|Chapter Title||STILL THE MOISSOT WOMAN!|
|Newspaper Title||Euroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 - 1920)|
|Trove Title||Written in Red; Or, The Conspiracy in the North Case. A Story of Boston|
WRIT'TEN IN R?ED? 'JTHE; CONSPIP.ACY IN THE NORTH i CASE. A STORY OF BOSTON. BS Caes. MorOrtowJ AND C. . Dra. CHAPTER XII.--STLL THE MtOISSCT Early in the morning of the Monday, when Thomas was on his way to Hartford, Detective Lamm unlocked his office door. Almost the first object to catch his ece as he entered the room was a folded note lying upon the floor. "Am called out of town on an important clue." ran the brief teal pencil message. `" Will see you as soon as I get back. Mean while look out for developments at Swamp Oostt.-T.'" John Lamm was puzzled and curious, but as 'had already taken the additional precaution ' I'both Moffett and an intimate friend of • butler, the parlourmaid at the North villa, a cr his salary list, and was reasonably confi dent that they meant to serve hamun faithfully, he was not particularly anxious. He opened his desk, ran through the letters that had come, and then sat back in his chair to hastily peru-e the morning Beoson Globe. "Not a thing new m the case," he mentally commented. " What a lot of words that man Thomas car. string together about nothing, and yet leavre the impression on our minds that we h have really been reading something important! t Evidently he didn't think his clue ripe enough a to give it to the public." He turned the paper over carelessly. Sud denly he started and clutched the newspaper with a nervous grasp. "Hullo! Hullo!" he exclaimed aloud. "What the deuce does this meant" n For there, staring hin in the face, was es this :-w teThcgED.-Infirmation roncerniog the where t aboutc of Marie Moi?ot. Cuo nerly of No?e w Orlecns, sccn.lysof ?ew Tork; Creode extraction; k 7 ysears of age. Large reso l .rill be paid for relisble inf nesation if seat immediately. Address s! D. Ift. " liostin Globe" ottie. "i Well, this is a coincidence," Mr. Lamm reflected. "The same day that my advertise- d men to the same effect appears in New York, b the advertisement of some other party appears e in Boston. Now, who is itf"' A prolonged reflection, leaning back in his s chair under the stimulation of a fresh cigar, c was unproductive of a satisfactory answer to v the detective's query. Bat the reverie ended a in active measures. He suddenly arose, closed his desk, locked e the office, and went out. Bending his steps in I the direction of the Boston Globe office, he was a soon conversing with one of the clerks, but the t result was nat uropitious. q " Oh. we dosii pretend to know who puts in i7 any of these ' wants,'"' the clerk said. "iThere are too many of them. We know these adver tisers only by the tickets. When a man puts in a want, sre give him a ticket, dated and num bered with a stamp. That ticket is good for mail for ten days from the date of it." " Did you take this ad.' yourself ?" " Haven : a doubt of it: but I took no note of the per on who presented it. Couldn't even say w thethr :t was a man or a woman." a The detective returned to his office, and s began a se rch for suitable writing material. a He was not long in fiuding what he wanted, I for his desk wls amnly provided with stationery adapted for all possible contingencies. Select- I ing a modest envelope, note-paper of a poor c quality, a finu pen, and a bottle of pale ink, I he took insoi:te pains to produce the follow ing :- "' D. 19d, o?on G6',.e office. c "In answer to advertisement of this a.m., would say I have information that may be useful. If you care to see me. will beat comer of Siha:rmuto.vcaue and Dswight street at 7 this p.m. Look for a lady with red cherries on her bonnet. COsDoEsNTIAL." Exa:nining with a critical eve this effusion, J.thn Lamm became convinced that he could .ot letter it, sealed it, and hastened to the post-office with it. On his return he found one of his assistants in the office. "You know where this lady lives in Shaw miut avenue?" he said. presenting a name on a I bit of paper. " Well, get down there before she gets away, and tell her that I must see her 1 at once on important business." The man departed, leaving John Lamm in 1 sole possession of the office. Eleven o'clock brought him news of the tailure of North and Stackhouse, news which i he received with admirab'e imperturbability. " And how much do they fail fori" he asked his informant. "Everything, I hear. Even North's per.1 sonal property is