieve, a peak i n Gilpin county, Colo., a person can see into five states. On a clear day the observer can di scern the Uintah mountains of eastern Ut)ih, the Medicine Bow range pf Wyoming, the tips o'f the Rockies in New Mexico and the principal peaks of Colorado. The plains stretching to the east are plainly visible clear into Nebraska. According to1 thos e who sell them, bicycl es are coming in The s ales of this season, thus far, have been far greater than those of las t year at this time, and those in turn were greater than 1926. The figure s -do not come anywhere n e a r the enormous totals of the late '90s, when the, bicycle was king1 and if you didn't r i de you were nobody. Now, however, the reaction is being felt. For a few seasons after the bicycle boom flattened out like a punctured tire there wasn't any more interest in the bicycle than there is in a cent in a busted savings bank. The stalwart few stuck to the game . .Jn the cities the new boom isn't felt so much as in the towns. There is a fortune of many millions in store for the man who can discover a substitute for leather. The price of the real article is steadily rising, dealers say, and the reason is that in spite of the duty removed the growth of the world's population is faster than the increase in the number of cattle raised. "There is a growing disproportion between the number '()f hides marketed and the demand for leather," said. an expert. "The question is where the future supply will come from in quantities sufficient to meet the country's future needs. If some genius will only find a substitute for leather he'll be a wealthy man in a day." One of the mo s t interesting places in the Rocky Mountain region, especially from a naturalist's point of view is the big game preserve on the Stir rup Ranch, in the northern part of Fremont Coun t y, near Black Mountain, thirty-four mile s northwest of Canyon City. This preserve, 2,000 acres in extent, and surrounded by a woven wire fence s even feet in height, is the prope11;y of a man who finds the rearing of elk and deer a pleasant di version from the ordinary monotony of ranch Sale by candle, a method of auction that was once very common through England and Scotland, still survives in the north of England. A "judge" and his secretary take their seats at the ap pointed place, attended by a crier and a servant provided with a box of tiny candles, each of which will burn one minute At a given signal a candle is lighted, and the bidding for the object offered begins. At each offer from a would-be purchaser the burning candle is extinguished and a new one lighted{ and the article is di s posed of only wpen a cand e burns itself out ere a fresh bid has 15e.en announced by the crier. MOTOR ACCIDENTS DECREASE IN OPENING MONTH Statis._tics of motor vehicle fatalities for the month of January compiled by the National Safety I Council show a slight dec r ease over that month of 126. The 'tota l deaths in the United States for the first month of the year are estimated at 1,430 averaging about 46 a day, a s against 49 a 1 day. in 1296 and 6 5 a d a y for January, 1925; While the d e crease ov e r the c orres p onding month one year a g o is n o t l a r g e, the figu r e s are nevertheless encouraging a s indic ating a ro wing national con s ciousn e.ss in a more c a r eful observance of traffic and h ighway safety regulations It i s als o inte:r.esting to note that the highway accident reports recently i ss ued for Mas sachusetts and Connecti cut--t wo States where motoring) is heavy the yea.r-show an appreciate de c r e a s e with th e precedmg year. In Massachusetts the fatalities fo r the year were 705 which was less th_an in 192/i, while Conn e i::ticut had 332 d eaths a decrease of 22 over the former year. also showed a decrease of 385 in the number of persons injured, the total being 25,351. Connecticut, however, in this respect had an incre ase persons injured aggregltt ing 9,802, as agains t 7,992 in 1925. "Connecticut is fortunate in having a good states Ethel Usher, statistician of the Motor v-ehicle Bureau, "but it differs from other States in that more accident s are required to be eported, consequently making the basis more voluminous so that comparisons may posibly be more "It is fai r to bear in mind that, due to the present lack of uniformity in requirements for reporting accidents, and because Connecticut's requirements are more severe in that every accident resulting in personal -injury or fatality or prop erty damage where the estimated damage is valued _at more than $10 must be reported. Con necticut will have a higher accident rate in comparison." The total number of motor veh1cle accidents re for Cqnnecticut in 1926 was 24,326, as agamst 22,508 in 1925, and property damage rep resented $2,3991,346, a slight increase over the estimate of $2,130,877. The four chief causes of accidents were inattention, failure to grant right o-f way, skidding and driving on the wrong side of the road. Intoxfoated drivers proved more of a menace both in Connecticut and Massachusetts than during the previous year. These irre spon s ible drivers caused 393 accident s in Connecticut, an increase of 35 over 1925. In Massachus etts, Registrar Frank A. Goodwin reports that 4,803 licenses were revoked due to intoxication, a large percentage of the total number of 18,705 licenses suspended or revok e d during the year. "The figures for the year says Register Good win, "give hope that the title of mo tor vehicle ac cidents may not only have been checked but may have taken a positive downward cours e. In 1926 there. was an increase of persons licensed to operate from 698,378 to 776,576, amounting to 11 per cent., and an increase in all kinds of motor vehides cm the roads of 7.8 per cent. In spite of the greater number of drivers and of cars fatalities diminished 6.6 per cent. from the year before. and persons injured diminished 1.4 'per cent."-' N. Y. Times. /

