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Full text of "Another's crime. From the diary of Inspector Byrnes"

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Press W. L. Mershon & Co. 
Rahway, N. J. 




SUITORS, - 12 








BAIL, - - 80 

PAULINE, -------- 89 


AT SEA, - - 100 






A HUNTER'S YARN, ------ 164 



A CHECK, - - 195 


JOHN CRUSH, ....... 217 





IF you could put on the cap of invisibility and sit 
for twenty-four hours in the private room of 
Inspector Byrnes at police headquarters, you would 
see many strange sights. Representatives of every 
grade of the community pass through those mys- 
terious portals during the day. All sorts and con- 
ditions of men, from the depraved pickpocket to 
the cultured millionaire ; all varieties of the 
daughters of Eve, from the poor vulgar trull to 
the refined and lovely queen of society. Here meet 
youth and age, virtue and vice, industry and idle- 
ness, wise and foolish, good and evil. Strange 
events are there brought to light ; life-histories, 
fantastic, tragic, comic, pathetic, romantic ; crimes 
startling or sordid ; human passions are there 
unfolded of every species love, hate, revenge, 
avarice, self-abnegation, ambition, and despair, 
which is the death of all passion, good or bad. 


And what a gallery of faces follow one another, in 
endless succession, across the threshold beautiful, 
hideous, sorrowful, joyful, contented, wretched, cul- 
tivated, degraded, spiritual, bestial. And all who 
come have some story to tell, some accusation to 
bring, some defense to oppose, some end to gain. 
Having said their say they disperse again some 
to liberty, some to trial ; some to death, some to 
victory ; some to prisons, some to palaces. All the 
contrasts of human existence, all its lights and 
shadows, appear in the Inspector's room, and dis- 
appear again, while you look on in your cap of 

And there, at his desk, sits the Inspector, exam- 
ining, weighing, deciding, investigating, advising, 
reproving, encouraging ; cheerful or grave, as 
the case may be, even-tempered, firm, suave, stern, 
penetratimg, impenetrable ; the depository of all 
secrets, the revealer of none ; the man who is 
never hurried, yet never behind-hand ; never idle, 
yet never weary ; always patient, and always 
prompt. No position under the municipal govern- 
ment requires more tact than his, more energy, 
more courage, more experience. He must be pli- 
ant, yet immovable ; subtle, yet straightforward ; 
keen, yet blunt. He must know all the frailties of 
human nature, and yet be not too cynical to com- 
prehend its goodness ; he must be an advocate, 
and at the same time a judge. In short, he must 
be a chief of New York detectives ; and, whatever 
else his office may be, it is certainly no sinecure. 


Of the countless dramas and episodes that come 
to his knowledge, many can not be told again ; and 
many, if told, would not be credited, so different 
from the strangeness of fiction is the strangeness 
of real life. On the other hand, not a few of these 
tales can be repeated without indiscretion, and, in 
all substantial respects, precisely as they actually 
came to pass. Such narratives have one advan- 
tage over the conceptions of the imagination, that 
they are a record of facts, not fancies, and carry 
the authority and impressiveness of fact. But 
they also labor under a disadvantage which, per- 
haps, more than balances the gain of reality ; for 
facts are stubborn, and accommodate themselves but 
awkwardly to the rules of artistic construction and 
symmetry. Like rocks in a New England farm, 
they are continually cropping up where they are 
least wanted. And yet, it will sometimes happen 
that nature so nearly accommodates herself to art 
that the story assumes a tolerable grace and pro- 
portion ; and such a one is contained' in the pages 
that follow. But, although the sequence and char- 
acter of the events has been adhered to, the names 
of the persons are changed ; for the affair took 
place but a short while since, and nearly all the 
actors in it are still alive, and several of them moving 
in the best society in New York. 

Mr. Bartemus Nolen was a representative of a 
good New York family, and was possessed of com- 


fortable means ; by profession he was a lawyer. 
He was a member of the Episcopalian Church, and 
he married, at the outset of his career, a lady of 
the same persuasion, a woman of excellent educa- 
tion and gentle and benevolent disposition. The 
first twenty years of their married life passed hap- 
pily and prosperously; two sons were born to them ; 
and a few years later a daughter, Pauline. Mr. 
Nolen achieved honor and eminence in his profes- 
sion ; the boys did well in school and afterward 
at college, and the daughter gave promise of sin- 
gular intelligence and beauty a promise which was 
afterward fulfilled. 

But at length the current of luck took a turn, 
and began to set against the honest lawyer. He 
was affected with a cataract in one of his eyes, 
which had not proceeded far when the other also 
showed signs of being affected ; this misfortune 
was a serious drawback to his practice, and finally 
compelled him to abandon it almost entirely. Of 
course, practice meant money, and the cessation 
from it diminution of income. There was still 
enough left, however, to live upon with comfort, if 
not luxuriously ; but unfortunately Mr. Nolen, 
being deprived of his customary mental employ- 
ment, took to thinking of other things ; and one of 
the subjects of his meditation was the feasibility of 
getting larger returns from his invested property. 
Among his acquaintance were many men whose 
trade was finance, and Bartemus got in the habit of 
counselling with them upon financial matters. No 


doubt they gave him the best advice at their dis- 
posal ; but when one begins to buy stocks advice 
is of little use ; and Mr. Nolen, after several ups 
and downs, came down with somewhat of a thump, 
to the extent of about a third part of his total pos- 
sessions. At this juncture he proved his excep- 
tional good sense and self-control ; for he never 
risked another dollar in speculation. Neither did 
he reveal the fact of his losses, which was at least 
prudent. But these virtues could not save him 
from being and feeling a good deal poorer than 
he was before. He owned the house lived in, 
and continued to live in it ; but he curtailed his 
expenses, and by strict economy contrived to ren- 
der them less than his income. His sons would 
soon be through college, and would then, it was to 
be supposed, take care of themselves. It was 
for his daughter that he was saving, and he 
hoped to leave her at least a decent fortune after 
his death. 

But other misfortunes were in store for him. 
His oldest son, Jerrold Nolen, had graduated from 
college, and came to New York to study medicine, 
living, meanwhile, at his father's house. He was 
a young fellow of ability and agreeable manners, 
and was popular among his fellows. His father 
was proud of him, and treated him with partiality. 
It soon became apparent that Jerrold was rather 
inclined to dissipation ; his sociable nature had its 
detrimental side. This was the more unfortunate, 
inasmuch as he had a tendency to heart disease, and 


was of an excitable temperament. As this matter 
will be dwelt on hereafter, it is enough to say here 
that Jerrold died under tragic circumstances in 
the second year of his medical studies. His death, 
besides bringing bitter grief to his father and 
mother, led to legal proceedings against a person 
supposed to have been instrumental in compassing 
his destructionproceedings which led to no good 
results, and involved a large expense. Mr. Nolen 
never recovered from the shock and disappoint- 
ment of his eldest son's sudden end ; and in little 
more than a year afterwards the morning papers 
contained respectful but brief notices of his 

His will was admitted to probate ; it devised 
twenty thousand dollars to his son Percy Nolen 
when the latter should come of age; the remainder 
was settled upon Mrs. Nolen, with certain provisos 
in the event of Pauline's marrying with her 
mother's approval. Percy's bequest was intended 
to start him in business, he having shown a ten- 
dency to take up mining engineering as a pursuit. 
He too was an intelligent boy, and left college in 
good standing as to scholarship, but his character 
resembled Jerrold's in its lack of firmness and per- 
sistent energy ; while, unlike Jerrold, he was of a 
selfish disposition. After graduating and coming 
into possession of his patrimony, he announced his 
intention of postponing for awhile his professional 
studies and seeing a little of metropolitan life. 
This made his mother anxious, remembering 


the unhappy career of her older son, but she in- 
terpreted Percy's design in the manner most 
favorable to him, as simply a wish to become prac- 
tically familiar with the ways and manners of good 

Percy's original purposes may, indeed, have con- 
templated no more than that ; but that was far from 
being the limit of what he actually did. His ad- 
vances towards the best society were neither con- 
siderable nor prolonged. For a few months he 
went to dinners and receptions and danced at 
balls ; but it soon became evident that he was get- 
ting intimate with a class of people who, by no 
stretch of courtesy, could be counted among the 
upper ten. These were chiefly young men who 
dressed well, had dash and assurance of manner, 
and, were commonly to be met with on fashionable 
thoroughfares, in the corridors and billiard-rooms 
of the best hotels, on base-ball grounds and race- 
tracks, and, towards the small hours of the night, 
at certain restaurants and other places of resort 
more remarkable for brilliance and liveliness than 
for respectability, in which the company ceased 
to be exclusively masculine, and was yet not im- 
proved by the alteration. Percy had his choice, and 
this was the class with which he chose more and 
more to associate. They were, as a class, not 
wealthy ; nevertheless to be with them was not 
necessarily to be economical; neither did it involve 
regular habits or early hours. Before long Percy 
was convinced that the sort of life he was leading 


was not compatible with making a home under his 
mother's roof ; so he took bachelor rooms on the 
west side of the city, and went to bed and got up 
at what o'clock it best pleased him. He did not 
keep away from home altogether ; he would drop in 
now and then, when nothing else was going on, 
sometimes to lunch, sometimes to dinner, sometimes 
to accompany his sister to the opera or theatre; but 
he had cut loose from his mother's apron-strings, 
and showed no present signs of meaning to come 
back to them. He was living a fast life, and not 
the best kind of fast life either. 

One of the executors of Mr. Bartemus Nolen's 
will was Judge Odin Ketelle, a gentleman who had 
at one period been a partner of Nolen's, and had 
always remained on intimate and friendly terms 
with the family. He was a man of position and 
influence, and was quietly and steadily amassing a 
large fortune. Mrs. Nolen, in her anxiety about 
Percy, naturally turned to this friend for counsel ; 
and probably she could not have done better, if she 
were to do anything. The judge heard her timid 
and fond complaints, in which she tried to shield 
the son whose misdeeds she was forced to expose. 
When she had finished, he sat with his hands 
folded on the table, and his eyes under their thick 
eyebrows fixed in thoughtful contemplation, as he 
had been wont to sit on the bench, when consider- 
ing some point of law advanced by counsel. 

" If a boy wants to be a fool, he mostly succeeds 
in his wish," he remarked after awhile, "Percy 


has a good deal of untamed blood in his composi- 
tion, and he will probably work it off in his own 
fashion. His father gave him his money without 
conditions or restrictions, hoping that the sense of 
responsibility would sober him ; but it will need 
more than that. He will spend it that is, throw 
it into the gutter and then we may look for the 
dawning of reason in him." 

" I am sure he is a good boy," said his mother. 
" He is only full of life, and thoughtless." 

" There is no reason to suppose him actually 
vicious," the judge replied, " and, that being the 
case, we may expect that the want of money will 
bring him to terms. I do not look to see his father's 
son commit any act that will bring him under the 
cognizance of the law ; he is, I take it, incapable of 
any dishonesty ; consequently, when he becomes 
bankrupt, he must do one of three things : either 
he will sit down and starve like a gentleman, or he 
will find some employment that will give him a 
living, or he will comeback to you, like his prodigal 
prototype in Holy Writ." 

" Percy starve ! Oh, Judge !" faltered Mrs. 

" Do not be uneasy ; Percy will not starve," re- 
turned he with a slight flavor of irony in his tone. 
" He is not naturally disposed to asceticism, nor has 
he the kind of pride that would prompt him rather to 
die than to betray signs of human weakness. On the 
other hand, he is clever and quick, and could easily 
pick up an honest livelihood in other ways than by 


pursuing his project of mining, should he find it 
necessary to forego that. But my own anticipation 
is, my dear Mary, that he is too lazy, and that his 
habits of application, such as they were, have 
become too much broken up to make that course 
likely. What I do expect is that he will come 
back to you and ask you to provide for him." 

" That is all I ask ! " Mrs. Nolen exclaimed. 

" I have no doubt of it, my dear," answered the 
Judge with a smile. " But in this connection there 
is something that I wish to impress upon you very 
strongly. Do not, as you value his ultimate wel- 
fare, not to speak of your own, give him any money 
without first consulting me. If you fail to observe 
this precaution, depend upon it you will get into 
trouble. I know what young men are, and 
how they regard their mothers as just so 
much indulgent soft-heartedness to be taken ad- 
vantage of ! No, it isn't cynicism ; it's the truth ; 
and so you will find it. Now, what Percy needs is 
the conviction that there is no choice for him but 
to work. So long as he thinks that he can be sup- 
ported without working he will remain idle. It 
may be hard for you to refuse him, but unless you 
do you will only work him an ill turn. You are 
not a rich woman by any means. Bartemus it is 
as well you should know it now lost a large part 
of his fortune by injudicious investments ; and 
when you take out of that the sum secured to 
Pauline as her dower a sum which, fortunately, 
neither you nor she can touch for three years to 


come you will have left barely enough to live 
comfortably on. As for Percy's twenty thousand, 
we may look upon that as being as good 
as gone ; it is only a question of time, and no very 
long time. Until it is gone it is no use attempting 
to influence him. So much for that ! But now, 
my dear Mary," continued the Judge, changing his 
tone, " I wish to speak to you on another matter 
of no small moment to you, to myself and to 
Pauline ! " 



MRS. NOLEN'S face, which had assumed an 
expression of pensive and brooding sadness, 
brightened at her daughter's name, and she looked 
up at the judge with an expectant air. 

" Pauline is now eighteen years old," the latter 
observed. " As I look back, it seems impossible, 
but so it is. I remember her as an infant lying in 
your arms ; and it does not seem to me that I have 
changed much since then. And yet, Pauline is a 
woman, and has more character and substance, too, 
than many a woman of twice her age. What mir- 
acles time works ! " 

" She is the best girl in the world ! " said the 
mother tenderly. 

" I am much inclined to agree with you," re- 
sponded the judge. 

" She is so strong, so clear-sighted, so faithful 
and upright," pursued Mrs. Nolen. " And yet 
there is nothing cold or unsympathetic about her. 
When her emotions are touched, she seems all fire 
and spirit. I am sure no sister ever loved her 
brother, nor any daughter her mother, as Pauline 
loves Percy and me." 

" I can well believe it. And have you ever seen 


signs in her of another sort of love not that of 
the daughter or the sister ? " 

" Oh, I am afraid to think of that ! " returned 
Mrs. Nolen, pressing her white hands nervously 
together. " It is so easy for a girl to make a mis- 
take ; and for her a mistake would be fatal ! " 

" I think she has good sense enough not to fall 
into any serious error," said the judge, " though I 
am no less persuaded that, if she loved a man who 
in himself was worthy of her, she would allow no 
considerations of merely selfish prudence to pre- 
vent her union with him. But I was going to ask 
you," he added, with a certain subdued anxiety in 
his deep-toned voice, " whether it has come to your 
knowledge whether you have any reason to think 
that she has already met any one who whom she 
would be likely to prefer to any one else ? " 

" I have not thought of it it has not occurred 
to me ! " said Mrs. Nolen, with an accent of appre- 
hension, looking at the judge with wide-open eyes. 

" It is hardly too soon to take such a possibility 
into consideration," he returned. " Pauline is 
mature for her age ; and it is not too much to say 
that she is one of the most beautiful young women 
in New York. You take her a good deal into 
society : she can hardly fail to meet with admira- 

" Yes, yes, you are right," said the mother. 
** Now that you speak of it, I see that such a thing 
may happen. But she has spoken to me of no one ; 
and I am sure she would have spoken, if " 


" Do not trust too much to that," he interposed. 
" A young girl, with a mind as healthy and pure as 
hers, does not readily ask herself if she be in love ; 
she may become so before she is aware of it, and 
only the avowal of her lover will open her eyes. 
Till then, you cannot expect her to speak of it to 
you. And then, if she have made up her mind, it 
would be too late to speak." 

" But would you advise me to question her ? 
Might it not suggest to her something which she 
otherwise would not have thought of ? " 

" That is not improbable. But why not approach 
the matter from the other side ? Is there no one 
among the young men who know her who have 
shown signs of any particular interest in her ? " 

" They all seem to admire her," said Mrs. Nolen. 
" But I can think of no one in particular unless 
it be Percy's friend, Mr. Martin." 

" Valentin^ Martin the young Englishman ? " 

" Yes. Percy sometimes brings him here. But 
his being a friend of Percy makes a difference 
between him and the others." 

"How so?" 

" In the fact of his being here oftener. I mean, 
if it were not for that I should think his visits had 
some further significance." 

" I am not altogether convinced that his being a 
friend of Percy would deprive his visits of signifi- 
cance," said the judge. " It is conceivable, at any 
rate, that he might have made a friend of Percy in 
orrder to facilitate his access to Pauline." 


"He seemed a frank, straightforward young 
man, not one you would suspect of doing any thing 

The judge laughed ; a very low, pleasant laugh 
he had, which made those who heard it disposed at 
once to like him. " You are more like a nun, in 
your unsuspiciousness and unworldliness, than like 
a married woman who goes in New York society," 
said he. " Let me assure you, my dear, that a man 
in love is not to be held a criminal, or even a hypo- 
crite, if he uses some strategy to get near the object 
of his affection. I should forgive Mr. Martin even 
if he went so far as to pretend a cordiality for 
Percy that he did not really feel, if so he might 
induce Percy to admit him to the intimacy of your 
household. No, if we are to take exceptions to him, 
it must be from another standpoint. What do you 
know about his personal history and his social 
standing in his own country ? " 

" I suppose it must be good," said Mrs. Nolen. 
" I think he said that his family owned a large 
estate in Cumberland." 

" Is he the eldest son ? " 

" The next to the eldest, I believe." 

" And what is his business in America ? " 

" I don't know. But a great many English peo- 
ple come here nowadays, you know. It is a part of 
their education." 

" Yes ; but some of them are pretty well educated 
before they get here," remarked the judge drily, 
" and occasionally they manage to teach us some- 


thing before they leave. There is, in England, the 
same difference between an eldest son and the 
other sons that there is between a rich man and a 
pauper. By the law of primogeniture the estates, 
and generally the bulk of the money, goes to the 
first-born ; the other boys get positions, if they can, 
in the army, the civil service, or the church. They, 
are seldom fitted to enter the learned professions ; 
and it is not considered good form for a gentleman's 
son to go into trade. Of course the army and the 
church don't afford accommodation for all appli- 
cants ; and the consequence is that every year a num- 
ber of young Englishmen are thrown on the world, 
who by training and inclination are good for nothing 
but to be idle and ornamental, and who neverthe- 
less have no means for honestly leading such a 
life. They form a class of gentleman adventurers. 
They are men of agreeable manners and culture, 
talk well, look well, are excellent at cards and 
billiards, and live no one knows how. Some of 
them come over here, for reasons known only to 
themselves ; they are very pleasant acquaintances ; 
but it is well not to trust them too far. They have 
no fixed place in the world, and no responsibility." 

"You don't mean that Mr. Martin is an adven- 
turer ? " demanded Mrs. Nolen, in a voice of faint 

" So far as I know, he may be the best fellow in 
England. But I know nothing about him, one way 
or the other. How did Percy become acquainted 
with him ? " 


" He met him somewhere, at some club, I 

" That may be all right, or it may not. At all 
events, you will see that you should proceed with 
some circumspection. The rules that apply to our 
young men do not necessarily apply to foreigners. 
Mr. Martin may be much better educated, and have 
more polished and quiet manners, than nine out of 
ten of your American acquaintances ; and yet it 
might be better that Pauline should marry the 
least attractive of the latter than Mr. Mar- 

" I wish you would see him, and find out whether 
he is nice," said Mrs. Nolen, with anxious earnest- 

" I would willingly do so, but for one reason," 
the judge replied, " and that is that the peculiar 
circumstances might disqualify me from forming 
an unbiassed opinion." 

" Oh, I am not afraid of that. My husband used 
to say that there could be no one more impartial 
and just than you." 

" Even assuming that judgment of his to have 
been impartial, I should nevertheless be disquali- 
fied from presiding at a trial where, for instance, 
the prisoner was charged with the murder of some 
friend of my own." 

" I do not understand. Mr. Martin has surely 
not murdered any one ? " 

" Bless me, no ! I was only using an extreme 
illustration. But Mr. Martin might wish to obtain 


something which I had set my own heart on pos- 

There was a manifest embarrassment in the 
judge's manner. Mrs. Nolen looked puzzled. She 
began to suspect there was something behind all 
this, but she could not divine what it was. 

" I began life pretty early, as you know," con- 
tinued he, after a pause. " Since the age of four- 
teen, I believe, I have supported myself. Measur- 
ing my existence by that standard, I might be 
called an old man. But though, in the matter of 
years, I am not exactly a boy, yet I am but forty- 
three years old, and you will admit, my dear, that 
men have been known to live a good deal longer 
than that." 

" I am sure you will live to be twice forty-three," 
put in Mrs. Nolen kindly. 

" Half that is all I would ask, if I might real- 
ize the happiness that I hope for," returned the 
judge, with a faint smile. 

" And is this happiness any thing that I can help 
to insure you ? " 

' I can hardly say that. In fact, it is essential, 
in one way, that it should come, if it come at all, as 
freely and spontaneously as the sunshine from 
heaven. Nevertheless, I am under obligation to 
speak to you of my hopes, that you may appreciate 
my position and understand my conduct." He 
stopped, and the color mounted to his face. " I 
love Pauline," he said, a strong emotion vibrating 


in his voice. " I hope to make her love me and 
to accept me for her husband." 

" Oh, Judge ! " exclaimed Mrs. Nolen, taken 
wholly by surprise. She looked at him intently for 
a few moments, and then the startled look in her 
face softened, and she began to smile. She left her 
chair, and, coming to where he sat, put a hand upon 
his shoulder ; and as he looked up at her she bent 
down and kissed him upon the forehead. She was 
still smiling, but there were tears in her eyes. 

" Do you think me absurd ? " said the judge. 

" I think you are right," was her reply. " At 
first I could not believe I had always looked up 
to you as to a sort of elder brother I could not 
imagine you as the husband of my little daughter 
my own son-in-law. But I think you are right. 
Pauline is a little girl no longer ; in almost every 
thing but years she is older than I ; she is fitted to 
be the wife of a man even so much older than her- 
self as you are. No one of her own age would 
suit her as well." 

" Then you will not be against me ? " he said, 
starting up. 

" Indeed, I will not. All that I do shall be done 
for you." SJk^f put her hands in his, and he 
grasped them warmly. " It is more than half self- 
ishness in me," she added. " It would give me 
some right to rely on you. I should not feel so 

" However this may turn out, always know that 
you may rely on me," the judge returned, with 


deep feeling. " Our friendship began long ago, 
Mary, and doesn't need any other tie to bind it. If 
Pauline, when the question is put before her, decides 
against me and I am fully aware how easily that 
may be her verdict I shall accept it like a man, 
and you will remember that, so far as I am con- 
cerned, it will involve not the slightest change in 
my devotion to you and yours. I shall leave no 
honorable means untried to win her ; but, above 
all things, I desire to avoid forcing her inclination, 
either by any act of my own, or through you. 
That you should approve of my purpose is all 
I ask. Leave the rest to Providence, and to her." 

" I understand," said Mrs. Nolen, " and, indeed, 
if I wished to help you, I should not do it by sing- 
ing your praises to her. You being what you are, 
the best thing to do is to leave her to find you out 
for herself." 

" If Mr. Martin be my rival," resumed the judge, 
let him have his chance, and defeat me if he can. 
If he be the better man, it will appear ; and God 
forbid that I should make her my wife, knowing 
that she would have been happier with another. 
But if love go for any thing, I love her well, and in 
all my life she is the first and only woman I have 

" You might have rivals more dangerous than 
Mr. Martin," returned the mother, with another 
smile ; and so the interview came to a close. 



"T7 VENTS were shaping themselves for disaster ; 
JH/ but, for the time being, they seemed to go 
smoothly enough. 

Percy Nolen maintained his brilliant career, and 
attained a certain distinction among the persons 
with whom he associated. He was a big, hand- 
some youth, with broad shoulders and sturdy limbs, 
a clever boxer, a good whip, a fair billiard player ; 
his spirits were exuberant, and he had more mental 
resources and ideas than are vouchsafed to the 
generality of young gentlemen of his kind. Thus he 
assumed, to some extent, the position of a leader 
among them ; and, as he was uniformly good- 
natured and yet not to be imposed upon, he was 
liked and not laughed at. 

But his favorite companion and friend was Val- 
entine Martin. The two men were nearly the same 
age, Martin being a little the elder, and were a 
good deal alike in size and personal appearance. 
Martin, being English, wore side-whiskers, and 
Percy, being American, wore a mustache. t Mar- 
tin was inclined to be fair, and Percy to be dark ; 
but they might have been taken to be brothers. 


The Englishman, however, was of a somewhat 
gloomier temperament than the American ; more 
reticent, and more given to moods and ine- 
qualities of temper. He had brought with him 
several good letters of introduction, and had 
duly delivered them ; but he had availed himself 
but sparingly of the social courtesies extended to 
him, seeming to prefer a less formal and regular 
life. He made no pretense of large wealth, but, 
on the other hand, he never seemed to be cramped 
for means, and no one could be found from whom 
he had borrowed money. If he were a trifle mys- 
terious, nobody was concerned to fathom his mys- 
tery, for it was no one's interest to do so. Valen- 
tine Martin had not come to America to speculate, 
to organize a company, to raise capital, or to do any 
of those things that are apt to render engaging 
foreigners suspicious in our eyes. He had appa- 
rently come to amuse himself, and mind his own 
affairs ; and after a time he was permitted to fol- 
low this innocent inclination. The upper ten, 
whom he neglected, ceased to take an active interest 
in him, and those with whom he associated relin- 
quished the vain effort to persuade him to reveal 
his secret, and came to the sensible conclusion 
that there was probably no secret to reveal. 

The acquaintance and subsequent friendship 
between Martin and Percy Nolen had sprung up 
spontaneously, without any formal introduction. 
They had tastes and ideas in common, and they 
mutually pleased one another. Martin's was per- 


haps the stronger character, but Percy's was the 
more enterprising and lively ; so that they were 
upon fairly even terms. One day the Englishman 
accepted an invitation to come and take afternoon 
tea at the Nolens' ; he met Pauline on that 
occasion, and it was not afterwards necessary to 
urge him to repeat his visit. Pauline was inter- 
ested in him as an Englishman, and after discuss- 
ing his native country with him admitted him to a 
certain degree of friendship, partly on her brother's 
recommendation, partly on his own account. He 
seemed gloomy at times, and she was sorry for 
him, without knowing, or even caring to inquire, 
what made her so. At other times he conversed 
in a manner that interested her and stimulated her 
to talk in return; and, though Pauline was but a 
girl, she had a mind that was worth coming in 
contact with. The Englishman never made any 
direct demand upon her sympathies or emotions, 
and probably he gained rather than lost by this 
forbearance. When a woman has insight, she 
would rather exercise her intuitions than have 
things explained to her. 

Matters went on in this manner for several 
months, and the year's vacation which Percy had 
allowed himself was more than up. He had as yet 
shown no sign of being bankrupt, unless a certain 
abstraction of manner at times, accompanied by a 
biting of his nails, and a drumming with his foot, 
might be construed as symptoms of approaching 
impecuniosity. But another affair, not connected 


with finance, was going on at this period which, 
unless put an end to betimes, might result in trouble. 

There was a young married woman in New 
York society named Mrs. Cuthbert Tunstall. 
Her husband, also young, had inherited from his 
father an immense business in coal. Cuthbert 
Tunstall was fond of activity, and he plunged into 
his coal with hearty good-will, intent upon creating 
a fortune twice as large as that which his father 
had left him. As a matter of course, and of neces- 
sity, he was absent all day at his office, and was 
often obliged to run down to the mines to oversee 
things there in person. 

His wife was the daughter of an aristocratic 
Knickerbocker family ; she had been a reigning 
belle in her coming-out year, and the year follow- 
ing the match between her and Tunstall had been 
made. She liked her husband, because he was a 
good fellow, because he was in love with her, and 
because he was considered a big catch ; but she 
cared nothing for coal, and was jealous of his 
devotion to it. She wanted him to be devoted to 
her and to nobody else. She hated to think of him 
working actually working all day long. He 
came home to dinner, it was true ; but he was not 
fond of dining out, and when dinner was over, he 
was tired, and liked to stay quietly at home and 
go to bed at half-past ten. Such an existence as 
this was the next thing to unendurable to a woman 
like Sylvia Tunstall. Forty years hence, perhaps, 
this Darby-and-Joan kind of life might be practi- 


cable ; but not now, in the flush of youth, variety, 
and curiosity ! She absolutely would not stand it ! 

Tunstall was a manly, straightforward, single- 
hearted fellow, and at first he did not comprehend 
his wife's attitude. He had homely ideas of mar- 
ried life, and the routine of social dissipation.was 
without attractions for him. When at last he 
learnt how matters stood, he thought it over, and 
came to the conclusion that his wife had much 
reason on her side. She was young, good look- 
ing, and full of the wine of life, and it was only nat- 
ural and proper in her to wish to see and to be seen. 
So he began by attempting to " go out " with her ; 
but he presently discovered that going to bed at two 
o'clock in the morning was not compatible with 
having breakfast at half-past seven. He then 
tried giving dinners twice a week and a reception 
once a month ; but Sylvia pointed out to him that 
the customs of good society demanded that they 
should accept invitations as well as give them : so 
that his second state bade fair to be even worse 
than his first. What was to be done ? He would 
not consent to give up his business ; on that point 
he was firm. Sylvia was equally convinced that it 
was impossible to give up society. For a time 
there threatened to be a deadlock. 

Finally a compromise was effected. Sylvia had 
relations, and particular friends, who were in so- 
ciety, and of whose escort and countenance she 
could avail herself. Her husband could take her 
to places, and her relatives or friends could bring 


her home again. By degrees it was found unneces- 
sary to have him take her, and she both went 
and returned without him. His anticipations of 
domestic felicity were disappointed ; but Sylvia 
was enjoying herself, and he always looked forward 
to a,time when she would weary of gayety and return 
to him. He loved her as much as ever, and was 
proud of her social popularity ; he had perfect 
faith in her truth and honor. He ate his dinner 
and went to bed alone, and when he rose in the 
morning he was careful not to awaken his wife. 
That was the style of the menage. 

But Cuthbert Tunstall was not a fool a fact 
which his wife perhaps failed to fully appreciate. 
As long as her conduct was above reproach, accord- 
ing to the somewhat vague standards of society, he 
would not interfere with her pleasures ; but he 
was not the man to permit the least step beyond 
this. And though he was naturally unsuspicious, 
and slow to wrath, any one who understood men 
would have known that it would be uncomfortable 
to arouse him. But Sylvia got the idea that she 
could do exactly as she pleased ; and she did it. 

One day, Tunstall got a hint from some precious 
friend of his a very distant, indirect, ambiguous, 
and innocent hint, but a hint all the same. He 
appeared not to understand it, and passed it over 
without comment ; but the repressed emotion which 
it aroused was so strong that he came near faint- 
ing where he stood. 

He attended to his business the same as usual, 


returned home at his customary hour, and sat 
clown to his solitary dinner. His wife was upstairs, 
dressing. By and by she came down to say good- 
by to him for the evening, She was beautifully 
dressed, and was lovely to look upon. Cuthbert 
looked at her in silence. 

" Good-night, dear," she said, drawing on her 
gloves. " I suppose you won't be up when I come 

" Not if you come at your usual time." 

u I wish you'd drop your horrid business, and 
come with me." 

" I am more useful as I am. Do you know a 
gentleman by the name of Percy Nolen ? " 

" Percy Nolen ? No yes I believe I do." 

These were her words ; but her face, and the 
tone of her voice, betrayed her ; and they both 
knew it. 

" He is an agreeable fellow, isn't he ? " pursued 
the husband, quietly. 

" I suppose he is like the rest ; all men are alike 
to me except you, of course, dear ! But why do 
you ask ? " 

' Some one who knows him happened to mention 
him to-day. Well, and what is going on to-night ? " 

" Dine at Mrs. Murray's, and then the theatre." 

" Won't you want something to eat when you get 
home ? " 

" Oh, no. Don't bother. I shan't be hungry." 

" It might be better to order something to be 
ready for you here than to take supper at Del- 


monico's," he said slowly, looking her in the 

She turned away her eyes after a moment, ostensi- 
bly to pull up her cloak. " I had no idea of going to 
Delmonico's," she said, in a slightly strained voice. 

" Of course not ! " he repeated ; and then he 
turned to his evening paper, and she went out, 
with a smile on her lips, and fear in her heart. 

Her husband had given her warning, and he 
hoped against hope that it would be sufficient. He 
would not take the next step unless she compelled 
him to it; but he was resolved (and she partly felt 
it) that the next step would be final. How much 
he actually knew of her .flirtation with Percy she 
could of course only conjecture. She had taken sup- 
per with him in. a private room of a fashionable res- 
taurant the night before. They had not been alone : 
there had also been present another young married 
woman ; and a young man not married. But the 
two couples had not been in each other's way, they 
had rather helped each other out. It was certainly 
not an affair which Sylvia would have wished to 
have generally known least of all to be suspected 
by her husband. Did he know about it ? or had his 
questions been only the result of chance ? She 
wished to believe the latter, but she could not. 
There had been something in the very quietness of 
his tone and manner that had appalled her. She had 
not thought that he had it in him to frighten her. 
Evidently she had been too careless too thought- 
less. After all, she did not seriously care for 


Percy Nolen. It had been a mere flirtation for 
pastime. She had not supposed that her husband 
would care much, even if he knew. He had not, of 
late, betrayed any very passionate affection for her, 
If he loved her, why did he not accompany her on 
her social rounds ? It was ridiculous to say that he 
was obliged to attend to his business. They had 
plenty of money without any business. There was 
nothing, except his own obstinacy, to prevent him 
from retiring- to-morrow and never going near his 
office again. But if he preferred his business to his 
wife, why could he not allow his wife her prefer- 
ences ? It was unjust and tyrannical. 

Nevertheless, if he was determined to be ugly 
about it of course there must be no scandal. She 
would tell Percy, the next time she saw him, that 
the acquaintance must cease. It was not worth 
while to run any risks on his account. Having 
made up her mind to this, she was more at 

After the second act at the theatre, Percy Nolen 
came into her box. She greeted him coldly, but he 
sat down beside her, and began to make various 
propositions. She repulsed him, but not very 
vigorously. At last she whispered, " You must 
really be more careful ! People are beginning to 
observe us. If any thing should happen, I would 
never forgive you ! " 

" I will take every precaution, but I love you ! " 
he replied in her ear. He had never said so much 
before, and she turned pale and gave him a look. 


The curtain went up on the next act, show- 
ing how the hero, by a combination of circum- 
stances, was arrested and taken to Police Head- 



JUDGE KETELLE'S prophecy was delayed; 
but it came true at last ; and Mrs. Nolen did 
not keep her promise to him. 

One morning Percy came to the house, and 
came up to his mother's boudoir, where she was 
sitting reading Mr. Shorthouse's romance of " John 
Inglesant." Mrs. Nolen was not given to reading 
fiction as a rule ; but Mr. Shorthouse was under- 
stood to be a religious writer, and she enjoyed his 
book very much without entirely understanding it. 
Percy kissed her, and sat down in a chair opposite. 
After a little desultory conversation he said 
" Mother, I'm in a scrape ! " 

Her heart sank ; she closed her book, and folded 
her hands upon it. " Oh, my son ! " she said, 

" Well, it's nothing so very dreadful," he returned, 
forcing a smile. " I was up at Monmouth Park 
the other day, and lost a little money well, it was 
a pretty good sum, for me. I'm not a Croesus, you 
know, and a few thousand dollars makes a dif- 


" Monmouth Park ? What is that ? " 
" It's a track ; they race horses there, you know." 
" Percy, have you been betting on horse-races ? " 
" Mercy, mother, it's no crime ! All the fellows 
do it. I should look queer if I didn't chip in with 
the rest ! Only this time I happened to get in 
pretty deep ; and as all the favorites were beaten 
I got badly left." 