likely to go. His town house and hes house at Swamuseott." S'and in that ease, how much of an inheri tance does he leave his daughters'n" " Ah, poor thin ý I Nothing !" "So, o," said John Lamm to himself, after his informant had departed. "That's how the wind blows, is it ? Well, it remains for me to find out who profits by North's death, and who by the failure. Certainly it is neither Marion Stackhouse nor Stella North." The detective was not aware of Paul North's little transaction in life insurance, and it is not probable that it would have made much dif ference in his opinion if he had been. But John Lamm's attention was now taken by the arrival of his assistant in company with a keen-eyed woman about five-and-thirty, modestly dressed. "Ah, Miss Dallison! Good morning," said the detective cordially. "Are you engaged to-day ?" "Some things on hand," she said, in a brisk, biusinesslike way; " but if it's important-" Lamm waved his hand towards the door of his inner office, and the lady preceded him into the small retiring-room which the detective preserved for his most important conferences. " And now, Bill," said Lanmm, turning to his assistant, and epeaking in a low tone, "' want you to go to Swampscott. You know where the North villa is. You will easily find it with. out any obtrusive inquiries, you ulderstand. At the upper right-hand corner, at the part of the house away from the water, is a square tower with green blinds. If a small, white handkerchief is placed over the sill, go to the servants' door and deliver on express package to MIol.lie WVhite. Take that receipt along with you anl have her sign for it. Sie will leave what Ehe has for me in the book. See? If there is no signal by 4 o'clock you may come When Detective Lsmm had despatched his eassstant, he locked the door :and saluted his female caller ver again. : ?. ' "1Allow me to pay my respects to the only female detective in America whetas worth her bread and butter," lie said. "H?ow are you?". " Is it because I'm so good or the rest are so poor, Jr. Lamm?" she returned. "Or be cause there isn't much money in your case, and you want me to work sheap ' Or what" "iNo, Miss DMallison, I don't want you to Published by special arrangemen: with esain.
work cheap," replied Lamm, becoming serious and drawing up a chair near to her. "If yon can do what I want I shall willingly let you put your own price on it." - . - "' Well, what is itw" " I can't say vet just what it will be. I have taken the lierty to make an appointment at your house with a party. unknown at 7. this evening. If the party puts in an appearance, you will have the simple task of finding out all he'or she knows, while pretending to give him or her some information which you do not possess." " Really," said Miss Dallison, sarcastically, "it is very simple indeed." "Unfortutately," said Lamm, "there is no 1 other war that I can see to get the information necessary. I will tell you how the ease stands." And producing the clpy of the Boston Globe, the detective proceeded to explain his plan. "You see," he said in conclusion, "I merely desire to have you personate the writer of the letter I wrote this morning, and to draw out as much as possible about the purpose of publish ing that advertisement from the person who turns up in answer to my note. There are two 1 things I wish. to find out-the first is, who I inserted the 'ad,' and the second is. what is wanted of Marie Moissot. And, incidentally, s iii can find out who this Marie Moissot is, why I so much.the better." *.. Miss Dalliso was exceedingly dubious about. the result, but as she was willing to try, after I arranging the matter more in detail, Lamm a made an a?,uointment at her house for 7 o'clock, and bade her" good morning." '"GooJ. heavens!' muttered Ltn.n to him self, when he was alone, " this is the first time I I ever was emolloved in a case where I was I obliedl to go to eh trourle to dnd out a few - facts which the man who e:ap!oved me could wive me in five minutes, if he only would. Is it becausehe dosea't dare to? Ilii find out, or I my name isn't Lamm. I always hke to know what soit of a man I'm working for. It's con venient sometimes." With these reflections, Mr. Ltm?m betook I himself to other matters connected with his suzzling and thus far unsatisfactory quest, for he really hadn't got far enough al.oro tob able to form a theory that positively seemed reason able to him. His assistantraturned during the afternoon. " The white rag was out when I got there," he