Chapter 146835665

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Chapter NumberXIV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146835665
Full Date1891-07-09
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count1556
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Narracoorte Herald (SA : 1875 - 1954)
Trove TitleO'Neil M'Darragh, the Irish Detective; or, The Strategy of a Brave Man
article text

CHAPTER XIV.

All idea of the stranger being a flat had now vanished, and was succeeded by the Impres sion that he was j ret the opposite,a thorough bred sharper.

The fourth .deal commenced, and again the blond6 made his bet, laying £20 upon a cer

tain eard. I

No one followed his bet, and after a few slides the strange blonde won, and raked in

£100.

- The.dealer now began to show unmistak able signs of uneasiness, although he said nothing.

The coutest had narrowed down to a play against a deal.

The blonde did .not falter.

Recognising that -he was left alone, he changed his tactics and bet recklessly, and at

the end of two deals he rose from the table

EVEN 1 |

He had neither lost nor won. j With a laugh he signified that he was done j and the gams assumed its old phase with the old stand-bys who won and lost day in and day out.

Daring the game the blonde had managed to get on pretty familiar terms with Indian

Jack.

When he closed the game he &Eked Jack to

drink with him.

While taking their Tqnor the latter, in an adroit way, managed, after the style of all • designing gamblers, to tell something about himself in a seeming artless and off-handed

fashion.

The substance of his information was that he was the son of an Indian planter.

That he had come to Sydney to have some

fun.

As usual,he had run short cf fund?,having been unlucky at play, aud was daily expect ing remittances.

The detective pretended to believe all that bis new friend told him, and simulated great delight at making the rich, but temporarily unfortunate, gentleman's acquaintance.

Afte'r their familiarity had progressed suf ficiently, Jack said :

• You ought to have jumped the game when you wera ahead.'

' Oh, I was just playing for fun,' answered |

the blonde.

4 You must- be fortunate not to care to win. said Jack; adding, * although my father keeps me well supplied, still it is always a great delight for me to win.'

»Let's go and have some sapper,' said the . detective, in an oil hand way. i

Jack hesitated a moment.

* Come,' said the blonde, * I am hungry as & bear ; and after we have had something to eat we can sail into some other crib and take another wrestle with the ' tiger.'

The last remark settled the matter in Indian Jack's mind, and the two men left

the saloon. 4

Jack had t jld his name, and had learned that his new friend's name was Alexander

Leslie.

The detective had fallen back upon his old simpleton style of aciion and talk.

He laughed in an affected, womanish Eort of way at every little remark,and made a good many foolish-speeches.

The two went to supper, and after supper entered another gambling-place.

Indian Jack led the way to the place, and appeared to be on good terms with every one -In the whole establishment.

Jack also acted as the player,"the blende advancing the money.

Jack lost.

Alexander Leslie then undertook to take up the playing."

Strangely enough the latter not only won back what Jack lest, but a hundred pounds

over. j

Jack now proposed that they should visit J a certain steamship, where they could get into another game, with a number of Indian

visitors.

' I owe them a grudge, and should like to beat them,' said Jack, adding: 4"With yonr iuak and cool nerve I think we could go light through them.'

O'Neil was playing his game well. j ! He knew what this proposition meant,when !

the half-breed proposed that they should go j down and play on a steamship.

While apparently indifferent when show- j ing his wealth, the detective watched hie companion, and plainly read the thoughts that were paesing in his mind.

It was a dark, starless night when the two men etartcd toward the point where the steamer was supposed to be.

Passing along, the h&if-breed gave an ink ling of a part of his game, by saying:

41 suppose we ought to divide up on the night's winnings V

The detective smiled, as he replied : • We have had no winnings.'

' But there must be some winnings,' said

Jack.

41 can prove that there are none,' replied 1 O'Neil.

I By thi3 time thsy had reached lower King

i Street, and were directly opposite a deserted

pier.

Had the blonde been eveD as simple as he j seemed, he must have known that they were

in the wrong locality to find a steamship: and had Jack been as cunning as he thought he was, he would have noticed that it was somewhat strange that the blonde followed him so uuquestionicgly. 61

The Indian led the way across the street, right cu to the pier.

The bionde followed, acting as though un der the influence of the liquor he had been drinking.

The night was dark,and not a soul had the j

two men seeD.

Once upon the pier, the blonde stared around and attempted to peer through the

darkness.

' Where is the steamer? I do not see any

vessel.'

'Oh, she lays out in the stream,' answered |

Jack.'

4 Then, how in thunder are we to get on

board of her?'

? We will find a boat out here at the end of the pier.'

' I am going into no boat to-night.' 4Why not ?'

* Because I am not a sailor, and not fond

of the water.'

The two men were now near the extreme end of the pier. All about them was still as

-deaths . . .... . . . . . .

~ JSo ydu-wdfi't go out ori 'hoard the'sliip ?'-]

asked Jack.

' I will not.'

4 Then you do not intend to give me a chance to get square?'

' Get square on what V

4 The money you have won from me to night.'

•I win money from you?' gasped the blonde, in drunken surprise.

1 Yes.'

? ' Why, you had no money for me to win ; ? we have been playing on my capital all the

evening.' |

That is false 1 I let you have a hundred }

pounds.'

4 You let m6 have a hundred pounds V

'Yes.'

4 When and where ?'

The Indian named a certain saloon, and

added:

' It is no use for you to think that you oan rob me; there were at least a dozen

men, friends of mine, who saw me hand yon : money.' j

The half-breed bad been and was playing I a shrewd game.

He handed the blonde a hundred pounds in presence of a number of men, but the money had first been given to him by the

blonde.

At tbe.time the observant M'Darragh had seen tbrongh the game.

. He knew that a claim would be made for j that money, and that hi9 own funds were ; returned to him in an ostentations manner, for the purpose of making such a claim.

0 Neil was still playing drank, although he was watching every move of the desperate

man before him. G

' Come,' said the latter, 4 hand over my

money.'

41 have no money of yours.'

Jack said no moie, but with the bound of a j tiger be leaped upon the blonde and eeized

bim by the throat.

' Don't murder me!' gasped O'Neil, in a helpless tone.

4 It yea don't agree to give me my money

I will throw you into the bay and drown ,

you!' '

4 All right,' said M'Darragh, in a far diffe rent tone from any which he had previously used, and the next instant the blonde had wrenched himself free from Jack's grasp and before the latter could realise what was to occur he found himself held by the throat iix

a grasp cf iron.

A struggle began, but the effeminate blonde had quickly become transformed into a man of giant strength.

Not a sound fell from the lips of either o!

the men.

The straggle proceeded in the darkness, with no other noise hut the cracking of joints and muscles and the stampiDgof the contest

ants' feet.

The blonde dragged the half-breed toward

the edge of the wharf, &b though intending to

throw him into the water. ~

Just then Jack cried out: 4 Hold ! I give up 1'

4Ah,ha! my fine fellow! it is my turn

now !'

' I'm sold !' said Jack, noticing the manly

tone of the other.

4 So I owe yon a hundred, eh ?' 4 No; I was trying to rob you.'

4 Then you are a bigger thief than I am,

en?'

41 throw up,' said the Indian. O'Neil released his hold.

Instantly the half-breed clapped his hand to his pistol pocket.

The weapon was gone.

M Darragh saw the movement, and said in j

a jeering tone:

? 4 I've taken charge of your shooter, old man; and now the best thing for yon to do is to resign yourself to circumstances. I want you as a friend ; we can pick up a pile if we

pull together.