Chapter 146835666

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Chapter NumberXIII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146835666
Full Date1891-07-09
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count2010
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 XIII.

Onoe on the street O'Neil gave utterance to his thoughts. O if ->

' Well, this gets me as sure as I am a living man. I feel satisfied, that the note is not a forgery, and now the Question is. how true are its statements V Believing the note to

have been written by Harry Trendall, all my ! suspicions concerning Mr. and Mrs. Turner, are false. If they are false how about the : conversation I overheard between Indian Jack and Mrs, Turner at that midnight tryst ? And again how about the five hun dred Jonathan Turner tfiered me in the prison ?'

At this moment the cfficsr chanced to raise

his eyeB, and hiB glance fell upon a flashly dressed man, with dark eyes and com plexion.

The very next moment he bad identified

him.

* Indian Jack by all that's swearable!' - he exclaimed,,and at once he was all atten

tion.

* Luck is with me,' muttered the detec tive, as his eyes gleamed with a pleasant look, ,

At the same moment he turned and ! followed in the direction taken by the halt breed.

It was upon William-street that O'Neil had met Indian Jack.

In his present disguise the officer defied detection, and as the Indian was saun tering carelessly along, the seeming old r^an had no difficulty in keeping close behind him, while at the same time preserving his character as an old mac.

Thus for some distance the half-breed led the way, and O'Neil followed!

The former met a friend.

The meeting confirmed tbG impressions the officer had concerning one of Indian Jack's

associations.

The man whom he met, and with whom he appeared to be on terms of great intimacy, was a notorious thief and gambler.

A fellow ready, for a price, to commit any

crime.

The two friends proceeded along until they came to a public-house.

The latter place they entered.

'-Just as I thought,' murmured the detec

tive.

The latter knew the place well where the

men had entered.

The lower part of the building was used as a tavern, while the second floor was a gam bling hell, one of the worst places of its class jyn the city.

i As me detective walked along towards the j place he muttered: -5 :

j ' I have generally dropped to something | when I followed that chap before, and I'll just

see what I can pick cp now.'

The seeming eld man entered the bar-par lor. and taking & seat at one of the tables

called lor ale.

There were quite a number of roughs in the place, including a large number of fo

reigners.

The detective took a paper, and, in the most deliberate manner, prepared to read as the foaming glass of beer was set upon the

table before him.

His actions as an old man were remarkably

true to'life.

He first attempted to read the paper with the speotacles which be had on when he

entered the place.

These did not appear to suit him, and he removed them, wiped them off, and tried them

again.

Still they did not appear to suit him, and, ia the most natural manner, he put them in

his pocket and' drew out a larger spectacle

case, r

Prom the latter he drew a pair of spec tacles with glasses, a peculiar andodd-looking

pair'indeed.

They were more peculiar and odd than any one in the room supposed: in fact the proba bilities were that there was not a pair like

them in Australia.

The last spectacles appeared to suit the.-old man's eye-sight, and, taking the paper, he B6ttledhimself down for a quiet read.

Among the part j at a bagatelle table was

Indian deck.

He had bean invited to join in the game,

and hedid so.

The old man turned his chair so that his. back waS turned directly toward the players, and his attention was fixed upon the paperJ which .he appeared to/be intently read

ing- ? ?

Itlwasjosfc here that the peculiarity of those odd-looking spectacles came in.

The detective did not see one letter of the

print before him, but he did see every move- : ment of the party playing at the bagatelle

table.

The spectacles were what in olden times were" called quiz-glasses.

They, had been made in Paris, ana ware bo

perfectly , adjusted with , looking-glasses, , semi-magnifying, that a person with his back j towards ah object could see it as plainly, if not more distinctly, than when gazing straight at it with the naked eye.

The first thing that the keen-witted officer discovered while he sat there to see without being seen, as it were, was that Indian Jaok was very uneasy and restless.

Thegams proceeded. -

The half-breed showed considerable irrita bility. _ 0

He was captious and disputatious; nothing appeared to please him.

It was not long before O'Neil became aware that a very serious dispute was in

progress..

There happened to be some hitch in the

game. ,;

Jack became quite violent, and at length from words the disputants came to blows. The struggle did not last long. It was more a scuffle than an actual fight.

It would have been a fight, but friends of both- the disputants interfered, and the matter terminated with a few attempted blows, and considerable hauling and pul ling. '

The struggle was of sufficient imp jrtance - to peimit the old man to remove bis • specs '

and turn round and watch it.

His keen eye3 observed a letter drop from

the Indian's pocket.

•The.missive was slung under the table out

of sight.

When the muss ' was over Jack and his friends went upstairs, while the other party

left the pailour..

The detective's whole attention was directediosecurirg the envelope.

He walked to the bagatelle table, and after examining it a while he motioned to the bar keeper, and commenced asking questions

about the game.