said. "So I went to the house at once and 1 returned by the next train."' He handed Mr. Lamm a message sealed in a I envelope, 3-hilc? (relieved of th, peculiaritiesof. .1 its orthography) contained: information :Oas follows:- " " Stella North has run away. IHer bed was notslept in last night. Miss Harwood had to for:e open the door. When she saw the way the room was she fainted dead away. Mrs. Sta:kihouse attended her. She was very pale, s but she did not say anything. Moffett said she 1 had a'distracted' look about the eyes, but I couldn't see her different thian usual. As soon as Miss Harwood came to, Miss Marion (she has forbid any of us to call her Mrs. -) sent Moffett to Mr. Fetridge's house. He cameover I right away. Theyvad a long talk, which I did c not hear. Then Mr. Fetr'dge took Moffett away with him to look for Stella. Since then Miss Marion has been in her room walking up and c down. I don't believe she has sat down once. Just keeps walkingallthetime. Shemusthave I walked six miles. Moffett says that Mr. Fetridge sent him to the police office, but he didn't go c himself. Nobody knew when Miss Stella went I out. She went up to bed very early, and we I thought she was hocxed in her room to cry. I hope this will be of serrios to find her, as t nobody could wish her any harm. ? " P.S.-She is very different from her sister." ' "Ah! that woman is a rough diamond," murmured Mr. Lamm, as he conveyed the I letterto his capacious pocket book. "A pro fessional couldn't have done much better ! "But in the name of wonders," his -thought e continued, "what does it all mean ? If it had been Marion I might have unders ood it-but this. seventeen-year-old baby ! There is some salient feature in this case that I haven't yet come acroe'. ow, what is it? Where shal c I look for the missing link ?" t Profoundly abstracted and reserved John Lamm continued to be throughout the re f: mainder of the day. All the way to the house o on Shawmut avenue, whither he betook him- n self rather in advance of the appointed time, he I was not in a condition to renognise 'ac quaintances or know of what.sort the weather g was. His mind was wholly absorbed:owith the ti knotty problem that the North case now pre- ft sented. The latest development in it had aroused a new train of suspicious. . b Once inside the modest rooms of the woman t detective, however, Lamm threw off the a burden of speculation and devoted all his 7 energies to his immediate purpose. The windows of Miss Dallison's front chamber (her f suite was on the second floor) overlooked the corner to which Lamm's letter of the morning was designed to lure the author of the mysterious want "ad." The detective reasoned that if the advertiser was as importu nate as he appeared to be, he would surely call for answers before night, and unless there was some more tangible reply from another quarter, the decoy was sure to bring him. And he was quite right. Miss Dallison was already arrayed in the bonnet with the red cherties, and stood at his side looking with him between the half closed blinds towards the opposite corner when the clocks struck 7. " Thornton Stackhouse. as I live !" ex. claimed Lamm a moment later, "and prompt to the minute: There is your man," he said quickly, pointing him out. "Bring him here. I will be in the next room as arranged. If he asks you any questions, wait a bit before answering. If the feathereways twice,it means say 'Yes;' if once, it means 'No:' if notat all, you are left to your own diecretion. You generally will be." John Lamm referred to a large peacock's feather ornamentally arranged over a book case. He had connected it with the' adjoining room by a bit of silk thread. A very few minutes thereafter Miss Dallison and Thornton Stackhouse entered the front chamber. The man took the seat offered to him, back tothe bookcase. If Miss Dallison had been familiar with his personal appearance, she could not have helped observing that the lines of care in his face had deepened heavily since the day of his partner's death. He had the sleepless, worn expression of an anxious watcher by the bedside of aserious illness. "Well, well, woman," he said abruptly, in no very concliatory tones, '" I trust after bringing me here you don't disappoint me. What do you know of this Marie Moissot? Speak quickly, for my engagements are pressing. "Well, now, my dear sir," began Mihs Dal lison in a nervous, high-keyed manner, very unlike her natural self, "you'd better under stand me, to begin with. I'm not going to