" Do you mean that you lost all the money you 
wagered ?" 

" Every cent of it ; you never saw such a run of 
bad luck in your life. The trouble was, I made up 
my mind to win anyhow ; so each time I lost I put 
it all on the next race, so as to get back what was 
gone, and more into the bargain. It was as good 
as certain that I wouldn't lose every race, you see. 
So when it came to the last I had a big pile on ; 
and it was voted a sure thing. I believe it was 
the jockey's fault, after all. Anyhow, he lost the 
race by a short head ; and if I hadn't had a return 
ticket I'd have been obliged to walk home." 

" All your money gone ! Why, my son, if you had 

invested it, you might have lived comfortably on 

the interest of it ! And your father gave it to you 

to start you in your profession. What can you do ? " 

" Well, mother, I must do the best I can. I know 

it's all wrong, and I'm very sorry, and all that. 

But it's no use crying for spilt milk. I'm in a hole, 

and I've got to be helped out of it, somehow ! " 

" I will speak to Judge Ketelle, and see what " 

" Whatever you do, don't speak to Judge Ketelle ! 


He can do no good, and would be certain to do a 
lot of mischief. What business is it of Judge 
Ketelle's, anyway ? " 

" He was appointed executor under the will, 
and " 

" That is no concern of mine, mother. My 
interest in the will ceased when I got my patrimony. 
I have no further relations with the judge, nor he 
with me. He has no right to help me, even if he 
wanted to, which he doesn't." 

" My son, he is the best friend I have, and what- 
ever is for our good 

" My dear mother, I tell you it won't do ! I 
know what the judge would say, and after he had 
said it I would be no better off than I am now. I 
have some pride, and I don't want all the world to 
know that I'm a beggar. I shouldn't think you 
would, either." 

" Percy, you know I wish nothing but your good, 
but " 

" The long and short of the matter is that unless 
I am to be disgraced. I must have some money, 
and without any delay, too. I owe a few bills 
they don't amount to much and I must Jiave a 
little to go on with. A thousand dollars would 
cover the whole thing. You can let me have it, 
can't you ?" 

" A thousand dollars ! But after that, Percy ? 
You will be wanting money all the time, and this 
cannot go on forever." 

" It isn't going on forever. This is the first time 


I have ever asked you for a cent, mother, and it 
shall be the last. Heaven knows, it was hard 
enough to have to come to you at any rate ; but I 
didn't expect you would make it harder by arguing 
about it ! " 

" My dearest boy, you might have all 1 possess, 
so far as I am concerned " 

" Who else is concerned except you ? a thousand 
dollars isn't going to ruin you, mother, but. it is 
ruin to me if I don't get it. And don't fear I shall 
be coming to you again. I am going to stop the 
kind of life I have been living the last year, and 
turn over a new leaf. I have several opportunities 
to get positions in the city, and I am going to set 
to work at once and find out what will be the best 
thing. As soon as I am in a place where I can 
turn around, I shall put in my spare time study- 
ing up my mining, and before another year is out, 
I shall be ready to accept an engagement. I can 
support myself as well as the next man and make 
a fortune, too ! But I don't suppose you want to 
see me miss all that for the sake of a paltry thou- 
sand dollars ? " 

The grid of it was that Mrs. Nolen gave him a 
thousand dollars. She tried to make him promise 
that he would come and live under her own roof ; 
but he put her off with a temporizing reply, alleg- 
ing, in no very logical vein, that he did not wish to 
make himself a burden to her ; but when he got 
" fixed " so that he could pa)^ her for his board 
and lodging he would come with pleasure. 


The request indicated that getting fixed was an 
operation that required time. The fact was that 
Percy paid sums on account to his most pressing 
creditors, including the proprietor of his lodgings, 
and went on living much as before ; to salve his 
conscience he did make some inquiries about 
work, but not in such a manner as to secure prac- 
ticable answers. One subject possessed his mind, 
and that was Mrs. Tunstall. It was impossible 
for him to live with his mother while that affair 
was going on. His infatuation was intensified by 
Sylvia's timidity and reluctance. A man's brains 
count for nothing in such a matter. Percy lived 
in the desire of the moment ; he gave no thought 
to the inevitable consequences. If he might see 
her to-day, or to-morrow, no matter about the day 
after, and no matter that the meeting was fraught 
with danger both to her and to him. The differ- 
ence between a good desire and an evil one gener- 
ally is that the former is sane and the latter has 
more or less of insanity. 

Sylvia's heart was not engaged if she could be 
said to have a heart and it was clear in her mind 
that she must run no risk of compromising herself. 
At the same, had it been in her power to banish 
Percy forever by the utterance of a single word, 
it is doubtful if she would have done it. She knew 
that, were her husband to discover any further 
correspondence between them, he would not hesi- 
tate to act decisively and finally, and the first 
result of that action would be that she would find 


herself cast upon the world with a damaged repu- 
tation. Such a thing was not to be thought of. 
But the very peril of her position was an allure- 
ment to linger in it ; and then there was the excite- 
ment of knowing that a man was in love with her 
who had no business to be so, and who was willing 
to go all lengths for her. Moreover, she was 
angry as well as dismayed because her husband had 
spoken to her as he did (like all women, she inter- 
preted what was said by what was meant), and 
found a pleasure in defying him in thought if not 
in deed. So, although she did not openly and 
explicitly encourage Percy, she allowed him to 
believe that he was not indifferent to her. 

Neither he nor she had committed any actual 
sin, but they were on the road to do so. People 
always believe that they can pull up at the last 
moment, and are therefore willing to go on until 
the last moment is reached. But by that time 
events combine in an unforeseen manner and push 
them over the edge. Then they are astonished to 
find themselves linked with the brotherhood of 
crime. And, once that link is forged, it defies all 
attempts to break it. 

It happened before long that Percy needed more 
money. He had less than two hundred dollars left, 
and he owed more than that. He did not wish to 
go to his mother again, partly from shame, partly 
because he knew that, in order to raise the sum he 
needed, she would be obliged to sell some stock, 
and that would involve applying to Judge Ketelle. 


One night, at a club, he was asked to take a hand 
at a game of poker with three others. He sat 
down and played with varying success for an hour 
or two. Then two of the quartette withdrew, and 
he and the other kept on. 

Percy had faith in his luck, and had fortified 
himself with several whiskey cocktails. His op- 
ponent was a quiet man, and seemed to be in a 
dejected and timid frame of mind. The chips on 
the table represented a good deal of money, how 
much exactly Percy did not know ; he meant to 
win it all. Some good cards were dealt to him ; 
he drew, and found himself in possession of a 
superb hand. He was quite certain that his adver- 
sary held no such cards, and he began to bet. His 
adversary was drawn into raising him ; they con- 
tinued to raise each other. Percy swallowed an- 
other cocktail, and felt that he could not lose. He 
acted upon this conviction, and lost. Upon in- 
vestigation, it appeared that the quiet man had 
won not only Percy's original stakes but some 
nine hundred dollars into the bargain. 

Percy preserved a calm exterior, and wrote his 
I. O. U. for the amount, to be redeemed within 
twenty-four hours. Meanwhile, he was in a cold 
sweat of consternation, for he did not know how he 
was to get the money. It was too large a sum to 
borrow from any of his acquaintances : those 
whom he knew well enough to approach on such a 
matter were aware of his financial standing, and 
would not lend any thing. There was nothing for 


it but to go to his mother. The money must be 
forthcoming. If he failed to pay, he would be dis- 
honored ; Sylvia would hear of it. ... No ! 
he must have the money at any cost. 

He went to bed, passed a very bad night, and 
after attempting to eat some breakfast he betook 
himself to his mother's house. The nature of his 
errand was so apparent in his manner and appear- 
ance that she divined it at once. The interview 
that ensued was a very painful one to both parties. 

Mrs. Nolen had not got the money, and could 
not get it for a week at least. She convinced her 
son by documentary evidence that such was the 
case. It might be possible to borrow from Judge 
Ketelle ; there was no other way. These were 
facts which no arguments or entreaties could alter. 
Mrs. Nolen was terribly agitated by the revelation 
of her son's incorrigible perversity, and her tears 
and anguish put him in almost a suicidal frame of 
mind. It seemed to him that if he could only es- 
cape from this predicament he would never allow 
himself to get caught again. But there was no es- 
cape, except through the judge, and that was al- 
most as bad as no escape at all. The judge, even 
if he agreed to the loan, was not the man to spare 
Percy a plain and severe statement of the repre- 
hensibility of his behavior. The young man 
writhed in anticipation of this rebuke. He knew 
he deserved it, but it would not be easier to endure 
on that account. Under ordinary circumstances 
he might rebel and answer back ; but it would not 


do to fight with a man whom he was begging 
money of. He had always been proud of his pride ; 
now that pride was going to suffer a fatal humilia- 
tion. Only one thing could be worse, and that was 
to inform his opponent of the night before that he 
could not pay him. Percy wished that he had 
never been born, and then he wished that he were 

The first wish being impracticable, and the 
second one that he did not care to put into practice, 
he left his mother's house in an unenviable frame of 
mind, and turned his steps in the direction of Judge 
Ketelle's office. He felt gloomy and desperate. 
He could understand how men, heretofore respec- 
table, were induced to become thieves or robbers. 
Had he been a bank-cashier, he felt that he was in 
a mood to rob the safe and depart for Canada : or 
if he had been alone on a dark road with a wealthy 
old gentleman, he could have taken him by the 
throat and gone through his pockets. But he was 
on Fifth Avenue, in broad daylight, and these 
short methods of reimbursing himself were not 

He struck into Broadway, and presently, about a 
block in advance, he caught sight of a graceful 
female figure that he knew, walking in the same 
direction with himself. It was Sylvia Tunstall. 
He hastened his steps : but just before he came up 
with her she turned into a large jewelry shop on 
the right. 

It was as good a place as another for an inter- 


view, and he felt a feverish desire to speak to her. 
He followed her into the shop, and, as she came to 
a pause at one of the counters, he stood beside her 
and uttered her name. 



rHE shop was a very large one, and was full of 
customers, for the holiday season was at hand, 
and the wealthier portion of the community was 
presenting itself with precious gifts. The custom- 
ers were chiefly ladies, though there was also a fair 
sprinkling of the other sex. There were also the 
salesmen and the walkers, and perhaps a few 
other persons whose office was not to promote sales 
but to prevent appropriations of stock by individ- 
uals who had not gone through the formality of 
paying for it. Yet it seemed impossible that, 
among such a multitude, the eyes of a detective 
should be able to fix upon the malefactors, and 
nevertheless a successful theft was a very uncom- 
mon occurrence in the great jewelry shop. 

When Mrs. Tunstall heard her name, she turned 
with a start, and her vivid but pretty face paled. 
" Don't stay," she said in a low voice ; " do go ! 
what is the use of running any risks ? " 

" I have as good a right as anybody to be here," 
Percy replied. "If we both happen to be here at 
the same time, what of that ? " 


" What is the matter ? You look quite ill ! " she 

At this moment a salesman, having despatched 
an adjoining customer, presented himself before 
her with a " What can I do for you, madam?" 
She handed him a card and said, " I have called 
about that necklace ; it was to have been ready 
this morning." The man took the card, bowed, 
and hurried off. She turned again to Percy. Her 
muff was in her left hand ; and as she turned she 
laid it upon the glass counter, on the side furthest 
away from him. His sudden appearance had evi- 
dently disconcerted her. 

He met her look, and thought how charming she 
was. She was dressed in fine black velvet, trimmed 
with soft furs, and wore a wonderful bonnet, 
adorned with birds' feathers and sparkling points ; 
a delicate silken veil was bound around it. Her 
oval face, with its bright eyes, small straight nose 
and rather full lips, was perfectly pretty ; and now 
the blood, which had been driven from her cheeks 
for a moment, came ebbing back beneath the trans- 
parent skin. She was lovely, luxurious, and rich; 
those diamonds in her ears would have paid all his 
debts, and he believed that she would relieve his 
necessities in a moment had she known of them. 
But how impossible it was to tell her ! How 
inaccessible she was, though he could have thrown 
his arms around her as she stood there ! He felt 
a helpless rage an impulse to seize upon her and 
make off with her bodily. If he only had had 


money money, and plenty of it there was nothing 
so wild that he would not have ventured to propose 
it to her. What a power money was in this world ! 

All this time he stood gazing at her, and saying 
not a word. 

" What is the matter with you, Percy ? " she 
repeated. " What makes you look so ? you are 
making every body notice us. Are you " she 

" I am sober, if that's what you mean," he said. 
" If we were alone, I would show you what is the 
matter with me ! Good God ! is there no place in 
the world where we can be alone together for half 
an hour ! " 

Some one touched him on the arm. He turned 
savagely. It was only a gentleman who begged 
his pardon ; he had left a cane standing against the 
counter. It was not there ; he apologised and 
went off. Percy came round to the other side of 
Sylvia, and leaned on the counter, taking her muff 
in his hands. 

" I can't stand this," he resumed. " I never see 
you at all now. I have as much right to see you 
as any of your acquaintances. You keep out of 
my way ! " 

" If you would be content to see me as my other 
acquaintances do but you know perfectly well how 
dangerous it is. And you could not have chosen 
a worse place than this." She bent forward and 
added in a whisper, " I expect Mr. Tunstall may 
come in at any moment. He knew I was coming 


here this morning about the necklace, and said 
something about intending to try and meet me. 
Do go ! It will only make it more difficult here- 

" It cannot be more difficult than it is already," 
replied Percy sullenly. " I should like to meet 
him and have it out with him, if he wants to say 
anything ! What is there he can say, for that mat- 
ter? He has no business to interfere." 

" You don't know him ! " 

" He doesn't know me, if he thinks I care for 
him ! Why should we mind ? If the worst comes 
to the worst, it would only throw us together. I 
am ready for it are you ? " 

" Percy, you are crazy ! How can you talk so ! 
You will make me wish never to see you again. 
Nothing of that sort is possible. I never thought 
of such a thing." 

" Such things have been thought of, and they are 
possible. You are not happy as you are now, 
Sylvia, and you know it. Why not let society and 
respectability go to the devil, where they belong, 
and enjoy life in our own way? There are other 
places in the world besides New York, or America ? " 

" Here is the necklace, Mrs. Tunstall," said the 
voice of the salesman. He was standing on the 
opposite side of the counter, with the box in his 

She was thankful for the interruption, for she was 
becoming seriously alarmed at Percy's manner ; 
and, drawing the box towards her, she opened it. 


It contained a necklace of fine diamonds, which 
had been selected some time before, and set accord- 
ing to Mrs. Tunstall's directions. She examined 
them, and expressed her approval. " It is twenty- 
five hundred dollars, is it not ? " she said. 

" Twenty-five hundred dollars," repeated the 
salesman, softly. 

She looked around for her muff, which Percy had 
just replaced on the counter. She slipped her hand 
in it and uttered an exclamation. Then she sent a 
quick glance over the counter and on the floor. 

" Have you seen it ? " she said, in a startled 

" I beg your pardon ! " said the salesman, blandly. 
Percy maintained a gloomy silence and an abstracted 

" My pocket-book and some money in bank 
notes. I had them in my muff," she exclaimed. 
" Have you " she went on, turning to Percy. 

He looked at her uncomprehendingly. " What 
is it ?" he demanded. 

" My purse and the money. Why, you had my 
muff just now. Didn't you " 

" Did I have your muff ? I wasn't aware of it. I 
know nothing about it," said he, unconcernedly. 

" But I can't lose it it must be found it was 
right there ! " she exclaimed again. " It can't have 
disappeared into nothing ! " 

" May I inquire if the sum was a large one ? " 
put in the salesman, softly. 

" Why, yes ! there were twenty-five hundred dol- 


lars and some smaller notes in the purse. I had 
brought it to pay for the necklace." 

By this time several persons had collected, drawn 
by the evident agitation of the handsome young 
lady ; among them was a small, bright-looking man, 
with an alert and confident manner. He subjected 
Mrs. Tunstall and Percy to a keen but unobtrusive 

" Perhaps you put it in your pocket," Percy 
suggested, who, on hearing so large a sum men- 
tioned, had begun to arouse himself from his curi- 
ous apathy. 

She put her hand in the pocket of her dress and 
felt in it anxiously, then shook her head. 

" No," she said, " and, besides, I recollect it all 
now distinctly. I put the money in my purse when 
I went out this morning, and put the purse in my 
muff, as I always do. When I got here I took out 
the purse and took the notes from it " 

" Pardon me, madam," interposed the bright- 
looking man at this point ; " I am connected with 
this establishment, and it is my duty to investigate 
cases of missing articles. Can you state what was 
the denomination of the bills representing the sum 
of money twenty-five hundred dollars I think you 
said ? " 

" There were four bank-notes," Mrs. Tunstall re- 
plied ; " one of a thousand dollars, and three of five 
hundred each." 

" Thank you," said the man, making a note 
on some tablets in his hand. " Do you recollect 


the numbers of the notes, or the banks they be- 
longed to ? " 

She shook her head. " I didn't look," she said. 

" You took these notes out of your purse, you 
say " 

" I took them out so as to have them ready. I 
was a little nervous about carrying so much money, 
and I thought, if I should lose the purse, I would 
have the money separate. But now it is all 
gone ! " 

" After taking the notes out of your purse, what 
did you do with them ? " pursued the bright-looking 

" I held them in my hand in my muff ; in this 
hand," indicating her left. " Then, just as I came 
up to the counter, this gentleman spoke to me." 

" This gentleman is a friend of yours ? " 

Mrs. Tunstall hesitated and colored. " I am 
acquainted with him slightly acquainted with him," 
she said at length. 

" Will you oblige me with your name, sir," said 
the other, turning to Percy. 

" I don't know what my name has got to do with 
it ! " returned Percy, rather brusquely. " Who are 
you ? " 

The man turned back the lapel of his coat and 
showed the badge of the Central Detective Bureau. 

"I am attending to my business, sir," he said, 
" and as you were in this lady's company at the time 
the loss occurred you will be needed as a witness, if 
for no other purpose ! " He pronounced the last 


words in a peculiar tone, which caused Percy to 
turn upon him sharply. 

" What do you mean by that ?" he demanded. 

" I mean, sir, that it is proper for me to make a 
note of your name," the detective replied. " I 
have no power, at present, to make you give it, 

"'Oh, I have no objection," Percy returned, care- 
lessly. " Here is my card," and he handed it to the 
other, who read it, nodded, and slipped it into his 

" Now, madam, what did you do after this 
gentleman spoke to you ? " 

"Tanswered him." 

" Did you still hold the money in your hand ? " 

" No," she said, after a moment's thought. " I 
took my hand out of the muff, and left it lying there 
on the counter." 

" Were the purse and the money still in it ? " 


"Where was he standing ? " 

" He was facing me, on this side." 

" So your back was turned on your muff ? " 

" For a minute or two yes." 

" Did any one approach you during that time ! " 

" Not that I remember. Of course, some one 
might have come up behind without my knowing 
of it." 

" What did you do next ? " 

" I think the salesman came up then, and I spoke 
to him about the necklace. He went off to. get it." 


" And you continued your conversation with this 
gentleman ? " 

" Yes." 

" Was he in the same position as before ? " 

" No yes I don't remember ! " She had sud- 
denly became embarrassed, and the color flew into 
her cheeks again. She glanced at Percy with a 
frightened look. There was a short pause. 

" Does your memory serve you on that point, 
sir," inquired the detective, turning to Percy. 

" I have no particular recollection," lie replied ; 
" but I know that when the salesman came back 
with the necklace this lady was between me and 
the door, and I had her muff in my hands." 

" That agrees with my own impression," said the 
detective drily. " I happened to be looking at you 
at the time. Did you notice whether there was 
any thing in the muff at the time you were hold- 
ing it ? " 

" There was nothing in it. I put my hands inside, 
and if there had been any thing there I would have 
felt it." 

" When you first spoke to the lady, you were 
between her and the door. Afterwards, you went 
round to the other side of her. I want to be sure 
I have the details all right, you know. What was 
the occasion of your changing 'round ? " 

" I don't know. I wasn't thinking of what I was 
doing. While she was talking with the salesman I 
had nothing to occupy me ; I didn't even remem- 
ber that I touched the muff until you asked me." 


The detective glanced over his tablets, and said, 
slowly :." The question is, how to reconcile the two 
facts : that the muff had the purse and money in it 
when you first spoke to the lady, and a few 
moments afterwards, when you had hold of it, it 
was empty." 

" I don't pretend to account for it ; that is your 
business, I suppose," Percy replied. " Of course, 
if the money was there, somebody must have 
taken it out." 

" Yes, sir, somebody must have taken it out," 
the detective repeated, fixing his eyes upon the 
young man. 

" Well, you don't mean to accuse me of it, I sup- 
pose," rejoined Percy, with a laugh. 

" I am not accusing any body, at present, sir. 
What does the lady think ? " 

" Oh, of course, that is impossible ! " said Mrs. 
Tunstall, looking much distressed. 

At this moment a gentleman entered the shop, 
glanced this way and that until he saw Mrs. Tun- 
stall, and then came straight toward her. As he 
approached, Percy recognized him ; it was Cuth- 
bert Tunstall. The two men bowed politely and 



WELL, Sylvia," said her husband, " have you 
transacted your business ?" 

She had been standing with her back toward 
him as he approached ; at the sound of his voice 
she gave a start, and faced him. Her face 
expressed alarm, agitation, and something of defi- 
ance. Tunstall, on the contrary, was quiet, cold, 
and slightly contemptuous in his bearing. It was 
certainly unfortunate that he should have come 
upon her and Percy together. For months past 
she had taken every precaution to avoid such a 
mishap, and now it had occurred, nor had any 
advantage accrued as between her and Percy, but 
quite the reverse. 

" I came in here to pay for the necklace, you 
know," she said. 

" I know. If you have paid for it, I am ready 
to escort you home unless you have some engage- 
ment with this gentleman." 

" Oh, I have no engagement. Mr. Nolen hap- 
pened to come in and find me here. But " 

" Then perhaps Mr. Nolen will excuse us." 


" But, I have just found I have mislaid my 

"Left it at home?" 

" No, I have lost it since I came in here." 

" Do you mean it has been stolen from you ? " 

" It seems to have been. I can't account for it." 

" If you will step this way, madam, and gentle- 
men," put in the detective, "we can talk over the 
matter in private. There is a parlor at the back, 
where we shall not be disturbed. You understand, 
sir," he added, addressing Tunstall, " that time is 
of importance in such things, and the sooner we 
can take measures to capture the thief, the bet- 
ter chance there is to recover the bank-notes." 

" Let us go in, by all means." said Tunstall. " But 
in what manner is Mr. Nolen concerned." 

" I was here when the robbery was committed 
if there was a robbery," said Percy, "and, accord- 
ing to this detective, my assistance is neces- 

The detective pushed a way through the crowd 
that had collected, and led the others to the rear 
part of the building, where there was a small room 
with chairs and a table. Into this room were ad- 
mitted Mr. and Mrs. Tunstall, Percy, and the sales- 

" Now, then," said the detective, shutting the 
door, and taking up a position with his back toward 
it, " plain words don't break any bones, and the 
best thing we can do is to clear away whatever may 
look puzzling. Here's the way the case stands : 


Mrs. Tunstall comes into the shop with her hands 
in her muff, and four bank-notes to the amount 
of two thousand five hundred dollars were inside, 
together with the purse. She comes up to the 
counter, and this gentleman," pointing to Nolen, 
" comes in right after her, and speaks to her. 
While she is talking with him, she lays her muff, 
with the money and the purse in it, on the counter, 
and turns her back on it. After a while, along 
comes the salesman, and while she is speaking to 
him this gentleman goes round the other side and 
takes up her muff, and turns it in his hands, as it 
were. A minute afterwards she takes the muff 
from him, and finds that the money and the purse 
are gone. The gentleman says he had his hands 
in the muff, and that it was empty. That's how 
the case stands. Now, I want to know if the gen- 
tleman has any thing more to say." And he Iqpked 
at Nolen. 

" I have told all I know about it," replied Percy 
steadily. " I found the muff empty, and if Mrs. 
Tunstall had not been so positive that the purse 
and the money were in it I should say she must 
have been mistaken. The bank-notes might have 
fallen on the ground and not been noticed, but the 
purse would have been heard to drop." 

" May I ask, then, what your theory is ? " in- 
quired Tunstall, courteously. 

" I have none," he answered shortly. 

" And what is yours, Sylvia ? " her husband con- 


"I'm sure I don't know what to think," she 
said in a faltering voice. 

The eyes of Tunstall and the detective fixed 
themselves upon Percy in silence. He reddened as 
he returned the gaze, but whether with anger or with 
some other emotion it was impossible to determine. 

" Well," he broke out at length, " it seems to me 
that I stand in the position of a suspected person. 
I can hardly believe, >v he added, in a hoarser voice, 
" that I can be seriously charged with picking a 
lady's pocket especially a lady with whom I am 
acquainted." He paused ; no one spoke. " Well, 
then," he went on, angrily, ' I will say that I repu- 
diate the charge, and I will hold to account who- 
ever has the face to make it. I mean you, sir ! " 
he said, with a fierce look at Tunstall. " Have you 
any thing to say to it ? " 

" So far as I am aware," said Tunstall, coolly, 
" the only person who has spoken of charging you 
with the theft is yourself. I was not present, and 
can only judge from hearsay. But I will say this, 
Mr. Nolen ; if I were in your place, I should wish 
to vindicate my innocence in some other way than 
by asserting it. I should begin by asking this de- 
tective to search my pockets." 

" Do you dare to say you want me to be 
searched ? " cried Nolen, his face flushing red, while 
he advanced a step toward the other, with a threat- 
ening gesture. 

" That is what an honest man would wish to have 
done," replied the other, not flinching. 


u Come, come," said the detective, stepping 
between them, " we don't want any hard words 
here, gentlemen. But I'm bound to tell you, Mr. 
Nolen, that Mr. Tunstall is right. There's no dis- 
grace in being searched, that I know of ; and it 
would be worth more than a lot of loud talking." 

Percy stood uncertain for a moment ; then he 
stripped off his overcoat, and tossed it to the detec- 
tive. " Do as you like," said he. " You have your 
duty to perform, I suppose. I will settle with Mr. 
Tunstall afterwards." 

The detective put his hand into one of the side- 
pockets of the overcoat, then into the other. 
" Here's something, at any rate," he remarked ; and 
with the words he drew out a lady's purse. 

Percy uttered a cry, as of utter astonishment and 
dismay, and stared at the pocket-book like a man 

" Is that yours, Sylvia?" inquired her husband 
quietly, taking the purse and handing it to her. 

She took it mechanically and opened it. " It is 
mine," she said, under her breath. 

" Are the notes in it ? " demanded the detective. 

She shook her head. 

" They are not in the overcoat," the detective 
added. " We shall have to pursue our examination 
a little further, Mr. Nolen," he said, in a grave 

" I don't understand I have nothing to say 
there seems to have been some plot against me," 
said Percy, in a dazed manner. " I desire to have 


the thing cleared up more than any one else can. 
I wish to be taken to the station and examined." 

" That's the best sense you've talked yet," 
answered the other, approvingly. " Call a couple 
of hacks, Ferris," he said to the salesman, " and 
we'll start at once. You charge this man on sus- 
picion of the robbery ? " he added, turning to Mrs. 

She was standing with her eyes cast down, and 
her hands hanging folded before her, leaning 
against the table. She was in a delicate position, 
and she knew it. If she sided with Percy, it would 
be tantamount to a defiance of her husband a 
defiance which he would never forgive, and would 
fight out to the bitter end. It would mean, for her, 
loss of social position, and consequent exile and 
obscurity, or, if not obscurity, a kind of promi- 
nence that no one would envy her. If, on the 
other hand, she took sides with her husband, it 
would afford the strongest possible indication, in 
his eyes, of her virtuous and wifely conduct and 
rebuke of the suspicions he had entertained against 
her. Moreover, the evidence against Percy was 
very strong and plausible. It might be misleading 
and, in the bottom of her heart, she did not 
believe him guilty but, in case it should turn out 
that he had yielded to some sudden temptation, it 
would be awkward, to say the least, to have com- 
promised herself for a felon. Had she loved him, 
indeed, there might have been a tragic pleasure in 
sacrificing herself ; but it was now revealed to her 


that the only love in the matter was a love, not of 
Percy, but of excitement. The excitement had run 
itself out, and was succeeded by a desire to get out 
of the scrape by the shortest route. But did she 
feel no remorse at abandoning her lover at the 
moment of his greatest need ? No ; the feminine 
conscience is not so easily caught. It was with a 
glow of conscious virtue and connubial rectitude 
that she lifted her pretty face, and addressing her 
husband, said. 

" Well, I suppose he must have done it. I don't 
see who else could have. Yes, I will make the 
complaint, though it will be very disagreeable to 
appear in a court, among a lot of criminals ! " 

She just glanced at Percy as she turned away, 
perhaps to see how he would take it. His eyes 
were fixed upon her with an expression of half- 
incredulous curiosity ; but the next moment he 
threw back his head and burst into a loud laugh. 
She shrank a little at that sound, and edged toward 
the door ; and this was the lovers' parting scene. 

Such was the train of events that brought a 
young gentleman who might have made a good 
and respectable figure in the world to the office of 
Inspector Byrnes at Police Headquarters. The 
Inspector listened to the story, contemplating the 
prisoner and his accusers dreamily in the mean- 
while ; and after it was told, he sat for a while ab- 
sently making lines on the blotting-pad in front of 
him with the point of a paper-knife. 

Finally he looked up and briefly requested that 


every one should withdraw except Mrs. Tunstall 
and Percy Nolen. When the three were alone 
together, he regarded Mrs. Tunstall pensively and 

" How long have you known the prisoner ? " 

" Oh, a year or more." 

" Has your husband approved of the acquaint- 
ance ? " 

" How do you mean, sir ? " inquired the lady 
with a blush. 

" You know what I mean, I think." 

" I don't think my husband has ever liked Mr. 
Nolen," she replied uneasily. 

" Considered him rather detrimental, I sup- 
pose ? " 

<l Well, I suppose so." 

" Were the prisoner and your husband at any 
time intimately known to each other ? " 

" They knew each other scarcely at all." 

" And yet your husband considered him a detri- 
mental ? There ought to have been some reason 
for that ! Are you prepared to state to me, Mrs. 
Tunstall, in Percy Nolen's presence, that your hus- 
band's ill opinion of him was in no way connected 
with what he knew or suspected of Percy Nolen's 
relations with you ? " 

The question was put so sternly and gravely 
that Mrs. Tunstall was unable to maintain the com- 
posure of her countenance. She stammered and 
hesitated, and looked first one way and then an- 
other. Was it possible that the Inspector, in some 


incomprehensible manner, had become acquainted 
with the truth ? 

" He I never asked him the reason of his 
opinion," she faltered at length. 

" There are many ways of getting rid of a man 
when he ceases to be convenient and becomes ob- 
jectionable," continued the Inspector. " Are you 
ready to stand before me and take your oath that 
you honestly and truly believe this man guilty of 
stealing your pocket-book ? Remember, Mrs. 
Tunstall, your answer may be the means of con- 
demning an innocent man to irrevocable ruin ! " 

But she had gone too far to withdraw ; selfish- 
ness and cowardice alike forbade it. Yet it was 
not without an inward struggle that left her pale 
and trembling that she said desperately, " Yes, I 
believe he stole it!" and then, " The evidence 
shows it it is not I ! " 

" That is for neither you nor me to determine, Mrs. 
Tunstall," returned the inspector, rising. " I will 
not detain you any longer now ; you will be in- 
formed when your sworn testimony will be required 
hereafter." And Mrs. Tunstall went out. 

The Inspector resumed his seat, and addressed 
himself to the prisoner. 

" I was willing," he said, "for the sake of your 
family and friends, to give you every chance to 
which you were entitled. You had every advan- 
tage of training and education ; but you have lived 
a foolish and useless life, and this is the result of it. 
You were in need of money in immediate and 


and pressing need of it ; you had tried every way 
you knew to get it ; you found those bank-notes 
in your hand this morning, and you were unable to 
resist the temptation to take them. From a gen- 
tleman you became what you are now ! " 

" Inspector Byrnes," said Percy, firmly but 
apathetically, " I did not commit that crime. I 
have lived a bad and useless life, and no doubt I 
deserve to suffer for it ; but I honestly believe 
that no temptation would have induced me to do 
such a thing as that. I am obliged to you for sug- 
gesting to Mrs. Tunstall that she would reconsider 
her accusation ; but it will be no satisfaction to me 
to escape in any such way. If I cannot prove my 
innocence, I may as well be in gaol as anywhere 

" Innocent men are very seldom convicted," 
said the Inspector impassively. " The facts are 
against you. No one but you is known to have 
been near the muff after Mrs. Tunstall laid it down. 
You admit having had it in your hands ; the pocket- 
book was found in your pocket. It is true that 
the bank-notes were not found ; but the presence 
of a confederate would account for that. It is for 
you to judge whether or not your plea should be 

" I am innocent, and that's the end of it," said 
Percy. " I don't expect to prove it. The evidence 
is all the other way. Somebody must have taken 
the purse out of the muff and put it in my pocket ; 
as for the notes, I know nothing. You say I may 


have had a confederate. If he was near enough to 
take the notes from me, he was near enough to rob 
the muff ; and if he could do that, it would remain 
to be proved that he was my confederate, or that I 
knew any thing about him. But all that would be 
in my favor is guess-work, and all that's against 
me is fact ; so it's a bad look-out ! " 

" Undoubtedly it is," assented the Inspector 
quietly. " There was only one minute when a 
thief could have taken the money and left the 
purse in your pocket ; and that was when you were 
talking to Mrs. Tunstall, and her back was turned 
towards the muff. If any one had been near 
enough to put the purse in your pocket, you could 
hardly expect a jury to believe that you would not 
have noticed him." 

Percy maintained a gloomy silence for a mo- 
ment ; then his expression suddenly lightened, and 
he exclaimed, " Now that I think of it, some one 
did touch me on the arm, and when I turned round 
he asked me if his cane was standing against the 
counter. Perhaps he was the man ! " 

" Can you describe him ? " asked the Inspector 

Percy shook his head. " He had a dark mus- 
tache, I believe ; he might have been under thirty ; 
but I hardly looked at him. I doubt if I should 
know him again." 

The Inspector stroked his moustache. "That 
will hardly do," said he. " You have no defence 
at all, The best advice I can give you is to make 


a clean breast of it. Such a defence as that is 
worse than nothing." 

" Probably you are right ; but I am innocent, 
and I will never say the contrary," replied the 
prisoner with a sigh. " So far as I am con- 
cerned, I don't care much what becomes of me. I 
owe money I can't pay, and there are other 
things. I am sorry for my mother and sister ; but 
I never was much good to them ; and Judge Ke- 
telle will look after them, I hope." 

" Is Judge Ketelle a friend of yours ? " 

" He was my father's partner, and is the executor 
of his will." 

" Do you wish to send for him ? There will be the 
question of bail to consider,as well as other matters.' 

" I suppose that will be the best thing I can do ; 
I thank you for suggesting it, Inspector." 

u Don't trouble yourself to thank me until you 
find out whether there is occasion for it," returned 
the chief detective coldly. He touched a bell, 
made a sign to the officer who entered, and Percy 
was led out. 

" That boy never took that money," he said to 
himself, when he was alone. " Such fellows as he 
don't steal, least of all from the woman they're in 
love with. As for her ! " the Inspector's face grew 
very stern, and he brought his hand down heavily 
on the table. " She is sacrificing him to pull wool 
over her husband's eyes. Either Nolen's sugges- 
tion is the true one, or else she invented the story 
to get rid of him. It's a bad lookout ; but let's 
see if we can't straighten it out ! " 



WHILE these untoward events were occurring 
at the jewelry shop and the police office, 
an affair of a different nature was being transacted 
at the house of Mrs. Nolen. 