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' PLUCK AN D LUCK 81 TIMELY TOPICS Among unusual profes sions for women in England is that. of official carpet sewer to the House of Commons. The incumbent has held her present position for thirty years. Arizona has a population of 250,000, of which fully are American born. The Indians number about 25,000, the Navajos leading with 15 000. The are manufacturing a fabric from the fiber of a filamentous stone from the Siberian mines which is said to be of so durable a nature that it is practically indestructible. The material iS soft to the touch and pliable in the extreme, and when soiled has only to be placed in a fire to be made absolutely clean. A record herring catch for this seasons is 110,-000, landed at Scarborough by the Golden Hope, Scotch herring fleet. The fishermen received forty cents a thousand for the herrings, and took in about $450 for the night's fishing. In the Philippine Islands, one frequently sees a raft of cocoanuts being floated down the river to market. The buoyant nuts are closely packed into a circle, braced across with bamboos and tied with fiber, and the queer craft, with its native paddler, is then ready for the trip downstream to a point where the raft will be broken up and the cocoanuts sold There are n ow only 45,000 lace makers in Bel gium, a s compared with 150,000 in l 875. The maximum wages paid to the most skillful lace makers never exceed 30 cents a day, and out of 2,500 workers only about twenty are paid the maximum. Mrs. M. A. George from Portland, New York, was sitting by a window sewing when an el ecir ic flash from a trolley car was reflect e d from her needle into her eye s so. sharply !!=he was blinded Physicians fear the sight of one eye is lo s t entirely, but she will probably be ble to s ee with the other. In France and other parts of the Continent of Europe the sports men have a curiou s custom which i s a survival of th!! clas sic days of Greece and: Rome-namely, the presenting of laurel wreaths to victorious athletes in great sporting events. If a man wins some long distance running or cycling race he is loaded up with tnes e tangible tokens of appreciation, and for the time looks like a bereav ed relation hastening to a funeral in a running or cycling suit. There are some strange laws in the Coog i slands in the eastern Pacific. The population i s Maori, and each island legislates for itseif. The i sland council of Manihiki, one of the group, has in force an ordinance to regulate village life within the island. It begins by re-enacting "the ancient law of Manihiki as to dogs" and sentencing to death any dogs on the isiand. Pigs are not to wander at large, and any person going after 9 a. m. may be arrested and taken to the courthouse to explain his reason for being abroad. No debt incurred by a native inhabitant is to be recoverable in any court. Selling or giving intoxicating liquor to any native is punishable with a $50 fine. In 1870 a Scotchman named Johnston patented a treasure safe fo1 ships designed to render loss of specie and other treasures by wreck impossible. His proposal was that an unsinkable safe should be at the ship's davits, ready to be lowered mto the water at a moment's notice, and he invented a contrivance by means of which the safe would detach ib;e)f on emergency and float about until picked up by another vessel. Ship' captains, however, declined to entertain the thought of having a safe full of money hanging at the davits ready to the hand of any who caPed to trust to a dark night and.the navigable qualities of the chest to make off with it. The Japanese manner of settling quarrels is quite original. When one man has offended an other the injured party gives notiCe that he is angry by drawing in the sand befoi;e the "d-Oor of the offender a circle with a straig}l.t line across it, indicating that his affection, which would have been eternal, has been cut in-. two. Friends of both parties then shut them up. They parley a while, then pretend to be boin again, prattle as little child!len and finally as m e n become recon ciled and embrace. Should one be refractory and refus e to be conciliated he is ostracized by the community so effectually that he i s soon brought to terms. The bridegroom in Mexico finds marriage a very costly busin e ss He is expected to buy the h:ou ss eau, and he i s fortunate if he can satisfy the extrayag ance s anctioned by custom and prompted by ardent pass ion. Young men from the ccudry are s aid to be often seen in the City of M e xico purchasing all sorts of finery for the ladies of their choice, and the spectacle they present as they consult the measurements, which they carry with them for all sorts of garments, is very amus ing. S e v e n or eight years ago a plant was estab-1 i s hed near Lyons, France, for the manufacture of paving glass Numerous description!'; of the new paving: material were publi s hed and a bril liaT)f future was predicted for it. The city authorities cf Lyous permitted the manufacturer to lay a specimen section of glass pavement in the Place de la Republique, a center for heavy traffic. The glass bricks iailed to stand the test of wear. 'l'he edges of them. were soon broken and splintered and many of the b1ocks split in two, so tha t within two years it became ne<;essary to remove the widely heraided innovation and sub stitute stone or. wood. The city officials are agreed that glass pavement can be used under favorable circumstances for sidewalks, but not for the middle of streets.

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PLUCK AND LUCK Latest Issues t.&61 Mv Brother Jack; or, The Lazy One of the Family. 1462 The Boy Clift' Dwellers 1 or, The Mystery of the Enchanted Mountain. 1463 Walt Whitney, the Boy Lawyer of New York. 1464 Old Ninety-Four, the Boy Engineer' Pride. 1465 The Timberdale Twins i or, The Boy Cham pion Skaters of Heron Lake, 1466 The Boy From Tombstone; or, The Boss of a "Bad" Town. 1467 Rob Rollstone; or, The Boy Gold Hunters of the Philippines. 1468 Driven Into the Street; or, The Fate of An Outcast Boy. 1469 Across the Pacific in a Dory; or, Two Boys' Trip to China. 1470 Young Cadmus; or, The Adventures of La fayette's Champion. 1471 The Boy Sheriff; or, The House That Stood on the Line. 1472 .The Ljttle Red Fox; or, The Midnight Ride:i:s of Wexford. 1473 Dick, the Half-Breed; or, The Trail cf the Indian Chief. 1474 The Nihilist's Son; 0r, '!'he Spy of the Third Section. 1475 The Star Athletic Club; or, The Champions of the Rival Schools. 1476 The Aberdeen Athletics; or, The Boy Cham pions of the Century Club. 1477 Left on Treasure Island; or, The Boy Who Was Forgotten. 1478 Ton.ey, the Boy Clown; or, Across the Con tinent With a Circus. 1479 The White Nine; or, The Race for the Oak ville P ennant. 1480 The Di s carded Son; or, The Curse of Drink. 1481 Molly, the Moonlighter: or, Out on the Hills o f Ireland.' 1482 A Young Monte Cristo; or, Back to the World for Vengeance. 1483 Wrecked in An Unknown Sea; or, Cast On a My s terious Island. 1484 H a l Hart of Harvard; or, College Life at Cambridge. 1485 Dauntless Young Douglas; or, The Prisoner of the I s le. 1486 His Own Master; or, In Business for Him self 1487 The Lost Expedition; or, The City of Skulls, 1488 Holding His Own: or, The Brave Fight of Bob Carter. 1489 The Young Mounted Policeman. (A Story of New York City.) 1490 Cantain Thundeq or, The Boy Treasure Hunters of Robbers' Reef. 1491 Across the Continent in a Wagon: (A Tale of Adventure.) 1492 Six Years in Siberia; or, 2000 Miles in Search of a Name. \ 1493 The Slave King; or, Fighting the Despoiler of the Ocean. 1494 The Man in the Iron Cage; or, "Which Was the Boy?" 1495 With Stanley On His Last Trip; or, Emin Pasha's Rescue. 1496 Appointed to West Point; or, Fighting His Own Way. 1497 The Black Magician and His Invisible Pupil. 1498 In the Phantom City; or, The AdventureR of Dick Daunt. 1499 The Mad Maroon; or, The Boy Castaways of the Malay Islands. 1500 Little Red Cfoud, the Boy Indian Ch!ef. 1501 Nobody's Son: or, The Strange Fortunes of a Smart Boy. 1502 Shore Line Sam, the Young Southern En gineer; or, Railroading in War Times. 1503 The Gold or, Two Yankee Boys in Never Never Land. 1504 A Poor Irish Boy; or, Fighting His Own Way. 1505 Big Bone Island; or, Lost in the Wilds of Siberia. 1506 Rolly Rock; or, Chasing the Mountain Bandits. 1507 His Last Chance; or, Uncle Dick's For-tune. 1508 Dick Dareall; or The Boy Blockade Runner. 1509 The Rival Wines: or, The Boy Champions of the Reds and Grays. 1510 On the Plains with Buffalo Bill; or, Two Years irrthe Wild West. 1511 The Smugglers of the Shannon; or, The Iris h M e g Merriles. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent to any address on receipt of prict!, 8 cents per copy, in money or postage stamps. WESTBURY PUBLISHING CO., Inc. 140 Cedar Street, New York City