betray any confidences that I may have made with any of them as I may be pardoned for calling friends without I-know the why and the. wherefores of it." "What do you mean P" asked Stackhouse, darukly. "Do you expect me totell you my business with her before I knowanything about you? Toun must think me a fool. Ioffereda reward for information, and came here ti get it, not to give it." "Very well, indeed,'sir, so you did," returned ILes Dsalltsos, with' a verysbeserd air of suspi. elon. "Batyou have got to'satiefy me that you don't mean no harm to a body, for I'll not peak a word to injure anyfriend of mine. So that's just what you and I have got to settle before we go ahead." "Well, in the first place," said Stackhouse, changing his tactics, "suppose we settle whether you have any information about the person that I want. Describe the woman you refer to." "Oh, sir! I'm no good that way. She was about twenty.seven, dark, quite 'ark-well, medium height, I should say-and what I call reasonably good-looking." e"Ah! And whatis she doing for a living?" "Oh, there's where I can't answer, you see, until I find out why you want toknow. Stackhouse made an impatient gesture. "Has this woman you speak of been in Boston lately ?" The feather swayed twice. "' Isee no harm in saying ' Yes' tothat, sir. N'o harm. But more I won't say. You see, sir, circumstances are peculiar. She confided to me that circumstances are peculiar." "You mean to say, don't you, that she was here for private purposes, and that she wanted her presence here kept a secret ?"' '"I shouldn't wonder." " Bave you known this woman long?"' The feather swayed twice. "A good many years, sir." "And under thatname all the tinois ?" "I decline to state what names she has gone under,'" said the woman, with' consider. able asperity. "You may be one of them detective fellers. How do:I know' Coming up here to pump evidences out of a poor woman as has.herelf to leook aofter. I know fast n tou h-I keos; the woman you want. .Ljneo at the minutae I read that in:the paper.§ But I ain't going to be caught in no trapsnorIsain't toing.to get into no. trouble. So there's how the land lays, and yeu may as well -now it first as last." Sicehhouse seemed to be sitting on pins and needles. • . "Hang it 1" he cried. " Don't be a fool ! I have no wish to harm lier, "nr you either. I onlywishto seeher; that's all-to talk with her.".
" Is she in Boston ?" I "That I decline to say, sir." " Ah !" saidStackhouoe, coming to his feet. lt 'I see she is, or you wouldn't be so cunning 1 about it. Now, where i she ? In this house? e Tell the truth. Didn't she herself send you to b answer that advertisement? As a inatter of h fa"t: isn't she listening.-to this coiversa-. "a tion 'r" * - - . . "- ...-. - iI He made a sudden movement towards the half-open door behind which Lamm stood. But the woman was quicker than he was, and m s she intercepted him. 8 "Don't you dare, sir !" esh cried, statding i with her back against the door. 'She may be and she maynot be; but if you try to go into that room, I'll scream for help." "Ah !" said Stackhouse, significantly, " as I thought. You are too smart, woman. -You y have betrayed yourself." " Well, then," said the woman, doggedly, "you can't seeher, that's aLb"' t SOh; that's what she told you to say, is a it?" ""Never mind., .You can't see her., If It you've got any message for her, write it; and I'll see that she gets it, and she will reply by t mail. You ca 't see her. You ought to be ashamed to try to, aftertreating her as you hare."- This solereal bit of information which is "MissDallsonpolssessed outside of the patent b facts of-the.advertisement, delivered at this opportune time, musthaivedissipatedanydoubts e still lingering in Stsckhouse's mind. " Very well," he said, in an altored tone, b " I will write to her." He turned towards the d outer dooer, end Miss Dallison followed him. I IHe had actually opened the door to pass into the entry. and she was quite off her guard, when, with a quick spring, he leaped back into the room, thrusting her aside, and before I she coal-I prevent him, had flung wide open the door to the adjoining chamber. But John Lamm was too old a bird to he caught in any such trap. At the first intima tion of Stackhouss's suspicion he had taken his departure. The room was empty ! CHI.PTER. XIV.