A couple of weeks had passed since Valentine 
Martin had called on Mrs. Nolen and her daughter, 
so that his appearance there that day had some- 
thing of the charm of novelty. Mrs. Nolen, how- 
ever, was too much upset by her interview with 
Percy to be able to extend the visitor a welcome, 
and that duty therefore devolved upon Pauline. 
The latter, it may be observed, had not been 
informed of her brother's pecuniary troubles, and 
only knew that her mother was for some reason 
greatly distressed. She came down-stairs and 
found Valentine in the library. 

Judge Ketelle had pronounced Pauline a beauti- 
ful girl ; and beauty was her most noticeable ex- 
ternal quality ; but it was not her chief claim to 
distinction among those who knew her. She was 
finely organized and trained in mind as well as 
body, and possessed a charm separate from any 
physical attraction, It was not that she was a 


learned young woman ; she never embarrassed any 
one by revealing the presence of more information 
than might reasonably be supposed to belong to 
her ; but there was in her expression a spirit and 
understanding that promised whatever was delight- 
ful in mental scenery and tone. Her temperament 
was calm and equable because it was deep and 
healthy ; it could not be aroused save for adequate 
cause, but when aroused it would clothe itself in 
power. This wide and vigorous nature would go 
on ripening and enriching itself long after ordinary 
people dry up and dwindle away. Pauline could 
not be measured or assignee her definite and fixed 
place in human nature. Her sympathies were 
broad, and what she might do or be depended 
rather upon the demands made upon her than upon 
any limitations in herself. 

The young Englishman, after the first conven- 
tional things were said, did not appear to be in a 
loquacious mood. He replied in monosyllables to 
Pauline's observations, but his eyes kept re- 
turning to fix themselves upon her with an 
expression of sombre thoughtfulness. 

" Are you getting tired of America ? " she asked 
him, at length. 

"I have enjoyed some of it, very much," he 
replied. "I wish I had known, years ago, what I* 
should find when I came here." 

" Would you have come sooner ? " 
. " It isn't that ; but I should have left undone 
some things that I have done in the past, A fel- 


low is generally a fool in the beginning. He gets 
sense after a while, but the things the fool did 
remain worse luck ! " 

" If they did not, you would never grow wise." 

" What is the use of wisdom, if it only makes 
a man curse himself for having been not wise ? " 

" What do you expect wisdom to bring you ? " 

" It ought to bring fortune and happiness ; but 
it doesn't." 

" No, wise people don't seem to be happy or for- 
tunate. But they are wise ; they should expect to 
pay for that." 

" Very true, Miss Nolen ; we can't eat our cake 
and have it, too. But I might have been content 
to have eaten my cake, if only it hadn't turned out 
to be made of bran and shavings. How would 
you like to hear my strange, eventful history ? It 
has never been published." 

" I would like to hear the real life of a man 
what he thought and felt. But that is the part the 
stories leave out." 

" Well, the whole truth is a vulgar and sordid 
affair ; a good deal of it is. And there's a reason 
for it, too. For it is chiefly the analysis of a lie." 

" That is not the truth's fault." 

" Oh, of course not ; the children of light always 
have the best of the argument ! There has been 
plenty of muck in my career, but plenty of variety 
and adventure, too. Younger sons have that 
advantage, at least, over the elders." 

" According to our American way of thinking, 


it is no advantage to inherit a great estate. It 
can only tempt a man to be like his ancestors. I 
would choose to be a younger son, myself." 

" If it were a matter of choice, perhaps those 
most concerned might more often agree with you. 
But, if you are born a younger son, your prefer- 
ences are not consulted ; and it is not in human 
nature to enjoy having even a good thing crammed 
down your throat. However, I will say for my 
governor he was Sir Henniker Martin, of Derwent 
Hall, near Kiswick, Cumberland that he did very 
fairly by me, as a whole. To begin with, he laid 
the foundation of my future discontent by giving 
me what is called a liberal education the Eton and 
Oxford business, you know. I distinguished myself 
in both places." 

" Not for scholarship ? " 

" Since you will have it, no ; but for running up 
debts. The trouble with me was, I was too good 
a fellow. I was the most popular fellow in Eton, 
at the time I left it ; I had documentary evidence 
of that." 

" Documentary ? " 

" Yes. When a boy leaves Eton, the fellows who 
liked him each give him a book something swell, 
you know, bound in calf, and all that, such as he 
will be sure not to spoil by reading it too much. 
Well, I got a hundred and eighty of those 'leaving- 
books,' as they call 'em." 

" A popular library ! " 

(< Yes ; and all gone now ? like the popularity, It 


was the same way at Oxford, only bigger bills and 
fess innocence. But the governor paid up like a 
man, and then got me a clerkship in the Foreign 
Office. If he had made me Chief Secretary of 
Foreign Affairs, I might have buckled down to 
business ; but the clerkship only made bad worse. 
Easy hours, light work. Of course I went into 
society, head over ears. No end of friends lots of 
popularity ! You never saw such a clever, good- 
looking, good-humored chap as I was. I had no 
time to waste in my office ; my chiefs began to 
growl ; at last father called me up, told me I was 
no good, and that he was tired paying for it : gave 
me two thousand pounds and an outfit, and packed 
me off to New Zealand. It was to be sink or 
swim, as luck might have it, but no more life-pre- 
servers from the old gentleman ! " 

" Were you popular there too ? " 

" It's every man for himself there. I went to 
Napier Hawke's Bay the best sheep-farming 
country in the colony. There I ran across a chap 
I had known at Eton, Cartwright Brown his name 
was ; he had a station (that's what they call a 
ranch out there), Matapiro, on the banks of the 
Ngararoro River. Well, Cartwright initiated me 
into the mysteries of sheep-farming, docking, tail- 
ing, and all the rest of it. Very different front 
Mayfair and Piccadilly, I can tell you ! " 

" Was there no society out there ? " 

" Very entertaining society in Napier, and plenty 
of it, Oh, yes, there are women everywhere," saicj 


Valentine ; and he was silent for a time, and 
seemed to lose himself in revery. "There was a 
neighbor of Brown's, Hector Pope, between us and 
Napier ; I invested my money in his ranch, and 
got to spending a good deal of my time there and 
at the club in town. I didn't scrimp myself much ; 
I kept a couple of race-horses, and played un- 
limited loo at the club ; my sheep and my other 
investments had to take care of themselves. You 
can imagine what the end would be, without my 
telling you." 

"Mr. Martin," said Pauline, " you have left out 
something ! You would not have gone on in that 
way if you had not had some experience that in- 
fluenced you." He raised his head and looked at 
her ; after a moment she added, " I don't mean 
that you should tell it. You lost your money, you 
were saying ? " 

" All but fifty pounds, and a heap of clothes. I 
packed the clothes in my trunks ; forty of the fifty 
pounds I handed to Brown to employ as events 
might require ; and I was just on the point of 
shipping for Australia when a Maori outbreak in 
the Taupo district was reported. I came to the 
conclusion that I was probably born to be shot ; so 
I entered the service as full private in the Armed 
Constabulary. You have heard of the Irish Con- 
stabulary. This was something of the same sort. 

" I enjoyed that campaign more than any thing in 
New Zealand. The Maoris are splendid chaps for 
a fight. You have your Indian wars here ; but you 


should see those fellows ! Well, one day we had 
to attack a hill on which the Maoris were posted ; 
it was about the shape of a bee-hive, and covered 
with trees ; it was called Niho o te Kiore, which 
means Rat's Tooth. That tooth gnawed a big hole 
in our regiment. The Maoris had posted them- 
selves in the trees up in the branches and had 
made a sort of glacis round the trunks ; it was 
capital cover ; they could see our fellows coming, 
and pot them at their leisure ; but our fire was 
wasted on the trees. If we got too near, they 
would slip down from one tree and run to another. 
Our men kept dropping and dropping, but there 
was no sign that we were producing any effect on 
them at all. By and by the men came to the con- 
clusion that the fun was too expensive ; and they 
began to fall back. Of course the Maoris fol- 
lowed us pretty fast, too. I hated the idea of 
getting shot in the back ; I had a few rounds of 
cartridges left, and I kept drawing up and popping 
at 'em. Brown was near me at that time. It was 
bad going underfoot rocks, bushes, gullies : all of 
a sudden I felt something hot just beneath my 
collar-bone a bullet through the left lung. I re- 
member feeling pleased that I hadn't been hit in 
the back after all ; then I stumbled over a root 
and went down. Brown saw me he was a lieu- 
tenant he hailed three of our men, and they lifted 
me and carried me. I was pretty heavy and very 
bloody, and I had fainted, and the men thought I 
was dead, and began to grumble, for the Maoris 


were closing up. They wanted to drop me ; but 
Brown pulled out his revolver and vowed he'd 
shoot the first man who let go. As that was a cer- 
tainty, whereas there was a chance of dodging the 
Maoris, they held on, and brought me off. I got 
well, and was promoted to a lieutenancy what for 
I never discovered. Before I could be about again 
the war was over. I went back to Napier, and 
there I heard that Miss Dorrien Taylor, my 
mother's sister, was dead, and had left me eight 
thousand pounds. I took a part of it and sailed 
for Aspinwall, and came up to New York." 

" Did you leave the rest of your legacy with Mr. 
Brown ? " 

" Yes ; and you were quite right. It was on the 
voyage out from London. There was a woman 
on board. When we reached Napier I married 
her secretly. Brown was the only man who 
ever knew it. It was not a wise affair, Miss 
Nolen. She is living ; she will outlive me. I 
knew I should have to tell you ; and I've done, 



** TF you have a wife why do you not live with 

1 her ? " Pauline asked, her calm black eyes 
dilating a little as she turned them on Valentine. 

" I'm not entirely a free agent in the matter. We 
were mistaken in each other that's the long and 
short of it. She captivated me as women will some- 
times captivate men when circumstances are favor- 
able, and a long sea voyage is a very favorable 
circumstance. Then, for her part, she expected 
certain advantages from the marriage which it was 
not in my power to provide for her. It was a 
mutual misunderstanding. After the explanation, 
she went her way and left me to go mine. She did 
not ask my consent, and I did not enforce my au- 
thority. But whatever I have she has a right to 
share ; and whatever cannot be shared I have no 
right to have." 

" I am sorry for you," said Pauline, in a tone 
that conveyed more than many assurances. 

" There's no help for it," returned Valentine, 
with an assumption of indifference, " not even in 
the law." 

" You mean you cannot be divorced ? " 


" She will not consent to it." 

" Why not ? " 

' Because she happens to know that my eldest 
brother is in delicate health, and that nothing stands 
between me and a fortune except his life. But let 
us talk of something else. I am thinking of leaving 

" In the midst of the season ? " 

" The seasons are pretty much alike to me. 
Besides, New York will not be a pleasant residence 
for me any longer." 

" Has New York changed, or have you ? " 

" The change is in my relations with you, Miss 
Nolen," said Valentine, leaning forward with his 
elbows on his knees. "I can't come here any 
more. As long as I could keep up my false pre- 
tences as long as you did not know me to be a 
married man I could take advantage of your ig- 
norance. But I have committed hari-kiri, so far 
as that is concerned, and it's time I disappeared." 

" It is not keeping any false pretences merely to 
be silent about your past life." 

" Not in the abstract, perhaps ; but in this case 
it is." 

" Why, Mr. Martin ? " 

" May I tell you ? You won't be offended ? " 
But without waiting for her answer, and as if fear- 
ing that it might be unfavorable, he added, hur- 
riedly, " I have no right, being a married man, to 
feel towards you as I do. At first I didn't care. 
When I first saw you I knew it would be better for 


myself to keep out of your way ; but then I thought 
that it could make no difference to you you would 
never know what I felt for you and that I might 
as well endure the pain for the sake of enjoying the 
pleasure. But since then my feeling has changed. 
You are not the kind of woman who ought to be 
the object of the love of a man in my position, 
even though you were not aware of it, and though 
as I am able honestly to say I would rather 
have died than attempt any act of deception to- 
wards you. I had never known before what love 
was ; there is a sort of sacrilege in my hanging 
around you, as I have been doing, not daring to 
show myself to you as I am. Two weeks ago I 
made up my mind never to see you again. But I 
couldn't stand going off without letting you know 
all about it. So here I am, Miss Nolen, for the 
last time. I can look you in the face now, and say 
good-by. And it wont hurt you to shake hands 
with me." 

The changing tones, the passion, the restraint 
and simple pathos with which all this was said 
touched Pauline's virgin soul more deeply than 
it had ever been touched before. She divined all 
that was not spoken, and recognized the gallant 
spirit of the man who loved her too well to stay 
where she was: and whether or not she had hitherto 
been conscious of it, her mind now contrasted the 
man, fatally encumbered as he was, with the free 
man that she had supposed him to be ; and invol- 
untarily the question presented itself Had he been 


free, would she have yielded what he desired ? It 
was a perilous question, but she contemplated it 
steadily before dismissing it. She had an intellect 
capable of discriminating between merely conven- 
tional morality and the deeper distinctions between 
good and evil. Her respect was as small for the 
former as for the latter it was profound. 

" If you had not cared for me as you do, you 
might have stayed, and we have been friends," she 
said finally : " but as it is you are right to go. I 
am only a girl and I feel more than sorry for you ; 
I don't know what I might feel if you were always 
here. No : I do not love you ! don't think it, Mr. 
Martin. It is only that if I wanted to love you 
I should not send you away ! " 

Valentine sat silent ; and whether he were hap- 
pier or unhappier than at any previous period of 
his life he could not have told. So far as the 
significant part of his life was concerned, he felt 
that it was over with him ; he would never hence- 
forth be the victim of any strong desires, hopes, or 
fears. Only one passible event could give him 
liberty, the opportunity to live a real life. It was 
on the tip of his tongue to ask Pauline whether, in 
case this event occurred, she would let him return 
to her ; but an accident postponed the question, 
and it was never put. The two had been so taken up 
with what was passing between them that they had 
not noticed the sound of the door-bell or the tread 
of a heavy foot upon the hall floor. But at the 
moment Valentine was about to speak, perhaps 


with the effect of changing all their lives, the door 
was thrown open, and Judge Ketelle abruptly 
walked into the room. 

He stopped short on seeing the two, and there 
was an instant of silent embarrassment ; but the 
judge evidently had something on his mind too 
serious to be postponed for conventional formal- 
ities. " My dear girl," he said to Pauline, " you 
will excuse my blundering in here, for it is probably 
better that I should have met you before seeing 
your mother. You will know better than I how to 
carry my message." 

" Have you bad news, Judge Ketelle ? " 

u Painful no, no, not the worst ! your brother 
is perfectly well ; he has suffered no physical 
injury whatever." He paused and turned to Val- 
entine. " I think this is Mr. Martin ? " he said. 

" Yes ; can I be of any use ? " 

" I believe you are a friend of Percy's ? Well, I 
dare say you could be of some consolation to him. 
He has got into a scrape a matter in which he is 
not in the least to blame, however that is, at all 
events regarding the main point at issue. It is a 
misfortune, but it will be set right ; but meanwhile 
Mrs. Nolen must be brought to a knowledge of it 
with all the tact possible. Indeed, if it were not 
one of those things that are certain to get into the 
papers, and perhaps to become for a time the 
subject of idle gossip, it would be best to say 
nothing to her at all." 

" I am waiting to hear what the trouble is." said 


Pauline, in a voice entirely calm, though her great 
black eyes shone with unusual brilliance. " You 
needn't hesitate to tell me any thing." 

"It is annoying that is the most and the least 
that can be said of it. Percy is now at Police 
Headquarters, my dear. He will be bailed out as 
soon as a magistrate can be got to hear the case ; 
and I came up here in the interval." 

" Oh ! been punching somebody's head, has 
he?" said the Englishman, in a tone of relief. 
" Where was he last night ? " 

" Why, he was here this morning, a few hours 
ago," said Pauline. " He had a private talk with 
mother. He was not " 

" He was entirely himself," put in the judge. 
" This is one of those pieces of bad luck which 
may occur to any man. The circumstances were 
such as to suggest the hypothesis though upon 
entirely inadequate grounds, in my opinion that 
Percy had been guilty of an infringement of the 
law. You will smile when you hear it ; but the 
absurdity of the thing does not render it less an- 
noying for the moment. He happened to be in a 
jewelry store when a lady missed her pocket-book. 
It was supposed that it had been stolen " 

" And Percy was accused of taking it ! " said 
Pauline, in a low voice. 

" In default of any other plausible object of sus- 
picion, the detective pitched upon him, and he was 
taken to the station." 

" That is too preposterous to do him any harm," 


Martin remarked. " If it had not been so bad, it 
would have been a great deal worse." 

" When the lady knows who he is, she will refuse 
to prosecute him," said Pauline. 

" So I should have supposed," returned the 
judge. "But it appears that there was already 
some acquaintance between them ; and Percy was 
in conversation with her at the time the loss was 

" Who is she ? " demanded Pauline, turning very 

" Her name is Tunstall, I believe the wife of 
one of our coal barons." 

" Tunstall Mrs. Cuthbert Tunstall," repeated 
Pauline. " I think I have met her yes, I have 
met her. She is a pretty woman fashionable. 
And she accuses Percy of having robbed her ? " 

The judge moved his head silently. Martin, at, 
the mention of the lady's name, had changed coun- 
tenance slightly. 

" She must be his enemy," said Pauline, setting 
her grave lips together. " No woman who knew 
Percy would have done that except from a wish to 
ruin him. She knows he is not guilty." 

"Was Mr. Tunstall with his wife?" inquired 
Martin of the judge. 

" He came in in the midst of the affair. I may as 
well give you an account of the affair." And the 
judge went on to to tell the story that is already 
known to the reader. Both his listeners listened 


" My opinion is," said Martin, when the narra- 
tive was finished, "that the job was put up on 
Percy. The woman did not have any money to 

" You forget that her pocket-book was found in 
his pocket," said Pauline. 

" She may have put it there herself. But at all 
events that does not account for the bank-notes. 
New York women are not in the habit of traveling 
about town with two or three thousand dollars in 
bills in their muffs. She would have had a check, 
if she had had any thing." 

" The same objection occurred to me," said the 
judge, "and I spoke of it to Inspector Byrnes. 
But it appeared, upon investigation, that Mr. Tun- 
stall, knowing his wife had several bills to pay 
to-day, including this at the jeweler's, had drawn a 
check for five thousand dollars in the morning, and 
given it to her before going down to his business. 
She has a private account at the Fifth Avenue 
Bank ; she cashed the check there, and received, 
among other notes, the thousand dollar and the 
five hundred dollar ones specified in the complaint." 

" No ; it was not done in that way," said Pauline. 
" A woman like her would not dare to run such a 
risk. She must have lost the money. She may 
have lost it before she entered the shop, or some 
one may have stolen it from her there. But 1 am 
sure she did not accuse Percy because she thought 
he was guilty. There was some other reason, and 
when she missed her money she took advantage of 


that pretext for attacking him. But she forgot he 
has a sister ! " 

" It may have been her husband who put her up 
to it, you know," said Martin to the judge, in an 
undertone, and he gave that gentleman a look, the 
significance of which he understood. He drew out 
his watch. 

"The court will sit within an hour," he re- 
marked. " I must go back to Police Headquarters 
to be on hand with bail. If you care to accom- 
pany me, Mr. Martin, I should be glad of your 
society. Pauline, I will leave the task of opening 
the matter to your mother to you. You will know 
how best to manage it ; I should avoid appearing 
to attach very serious weight to it, and yet it won't 
do to altogether make light of it, either. You may 
expect to see Percy in the course of a couple of 
hours or so." 

" Good-by till then," said Pauline, rising and 
giving him her hand. Then she turned to Martin 
and added in a lower tone, while the judge walked 
towards the door, " I should not feel so safe if it 
were not for you." 



* * T T AVE you any knowledge about this Mrs. 
11 Tunstall ?" inquired the judge, when he 
and Martin were in the street together. 

" It's a nasty complication," replied the English- 
man. " I fancy Percy has been making a fool of 
himself about her. There was no actual harm 
done, you understand ; but there was some non- 
sense and imprudence, and Tunstall, somehow or 
other, got wind of it. Percy has been in a state of 
mind lately, but I didn't expect the woman would 
behave in this way. I suppose she had the alter- 
native of turning against her husband or against 
Percy, and fmdingthat the strongest battalions were 
on her husband's side, she very prudently and with 
much propriety sided with him. But what is 
Percy's defence ? " 

" He denies the charge," the judge answered ; 
" but he has no theory as to how the thing hap- 

" What is the theory of the prosecution as to the 
disappearance of the bank-notes ? " 

" They assume that Percy must have passed 
them to a confederate." 

BAIL. 1 

" Was any body resembling a confederate seen 
hanging about ? " 

" The shop was full of people coming and going ; 
but no one in particular was noticed." 

" It's a lame theory," remarked Martin, after a 
little consideration. " If Percy had passed a con- 
federate the money, he would have passed him the 
purse too. It is more likely that whoever did the 
stealing kept the notes, which could not be identi- 
fied, and got rid of the purse, which could be iden- 
tified, by dropping it into Percy's pocket as he 
passed by." 

" I think that view is a sound one," said the 
judge ; " but the thief has got off, and the pros- 
pect of apprehending him is very small. Percy 
may not be convicted : I hardly think he could be : 
but there is, nevertheless, evidence enough against 
him to produce a disagreeable effect upon persons 
not acquainted with him. And, of course, when it 
is known that Mrs. Tunstall was acquainted with 
him, and yet did not hesitate to accuse him, his 
position even after he has been legally exonerated 
will be a painful and embarrassing one. I am 
inclined to think that the best thing for him will be 
to leave New York and remain away for some 
years. Meantime the affair will be forgotten, and 
possibly the true culprit may be discovered." 

" I agree with you," said Martin, thoughifully. 
" Percy can be of no use here, no matter how the 
affair turns out. I have a mind to propose to him 
to go with me." 

82 BAIL. 

" To go with you ! " repeated the judge, with an 
involuntary accent of surprise. " I infer, then, 
that you contemplate leaving New York ? " 

" I shall leave New York very shortly. My idea 
is to go to Australia by way of San Francisco. In 
Australia Percy would have a fair field to start out 
and do something. I might be able to give him 
some help." 

" His family should feel much indebted to you," 
observed the judge, cordially. 

" There's no obligation," returned Martin. "lam 
fond of Percy not on his own account only. If I 
can be of any good to him, I shall consider myself 

The two gentlemen now entered a horse-car, and 
the conversation ceased. Martin lapsed into a 
gloomy revery ; but the judge's spirits seemed, 
for some reason, to have visibly improved. He 
had received a severe shock at the moment when he 
entered the room and found Pauline and Martin 
together. The latter's announcement of his in- 
tended departure brought an immense relief. He 
had already begun to like the young Englishman,but 
he now began to regard him with sincere affection. 

They left the car at Bleecker Street and pro- 
ceeded to Police Headquarters. There was still 
a quarter of an hour before the formality of getting 
bail could be arranged. They were admitted 
to the inspector's room, and at the judge's request 
he courteously gave permission to them to have an 
interview with the prisoner. 

BAIL. 83 

" How is he standing it, Inspector?" asked 

" He doesn't find it amusing, I suppose ; but he 
is as comfortable as could be expected," replied 
that impenetrable officer. 

" There will be no difficulty about getting bail, 
will there ? " 

" I presume there will be nothing unusual. But 
the case is not a simple one. There are some 
awkward features to it." 

" How is that ? " demanded the judge. 

" Well, as regards motive, for one thing." 

" It would need a strong motive to give weight 
to such an accusation," Martin remarked. 

" That may be true for those who have made up 
their minds beforehand not to believe him guilty. 
But the jury will not be composed of such persons." 

" What is the evidence you speak of ? " asked 

" He has been short of money for some time 
past," said the Inspector. " There is reason to 
think that he borrowed a sum of money several 
weeks ago. But within the last two days his needs 
became very pressing. He incurred a debt of 
nearly a thousand dollars at play last night. The 
money has to be repaid this evening, under pain of 
social exposure. He was unable to borrow again, 
and it made his situation very trying. When a man 
in that condition suddenly, finds two or three 
thousand dollars in his hands, and remembers that 
they belong to a woman whom he has every reason 

84 BAIL. 

to think will not betray him well, when a skillful 
lawyer tells that story to a jury, it would not be sur- 
prising if it makes some impression on them." 

" You don't take any stock in such rubbish your- 
self, Inspector," observed Martin, with a laugh. 

The Inspector lifted his eyebrows. " I should be 
very apt to take the same view of the case that the 
judge and jury do after I know what it is," he re- 
turned, quietly ; and that was all that could be got 
out of him. 

They now descended to the basement and were 
conducted to the imprisoned Percy. He was much 
more composed than they had expected to find him. 
In fact, he had experienced such intense and varied 
emotion during the last few hours that no matter for 
discomposure was left in him. Martin's presence 
seemed to gratify him. He asked the judge about 
his mother and sister, and received his somewhat 
rose-colored account of their condition with appa- 
rent indifference. 

" But you will be able to judge of them for your- 
self at dinner," the judge added, kindly. 

*' You mean when I am out on bail ? " 

" Certainly ; that will be in a couple of hours 
from now." 

" Are you going to furnish bail, Judge Ketelle ? " 

" Undoubtedly I am. Who has a better claim to 
stand by your father's son ? " 

Percy was silent a moment. " Have you ever be- 
lieved that I might possibly have committed this 
crime ? " he asked at length. 

BAIL. 85 

" No such idea has ever entered my head. I am 
surprised you should ask me such a question," said 
the judge, with an emphasis that indicated that he 
was a little hurt by the insinuation. 

Percy took a long breath, and as he looked up 
his face betrayed signs of a feeling that he had not 
hitherto betrayed. " You are a good man," he said 
in a husky voice. " I wish I had had the sense to 
trust you long ago. I was afraid you would pitch 
into me, and the fact that I deserved it made it all 
the more difficult to face it. I don't know whether 
you have heard that I borrowed a thousand dollars 
from my mother two months ago. She wanted to 
consult you, but I wouldn't let her. This morning 
I went to her again ; but she didn't have anything, 
and there was nothing for it but to apply to you. I 
was on my way to your office when this thing oc- 
curred. If I had not happened to see her He 
broke off and altered his phrase " if things had 
not taken the turn they did I should long since have 
received your blowing-up and the money, paid my 
debt, and but it turned out otherwise." 

" Who is the man to whom you lost the money ?" 
inquired Martin. 

" His name is Henry Cotton," answered Percy. 
" You know him." 

" To be sure ; and he is a friend of Tunstall's," re- 
turned Martin, thoughtfully. " Upon my word, the 
luck is against you. Will you answer me one ques- 
tion ? " 

" If I can." 

86 BAIL. 

" You can, and we are among friends. Are you 
cured of a certain lady?" 

Percy laughed, and that laugh of bitter resent- 
ment and humiliation was a more convincing an- 
swer than any words could have framed. It put all 
doubts to rest. 

" Ah ! " ejaculated Martin, with an expression of 
satisfaction, "then it will be all right ! " 

At that moment an officer came with the informa- 
tion that the court was ready to decide the question 
of bail, and the whole party proceeded to the court 
room. The transactions there were brief and not 
particularly complicated. Mrs. Tunstall's lawyers 
professed to consider the case an especially grave 
one, and requested that bail be fixed at the full 
amount permitted by law. Counsel on the other 
side maintained that the charge against Mr. Nolen 
was a preposterous one, and demanded that he be 
allowed to go on his own recognizance. The Court, 
after due deliberation, declared that the facts against 
the prisoner, though not conclusive, were sufficient 
to warrant a prima facie evidence of guilt, and re- 
quired bail to be furnished to the amount of fifteen 
hundred dollars. Judge Ketelle immediately qual- 
ified for that sum, the bonds were signed, and the 
prisoner left the court with his friends. 

"And now," said the judge cheerfully, "the 
worst is over. Let us get into a hack, Percy, and 
drive up to the house. Your mother and sister will 
be anxious to see you." 

" I am much obliged to you, judge, for all you 

BAIL. 87 

have done for me," replied the young man ; I wish 
I had known you sooner and better. But this 
affair is not over yet, and it may end differently 
from what we hope. Until the trial, at all events, 
I must remain a suspected man, and I can't go to 
my mother's house with that suspicion hanging 
over me. When I have been publicly acknowl- 
edged to be an honest man, I will go to my 
mother and sister, but not till then." 

" My dear boy," said the judge kindly, " you 
are a little off your balance after all this trouble, 
and you naturally take a morbid view. I assure 
you you have no need to feel sore about the mat- 
ter. I need not tell you that you will find nothing 
but love and confidence awaiting you at home ; 
and that there can be no other place in the world 
where you can hope to find them to any thing 
like the same degree. On the other hand, your 
mother and Pauline couid not fail to feel hurt if 
you did not appear." 

" That is all very true, judge," Percy answered, 
" but there's something else that you haven't con- 
sidered, and which will be certain to come out, now 
that the thing is going into the newspapers." 

" What is that ? " 

" My relations with Mrs Tunstall. My mother 
will hear of that, and that is a thing I can't deny. 
I love my mother, and I kuow she loves me ; but 
she could never make any allowance on such a 
subject. It would be a useless pain to both of us 
to attempt to discuss it, and I am not going to put 

88 BAIL. 

myself in the way of it. No, I can't agree with you, 
judge," he added, as the judge seemed about to 
make a rejoinder ; " I have been through as much 
as I can stand for the present, and any thing more 
would break me down Say to mother that I will 
see her by and by, but not now." 

The judge saw that the young man was obsti- 
nate, and felt that his sensitiveness was, under the 
circumstances, not discreditable. He further re- 
flected that, in the course of a day or two. he would 
probably be more disposed to modify his resolu- 
tion. Accordingly, he relinquished for the present 
the attempt to persuade him, and having ascer- 
tained that he would take up his quarters with 
Martin pending further movements, he bade him 
farewell, little thinking how long a time would 
elapse before they met again. 

Percy and Valentine betook themselves to the 
latter's rooms at once, and, having ensconced them- 
selves there, Martin poured out some whiskey, of- 
fered his friend a cigar, and after they had smoked 
for a while, said, 

" How much do you owe here, outside of your 
gambling debt ? " 

" Not more than three hundred dollars." 

" Thirteen hundred dollars debts, and your bail 
fifteen hundred. Two thousand eight hundred 
altogether. I have over seven thousand dollars. 
What do you say to my settling all your liabilities 
to-morrow, and taking you with me to Australia ? " 



THE question staggered Percy for a moment. 
" I didn't know you were going to Australia," 
he said. 

" To Australia, or Mexico, or South America, or 
the North Pole ; it don't make much difference 
where. But I am going, and I'm going to-morrow. 
And I want you to come with me, Percy." 

" And jump my bail ? " 

"And jump your bail." 

" I can't do that. Judge Ketelle is liable." 

" Haven't I told you that I will settle all your 
liabilities ? Half an hour before we leave New 
York, I will post a check to him for the amount. 
Your friend Henry Cotton will receive his dues 
this evening ; every thing shall be paid. And we 
will be off together and make a fortune, if you 

" If I went off in that way," said Percy, after a 
little thought, " everybody would come to the con- 
clusion that I was guilty and feared conviction." 

" You are not guilty, are you ? " 

" No." 

9 PA UL1NE. 

" But you do fear conviction, and all the more if 
you're not guilty than if you are. That stands to 

" Of course I hope not to be convicted, but 

" Exactly ; and now do you know what Ithink ? 
I think there is a strong probability a deuced 
strong one that you will be convicted. You 
can see for yourself that your defence doesn't 
amount to a row of pins. And if once you get into 
gaol, my boy, you are done for. Innocent or guilty 
makes no difference ; you will have a stigma on 
you that all the years of your life will never oblit- 
erate. If I were in your place, I wouldn't risk it. 
You have an opportunity to escape now, and you 
had better take advantage of it." 

" But if I escape judgment will go against me 
by default, and I shall have the stigma just the 

"Listen. to reason, Percy. To have the stigma 
of being adjudged guilty is bad enough ; but what 
is it compared to being adjudged guilty and sent 
to gaol into the bargain ? If you were actually 
guilty, or if I thought you were, the situation would 
be different ; but you are innocent, though you 
can't prove it ; and, being innocent, why should 
you spend two or three years in Sing Sing just to 
gratify the spite of Cuthbert Tunstall and his wife ? 
It would be more sensible to take that razor and 
cut your throat. You are innocent, and you have 
a perfect right to avoid being imprisoned if you 
can. No one will suffer by it, and there is no tell- 

PA UL2NE. 91 

ing how much you may gain. The robbery of 
which you are accused was committed by some- 
body, and probably by a professional thief. Pro- 
fessional thieves pickpockets especially are al- 
ways practicing their trade ; and sooner or later 
they are certain to get caught. When the thief 
who stole Mrs. Tunstall's money is caught it is 
more than likely that the truth about the robbery 
may come out ; you will be vindicated, and then 
you may come home with flying colors. But if 
your vindication came after you had served your 
time in gaol it wouldn't do you much good not 
to mention the positive harm that gaol life might 
have done you in the meanwhile ; people would 
never forget that you had worn the stripes, though 
they might easily forget whether or not you had 
deserved to wear them. But come back with a 
fortune come back after having made a respect- 
able name for yourself in another part of the world 
or after having simply lived in freedom, instead 
of in bondage and in the society of thieves and, 
trust me, you will never regret it ! This is not a 
matter to be treated on sentimental grounds ; it is 
a serious thing quite as serious as a question of 
life and death to you. You are innocent, and you 
have a right to your freedom ; that's the case in a 
nutshell. Don't throw away your whole career for 
a figure of speech ! " 

This was a powerful appeal, and it lost nothing 
by Martin's delivery. It produced an evident 
impression on Percy. 


" If I were certain that I should be convicted," 
he muttered, half to himself. 

" You may fairly take that for granted," said 
Martin. " When there has been a crime, there 
must be provided a criminal ; that is the legal 
maxim, and in default of a better you will have to 
bear the brunt." 

" It is not myself, only, that is to be considered, 
Val.; my mother and sister are quite as impor- 

" I don't deny it ; it's a part of my argument. 
You said this afternoon that you did not intend to 
see them again until after you were vindicated. Did 
you mean what you said ? " 

" Certainty I did." 

" I think you were right in your decision, for 
more reasons than one. But, if you remain in 
New York, you will not be able to keep your reso- 
lution. If you don't go to them, they will come to 
you. But if you are a thousand or two thousand 
miles away, you will have no such embarrassment. 
And that isn't all, my boy. If you were put in 
gaol it would be a bad thing for you, but it would 
simply kill your mother outright, and ruin your 
sister's prospects as effectually as your own. 
Whereas, if you go off with me, you and I can 
keep up a correspondence with them, and explain 
exactly how the case stands. They can watch your 
career step by step, and the knowledge that they are 
doing so will give you the strongest stimulus to 
succeed that you could have. Meanwhile, they will 



be watching the progress of affairs here, and as 
soon as any thing turns up in your favor they can 
let you know, and you can act accordingly. If 
there were no other reason for jumping your bail, 
consideration for your mother and sister would be 

. This suggestion practically decided Percy. " I 
believe you are right," said he; "but I don't see 
what right I have to let you pay all my liabilities. 
You and I have been friends, Val., but I have 
never done any thing for you, and I have no pros- 
pect of repaying you for what you propose to do 
for me." 

" You will owe me less than you suppose," Val- 
entine replied. "In the first place, my money is 
no use to me ; if I didn't spend it for you, it would 
go into the pockets of the tradesmen and bummers 
of New York. In the second place, I want your 
company ; we suit each other, and that is not a 
thing that happens every day. But the real truth 
is I have never spoken to you about it, although 
you may have guessed something for aught I 
know the truth is that I am a good deal influ- 
enced in what I am doing by the fact that you are 
Pauline Nolen's brother." 

" Ah ! You care for her, then ? " 

" Yes, I care for her. She is the dearest friend 
I have in the world, and for her sake I would do 
most things. But she can never be more than my 
friend, and I can do very little." 

" If you want to marry her, I am sure she " 

94 PA U LINE. 

Valentine interrupted him with a gesture. " It 
can never come to a question of that, said he ; "I 
am married already." 

