Chapter 18901165

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter TitleA HOT PURSUIT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18901165
Full Date1887-04-16
Page Number20
Corrections0
Word Count1425
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleA Long Chase
article text

FICTION.

-;o:

From EncUilj, Imerlemi. mid «llirr Pcrlnrilcnli.

. > A'LONG CHASE;

CHAPTER V.

A HOT PURSUIT.

Nick could not doubt the correctness of the teller's assertion j but-well, it was the very last thing he was looking for.

" Now," said he toihe teller, as if what he had heard was precisely what he had expected, " will

you describe the man ?"

" I didn't notice him so particularly, for it was .she who handed in the bill ¡ and, now I think of it« he spent moat of his time either looking out of the window, or studying the directory."

" Didn't want to be recognised," was Nick's

mental comment.

" He was about twenty-five, I should say," con- tinued the ¡mying-teller ; " dark complexion, dark eyes, dark hair, brown moustache, no whiskers. He bad a small sear over one eyebrow-I noticed that because once when I was looking at him he pushed up his hat, and I could see it. He wore a high hat; one of those coachman's overcoats-like the dudes wear, only he wasn't anything of a dude-1-and plain dark trousers. Jîe wasn't handsome, but he was very fine looking."

'* Now, repeat that," said Nick, who wished to have the picture clear in his mind.

The paying-toller repeated the description. " And what time were they here ?"

" Soon after ten o'clock. It's nearly eleven now. You don't want me any more ? Then I'll go."

"Thank you, very much, Now," Nick turned to the cashier, " will you telephone for me to several banks haphazard, asking if any of them have changed a thousand dollar bill ?"

The cashier did as requested, and in each instance the negative answer came back.

" Thank you. Glood day. I must be quick, you

lcnow."

Nick hastened to his hack, and gave the address of Mr. Livingston's^ank. He was anxious to have

a talk with Ralph Moreland.

The young detective was becoming more and more interested. His belief in the innocense and simplicity of Mabel had received a shock, but the more complicated the case became the more pleased

lie was.

It made very little difference to him how much events intei fered with his theories, for, in truth, he was only collecting facts now upon which to build a complete theory later on.

The hack was picking its way Bather slowly through crowded Broadway, when, not far from Grand-street, Nick's sharp eye was arrested by a sight that drew a sudden low exclamation from his

lips.

A young girl atopd on the sidewalk, seemingly making inquiries of a back driver.

As Nick's eye fell upon her she lifted her vail for

a moment.

"Mabel Livingston!"

This was the muttered exclamation of the de-

tective.

The same instaut, almost, he had snatched a five dollar bill from his pocket, and was handing it to his driver through the front window.

" I am going to get out. Don't stop."

Nick spoke in a low but distinct voice, and in a tone so commanding that the driver, however much astonished, had no thought of disobeying.

"Very deftly he alighted from the moving car- riage, and in a moment was mingling with the

crowd on the sidewalk.

He had not lost sight of Mabel, who was now walking slowly along, looking up at the large buildings, as if in search of a particular one.

Closer and closer he approached her, when quickly, and without any warning, she darted into

a deor-way.

Like a flash he was at the spot.

As he looked up he could see her open a door at the head of the stairs and enter.

A step back and a glance over the front of the building told him it was a large wholesale clothing

liouse.

A play-card at the doorway bore the words s

" Good vest-makers wanted."

Like a flash it went through Nick's brain.

" Does she come here for work ? No 5 she lias plenty of money. Did she know me ? Is she trying 'to escape ? I'll see."

With marvelous speed he bounded up the stairs. He opened the door and glanced around tfie hage room, which ran back to Green-street.

Disappearing down the stairs which led out the back way was the unmistakable rough beaver hat

of Mabel Livingstone.

He did not dare to walk too quickly through the room, lest he should be stopped ; and it required his self-control to walk with an appearance of indifference and confidence the length of the long building, knowing all the time that Mabel might easily escape him.

Once on the stairs, however, he macla up ior lost time, and almost took the whole flight in two

leaps.

Another leap took him into the street, where a number of men were busy handling big boxes.

Up and down he looked. He could 6ee nothing

of the girl.

" Did you see a young lady come down here just

now ?"

He spoke to one of the porters.

Before the ' man could nuswer, another rather rough-looking man stepped up.

" Did ehe have on a seal-skin ?" he drawled.

" Yes."

" I saw her come down." I He spoke with provoking slowness.

'* Which way did she go ?" I

" Down to the next corner ; she turned toward I Broadway." ;

" Thank you." < And, to the astonishment of his informant, Nick

darted oil in the opposite direction. j t

" Not that way !" yelled the man j and then, j

ecekig Nick continue on bis way, he muttered a j a

frightful oath, and crossing the Btreet, started in pursuit.

The truth is, Nick had comprehended in a moment that the man was on the spot for the purpose of misleading him.

Consequently he had taken the opposite direction

from that indicated.

A quick glance backward revealed the man fol- lowing him, and them Nick knew he was right.

At the corner his quick eye caught a glimpse of the rapidly moving giri.

Crossing over, he sped after her. She looked

back and saw him.

With a movement of terror she redoubled her speed, almost running.

Nick fell at once into his most rapid walk. The man behind him broke into a quick run.

Nick saw that his object was to get ahead of him and baulk his pursuit.

He,- too, broke into a run, and easily left his pursuer behind.

Moreover lie gained rapidly on the girl.

She maintained her pace until Nick was not more than fifty yards away from her. Then,

ah« too brokn into a run.

Suddenly she darted into a door-way.

Nick looked quickly up, and being on the oppo- site side of the street, got a good view of the house.

It was one of three tenement-houses of the better class. The three made one large building. An iron fire-escape ran down thq face of it.

Nick took all this in even'ás fl£ sprang across the street. * "*

The door was not locked.

With prodigious leaps Nick sprang up the stairs. Looking up between the balusters he could see her ascending the second flight.

With a lightnesä and agility due to his wonder- ful muscular developemeut. Nick swept around the upper hall-way and reached the foot of the second flight ere the flying girl wa» at the foot of the third. t< ( t>

Shevsajr him and uttered a despairing cry.

Pear seemed to give her strength, and she mounted up and up like a bird.

Closer and closer he drew until he was at the foot of the fifth and last flight, before she was more than two-thirds up.

A stifled shriek broke from her lips.

Nick heard a heavy footfall on the stairs below. His pursuer was coming up.

The girl's strength seemed almost gone, but she struggled heavily up the stairs, reaching the top

with Nick but one stride behind her.

An open door was in front of her.

She fairly threw herself into the room. '

The door closed with a bang in the very face of the detective. The key was turned.

Was he to be baffled so ?

No. He drew back, lifted his foot, and shot it straight out before him.

He struck the door close beside the handle. It must have been a mightier door than that to resist

such a blow.

Crash !

It flew wide open.

A horrible imprecation sounded at the foot of the

stairs' behind him.