Citation
A haunted boy, or, The mad-house mystery

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Title:
A haunted boy, or, The mad-house mystery
Series Title:
Pluck and luck
Creator:
Arnold, Allan
Place of Publication:
New York, New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
29 pages ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Adventure stories ( lcsh )
Sea stories ( lcsh )
Treasure troves -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
033201934 ( ALEPH )
903139055 ( OCLC )
P28-00037 ( USFLDC DOI )
p28.37 ( USFLDC Handle )

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,. I I No. 1512 -NEW YORK, MAY 25, 1927 Price 8 Cenb

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PLUCK AND LU CK JHned Weekly-Subscription price, f4.00 per year; Canadian, $4.50; Foreign, $5.00. Copyright, 1921, b 1 West;.bury l'ublishing Co., Inc. J40 Cedar Street, New York, N. Y. Entered as Second c111.ss Matter Dec. 8, 1911, at the Post-Ollice at New l'.o rk, N Y., under the Act of March a, 187:! No. 1512 NEW YORK, MAY 25, 1927 Price 8 Cents. A HAUNTED .BOY I .. OR, THE MAD-HOUSE MYSTERY By ALLAN ARNOLD CHAPTER I.-The Schoolboy's History. It was midday on the 10th of May, 18-, when the train from Albany came thundering into the depot at Irvingdale-on-the-Hudson, and a fine, handsome-looking boy alighted. He was appar ently about sixteen years of age, attired in a neat .,suit of clothing, and carried a small valise and an umbrella. His dark-brown eyes swept a rapid glance around at the surroundings of the pretty, but sleepy-looking depot, and the scattered vil lage beyond, with a curious look of expectancy. The boy had ha1dly taken in this view when he heard a loud noise proceeding from the roan in back of the depot, the shout of a man, the scream of a woman, the pounding of horses' hoofs, and the rapid rumble of wagon wheels. Glancing through the depot windows, he was startled to see a buggy containing a lady gentleman come rushing down the road, the horse wi1d and un manageable from being frightened at the JJuffing locomotive that just then went roaring away. "A runaway!" muttered the boy, dropping his valise and umbrella. "The beast may kill that lady unless it is checked. I'll risk it." Like a flash he darted out in the middle of the road, and as the horse was almost on the point of trampling him down, he sprang up, caught the check-line on either side of its head, swung his legs up around the shaft, out of the way of the flying hoofs, and hung on. He brought the horse to a pause-conquered-within a few yards of the depot, released it, and cried out cheerily to the dark-dressed lady. "There you are, madam, safe and sound, thank heaven I" The woman wore a crape veil o ver her face, and instead of replying, she burst into tears, with the realization that her danger was over. Just then the gentleman approached, b rushing the dust off his clothing, looking all musse d up, and said, in hasty tones: "Brave boy, by Jove! How can I thank you enough?" "Oh, I am glad to have been of service, sir," replied the lad. He was uninjured, and glanced at the gentle man. Truth to tell, he was unprepossessed by the man's looks, though. He was about forty yp.:11"' ,.., -ilressed in black, wore a high silk -. hat, was short, wiry and slender, and had a clean-shaven face. Rather a professional-lookintr personage, the boy surmised, and his white neck tie would have aroused the believe that he was a minister, were it not for the sinister look of his face. "You are modest," said the man, bending a sharp look at the boy out of his singular-look ing eyes, for they were utterly devoid of lashes and eyebrows, making his big nose look much longer. "My name is Dr. Caleb Crane," he con tinued, "and I see you are a stranger here. I have charge of the large, private insane asylum up there." He pointed at the gray stone building upo n the bluff, and the boy replied: "Yes, I am a stranger here, and I am glad to know you, sir." "Do you intend to remain at Irvingdale?" "I do. I was born here, sir, but have been absent since I was five years of age. I have just returned from Albany, where I have been at college ever since, for my _mother sent for me." To the boy's surprise, he saw an expression of eager interest appear upon the man's face, and the woman bent suddenly forward in the buggy, as if intensely anxious over something. "You don't say!" said Dr. Crane. "And your name?" "My name is Ruric Gruesome." An exclamation burst involuntarily from the lips of both the man and the woman, increasing the boy's surprise, and he saw them both start convulsively, recoiJ from him, and then recover. The physician was the first to speak. "I know your mother," said he, with an ef fort. "She is a patient of mine, whom I have been attending for a week past." "Indeed!" said the boy. "I did not know she was ill." He tapped his forehead significantly and re plied: "I feel sorry for you. She is slightly affected here." "What-crazy?" "No; but in a singular state from neuralgia. Nothing more. It sometimes gets serious, but she will be herself in a day or two." "1 have not seen her in eleven years," said