" You are a married man ! Does Pauline know 

" I told her this morning. It's a long story, and 
you shall hear it another time if you want to. I 
married in haste, and I am likely to have plenty of 
leisure to repent. Well, you can imagine that 
nothing could please me so much as serving her in 
any way I can ; and I know that no better way is 
open to me than to give a helping hand to you. 
So, if you agree to join me, you will be doing me 
the best kindness that one man can do another it 
is not to be measured in time, or money, or any 
thing else. My prospects, as you may suppose, 
are not especially cheerful at the best ; but what- 
ever good comes to me will be from the thought 
that I am of some good to Pauline's brother. I 
can't live with her, or see her any longer ; but I 
can live with you, and that's the next best thing, 
not to mention that you are tolerably good company 
on your own account." He ended with a laugh. 

" It's very kind of you to put in that .way, old 
fellow," said Percy, in a somewhat unsteady tone. 
" Well, I'll go with you. I have been a drug in 
the market so far, and I won't make any promises ; 
but I don't think you'll find me a voluntary drag 
on you, at all events. Have you any definite 
plans ? " 

" I have a thousand ; we have only to pick and 


choose," Valentine replied. " My intention this 
morning was to go direct to Australia by way of 
San Francisco, but I think I shall change that, for 
one reason, because I mentioned it to Judge Ketelle, 
and, in any case, it will be well to get outside the 
country as soon as possible. We might go to 
Mexico by steamer, to begin with. I have some 
good letters to people there, so that we shan't be 
strangers. If any thing good turns up we can stay 
there ; if not we can go to Colon and Panama, 
and get aboard some vessel bound westward. You 
may find an opportunity to make a practical 
acquaintance with mining before you are done." 

It was then about four o'clock in the afternoon. 
On consulting a newspaper they learned that one 
of the United States and Brazil Mail Steamship 
Company's vessels sailed on the following day, 
Wednesday, at two o'clock. This vessel stopped 
at St. Thomas, where, if they saw fit, they might 
disembark and take passage to Havana, and thence 
to Vera Cruz and Mexico, thus throwing possible 
pursuers off the scent. This seemed to be the best 
route open to them ; and, as there was no time to 
be lost, Martin left at once for Broad Street to 
secure their passage. Percy was left alone to 
meditate on his position. 

Martin's rooms were in a bachelor apartment 
house, not far from the junction of Fifth Avenue 
and Broadway. The roar of the streets was audible 
as a continuous sound ; and to Percy, sitting in an 
easy-chair before the fire, and wearied with* the 

9 6 PA ULINE. 

emotions an.d vicissitudes of the day, it had the so- 
porific influence of the wind among pines, or the noise 
of surf on a shore. The sun had set, and the room 
became dusky. Percy's eyes closed, and he was 
just on the point of falling asleep. 

The sharp sound of the electric bell aroused him. 
Had Martin returned already ? He must have left 
his pass-key, to be obliged to ring. Still partly 
asleep, Percy arose and went to the door and opened 
it. A lady stood on the threshold, and as the door 
swung back she stepped quickly inside. 

Percy recoiled a pace or two with a disagreeable 
sensation. He thought that the visitor was Mrs. 
Tunstall. But the next moment she spoke, and the 
voice was that of his sister. " I am so glad you are 
here! " she said breathlessly. " I feared I should 
miss you." 

" Are you alone ? How did you come here ? " 
returned he. He closed the door and led her into 
the sitting-room. 

" Judge Ketelle told us that you were staying 
with Mr. Martin. Is he " she glanced about the 
room and hesitated. 

" He has gone out," said Percy. " Did you 
come to see him ? " 

" I came to see you, Percy. I can understand 
why you kept away from us, but I wanted to tell 
you that I am your sister. I love you and believe 
in you, and whatever happens you can trust me. 
Let me do something for you ! " She spoke with 
great emotion, though in a controlled voice, and he 


could perceive that a tremor passed through her 
now and then as she stood before him. 

A feeling of strong brotherly tenderness and 
gratitude came over the young man ; he put his 
arms round Pauline and kissed her. "I couldn't 
do that if I wasn't innocent, my dear," he said. 

" Of course I know you are innocent ! " she 
exclaimed indignantly. " What made that woman 
accuse you ? She knows it is false. Why is she 
your enemy ? " 

Percy hesitated. " Appearances were against 
me," he muttered. 

" What are appearances to any one who knows 
you ? " broke out Pauline impatiently. " She must 
have hated you. Why did she hate you ? Women 
do not hate unless . . . has she ever loved you, 
Percy ? " she demanded, with a changed voice. 

"She why, she's a married woman!" he re- 
turned, uneasily. 

There was a pause. " Yes, I understand now ! " 
continued the girl, with a sad laugh. " Oh, my 
poor brother ! " She caught her breath and sobbed 
once or twice. " I am so sorry it is that," she said 

" I have been a fool, but nothing worse than that, 
said the young man. " There is no actual sin on 
my conscience, Pauline. It is no thanks to me, 
but it is the truth. It is all over now, and I thank 
Heaven it is over ! " 

" I thank heaven too, Percy ; for, whatever you 
had done, I should support you and defend you ; 


and if you were wicked I should be wicked too. I 
am your sister" it seemed to give her satisfaction 
to repeat this " we are the same flesh and blood ; 
if we do not stand by each other, who else will ? 
But what shall you do, Percy ? You can not tell 
that in court." 

He took a quick resolution. " I shall never 
appear in court," he said. 

" Has the case been put aside ? " she exclaimed 

" No ; I am going away. I am going with Mar- 
tin. He has gone to take our passages to the West 
Indies by to-morrow's steamer." 

" Well, perhaps it is best," she returned, with a 
composure that surprised him. " Your bail has to 
be paid, has it not ? I will do that I have money." 

" Martin has done it already. He will pay every 
thing. I shall leave no debts, thanks to him. I 
thank you just the same, my darling sister." 

" He is a good friend he is a good man," she 
said thoughtfully. " I can afford to let him do it, 
for I know he does it willingly. So you are going 
away together ! " She gave a long sigh. " Well, I 
will take care of mother." 

" Poor mother ! " said Percy, a great wave of 
grief and remorse coming over him. " Tell her 
the best you can of me, Pauline." 

" I can manage her don't fear ! It will come 
right at last, I know. I will go now, brother." 
She threw her arms around him. " Be good," she 
said ; " do the best you can. Oh, Percy, Percy ! " 


she suddenly cried out, with a heart-breaking sob, 
pressing him to her with passionate energy. " I 
must go now, or never/' she said, controlling her- 
self by an immense effort ; and the next moment 
he was alone. But the ardor of her last embrace 
had something more than sisterly ; it conveyed a 
message to one who was absent. 



MARTIN came back about seven o'clock. He 
had secured a stateroom with two good 
berths ; he had paid Percy's bills at the trades- 
men's and at his lodging-house, and from the 
latter place he had brought the trunk containing 
the young man's worldly possessions, which were 
fortunately not numerous, and consisted chiefly of 
suits of clothes and underwear. They went to a 
quiet restaurant and had dinner, and then returned 
to Martin's, and spent the rest of the evening in 
packing up his effects. 

Percy said nothing to his friend about Pauline's 
unexpected and hurried visit that evening, not on 
account of any pre-determined purpose, but be- 
cause the interview had affected him too deeply 
to make it an easy topic of conversation ; because, 
knowing Martin's feeling towards her, he was un- 
certain whether it would be expedient to mention 
her at present ; and, further, because he doubted 
whether Martin would approve of his course in 
admitting Pauline to a knowledge of their plans. 
In revealing. the secret to her, Percy had acted on 

AT SEA. 101 

the spur of the moment ; but he felt that the im- 
pulse was a wise one, and subsequent reflection 
had not caused him to regret it. 

They went to bed at midnight thoroughly tired 
out ; but were up again by eight in the morning, 
and had some coffee and eggs brought to them by 
the janitor. 

" The chances are," observed Martin, as he 
cracked his egg in the English style, and put some 
salt in it, "that the authorities, who are pretty wide 
awake in this country, may have conceived the 
idea that you contemplate giving them the slip. 
When I went out yesterday afternoon, I noticed a 
man smoking a pipe on the opposite corner of the 
street ; and when I returned in the evening I 
passed the same man under the gas-lamp just 
below. That may have been a coincidence ; but 
then it may have been 

" A detective ? " said Percy. 

" Something of that sort. At all events, it is 
well to be on the safe side. Now what I propose 
is this. We are of the same height and build, and 
look not unlike. If we were dressed alike, the 
chief point of distinction between us, to one who 
did not know us well, would be the fact that you 
wear a moustache and I whiskers. What do you 
say to a bit of a disguise ? You will find a razor 
in the dressing-case ; shave off your moustache 
and then put on these." As he spoke, he pro- 
duced from his pocket a small pair of false whis- 
kers. " All you have to do is to heat this inside 

102 AT SEA. 

surface at the gas-jet, and they will cling to you 
as if they had grown. Then put on my cap and 
overcoat, and our detective will be a clever fellow 
if he recognizes you." 

" But what will you do ? " 

" I shall remain what I am. You will start an 
hour before I do ; and, by the way, you had better 
turn up town when you leave here, so as to give 
the impression that you are bound anywhere 
rather than to the United States and Brazil Steam- 
ship Company's wharf. Afterwards you can cross 
over to Sixth Avenue and take the elevated down. 
I will meet you on board the steamer ; the trunks 
will go by express in my name." 

" All right," said Percy, with a sigh ; for he was 
a good-looking fellow, and his moustache was not 
wholly indifferent to him. " And when we are safe 
at sea, we can resume our natural selves." 

" As soon as you like," returned Martin, 
" though perhaps it would do no harm if we ex- 
changed names for a while longer. There is no 
telling what may happen, or where some spy may 
turn up who might find it for his interest or amuse- 
ment to gossip about us in the wrong quarter." 

Breakfast being over, nothing remained but to 
label the trunks, which Martin did by writing his 
name and that of the steamer on tags, and attach- 
ing them to the handles ; an expressman was then 
called, and the trunks were removed. Percy sac- 
rificed his moustache and affixed the whiskers ; and 
finally, attired in his friend's outer garments, left 

AT SEA. 103 

the house without interference, and strolled up to 
the Thirty-third Street elevated station. From 
there it was a twenty minutes' ride to his destina- 
tion ; and then all he had to do was to go on 
board and wait for Martin. The latter arrived in 
due course ; and at two o'clock the steamer 
moved out into the river and pointed her nose 
toward the Narrows, much to the relief of two at 
least of her passengers. And yet both of them 
were leaving behind what was dearer than any 
thing they could expect to encounter. But those 
thoughts lay deep ; the more trifling ones only 
appeared on the surface. 

There were but few other passengers on the 
steamer, and those not being people whose society 
was especially attractive, Percy and Valentine passed 
the greater part of the time in each other's company. 
Valentine had an almost inexhaustible fund of 
anecdotes concerning his past life and adventures 
on hand, and many hours were spent in narrating 
those experiences to Percy, until the American had 
become almost as conversant with the Englishman's 
past career as if it had been his own. The episode 
of his marriage interested him more than any thing 

Valentine had met the girl upon the outward- 
bound steamer from England to New Zealand. He 
had previously known nothing of her nor heard 
her name ; but it afterwards transpired that she 
was well acquainted with his family history, a 
cousin of hers, with whom she corresponded, hav- 

104 AT SEA. 

ing been engaged as companion to Lady Martin 
during several years. She had thus learned a fact 
that was supposed to be known by few or none 
outside the family circle that Valentine's elder 
brother, who inherited the estate, was subject to a 
species of- fits, which, though not always incom- 
patible with long life, might bring his career to a 
close at any moment. In such an event, the prop- 
erty would descend to Valentine. Meanwhile, 
Valentine's London extravagances were not sus- 
pected by the girl, and she believed him to be pos- 
sessed of a comfortable fortune of something like 
twenty thousand pounds a sum not much in 
excess, to be sure, of what he would have had, had 
he invested his money to advantage and lived 
within his income. 

She was a handsome girl, of about the same age 
as Valentine, and with a manner and temperament 
exceedingly alluring to a young fellow whose blood 
flows warmly in his veins, and who finds the inter- 
minable leisure of a voyage to the antipodes hang 
very heavy on his hands. She permitted him to 
acquire the conviction that he was any thing but in- 
different to her; in fact, to use the colloquial phrase, 
she set her cap at him ; and Valentine, who spoke 
of himself without reserve as a poor man, and who 
was not aware that she disbelieved all his assertions 
on that head, and interpreted them as politic 
attempts to conceal his real wealth and prospects 
Valentine was completely fascinated by the charm 
of her person and conversation, and so far com- 

AT SEA. 105 

mitted himself with her, that by the time the voy- 
age was ended he felt that he could not do less 
than offer her marriage. 

She consented, and the ceremony was performed 
on their reaching New Zealand. But she stipulated 
that the marriage was to remain for the time being 
a secret ; for she had come on to visit some relatives 
of hers and was unwilling, for reasons satisfactory to 
herself, that they should know any thing of the hope 
she privately entertained of becoming Lady Martin. 
Valentine, on his side, offered no objection to this ar- 
rangement; he had his place to make in the colony, 
and the necessity of providing a suitable home for 
his wife at the outset would have seriously hampered 
him. She went to her relatives in Napier, and he, 
as has been already related, cast in his lot with his 
friend Brown, and visited her in town whenever 
opportunity served. 

Now that she was his wife, however, she no 
longer felt any necessity of concealing from him 
her real belief as to the extent of his means ; she 
proceeded from veiled intimations to plain speech, 
and he became aware for the first time that she 
had married him, not for himself, but for some- 
thing that he did not possess. Her plain speech led 
to explanations on his part equally plain, and thus 
they speedily arrived at a perfectly clear under- 
standing of their mutual attitude. The conse- 
quence was a bitter quarrel and recriminations. 
The woman appeared in her true colors, which 
were not engaging ; she called him a variety of 

lo6 AT SEA. 

hard names, and if he refrained from retorting in 
kind it was not because there was any lack of 
suitable expressions waiting behind his lips. But 
they were still husband and wife, and the bond 
between them could not be severed. As their 
marriage was a secret, however, there was no dif- 
ficulty about a separation ; and Valentine agreed 
to whatever pecuniary conditions she chose to dic- 
tate. In case of his brother's death she would 
come in for her share of the inheritance ; but here 
he stipulated that she should receive the money 
only on condition that she forbore to assume the 
title, or allow her relation to him to be known. 
She at first demurred to this ; but on his offering 
to hand over every thing except the real estate and 
lands an offer extremely advantageous to her 
from a pecuniary point of view she finally con- 
sented, probably reflecting that it would be diffi- 
cult or impossible to make such a contract legally 
binding, and that when the time came if it ever 
should come she would be able to repudiate it 
with impunity. 

This affair produced a bad effect on Valentine ; 
he became reckless, and indifferent to his business 
interests, and ill-fortune attended him. He wel- 
comed the Maori revolt as an opportunity of rid- 
ding himself of his troubles by stopping a bullet ; but 
though he stopped the bullet, the bullet failed to 
stop him, and the legacy that he received changed 
considerably the complexion of affairs. He placed 
half the sum in the bank at Napier for the benefit 

AT SEA. 107 

of his wife, and sailed for San Francisco with the 
rest. He had had no settled plan in leaving New 
Zealand, except to appease his restless desire for 
change and excitement. The future could hold 
nothing good for him, because, however good in 
itself it might be, it would be denied by the chronic 
and inevitable necessity of sharing it with that wife 
of his for what is the greatest blessing, stimulus, 
and joy, to a man happily married, is the drear- 
iest of miseries to the man mismated. 

One misfortune, however, he did not look for ; 
one danger he did not fear ; one emotion of all 
others he was confident he could not feel. And 
yet this emotion, this danger, this misfortune were 
precisely those to which he was destined to fall a 
victim. He could not foresee the meeting with Pau- 
line Nolen, nor the effect that she would produce on 
him. Up to that time his unhappiness had been 
chiefly negative the ordinary disappointment and 
disillusion ; now he had to deal with a positive 
pain the impossibility of being united to the only 
woman he had ever loved. It was like tantaliz- 
ing a prisoner-for-life with scenes of freedom and 

" I am talking a lot about myself," he remarked 
one day to Percy, as they were sitting smoking to- 
gether on the deck, " but it isn't entirely egotism, 
either. I have a motive in it, connected with 

" What have I to do with it ? " 

" You and Brown are about the only friends I 

Io8 AT SEA. 

have in the world. I want you to know what my 
life has been, and what my situation is, in order 
that you may be able to act intelligently in case 
any thing happens to me." 

"Come, Val, you're not contemplating a prema- 
ture end, are you ? " 

" Oh, my health is good, and I am in good shape 
generally never better. I am speaking of acci- 
dents, which are liable to happen to the best regu- 
lated gentlemen. In case of my sudden taking off 
occurring while I am in your company, I want you 
to be competent to act as my agent, representative, 
or executor ; I want to give you my unrestricted 
power of attorney, in short. And to that end," he 
added, taking a wallet from his pocket, " I have 
written out a paper which empowers you to use the 
requisite authority, and also indicates what I would 
like to have done in case certain other things hap- 
pen. Here's the document ; put it in your pocket, 
and don't bother yourself to look at it unless cir- 
cumstances should make it necessary.'' 

" If I had any thing to leave or to manage," 
said Percy, taking the paper which Valentine 
handed him, " I would retaliate by appointing you 
my sole legatee and executor ; but all I possess are 
my clothes and the receipted bills you paid for me. 
However, if I die, you must say to those whom it 
may concern that I maintained to the last that I 
did not steal Mrs. Tunstall's money. Send my 
love to my mother and Pauline, and, if I die on 
shore, get me buried if possible. I can't be seri- 

AT SEA. 109 

ous about it," he went on, with a laugh, "and yet 
I have had a presentiment ever since we started, 
that I shall never see the end of this voyage. Of 
course, presentiments are all nonsense, and I don't 
in the least believe in this one ; but it is there all 
the same. So, if it comes out true, I shall say, * I 
told you so ! ' At least, you will know I would 
have said it if I could ! " 

" I'll remember," replied Valentine. " As for 
presentiments, I believe they do come out true, 
though my theory of existence assures me they 
must be coincidences. I have no presentiment re- 
garding myself, only a business-like solicitude 
that, when I am gone, my dregs shall not occasion 
any avoidable inconvenience. 

Just then the second officer sauntered up and 
nodded to windward. " Looks pretty nasty up 
there," said he. u Shouldn't wonder if we had a 
blow before night." 



MARTIN and Percy looked in the direction in- 
dicated by the officer. It was then about 
five o'clock in the afternoon, the sky clear over- 
head, the sea calm, the sun sinking red toward the 
west, over Cuba and Hayti, which were below the 
horizon, some hundreds of miles away. The tem- 
perature during the last few days had been grow- 
ing warmer and warmer, and they were now near 
the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and about 
on the sixty-sixth meridian west from Greenwich. 
Since passing between Hatteras and the Bermudas 
they had had fair weather, with light airs from the 
south and east. But to-day there had been no 
breeze whatever, and the heat had been oppressive. 
The surface of the sea looked oily, and lay quite 
flat, without any perceptible heave or swell. Masses 
of drift-weed were passed occasionally, strung out 
in long lengths, as if drawn by invisible currents. 
Sometimes a cocoanut or an orange would float 
past, silent heralds of the islands near at hand. 
The course the steamer was steering was taking 
her toward the group of little islands between the 


greater and lesser Antilles, of which St. Thomas is 
one. It was there that they were to make their 
first landing. 

The officer had pointed toward the southwest, 
or a few points off the starboard bow. Percy could 
see nothing remarkable there ; but Valentine, who 
was familiar with the sea, at once fixed his eyes 
upon a small dark cloud, low down on the water, 
the peculiarity of which was that it changed its 
shape with great rapidity, and without any appar- 
ent cause. One moment it looked like a hand, 
with the fingers extended ; then it was like a hat, 
the crown of which grew larger and larger until it 
presented the aspect of a pointed foolscap. Then 
the cap suddenly inverted itself, and stood on its 
apex ; then the foolscap divided down the centre, 
and took the form of a huge bird with wings point- 
ing upwards. 

" That is rather odd," muttered Valentine, intent- 
ly watching the protean little cloud. "I have seen 
a hurricane begin that way. I hope it will give us 
a wide berth. This is a bad place to be caught 
by a tornado, with that string of islands right ahead 
of us." 

" It must be a couple of hundred miles to the 
nearest of them," said Percy. " We are safe 
enough. This steamer can stand any thing." 

" There comes the captain," observed Valentine, 
without noticing Percy's remark. 

In fact, the captain emerged from his cabin, 
and mounted the bridge ; he cast a glance at the 


cloud and then gave some orders in a low tone. 
They were followed by an immediate activity on 
the part of the watch on deck. The sailors moved 
rapidly about, and seemed to be occupied in stow- 
ing under hatches, or otherwise making fast, vari- 
ous barrels, cases, and other loose objects that had 
hitherto been kept on deck. Meanwhile, the cap- 
tain had got out a telescope, and was contemplating 
the cloud through it with great earnestness. Pres- 
ently he passed the glass to the officer who stood 
by him on the bridge, and who also took a careful 
observation ; then they conversed together in an 
undertone, and occasionally issued a new order to 
the crew. There were no sails set on the 
steamer ; but the sheets and halliards were hauled 
taut and securely belayed, and every thing was 
made fast and battened down in such a way that 
nothing short of a hurricane could dislodge it. 

" The old man understands his business," 
remarked Valentine ; " and I fancy he thinks that 
it may need all he knows to pull us through. Look 
at the cloud now ! " 

Valentine again turned his eyes toward the south- 
west. The small cloud had suddenly become very 
much larger, and was now seen to be connected 
with a mass of dark vapor that was rapidly crowd- 
ing upon that section of the horizon, and of which 
it was the pioneer. This vapor was of an extraor- 
dinary darkness, or rather blackness ; it had not 
the blue shade that is often seen in storm clouds, 
but was of the hue of the densest factory smoke, 

THE SffADO W 'OF DEA Tff. 1 13 

with yellow and greenish streaks upon it here and 
there. The rim or upper margin of the on-coming 
blackness continued to advance with such astonish- 
ing rapidity that after only a few moments it had 
blotted itself upon all that quarter of the horizon, 
and now seemed to have embodied the fore-running 
cloud, or to have incorporated itself with it. Look- 
ing more closely at it, its edges and surface 
appeared wildly commoted, flakes and shreds of 
vapor, like black fleece, being torn off from the 
general mass, and whirled around, or snatched 
in various directions, so swiftly that the eye 
could scarcely follow their movements. The 
green and yellow streaks were multiplied and 
other colors were represented until the inky 
surface assumed an aspect of hideous iridescence. 
Meanwhile the northern and eastern portions of 
the sky and sea remained unchanged in their sultry 
calm, except that, the light of the setting sun being 
cut off, their aspect had a strange feverish ghast- 
liness, unlike the tints of nature. A hot, faint air 
drew past the vessel in the direction of the black 
canopy, as if it were sucked thither by some malign 
attraction. Presently the ears of the observers 
began to be conscious of a singular minor sound, 
somewhat resembling that produced by the wind on 
a telegraph wire, only infinitely more hollow, deep, 
and reverberating. It resounded all over the level 
surface of the pallid sea, and appeared to be echoed 
back from the horizon and the vault above, as if 
the heavens were a metallic enclosing dome. It 


sang and resounded and roared, but still with an 
inner sound, as if that which uttered it were still 
afar, or walled off by some obstacle that it had not 
yet overcome. Every thing else was deathly still ; 
the plash of the foam against the vessel's bows and 
under her stern was the only other sound, but that 
seemed abnormally loud. 

Tne captain's voice on the bridge broke out with 
startling distinctness, though he spoke not above 
his customary pitch. He gave the order to put the 
vessel about. Immediately she began to swing 
round on her course, describing a semicircular 
sweep with her stern ; and in a few minutes she 
lay with the cloud at her back, and her bows pointed 
towards the unclouded regions of the northeast. 
Her propeller still moved, but slowly ; she was like 
a champion awaiting the onset of an enemy and 
gathering himself up for the struggle. 

The enemy was now at hand. By this time the 
central advance had thrown out two long black 
arms that crept along the horizon to the right and 
left, enclosing the vessel in a deadly embrace. 
Darkness fell over them as from an eclipse ; the 
unshadowed east, ere it vanished altogether from 
sight, looked like a scene viewed through a tunnel. 
The moment was one of awful suspense ; no human 
creature could long have endured it without giving 
way to some outbreak of intolerable emotion. The 
blood flowed thick in the veins ; the brain throbbed 
confusedly ; the breath came in difficult sighs. 
With a sudden but majestic upward gradation, the 


minor roar swelled to deafening shrieks of noise ; 
there was a vision of a white fury of waters astern; 
a blast as cold as winter swept from the taffrail to 
the bowsprit ; the darkness shut down and became 
absolute, so that the observer seemed plunged into 
impalpable pitch ; and then with a paralyzing 
shock the hurricane smote the vessel, beating her 
down into the sea as by the sheer weight of a giant 
hand. The next instant, with a shudder and a 
spring, she leaped forward, staggered, and leaped 
again. Fragments of boiling surge hurtled along 
her decks, striking what they encountered with the 
force of grapeshot. The mizzen-mast broke off 
within a yard of the deck, and, lashing forward, 
struck the main-mast and brought it down in ruin, 
though the noise of the crash was inaudible in the 
yell of the frenzied gale. The steamer was rushing 
onward at headlong speed, yet she seemed to be 
standing still, so fast did wind and sea fly past 
her. She reeled, staggered, leaped, was buried, 
and rose again, again to be overwhelmed. It 
seemed another world, another age, compared with 
the sunlight and calm of a few minutes previous. 
Blind, whirling, weltering chaos had engulfed all 
things ; nothing could be seen, nothing heard, 
nothing done nor directed ; only awful plungings 
and strainings could be felt, and thunderous blows 
and shocks. Only by these signs could it be known 
that the vessel was still above the water, still being 
swept onward. Whither, and to what fate, none 
could foretell. 


The sea was at first beaten flat by the wind, 
though great pieces of water were stripped from 
the surface and dashed through the air ; by and by, 
however, waves began to form, but irregularly, 
some rolling low, some reaching aloft and stalking 
gigantic. One of these, hurrying through the black- 
ness, mounted the steamer's stern and traversed her 
deck to the bows, carrying with it the funnel, the 
remaining mast, and every thing on board that 
offered resistance. That wave struck the forecastle 
with a report like the bursting of a siege-gun, stove 
through the oaken planks, and dashed a hundred 
tons of water through the opening. All therein 
were drowned and crushed to pieces, and the 
bodies of several were whirled out again and carried 
like rags off into the waste of the tornado. 
Heavily the ship rose from the blow ; it seemed as if 
she could never rise again. But up she came, and 
the weight of water went booming aft, breaking 
down partitions and deluging cabins and state- 
rooms. More than fifty men were killed or dis- 
abled by that single buffet ; and the survivors 
believed that the end of all of them could be not 
many minutes distant. 

But it so happened that no catastrophe of equal 
terror followed. The ship drove on, sometimes 
threatening to broach to, yet maintaining her steer- 
age way beyond all expectation, on the whole ; and 
when some time had passed how long, no one 
ever knew the hurricane fell faint, and in a breath 
or two, as it seemed, died quite away. The dark- 


ness lightened, and straight overhead appeared a 
patch of sky half-veiled by wheeling shreds of 
mist. They were in the center of the tornado : 
and now the waves leaped up with a rebound so 
breakneck and astounding that all sense of vertical 
and horizontal was lost, and the vessel reared and 
pitched like a maddened broncho. This phase of 
the battle between ship and storm bade fair 
to be more dangerous than the opening experience ; 
but, however that might be, it did not last long. 
The inky cloud shut down again ; again rose the 
shriek of rushing winds, coming now from the op- 
posite point of the compass, and once more the dis- 
mantled and bruised hulk sprang forward on her 
fearful race, galvanized, as it were, into preter- 
natural activity by a force not her own. Stripped 
bare as she was, and weighted by the water she 
had taken on board, she moved more steadily than 
at first. Nor could the nerves of those who still 
manned her continue to respond as before to the 
call of horror. The worst was past for them, even 
should death itself be in store. None knew at that 
time who were living and who were dead ; each 
held on to whatever support was nearest him and 
waited in darkness and uncertainty for what might 
come. The engine fires had been put out, and all 
the men available were taking -turns at the wheel, 
in a desperate and unequal struggle to keep her 
before the wind. Some felt that it would be a re- 
lief if the ship would founder and go down. But 
she swept on, outstripping death itself. Suddenly 


one of the passengers, who had been alternately 
praying and blaspheming in the cabin, broke out 
in a yell of mad laughter, and rushed up the com- 
panion-way and out on the deck. The hurricane 
caught him and hurled him forward ; he was 
jammed between the stump of the mainmast and 
the shaft of one of the anchors, which had some- 
how been carried there ; the wind turned his coat 
over his head and whipped it into ribbons in a mo- 
ment ; in another moment he was naked to the 
waist ; then he was twisted and beaten and lashed 
about until he was a shapeless mass of bloody 
flesh and shattered bones. At length a sudden 
pitch of the vessel loosened the anchor, and it and 
the corpse went overboard together, and the ship 
swept on. 

It was perhaps an hour after this, and long after 
the most sanguine had yielded dumbly to despair, 
that the steamer rose on a monstrous wave, which 
mounted and mounted beneath her until it seemed 
as if it would end by carrying her through the sky ; 
then, with a last furious effort, flung her forward, 
and slipped back under her keel. The great ves- 
sel was carried on by the impetus of the onset, and 
fell with an appalling crash, not on the sea again, 
but on the solid earth. Her voyage was over, and 
she was in port at last. 

Her iron ribs were crushed by the fall, but her 
frame still held together, and all motion ceased. 
The wind still shrieked and the sea bellowed and 
thundered, but no waves struck the ship. She 


seemed to have been lifted beyond their reach ; but 
where they were no one knew, nor could have 
guessed within a hundred miles. After an interval, 
the quartermaster, who had been the last man at 
the wheel, crept to the companion-way, and, secur- 
ing himself by a rope passed round his waist and 
made fast to the railing below, looked out. 

At first he could distinguish nothing, and the 
rush of the wind stifled him ; he dragged himself 
back and waited. He had not waited long before 
it appeared to him that the noise of the hurricane 
was abating, and the darkness was less intense. 
At length he ventured forth again. Moment by 
moment the wind was decreasing ; the change was 
not so sudden as it had been when the center of the 
tornado passed over them, and occasionally there 
was a return of rage and fury. But these became 
less and less frequent, and there were great cleav- 
ages upwards through the clouds, revealing the 
remote sparkle of stars, for the sun had gone down 
long since. One by one, those of the ship's com- 
pany and passengers who remained came on deck 
and stared about them. Were they on a desert 
island ? 

A number of square otyjects, curiously symmetri- 
cal in shape, and distributed with an appearance of 
regularity, became visible in the immediate neigh- 
borhood of the steamer. They were all of nearly 
the same height, though in their other dimensions 
they varied considerably ; their sides were whitish, 
the tops darker. In front of the vessel, as she lay, 


the land rose upwards in a gentle slope, and these 
rectangular objects showed themselves thickly in 
that direction. 

" They don't look unlike houses," remarked the 
quartermaster, peering earnestly through the gloom. 
" I don't know any coast hereabouts that has 
rocks like that." 

" If they were houses," said the second officer, 
who stood near, with his arm broken, "we should 
be in the midst of a town, and no small town 

Hark ! what's that ? " 

All listened. There was the soui.d of a halloo, 
clearly repeated, and in a moment it was answered 
from a further distance. Then in several direc- 
tions, near and far, were heard calls, cries, and 
lamentations. The listeners uttered murmurs of 
surprise and perplexity. 

Just then a great mass of cloud in the east broke 
away, and the full moon shone forth with surpass- 
ing brilliance, shedding over the scene a light 
which, in comparison with the previous darkness, 
seemed as bright as day. It revealed an extraor- 
dinary spectacle. 

Beyond the stem of the steamer extended the 
tossing waters of a large bay, strewn with wreck- 
age and an indescribable medley of floating 
objects. In front and on either side were the 
streets and houses of a half-destroyed town. The 
steamer had been carried over the sea-wall, and 
lay beyond the wharves, between the ruins of a 


hotel and a large warehouse. A little way off 
was what had been a public pleasure-garden or 
casino ; it looked as if a gigantic roller had been 
passed over it. In a terrace higher up a heavy 
iron gun stuck out like a half-driven bolt ; it had 
been whipped out of a vessel in the bay and borne 
nearly half a mile, passing completely through a 
house on the way. Nearly every house left stand- 
ing was unroofed ; many were torn from their 
foundations and thrown topsy-turvy. The iron 
shaft of a street lamp was bent over and twisted 
like a corkscrew. In the center of a small fort to 
the west of the town was a brig, with one mast still 
standing. A floating wharf just outside the sea- 
wall was sunk ; a steamer was on top of it, and on 
top of the steamer,lying crosswise, were the remains 
of a three-masted merchant-ship. A large provis- 
ion-store had been blown to pieces, and the stores 
whirled about in all directions over the town and 
adjacent lands. In the bay, now rapidly becoming 
calmer, appeared the masts of a score of sunken 
vessels, sticking up like reeds in a swamp. Among 
them floated casks, blocks, spars, boxes, quantities 
of oranges and cocoanuts, fragments of trees, the 
rafters and beams of houses ; and bobbing about 
everywhere were the drowned and mutilated corpses 
of hundreds of men and women. But these were 
not to remain long visible. Ever and anon there 
would be a swirl in the water, a jerk and a splash, 
and a shark would glide away with a human arm 
or leg in his jaws. The banquet was an unusually 


rich one, and the banqueters were assembling in 

" Well," said the quartermaster, as his eyes rap- 
idly traversed this scene. " I've heard of miracles, 
but this is the nearest to one that ever I saw. Of 
all the things that might have happened, this is 
the unlikeliest ; we get caught in a hurricane, and 
blown north and south, we don't know where, nor 
whether we were under water or above it ; and 
here at last we find ourselves high and dry, in the 
port we were bound for, and within a dozen rods 
of the very wharf we should have lain up to ! This 
is a queer world ! " 

" What place do you say this is ? " inquired one 
of the passengers, drawing near. 

" This is St. Thomas, sir what there is left of 
it and no other place in the world. Oh, is that 
you, Mr. Martin ? I'm glad to see you safe and 
sound ; I expect a good half of us will never speak 
again. Where is your friend, sir ? " 

" I don't know," replied the other ; " I have 
been looking for him. I haven't seen him since 
the time the wind first stopped blowing out at sea." 

" It was that big wave that came aboard us, most 
likely," said the quartermaster, gloomily. " That 
carried off the captain, and many a good man 
with him. You may sail the seas till you're an old 
man, sir, and never see the like of that storm again." 

But his interlocutor had moved away, and was 
beginning a search through the ship, in the forlorn 
hope of finding at least the body of his friend. 



THE day appointed for Percy's trial was a week 
after he left New York. During this period, 
his mother and sister and Judge Ketelle were the 
only persons who knew of his escape. On the 
morning of the trial, the judge dropped into In- 
spector Byrnes's office, with a newspaper in his 
hand and a very grave face. 

" I want to call something to your recollection, 
Inspector," said he ; " something of importance to 
me, though you may have forgotten it." 

" Oh, you mean young Percy Nolen's case, don't 
you ? " returned the Chief of Detectives. " I 
remember ; he was accused of a robbery in a jew- 
elry store, and you went bail for him in fifteen 
hundred dollars. Yes, the trial comes on to-day." 

" You have a good memory. Well, you are per- 
haps not aware that Percy left New York on the 
day following the examination, and never returned." 

