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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1896-08-03
Page Number7
Word Count3108
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleEvening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931)
Trove TitleThe Crime of a Christmas Toy
article text

THE '????. Crime of a Christinas Toy.

? . ? ? — 'w ? r— ; ? . fBY HENRY HERMAN.)

CHAPTER VIOL— (Continued:)

It was only when I again eat in an omnibus Inking me over Westminster Bridge that I had time to give a closer glance at the pocket book and papers I had captured. There 'was no doubt whatever that the little case had been Count Brodie's property, and by some means or other had come into 'Jasper Byrne's

possession. To regain it Brodie had evident ly made use of confederates. There were altogether, four letters in the lit tle case. The first one said:— 'The Sportsman's Club, 'Albemarle-street, May 9. 'Ma Mie,— - 'What you ask is impossible. Tour bro ther would discover your .whereabouts. I en dose ten pounds. Try to love me a little more. Then you will be more patient. ' 'Tout a toi,' -- 'Gyffa.' The other three letters ran as follows:— 'You will kill. me- in. the «nd. I am sure I . am beginning to think that I would much ra ther be dead than. live like this. Here are the two hundred pounds. My husband will discover all one of these days) and then your goose with the.^ golden eggs will be slain. Surely, even from your point of view, that is not an end to be desired. 'L. B.' - 'The Sheridan Theatre, W.C. 'May 8. 'So you did not come to your little Dorothy , last night , Shall your Ujftle. Dorothy; come to you? You naughty man, you knew I wanted that fifty pounds badly. I fancy I know vrhat kept you. It is that little Italian. I'll scratch her eyes out-^tiiere! Come this even ing, and bring the two ponies. r 'Yours, 'Dorothy.' '202 Eaton Square, S.W. 'May 12. 'Sir,- 'For the. family's sake, I will hear what yon have to say. 'Yours, etc. 'Senfrey.' 'Mr. Gyffa Brodie.' It was plain to see that the first letter had been, in some way or other, purloined out of Maria Orano's room— probably after her death. -The other three were most probably in Brodie's pocket-book when Jasper Byrne obtained possession of it It mattered little to me at what period or how Byrne got hold of these precious documents, which he had, as it seemed to .me, used for. the purpose of '(Squeezing' his companion in crime. The tables had been turned upon him — there was do doubt about that. He was in the hands of Brpdie's confederates at that coffee-house, and whether he were dead or alive at that moment, only a visit to the place might have disclosed. ' . The last short note seemed to me specially important, as, it proved that . Lord Senfrey had been aware of Lady Bent's bigamy, and had consented to see Count Brodie on the 6ubject Had that terrible knowledge proved fatal to him? I thought, yes, certainly. I stopped at Craven-street on the road, and there I had time to compare the number of the note in Jasper Byrne's pocket-book, which I had scribbled down, with the number of the note I had found in Maria Orano's flower-pot One was C69935, and the other C69939. Both bsid evidently been issued the same day and to the same person; Bath had come through Lord Bent and Lady Bent to Count Brodie. The net was closing, I thought One dash, and the solution of the mystery might be in my hands. If that coffee-house in the Belve dere-road was the den of cut-throats which I took it to be,, it might be dangerous for a man to venture within single-han'dea. I thought it was worth while risking. I was joung and strong. I could fight many men si my -own 'weight; and moso men, below it. I had a good friend in my pocket in the shape of a six-shooter. If 'Dad' and 'Leggie' wore the scoundrels- which Cgnnt Brodie's confidence warranted them, they would kill me without remorse if they discovered my game. 'Well,' I thought, 'a man can die but once, bo here goes.' CHAPTER IX. I had to prepare, perhaps, for a prolonged absence. I had left- 'Sprat at James's-street, and therefore rushed back to Mrs. Rooney's. The good woman was in a state of great pother. 'I don't know as I've been doing right* Mr. Grant,' she said, 'allowing that red-haired hussy. to take that thing away with a ten pound note in it, and me not taking a receipt, and not having a bit of paper to show for it.' it doesn't matter, Mrs. Rooney,' I eaid. 'That piece of paper and the key which the ! girl brought will always exonerate you.' I A knock at the door disturbed us at that moment and I went upstairs to my room. I looked about my drawers to see what odds and ends I could pick out that would go1 to make up the belongings of a sailor. I found but little that was of any use.. 'While I was I thus engaged -Mrs. Rooney entered. I 'There's a poor gentleman, downtairs— a fo I reigner gentleman,' she said, 'the brother of I that poor girl that killed herself in your I room.' ; ; . % ' I 'Oh, they've let him out, then?' I 'Yes,' she replied; 'they've let him out, I and he's asking, with, tears in his eyes, to be I allowed to come and look at this ffoom; but, I of course, I wouldn't say 'yes' till I'd asked I you.' ???-.? I The police had1 evidently discovered no evi I dence . to connect .Orano with' the murder of I Lord Senfrey.: ' . ' ' I 'By all means let him come up,' I said, be I Wg glad to take advantage of this visit to I make the young man's acquaintance. I I held out my hand to hiyn as he stood in I tte doorway a minute or so afterwards, but I he simply bowed .with a cavalier-like cour I tesy. He was still dressed in a black velvet I c°at. His olive complexion had become a I Nearly greenish yellow. His* dark eyes and I black moustache and iair, together, with the I gleaming white; teeth, gave hlis;face a look-of I Peculiar ferocity wnle&,. perhaps, it did hot I deserve. He stood still on the threshold for I a score of seconds, and then entered the room I .fod gazed slowly right and left His chest I heaved, and I could «ee his 'white teeth close I Bud his fiste clench. At last he made a step ? toward the rbefl, ;arij^ 'reaching out- a wildly I fumbling hand, . lie '--. touched the * coverlet ? Then, turning- towJu-afime^ he said, 'Hereiihe ? -Ue?' '.. ,. ^~:,.-,u.v 7,, ?.._,..'.'...?.',. .;^.--,- . ' .,L2* I There was a pause of 'excessive silence. He ? flowly pnt:h^:J^&.tt^&-tm&i&.~b&my\ ? *-ed, aUowin^litJsJli^itq flrppp* otr -to^tiient^ ? Jhen he'bii^t'O^tV.1^^^^^;.-'^'-'^^!^^;'!!^^; H Before ti fft r-H ':n *-%ri a n'f. fariifiring waiyjh -; nt - :4--n-4 I ^earment in l(aiia£v;;^fter a fcrhUe'he* jriteei ? «owly and;^&-|^|e^;;^;;v;;V:;;;^SS:t? ? Excuse, stiv;?^ jcbtBd ^ot help/^ Ipyefl- her ? Bo. My only7isii^,*? ' A^T^en.: lie gnashed ids ? feeth agaSn^o^0^^^^h^'^^0 ? scoundrel weM?^v£'-^p:l^:.Se^ii^'fy'iMiyi ? l kill him. i ^pt ifii Minif *J.''jntt^tiB!L: ? hiffi; but I notskill Mm.' \-O^£^?^?& I I stepped for^arfl. %*.; : ?? ?',&:£:..: 'K ^M^M M. 'I'm yay...^j^^^^i^::l;i!a^-X\'I»?ii^j ? feel what ^:ii^''W^^^^^bli)^&. J^^ H He gripped^^^'.^i^^^|uQiy;^&S^r^flw;f.;,. I . 'T'ank you,')' \t^0e0Af^'it^xZ^^l^uXi. ? Then, looking? at* ?mbf&igiMuiimg s&tf^searcji- ? -.% face, ??he;:^a^^^=j^p^on!^^:j^je^ ? inhere she die^'?1^1^ff%o'adel!ln1^1|mm^ ? ;% as he ,spp£^ai]ipfe^r^thea-SB|a^yii ? She my ovi£40^MimiM^-^J^M^^[ ? Musical ItaUw'^^t^^beue^n^^ptpW: ? r!e l pronte^B^^^I^I^Siihs^pfei; ? Ah ogni 'cji^^^pimi^&ifiai':^^»^^cii^R?.~ I f!? hoDe now^^^p^affipjte^^3rew'-l#^? ? «iise.' He approached' me again, and ferlp

