Chapter 39431876

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter NumberV.-(CONTINUED.)
Chapter TitleHORACE BYRD.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39431876
Full Date1888-01-28
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count1895
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleCairns Post (Qld. : 1884 - 1893)
Trove TitleHand and Ring
article text

Uaml mid Bins;.

Br As>'A KATir.viii:.'K Gukkx.

CHAPTER V.-(Com oui d),

HORACE BYBD.

" But now, I am cab'm'd, cribb-.!, coufinM, bound in

To saucy doulns and fear»."-Mícbitii.

To join tlie .police force and be a de- tective was the last contingency that had occurred to Horace Byrd. But men in decidedly straitened circumstances cannot pick and choose too nicely ; and after a week of uncertainty and fresh disappointment, ho went manfully to

his mother and told her of the offer that had been made, him. Meeting with less discouragement than lie had expected from the poor broken down and unhappy woman, he gave himself up to tho guiding hand of Mr. Gryee, and, before lie realised it, was enrolled amomg tho secret mombo s jof the New York Police force.

lie was not recognised puiiliciy os a detective. His name was not even

known to any "mt the highest officials. J He. was employed for special purposes, i and it was not considered dcsirabl"

that lie should be seen at police] head-quarters. But being a man of much ability and of a «olid, reliable «ature, he made his -way notwithstand- ing, ard by tho time lie lind heen in the

?crvica n. yoivT-, Wim looko.1 upon na » tçoo.1 > fellow mid. _ie truly -vulutiolo ac-

quisition to tlie bureau. Indeed, he possessed more than the usual qualifi- cations for his calling, strange as the fact appeared not only to himself but to the few friends acquainted with his secret. In the first place, he possessed much acutcness without betraying it. Of an easy bearing and a polished ad- dress, he was a man to please all and alarm none, yet lie always liiiew what lie was about and what you were about, too, unless indeed you possessed a power of dissimulation much beyond ordinary, .when the chances were that his gentle- manly instincts would get in his way, making it impossible for him to believe in a guilt that was too hardy to betray itselt, and too insensible to shame to blush before the touch of the inquisitor.

In' tlie second place, he liked the business. Yes, notwithstanding the theories of that social code to which he once paid deference, notwithstanding tlie frankness and candour of his own

disposition, he found in this pursuit a «ice adjustment of cause to effect and effect to cause that at once pleased and

satisfied his naturally mathematical

mind.

He did not acknowledge the tact, not even to himself. On the contrary, he wa« always threatening that in another month ho should look up some new means of livelihood, but tlie coming month would invariably bring a fresh case before his notice, and then it would be .. " WelJ, after this matter is probed to the bottom." or, " When that crimi- nal is made to confess his guilt," till even his little sisters caught tho in- fection, and would whisper over their

dolls:

" Brother Horace is going to be n great niau when all tlie bad and

naughty people ia the world aro put in

pvi«on. ' -

As a rule, Mr. Byrd was not sent out of town. But on the occasion of Air. Ferris desiriag a man of singular

discretion to assist him in certain in- quiries connected with the case then on trial in Sibley, there happened to be a deficiency of capable men in the bureau and the superintendent was obliged to respond to the call by sending Mr. Byrd. He did not do it, however, without making the proviso that all public recognition of tin's officer, in his real capacity, was to be avoided. And so far the wishes of his superiors had been respected. No one outside of the few persons mentioned in the first chapter of this story suspected that the eaiy, affable, and somewhat distin- guished-looking young gentleman who honoured the village hotel with his patronage, was a secret emissary of the !Ncw York police.

3Ir. Ityrd was, of all men, then, the ver)- one to feel the utmost attraction toward, and at the same time the grea- test shrinking from, the pursuit of such investigations as were likely to ensue upon the discovery of the mysterious case of murder which had so unexpec- ted! j- been presented to his notice. As a professional, he could not fail to ex- perience that quick start of the blood which' always follows the recognition of a " big affair," while as a gentleman, he felt himself recoil from probing into a matter that was blackened bj- a possi- bility against which every instinct in

his nature rebelled.

It was, therefore, with oddly mingled

sensations that he read Mr. Orcutt's

letter, and found himself compelled to admit that the coroner had possessed a truer insight than himself into the true cause of Miss Dare's eccentric conduct upon the scene of the tragedy. His main feeling, however, was one of re

- lief. It waa such a comfort to think ho

could proceed in the case without the dread of stumbling upon a clue that, in some secret aud unforseen way, should connect this imposing woman with a revolting crime. Orso he fondly con- sidered. But lie had not spent five minutes at the railroad station, where, iu pursuance to the commands of Mr. Ferris, he went to take the train from Monteith, before he saw reason to again change his mind. For, there among the passengers awaiting the ISTew York ex- press, he saw Miss Dare, with a travel- ling-hag upon her arm and a look on her face that, to say the least, was of most uncommon character in a scene of so much bustle and hurry. She was going away, then-going to leave Sibley and its mystery behind her ! He was uot pleased with the discovery. This sudden departure looked too much like escape, and gave him, notwithstanding

the assurance he had received from Mr.