" Yes, judge, I happen to be aware of that, too. 
You see, we anticipated there might be some diffi- 
culty of the kind, and so we put a man on to watch 
him. Mr. Nolen spent that night at Mr. Martin's 


rooms on Fifth Avenue. The next morning, some 
one whom our man took to be Martin walked out and 
went up town. An hour or two later, Martin him- 
self came out. Instead of following him, our man 
made the mistake of going upstairs to see whether 
Nolen was in the rooms. In that way they both 
got off. We did every thing in our power to stop 
them, but it was too late. I sincerely hoped he 
would think better of it, and come back. I am 
sorry for you, but there it is ! " 

" As regards myself, I'm not a loser. I don't 
mind telling you that, a few hours after his escape, 
I received by letter the amount of the bail ; it 
came, I have reason to believe, from Martin. All 
Percy's outstanding bills were also paid, probably 
by the same hand. Of course, Percy should have 
stood his trial, and had I had any inkling of what 
he intended I should have used every means to 
prevent his departure. But at any rate he left no 
debts behind him." 

" He made the mistake of his life," said the In- 
spector emphatically. " As the reason why will be 
known in a few hours, I may as well tell you now. 
In the first place, the evidence againt him was not 
conclusive, and, taking every thing into consider- 
ation, the chances are that he would have been 
acquitted. His looks and manner and his previous 
record and social standing were in his favor, though 
it is true that he had been making a fool of himself 
here and there, as boys sometimes will. But a 
fellow like that is not likely to steal a lady's pocket- 


book, in face of the absolute certainty of being 
suspected of it. The game wasn't worth the 

" I quite agree with you," replied the judge ; 
" still, there was a possibility that the verdict 
might go against him ; and you can understand 
that a conviction would be as good as death to 

" Even then, if he were innocent, the guilty party 
would be sure to turn up sooner or later, and he 
would be vindicated. I could make a guess, even 
now, as to who the thief really is ; but he has not 
committed himself yet, and as the money stolen was 
in bank notes of course it is more difficult to trace 
than jewels or any kind of personal property would 
be. But that is not the point I was going to make. 
If he had appeared in court to-day, he would have 
been a free man ever after." 

" How can you know that ? " 

u In this way. You have heard all about that 
affair of his with the wife of the plaintiff. No actual 
harm had been done, but she was compromised and 
her husband had heard of it ; they had had some 
words about it probably ; and when he found 
Nolen in such an awkward predicament, he natur- 
ally was not going to lose the opportunity of jump- 
ing on him. So he pressed the charge, as we saw. 
But his wife did what he had not anticipated she 
joined him in the accusation, and thereby ranged 
herself definitely on his side. Of course that took 
the wind out of his sails ; it proved that she hated 


Percy as much as he did, and therefore removed 
his own chief reason for hating him." 

" I understand ; but " 

" Very well. Having no longer any especial 
reason for revenging himself upon Percy, and prob- 
ably not believing, on sober second thought, that 
he had committed the crime, he would begin to ask 
himself how the public trial would affect his wife 
and himself. And the first thing he would see would 
be that it would involve letting out the whole story 
of the flirtation. Now, if his wife had persisted in 
her folly, instead of acting the part of a virtuous 
cur, as she did, he might have been willing to have 
her shown up ; but as it was, he would desire to 
hush it up as securely as possible. There was only 
one way to do that, and that was " 

" Ah ! I see. The plaintiff would decline to 
prosecute ? " 

" Exactly ; and that (as I have the best reason 
for knowing) is just what he has done. His coun- 
sel are instructed to withdraw the charge; and of 
course, under the circumstances the judge would 
allow him to do so. But when they see that the 
prisoner is not on hand, it may cause them to 
modify this course. They might profess themselves 
ready to go on with the case, and as the prisoner is 
absent judgment would issue against him." 

" It is that result that I hoped to avoid. It would 
be a sad thing for an honorable family to be 
dragged through the dust in this way for a crime 
for which the accused is not responsible," 


" He should have had the manliness to face his 
accusers," repeated the Inspector. " No one knows 
better than you, judge, that in this world a man 
must defend himself. He can not expect other 
people to find excuses for him. But, as I say, he 
may live it down ; he is a young fellow yet, and " 

" Have you seen this morning's paper ? " inter- 
posed the judge. 

" I have looked through it. Is there any thing 
particular ?" 

The judge held out the paper, with his finger on 
a certain paragraph. The Inspector took it and 
read as follows : 

"A terrible hurricane is reported as having 
occurred in the neighborhood of St. Thomas, W. I., 
on the i3th ult. It is described as the severest 
ever known in those latitudes. It was preceded in 
the morning by a dead calm and excessive heat. 
Early in the afternoon weatherwise persons pre- 
dicted a heavy blow. The prophecy was soon 
verified. Clouds were observed collecting in the 
southwest ; they rapidly increased in size and 
darkness, and advanced toward the northeast, 
from which quarter a gentle breeze was blowing. 
The storm burst with terrific fury. The harbor of 
St. Thomas is a large basin, the entrance to which 
is a comparatively narrow pssage between two 
headlands. The harbor was at the time filled with 
shipping, including several steamers and large 
vessels. One of the steamers was at the time tak- 
ing on passengers; the captain gave orders that 


this should be stopped, and steamed out of the 
harbor in the hope of weathering the gale. The 
steamer has not since been heard of, but fragments 
of it have been picked up at sea, and there is no 
doubt that she perished with all on board. The 
storm was accompanied by intense darkness, greater 
than that of an ordinary midnight without moon or 
stars. The wind's velocity was estimated to reach 
no less than two hundred miles an hour, and the 
destruction it caused was terrible. After blowing 
for a couple of hours from the southwest it hauled 
about and blew with equal violence from the north- 
east. All the shipping in the harbor was destroyed, 
and several vessels were lifted out of the water and 
carried inland. One large merchant ship was taken 
up bodily and planted in the midst of a warehouse 
near the shore. The houses of the town were un- 
roofed and in most cases annihilated. Upwards of 
four hundred lives were reported lost, and the 
harbor was full of corpses, which were devoured by 
the sharks. One of the most remarkable episodes 
of this disastrous storm was that of the U. S. and 
B. Co.'s steamship Amazon. She was due at St. 
Thomas on the day after that on which the hur- 
ricane occurred. She had cleared from New York 
with six passengers and a full cargo. She had fair 
weather up to within two hundred miles of St. 
Thomas, and was somewhat ahead of her schedule 
time. According to the narration of the survivors, 
she met the hurricane about three o'clock on the 
afternoon of the i3th. She was put about so as to 


run before the gale. The wind and waves almost 
immediately dismasted her, and it was found im- 
possible to do more than keep her before the wind, 
even this taxing all the powers of those on board. 
At one time she was pooped by a heavy sea which 
broke into the forecastle and swept many over- 
board. When the wind veered about the steamer 
became virtually unmanageable ; she drove before 
the gale, and it was expected that she must founder. 
But after several hours she was suddenly beached ; 
and on the storm breaking it was discovered that 
she was lying in the main street of St. Thomas, 
close to her own dock. In the darkness she must 
have been driven through the narrow entrance of 
the harbor, and so across to the town, avoiding by 
a miracle numberless obstacles. She is, however, 
a complete wreck, and half her ship's company were 
swept overboard and drowned, while many of the 
others have received severe injuries. Of the six 
passengers who were on board the following are 
killed : Alfred Harper, went insane and washed 
overboard ; Charles Tupper, neck broken ; James 
Blair, washed overboard ; Percy Nolen, washed 
overboard. The surviving passengers are Herbert 
Simpson and Valentine Martin. Mr. Martin occu- 
pied the same stateroom with Mr. Nolen, and is 
much affected by his death. He says he saw him 
shortly before the time when the steamer was 
pooped ; he was on his way to the forecastle, under 
the impression, it is supposed, that there was greater 
security there than in the stern. Mr. Martin left 


for Vera Cruz yesterday. It is his intention to 
return by way of Aspinwall to his sheep-farm in 
New Zealand, near Napier." 

Having read thus far, the inspector laid down 
the paper, and stroked his chin awhile with a med- 
itative air. " So the young man is drowned, is 
he ? " he said, at length. " The account seems to 
look that way." 

" Do you mean there can be any doubt about 
it?" exclaimed the judge. 

" I don't say there is ; and as a matter of course, 
judge, I recognize the sincerity of your attitude. 
Still, if I were interested in the boy, I should think 
twice before I accepted this news as conclusive. 
Have you heard any thing personally ? " 

" Nothing. This is all we know, so far." 

" Well, you are aware that people reported 
drowned at sea sometimes have a way of coming to 
life again. The sea is a big place, and it's diffi- 
cult to be sure what becomes of a man in a heavy 
storm, when every thing's as black as pitch. Then 
again young Nolen, you must admit, might find it 
convenient to have it supposed he was permanently 
out of the way. He could start in under a new 
name, with very little fear of ever being interfered 
with. When this affair has blown over or been 
cleared up, he might come back, and all would be 
right again. I don't say that i$ what has hap- 
pened ; I only say it might be so. And, consider- 
ing that Mr. Martin was a friend of the family, it 
seems a little odd that he shouldn't have sent a 


letter giving a full account of the affair. He must 
have known what a value the mother and sister 
would have put upon it." 

" I hope with all my heart your theory may be 
the true one ! " said the judge. " But I fear the 
report is correct," he added, after a pause. " There 
can be no doubt about the hurricane, nor that 
Percy was on the steamer. There was no necessity 
of inventing a report of his death ; he would be as 
safe in Mexico or New Zealand as at the bottom of 
the Atlantic. No, I'm afraid the poor boy is gone. 
And, I was saying just now, I trust that no steps 
will be taken to-day to blacken his memory. The 
cause of justice would not be vindicated, and it 
would add a terrible pang to his mother's and sis- 
ter's grief. Some consideration should be shown 
to them." 

" Well, let us go down to the court-room," said 
the Inspector, rising and taking his hat. " I don't 
suppose any one wants to trample on a dead man 
not even the woman he was in love with." 

This surmise proved partly correct. On the 
case being called, counsel for the plaintiff sub- 
mitted that their client was disposed to abandon 
the prosecution. The court asked where the pris- 
oner was, and the report of his death was put in. 
The court observed that the prisoner appeared to 
have intended forfeiting his bail, and was of the 
opinion that the evidence of death was insufficient. 
But as the plaintiff wished to withdraw, and there 


was only a moderate presumption of guilt, the 
case would be adjourned pending confirmation of 
the report of death, when the question of estreat- 
ing the bail would be decided. 



QEVERAL days after this event, the Inspector 
O was informed that a lady desired to see him. 
He gave orders that she be admitted, and a young 
woman dressed in mourning entered the room. She 
was pale and handsome, with powerful dark eyes. 
The Inspector rose and placed a chair for her. 
She sat down, regarding him with great intentness, 
as if endeavoring to satisfy herself what manner of 
man he was. 

" Can I be of any assistance to you, madam ?" 
the detective inquired. 

" I hope you may," was her reply, " for I don't 
know where to look for help, unless to you. You 
were officially cognizant, were you not, of the case 
of Mr. Percy Nolen, who was accused of a robbery 
a few weeks ago ? " 

The Inspector inclined his head. " It came to 
my knowledge, in the ordinary routine," he said. 
" It has been adjourned, as you are probably aware, 
and the chances are that it will not soon be heard 
of again." 

" Percy Nolen was my brother," she resumed. 


" He was lost at sea." Her lips trembled, but she 
recovered herself the Inspector noted that she 
seemed to possess unusual self-command and 
went on. My mother and I are the only ones of 
the family left alive ; and my mother is an invalid. 
My brother died with a shadow upon his name, and 
I consider it my duty to remove it. I am sure that 
it can be done ; and I am ready to make any effort 
or sacrifice to do it. Nothing would be a sacrifice 
that would accomplish that result." 

" I'm afraid you will find it no easy matter, Miss 
Nolen. Speaking as a professional man, I must 
say that the prospect is not a hopeful one." 

" I don't expect it to be easy ; but I am deter- 
mined to succeed, and I mean to give all my life 
and energy to it," said she, in the same quiet tone 
which she had used from the first, but with immense 
underlying earnestness. " Of course, I know 
nothing about the ways of finding out criminals, and I 
don't think that, in an ordinary matter, I should make 
a good detective ; but this is a thing I care so much 
about that it's different. I believe that if the man 
who stole that money was to pass me on the street 
I should feel that it was he." 

The Inspector dropped his pencil, and stooped 
to pick it up. The notion of identifying criminals 
by emotional intuition was not without its humorous 
side ; but he did not wish his smile to be seen ; 
and by the time he had recovered his pencil he had 
recovered his gravity likewise. " Even if you were 
able to recognize him in that way, Miss Nolen," he 


remarked, " there would be no evidence in that to 
fasten the crime upon him. The jury might think you 
were mistaken, and would refuse to convict ; in fact, 
I don't think you could persuade any judge on the 
bench to grant you a warrant." 

" I wasn't thinking of putting it on that ground," 
Pauline replied, coloring a little. " But when I 
have convinced myself that I know the man, I 
would find evidence against him that would con- 
vince the world too. Only let me know him first, 
and the rest would be easy." 

"Well, all I can say is, I hope you'll find him." 

" I should not have corne here to waste your 
time merely by telling you this," she continued, 
looking up at him firmly. " I wish to tell you 
something that may indicate who he is, and then 
you will be able, perhaps, to help me find out 
where he is and what his record is. I don't suppose 
you know that Percy was not my only brother ? " 

The detective intimated that he did not. 

" My other brother's name was Jerrold. He died 
a few years ago. They had reason to think that 
his death was hastened by foul means. The man 
whom he accused of it was tried ; the case was 
appealed several times, but at last, after having 
been confined for over a year, the accused was 
acquitted. He said that he would be revenged upon 
us. Why may he not have taken this way to be 
revenged ? " 

The Inspector began to be interested. " What 
was his name ? " he asked. 


" His name was Horace Dupee. He was a 
medical student." 

" Tell me the circumstances. I may recollect 
something of it." 

" When my brother Jerrold left college he decided 
to be a physician, and he began the study of medi- 
cine here in New York. He attended lectures and 
went to the hospitals. He was fond of fun, and a 
favorite with his fellow-students, and, I suppose, he 
was rather imprudent in his habits. He was good- 
natured and excitable, and the others led him on. 

" The way the end came was this. There was a 
supper given to one of the students who had got 
through his course. He was the Horace Dupee I 
spoke of. He was a clever man, I believe. I never 
saw him ; and he and Jerrold were great friends. 
There were ten or twelve other young men at the 
supper. They drank a good deal of wine, and 
became noisy and excited. They began to play 
practical jokes on one another. At last Horace 
Dupee got up to make a speech. My brother, who 
sat near him, kept interrupting him with jokes and 
laughing. He got angry finally Dupee did and 
made some threat or said some insulting thing. My 
brother instantly threw a glass of wine in his face, 
glass and all. 

" Dupee rushed at him and struck him with his 
fist. They began to fight ; but my brother was the 
stronger, and he struck Dupee in the face, so that 
he fell over a chair. Then the others separated 
them ; and my brother, after a moment, forgot his 


anger, and wanted to make friends with Dupee 
again, but Dupee would not for a while, but the 
others urged him, until at last he laughed and came 
and shook hands with my brother, and pretended 
that he was quite reconciled ; but he said after- 
wards to one of the young men that he * would be 
even with Nolen yet.' 

" They had been on the point of breaking up 
before, but after this they got to drinking and 
talking again ; and Dupee came and sat down by my 
brother, and kept filling his glass for him, but only 
pretending to drink himself, until my brother 
got quite intoxicated and acted foolishly. It was 
then after midnight, and the young men began to 
go home, and Dupee said he would see my brother 
to his lodgings. My father and mother and my- 
self were not in New York just then ; we had gone 
down to a Southern watering-place on account of 
my mother being delicate, and Jerrold was staying 
in furnished rooms in a boarding-house. 

" He and Dupee started off together after leaving 
the others. My brother could walk, but he was not 
fit to take care of himself. The boarding-house 
was on West Twenty-third Street, some way down. 
The door had a covered porch to it, and was nearly 
on a level with the sidewalk. It was a winter night, 
but there was no snow on the ground. 

" It was not quite one o'clock in the morning 
when they left the restaurant together. At two 
o'clock the policeman whose beat was on that part 
of Twenty-third Street saw some one lying in the 


porch of the boarding-house. He examined him, 
and found that he was in evening dress, with an 
overcoat on ; he was insensible, and his pockets 
were empty. There did not seem to be any mark 
of violence on him. The policeman thought he 
was insensible from drink ; he knocked up the 
people in the house, and when he found that my 
brother lived there helped to take him up to his 
room. But there was a physician living in the 
house, and he came and looked at my brother, and 
saw there was something wrong ; at last he found a 
bruise on his head, behind the ear, made with some 
blunt instrument, for the skin was not cut, but it 
had produced concussion of the brain. Towards 
dawn he partly recovered consciousness, and when 
he was asked about his injuries he mumbled some- 
thing about Dupee ; but they could not get any- 
thing definite from him. A telegram was sent to 
us at Old Point Comfort, where we were stopping. 
My mother was too ill to move ; I stayed with her, 
and my father went on at once, but he arrived too 
late. My brother " 

Her voice faltered, and she broke off. The 
story had been told with entire simplicity, but with 
intense vividness and earnestness. The scenes 
which she described seemed to be before her as 
she spoke, and the emotion which she had striven 
to repress broke forth at last in a few quick sobs. 
She soon controlled herself and added, " My father 
had an inquest held ; the young men who had been 
present at the supper were called upon to testify, 


and they told of the quarrel, and the apparent 
reconciliation ; and it was shown that Horace 
Dupee was the last person seen with my brother. 
In his examination Dupee said that he had taken 
him home and left him in his doorway, bidding him 
good-night : and that, though my brother had 
seemed not quite himself, yet he was able to take 
care of himself. He denied any knowledge of the 
blow. But it was proved that he had threatened my 
brother ; and it was thought that he might have 
emptied my brother's pockets only to make it 
appear that the murder 'was the work of some 
common thief. So the coroner held him for trial." 

" I remember the case now," put in the Inspec- 
tor. " The case was pushed against him vigorously, 
but it broke down at last for want of conclusive 
evidence, and Dupee was discharged, as you say, 
after having been kept in gaol for a year. Well, I 
must say, Miss Nolen, that the doubt as to his 
guilt appears a reasonable one ; and, supposing him 
to have been innocent, he has certainly received 
hard treatment ; for such an accusation as that, 
though not proved, is enough to ruin a man's 

" I da not believe he was innocent, Inspector 
Byrnes ! I am sure that he was guilty, and, having 
escaped punishment for that, he means to do us 
more injury still. No an innocent man would not 
have been ruined by an unjust accusation ! It 
would have stimulated him to prove by his after- 
life that he had been wronged." 


" Do you know what his subsequent life has 
been? " inquired the Inspector. 

" I have heard enough to know that it has been 
what I should have expected it to be. He has 
associated with low and dishonest people ; he has 
gone under different names, and it is probable 
that he may have been arrested more than once 
for other crimes. I have always felt that he was 
our enemy, and have expected that something like 
this would happen. I am the only one of us left 
to fight him, Inspector Byrnes. He killed my 
eldest brother ; he was the means of bringing 
about the disgrace and death of Percy ; my father 
died of disappointment and grief ; my mother is a 
broken-down invalid. But I am strong and well, 
and I am determined to bring him to justice ! Will 
you help me ? " 

Her eyes darkened and her cheeks flushed as she 
put the question. The Inspector, though he could 
not but perceive that the chances were against the 
correctness of her theory, was touched by her 

" In what way would you expect me to assist 
you ? " he inquired. 

" You can communicate with the police in all 
parts of the country," she answered, " and you 
know, or can find out, the history of ail the 
criminals who have been arrested in New York 
and in many other places. What I ask you to do 
is to trace the record of Horace Dupee from the 
time he left the gaol on the termination of his trial 


till now. Find out his associates, and make them 
give evidence against him ; learn what his aliases 
have been, and whether he was not in New York 
on the day that Mrs. Tunstall lost her money. If 
he was and I am sure it will turn out so it will 
be found that he had money to spend soon after- 
wards, and perhaps some one of the bank-notes 
can be traced to him. Oh ! " she exclaimed, lifting 
one hand with an irrepressible gesture, " if I 
can see him stand before me in the prisoner's dock, 
I shall have lived long enough ! " 

" Upon my word, Miss Nolen," remarked the 
Inspector with a smile, " I wouldn't envy the 
man who had done you an injury, be he who he 
may ; and if this fellow Dupee, or any one else, 
has been guilty of the crimes you charge him with 
I hope with all my heart you may live to see him 
convicted of them and a long time afterwards, 
too ! As for my share in the business, I can 
assure you that all possible investigations shall be 
made and, if Dupee has really joined the criminal 
classes it will probably only be a question of time 
before we run across him.' It is something to have 
a definite person suspected in connection with the 
affair. I don't want to give you any hopes that 
I can not fulfil ; but I am willing to say that it is 
not impossible something may come out of this." 

" I don't ask for promises only let something 
be done ! " Pauline replied, rising and giving her 
hand to the detective. He felt the strong clasp of 
her little fingers, and smiled again. 


" You may depend upon my being at least as 
good as my word," he said kindly. " Your cause 
is a good one, and, so far as I am connected with 
it, you may be certain that it will not suffer. But 
you must be prepared for disappointment, and you 
must be patient." 



IT had been the custom with the Nolens, during 
the summer months, to go to a seaside resort 
known as Squittig Point, on the New England 
coast. They owned a small cottage there, consist- 
ing of a sitting-room, three bed-rooms, and a 
kitchen, and a verandah the area of which was 
larger than all the rest of the house. The house 
stood upon a low bluff directly overlooking the 
beach. There was a semi-circular inlet at this 
point, about fifty yards across ; in this a pier had 
been constructed, to the end of which a catboat 
was moored. 

It was a pretty place, but a very quiet one. To 
reach it it was necessary to drive five or six miles 
from the railway station in the neighboring town. 
Within a radius of a mile there were perhaps a 
dozen cottages similar to the Nolens' and occupied 
chiefly by artists. Milk, eggs, poultry, and vege- 
tables were furnished by the farm-houses in the 
vicinity ; fish could be caught by any one with a 
fishing-line and a boat ; meat and groceries must 
be fetched from the town. It was out of the line 


of fashionable travel ; and those who knew of its 
existence, and had established themselves there, 
were united in a conspiracy to keep fashion away 
from it. If they themselves felt the need of a lit- 
tle dissipation, they could be at Newport in four 
or five hours, or at Swampscott before night. But 
here they could always be sure of rest, seclusion, 
charming scenery, and as much fishing, sailing, and 
bathing as they wanted. Of course they could 
not hope to keep their secret long ; sooner or 
later somebody would appear and build a hotel ; 
but meanwhile they enjoyed it all the more for 
feeling that their exclusive possession of it must 
be limited. 

Opposite the Point was a line of low islands, 
seven or eight miles distant, which served as a 
natural breakwater against the violence of the 
Atlantic's waves, and gave to the intervening ex- 
panse of water the advantages of a bay. They 
were also a charm and attraction in themselves ; 
for they were constantly undergoing the most sur- 
prising changes under the influence of the mirage; 
and, being within an easy sail, were often visited for 
picnicking purposes by the sojourners in the cot- 
tages. Baskets of provisions were carried over, 
and the materials for a clam-bake or a chowder 
were always obtainable from the sands and the sea. 
The time not occupied in cooking and eating 
could be devoted to picking huckleberries, practic- 
ing with rifle or shot-gun, or, if the age and cir- 
cumstances of the members of the party permitted, 


in quiet flirtations along the beaches or in the 
woods. The sail home was made by the red light 
of sunset or by the white lustre of the moon. 

The winter and spring had passed away without 
any news having been obtained concerning Horace 
Dupee ; if he had really been in New York at the 
time of the perpetration of the robbery, he had en- 
tirely disappeared. The only thing to be done was 
to wait patiently until he came back again, keeping 
a bright but undemonstrative lookout for him in 
the meanwhile. As Inspector Byrnes had the 
matter in charge, it was not necessary that Pauline 
should remain in New York ; she could be com- 
municated with at any time, and it might even 
hasten the result she desired if she were known to 
be out of the city. Accordingly, as summer ap- 
proached, and her mother's health manifestly de- 
manded a change, preparation were made to go 
down to Squittig Point. Judge Ketelle, for 
reasons which the reader will perhaps comprehend, 
arranged to accompany them. He had not as yet 
made any avowal to Pauline of the nature of his 
sentiments towards her, but he had been assiduous 
in his attentions ; and only the greatness of the 
prize at stake withheld him from putting his fate to 
the touch at once. 

They arrived about the middle of June. The 
cottage had previously been put in order for their 
reception ; curtains unpacked and put up ; mat- 
tings spread on the floors ; hammocks swung in the 
verandas ; Venetian blinds fastened over the 


windows. The catboat had been routed out of her 
winter quarters in the barn, a new coat of paint had 
been given her, new sheets and halliards rove, and 
her shrunken seams had been soaked till they were 
water-tight. There she rested at her moorings as 
gracefully as a sea-gull. Every thing being ready, 
the party, convoyed by the judge, drove out from 
the town one fine day and took possession. It was 
sunset by the time the last trunk was moved in. 
They had supper, and then sat out on the veranda 
enjoying the pure salt air and the liquid outlook 
over the bay. There was a faint breeze ; little 
waves made a barely audible plash on the shore of 
the cove. The boat curtesyed gently off the end 
of the pier, as if welcoming its owners back to 
nature. The moon rose late and red ; it was past 
the full. To the right, beyond the point, the light- 
house lamp flashed intermittently ; a sloop drifted 
past half a mile out, and the sound of a banjo 
tinkled audibly across the water. " It's delicious ! " 
murmured the judge, sitting with Mrs. Nolen 
on one side of him and Pauline on the other, and a 
cigar between his lips. " To-morrow we'll go out 
in the boat and visit the island." 

Mrs. Nolen gave a sigh. She was thinking of 
her son drowned at sea. 

Pauline understood what the sigh meant; but she 
was made of other metal than her mother. " I 
mean to learn how to sail the boat myself this sum- 
mer," she said. " I like the sea ; I would like to 


live beside it, or on it, always. How soft and gentle 
it is now ! But when the storms come ! " 

" I can give you lessons in sailing," observed 
the judge. " You know, when I was a boy I spent 
a year before the mast." 

" I learned something last year from Percy," 
Pauline replied, " and, now that he has become a 
part of the sea, I shall feel more at home on it than 

The next day, accordingly, the practice of navi- 
gation began, and was continued day by day there- 
after. Pauline showed herself an apt pupil, and 
was, indeed, quicker in an emergency than the 
judge himself. Mrs. Nolen at first could not be 
prevailed on to accompany them ; but, one warm 
day, they induced her to venture out, and the ex- 
perience was so pleasant that she repeated it from 
time to time. 

Meanwhile, the judge's affair was manifestly 
approaching a crisis. The constant companion- 
ship of the girl he loved was inexpressibly sweet to 
him, and he was unable to repress some manifesta- 
tion of it ; yet he could not decide whether or not 
Pauline cared enough about him to accept him as 
her husband. That she esteemed him highly was 
evident, and that her affection for him was deep 
and sincere ; but there are many kinds of affection, 
and the question was whether her affection was of 
a kind capable of being developed into the love of 
a wife. The judge wished with all his heart that 
he could do her some immense service, or make 


for her sake some noble sacrifice, which might 
serve to draw her nearer to him. But such things 
can not be commanded at will, and seldom occur 
when they are wanted. It seemed that he must 
trust to whatever unaided merit he possessed to 
win her heart. 

Pauline had always been mature for her age ; 
but since the calamity that had fallen upon her 
she had developed greatly. She was graver and 
more taciturn than before, and her manner was 
more thoughtful and controlled. She seemed 
already to have outgrown her girlhood, and to have 
attained the strength and experience of a woman. 
All this was in the judge's favor ; for his age was 
the factor in the matter which he feared most. If 
they could meet on more nearly equal terms in this 
respect, he could feel more confidence as to the 
rest. She conversed with him on his own intel- 
lectual level, and consulted him freely and confi- 
dentially on all matters of interest to herself. No 
friendship between a man and woman could have 
been more intimate and genuine ; but it was some- 
thing more than friendship that the judge longed 
for ; if he could have detected a single glow of 
passion in her cheeks, he would have been a much 
happier man. On the other hand, Pauline was 
quite able to veil her feelings ; and no young 
woman of healthy mind can be expected to show 
what emotion may be in her, or even to acknowl- 
edge it to herself, until she has been fairly challenged. 

At length, having become quite accustomed to 


the management of the boat, they decided to make 
the trip to the island. The lunch-basket was 
packed, and stowed amidships ; fish-lines and hooks 
were placed in the locker, in case they should 
come across a school of blue-fish ; cushions and 
wraps were provided for Mrs. Nolen, and extra 
ballast was put into the hold, in order to keep her 
steady in case the wind should increase. An early 
start was made, for the breeze was so light as 
scarcely to ruffle the water, and set nearly in a 
direction opposite to that which they wished to 
go. In order to get out of the little cove it was 
necessary to use the oars ; but after that the wind 
gently swelled the sail, and, proceeding by long 
tacks, they slowly made their way toward the 
island that seemed to quiver and waver in the heat 
on the horizon. About eleven o'clock the breeze 
freshened a little, and the boat slipped more swiftly, 
but still with an even, gliding motion, through the 
water. The judge, who fancied he detected signs 
of blue-fish, now relinquished the helm to Pauline, 
and got out his lines. The squid was thrown out 
astern, and cut a tiny wake through the waves, 
while the judge, with his finger on the line, 
watched it like a hawk. For half an hour, in spite 
of several false alarms, nothing was caught , but 
finally there was an unmistakable tug, and, hauling 
in with feverish rapidity, the judge, in a few 
moments, had the pleasure of lifting on board a 
fine large demijohn, tightly corked, which had been 
hooked by the handle. 


After the laugh had subsided, the judge suggested 
that the demijohn might contain something, and he 
knocked off the head against the gunwale of the 
boat. About a pint of salt water came out, and 
then a fragment of wood apparently part of the 
lid of a cigar-box, on which something had been 
written with a pencil. The writing was almost 
obliterated, but two or three words, or portions of 
words, still remained. 

" See if you can make them out, Pauline," said 
the judge, after scrutinizing the inscription a few 
moments. " Your eyes are better than mine." 

Holding the tiller in her left hand, Pauline took 
the bit of wood in her right, and looked at it. " I 
can make out part of a name," she satd presently, 
" and some figures a date, I suppose . . . Ah ! " 

Her lips closed tightly, and her eyes dilated. 
The boat swung round into the wind, and lay with 
the sail flapping. She had forgotten the tiller. 

" What is it ? " asked the judge, in surprise. 

She met his eyes, and then glanced stealthily 
toward her mother. 

" Nothing," said she ; and put the helm over 
again. The boat resumed its course, the water 
bubbling under the stern. Mrs. Nolen, gazing to- 
ward the island, which was now near at hand, had 
noticed nothing. 

After a moment, she leaned toward him and 
whispered in his ear : "It is the name of the steamer 
in which Percy sailed, and the date of the. hurri- 
cane. Some one must have thrown it overboard in 


the storm perhaps it is his own writing. Say 
nothing ; mother must not know." 

She thrust the bit of wood into the front of her 
dress, while the judge drew back with a grave, 
concerned face, and folded his arms in silence. It 
was a strange event, indeed. That demijohn had 
been drifting about on the ocean currents for 
months, to be brought, at last, to the very hand for 
which it had been perhaps intended. Pauline did 
not doubt that Percy had thrown it overboard at the 
moment when all hope seemed gone, and probably 
just before he himself was swept from the deck ; 
and if so it must have been to her that he had in 
his heart addressed it. 

The incident brought the picture of the disaster 
vividly before her imagination ; she had never 
realized it so intensely before the plunging hull, 
the reeling decks, the shattered masts, the white 
leaps and seething of the maddened seas, the 
deafening shriek of the gale, the black darkness 
around and overhead ; and her brother, her own 
beloved brother, staggering forth into this blind 
fury of chaos to waft to her the last message of 
despair. She saw it all ; and then, with a long 
indrawing of the breath, her eyes beheld the blue 
surface of the summer sea, the warm and tender 
sky bending over it, the green shore of the island 
toward which they were softly gliding. Her heart 
melted, and tears wet her cheeks unawares. 

" I ajji really glad I came," said Mrs. Nolen, 
turning round with a smile. " It has been a 


delightful sail, and the island looks so pretty ! 
I hope it will be as nice going back." 

" Well begun is half ended," said the judge, 
raising the centerboard as the boat entered an 
inlet and ran up on the beach ; " and, if the worst 
comes to the worst, we have provisions enough to 
stay here over night." 



THE judge pulled off his shoes and stockings 
and jumped into the shallow water, and, tug- 
ging manfully, pulled the boat up high enough to 
render it an easy matter to transport the ladies to 
the shore. Mrs. Nolen he took in his arms and 
set down on the beach ; then he turned to do the 
like service for Pauline, and his heart beat at the 
thought of having her for a moment so near him. 
But as she stood poising herself in the bows, 
light, beautiful, and agile, he perceived that she 
meant to make a leap of it, and indeed the dis- 
tance was probably not beyond her powers. She 
glanced at him at that juncture, and could not 
have failed to notice the sudden faltering of his ex- 
pression from its previous joyful expectation ; she 
hesitated, and then, with a faint blush, held out her 
arms, saying, " After all, perhaps you had better 
take me." 

The judge could not speak ; the revulsion was 
too sudden. She had never before done any thing 
which seemed so significant, and as he received her 
on his sturdy shoulder he experienced a happiness 
more poignant than he had ever known. The ac- 


tion lasted but for an instant, but the effect was by 
no means so transient ; on the contrary, it kept 
glowing and increasing in his soul, and quite illu- 
minated his whole aspect. Pauline, too, was in an 
unusual mood ; she seemed softer and more acces- 
sible than was usual with her. The tears which she 
had lately shed had brought all the woman in her 
to the surface. There were tones in her voice that 
thrilled to the judge's heart like exquisite music. 
The memory of her brother had done her lover 
good service. 

A spot was selected under the shade of a cedar, 
with clean white sand underneath. Here Mrs. 
Nolen was established with her cushions, and the 
cloth was spread for lunch. The basket was un- 
packed, the plates and knives and forks arranged, 
and the good things set out. They had brought a 
jug of water, but it had become so warm as to be 
unpalatable ; so the judge proposed that they 
should go and find a spring ; there was sure to be 
one not far off. Pauline assented and they started, 
leaving Mrs. Nolen beneath the cedar. 

" I did not know whether to be glad or sorry 
that I was the means of bringing that strange mes- 
sage to you," said the judge, when they were out 
of ear-shot. " And yet I could not help thinking 
that there must have been some providential de- 
sign in the matter. It was as if Percy had ap- 
pointed me his messenger to you." 

" Oh, I am glad I am only glad ! " rejoined 
Pauline musingly, with her eyes downcast. "It 


puts my doubts at rest. All this time I could not 
realize that he was gone. I knew it, of course ; 
but it had not been brought home to me. Now I 
can feel that all is well with him. I am glad it 

" It seems a pity that so much of the message 
should be illegible,"' remarked the judge. " It 
would have been well to know for a certainty that 
it came from Percy's own hand." 

" Perhaps it will become more legible when the 
wood is dried. But I should not care if it turned 
out to have been written by some one else. It is 
from Percy's ship the Amazon and in that case 
it is from him." 

" I am a little surprised," said the judge, after a 
pause, " that Mr. Martin has not written us some 
of the details of the affair. He can hardly have 
failed to understand that any information, how- 
ever slight, would have been precious to you. You 
have not heard from him, have you ? " 

"No, and I think you are right. He should 
Have written. But I can imagine why he has not. 
It was his suggestion that Percy should leave New 
York. He urged him to go with him ; he took 
that responsibility. The least he could do was to 
guard him from harm. When that storm came, he 
should not have let him go out of his sight. But, 
instead, he let him be drowned. I can understand 
why he has not written to me he would not 
dare ! " 

She said this with a passionate emphasis. The 


judge was secretly conscious of a feeling of relief, 
but his sense of rectitude compelled him to say, 
" It would not be just, I think, to charge Mr. Mar- 
tin with being accountable for Percy's death." 