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' 2 A HAUNTED BOY Ruric, "but in the interval she has frequently written to me and never mentioned sickness ." "Of course not. Why should she, by Jove? Eleven years absent? And I suppose your father you at last, e'1 ?" "Ah, that is somethi n g I do not know, sir. I don't remember ever having seen him. My mother once wrote me, though, that he and she quarreled, parted-he went to sea and she s\ay.ed here. He wanted to get possesion of me, I be lieve, and to frustrate that design she sent me away secretly to the school where I have been reared and and there I have remained ever s i nce." "A queer history, by Jove! So she sent for yo11 n.. 1 i-P..'1 "!" "Yesterday, sir. Here I am now, and I d on't know where she lives." "Ha! ha! ha!. How funny! Can't you find your own home? That's a singular position to be placed in. B.it I need hardly direct you, for here comes her man-of-all-work with a wagon, no doubt to fetch you home, so I'll bid you goodday,' hoping you will call to see me soon, and you again." He bowed to the boy, got into the buggy without saying a word to the silE>nt woman, and gathering up the reins of the now pacific horse, he darted a strange glance at Ruric and drove away. Ruric walked back to the depot, picked up his valise and umbrella just as the fourwheeled surrey near by, and a goodnatured-looking man beckoned to him. "Be you Master Ruric?" was the rustic's query. "That's my name," replied the boy. "Tho' t so. Step in. Your mother sen t me for you. I'm D a n what works for her, you know." "My mother is sick, Dr. Crane just told me?" "Yes," nodd ed Dan, with a visible lengthen ing of his face at mentiun of the physician's name. "And instid of getting better, since he's been a-doctoring her she's worse, I think. I s'pose you know he's your uncl e by marriage, don't you?" "My uncl e Why, no! I didn't know I ever had an aunt," said Ruric, "for you know I've been away from home a good many years, and my corresponde nce with my mother has always been meagre, she never telling me anything about her family." "Now don't you?" said Dan, opening his paleblue eyes wide with surprise. "Well, it ain't strange thought, after all, considering how long you've been gone. Beside s, your mother ain't one to say much about her past, as it must have been a sad cine." "Then that must have been my aunt with the doctor?" asked Ruric. "Her? No," replied Dan, shaking his yellow hair, dubiou s ly. "She mst be someone else. Your aunt died abroad, you know, when she ran away with the doctor, and married him aganst her parents' wishes. That was over a year ago, you know, and when he came back to the asylum again and took charge, why, he wore a widower's weeds, and never went nigh the old folks in New York, as they were dead set against him, al ways." "Did my 'mother know all this?" "Of course she did. She don't iilj:e Caleb Crane, eitheT, but had to have him attend her, as he's the only doctor hereabouts. She and her sister l\:Iaud were bad friends before Maud's death, too, I'm told, for your mother did the same thing Maud Forrester did, and that was to marry a sailor chap, Godfrey Gruesome, your father, against her folks' wishes. Maud sided with the parents, but that was before she did the very same thing herself.' "Oh!" said Ruric, nodding. "What ailed my grandparents?" "Well, it's said they were mighty rich and proud, and wanted their daughters to marry better than either a lunatic housekeeper or a sailor, and I believe they disowned their children on that account. "Your mother once quarreled with your father over it, as Julia Forrester was proud, and marked the distinction between herself and him. It cut Godfrey Gruesome, for he was a high-spirited man, and they separated. You know how he tried to get you. But your mother was too smart for h'i.m, and sent you away to the school you've been at ever since. Your father couldn't find you, so he left your mother, and went to sea, I believe, and that's .the last ever seen or heard of him since. But the old folks relented, I'm told, when they found out what her husband did. On account of Maud doing the same thing, r ight on top of your mother being abandoned by her husband, why, they sent your mother s14 much moneyevery month ever since, and that's how she's lived.'' Ruric's whole history was disclosed to him now by the garrulous Dan,. and by the time it ended they reached the cottage. Entering, the boy was met by a servant, a darkfeatured woman of forty, of French appearance, and t elling her who he was, she smHed queerly at Jiim and asked him to follow her u'pstairs. Conducting him to a bed-chamber, she opened the door; told him his mother was inside, and then followed him in. It was an ordinary bed room, nicely furnished, and upon the bed lay a woman of about thirty-five, with her eyes closed. Hearing him P.nter, she suddenly sprang to her feet, and the next moment she had Ruric clasped in her arms, and was sheddj.ng tears of joy oveu: the boy, as she kissed him and again, and> commenced to question him about his past ca reer. CBAPTER II.-A.Dark Night's Work. And you have been sick, mother?" "Yes. Ruric, I cannot understand it, my mind is strangely affected, and at times within the past week I feel as if I was becoll])ng actually mad! Queer sensations overwllelm me after I finish my meals, and it seems to me that I lose my mind." "You have no enemies who would try to poison you, have you?" "What a wild notion! Why, no I Of course not. Who would want to poison me? Why should anyone design such a thing wantonly? My death would not gratify a revenge, as I have no ene mie s nor would it benefit anyone in the way of gain. Yet every time I finish eating I am af fected as I said.'' "An', par dieu, so you &hall be to ze end, my lady!" softJ.y muttered the woman in the hall.

PAGE 4

A HAUNTED BOY s powdair soon have ze desiair effect an' zen ve see eef you not become mad-mad-mad! Ah, eet ees ze ver' clevair vay ze doctair tell mezat I poot ze stuff een your food Ma foi, eet eez ze subtle vay !" Marie had a small notebook in her hand and a pencil, and a s the boy and his m other continued i;n their conversation she rapidly inscribed all their dialogue in the book in shorthand. Un aware that the spying servant was listening to all they said, ignorant of her sinister motives, and innocent of the idea that she was the authores s of Mrs Grues ome's ailment (at the instigation of Dr. Caleb Crane), the boy and his mother went on with their conversation several hours longer, and at last s eparated, the woman to sleep, Ruric to go to hi s room. Then on a pretext to her mistress, in order to get out of the house, Marie donn e d her bonnet, and, leaving the cottage with her notebook in her pocket, she hurried away. The sun was going down, and she selected the shady side of a road leading out of the village toward the madhouse. Arrived at the plank fence iron gate, beside which stood a small lodge, the woman rang a bell-knob, a gong vented a clang, a rough-looking man emerged from the lodge, opened the gate, nodded surlily to her, ,and she sped up the broad graveled walk, winding among the flower-beds, toward the asy lum. Marie Montmedy's small, beady, black eyes snapped as she mounted the steps, rang the bell, and was admitted by Dr. Crane "Ah, Frenchy, by Jove!" rn ejaculated, upon seeing her. "Monsieur, ze boy zat Mrs. Gruesome wrote for, he coam, sair,'' she panted. "Yes, true--! know, by Jove! But come into the office, and give me the news, my faithful little servitor, and more gold will be youis." She followed him into the office-a plain apartment near the front door-sat down near his desk, produced her book, and read off all she had written therein, with a charming foreign accent. The doctor listened eagerly until she was through. "Then I must work fast," said he, after pondering a moment. "The boy is in the way, but" can easily be disposed of for a time. Be in readiness to admit me in your house tonight after you hear the clock strike twelve." "Monsiuer shall find me een readiness,'' replied the girl. The madhouse owner arose, opened a bookcase filled with bottles and jars, all numbered and labeled, and filled a smal vial. Handing it to the woman, he said, in deliberate tones: "This must be the last dose. Give the woman only four. drops in her food-no more--remem ller four drops. Six would kill her. You can give the boy two drops-two drops in his, at the same time." Marie silently nodded, a look of indescribable sickness on her face, as she imagined the effect of what she was commissioned to do. Caleb Grane next drew a wallet from his pocket. Extracting fifty dollars, he handed it to the woman, and continued: "And here, by Jove, is the medicine that will make the other effective. Now go, Frenchy, go and let my work be well done, my woman." The woman then hurried out, and made her ay to the gate, the doctor watching her from the doorway with a cyniq1l smile on his smoothshaven face, and a queer look in his yellow yes. Marie then returned to the cottage, and prepared supper for Ruric and his 'mother, being careful when all was ready to drop no more than the stipulated quantity of Dr. Crane's devilish mixture in the food for h e r victims. AYseven o'clock the mother and son partook of the repast in the dining-room, and as Mrs. Gruesome complained of feeling unwell, she left the boy on the piazza to go to her room. Ruric was reading a book by the light that streamed out of the open parlor window, but within an hour he felt the effect of the subtle drug, and was drowsy as if chloro formed, "Why," he muttered, in choking tones, as he arose and groped his way into the hall, "what -what ails-me? I-I feel-as if-I was strangling! My eyes-my eyes-they-they are burst ii:ig-and burning. H .ow-strange--how--oddl C-c-can-I-I-b-b-be sick?" He pres sed his fevered hands to his throbbing temples and, reeling, he fell to the floor, at tlie foot of the stairs unaware that Marie had darted out of the parlor, in which she had been sitting, watching him like a lynx, and bent over to pick him up. "Eet ees ovairpowair heem at last! Sacre! Now, Monsieur Rureek, upstair voez you, sair, an' to bed to bed!" Just then there sounded a wild shriek in the upper part of the house, the thunderous beating of a chair against a door, and the voice of the boy's unfortunate mother, howling in frenzied accents: "Mad! Mad! Mad! They have driven me fa it at last! Ha! ha! ha! You have locked me in, you demon-you have locked me in-do you hear? I'll batter the door down if you do not liberate me. I'll smash it to fragments-fragments-fragments Oh-ha! ha! ha! My brain is on fire! My veins are burning lava streams. I-oh, what is the matter? Why do I rave this way?. This is strange!" A iow sob followed in plaintive accents, and the noise ceased. But those shrieking tones aroused the boy momentarily from his stupor. "My mother!" he cried, wildly, as the voice seared in on his brain, and he bounded to his feet glaring at Marie. "She is sick!" Nid with that he rushed upstairs. But he fell upon the upper landing again, overcome by the drug. A heartless, sibilant laugh pealed from the French woman's lips, as a low, wailing, moaning sound emanated from Mrs. Gruesome's room, and stooping over Ruric, whom she followed, she dragged him into the apartment next to his mother's. Several hours passed by, the boy ly ing like a log on the bed, his breath labored and stertorous, his fingers clutching at the covers, his swollen eyes half open, and his face fairly scarlet. During that time the woman in the next room was terribly affected, at one moment moaning, whining and sobbing, the next laughing boisterously, then flying into an intense fit of ungovernable fury. The clock in the boy's room was striking the hour of twelve, when a more violent paroxysm from the ma. ddened woman aroused him partially, and he heard her shrieking and praying for help. Mechanicaly arising and seeing a doo1 communicating with hit