-Ma. L txe Coatons BE it,-n Hfea HIAND. h Slipped through your fingers again, didn'r she If theinocking facs. of M[iss Dallison could I be depended upon, that business-like woman seemed to enjoy the discomfiture and anger of I her victim very keenly. She took up her .hat, shook the dust from the deceivingcheres I c poised'it a :moment in her hand, and then -: suid S".Well ?" .' Mr. Stcskhouso acknowledged his defeat with a grim sort of smile. " You're a clever pair, you two," ho said, shortly. " Where's paper and ink ? Have yotu ot such things in this pantomime--trap of aTouse ?" looking with a scowl round the room he found empty. " Ah ! I thought you'd turn sensible s after awhile," rejoined Miss Dallison, briskly t producing writiig materials from the caverns of what a csual visitor would have 'pro- u nounced a wardrobe, but which was much more-a very arsenal of belongings, some y curious for their oddity, some commonplace c enough, but all designed for instant use when wanted by this extremely wide awake woman. 1 r,. Stackhouse did not find the flow of ideas quite to his liking. He began and tore up two n letters, carefully bestowing the fragments in a his wa'hs pocket. Finally he seemed- to find t an inspiration, and his pen went rapidly over e the paper, while Miss Dallison perused. the e pages of the morning's Boston Globc with every appearance of lively interest. . - - "There !" the visitor said at last, tossing his e pen aside and sealing up theletter. '"Give that t to Mario Moissot,a nd mind you tell her before she opes it that she will do well to keep it i entirely to herself." a' ' Thelady knows what she is about," was a Miss Dallison's response, " Ihope she does." was Mr. Stackhouse's b rejoinder, as he took his hat, and, without any ceremonious words.of adieu, proceeded down town. Wherever he went or whatever 'surcease from care" he may have sought in any quarter, one thing is certain-he did not make im mediate claim upon the attdntion of Detective Lamm. t But shortly after his depar!ure that bdsy .gentleman had the'atlisfaetion of rejoining the t umphant Miss Dallison andI of reading:the I following enigmatical epistle:- "' .'. "MaBEn,-FYour part in the couspiracy to 0 bring about my ruin, which was carried out on the 17th of this present June, is perfectly well known to me. I make* no foolish complaints. You have accomplished your revenge.:.- .My name is clouded with suspicion.; My .hopes of fortune are destroyed.. Let me have .frank, fair treatment now, such as a victor can well t afford to give a vanquished man ; and what ever I can save from the wreck of North and Stackhouse shall be yours. `I have not for gotten the old days at Lake Pontchartrain. I am aware that I am not entitled to ask for I mercy. But by the same means that you have done the mischief you can undo it. Will you s not ? The reward will be enough to satisfy your conscience. I cannot speak more de finitely upon paper. I must see you in person, and have a talk with you about this. Eva if you refuse, meet me face to face. You do not -now how much I may say to you. d "T. S." C Detective Lamm was still puzzling in a highly excited frameof mind over this letter, when Tuesday afternoon came. " I wishI had Thomas here to talk it over," was his unspoken thought as he gave his office chair a twirl. "Where is the man all this while?" he said aloud. Hardly were the words out of his mouth when a well-known knock was heard. Lamm's face brightened, andbrightened still more when he admitted to his little room of counsel a moment later Mr. Kingman F. Thomas. " Why, Kingman, where have you keptyour self all this while? Sit down, sit down, and give an account of yourself." Mr. Thomas arried the impetuons saluta. tion query with a question of his own. "An account of myself ?"' he said, laughing. "Perhaps you think my tinme's my own. Dd t you never hear of such a thing as a journalist I being sent out of town to do a given bit of work for his paper, John Lamm ?" The detective nodded his head and looked at Thomas in a quizzical sort of a way. a "Oh, yes, Kingman. Butthey don't gener. ally take a man off a murder mystery case like this and send him out of town on some chance affair; at least they didn't do that when I knew the officoe routine. Got a new editor down at your place ?" - " Nonsense, Lamm," answered Thomas. "Emergencies may ar ss at any moment in a newspaper office.