" Perhaps it is not logically just ; but that is the 
way I feel," was her reply. 

By this time they had reached the spring, which 
trickled out of a sand-bluff a few feet above high- 
water mark, and filled a barrel that had been sunk 
in the sand below. The judge knelt down and 
plunged the jug into the cool water, which gurgled 
into it with a refreshing sound. Pauline stood, 
with her hands hanging folded, looking down on 
him. The blue sea, the sunshine, the warmth were 
inexpressibly soothing. 

"How pleasant it is here," she said. 

The judge rose, with the jug in his hand. A mo- 
ment before he had not meant to speak so soon ; 
but now the words seemed to break from him in- 

" Pauline, will you be my wife ? " he said. 

She took a step backward, and their eyes met. 
She was startled, and the expression of her face at 
first seemed to indicate refusal. But after a few 
moments the softer look returned to it, mingled 
with sadness. 

" Would that be best ? " she asked. 

" Infinitely best for me. But it is you who must 
decide. I have loved you ever since you were a 
little girl." 

" Does my mother know of this ? " 


" Yes, since last year ; and she has bidden me 
Godspeed. But I do not wish you to be influenced 
by that. Decide for yourself alone. I am twice 
your years, and more ; but in my love for you I 
am young, and shall always be." 

She stood silent for a while. She was evidently 
touched by his words, and by the manly generosity 
of his appeal ; but something was yet wanting to 
give the final conviction to her heart, and she was 
too true to herself to commit herself without it. 

" There is no man living for whom I care so 
much as for you," she said at length ; " but I have 
never thought of caring for you in that way. I 
have depended on you and trusted in you, but to 
be your wife. . . . Oh, you must give me time ! 
I do not know what I think, or feel. But I shall 
not be in doubt I will give you an answer soon. 
It seems to me that if I could love you as you wish 
it would be a fortunate thing for me fortunate 
that a man like you should wish to marry such a 
girl as I am. But give me till to-morrow." 

" As long as you need," answered the judge, 
huskily. " It is my duty and my happiness to wait 
for you, and upon you, as long as I live." 

The breeze fell again during the afternoon, and 
they delayed their starting in expectation of a 
change later on. The result justified their fore- 
cast ; for as the moon appeared above the eastern 
horizon the clouds began to gather in the west, 
and the tops of the trees waved an4 murmured, 


The direction of the wind was such that, after 
leaving the island, they could make a nearly straight 
run for home, keeping the boom over the port 
quarter. In setting out, a long tongue of land, 
extending on the southeast, broke the sweep of 
the wind, and made it seem much lighter than it 
really was. The water was smooth, and the im- 
pulse just sufficient to make them glide along rap- 
idly. But the moment the point of the cape was 
passed the sudden increase in the violence of the 
wind fairly startled them. The judge, who was at 
the helm, made the mistake of supposing that it 
was a gust or temporary squall only, and therefore 
did not put back into the smooth water and double- 
reef his sail, as he should have done. By the time 
he had discovered that the wind had come to stay, 
they were too far on their course to make a return 
advisable. To have done so would have involved 
beating up almost in the teeth of the gale, which 
would not only have been a long job, but one 
which the height of the waves would have rendered 
dangerous. To keep on, on the other hand, 
seemed comparatively easy, the wind being nearly 
fair, yet not so much so as to involve the peril of 
jibing ; the distance, moreover, was not very great, 
and the boat, though heavily laden, was going fast. 
Accordingly the judge grasped the tiller firmly, 
and kept her headed so as to pass the lighthouse 
a couple of points to the northwestward. 

The three occupants of the little craft were all 
seated, of course, close up on the weather side, the 


spread of sail having a tendency to bear her down 
to leeward. The judge sat next the stern ; Paul- 
ine was close to him, and Mrs. Nolen was next to 
Pauline, her feet being supported against the 
sheath of the centreboard. But as they sped along 
the waves ran higher and higher, and began at 
length to dash over the weather gunwale, wetting 
Pauline's back and shoulders, and running down 
into the well. The effect of this, after it had con- 
tinued for a while, was inevitably to make the boat 
sit lower in the water, and thus offer less oppo- 
sition to the inroads of the seas ; and it was evi- 
dent that an effort must be made to bale her out. 
There was a tin dipper in the locker ; not without 
difficulty the judge succeeded in getting this out, 
and, stooping down, endeavored to bail with his 
right hand, while handling the tiller with his left. 
But it was impossible to hold the boat to her 
course with one hand, in such a sea ; and after a 
minute Pauline took the dipper and intimated that 
she would attend to that part of the work. She 
bailed rapidly and steadily, and threw out a large 
amount of water ; but the waves continued to rise 
and overlap the gunwale, so that she was unable to 
keep pace with the influx, and the boat settled so 
low that ever and anon a wave would wash in to 
leeward. This was a serious matter ; it meant 
that swamping was not far off ; and with the extra 
ballast on board she would go to the bottom like a 
stone. And if she did, nothing was more certain 
than that they would be drowned. It would be 


impossible for even the strongest swimmer to reach 
the shore on such a night. 

Mrs. Nolen, after expressing, in the subdued 
manner characteristic of her in all circumstances, 
her horror and despair at the situation the real 
gravity of which she was, however, probably far 
from recognizing had relapsed into a sort of 
lethargic state, half reclining on the narrow seat, 
motionless, and seemingly unconscious of the 
water that was dashing over her. This passive 
attitude was doubtless the best for all concerned 
that she could possibly have assumed. The judge 
perhaps suffered more than any of the party ; for 
he felt himself mainly responsible for the affair ; 
and the idea of death stepping between him and 
Pauline at such a juncture was almost more than 
he could bear. Pauline, alone; was apparently 
perfectly cheerful and composed. She even felt a 
pleasant exhilaration in the face of the imminent 
danger. The exertion of bailing had put her in a 
warm glow from head to foot ; and though she 
saw that her labor was ineffectual she maintained 
it with unfaltering resolution. They were now 
within a mile of the light-house, and as soon as 
they passed under the lee of it they would be 
comparatively safe. But it was a question whether 
the boat would hold out so long, and just then an 
unforeseen catastrophe occurred. 

As Pauline stooped to fill the bailer, the little 
vessel gave a sudden lurch to leeward, throwing 
the girl forward on her knees in the bottom of the 


boat. The judge reached out quickly to save her 
from going overboard ; in doing so, the tiller was 
thrust over ; the boat came directly before the 
wind, the sail jibed, and the boom, as it swung to 
starboard, struck the judge on the head, and 
knocked him into the water. At the same moment 
a wave came over the stern and deluged the seat- 
room. The end seemed to be at hand. 

But Pauline was not a woman to be vanquished 
without a struggle. As she sprang up and seized 
the tiller, her mind was perfectly clear as to what 
should be done. The boat had already fallen off, 
and was broadside to the wind ; she put down the 
helm, and brought her up in the wind's eye, rapidly 
hauling in the sheet as she did so, and giving it a 
turn round the cleat. Then she bent her gaze on 
the dark confusion of waters in which the judge 
had sunk. 

It was ten to one that he had been carried to 
leeward and out of reach. But one circumstance, 
of which Pauline was not aware, operated in her 
favor. There was a strong tide running out against 
the wind ; and when the judge rose his head 
appeared within a foot of where Pauline sat. She 
stretched over toward him, grasped him by the 
sleeve of the coat, and drew him toward her. 
Though half stunned by the blow he had received, 
he managed to get his arm over the gunwale, and, 
a wave coming to his assistance, he half scrambled, 
half was thrown into the bottom of the boat. 
Once there, his remaining strength forsook him, 


and he lay unconscious. Pauline did not attempt 
to relieve him ; she had her hands full of other 
matters. The boat was almost in a sinking state, 
and they were still more than half a mile from port. 

She watched her chance needfully to come about, 
for to ship another wave like the last one might be 
fatal. The boat obeyed her helm promptly, and 
set off with a plunge and a roll towards her destina- 
tion. During the pause she had drifted some dis- 
tance to leeward, so that she was now sailing with 
the wind very nearly behind her and the boom far 
out ; and although this involved some danger of 
jibing again, it diminished the risk of taking in 
water over the quarter, and was in so far an advan- 
tage. Pauline's utmost strength was required to 
hold the tiller, which struggled with her like a wild 
creature fighting to get loose ; yet she was com- 
pelled to keep one hand upon the sheet likewise, 
which might at any moment need hauling in. The 
strain upon her nerves and muscles was terrible, 
but she clenched her teeth and held on ; in courage 
and spirit, at least, she was equal to the occasion. 
Once in a while she threw a hasty glance into the 
body of the boat. Mrs. Nolen had slipped down 
from her seat and had managed to draw the judge's 
head and shoulders on her lap. 

" If I save them," said Pauline to herself, " I will 
accept it as a sign." 

As she spoke the boat gave a leap and was sud- 
denly in smooth water. The sail barely swelled to 
the breeze. The change was so sudden that it 


seemed miraculous. They had passed under the 
lee of the lighthouse, but that appeared inadequate 
to account for so abrupt and great an alteration. 
Indeed, Pauline always believed and declared after- 
wards that the gale had actually ceased, without 
visible cause, in a moment of time. The boat 
slipped sluggishly through the water on an even 
keel. There was scarcely air enough to carry her 
to her moorings in the little cove. 

"Well, then, I will be his wife," said Pauline to 
herself, as they touched the pier ; " and I think I 
love him now ! " 



ON a warm evening in October the steamship 
Pilgrim, of the New York and Fall River line, 
had just left her dock at the former place, and was 
on her way up the Sound. A rather stout, but 
actively made man, with curly red hair and side- 
whiskers, and rather prominent gray eyes, mounted 
the gangway from below, and stood near the door 
of the saloon. He had just taken a cigar from his 
waistcoat pocket, and was in the act of cutting off 
the end of it with his penknife when a tall per- 
sonage with bony features and a thin neck came in 
through the door and confronted him. He was 
about to pass on, but, at a second glance, stopped 
and said, as if to himself, 

" Henry Clifton." 

The red-haired man turned sharply. " Bob 
Stapleton, by jingo ! " he exclaimed. 

They shook hands, evidently pleased at the 
encounter, eyeing each other all over as if to make 
sure that no part of either was missing. 

" Well, and what have you been doing with your- 
self these three years past ? " inquired he of the red 
hair who answered to the name of Clifton, " Let's 


see ; it was in Liverpool I saw you last, wasn't it ?" 
You were after that forging gang." 

"Yes, and I got 'em," responded the other who 
had been addressed as Bob Stapleton. " It was 
a good job ; I've had nothing better since. But 
what brings you over here ? " 

" Oh, a private affair something particularly 
choice," replied Clifton, sticking his cigar in his 
mouth. " All expenses paid and twenty pound a 

" Hullo ! That's not bad. A hundred dollars 
and expenses. What is it ? Is Scotland Yard after 
the Fenians again ? " 

" No, no. I don't belong to the Yard any more ; 
doing business now on my own feet. I'm engaged 
on a case involving a hundred and fifty thousand 
pounds seven hundred and fifty thousand of your 

" Great Scott ! A robbery ? " 

" No ; no such common business. A lost 
heir ! " 

' A lost heir ? That sounds good ! Come, 
we've got the evening before us ; suppose you spin 
the yarn." 

" Humph ! I'm not so sure about that," re- 
turned Clifton, scratching his whiskers thought- 
fully. " This isn't the sort of story that one tells 
to every body. However," he added, " you're not 
every body, though I suppose you consider your- 
self somebody ; at all events, if you promise to keep 
it dark, I fancy I can trust you. But let's go into 


some quiet corner as it's a warm evening, sup- 
pose we sit outside, where we can smoke. I have 
cigars enough, and this yarn will probably last out 
more than one of them." 

As they passed out of the door, a gentleman 
who had been sitting in a chair not far off, with his 
hat drawn down over his nose, and who had seem- 
ingly been asleep, rose quietly from his seat and 
proceeded to the door of a state-room a little way 
forward of the paddle-box. He entered the room 
and locked the door after him ; then he breathed a 
sigh of relief. He took off his hat, and looked at 
his reflection in the mirror. It showed the coun- 
tenance of a man between twenty and thirty years 
of age perhaps nearer the latter age than the 
former the lower part of which was thickly cov- 
ered with a brown beard, cropped short at the 
sides and round the throat, but allowed to grow to 
a point on the chin. The forehead, cheeks, and 
nose were deeply bronzed by the sun, giving a 
peculiar appearance to a pair of handsome blue eyes. 
The hair was cut short ; any one would have taken 
the head for that of a Frenchman. This idea 
would have been confirmed when the gentleman 
put across his nose a pair of tinted eyeglasses, 
mounted in gold. He regarded himself critically. 

"Yes," he muttered, in the undertone which 
people use when conversing with themselves, " it's 
a good get-up, considering the simplicity of the 
materials. No one can say I am disguising my- 
self ; and yet I doubt if my own mother God 


bless her ! would recognize me at the first glance, 
though my sister might. I must have been in- 
tended by nature for an actor ; my features lend 
themselves so readily to a disguise. At one time 
I am an American ; then an Englishman ; now a 
Frenchman ; to-morrow I may attempt a Turk or 
a Russian. But what an extraordinary piece of 
bad luck that that fellow Clifton should be on this 
steamer ! Does he know that I am on board ? 
Hardly. And yet, what is he here for ? It must 
be on that same business ; and in that business I 
am concerned, however unwillingly. Perhaps he 
has come to look up my record. Confound him, 
why can't he let me alone ! I shall have a hard 
enough time of it without him. Of course he will 
go straight to Inspector Byrnes, and when the 
Inspector finds out that I am not what's 
that ? " 

In order to answer this question, it must be 
observed that the state-room occupied by the 
bearded gentleman was an " outside " one ; its 
window opened on the water, or rather on a narrow 
strip of deck which intervened between the rail 
and the wall of the state-room itself. This strip of 
deck was just wide enough to admit of a person 
sitting there, with his shoulders against the wall 
and his feet on the rail an attitude said to be a 
favorite one with Americans, and which any per- 
son who has studied the circulation of the blood 
and its action on the brain will gladly put himself 
into. The window, it should be added, was pro- 


tected by a wooden blind with fine slats, not notice* 
able from without. 

The noise which had caused the bearded gentle- 
man to break off so abruptly in his monologue had 
been caused by the advent of two persons with 
camp-stools to the apparently secure retreat which 
the narrow strip of deck already alluded to 
afforded. Having established themselves there to 
their satisfaction, and lit their cigars, they began to 
talk in a low tone. But although the blind of the 
bearded gentleman's state-room was shut, the win- 
dow itself was open ; and as he had reason to sup- 
pose that the conversation was going to be of par- 
ticular importance to himself he took care to leave 
the window as it was, and even to sit down beside 
it. As the reader will already have surmised, the 
speakers were the two gentlemen to whom we 
have already been introduced Henry Clifton and 
Bob Stapleton. 

" You went first to New Zealand, eh ? " Stapleton 
was saying. " How happened your man Valen- 
tine, do you call him ? to be there? " 

" He was the second son, don't you see ? and 
consequently, after he'd run through the money 
his father gave him, he had only himself to fall back 
on. So he started for New Zealand to make his 
fortune at sheep-farming. When I got there he 
had been gone the better part of a year or more. 
The sheep-farming had not turned out very well, 
but he had got a sum of money somehow, and had 
gone off to enjoy it ; whether he would come back 


again, and where he had gone, no one could tell 
me. You may be sure that if he had known that 
his elder brother was going to die, and let him into 
full possession of an estate worth three-quarters of 
a million of dollars, he would have left his ad- 

" It's a most curious thing," observed Mr. Staple- 
ton, philosophically, " how some men will run 
after a good thing all their lives and never catch it, 
and another man will run away from a good thing 
all his life, and never let it catch him." 

" Well, as I was saying," Mr. Clifton continued, 
this Mr. Valentine as I call him had left for 
parts unknown, and my business was to find out 
where that was. I thought it all over, and made up 
my mind that America was about the most likely 
place, for he wouldn't be likely to go back to Eng- 
land, and, being of a roving disposition, and never 
having visited the States, that was naturally the 
first place he'd think of. And when a man goes to 
America he's pretty certain sooner or later to fetch 
up in New York. So it was in New York that I 
figured I should find him. But before I started I 
thought it would be as well to make the thing 
certain by sending on a cable message, addressed 
to certain parties in New York that you may have 
heard of, asking whether my man was there. 
Sending telegrams half round the earth costs money, 
Bob ; but it doesn't cost quite as much as to go 
yourself, let alone the time and the wear and tear." 

" However, expenses being paid " said Bob. 


" That's all very well ; but parties employing one 
like to have a good account of their money ; and a 
good recommendation is sometimes worth more 
than cash in hand. Well, I didn't look for an 
answer inside of a week or ten days ; but forty- 
eight hours after I had sent off the despatch the 
landlord of my hotel came up to me and told me 
that he believed I was looking for Mr. Valentine, 
and that a man had just arrived from Panama who 
had met a party going by that name in Mexico some 
six weeks before, and he thought likely he'd be 
there yet. I told him to bring the man around, and 
he came and I had a talk with him. 

" He had seen Valentine, sure enough ; I made 
up my mind as to that. He described him as 
near as could be ; for though I had never seen him 
myself I had all the points about him from those 
who had, and a photograph taken four or five years 
before. The fellow said that Valentine had come 
to Mexico from New York, after being wrecked in a 
big gale at St. Thomas, and a friend of his I'll call 
him Percy was drowned in the same storm." 

" You call him Percy, do you ? " interposed Mr. 
Stapleton, " and he was drowned in the St. Thomas 
hurricane ? And what might his other name 

" I'm not giving names ; I'm telling you a story," 
returned Mr. Clifton curtly. 

"That's all right: something occurred to my 
mind, that's all ; and a mighty good story it is 
you're telling," rejoined the other affably. " So 


Mr. Valentine went over to Mexico, did he ? And 
what did he do there ? " 

" Well, he'd brought some letters, so it seems, 
introducing him to the President and some other 
swells ; and he handed 'em in, and was received in 
good style. He gave 'em to understand that he'd 
come to settle, and to grow up with the country, 
so to speak. One thing led to another, and at last 
they got talking about mines ; and with that the 
President gave him a guide, and sent him off up 
to a place called Pachuca, about sixty or seventy 
miles north of the city. He moused about there 
he knew something of mining, it appears and 
examined the mines that were working, and some 
others that had been given up : and at last he 
fixed on a bit of ground where there wasn't any 
mine at all ; but he took a fancy to it for all that, 
and went back to Mexico to see about getting pos- 
session of it. He managed things very cleverly, 
and got the swells interested, and made out that he 
wanted to let them into a good thing, and would 
be satisfied with a very small share himself, and 
would take all the trouble of looking after the 
business off their hands into the bargain. So what 
did he do but raise a company, and the company 
raised a capital you know how those things are 
worked and they filed their claim to the land, and 
appointed him manager, and the first tests he 
made showed a bigger percentage of silver than 
had been known in that neighborhood for a hun- 
dred years. That was the news my informant 


brought me ; he said all Mexico was talking of it ; 
and that Mr. Valentine's pickings, though they 
might be small, comparatively speaking, were likely 
to stand him in a cool hundred thousand dollars a 
year, which is enough to keep a man off the parish." 

" Yes, I should think it might," Mr. Stapleton 
assented. " And that's the way it is in this world, 
Henry Clifton ; luck goes dead against a man for 
years and years, and no let up ; and then, all of a 
sudden, for no reason that ever any body can find 
out, his brother dies and leaves him a million in 
England, and he goes to Mexico and collars a mine 
worth a hundred thousand a year. The million 
ain't enough, and the mine ain't enough ; he must 
have 'em both ; that's the way of the world every 
time ! " 

Mr. Clifton accepted this statement without 
comment, and went on with his story. 

" As you may suppose, I lost no time in packing 
my grip for Mexico, and I got there in due season-, 
and without accident. I put up at the best hotel, 
as is always my way, for it costs no more in the end 
and gives a man a good standing at the first send- 
off. I made my inquiries, in a quiet, off-hand 
way ; and I had no difficulty at all in hearing all I 
wanted. Mr. Valentine was there ; nobody could 
speak too well of him ; he was hand-in-glove with 
the President, and he was at that moment out in 
Pachuca, superintending the putting up of the 
new machinery in the new mine. If I had any busi- 
ness with him, that was where I would find him. 


So the next morning, at six o'clock, I took the train 
at Buena Vista station to Omeltusco, and then by 
diligence and horse-car to Pachuca, which I reached 
at sundown, dead tired, and chock full of dust, 
and a precious cold, disagreeable, shabby hole 
Pachuca is, and I don't care who knows it ! 

" But I was on business, and when I learned that 
Mr. Valentine was camping out about five miles 
above I hired a mule then and there, and a black 
fellow to show me the way ; and by nightfall I 
had him ! " 



u \ ND so you handed him over the deeds of his 
lY estate, and that's the end of the story?" 
said Mr. Stapleton interrogatively. 

"You're going a bit too fast," the other replied. 
" The story is just going to begin ; what I've told 
you is merely by way of explaining the situation. 
After chasing a man half round the world, and a 
little more, you don't expect to get through your 
business with him in five minutes. When I first saw 
him he was smoking a cigar by a fire that was built 
outside of one of them adobe huts, and drinking a 
stuff they call pulque, which is the nearest they can 
get to whiskey in that country, and pretty poor 
stuff it is. Well, I stepped up to him and says I, 
' Good evening, Mr. -' (giving him his name 
you understand) ' for I am told that you are that 
gentleman.' He looked up at me, and I said to 
myself that I had made no mistake. He had on a 
Mexican scrape and a wide-brimmed hat ; but his 
figure and face answered well enough to my de- 
scription of him, though instead of side-whiskers 
he had a mustache and a chin-beard, as if he meant 
to be a Mexican through and through. 


" * Yes,' says he, looking up at me ; ' and have 
you any business with me ? ' 

" ' Well,' says I, ' I think I may say I have, since 
I've come some fifteen thousand miles to find you.' 
He stopped a bit and then said, * From England, 
Oh?' 'You are right, sir,' said I : 'but before I 
go further, and to be sure there's no mistake, I 
must ask you to be kind enough to give me an 
account of yourself your family and so forth so 
that I may know you are the man I'm sent to see, 
and no other.' ' And what if I refuse ? ' said he. 
' Then,' said I, ' all I'll have to do is to go back 
where I came from ; though I may tell you that if 
you are the gentleman in question it will be your 
loss, and a big loss too, not to let me know it.' 

" * As to that,' he says, ' I don't know that you can 
give me any thing I care to have, whatever you 
may have brought ; but if you want to know my 
history I always carry my papers about with me, 
and I've no objection to your looking them over.' 
And with that he took a wallet out of his 
pocket, and handed it to me. I opened it and 
examined the papers one after the other. 'They 
seem all right, sir,' I said, 'and I suppose I may 
as well take it that every thing is correct and reg- 
ular ; ' so then I went on and told him what had 
happened, how his brother was dead, and he the 
heir of the property. He heard it all with a sort 
of strange look on his face ; and when I got through 
at first he said nothing at all. He got up and took 
a turn up and down, smoking his cigar ; but at 

1 76 A DILEMMA. 

last he comes back, and says he, " Who's the next 
heir after me ? " 

" I didn't see just what that had to do with it ; 
but I said I supposed it would be his cousin or 
whatever relative was nearest his own blood. 
'Well,' says he, chucking away his cigar, ' who- 
ever he is, he may have it. I'm very well satisfied 
as I am, and I won't have any thing to do with it.' 
Those were his very words, and you may suppose 
I was a bit surprised. 'You won't have any thing 
to do with a hundred and fifty thousand pounds ? ' 
says I. ' Not with that hundred and fifty thousand, 
at any rate,' said he. 'But what are you going to 
do about it ? ' says I ; ' the property is yours, and 
it's entailed, and you can't get rid of it.' ' Oh 
don't trouble yourself about that,' said he, with a 
laugh. " It won't be buried in the ground. And 
if the worst comes to the worst, how do you know 
that I am the right man after all ? I have got the 
papers, and I am called by that name ; but you 
yourself said that you never saw me before ; and 
you could not swear that I am not somebody else. 
I should have to go to England, in any case, to 
prove my identity. But I prefer to stay here ; and 
that's the end of it ! ' 

" It was the queerest case ever I heard of, and 
I didn't know what to make of it. I sat there and 
talked and argued with him for an hour and more, 
but nothing I could say made a bit of difference. 
He wouldn't have the property at any price, and 
he didn't care what came of it. I gave it over, at 


last, for the time being, and passed the night in 
the hut ; the next morning I tried him again, but 
he was as obstinate as ever. Well, I didn't believe 
yet that he meant all he said, so I made up my 
mind to give him a bit more rope. I told him I 
was going to stay in Mexico a week or two, and 
let him understand that if he wanted to change his 
mind, he'd have an opportunity ; and then I said 
good-day and rode off. I went back to Mexico, 
and put up at the hotel, and thought it all over ; 
but the more I thought about it the less I could 
make it out. If he was the right man (and every 
thing about him showed he was) it didn't seem in 
human nature to refuse the property ; and if he 
was an impostor, who had somehow managed to 
get hold of the right man's papers, and to person- 
ate him why, then, what on earth could his object 
be if not to get the property ? If any thing, that 
would be the strangest case of the two. 

" I had been back from Pachuca just a week 
when I was told that there was a lady in the house 
an English lady that wanted to see me. Thinks 
I, ' Now, what does this mean ? ' I brushed myself 
up a bit and went down to find out. She was sit- 
ting at a table in the patio, with a cup of tea in 
front of her. She was a good-looking woman, and 
as I judged might be something under thirty years 

" I made my bow, and she asked me to be seated. 
After a little talk, says she, ' I hear you have been 
inquiring after Mr, Valentine ' giving his full 


name, you understand. I told her that I had. 
' Did you find him ? ' asked she, l I did,' said I. 
She seemed a bit excited or anxious, and I began 
to have my own ideas ; but I wasn't prepared for 
what she said next. ' I wish you to know that I 
am his wife,' she said, * and whatever is his business 
is mine also.' ' I am bound to inform you, madam,' 
I said at last, * that his family has no knowledge of 
his marriage ; they believe him to be a bachelor.' 
' I am aware of that,' said she, ' but fortunately I 
am in a position to prove what I say'; and with 
that she took her marriage certificate out of her 
pocket and showed it to me ; it was as regular as 
the multiplication table ; she was married to him 
three or four years ago, in New Zealand. I hadn't 
a word to say. ' I understand he has come into his 
property,' said she. * Well, as to that, madam/ 
said I. ' So he has ; but he has refused point- 
blank to have any thing to do with it.' She turned 
white and looked at me very sharp. ' What do 
you mean ? ' she cried out. * Just what I tell you,' 
said I ; and then I went on and gave her the story 
of my visit to him. 

" Well, that seemed to floor her, at first ; she kept 
making exclamations, and saying things half to her- 
self, and biting her lips ; it was plain she didn't 
know what to make of it any more than I did. ' I 
must see him ! ' she cried out at last, jumping up 
from the table ; ' I must see him, and ' Speak of 
an angel, madam,' says I ; ' here he is ! ' and sure 
enough, by the funniest chance in the world, in 


walked Mr. Valentine into the patio at that moment. 
I don't think he was overpleased at the meeting ; 
but it was too late to get out of it, so he came up ; 
and I noticed he only glanced at the lady, as if she 
was some one he had never seen before ; then he 
gave me good-day, and took my hand. It was a 
bit awkward ; I said, * I suppose you will wish to 
converse with your wife alone, sir ; I will leave 
you.' * My wife !' says he ; 'I was not aware 
there was such a person ! ' 'Is not this lady your 
wife ? ' cried I. He stared at her like a man 
astonished, and then at me. ' I never saw her till 
this moment,' said he. ' Come, sir,' said I, * I have 
just seen the certificate of her marriage with you.' 
' Oh, it is all a mistake,' put in the lady. ' I was 
never married to this gentleman ; I never saw him; 
I am the wife of Mr. Valentine.' ' Well, and this 
gentleman is Mr. Valentine,' said I. * He may 
have the same name, but he is another person 
altogether,' said she. * As to that,' said I, * you 
must settle it between you ; Mr. Valentine's papers 
are all correct, and there is only one estate in 
England with the name that his bears. * But I 
have proved,' cried the lady, ' that I am the wife of 
the heir of that estate ; and if this gentleman says 
he is the heir, I denounce him as an impostor ! " 

" At that, I looked at Mr. Valentine. He had 
kept his eyes on the lady all the while, with a sort 
of perplexed expression ; but now he smiled very 
quietly, and said he, ' I think I have heard of this 
lady before. I wish to say nothing against her. 


She seems to be in a dilemma from which there 
is no way of extricating her. If she wishes to lay 
a claim to the estates, she can do so only by 
acknowledging me as her huband. But you have 
just heard us both declare that we have never seen 
each other before. But she also declares me an 
imposter. Suppose I am ; she must find the real 
man before she can profit by the inheritance. If I 
am not he, where is he ? Grant, on the other hand, 
that I am he, and this lady is my wife; I still decline 
to touch a penny of the hundred and fifty thousand 
pounds ; and what I will not accept she cannot 
share. That is logic and law both, I believe ?'" 

" Upon my word, Henry Clifton," ejaculated 
Mr. Bob Stapleton at this juncture, " this is about 
as peculiar a yarn as ever I listened to! It's as 
good as a play, and better too. When you get to 
New York, do you go straight to a manager and 
offer to sell it to him ; and if he don't give you a 
good price for it I'm a Dutchman ! " 

" Good or bad," returned Mr. Clifton, " it hap- 
pened just as I tell it you. When Mr. Valentine 
said that, the lady seemed staggered for a moment; 
and then all at once she called out, * I see how it 
is! You two have arranged this thing between you ! 
You are in a conspiracy to cheat me ! You have 
plotted to get hold of this property and share it 
between you, and keep me out ! But I will have 
my rights in spite of you ! I will denounce both 
of you to the authorities. For all I know, you may 
have murdered my husband, and taken his papers 


But you will not succeed; I will expose you, and 
you shall be punished ! ' 

" Well, that made me a little angry, and I told 
her that if she wanted to charge me with conspir- 
acy she had better set about it at once, and the 
sooner the better, for I knew who would get the 
worst of it. As for Mr. Valentine, he didn't lose 
his temper, but he said very quietly, * I am not a 
murderer, madam, and you will only waste your 
time in trying to prove me such. But I can assure 
you that, if I am not your husband and I cer- 
tainly am not no such person exists in the world. 
Neither can you sustain the charge that I am aim- 
ing either in combination with Mr. Clifton, or 
alone to keep you out of this property. I told 
him a week ago, before you arrived in Mexico, 
that I would have nothing to do with it ; and to 
that determination I shall adhere. The utmost 
you can attempt to do is to show that I am not 
Mr. Valentine ; and that you are welcome to at- 
tempt. But I warn you beforehand that all the 
evidence is on my side, and that you will fail. I 
advise you to go back whence you came, and to 
give up any idea of ever becoming a great English 
lady. Meanwhile, I have the honor to wish you 
good morning ! ' 

" He bowed to her as polite and cool as you 
please, and walked out of the patio and I fol- 
lowed him. * What in the name of wonder does all 
this mean ? ' I asked him. 

" ' Really, Mr. Clifton,' said he, ' I can give you 

1 82 A DILEMMA. 

no explanation. You have heard the whole con- 
versation, and you must draw your own conclusions 
from it, as I do mine. If you believe that that 
lady is the wife, or the widow, of the Mr. Valentine 
who has inherited the estate, you are at liberty to 
act in accordance with your conviction. The most 
difficult thing will probably be to make other 
people believe as you do.' 

" < That's all right, Mr. Valentine,' said I, * but 
there is one thing you can tell me. You said just 
now that you had heard speak of that lady before, 
and the inference was that what you had heard 
was not to her credit. Now what did you mean by 
that ? ' 

" * Well, Mr. Clifton,' said he, ' perhaps I may 
have heard of her before, or perhaps I may be mis- 
taken in thinking I had ; but I don't see why the 
inference to be drawn is necessarily a bad one. At 
all events, she has never done me any harm, and I 
don't believe she ever will, or can ; and I have no 
present intention of harming her, either by word 
or deed. As I said before, you must follow your 
own judgment ; as for me, what I have said I 
stick to, and nothing will change me.' By that 
time we had got to the door of the office of the 
Secretary of the Interior, who was a friend of his, 
and he went in and left me in the street, to do my 
own thinking." 

"Well, and what was the upshot of it all?" in- 
quired Mr. Stapleton. 

" It isn't ended yet," Mr. Clifton replied ; " but 


from facts that subsequently came to my knowl- 
edge I came to the conclusion that I might learn 
something by coming on to New York. I don't 
mind telling you that I have formed a theory about 
the case, and I think I have a clue ; but what the 
clue and the theory are it would, of course, be pre- 
mature to state. I expect to be in the city for a 
month or so, and if, as is probable, I run across 
you again, why, there may be something new to 
say. But that's all for to-night." 

" Now that I think of it, it's growing a little 
chilly, too," rejoined Mr. Stapleton, " and as the 
Governor of South Carolina once remarked to the 
Governor of North Carolina, ( it's a long time be- 
tween drinks.' I have some acquaintance with the 
head steward on board this boat ; suppose we go 
down-stairs ?" 

Apparently Mr. Clifton accepted this suggestion ; 
for when, a few minutes later, the bearded gentle- 
man pushed open his blind, the two camp-stools 
were vacant. 



JUDGE KETELLE and his young wife took 
up their abode in a house not far from the 
southern boundary of Central Park, taking Mrs. 
Nolen to live with them. The wedding aroused 
considerable interest in New York city, the beauty 
and accomplishments of the bride being almost as 
well known as the forensic and judicial ability of 
her husband. The newly married couple did not 
entertain, however, owing to the recent domestic 
misfortunes which had overtaken Mrs. Ketelle's 
family ; they received a few friends very quietly 
and informally, and made scarcely any calls. The 
judge had not been on the bench for some years 
previous to his marriage ; but he had a large and 
important practice as a barrister, and he now 
devoted himself to this with more assiduity than 
ever. Report had it that he and his wife were 
very happy together, and though some people 
admired the judge's intrepidity in venturing to ap- 
propriate a lady so beautiful and so much his 
junior, there was nothing in their relations to indi- 
cate that his choice had not been as prudent as it 
certainly was enviable. 


The wedding had taken place about the first of 
October^ on the return of the Nolens and Judge 
Ketelle from the seaside ; and after a short honey- 
moon they settled in their new dwelling early in 
November. The judge attended to business down 
town every day ; his wife spent her mornings at 
home, and in the afternoons was fond of driving 
out in the park in her brougham, occasionally ac- 
companied by her mother, but more often alone. 
The weather was cold but very fine, and the hue 
of the autumn leaves was unusually beautiful. 
But those who happened to see the face of the 
young wife at the window of her brougham forgot 
all about the autumnal foliage and had their 
thoughts filled with the memory of another kind of 

One afternoon, while passing the children's 
play-ground, Mrs. Ketelle caused the coachman to 
stop his horses, in order that she might watch the 
little creatures at their games ; for nothing pleased 
her more than the spectacle of children having a 
good time. After remaining a few minutes, she 
was about to give the order to move on, when her 
attention was attracted to a gentleman who was 
standing with his back partly turned towards her 
in a foot-path that here approached the car- 
riage-way. He was tall and well made ; he wore 
a thin cape ulster of dark tweed, and a black felt 
hat with a curved brim a sort of fashionable 
modification of the picturesque Tyrolese head- 
gear. Of his face she could see only the outline 


of the cheek and brow ; he had a mustache, and 
a short, closely cut beard. 

Why was it that the sight of this man produced 
so strange and powerful an impression upon her ? 
She asked herself this question, but could give it 
no satisfactory answer. Surely he was not an ac- 
quaintance of hers ! And yet there was some- 
thing about him that not only arrested her gaze ? 
but sent a thrill to her heart, as if particles 
of ice and fire were being driven through it. Her 
hands became cold and her teeth chattered, and 
yet her cheeks were burning, and drops stood on 
her forehead. 