PAGE 5

A HAUNTED BOY mother's room standing ajar, he crept over to it and peered in. What next happened to him 11eemed a dreadful nightmare. He imagined he 11aw his mother's room in a terrible state of dis lfl'der, the furniture smashed and overturned, tumbled about in wild confusion, and everything roken and spoiled. He pressed his hands at lis temples, his eyes fairly bursting from his lead, his face roasting hot, his breath fetid. Then 1here arose a vision before his eyes that seemed to be too terrible to be true, yet it certainly must :lave been; but he could not clearly see or think. :aor could he utter a word. In the middle of that it did not catch in the groove entirely, as he walked away. Returning to the other room he peered in and saic;i: "She is safe enough now, by Jove, Frenchy, so I'll leave you and retire, as I'm tired out fig-ht ing her. This is the room my dear departed wife used to occupy with me. It is noisy, my dear,

PAGE 6

A HAUNTED BOY but if you can stand the racket the incurables make, you'll sleep all right. There's no danger of any of thE!m getting out, and you'll be assafe here in this Bedlam as you would be on an island in mid-ocean, so good-night." Marie was perfectly satisfied with her quarters, as she had no desire to return to the cottage that night. And pondering over the strange mystery enshrouding all the'se queer proceedings at the madhouse, she undressed herself and went to b e d, where she soon fell asleep, forgetful of locking her door, she was so wrought up by the exciting events through which she had passed that night. Despite the wild cries of the incurables, she slept soundly. Too soundly, in fact! For, an hour later, her bedroom door was softly and cautiously pushed open, and Mrs. Gruesome's terrible face was thrus t into the apartment and her glance fell on the sleeping Marie. Finding her cell-door open, she had stolen out, and Marie's room door being the first thing she saw, she'had opened it. On thetable the lam stood dimly burning, and an evil look of cunning treachery stole ove1 the crazed woman's face as she saw the box of n:.iatches standing there beside it. Like a shadow she glided up to the table, and picking up the matches she began to light.them one by one, and flung them, burning, all over the bed. In a minute the bed-covers all caught aflame. Recoiling u p against the door, the crazed woman seized the knob with one hand, and shook the other-at Marie, hissing: "I owe all my trouble to you, thrice accursed, and my revenge will be to see you roast to death while you sleep. Ha! ha! ha!" And as her demoniacal laugh pealed out in sibilant inflections, she softly opened the door, passed out in the corridor, and gliding to the other end, she opened a door in a transverse hall. It was the doctor's -sleeping apartment, and he was slumbering in bed, his clothing on a chair beside him. The woman glided up to his coat, took the paper he. forced her to sign from his. pocket, but the chair fell with a crash, arousing him. He jumped up, saw what happened, and rushed after the woman as she sped from the room with a loud laugh. Opening a window in the hall, she climbed out, and went down the v1nes growing against the face the building to the yard, before Crane could get anywhere near her, and with the paper in her possession, she vanished around the building in the yard. When Ruric Gruesome recovered consciousness, he found himself lying in his bed at the cottage the next morning. All traces of any he might have had the night before were now gone, for he looked a s well as ever. Jumping up, he hastily drew on his .pants. "My mother! My poor, poor mother!" he moaned, a s a look of unutterable woe crossed his face. "What has become of you? Row came I .. here? Oh, heavens! Why did all that happen?" "Ruric Are you up yet, my boy?" interruped a voice. He started a s if stricken a blov.oi,. "Why, good heavens! that is my mother's voice!" he gasped. The door opened and a lady dressed in black, with her long, dark hair neatly done up on her head, entered the room. "My mother!" he cried, hoarsely. "Alive! well! Oh, what does this mean?" "Why, Ruric," said the lady, advancing with a sweet, gentle smile on her placid face, "what are yon talking about? Are you "Great heaven! are you a phantom? Am [ sleeping yet?" "Why, no, my son. I am over my little illnes1 of last night. Marie has rung the breakfast. bell, and Dan is waiting to drive us out aftel.'o ward." CHAPTER IV.-At the Stable. In his bedroom, his mother !ltanding befora him, smiling, happy, and evidently no such ma niac and sufferer as he thought he saw her the night before, Ruric Gruesome could hardly real ize it was not some hideous dream and nightmare he passed through. He felt as if he woulcl go mad puzzling to solve the strange problem. SG he walked over to his mother, kissed her, ancl saw that she was alive, cheerful, uninjured, ancl not at all craze d. Ruric. left the room with his mother, fearing he was getting crazy, and there. was Marie in the dining-room, pert, dark, ancl so utterly indifferent that it seemed impossibl4 she was as guilty as he imagined. After breakfast, Ruric and his mother got into the surrer and were driven around Irvingdale by the ap parently simple-minded Dan. All points of in teres t were pointed out by Mrs. Gruesome, the boy .taking in everything, but consid erable reticence, as his past experience was preying upon his mind. He told Mrs. Gruesome aD. he thought he witnessed. She laughed at it u a mere dream. On the way home again Rurm suddenly said: "Dreams generally owe their origination tit events, person's and places we have seen, the dis ?rde!ed those things, makmg the vividest impressrons on our minds intG grotesque ideas." "Then," said his mother, "you see how yoa can account for yours." "In what way do you mean, mother?" "Didn't you meet Doctor Crane yesterday?" ::so I did. And you '_Vere sick last night, too."' there a,re the. !mks connecting your fancies while sleepmg with the realism of natural order of. things. But speaking of the doctor, [ want to mf<.mn yo:i !hat D.an made a huge mis take by saymg I disliked him so heartily. He ii my brother-in-law, .YOU kn?w, and c onsequently your uncle by marriage. Smee Maud, my sister. died in France, and the doctor's ieturn, he been so ass iduous in his attentions to me that [ have finally concluded to-4o-to--" "To do what, mother?" asked Ruric "Well, Ruric, you know how your father away sea, deserting me eleven years ago? Well? smce then I found I needed a helpmeet ill my life, ad as D octor Crane was so good and kincl and yet gently persistent, and asked me to marrr him, why I have con sented." "What!" cried Ruric, aghast. "You-mar:ry -that-man, mother?" "Such is my intention, my son; see-here is my engagement ring." She showed a fine diamond gleaming on her finger. When they came in sight of the tree embowe1ed cottage, they saw the yellow-eye4