ped my hand. 'You Jet me come here,' he said. .'You let. me stay one,; minute, ?? two: minute,' five minute in y3ourl5ropm.i: They J-uryv her. .. I topw ^nbt. where;|' ^ ..?\\jv :/ ; *'Of course; yon can come Whenever yoii wish,' I rejoined. 'I shaUJbe 'very;fjpleaseci if what I; can 46 will afford some solice to you. There's, .only ohe^iiing i jiyant to say to you. It fe; your impression th%f Lord Sen frey's conduct was the cause of Jrour sister's suicide. Don't be sure of that* That your sister ?was* betrayed is beyond the question of a doubt But my idea is that the man who betrayed .her lives at this very moment.' He clutched me by. the shoulder, and, hold ing me at arm's length, looked straight into my eyes. ?-.?-?? 'Show him to meF' he cried, fiercely. 'Let me see t'e man. Let me look his eyes, and — '- ptis limbs 'quivered, his teeth were hard set, and «peech seemed to be arrested in his fury. 'I have been in prison,' he went on. 'I have suffer shame — degradation— and1 my sister dead. I not able go see her buried. Who is it?'- 'That I can't tell; at' present, at. any rate,' I rejoined. But if you come to me again, perhaps something more may be discovered.' He glanced at me curiously. ' 'What your name?' he asked. 'What your Dusiness?' 'My name is George Grant,' I' said, 'and I'm a draughtsman.' . . ' - -- A sickly smile gleamed on his face,- seem ingly in spite of him. 'OhJ' he said, 'you artist? Sorry f-or you. Artist poor business. But I come againj and if you know anyt'ing you tell me. Now, t'ank you, and good-bye.' He was gone before either Mrs. Rooney or