The gentleman turned slowly to resume his 
walk. As his face came more fully into view, Mrs. 
Ketelle caught her breath with a sharp sound, and 
her fingers grasped the frame of the door convul- 
sively. "She could not cry out ; her lips were 
parched and her tongue was dry. But her whole 
soul went out to him through her eyes. Was it a 
dream ? Was he a phantom ? Could she be de- 
ceived by some marvellous resemblance ? Oh, 
would he pass on without seeing her, and vanish 
forever ! 

He had, in fact, walked on several paces, and in 
another minute he would he out of reach. But 
either accident or one of those mysterious mental 
impressions which many persons have experienced 
in some epoch of their lives caused him suddenly 
to pause, turn about, and look directly at the face 
in the carriage window. Their eyes met for a 


moment ; then the woman covered her face with 
her hands, and sank back in her seat with a breath- 
less cry of terror, bewilderment, and intolerable 

The gentleman, who also seemed pale and agi- 
tated, came over to the road and laid his hand on 
the carriage door. " Drive on ! " he said to the 
coachman, and with the words he entered the car- 
riage and closed the door after him. Then he 
pulled down the shades over the windows. The 
coachman spoke to his horses, and they moved on. 
. This episode had taken place in a short space of 
time,and with very little visible manifestation of feel- 
ing on either side. Nevertheless, it had not entirely 
escaped observation. Two men had been saunter- 
ing along the path side by side, apparently whiling 
away the hour or two that separated them from 
dinner. One of them was a tall, slender, graceful 
fellow, with sharp but well-molded features, black 
hair and moustache, and a pair of restless black 
eyes. He was dressed quietly, in dark colors, and 
yet there was a certain jauntiness in his appearance 
that suggested the sporting man or the sharper. 
His companion was a considerably older man, and 
his face was of a much coarser cast ; his clothes 
were new, but fitted him ill, and he wore a flashy 
necktie and watch-chain. His small gray eyes had 
noted the little occurrence above described, and as 
the carriage rolled away he nudged his friend 
with his elbow. 

" Well, what now ?" said the latter. 


" Drd you see that ? " 


" Well, your wits are wool-gathering, it seems. 
Did you see that fellow get into that carriage ? " 

" What carriage ? " 

" That carriage that was standing here just now 
with the lady in it. Why, what's got into you, 
Horrie ? Don't you know who she was ? " 

" No I don't. How should I ? " 

" Well, you might find it money in your pocket 
some day, that's all. Swell women like that don't 
drive out alone in the Park for nothing, I reckon ! 
And may be, rather than have their husbands 
know what they're after, they might see their way 
to paying an obliging person a consideration to 
keep his mouth shut." 

" Oh, stuff ! That business is played out. The 
swells are on to it, and the first word that's said 
they ring the bell for the police. I don't want any 
of that in mine, thank you ! And if you want any 
one to believe you know all the ladies that drive in 
the Park in their own broughans, you must find 
some greener hand than I am." 

"I know who she was, just the same," retorted 
the other. " She's the girl that married that fellow 
Ketelle, a month ago." 

" She ? the sister of that " he stopped. 

" The sister of Jerrold Nolen ! You remember 
him, if I ain't mistaken," said the short man, with 
a chuckle. 

" Yes, I remember him ; and when the accounts 


are evened up I'll remember you too, Jack Grush, 
and don't you forget it ! " exclaimed the black- 
haired man, with a sullen fierceness. The fellow 
he had called Grush laughed but made no reply. 
" So that was his sister, was it ? " the other went 
on, muttering to himself ; " and she's married to 
the judge a month ago, and taking fellows to drive 
in her brougham ! " He twisted the ends of his 
moustache, and switched the toe of his boot, as he 
sauntered along, with the light cane he carried. 

Let us follow Mrs. Ketelle's carriage. 

After the first few minutes of speechless and 
wild emotion were passed, Pauline relinquished 
her brother's hand, and shrank away from him to 
her side of the carriage. A reaction of feeling had 
come over her. She felt a sort of indignation that 
she should have been all these months grieving for 
a calamity that had never happened. 

" Why did you never let us know that you were 
alive ? " she demanded. 

" I put it off from day to day," he said. " I had 
not decided, at first, what to do. I thought of 
coming home ; then I thought, that since I had 
been reported dead it was better to let it be 
believed so for a time, until the truth about the 
robbery should be discovered. Besides, I knew 
that detectives would be after me, and I feared that 
a letter addressed to you or to the judge might 
betray me. At last when I found something to do 
I decided to wait until I was certain of success 
before communicating with you. And finally, cir- 


cumstances led to my coming back here unexpect- 
edly, myself." 

" But Valentine might have written, if you could 

" Valentine ! Why, Pauline, don't you know 
don't you see it was Valentine who was drowned ! " 

" Valentine ! Oh, God forgive me ! how I have 
wronged him ! " she turned aside and rested her 
face against the side of the carriage, and sobbed 
for a few moments passionately. But she was never 
one to be long mastered by emotion. She forced 
back her tears, and said, " Tell me ! tell me all ! " 

" The whole affair came about by an accident, 
without any prearrangement at all. When I went 
down to the pier of the steamship, Val had sug- 
gested my making one or two alterations in my 
dress and appearance, so that if any one were on 
the lookout for me I should pass for Valentine. 
Afterwards, on the steamer, we found that people 
were giving us each other's names, and we let it 
be so. We occupied the same state-room, and I 
used his things I had brought very little of my 
own with me. On the voyage he told me all his 
private history : I afterwards thought that if he 
had been consciously training me to personate him, 
he could not have done it more effectually. Then 
came the day of the hurricane. We were close 
together all the time until within a few minutes of 
the time the wind changed. We were in the cabin ; 
there was a lantern burning, but it was almost quite 
dark. Val left me and went to our room, I could 


see him there ; he seemed to be writing on some- 
thing that he held up before him. Afterwards he 
went towards the steward's room, holding on by 
the iron pillars of the cabin as he went. That was 
the last I saw of him. He must have gone on deck 
for what, I can't imagine and been swept over- 
board. No one knew any thing of it until the next 

" Now I know now I know ! " murmured Pauline, 
pressing her hands over her heart. "It was he 
he did not forget I might have^ known it ! " 

" What might you have known ? " asked her 

" Nothing ; go on. When you found that he 
was dead, what then ? " 

" We had agreed, before, to go to Mexico. He 
had letters and papers. I took them, and went, 
travelling as Valentine Martin. I saw that in that 
way I should get a standing in the place which I 
could not have obtained for myself, and that the 
report of my death would throw off the police. I 
was cordially received in Mexico, and put in the 
way of doing some valuable business. Every thing 
prospered with me, as it had never done before. 
The story is too long to tell fully now ; but in the 
midst of my success an extraordinary thing occurred ; 
an English agent of the Martin estate came 
over and told me supposing me to be Valentine 
that by my brother's death I was the heir. I did 
not wish to enter into explanations, so I simply 
told him that I did not want the estate, and that it 


might go to the next of kin. I had forgotten that 
Val had a wife, though, of course, I knew all about 
her. She had ruined his life in more ways than 
one, and was no better than she should be ; but if 
his death were known she would be entitled to a 
share of the estate. It seems she had got wind of 
the English agent's business, and had followed him 
from New Zealand. I had a curious interview with 
her ; she charged me finally with having made 
away with her husband in order, by personating 
him, to get his property, and treated my assertion 
that I was not going to touch the property as mere 
buncombe. But the next day I got a letter 
from her in which she actually offered, in case I 
would make common cause with her, to go to 
England, prove her marriage to Valentine, get the 
estate, and then divide with me !" 

" Poor Valentine ! " murmured Pauline, with a 
trembling lip. 

" When I refused, she declared war, and said she 
would expose me as an impostor and probable 
murderer. She learned that I was manager and 
part owner of a valuable mine that I had discovered 
near Pachuca. The other owners were two high 
officers of the government. She went to them 
with her story. They told me what she had said. 
I had already made up my mind what to do ; I 
gave them the whole history of what had happened 
since Valentine and I had left New York ; I told 
them what he had told me about his wife ; and 
then I showed them the letter she had just written 


me. I knew I was risking every thing in making a 
clean breast of it ; but the fact was I was tired of 
living under a name that did not belong to me, 
and I wanted to put an end to it at all hazards." 

" I am glad of that ! " said Pauline. 

" They were rather upset by the story, and for a 
while I thought the affair would go against me. 
But I suspect they considered me too useful a man 
to lose ; I was making a great deal of money for 
them, and doing all the work ; and then the 
woman's letter tipped the beam. They said, 
finally, that they would accept me for what I was, 
if I could give them satisfactory proof that I was 
what I declared myself to be. Let me show letters 
or vouchers from reputable persons in New York, 
bearing out my account of myself, and they would 
accept me as a full equivalent for what I had pre- 
tended to be. I had a power of attorney that Val 
had given me on the steamer, but of course I could 
not tell them what had led to my leaving New York ; 
I could not ask any one here for a certificate of good 
character until my name has been cleared of the 
charge against it. But it wouldn't do to hesitate; so 
I said, on the spur of the moment, that I would go 
to New York, get the evidence they required, and 
return to them with it. So here I am ; but I over- 
heard some conversation, coming down on the boat, 
between the English agent and a New York detec- 
tive, which made it seem probable that my affairs 
will be investigated whether I like it or not, and 
that meanwhile the true story of how the robbery 


was committed has not been revealed yet. How" 

The answer to this question led to a long con- 
versation, in the course of which Percy learned all 
that had happened during his absence, including 
Pauline's marriage. The search for the thief for 
whose crime he had suffered had as yet met with 
no success ; but it was still being carried on. 
After discussing the matter, it v/as decided that 
Percy's presence in the city should, for the moment, 
be kept a secret from every one, even from his 
mother and Judge Ketelle. He should conceal 
himself in lodgings in the upper part of the town, 
where Pauline could visit him from time to time, 
and report the progress of affairs, and learn, if 
possible, from Inspector Byrnes, what were the 
object and result of the English agent Clifton's 
mission to New York. There might be difficulties 
in the way ; but the brother and sister were young, 
and believed that the longest lane has a turning. 

It was late when Pauline drove up to the door of 
her house, and, alighting, walked up the steps of 
the porch. Her mind was full of her brother ; and 
she did not notice the tall man with the black 
moustache who stood on the corner of the street, 
tapping his troot with his cane. 



HAVING seen the lady into the house, the man 
with the black mustachios turned en his heel 
and sauntered away. 

Black Horace (as he was known to his intimates) 
was not born to a criminal career, and his present 
position and character were the result partly of 
innate evil and partly of circumstances. He had 
received an excellent education and had graduated 
from the New York Medical School in good stand- 
ing. Up to that time, beyond a tendency to loose 
company and irregular habits, he had developed 
no noticeably bad tendencies. The chances were 
that he would outgrow his youthful follies and 
become'a useful member of society. 

Almost immediately upon his graduation, how- 
ever, his destiny took a sinister turn. At a parting 
supper with his comrades he got into a quarrel with 
one of them, ending in a scuffle in which blows 
were exchanged. The quarrel was patched up 
and the two antagonists shook hands and drank 
together, but Horace secretly bore a grudge and 
was determined to " get even," At the end of the 

I9 6 A CHECK. 

evening, his late antagonist being somewhat the 
worse for liquor, Horace volunteered to see him 
home. They walked off together, Horace revolving 
in his mind the scheme of some practical joke. 

That night Horace's companion was found insen- 
sible on his doorstep with the mark of a blow from 
a slung-shot behind his ear. He never entirely 
recovered consciousness, and died the next day 
after uttering the name of Horace Dupee. 

Horace was arrested on a charge of murder, and 
in default of bail was thrown into prison. After a 
long series of delays, extending over a year, he was 
brought to trial and acquitted. The evidence, 
though amounting to a strong probability, was not 
conclusive, and the jury gave him the benefit of the 
doubt. He went forth nominally a free man, but 
his social and professional career were blasted ere 
they had fairly begun. The shadow of the mark 
of Cain, if not the mark itself, was upon him. 

He might have changed his name and achieved 
success in another country. But half from sullen 
obstinacy, half from lack of business energy, he 
did not do this. Instead, he drifted into bad 
society and soon found himself in harmony with it. 
The class of society in which he had formerly 
moved ceased to know him. The police began to 
take an interest in him, but he was shrewd and 
cautious enough to avoid falling into their hands. 
Some of his escapes were very narrow, but up to 
the present time his photograph had not appeared 
in the Rogue's Gallery. In such a case, however, 

A CHECK. 197 

detection is certain to come sooner or later. Some 
oversight is committed, some " pal " turns State's 
evidence, or some fatality occurs. 

Since the time of his downfall Horace Dupee had 
wandered from place to place and lived in most 
States of the Union. But again and again he 
returned to New York, though he knew that he ran 
greater risks there than elsewhere. At the time we 
come up with him he had been absent from the 
city for nearly a year. It was on the day after his 
arrival that his companion, Grush, had called his 
attention to Mrs. Retelle. 

She was the sister of the man of whose murder 
he had been accused. This fact was sufficient to 
inspire him with animosity against her. He had 
never seen her before. The only member of the 
family with whom he had ever come in personal 
contact was Jerrold Nolen. But he owed them 
all a grudge. If it had not been for them he might 
have had a successful career. He was prepared, 
therefore, to do her whatever ill-turn came in his 
way. It was an additional motive that the ill-turn 
to her could be made of advantage to himself. 
Grush had suggested this, and though he had 
turned aside the suggestion, he considered it none 
the less. There was no need of letting Grush into 
the affair. In secret councils was safety. Besides 
Grush had no claims upon him quite the contrary ; 
he, too, was associated with whatever was disastrous 
in his life. He made up his mind to carry out his 
purpose without saying any thing to Grush about it. 

198 A CHECK. 

Several days passed. One afternoon Mrs. Ketelle 
left her house and took a Fourth Avenue car up- 
town. She left it in the neighborhood of Harlem, 
walked across town a couple of blocks, and entered 
the door of a small flat that formed part of an un- 
finished block on a side street. She remained there 
for upwards of an hour. Twilight was beginning 
to fall when she came out. 

She had not walked far when she heard a step 
behind her, and a voice said, " Good evening, Mrs. 
Ketelle. How is the judge to-day ? " 

She turned, and saw at her side a well-dressed 
man of dark complexion, who fixed his eyes upon 
her in a manner she did not like. But his knowl- 
edge of her name and of her husband led her to 
suppose that she must have met him somewhere 
and forgotten him. " You must excuse me, sir," 
she said, " but you have the advantage of me." 

" Indeed, I believe you are right," he answered, 
with a short laugh. " The advantage is all on my 
side. But tell me, Mrs. Ketelle, how does married 
life suit you ? Does the judge come up to your ex- 
pectations ? For my part, I should think twice 
before marrying a woman so much younger than 
myself. By the time you are coming into full 
bloom the judge will be in the sere and yellow 
leaf. But I suppose you know how to manage 
him. He hasn't betrayed any symptoms of the 
green-eyed monster yet, has he ? " 

This speech produced such astonishment in 
Pauline that she could not find words to interrupt 

A CHECK. 199 

it. But when the speaker paused she stood still 
and looked him curiously in the face. 

" You don't seem to be intoxicated," she said at 
length. " You may be crazy. Whatever you are, 
I advise you to go. I do not want you." 

" No, I suppose not," he replied, returning her 
glance insolently. " I am not the lucky man. The 
judge has no cause to be jealous of me. But, on 
the other hand, I may be of some use to him. Of 
course, it will be a pity to spoil your little game. 
You have managed it all so nicely, even to provid- 
ing him with lodgings ; and he is such a fine look- 
ing young fellow, and it is all so lovely and 
romantic. But, you see, I have a high regard for 
the judge, and I can't bear to see him made a fool 
of. These billings and cooings in the park, and 
assignations in flats they must be stopped. 
Society won't stand it. And the best way to stop 
it that I can think of is to tell Judge Ketelle." 

Pauline listened to all this attentively, at first 
with a dreadful fear that this unknown man had 
become acquainted with the fact that her brother 
had returned to New York. But as he went on 
she perceived that he supposed Percy to be her 
lover ; and then his object became clear. A deep 
blush overspread her face. That she should be 
thought capable, even by a wretch who did not 
know her, of an illicit intrigue, filled her with hor- 
ror and anger. But underneath this feeling there 
was another and a more powerful one. It was a 
feeling of relief and joy that her brother was safe, 

200 A CHECK. 

at least that she could save him by the sacrifice 
(so far as this man was concerned) of her reputa- 
tion as a pure woman. By letting him continue to 
suppose that it was an ordinary intrigue in which 
she was engaged, and paying him for his silence 
for she divined that it was for that purpose he had 
accosted her she could keep Percy's secret until 
the time arrived when it might safely be divulged. 
The sacrifice was perhaps as arduous a one as an 
honest woman could be called upon to make ; but 
there was no hesitation in her mind as to whether 
or not she should make it. 

" I have heard that there were such persons as 
you, but I never saw one before," she said. " You 
are a blackmailer, are you not? " 

There was something in her tone that touched 
a sore spot in him, callous and degraded though he 
had become. To see her beautiful face and angry 
eyes gazing straight into his, and to feel that her 
contempt for him was far too great for her to make 
any attempt to express it in words, was an experi- 
ence that even he found trying. He remembered, 
with a pang of hopeless rage, that he might have 
so lived as to have the right to meet this lovely 
woman on terms of social equality, and to win her 
respect and perhaps her regard. As it was, it was 
impossible for one human being to despise another 
more than she despised him. And yet, what right 
had she to despise him if she were herself repre- 
hensible before society ? The thought hardened 
him again. 

A CHECK. 201 

" I see you are up to business, as well as to some 
other things," he scud. " I have my living to 
make ; you are paid for by your husband and 
amuse yourself by deceiving him. If he divorces 
you, you may find out what it is to make your own 
way in the world ; as long as your good looks last 
no doubt it will be easy ; but after that you may 
be ready to take a few lessons from me. But 
meantime I intend to bleed you for what I want. 
As soon as you get tired of paying me, I shall go 
to the judge and you will go to the devil ! Is 
that plain ? " 

" Yes, I understand you. You will certainly 
earn your money," she remarked, with a smile that 
made him grind his teeth. " Well, then, I w ;i i pay 
you for your silence. Now, as to the ; mount. 
Have you thought about that ? " 

" You will hand over five hundred ollars this 
evening. I will let you know when I want any 

" No," she said decisively, " I will not give you 
five hundred dollars. That is absurd." 

11 Either that, or your husband knows all about 
your performances before he goes to bed to- 

" Very well. But recollect that by betraying me 
to him you will free me from every restraint and 
scruple. I suppose you don't need to be told that 
I am not kindly disposed toward you. The pleas- 
ure of destroying you would compensate me for 
the loss of social position you speak of. While 

202 A CHECK. 

you are with my husband, I shall be with Inspector 
Byrnes. I promise you faithfully that you shall 
suffer the utmost penalty of the law ; and after the 
law has done with you, I will take you in hand 
myself. When that time comes, you will wish that 
the law had kept you longer. You will never draw 
a breath that is not free from pain and terror as 
long as you live. Look at me, sir. Don't you 
think I mean what I say ? " 

The quietness of anger at white heat was in her 
eyes and voice, and it scared the man somewhat, 
as it would have scared a much more doughty ras- 
cal. He forced a laugh, and struck his boot with 
his cane. After a moment she turned and resumed 
her walk up the street. 

He remained where he was until she was half a 
block distant. Then he hastened after her and 
overtook her. 

" Look here, Mrs. Ketelle," he said, " business is 
business. I'm not a fool. Tell me what you can 
do, and I'll give you my answer." 

She replied at once, continuing her walking, but 
keeping her eyes upon him as she spoke. " I am 
allowed by my husband fifty dollars a week pocket- 
money. I will pay you twenty dollars a week, 
until, in my opinion, you have had enough. I will 
pay you your first month's wages in advance 
eighty dollars. You must be careful not to apply 
for more until the month is out. Those are my 

" They won't do ! " said he, blusteringly. " You'll 

A CHECK. 203 

pay me two hundred now and fifty a week, or it's 
no deal ! Come, now ! " 

" If you address me again, except to accept my 
proposition, I will have you arrested, come what 
may ! " The color rushed to her face and her 
eyes flashed. She was losing her temper, and she 
was evidently in earnest. 

He was silent a moment, and then shrugged his 
shoulders. "All right, I'll take it," he said. 
" Hand over the money." 

" I do not carry that amount in my purse," she 
returned quietly. 

" How am I to get it, then ? " 

" You will come to my house like any other per- 
son to whom things are paid. Did you think I 
was going to make appointments to meet you at 
the street corners, or in liquor saloons ? My hus- 
band will pay you." 

" Your husband ! Look here, Mrs. Ketelle, you 
are a smart woman ; but if you think you can play 
any game on me, you are mistaken. You have 
more at stake than I have. Don't try to bluff 

" If I have the most at stake, why do you feel 
uneasy? You will receive your money in that way, 
or not at all. It is just as you choose." 

They had now reached the corner of the avenue ; 
Pauline signalled the down-town car that was ap- 
proaching, and got in. The man followed her. 
She handed the conductor a double fare, remark- 
ing, " I am paying for that person." 

204 A CHECK. 

No conversation passed while they were in the 
car. Dupee was ill 'at ease, but he could not see 
but that he had the best of the situation. She 
could not afford to betray him. On the other 
hand, what if Judge Ketelle should happen to 
know him by sight ? No ; he was certain they had 
never met ; the judge had taken no part in his 
trial, either as witness or jurist. Besides, again, 
was it not her interest to protect him ? 

The car stopped, and they got out, and walked 
across to her house. The door was opened to her 
ring, and they entered. 

" Is Judge Ketelle in ? " she asked the servant. 

" Yes, madam. He has just gone into the 

" Sit down here," she said to Dupee, addressing 
him as if he were a tradesman's clerk who had 
called for his bill. " I will let you know when it 
is ready." 

She passed through a door on the right, leaving 
him there. Presently he heard her voice and an- 
other the judge's in conversation. Then she 
opened another door further up the hall and 
called to him, " Come this way, please." 

He went forward, and found himself in the 
library. The judge was seated at a writing-table on 
which stood a student's lamp. He was in the act 
of taking his check-book from a drawer. 

"What amount did you say, my dear?" he in- 
quired, suspending his pen over the inkstand. 

" Eighty dollars," she replied. 

A CHECK. 205 

The judge began to write. "What name?" he 
inquired, looking up at Dupee, who stood some- 
what in the shadow. 

" What is your name ? " Mrs. Ketelle repeated. 

Dupee now fancied he knew why she had brought 
him to the house. In the first place, the check 
could be traced ; then the judge could be called to 
prove that it had been paid to him ; and, finally, 
she had hoped to surprise him into betraying his 
name. But he had gone too far to go back ; and 
as for the name, that was easily managed. It was 
partly from a malicious motive that he answered : 

" My name is John Crush." 

" John Grush," echoed the judge, writing it 
down. He signed the check, and extended it 
toward Dupee. " Have you receipted the bill ? " 
he asked. 

Dupee looked at Mrs. Ketelle. " I did not get 
a bill," she said. " The check is itself a receipt, is 
it not?" 

" Yes, yes, to be sure," rejoined her husband. 
" Well, that's all right, then ; that's all ! " 

" You may go," said Mrs. Ketelle, glancing at 
Dupee as if he were a piece of furniture. When 
she heard the street door close, she went round to 
her husband and kissed him. " You are very 
good," she said. 

" What to give you eighty dollars without ask- 
ing you what you had bought ? " he returned, 

" Yes ; but you shall know some time." 

206 A CHECK:. 

" My dearest, I am not curious : I only want you 
to love me. Do you know," he added, " I can't 
get it out of my head that I have met that fellow 
that clerk who was here just now that I have 
seen him somewhere before, and under odd cir- 
cumstances, too." 

" Where ? " said she, startled and deeply inter- 

" Hum ! I can't fix it ! Maybe I shall remember 
later. But it's no consequence, after all. Now one 
more kiss, and I'll go and get ready for dinner." 



THE next morning, while the judge and Pauline 
were sitting over their breakfast, he said, " By 
the way, my darling, you remember my saying 
yesterday that that person the black-haired man, 
whom I paid a check to reminded me of some 
one ? " 

Pauline, who had been sitting in a listless and 
pensive posture, instantly brightened up, and 
expectation sparkled in her eyes. 

" Yes, I remember ! Have you thought who 
it is ? " 

" It occurred to me last night, or early this 
morning, while I was lying awake. The name he 
gave yesterday evening John something ' 

" John Crush." 

" John Grush yes ; that was not the name of 
the person I am thinking of. I don't mean to 
imply that his name may not have been John 
Grush. But he certainly bears a remarkable re- 
semblance to another man whom you, I think, 
never saw, but whose name will be familiar to you." 

" Who ? tell me ! " 


The judge was a little surprised at her impa- 
tience. " Mind you, it's only a fancy of mine," he 
said. " Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned it ; 
but it had such an odd relation to a matter very 
near to you. Of course, however, it is impossible 
that the person who was here last night can be the 
man I refer to." 

" But who is it?" 

" He reminded me of Horace Dupee," said the 
judge. " Of course you know whom I mean. I 
was not personally engaged in the trial, but I 
dropped into the court one day, and watched the 
proceedings for half an hour. That was the only 
occasion on which I ever saw Dupee. He was a 
striking looking fellow, and I retained an unusually 
distinct memory of his features. This man Crush 
looks a good deal older than Dupee did though, 
to be sure, it was several years ago." 

" Will you have some more coffee, dear ? " asked 

" No more, thank you. I'll go and smoke a 
cigar, and then . . . How is your mother feeling 
this morning?" 

" About the same. I have an idea it might be 
good for her to get up to breakfast in the morn- 
ings. I think she could, if she tried. Perhaps a 
stimulus of some sort would benefit her some 
great piece of news, for instance." 

" Possibly. But I hardly think there is any news 
that would be likely to interest your mother. She 
hardly ever so much as looks in a newspaper." 


" I don't mean news of that kind. But if, for 
instance, she should hear that the thief who com- 
mitted the robbery of which Percy was accused 
was caught and convicted ; or (if it were possible) 
that Percy himself is not dead, but had in some 
strange way escaped ! " 

" Ah, yes ; such news would give her fresh life, 
no doubt. But we must not let our imagination 
take so wide a range." 

" It is not impossible. Why may not Percy be 
alive ? No one has seen his dead body. Why may 
he not return some day? Men have often returned 
who were thought to be lost for years and years." 

" Why, my dear, do not let your mind run on such 
thoughts ! You are excited already. We must 
not hope to see Percy again." 

After a pause, Pauline said, " If he were to 
come back, do you think he would be arrested on 
that old charge ? " 

" Speaking from the legal point of view, I sup- 
pose he would be." 

" But suppose he were to come back suppose 
he were in New York now would it be unsafe for 
him to be seen or to have it known ? Would he 
have to keep in hiding until his innocence could 
be proven ? " 

" My dearest wife," replied the judge, gently, 
" the law can not be affected by sentiment. If it 
were so, it would cease to be the law. I do not 
say that, in ceasing to be the law, it might not, in 
certain instances, become something better and 


higher. Only in certain instances, mind you ! As 
to Percy's case, there is no reason to suppose that 
he would be treated with any special severity. 
Quite the contrary. It is almost certain that the 
original prosecutor would not appear ; and the 
government would scarcely take up the matter. 
No ; Percy would be arrested, and certain formal- 
ities would be gone through with, and but, bless 
my soul, I am talking as if the poor boy were still 
in this world ! God bless him ! He is far beyond 
the reach of w r orldly justice or injustice now ! " 

With these words the good judge got up, and 
after kissing his wife's hand, in a chivalrous fash- 
ion of his, he went into the library to smoke his 

Pauline loved her husband, but she was glad to 
be alone at that moment. She was wrought up to 
a high pitch or excitement, and felt the necessity 
of dealing with her thoughts and emotions in pri- 
vate. She went up to her boudoir and locked her- 
self in. 

Since the occurrence of the day before, she had 
more than once been on the point of revealing the 
whole matter to her husband. Had it concerned 
herself alone, she would have done so at the out- 
set. But the secret was Percy's in the first place ; 
and she could not tell how she had been black- 
mailed without revealing his presence in the city. 
No doubt the judge would keep the secret, for her 
sake if for no other reason ; but she had reflected 
that it could do no good to Percy to have him 


know it ; and if Percy's presence should happen to 
be discovered in any other way it might prove 
awkward for the judge to have been found in the 
position of sheltering a fugitive from justice. . On 
the other hand, she could not tell Percy of the 
insult that had been put upon her, because he 
would undoubtedly sacrifice every thing to inflict 
summary punishment upon the blackmailer. She 
had therefore decided to pay the latter a sum of 
money, giving him to understand that no more 
would be forthcoming for a month ; and in the 
course of that month she intended to turn all her 
energies to the task of clearing Percy, by some 
means or other, of the old charge which so ham- 
pered and obstructed him. She would then be 
free to deal with the blackmailer at her leisure ; 
and she intended to punish him to the full extent 
of the law. 

But the revelation of the blackmailer's identity 
changed the whole aspect of the case. To Pauline 
it had been totally unexpected ; and yet in looking 
back she could fancy that she had known him 
intuitively from the first. Be that as it might, it 
was a triumph more complete than she had ever 
dared to anticipate. Dupee was the man who had 
murdered her brother Jerrold ; he (as she believed) 
was the man who had cast a nearly fatal shadow 
over the career of Percy ; and he, again, delivered 
himself, bound hand and foot, into her power by 
perpetrating upon her the crime of blackmail. She 
had him securely, for though he had given a false 


name the judge would be able to identify him as 
the recipient of the check, and the case against him 
would thus be proved. He would be arrested on 
that charge, and then it would go hard but the whole 
truth should come out. She regarded Percy as 
being as good as free, and was strongly impelled to 
go and tell him the story at once ; but, on second 
thought, she decided to wait until the probability 
had been made a certainty, and then bring him 
news in which there should be no element of con- 
jecture. She wished, moreover, to enjoy the 
pleasure of managing the affair herself, without 
either her husband's or her brother's help. 

Having determined in her own mind her plan of 
proceedings, she waited until her husband had 
started on his daily trip to his office, and then she 
put on her cloak and bonnet and went out her- 

It was a fine, clear forenoon. It was not the 
first time she had visited Police Headquarters, and 
she knew the way thither. The squalid denizens 
of Bleecker and Mulberry streets stared at the 
handsome lady as she passed by, but she was too 
much preoccupied by the matter in hand to notice 
their observation. She mounted the steps of the 
big white-faced building with a light heart, and 
asked to be admitted to see Inspector Byrnes. 

She had just put the question to the sergeant 
when the Inspector came out, in hat and overcoat. 
He recognized her immediately, and lifted his hat 
with a smile. 


" You are going out," she said. " When can I 
see you ? " 

" I am not going out," was his reply. " I am 
going to ask you to come into my office and have a 
talk. If you had not come here i might have called 
on you to-day. Come in." And he conducted her 
to the inner room. 

" Now, then," he said, when they were seated, 
" what is the news ? " 

" It is you who should have news for me," she 
returned, smiling. " I'm sure you have had time 
to find out a dozen such mysteries as the one I 
asked you about." 

The Inspector wore an amused look. "When 
you want to bamboozle an old hand like me," he 
said, "you must first of all learn to command your 
face. You must not look happy if you expect me 
to believe that you are miserable. If you have lost 
a brother you must not look as if you had found 
one ! " 

Pauline blushed and got a little frightened. " It 
was not my brother that I asked you to find, In- 
spector Byrnes," she said. 

" No ; the brother was to be thrown in, I sup- 
pose ! This is fine weather we are having just 
now, Mrs. Ketelle," he added in another tone. 
" Capital for exercise ! " 

" I beg your pardon." 

He laughed. "You live up near the Park," he 
said. "Would it be too far for you to walk up to 
1 25th Street, or that neighborhood ?" 


" To 1 25th Street?" 

" By the way, that reminds me of something ; 
perhaps you may be able to enlighten me. There 
is an English friend of mine in town, a gentleman 
by the name of Clifton. He is over here to look 
after the interests of a valuable English estate. It 
seems that the hereditary owner of this estate late- 
ly deceased, and it became necessary to find the 
next man in the succession. It was known 
that he had gone to New Zealand, but upon inves- 
tigation there it appeared that he had left on a 
visit to this country. Finally news of him was re- 
ceived from Mexico. Does the story interest you ? " 

" Let me hear," she said. 

" Well, in Mexico a man answering to his name 
was found ; but, on being told of his inheritance, 
he declared that he would have nothing to do with 
it. That seemed odd ; for people are not in the 
habit of throwing away three-quarters of a million 
of money. Just then a person appeared on the 
scene who affirmed that this man was not the per- 
son he represented himself to be at all, but an im- 
postor. That seemed possible in one way ; but in 
the other way, an impostor would be the last man 
in the world whom one would expect to let a great 
property slip between his fingers. My English 
friend was puzzled ; but he knew that this myste- 
rious gentleman had lately been in New York, and 
it occurred to him that it might be a good plan to 
come on here and see if he could learn any thing 
more about him. 


" Now, it so happens that I have an acquaintance 
in Mexico who makes a point of knowing what 
goes on there, and whenever he hears of any thing 
that he thinks might interest me he drops me a 
line, or sends a telegram, if there is any hurry. He 
had heard about this affair I speak of, and also 
that the mysterious gentleman had had an inter- 
view with some government officials, and immedi- 
ately afterwards had left Mexico, en route for the 
United States. He telegraphed this information, 
together with the alleged name of the mysterious 
gentleman. It was a name I had heard before, and 
I had even met the gentleman himself. So, when 
the steamer was announced, I took half an hour, 
and went down to the wharf to say good-day to 
him. And then, Mrs. Ketelle, a curious thing hap- 

He paused and fixed his eyes on her. She sat 
before him with her hands tightly clasped in her 
lap, her lips compressed, and her eyes dark with 

" The gentleman whom I saw," continued the 
Inspector, " was not the one named in the tele- 
gram, but it was an intimate friend of his, whom I 
had also met before. He had, however, been re- 
ported dead. But seeing him alive and well, 
though somewhat changed in appearance, I came 
to the conclusion that perhaps a mistake had been 
made, and that it was the friend who had died 

But Pauline could restrain herself no longer. 
She lifted her hands slightly and let them fall again. 


" He was a dear friend of mine," she said, while 
the tears came into her eyes ; " he was a good 
friend to Percy. I see you know all, Inspector ; 
you seem to know every thing ! What are you 
going to do with him ? " 



WHAT am I going to do with him ? " the In- 
spector repeated. " Why, I have been under 
the impression that he was already in the best of 
hands, and would need no attentions from me ! " 

" Ah, don't laugh at me ! If you mean harm to 
him, let me know it. It was by my advice that he 
kept in hiding. If he were arrested here, it would 
ruin his position in Mexico, even if he were released 
again immediately." 

' Now, Mrs. Ketelle, let us understand each 
other," said the Inspector, becoming grave and 
business-like. " You asked me, a year ago, to 
clear the memory of your brother, whom you 
believed to be dead, of the stain that had been put 
upon it, by discovering and punishing the real per- 
petrator of the crime he was accused of. I told 
you that I would do what I could, and I have kept 
my word. By and by you discover that your brother 
is not dead after all, and is in New York. Don't 
you think it would have been a kind and courteous 
act on your part to have come to me and told me 
of it?" 


" He is my brother," was her reply. " I could 
think of nothing before his welfare. I have told 
no one that he is here, or that he is alive not 
even my mother nor my husband. I know that you 
are an officer of the law, and that when you saw 
your duty you would have no choice but to execute 
it. I hoped that the real criminal would be found, 
and so all turn out right." 