PAGE 7

.. 6 A HAUNTED BOY little doctor standing on the. piazza, talking to Marie. But they could not, of course, hear what he was saying. It was, though, something to this effect: "Marie, they are returning now, .by Jove, and the boy looks well enough." "Ah, doctair, here eez ze vial of ze drug I geef zem. Ze effect, eet vork avay frorri ze boy like magic zees morning. How lucky zat ze mad voman geet loose, an' set my bed afire! Mii. foi, eef,.zen you not vould smell ze smoke, vake an' see hair entair your room, to steal ze papair vich she sign, from your pocket !1! "T1ue-:-true, by Jove! But you would have roasted to death had I not got up to chase her; and after she got out the window I found your room ablaze. So I put out the smoking and fiery bed-covers, saving you from death, and you, lucky woman, would go away, and found Ruric at the gate. Of course, we knew then he must have followed our coach, and at once brought him home, still senseless, and put him to bed . Then you cleared your mistress' room, putting all traces of the broken fui'niture fiway, and making it look as if a howling maniac had not been in there, destroying everything by bringing in similar fur nit11re. Ha! ha! ha!" "But ze mad voman geet avay viz ze papair, monsieur?" "Yes, confound her," sa:id the physician, with a dark frown. "But I will find it again as soon as I capture her." Ruric and his mother, driving up just then, put an end to their conversation, and they all went into the parlor. The boy felt uneasy in the presence of the doctor and on a slight pretext he left the room, put on his hat, and went out. When Ruric reached the stable door he paused and peered in. A startling sight met his view. In an empty stall stood Dan in an attitude of utter dejection, great tears rolling down his cleanshaven cheeks, sobs breaking from his lips, and in his hand he clutched a wig. His natural hair was jet black, and his appearance strangely altered. "Hello, Dan! What does this mean?" the boy, jumping in. The man started, a startled exclamation burst from his lips, he reeled back, and then he tried to replace the wig on his head ineffectually. "Ruric!" he muttered, utterly aghast. "Yes, Dan. But why under heaven are you wearing a wig? You don't need it, I am sure, unless it is to make you look ten years younger." Dan's face had grown pale. It now turned very red.. His confusion was increasing to a painful degree, too. "Don't I?" he muttered, with a scared look. "No. I see through it. You have disguised yourself for some purpose; that is very evident. You can't get out of it with excuses, so don't try to. Now, own up. What is your i eason? I won't tell." "Since you have found me out, I will confess to you. I am in disguise, Ruric, and I am prompted by a strange, byt powerful motive. I know I can depend upon you to...,keep my secret. I am a friend to you, my boy, and heaven knows you will need one here, for a league of enemies are wurrounding you." "What do you mean by that, Dan?" "Oh, I cannot explain myself at present. Let me give you this much information: Doctor is a villain, and I am enedeavoring to get certain: inforfhation against him to cause his arrest." "So--that's how it is, eh? I understand-you are a detective '?" "Well, perhaps. I am, Ruric." "Then I will keep your secret." "I am sure you will." "Did you hear the news, Dan?" "News? What news?" "My mother is engaged to be married to him." "Oh, yes!" said the man, with a violent start. "I heard it when I drove you and her out, just awhile ago, in the surrey. But I can safely predict that wedding will never take place, if I can prevent it by any means. Your mother is not sure that your father is dead yet, is she? You know that their eleven years' separation annuls their marriage, but still, as your father may be living for all she knows, she ought not -get mar-ried again." "Just what I think. You see, therefore, that your idea that she disliked the doctor was er roneous-wasn't it?" "Oh, she always pretended to dislike him formerly; you can imagine I was surprised to learn that it was not only to the contrary, but that she is going to marry him." He was about to turn away, when there sound ed a frightful scream at'the door behind him, and a maniacal voice crying: "Listening! Listening at the door, eh 1 Hof ho! ho! But I've got you!" "MurJair! Let me go! Par dieu! You choke me" shrieked another voice. Dan and Ruric, startle d, rushed to the door. There stood Marie, notebook in hand, caught in the act of taking down all Ruric .and Dan's con versation, she having stealthily followed the boy from the house, <1nd overheard all that passed in the barn. And the person who held her by the throat the maniac woman, attired in Marie's dress, her hair cropped short, and a wild, crazed look On her distorted face as she pounced on the French girl. An asylum keeper had been pursuing her, and just then rushed in the yard. j .Ruric's glance fell upon her as the keeper caught her and dragged her away and out the gate, aided -by Marie, and reeling back in a frenzy, he hoarsely cried: Good heaven! It i'! my mother! It was no dream. She is a maniac!" and he fell in Dan's arms half-fainting from nervous shock. CHAPTER V.-"l Am Godfrey Gruesome." A few moments later Marie returned to the stable and found Ruric pale and troubled, lean ing against Dan, near the door, just recovered. "Sacre!" she panted. "Eet vos von lunatics vot escape ze asylum." Dan had not seeIJ. the crazy woman's face, but he darted toward Marie, caught her roughly 'by the arm, and exclaimed: "Now you tell me if you weren't listening out here when she caught you." "Leesten-me-out---here?" stammered Marie. "Vy, no, sir, Meestair Dan." "Do not lie! she said you did!"