Orcutt, au uneasy sense of having tampered with his duty as au officer of justice, in thus providing this mys- terious young woman with a warning that could lead to a result like this.

Yet, as he stood at the depot survey- ing Miss D»re, ia the few minutes they

both had to unit lie . isked himself o\ei

and o\ci again how a uj thought oi hot j poáscüs'iig ,i peisen.ii inteicst m the J crime winch had liisti.iken place could | retain a h.irboui in Ins mind Sho j looked so noble in her quiet aspect ot | solemn deternuii ition , so supeuor in j her young, ti e»li beatty-a determina tiouthat, hoin the lol ty look it imp.u ted, roust hue its birth m genôious emotion, eicn if hci- beauty was but the result ut a i.uel\- modelled liauic ami a heal Hi ot ùuijiasainiï peifcetioii Ho ie»olieil that he Mould think ot hei no moro m th.it or any othei eoiinei iion, tint lie \r.mlil tollow the example oï hci hist frier c1, and gue Ins doubts

te the wind

.And j et such .» burr is suspicion tint he Jio -ooiiei s.n\ a. \ouuit min ip pioaihing her with the eiidcnt niten tiou o'" speaking, than he felt an me sistiblt desire to Iie.n what she would liai e to say , .ind, led by tins impulse, allotted tntiisclt to saunter nc.n\,i .mil nearer the pair, till he stood .ilmost at

the-r backs

The hi--t word lie hiaulwoic

1 " How Ion;; do you expect to lemain

fin Jiuftah), MlsS 3J.U0 '"'"

I f. which she tenlied

. 1 Im o no idea xihctlici 1 shr.ll stay a wclY ora month "

The» ^-l"5 »rustle of the advancing train i\ "A heard, and tho txv o pressed

l.urrüdl\V forward

lile* PUS>i. ,t,,s -»inch had tallen Mr Bvrd to 3Í«. "tcith kept him m tint sm ill tow ii ah' daT Jiut tll0,Sl1 ho thus missed the opnortuiiity ot attend-

ing the openingot thein?uest at&iblc^, he ¿id not c\ptnen co the vivid disap- pointment which ima 7'"° UCL»e\ pettcd, his intere-t in th lt m lttel ]"" nigiii somcunatiomitaV e way subsided fiom the moment ht saw x 'UtnjencDuo

take the cars tor Buffalo

It wa* ino o'clock xvhen k «turned to Siblej, the hour at »vi 'th tlie

Wcstei n ti.un was also due In ' xct it

cn le »temung m while he stood i hcic, and, as was natuial, pcih.ips, he paired

.1 moment to watch the passenger » ¡

alight lhere w ci e not many, and he | was about to turn tow aid home, wiien I he «".lix a lady step upon the pi itto.-ui j whose appeaiance was mi familial thai he stopped, disbelieving the evident e ot

his own senses Miss Due returned ?* Miss Dare, who but a few houis bctoic had left tlni vcrv depot for the pin - pose, as she s.ud, of mikmg a visit of moie or less length m the dist mt city of Buffalo-' It could not be' And yet there was jw mis- taking hei, disguised though -die was bj the he.uv veil tint covered her features She had tome fc.ick, jud the interest which Mr Bud had Justin Sibley, and its possible inysterj.ie xived'xxitha suddenness th it tilled up aselt-conscious blush tolnsh.^dv ehcek

But why hid she so changed hei plans ? "What eould h-.Te occnricd duimgtho few hours tint had <Hpscd since her dep.u tin e, to tura her.'bout on hei path and dine her homeward bo trie hei pin ne) was half completed ?

He could not imagine Tiue. it was.

not his piesent business to do so , and J jet, hovvevei much he endeav oui ed to |

thinlc o? otUoT- -fcHinccfl. ho {oe.nd thi« I

question occupying his whole mu.** i°"s ] after his return to the sillago hotel

She was such a mvstery this worn in, it | might easilj be that she had nev e i in- tended to "go to Buffalo that she had onlv, spoken of that place as the po mt of her destination under the stress ot her companion s impoitunities, and tha t the leal place foi which she was bouna had been some spot veij much nearer home Tlie tact that her baggage had consisted only of a small bag that she tained on hei .um would lend pio babihtv to this idea, jet, such was the generous thaiactci ot the joung dctcc tive, he hesitated ''o give eredit to this suspicion, and indeed took eveiv pains to disabuse himself of it bj inquiring of the ticket-agent, whether it via» tiue, as he hid hcaid, that Miss Daie lud lett tow n on that d.ij foi .i v i«it to her

fiiend» m Buffalo

He lccened for his replv tint she had bought a ticket for that pi ice, though she evidentty had not used it, a fact «kith seemed at least to prove she was honest in the expression of bei in- tentions that morning, whateiei alteia tion mav have taken place in hei plans dining the course of hei ]ournej

Mi Byrd did not enjoy his supper that nignt,aud he washeaitilj glad when in a ten moments attei its completion, Mr Feins carno m for a chat and a tigai

TO BE CONTINUED