" I don't know as I ought to expect you to care 
more for the law than you do for your brother," 
remarked the detective, stroking his chin ; " and 
perhaps I should feel complimented that you 
expected the real criminal, as you call him, to be 
tracked and captured out of hand. But America 
is a large place, and the police have a number of 
things to look after ; and, as you know, it is one 
thing to suspect a man, and another to convict him. 
As to Mr. Percy Nolen, I will only say, at present, 
that I have thought it sufficient to keep one eye on 
him ; his arrest is not necessary at this stage of the 

' I thank you, Inspector Byrnes," Pauline said, 
" whether you considered me in your action or not. 
But have you heard nothing of of Horace Dupee ?" 

The Inspector raised his head and contemplated 
her gravely. 

" So you continue to think it was Horace Dupee 
who stole the money ? " he said. 

" Oh, I am sure of it ! " 

" But would you go on the stand to-day and 
swear to it ? " 


" I could not do that," she replied reluctantly. 
" I have not the evidence ; I only feel that it was 

" Then, if you had the evidence, it would be all 
right ? " 

lt Yes, indeed. Have you found any thing ? " 
she asked eagerly. 

" Well, that depends on what one considers any- 
thing." He opened a drawer and took out soine 
papers. " There seems to be reason to think that 
Horace Dupee was in New York at the time the 
robbery was committed." 

" Ah ; I knew it ! " 

" It also appears that, immediately after the 
robbery, he left New York and went to San Fran- 

" Yes, yes, I knew it ! He fled to escape arrest ! " 

" Shortly after his arrival there," continued the 
Inspector, impassively, " a thousand-dollar bank- 
note was presented to be cashed at a bank there, 
which was issued by a banking institution here in 
New York, and, as it happened, by the same insti- 
tution where Mrs. Tunstall kept her account." 

" Then it is proved ! He is the man ! " exclaimed 
Pauline triumphantly. 

" No, it is not proved," returned the detective, 
shaking his head. " It takes more than that to 
make a conviction. We do not know that the note 
was presented by Horace Dupee ; and even if we 
did it would still be possible that he had received 
it from some one else. No, Mrs. Ketelle, we can- 


not arrest Dupee on that evidence. If we could 
find any pretext for arresting him, either on this 
charge or on any other, then it might be possible to 
complete our evidence as to this. But the power 
to do that is unfortunately wanting." 

" Do I understand you that if any one brought a 
charge against him on another matter you could 
obtain a conviction on this ? " 

" I don't promise we would do it ; I only say it 
might be possible. But at any rate I think it 
would do no harm if you would tell me all about 
your interviews with Dupee and what came of it." 

Pauline gazed at the Inspector in astonishment. 

" You know about that too ? " she exclaimed at 

" Why not ? What is there so wonderful in 
that?" he returned, composedly. 

" I suppose nothing seems wonderful to you," 
replied she ; " but I confess I had expected to 
surprise you in regard to that ! Well, then, if you 
know that I have seen him, I suppose that you 
know all that passed between us, also? " 

" No, no," rejoined the Inspector, laughing, 
" my knowledge stops at the fact of the interview. 
What you said to each other you will have to tell 
me if you wish me to know it." 

" It was in order to tell you that I came here," 
said Pauline ; and she went on to give an account 
of the whole affair, the Inspector listening to her 
with close attention. Her narrative was clear and 


" Do you think that he was aware that you were 
the sister of Jerrold and Percy Nolen ? " he asked, 
after she had finished. 

" He must have known it. I was married only a 
short time ago, and my maiden name was in the 

" Does it not seem odd that he should have made 
this attempt upon a woman whose brother he had 
murdered ? Murderers are usually more careful, if 
nothing else. I think we shall find, Mrs. Ketelle, 
that he is innocent of that crime. As regards the 
robbery I say nothing; but I have never thought it 
likely that a fellow like Dupee would committ a 
murder so peculiarly cold-blooded and compara- 
tively unprovoked as that would have been. But 
if he was wrongly charged with it it is quite con- 
ceivable that he may have embraced this opportunity 
to revenge himself upon a member of the family 
that brought him to ruin." 

" You maybe right." 

" I believe it will turn out so. But there is 
another point suggested by your story. It is quite 
certain that he did not know your brother, for if he 
had he would not have attempted to blackmail you 
on his account or, at any rate, not on the ground 
that he put forward." 

" Yes, there can be no doubt about that," Pauline 

" Then don't you see it has a bearing on the 
robbery ? Your theory has been that he committed 
the robbery partly, at least, in order to have your 


brother arrested for it. But as he did not know 
your brother by sight that theory will not stand. 
If we consider him to have been the thief, his in- 
volving your brother in the scrape must have been 
merely a coincidence. Your brother happened to 
be talking to the lady, and his overcoat pocket hap- 
pened to be the one in which the purse could most 
conveniently be dropped. If Mrs. Tunstall's hus- 
band, instead of your brother, had been in your 
brother's place, the evidence, so far as the purse 
was concerned, would have pointed at him." 

" That is logical I cannot deny it," said Pauline. 
" But it does not show his innocence of the rob- 
bery ; it only shows that he had not the motive for 
committing it that I supposed he had ; it was not 
revenge it was vulgar pocket-picking ! " 

" Well, that is as it may be. But let me refer to 
another point in your story. You said that the 
name he gave to your husband was Crush John 

" Yes, but of course it was an assumed name." 

"No doubt; but it is curious that he should 
have assumed that particular name instead of an- 

" Why not that as well as any ? " 

" Because it is the name of another man a real 
man, that is, a fellow who has been a companion 
and intimate of Dupee's for some years past. John 
Crush went with Dupee to California, and returned 
with him. It was he who pointed you out to Du- 
pee in the park, the day you first saw your brother. 


It was he who suggested to Dupee that it might be 
a profitable job to blackmail you." 

" How did you learn all that, Inspector Byrnes?" 
" I might tell you that I learned it by detective 
intuition, or some other sort of witchcraft. But 
the simple truth is that John Grush told me ! " 
" He told you ? He is one of your men, then ?" 
" Not at all ! But he has done me good service 
on this occasion, nevertheless." 

" But ... I don't think I understand ! " 
" It is such a thing as happens every day. John 
Grush was arrested last night for attempting to 
take a man's watch in an elevated train. It is not 
the first time we have had dealings with him, and 
when he was brought in he realized that he would 
probably be sent up for a long term. So he re- 
solved to get even with a man who had ' gone back 
on him,' as he expressed it. And that man was 
Horace Dupee." 

" They had quarreled ? " 

" Precisely. And the quarrel was about you. 
When Grush proposed blackmailing you, Dupee 
had pooh-poohed it ; but he did so only in order 
to have all the profits to himself. Having got rid 
of Grush, as he supposed, he followed you about, 
and traced you to your brother's lodgings in Har- 
lem. What he did there, you know. But Grush 
had distrusted him, and found out the double game 
he was playing. He bore him a grudge for it ; and 
early this morning he sent word to me that he had 
something to communicate. I went downstairs and 


saw him in his cell. He told me of Dupee's bad 
faith, and said that I would find that Dupee had 
actually received money from you. I acted as if I 
placed no credit in his accusation ; and upon that 
he went on and declared that Dupee had, a year 
ago, committed a robbery for which an innocent 
man was arrested. Yes, Mrs. Ketelle, it was the 
Tunstall robbery that he mentioned. I asked him 
how he knew, and he said that he was intimate with 
Dupee at the time, and that when Percy Nolen was 
arrested Dupee had laughed and remarked that it 
was a good job ; he was glad to have done a Nolen 
an ill-turn, and that he hoped Nolen might rot in 
gaol while he was spending the money Nolen was 
imprisoned for." 

" Oh, the villain !" murmured Pauline, with dilat- 
ing eyes. 

" I told Grush," continued the Inspector, " that I 
believed, if Dupee had had anything to do with the 
robbery, that Grush had been equally guilty. He 
denied it at first, but finally admitted that he had 
discovered the fact that Mrs. Tunstall was in the 
habit of going about town with large sums of 
money in her pocket ; and upon my pushing him 
still further he added that he had pointed her out 
to Dupee on the morning of the crime, and had 
waited outside the jeweler's shop while Dnpee was 
doing the work inside. According to his account, 
Dupee had not acted squarely with him on this occa- 
sion either ; he had refused to give him a fair share 
of the plunder ; but Grush had postponed betray- 


ing his dissatisfaction until he could give it some 
practical effect. He gave a number of details which 
coincided with facts that I had previously ascer- 
tained, and convinced me that his story was sub- 
stantially true." 

" Thank heaven ! " exclaimed Pauline. " Oh, 
my dear brother ! " 

''Wait a moment!" rejoined the detective. 
" We are not quite out of the woods yet ! On 
making a review of the evidence at our disposal, I 
doubted whether it would he safe to cause Dupee's 
arrest on the robbery charge. If we should fail to 
hold him we might bid him good-bye ; he would 
never be seen here again. But if I could get from 
you a confirmation of the blackmail story, and 
especially if you could prove actual payment of 
money, then our course would be much simpler. 
We could arrest and hold him on that ground 
without any doubt, and the rest, unless I am 
greatly mistaken, will come of itself." 

" I can certainly prove the payment," said 
Pauline. " My husband and Jhe check are both in 

" Very good ; and now," said the Inspector, 
lowering his voice and leaning forward, " let me 
explain to you a little plan I have formed for 
bringing this thing to a head." 



BY ten o'clock the next morning all Inspector 
Byrne's preparations were complete, down to 
the least detail ; and there was nothing left to do 
but wait for the fly to walk into the web. 

Horace Dupee, after receiving his check, put it 
in his pocket with the intention of getting it cashed 
at the bank on the morrow. But in order to do 
this it necessary that he be identified. 
This would not be a particularly easy matter in 
any case, and the less so because the name on it 
was not his own. At length he decided to get it 
cashed through some friend. He was reluctant to 
have it known to any one that he had had any 
dealings with Judge Ketelle, and it was partly on 
this account that he had given Crush's name. 
But it was an annoyance and a risk even so, and he 
promised himself that he would not be caught with 
a check again in a hurry. 

Late that night he succeeded in cashing the 
check over the bar of an inn in the lower part of 
the city, where he was lodging. The landlord of 
the inn was a depositor at the bank on which the 
check was drawn. This was on Wednesday. The 


next day, Thursday (the day of Pauline's interview 
with the Inspector), the check was sent to the bank 
to be turned in with the other receipts. On Thurs- 
day evening the check came back, marked N. G. 
Dupee was not in the hotel at the time ; but he 
entered about eleven o 'clock. The hotel-keeper 
called his attention to the dishonored check, and 
demanded from him payment of the face amount. 
Dupee had by that time spent a good deal of the 
eighty dollars ; but rather than have any disturb- 
ance he deposited fifty dollars, and promised to go 
to the bank the next day and have the thing 
straightened out. 

But though he carried it off with a composed 
face, he was in reality filled with rage and appre- 

What could be the meaning of it ? A check 
signed by Judge Ketelle refused at his own bank ! 
Was it a mistake, an accident, or a deliberate plan ? 
A mistake it could hardly be ; there was nothing 
ambiguous in the wording of the check, and Dupee 
had made sure that the date and all the minor 
details had been correctly entered. *The probability, 
was greater of its being an accident. Judge Ketelle 
might have inadvertently overdrawn his account. 
If this were the case, the matter could be easily 
rectified. But, on the other hand, the third con- 
tingency remained that the check had been stopped 
by special direction. If that were so, it meant 
that Mrs. Ketelle had declared war. She had 
resolved to defy him. She fancied, perhaps, that 


he would not have the courage to carry out his 
threat and reveal her intrigue to her husband. 
Well, if that were her idea, she would discover her 
mistake. He would reveal her shame, whatever 
the consequences to himself. He would blast her 
life ; not only her husband, but the whole world 
should know what she had done ; and if he suffered 
imprisonment for it, at any rate the time would 
come when he would again be free, and then he 
could seek her out and taunt her with her ignominy. 
For time would bring no freedom to her. 

This bitterness of malice on his part was partly 
characteristic of the nature of the man ; but there 
was in it an element of exceptional animosity. 
Almost all criminals who have fallen from a higher 
social position lay the responsibility of their 
degradation at the door of some person or com- 
bination of circumstances outside of themselves. 
So it was with Dupee, who dated the beginning of 
his misfortune from the day when he was arrested 
on the charge of murder by the father of Jerrold 
Nolen. Pauline and her mother were the only 
living representatives (as he believed) of that man. 
They should suffer a vicarious punishment. So 
strong was his desire to me this punishment inflicted 
that he half hoped Mrs. Ketelle had really played 
him false. The longer he thought over the matter 
however, the less likely did it seem that this could 
be the case. Whatever she might think as to the 
probability of his failing to carry out his threat, the 
possibility that he would carry it out was too serious 


a one to invite. Recognizing this, Dupee prepared 
himself for either contingency. He would go to 
Judge Ketelle's office and inform him of the 
refusal of the check, as if he supposed it to be an 
ordinary business error. If the judge redeemed 
the check, well and good ; the matter might stop, 
for the present at any rate, where it was. If, on 
the contrary, resistance should be offered to his 
claim, he would know how to defend himself. 

It was about eleven o'clock when he mounted 
the steps of the judge's office on Pine Street. The 
rooms were on the first floor ; there was an outer 
office, and two or three inner rooms, opening into 
one another. Two or three clerks were writing in 
the outer room when Dupee entered. He asked 
one of them if Judge Ketelle were within. 

" I'll see, sir," replied the clerk, looking up. 
" What name shall I say ? " 

" Say Mr. Grush wants to see him a moment 
Mr. John Grush." 

The clerk went into the inner room, and soon 
came back with the request that Mr. Grush would 
stop inside. Dupee passed through the door, 
which was closed behind him. He found himself 
in a handsomely furnished parlor, beside the window 
of which Judge Ketelle sat at his desk. The judge 
turned in his chair, and asked him to be seated. 
"I think you were up at my house, the other 
evening," he remarked. " I recognize the name 
and the face." 

" You are quite right, judge," replied Dupee, 


assuming an easy air, " and it is on a matter 
connected with my visit to you on that occasion 
that I have ventured to trouble you now. There 
was a check, you remember ? " 

" Perfectly. A check for the sum of eighty dol- 
lars. Well?" 

" Well, there seems to have been some difficulty 
or misunderstanding probably the cashier at the 
bank made some stupid mistake ; but, anyhow, 
the check was returned yesterday, marked ' no 
good.' I thought you would wish to know about it." 

" Hum ! I am not in the habit of having my checks 
returned, certainly," said the judge. " Let me 
see ; on what bank was the check drawn ? " 

" The Battery Bank," replied Dupee. 

" I will tell you how such a mistake might occur, 
Mr. Grush," said the judge, after a short 
pause. " I keep accounts at several banks. Some- 
times one or other of these accounts runs out before 
I am aware of it. My wife has a separate account, 
which is at the Battery Bank. In writing the 
check the other evening I may have inadvertently 
used her check-book, my own account being ex- 
hausted. The fact that she had money there would 
of course not warrant the cashier in paying my 
check. I do not assert that this is the explana- 
tion ; but it might be." 

"To be sure; nothing more likely," rejoined 
Dupee. " But, at all events, the check having been 
returned, I suppose you will have no objection to 
writing another ? " 


" There would be some other considerations in- 
volved in that, Mr. Crush," said the judge, bend- 
ing an intent look on Dupee. " May I ask 
you, in the first place, what this payment was 
for ? " 

" It was for a purchase made by Mrs. Ketelle, 
sir," said Dupee, somewhat confused by this unex- 
pected question ; " a purchase at at our store I 
am a salesman there, and 

" What store is it you speak of ? " demanded the 

" Castellani's, on Broadway," replied Dupee, 
giving the first name that occurred to him, and 
feeling a little uneasy at the turn of the conversa- 

"Castellani, the jeweller ? " said the judge. " I 
know the place well. It was there that the rob- 
bery of Mrs. Tunstall's pocket-book took place, 
last year." 

Dupee bit his lips. But it was necessary to 
carry out his part, .and he could not resist the 
temptation to aim a blow at the judge. " You are 
quite right, judge," he said, " the robbery for 
which young Percy Nolen was arrested." 

" Yes ; he was arrested for it," returned the 
judge, gravely ; " but it has been discovered, Mr. 
Crush, that the robbery was the work of another 
man. That man," he added, fixing his eyes upon 
the other, " is known to the police, and will un- 
doubtedly expiate his crime. But to return to this 
check. How does it happen that the money was 


payable to you, instead of to the company ? That 
seems peculiar." 

" Well, you see, I I have an interest in the busi- 
ness, and am authorized to receive payments per- 

" Ah ! Still, as the matter, from the pecuniary 
point of view, concerns the company, and not you, 
it can make no difference if I cause inquiries to be 
made at Castellani's before writing you another 
check. As I have no personal acquaintance with 
you, you will perceive the propriety of this precau- 

" I don't regard the matter in that light," an- 
swered Dupee, who was beginning to lose his nerve. 
" I am not accountable to the firm. I -sold the 
goods, and I must request you to pay me the 

There was a book lying on the judge's desk, and 
at this moment, apparently by accident, a move- 
ment of his elbow caused this book to fall heavily 
to the floor. 

" The affair concerns Mrs. Ketelle more directly 
than it does me," he observed. " I will communi- 
cate with her ; and if she authorizes the payment 
I will make it." At that moment the door into the 
outer office opened. " And by the way," contin- 
ued the judge, " here is Mrs. Ketelle now. We 
can settle this thing here." 

It was, in fact, Pauline. Her face was pale and 
grave, but her eyes sparkled like stars. Dupee 
knew not how to interpret her abrupt appearance. 


The look that she bestowed upon him did not tend 
to reassure him. But he summoned all his resolu- 
tion, and resolved to fight if brought to bay. 

" My dear," said the judge, as his wife came 
over to him and stood by his chair. " This person 
tells me that the check I gave him, at your request, 
has been stopped, and he wants me to write him 

' It was stopped by my orders," said Pauline, 
turning her eyes again on Dupee. "The money 
will not be paid." 

" Why won't it be paid ? " retorted Dupee. 
" Do you mean to deny that it is due ? " 

" I owe you nothing," she replied. 

" Oh ! we'll see about that ! Do you wish me to 
tell your husband what it was you bought of me, 
and paid eighty dollars on account?" 

" I owe you nothing and shall pay you nothing," 
was her answer. " You are an impostor and a 
thief. Your name is not John Grush, but Horace 
Dupee. I have waited for you a long time." 

" Never mind what my name is, or what I am ! 
I know what you are, and what you have done ! 
And unless you pay me, here and now, not eighty 
dollars but eight hundred, your husband shall know 
as much as I do ! " 

" 'Not, so loud, sir, if you please," interposed the 
judge. " I don't think you can tell me any thing 
about Mrs. Ketelle that I do not already know. 
But if you think otherwise, I am ready to hear you, 
and I fancy Mrs. Ketelle will not object." 


Pauline inclined her head contemptuously. " Let 
him speak ! " she said. 

" Oh, I'm going to speak don't make any mis- 
take about that ! " Dupee exclaimed, beside him- 
self with mingled fear and rage ; for he was wholly 
unable to account for the security of Pauline's de- 
meanor. " I'm going to speak, and what I say 
shall he heard not only by your husband, who im- 
agines you to be a virtuous and respectable woman, 
but by all New York, or wherever else she may go. 
I tell you, Judge Ketelle, that the sooner you turn 
that woman into the street the better it will be for 
your credit and reputation ! She has deceived 
you ever since she was married to you ! Let her 
deny it if she can ! Let her deny that she visits a 
fellow her lover in his lodgings in Harlem, and 
drives with him in the park ! Let her deny that if 
she dares ! She meets him every day ; he is a 
younger man than you are, judge, and better look- 
ing, and they laugh at you for an old fool when 
they are together. And they are together every 
day. I say, the sooner you kick her into the street 
the better, or you will have all New York laughing 
at you ! I've got the facts, and I'll make 'em 
known, and prove 'em, too ! " 

" Are you prepared to maintain," said the judge, 
in a quiet tone, " that there is any thing unseemly 
in the relations of the gentleman you speak of and 
Mrs. Ketelle?" 

Dupee laughed harshly. " Ask him ! " he re- 


turned. " Bring him and her together, and ask 
them what their relations are ! " 

" I am fortunately able to do that," answered the 
judge, "because the gentleman in question happens 
to be at hand. I will summon him." And step- 
ping to the door of the inner room, he partly opened 
it and said, " Come in ! " 

The next moment the figure of a tall young man 
appeared on the threshold, and advanced into the 
apartment. He was the very man whom Dupee 
had seen in the park, and afterwards traced to the 
Harlem flat. But how came he to be in waiting 
here ? What was the meaning of it all ? 

" Is this the gentleman you speak of ? " inquired 
the judge of Dupee, indicating the new-comer. 

" Oh, I suppose they have fooled you with some 
clever lie or other," said Dupee with a snarl. " All 
the same, what I tell you is the truth ; and the 
world will believe it, if you don't ! " 

*' You seem to know so much, sir," answered the 
judge, " that you probably do not need to be in- 
formed that Mrs. Ketelfe was formerly Miss Nolen, 
and that she had two brothers. One of them died 
from the effects of injuries received mysteriously, 
while in the company of one Horace Dupee, sev- 
eral years ago. The other brother, Percy by name, 
was accused, a year since, of a robbery at Castel- 
lani's jewelery store. He left New York and was 
reported drowned ; but the report turned out to 
have been an error. He returned to New York 
about ten days ago ; but his presence was not 


generally made known, owing to the fact that the 
true perpetrator of the robbery had not yet been 
identified. The identification has now been made, 
however, and therefore the necessity of concealing 
Mr. Percy Nolen's presence no longer exists." 

"Well, and what has all this rigmarole to do 
with me?" demanded Dupee defiantly. "What 
have I to do with Percy Nolen ?" 

"I am Percy^Nolen." said the gentleman in 
question, regarding Dupee with a very stern ex- 
pression, " and this lady is my sister." 

Dupee saw at once that he had been outwitted 
and trapped. The check had been stopped in 
order to induce him to come to Judge Ketelle's 
office -, and it had been previously arranged that 
Mrs. Ketelle and Percy were to meet him there and 
effect his discomfiture. There was nothing left for 
him to do except to retire like the baffled villain in 
the melodrama, muttering, " Foiled ! but I will yet 
be avenged ! " or words to that effect. Dupee, 
however, failed to grasp the dramatic opportunities 
of the situation ; but he said, as he moved towards 
the door, " You have been known as a pickpocket, 
Percy Nolen, and it '11 stick to you ! " With that 
he opened the door, and \vould have gone out of 
it, had he not been confronted there by a broad- 
shouldered, athletic gentleman, with a brown 
mustache and piercing eyes, who was accompanied 
by a dejected personage wearing the familiar as- 
pect of Mr. John Crush, the only true and genuine 
proprietor of that name, , 


The broad-shouldered man, after handing Crush 
into the room, followed him and closed the door. 
"Good morning, Mrs. Ketelle and gentlemen," he 
said, cheerfully. " Well, Horace^ you see I have a 
friend of yours here. Jack has been complaining 
to me of you. He says you not only stole his 
name, but infringed his patent blackmail scheme. 
And so, by way of retaliation, he has been telling 
very bad tales of you. I'm afraid you are in for 
a good deal of trouble, Horace." 

" There's no need of making a fuss about this 
affair, Inspector," said Dupec, assuming a non- 
chalant air. " There's been no blackmail that I 
know of. It is true that Judge Ketelle paid me a 
worthless check the other day ; but there has been 
no pecuniary transaction, properly speaking, and I 
don't know what this man," indicating Crush, " is 
grumbling about. I know very little of him." 

" He has the advantage of you, then," returned 
the Inspector, " for he knows a great deal about 
you. I have been waiting for you for a year. I 
knew you'd be back here, so I didn't bother to dis- 
turb you in San Francisco ; but I've got that 
thousand-dollar note up at the office ; and Crush 
has filled up any little gaps in the chain, though 
we could have done very well without him. Hold 
out your hands ! " 

The last words were spoken in a voice so differ- 
ent from the good-natured banter of the fore- 
going sentences that Dupee gave a start and 
mechanically extended his wrists, and the next 


moment the hand-cuffs were round them. The 
moment after that, however, he seemed to take in 
the significance of what the Inspector had said. 
He turned and cast a very malignant glance ai 

u You will find evidence against me, will you ! " 
he cried, in a grating tone. 

" You did that job on the lady in the jewelry 
store, and put it off on him," returned Crush, 
nodded toward Percy, and speaking with a swag- 
ger. " You know it, and I'll take my oath to it any 
day. You played a low-down game on me, and 
that's what you get for it ? " 

"You'll give evidence that I'm a pickpocket, 
will you ? " repeated Dupee, staring at the man 
with a strange expression, half leer and half scowl. 
" Well, you may do it ; or you needn't, just as you 
please ; for I did rob the v/oman, and I don't care 
who knows it, now ! But yor. gave it away too 
quick, Jack Grush ; this is the worst day's work 
you ever did ; it would have been worth some- 
thing to you to have found out, first, whether I 
had any little stories to tell about you ! " 

The Inspector, who had been on the point of 
putting an abrupt end to their dialogue, seemed to 
change his purpose at the last sentence ; and the 
others present involuntarily listened for what 
might follow. 

" You can't tell any thing to hurt me ! " retorted 
Grush. " I've got my medicine, and I'm going to 
take it. You can't change it." 


" We'll see if I can't. I know something ; I've 
known it for years for years, do you hear, Jack 
Grush ! I haven't said any thing about it ; it was 
too good a thing to give away until the time came ! 
It was a whip I could drive you with anytime, and 
I kept it till I should want it. Little you imagined 
that I have had the whole thing, pat by heart, ever 
since the first month I was out of the prisoner's 
dock ! I knew better than to let you suspect it. 
But I've waited long enough, and you might as 
well have it now as later. 58 

" Blessed if I know what he's chattering about ! " 
said Grush, addressing the company in general 
with an air of perplexed innocence. " I suspect 
he's gone off his head a little." 

" When I left the prisoner's dock, acquitted of 
murdering Jerrold Nolen," Dupee went on, with 
intense emphasis, " you were one of the first to 
make up to me and say that, since society had 
kicked me out, I was justified in kicking against 
society, and living by my wits. But, all the time, 
if I had been convicted, you would have let me 
hang, you hound, sooner than say a word to save 
me ! and yet you were the scoundrel who crept up 
to a drunken man. . . Hold him, Inspector ! " 

Grush, in fact, had suddenly made a leap at 
Dupee like a wild beast. But the Inspector's hand 
was stretched out like a flash and grasped him by 
the back of the collar with an iron hold. The 
fellow made one tremendous but vain effort to 
break loose, and then stood still, shaking all over, 


but dangerous no longer, The Inspector gave a 
sharp whistle ; a sergeant entered the room, and at 
a nod from his superior had Grush manacled in a 
jiffy and stood up against the wall. The Inspector 
straightened his shirt-cuff and said, " Come, Horace, 
make an end of this business; we can't stay here 
all the morning to hear you two scoundrels abuse 
each other." 

" I say," said Dupee, with a sort of excited 
shriek in his voice, "that after I took Jerrold 
Nolen to the door of his house, and left him, so 
help me God, alive in the stoop there, though so 
drunk he didn't know what he was about, that 
devil there came up to him and robbed him, and 
gave him the blow behind the ear that killed him ! 
I say it, and I can prove it ! And when he feels 
the rope about his neck, let him remember that it 
was Horace Dupee put it there ! " 

" Take them out, sergeant," said the Inspector, 
abruptly ; : * I will be at the office presently. 
They're a pair of them, and, to my thinking, hang- 
ing is too good for either of them ! " 

The little audience which had been involuntary 
spectators of this violent and ugly scene drew a 
breath of relief when the door closed behind the 
two convicts. It was a long time before the night- 
mare impression wore off. 

" That last turn was unexpected," observed the 
Inspector, deprecatingly. " It wasn't on my pro- 
gramme. I think Dupee probably told the truth 


about it ; you remember, Miss Nolen, I always 
doubted his having committed the greater crime. 
But, on the whole, I think we may congratulate 
ourselves on having made a very good end of the 
affair. You will not have to return to Harlem, Mr. 
Nolen, unless you wish to. And, on the other 
hand, when you go back to Mexico, I fancy you 
will find no difficulty in carrying with you all the 
guarantees, social or business, that you want." 

"Thanks to you, Inspector," said the young 
man with feeling, grasping the officer by the hand. 

" Oh, no ; that is where your thanks belong," 
the latter returned, bowing toward Pauline with a 
smile. " She deserves most of the credit for the 
successful issue of this affair. No sister, I'll make 
bold to say, ever stood by a brother so faithfully as 
she has by you. I have done little besides back 
her up now and then ; and, if I hadn't, I believe 
she would have done the whole thing alone by her- 
self ! " and evading further thanks and praises, the 
chief detective made a comprehensive salute to the 
company, and vanished from the room. 

" He's what I call a man ! " said Percy. 

" And a general ! " added the judge. 

Pauline said in a whisper, " God bless him ! " 

Judge Ketelle and his beautiful wife continue to 
live in New York, and now that the shadow is 
lifted from them they are the sunny center of a 
charming society. Mrs. Nolen lives with them, in 
the enjoyment of a serene old age. Percy returned 


to Mexico, and is still living there, having become 
quite wealthy ; and his betrothal is reported to 
the daughter of one of the chief men in the govern- 
ment. Mrs. Valentine Martin is believed to be in 
England, intriguing, without much prospect of 
success, for the possession of her late husband's 
estates. Dupee is behind the bars ; Crush con- 
trived to cheat the gallows. Inspector Byrnes is 
hard at work ; but hard work agrees with him. 


Selections from Cassell $ Company's Publication*. 

Illustrated, JFtne-^rt, att& atlrer ITohtmes. 

Abbeys and Churches of England and Wales, The : Descriptive, 

Historical, Pictorial, sis. 

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Rags and Rainbows: A Story of 

Uncle William's Charges ; or, The 

Broken Trust. 
Pretty Pink's Purpose; or, 
Little Street Merchants. 


Cassell's Two-Shilling Story Books. Illustrated. 

Stories of the Tower. 

Mr. Burke's Nieces. 

May Cunningham's Trial. 

The Top of the Ladder: How to 

Little Flotsam. [Reach it. 

Madge and Her Friends. 

The Children of the Court. 

A Moonbeam Tangle. 

Maid Marjory. 

Peggy, and other Tales. 


The Four Cats of the Tippertons. 
Marion's Two Homes. 
Little Folks' Sunday Book. 
Two Fourpenny Bits. 
Poor Nelly. 
Tom Heriot. 

Through Peril to Fortune. 
Aunt Tabitha's Waifs. 
In Mischief Again. 
The Magio Flower Pot. 

The "Great River" Series (uniform with the "Log Cabin" Series). 
By EDWARD S. ELLIS. Illustrated. Crown 8vo, cloth, bevelled 
boards, 25. 6d. each. 

Down the Mississippi. | Lost in the Wilds. 

Up the Tapajos ; or, Adventures in Brazil. 

The " Boy Pioneer" Series. By EDWARD S. ELLIS. With Four Full- 
page Illustrations in each Book. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d. each. 

A Tale of Indian 

Ned on the River- 
River Warfare. 

Ned in the Woods. A Tale of I 
Early Days in the West. | 

Ned in the Block House. A Story of Pioneer Life in Kentucky. 

The "World in Pictures.' 

A Ramble Round France. 
All the Russias. 
Chats about Germany. 
The Land of the Pyramids 

Illustrated throughout. 2s. 6d. each. 

The Eastern Wonderland (Japan). 
Glimpses of South America. 
Hound Alrica. 

The Land of Temples (India). 
The Isles of the Pacific. 

Peeps into China. 

Selections from Cassell & Company's Publications 

Half-Crown Story Books. 
Little Hinges. 
Margaret's Enemy. 
Pen's Perplexities. 
Notable Shipwrecks. 
Golden Days. 

Wonders of Common Things. 
Truth will Out. 
At the South tole. 

Soldier and Patriot (George "Wash- 
Picture of School Life and Boy- 

The Young Man in the Battle of 
Life. By the Rev. Dr. Landels. 

The True Glory of Woman. By the 
Rev. Dr. Landels. 

Three and Sixpenny Library of Standard Tales, &c. All Illus- 
trated and bound in cloth gilt. Crown 8vo. 3S. 6d. each. 
The Half Sisters. 
Peggy Oglivie's Inheritance. 
The Family Honour. 
Esther West. 
Working to Win. 
Krilof and his Fables. By W. R. S. 

Jane Austen and her Works. 
Mission Life in Greece and 


The Romance of Trade. 
The Three Homes. 
Deepdale Vicarage. 
In Duty Bound. 

Ralston, M.A. 
Fairy Tales. By Prof. Morley. 

The Home Chat Series. All Illustrated throughout. Feap. 410. 

Boards, 35. 6d. each. Cloth, gilt edges, 58. each. 
Half-Hours with Early Ex- I Paws and Claws. 

plorers. Home Chat. 

Decisive Events in History. | Peeps Abroad for Folks at Home. 

Around and About Old England. 
Books for the Little Ones. 

The Merry-go-Round. Poems for 

Children. Illustrated. 5s. 
Rhymes for the Young Folk. 
> By William Allingham. Beautifully 

Illustrated. 3s. 6d. 
The Little Doings of some 

Little Folks. By Chatty Cheer- 
ful. Illustrated. 5s. 
The Sunday Scrap Book. With 

One Thousand Scripture Pictures. 

Boards, 5s.; cloth, 7s. 6d. 
Daisy Dimple's Scrap Book. 

Containing about Pictures. 

Boards, 5s.; cloth gilt, 7s. 6d. 
The History Scrap Book: With 

nearly 1,000 Engravings; 5s.; 

cloth, 7s. 6d. 
Little Folks' Picture Album. 

With 168 Large Pictures. 5s. 
Little Folks' Picture Gallery. 

With 150 Illustrations. 5s. 
Books for Boys. 

The Black Arrow. A Tale of 

the Two Roses. By R. L. 

Stevenson. 5s. 
Commodore Junk. By G. Man- 

villeFenn. 5s. 
A Queer Race. By W. Westall. 

Dead Man's Rock. A Romance. 
ByQ. 5s. 

The Phantom City. By W. Wes- 
tall. 5s. 

Captain Trafalgar : A Story of the 
Mexican Gulf. By Westall and 
Laurie. Illustrated. 5s. 

Kidnapped. By R. L. Stevenson. 
Illustrated. 5s. 

The Old Fairy Tales. With Original 

Illustrations. Boards, Is.; cloth, 

Is. 6d. 
My Diary. With 12 Coloured Plates 

and 366 Woodcuts. Is. 
Sandford and Merton: In Words of 

One Syllable. Illustrated. 2s. 6d. 
The Story of Robin Hood. With 

Coloured Illustrations. 2s. 6d. 
The Pilgrim's Progress. With 

Coloured Illustrations. 2s. 6d. 
Wee Little Rhymes. Is. 6d. 
Little One's Welcome. Is. 6d. 
Little Gossips. Is. 6d. 
Ding Dong Bell. Is. 6d. 
Good Times. Is. 6d. 
Jolly Little Stories. Is. 6d. 
Daisy Dell's Stories. Is. 6d. 
Our Little Friends. Is. 6d. 
Little Toddlers. Is. 6d. 

King Solomon's Mines. By H. Rider 
Haggard. Illustrated. 5s. 

Treasure Island. By R. L. Ste- 
venson. Illustrated. 5s. 

Ships, Sailors, and the Sea. By 
R. J. Cornewall-Jones. Illustrated. 5s. 

Modern Explorers. By Thomas Frost. 
Illustrated. 5s. 

Famous Sailors of Former Times. 
By Clements Markham. Illustrated. 

Wild'Adventures in Wild Places. 
By Dr. Gordon Stables, R.N. Illus- 
trated. 5s. 

Jungle, Peak, and Plain. By Dr. 
Gordon Stables, R.N. Illustrated. 5s. 

Cassell & Company's Complete Catalogue will be sent post 

free on application to 
CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED, Ludgatc Hill. London.