PAGE 8

A HAUNTED BOY 7 "Zat ees ze great meesteckl I coam 'ere zat I tell Mastair Rureek to coam in ze house, hees mothair she weesh .J;o speak viz heem." "My mother!" wildly exclaimed the boy, glaring at the woman with distended eyes. "She was just here-here at the door-that poor, unfortunate lunatic. She is my mother. I knew I was right. I saw her last nigl\t as you and doctor beat her and cll.rried her away. I saw it all, I tell you." His voic e ..:was piteous, and his actions full of despair. . "Coam viz me," said Marie, softly touchmg hi s arm. "You certainly are not ver' well, Mastair Rureek, to sink ze lunatics eez your mothair." The boy flung her hand from his arm a s if it stung him. "Let go of me!" hollowly . "I distrust y o u There is somethmg sly and bolicaly d e ep about you! I hate you! I d es pise you! I loathe you!" Scared at the teuible look he gave her, Marie retreated. "I go een! s he p anted. "! tell your mother you soon entair." And so saying :;;he sped away to appris e the doctor of all she overheard before the boy could get into the house. The doctor sat in the parlor alone when she entered. He looked nervous and excited to a high pitch. The moment Marie came in he bounded toward her, his smooth face twitch ing, his yellow eyes burning luridly, his long nose drawn down. "That cry I jus t heard!" cried hoarsely, as he seized Marie by the arm. "What--what was it? Speak? Did I rightly recognize that voice?" "Eet vos ze womans vot escape," replied Marie, nodding. "Ha! Then she is here?" "Ze keepair pairsue an' breeng hair back." "Did any one see her?" "Ze boy." "Worse and worse!" "Still worse, monsieur. Leesten to zees." And read her report of all that passed between Ruric and Dan. Dr. Caleb Crane was a startled man when she finished. "He a detective on my trail?" he groaned. is indeed a bad state of affairs. But it can easily be remedied, Frenchy. I must get hfm in my power and lock him up in the asylum. Oh, I am so g:lad the woman is recaptured. It relieves my mir.d." Unfortunately for him, though, at that moment, on her way back to the asylum, the mad woman fell upon the keeper, overpowered him by her supernatural strength, fell e d him to the ground and got away again. Mrs. Grues ome entered the room just the n smiling and radiant. "Well, Marie, have y ou told Ruric to come in so that I could inform him when my marriage with the doctor takes place?" s h e asked. "Yais ma'am," said the woman "He soon coam een but---" "But w ha.t, Mari e?" a sked the woman, as Marie he i;itated. "Madame, I fear me zat ze boy ee s aff ected een z e bra in, said s he. B efore any r e pl y could be made to this per-tinent the door was thrust open and Ruric rushed into the room, crying e;xcitedly: "I will convince myself? I will convince myself that the face of that maniac was not my mother's -that I am not haunted by a strange visionthat I am not a veritable maniac!" His startled gaze fell upon Mrs. Gruesome. "My mother!" he fairly shrieked, as he held out his arms. "Ruric! My s on!" cried Mrs. Gruesome in startled tone s The trembling boy cov e red his eyes with his hand L -"The vi s ion of last night is gone.--the reality remains the boy continued, looking up, a bri ght spot glowin g on either cheek, "and yet they said s h e was m a d. I saw her frenzied. But s he i s not crazy at all. For here she is natural, s ane a nd well." Ruric said Mrs. Gruesome in strained tones, "my poor boy, have you had another of those d r eadful hallucination s?" H e paus ed shook his head mournfully, and said: "Yes they will haunt me forever, mother." "You must let the doctor hear about this, Ruric, and as it is his branch of the profession, he may be al:>le to help you." "He? Dr. Crane? Never!" "Why do you speak this way, Ruric ?" queried Mrs Gruesome. "Oh, mother, I do not know," replied the boy, d e spairingly. "Poor boy, poor boy!" sighed the doctor sympathetically. "I do not know what ails him, Julia, but judging from what I hear I should say he is possessed of a certain morbid mania-an optical delusion, owing to a peculiar tumorous formation growing on the brain, which may be easily eradicated--" "I have not," emphatically interposed Ruric. "Do not delude yourself about me . I am as sane as you are, sir." At this moment the door opened again and Dan walked in. He swept a keen, piercing glance around the room and saw Marie and the physician start with trepidation, draw closer to each other, and Ruric and Mrs. Gruesome glanced around. "Dan!" ejaculated the lady. "What do you want here?" "Mrs. Gruesome, I must have a word with you." "Ah! How oddly altered your voice is!" "Yes. Furtber concealment, I have concluded, is useless "What do you mean, sir? Have you taken leave of your senses?" demanded Mrs. Gruesome in surprised tones. "Not at all," was the cool rejoinder. "I must speak to you privately before Doctor Crane leaves this !hous e, madam." "Speak!" cri e d the lady in exasperation. "Speak, or leave this room!" She drew herself up proudly and pointed at the door. The man s miled nonchalantly and replied in cool tones: "Very well. As you like. I have offered you the las t chance. Now, then, for my communica tion. I wanted simply to warn you not to marry C a leb C r ane, that is all. '

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8 A HAUNTED BOY "You-advise-me? Dan, you are iny hireling -do you forget it?" ,, "Do not force me to go to extremes, madam. "Extremes-my servant--my man-of-all-work! Hal ha! ha! Extremes!" "I can make a sta1'tling revelation-one that will crush you-if you drive me to desperation!" hissed Dan, angrily. "Your boast mystifies me. I defy you, sir!" "Then, so be it. Say-do you know me? Look well upon my features, Julia Gruesome, and tell me, do you know me?" He tore off his wig and stood exposed before her. There was a deathly :;.ilence in the room. Mrs. Gruesome glanced fixedly at the man. "No,'' said she; "I see you were disguised, but I don't know you." "Then shall I have to tell you who I am?" "It is a matter of utter to me,'' said the woman with a shrug of her shoulders. "I cate not who you are." "Eleven yea1s ago, then, you parted with. your husband in anger, and he went to sea. You imagined he was dead. But he lived, following his nautical life. He has returned to you. I am Godfrey Gruesome!" A simultaneous cry of amazement burst from them all, and Mrs. Gruesome gasped, in horrified tones: "What! You Godfrey-you, my husband?" "I am, and I swear you shall not marry that man!" A groan escaped Mrs. Gruesome's lips, and she fell fainting to the floor. Ruric sprang to her side, and as Godfrey Gruesome started toward her, the doctor poured the contents of a vial on his handkerchief, clapped it to the man's nostrils, and uttering a groan, Godfrey Gruesome fell be side his son, overcome by the subtle drug, in the doctor's power. CHAPTER VI-The Apparition of H;is Mother. Ruric sprang to his feet and glanced at the. recumbent form of his father in amazement, the strange odor of chloroform assailing his nostrils in a most disagreeable way, but tfie doctor pocketed his handkerchief. Marie had run to her mis tress's side, and Caleb Crane stood close to the boy with. a most innocent look upon his face. "Bless fy soul," said he, in hypocritical tones of surprise. "The man has fainted. He was dreadfully excited, and it has overwhelmed him. Of course, he was lying-he must be an impostor, Ruric." "He an impostor?" cried t.he boy. "I doubt it. But I will soon see. My mother told me she had a photograph of him in her room, in an album, and I will get it to see if he told the truth." Ruric darted out of the i-oom and ran upstairs. "Monsieur," said the French woman, looking up. "Well, Frenchy?" "Ze mad womans, she destroy the album an' all ze pictures, sair." "So much the better, my dear; _so much the better. The boy can now prove nothing. Yet, had we had a picture of Godfrey Gruesome, there might have been a good deal of trouble avoided. Did you see it?" "I deed, monsieur; and zees man ees Godfrey Gruesome!" "Just see how the disclosure has affected my affianced. She feared he would prevent our mar riage, and has fainted dead,.ilway." "Parbleu! Zees ees ze day unlucky for us." "On the contrary, it is a very lucky day, Fren.chy for look there!" He pointed out the window, and Marie saw two of his keepers passing along the road, going toward the asyluln. "'Ve will get this fellow to the asylum," con tinued the doctor, with a grim smile. "They will carry him away before the J;oy comes down, and once he is locked up in one of the cells, it will be an easy matter for me to carry out my plan of marrying the seDt'leless lady, 9 Jovel" They grasped Godfrey Gruesome, dragged him outside and called the men. They were given their orders, and hurrjed away with the drugged man. Re-entering the house, the two plotters re turned to the parlor, and Marie set about to re store the lady ,to consciousness. A few moments later Ruric came downstairs, looking disappointed. "I cannot find the picture," announced he, in disgusted tones. ) "Well, bless me, it is needless," blandly said the doctor, for he recovered just now, and, declaring it was all a jest, he ran away. For my part, with all my experience with madmen, I am willing to $'wear to that individual's lunacy, as his words and actions were unmistakable. As he has run away you have _proof enough of the foul lies he uttered." Ruric was amazed at this cool announcement. He had been expecting great things, but was dis appointed. His mother failing to identify the man made him suspect "Dan's" truth. The wedding was fixed for a week later, to be held in the handsome Episcopal church on the outskirts of Irvingdale, and all the elite of the place was invited to attend the ceremony. Mrs. Gruesome had ordered her wedding trousseau in New York, and on Friday morning, the day before the ceremony, she left the cottage, esco1'ted by the doctor as far as the depot in his carriage, to go to the city to make her last few purchases, promising Ruric she would be home late that night. Marie, too, had gpne with her. Ruric had his meals at a restaurant, and when night fell, he went home, and retring to his -room, laid down to think, on his bed. But before he knew it, he fell fast asleep. How long he remained wrapped in slumber was a mystery, but he was finally awakened by a terrible sense of suffocation, and by feeling some one shaking his arm most violently. Half asleep for the moment, he started bolt-upright. The room was cast in darkness save for a streak of moonlight that in one of the open windows. 'Rune! Rune! Get up! Get up! :I'he house is afire-the house is afire!" It was his mother's well-known voice, and it was followed by a most infernal peal of laughter that struck a cold chill to the boy's heart. He sprang from the bed. The room was filled with blinding smoke! But through the mist he saw the same wil
PAGE 10