myself could say a word.- We both stood there silently, -while-. we heard his slow an|J measured steps on the stairs, until the: hall door latch clicked, and we knew him to be outside. 'Poor gentleman!' said Mrs. Rooney. 'He looked so much like Jier; only she was pret tier hi her foreign fashion.' ; 'There's a man,' I ;said to myself, i'who would kill Gyffa Brodie as he would a snake, if he were aware of the villain's connection with his sister. He wouldrrid my Lady.. Bent of her millstone, and hold his life as nothing hi the task. The police, I think, niust- have a clear clue hi another direction* else, they would not* have consented to allow his going free.' I found that, after all, it was useless to/take any of the odds and eads I had brought with me; therefore, taking Spr*at under my arm, I went downstairs and told Mis. Rooney that I had to go away on business, and I did not know how long my business might be. It might be a day, or a week, or two weeks, 1 said. If I should have to be away longer than that, I would send my rent to her all the same. ''And please don't mention it, sir,'*- the old woman retorted. 'Don't hink of it, sir. Whenever you come back is plenty of time, though money is scarce nowadays, when one's a widow, with her old man dead these ten yeans.' 'I quite understand that,' I interrupted; 'and you shall not have to wait for .«ne, _at any rate.' * - ^ Prom Holborn I went straight to Shaftes bury Avenue, to the emporium where Morris Angel provides theatres large and small, and nori-theatrieal people into the bargain, with outfits and costumes of all kinds, from a knight's suit of armor to a rag picker's dress. I selected a well worn outfit which had be longed to a seafaring man. Then I went to my chambers in Northumberland Avenue, and having once more consigned Sprat to the care bf my man Humphrey, I dressed myself in the newly purchased habiliments. I was well aware that actual disguise for my face would be impossible, as I might have to stay a\vay for eome time and -to bear close' scru tiny. But a very slight coating of vandyke brown rubbed into the skin until the dry co lor- clung to it, and could no longer be remov ed with a rag, gave to my face a very much darker aspect I put a small packet of the dry color into my pocket /Then I dishevell ed my hair, and brushed my. moustache up ward. Nobody who has not tried a similar procedure can be aware to what a- degree a man's appearance is changed by such a pro cess. At Morris Angel's I had purchased an old carpet bag, with a few worn-out sailors shirts, trousers, neck handkerchiefe..ete. . To these I added an old pair of boots, an old .coat,, socks, a piece of soap, a comb, and a few other trifles; and thus equipped, I set out for Belvedere-road. I entered the coffee shop boldly, and found a tall, wirily built man in the early fifties, with iron-grey beard and hah', and a sinister ' face, with' a skin like drawn parchment, shirt-sleeved and white-aproned, pouring put a couple of cups of tea ^t the further end of the shop. That was evidently 'Dad,' I thought. He walked up to me briskly ana surlily, as I seated myself hi one of 'the boxes. . - 'Wot for you?' he asked. / 'I want a cup of tea,' I. answered, 'fand a rasher of bacon and some bread and Tjutter.' 'Oh, you do,' he retorted. 'You'll have to wait, then. There's other customers afore you.' ? With that he returned to the rear, and left me to look about. Two navvies were seated fn the opposite box, big, broad-shouldered specimens of then class, smothered from head to foot .in mason's dust, their ; boots looking as if -they had walk ed on nothing but red mud for- years. They were clothed in the usual corduroys, rubbed white by wear, the trQUsers -tied by bits of string below the kneea. : , 'I don't approve of dynemite,!' one iqf them ?was holding forth, crashing down his. fist up on the table, which seemed in danger rot. der molition; 'but I approves bf hitting 'em^oyer the head with sticks, I does; and I approves of ehucking 'em in the river, I does: and I approves of brickbats, I does— big ones. /I approves of anything. that's fair and English, I does. None of your furrin dodges for me. Rights of labor!' he '?snorted. 'There ain't no rights of labor. It's all wrongs .of itfbor. I -.ell you, mate, there /Woh't^.be no .rights of labor until every man gets %' bob an hour, whether he can do .^anything or can't; and when .weVe ; got that, mate,' he shouted, 'then we'll want more, and let them look out as don't:giye it'-;. -.,?.;„?.-.? ?'.??-...?=? ? . ??..-? t^-; ? ?:?''?? \ 'The fist again came ; down TJtfth a& aTTful bang, and he cast a ferocious glance at me. . 'What a .nuisance taiat man ;is,*'' i said to myself. 'He will preyent nie from having a' quiet^talk with that parchraent-faced land lord there.' '..'? ,?; ,-: ...!-; v. ?'.-,;. -.-'.. V.V ' As I looked again, X ihoaght I had seeo the burly socialist's face t»ef ore. To be Bure, as I gaaed md»re closely;1 1 Tetpghteea it ^s fliat i-f .tte|l-ear^]a^pyGenuua in plainclpthes jvho had shadowea m? from Mrs. Garrifion'g win ^^^opj^te;?'aaa|ttiy^ polltan r:ii}^Bai^^^f^^M$oifLi::'i^^i^^^i^ ^aee, my 6urpr^ :mgiB'4a*i3si ^l^'^3efofe-|^.^|aas&lt ;?w^s ' Sot: :tds' ?e6m%aMo(t^&^iBu1t'S^^fi3fi®i|i^40^?^W'sj ^^6i*or£%|aoSpgBp(^|r|B^ ? wants to Jinowj :^t^f^Mj^ej^om%fX^\fn^'i 'Sin ?-h'pur4itp''''ia: 'ip^'-?J^^t^'ii&'jt.Mi*:' Pi^P^I