Wfien an opportunity offered he drew bis handkerchief from his pocket, and as he did eo flirted a letter under the table.

* Ah 1* he exolaimed, * how awkward 1' and reaching down, he rescued both eveiopes, as though they both had fallen from his

pocket.

He remained some time talking to the bar- - tender, but at length took his seat at a table, and called for another glass of beer.

When an opportunity offered he read the

letter.

It proved to be an important clue, under the^circnmslsnces, and read as follows :

•Fbiend Polite,—The girl has received the ncteall O. K.; will he on hand to be con ducted to her lover. You must play your part well, and make sure of your work ; yon will not miss yonr reward when all is ac complished, act according to the programme. Fail not now, and you will be rich for life.—

Yours,

? Alicia.'

A grim smile played over the detective's

iaoe. .

Once more had good lack attended him. To him the note was more precious than a

jewel. •

As he sat there with the letter m his hand he thought over the entire matter.

He did not know whether it would pay him to attempt to go upstairs and continue to 'pipe' Indian Jack or not.

At length Indian Jack came down-stairs. He did not stop in the house, but passed

right out, and immediately the detective, was

on hie track.

The latter followed the Indian until he eaw him go into the house in Sussex

street.

It was then near dusk, and it was after dark when Jaok re-appeared.

' 1 may as well keep upon bis track,' mut tered O'Neil, and he started once more in pursuit.

Indian Jack only went a few blocks from the house where Mrs. Turner an I her hue band were, when he turned into another gambling house.

The latter was a well-known reEort, unlike the private place where Jaok had bten earlier

in the day.

Having .seen, the man he was piping', entered-this place the detective rem.itked:

• He will remain there some tin e ; I'll make a change and go for him on a ne w

tack.'

Three quarters of an hour after the half breed had entered the gambling place named, a siyiishly dressed man sauntered into the

same saloon.

The latter was a peculiar-looking kind of

chap.

Hia hair was blonde and worn quite long— German student fashion, and altogether he was quite .an effeminate and dandified-look

ing young snob.

Indian Jack was seated at the table, but was not playing.

! O'Neil managed to secure a seat very close to Jack, and as the game proceeded he made himself conspicious by a number of very foolish remarks.

I His foolishness occasionally drew out a

sarcastic retort from some of the players but the blonde paid no attention to these re bukes. and ever and anon would break in with some fresh nonsensical observation.

These interruptions at length evidently be came very annoying to the men engaged in tne play, and finally one of them remsrhed

to the. dealer : _

' Why don't you give that fellow »i bounce?' '

The bloDde overheard this savage advice, and he said with an aggravating laugh:

• Wbv don't you hire yourself out for that

3° The dealer felt himself called upon to in terfere at this juncture, and he asked:

« Did you come in here to raise a row, young fellow ?'

' What do you want in here, anyhow ?

• I want to get into the game when some

ot these half-crown betters get out and allow

a man a chance.'

. This last remark made a f'iend of the

dealer at ones.

Indian Jack was not playing, but occupied a p'aTer's seat. 62

Toe dealer glancing at him, asked :

' Are you going to get into the game,

Reyes ?'

No, replied Jack,' this gentleman can have my seat.'

1 Thank yon,' said the blonde, and a pecu liar smile played upon his face.

He distinguished bi3 entry into the game by ordering £50 worth of counters to begin

with.

All hands expected to eee some reckless play and heavy losses.

They were deceived, however, as the new player did not jump right in and cover a card but calmly waited until the deal was nearly

closed.

Then turning to Indian Jack, who had ex changed seats with him, and passed a casual remark concerning the ohances of a certain

card.

Jack replied with an ordinary answer, when the blonde clapped a ten-pound note

on the card he fancied!

The dealer, slid the cards-from-the boxand his stake had doubled itself." ~ '

The winner raked in the cash, and did not offer to bet again daring the same deal.

This csutiousplay caused considerable sur

prise.

The players had expected to see some fool ish adventuring, but so far they had been disappointed.

The dealer also began to eye the hew player in a peculiar way.

^ The next dealwas begun, however,without

remark.' ''

The blonde waited, and at about the same stage of the gaihe as before be piit £10 on a

certain card. '

As fceldre, he won/ahd raked in his pile of

money. '

He made bat one bet on this deal.

The surprise of the players was now in

creased.

They began to look upon him with con

siderable awe and respect.

It was net because he had won, but be cause of his peculiarly cool and cautious

manner.

His foolish expressions had quite suddenly

ceased.

He said nothing, except when occasionally he would make some every-day observation

to Indiavt Jack.

He ehowed no elation at winning, seem ingly taking his good luck as a matter of

course..

Upon the third deal he made another

wager.

The last time he laid down only £5.

He lest.

With the same ooolnese the strange man waited for the deal to oiosc before offering to bet again. O 63