'A HAUNTED BOY 9 'But the next moment she varnshed. Whether 8he dropped through the dense 'foliage of the grapevines, or melt, ed into thin air, the boy had no idea; but the fact remained that she was gone. The first person Ruric encountered were his mother and Marie. But she did not appear to be like the mad creature he just saw on the grape arbor, and a cold chill of horror shot through him. His mother was stylishly attired, and claimed to have just returned from the city with Marie; 'indeed they both carried bundles in their hands. Mrs. Gruesome was weeping at the loss of _the cottage, and begged Ruric to hurry over to the asylum to su the doctor, whose advice she wanted to ask i her trouble. He had traversed but half the distance to the great graystone edifice, thinking that now his mother was going to marry the doctor they would have to live in the abode of horrors, when he was startled by hearing a crashing in the bushes lining the road on the left-hand side. A man's voice-and it was the doctor's too-reached his ears. "You won't, eh?" he was shouting.from amid the bushes. "But I say you will! You stole the paper from my pocket, and I am going .to have it back from you if I have to 'Ifill you to get it!" Into the bushes Ruric crept, trembling lest his worst fears should prove true, his heart fairly in his mouth, and his hair bristling on his head. He iparted the bushes and glanced through. A small, e:ircular glen was before him. In the middle iitood the doctor, and on the ground the same wild woman with his mother's face, her form and Jler voice. "Can she be in two places at once?" he groaned, tn agonized tones. The doctor gave the screaming woman a brutal I "I've got you, and you'll go back to the asylum, 11ince you escaped the keeper today!" he shquted, furiously, as the woman rolled over. But cut, bruised bleeding and agonized as the poor creature was, she laughed jeeringly, suddenly /bounded to her feet pushed the dl:>ctor over, sprang into the dense bushes, and vanished in a twinkling. Ruric rushed into the glen as the phvsician ros e. "Doctor Crane I" he gasped, wildly. "Tell me -1 implore you-I beseech you, was that woman JDY mother? Was she-was she? Speak!" Amazed at his sudden and unexpected presence there, the doctor gasped and stared at him in speechless confusion a moment. Then he pulled his wits together by an effort, and gasped : "Your mother? Why no. She is nothing like J'OUr mother I" "Our house was set on fire-is burning now, and my mother sent me-" "Your mother sent you from the village? Then how can you say the mad old woman without any hair, who escaped from my asylum is her? You see, you must be as mad as a March hare!" "It is either that, or I am a haunted boy!" gasped Ruric. Mrs. Gruesome, and Marie, and Ruric then went to the asylum, as it was decided that they were to live there after the wedding, and while the authorities looked for the firebug the fire engine atinguished the flames. Rooms were assigned them in the asylum, and men went out to hunt for the woman who had been 'haunting Ruric. The next day, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the church was filled with the invited guests, and the doctor and his bride ap11eared. Ruric and Marie were seated amid the guests. It was to be a grand, showy wedding as the doctor was thought to be rich, and all .the wealthiest residents of Irvingdale were present. The great organ ceased playing when the nuptial pair reached the railing and knelt down, and the ceremony commenced. But hardly was the service half finished, when there sounded a wild, piercing shriek that rang through the sacred edifice thrilling every one And the next instant down the center aisle dashed the mad woman. Ruric bounded from his pew and made a rush at the woman. "My mother!My mother!" he cried, in sobbing tones. The doctor's face had turned as pale as death. Like a madman he left his startled bride, and ran for the woman the same moment Ruric diet They both caught hold of_ her at the same time. "I will find out the truth now!" panted the boy. The mad woman, shouting and struggling in the meantime, was endeavoring to get away from them, but they both clung to her with a strengtla that could not be overcome. CHAPTER VIL-Mr. H. Bings. The wedding guests in the9Episcopal church .were cast in an uproar of excitement to see the mad woman rush in so unexpectedly and inter rupt the half-finished ceremony. It was a singular situation, and as Ruric held onto his mother, and the did likewiser the struggling woman flung up her arms an
PAGE 11

10 A HAUNTED BOY seeing the minister follow the doctor, and every fects, am retained to arrange the settlement of, one rising as if to depart, Ruric put on his hat affairs, and m_ake you all happy." and left the church,intensely excited. "Who is it that d1erl and left my mother this Ruric went back to the asylum. He went into fortune, sir?" the doctor's office, and sat down to await Caleb 'Mr. James Forrester, the only living relative Crane's retu!'n from the church, a grim resolve mother had, my fortunate youth, his wife in his mind to have an understanding with the havmg passed away a week ago, and the fortune, wily nhysician. Sitting in a chair ne
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