as they caa'i get none, tiiem, Ijeay, is. to have a' bob, ad hour as fwelL?,';; ^Hereupon he straightened himself, and looked defiantly at the landlord, who approached with the tray' and tea tiunge. 'Tes,' he said, 'I'd? give every- man, as is a Man,: a* bob an hour.'- The landlord, hayifig placed the cups pf- tea, squared J^is elbows. - ?' 'Aad who's to i-ay for it please?' he asked rm a -ouse'older-and a xatepayer, and -I ain't goin' to pay for no hulkm' loaf^is doinV; no thing and robbing the parish.' .' .-'' The burly man snapped his fingers a£ the landlord's nose. 'That's all you know,' he said. 'If them as brought you up had taught you readin' and writin' and philosophicks, they'd a told you as the ratepayers ain't got nothink to do with them there questions. It's himperial, it is; and not paroakal.' Hereupon the landlord opened his eyes. 'And who's to pay for it, then?' he re peated. ? ' 'The swells. Them as has miUions, when I've got only three bjpb and a kick. Them as eats rabbit and salt pork, when I've got to be satisfied with-. a two-eyed steak. Them as can drink beer by the quarts and get boozed when they likes, when I've got to wash iny self out. with your skilly rot' , The parchment-faced man bridled un at this. 'Don't you go elanderin' my tea,' he said. 'It's been good enough for your betters, and is good enough for the likes of you.' I thought it was time to interpose. 'Stop that jaw,' ;I cried, in my gruffest tones. 'I want my tea. Rot your polities. We're here to eat and drink, not. to spout' Hereupon, the burly man rose and crossed over to me. He stood at the end of the ta ble of my box, resting on his hands .and . bent forward. . . », 'And' wot'e it got to do with you?' he ask ed roughlv. r

The coffee-house keeper had walked to the further end of the rbom, and the broad back was squared against him,. -so that he could not see the burly man's face. The detective looked cautiously over his shoulder, and then winked meaningly. I took no notice of the sign. 'It has got a'. lot to do with me,' I retorted. 'I'm hungry, and I want my grub. You stay hi your box and feed, and let me have my tea.' 'u. . K., Cocky Wax,' rejoined the burly man. 'You've swallered.the'pepper box- and got thirsty, 'you have. Gaw away, and try to be a little more pouter when next a gen nehnan tries to teach you wot you don't knowJ' 'Here! here, you two!' shouted the land lord. 'Don't you go. quarrelling in my place, else I chucks you both.' . . 'Come on,' shouted the big man, 'I'm a waitin' to be chucked.' The- landlord's ardor was apparently not thorough-paced, for he made no movement, but simply exclaimed: 'Well, then, behave yourselves. I don't want the row hi my place.' '.'-i : \ (To 'be continued.)