- You know that well enough. I was pulled off the North case for a. little while, but they put me back again with l lightning-like celerity, as. you ose, for here -I am. Now, whthat haveyou got to tell me ?" "'First of all, Kingman." the detective saidd, tipped comfortably back in his chair, "I want I to tell you that I'm alittle surprised, to put it mildly, that you should have let that young Northgirlgive you the slip that night. How did ithapeu ," "The fortune of war,"-rejoined Thomas,' for tie moment- quite interested in the row of law books on. the.'shelf above tr.;-.Lamme's desk. "The best of us get beaten sometimes --even you. Of-couree you have forgotten-" "I have forgotten nothing, Kingman," said Mr. Lamci. * Let it pass. The matter can't can'tbehelped. Of oourse I knew it wasn't yourfault. And now to another subject.," The detective consultedhis littlememorandum book, and took from its leaves Stackhouso'es letter. "Never mind to vkhm it is written," he said. " What do you think of it, taken in connection with what we know of this man Stackhonse ?" Thomas read the letter twice'before answer Looks as though there might be some con spiracy. I should like to know who this Marie really.is." " ir. Loim silently acquiesced in thiswish, but he said nothing cn that point. " We have talked over our friend Stack house considerably, KIingman, first and last," he observed, "and I fancied we agreed pretty well for awhile." "For awhile?" queried Kingman. "What dovyou mean" "People change their minds sometimes, and I have mqdifed my first opinions regarding the man," continued Mr. Lamm, following the pattern of the wall paper opposite his desk with his eye. "A decidedly abler man is this Stack. house than a good many people gave him the credit of being-abler than I thought at firat. He is a smart man-a ' slick' man, as they say iup in New Hampshire. The way itt which he has managed to keep Neorth aid Stackhbouse out of bankruptcy all this while shows that he has plenty of nerve asd a good deal of skill." "Not much use without money." was Mr. Thomas's eenulentious eomnmeut. "Your know whst people say about it. Finn would have goneto smashlonag go if it hadn't been bol stered up. And all the financial fellows that I have talked with give the'credit for keeping the I firm out of deep water for three months past to one man-1Richard Fetridge " "He's a curious sort of character, that Fet Stridge," said the detective, contemplatively. SMy opinion is that without his money he would amount to but precious ittle." " Tou wouldn't put him down as the Na.
poleon of State Street. then ?". hinted Thomas. : y "No," replied Mr.:Lamm. "Why, theman cc hasn't half thd ability of Thornton Stackhouse. A Thereis a oueer'streak ihii thefellow, and it t5 sho?s itself at every turn. Pig-headed enough, T but la-ks balance.- Iteally weak-minded, forall at his ob-tinscy in small things. That's my judg Smeut of. the lian'.- hat do you say about Air. Tllmn?s thot?kht a moment. " Don't k,irw h:mt as you do, Lamm, but it seems to me he tmust hero some good qualities, some- little abiltty to harn got on such a m friendlyfooting withll the North,." Ci "Do yot mean the old man, or the womeni" c' "Well, the family generally."t " Oh, pshaw ! Paul North only wanted to ro ' work' him for his money, and I rather think, you know, that the girls may have been in with th the old gentleman in his laudable endeavour." do "Perhaps you've seen and heard more about a the Norths than I." he taid a little uncomfort. in ably. "But it didn't seem to me-" "Oh, the girls? Well, they may not have n had muchto do but to smile sweetly on Fet- at ridgeand keep hin in the firm's traces," con- as tinued the letective, with a covert slance at his ally's face ;" and, of course, this Fetridge b was no fool to be caught by the bare hook. He rc isn't posesssed of any great amount of brains, ht but his experience in the business world makes up for some of his naturatl hortrosin?s.- How. 1. ever, perhaps this failure will bring out the I facts about Stackhouse. I hope so. It's a bad se break, and a great many people have gone pt down with North andStackhouse. But Itliuk et Thornton St crkhouse himself has saved nothing rc out of the crash.1" " The Norths have gone under, of course?" ol "Yes. Not a dollar, so far asI can see, will n be left to them. There's no telling, though, sl what those girls may have managed to pick up hi and hide all this while. That young creatre, le now, who went off-" rt '" You mean-Miss Stella?" There was a d, dangerous look in-Thomas's eyes. ri "Certainly. She'a a hardened little bag gage, I'll bs bound. Why, man,-she was o shrewd enough to throw vou off the scent, at and a girl of eighteenrwho can trick Kingman tl F. Thomas when he's on the watch is an abnor- ft mally clever sort of creature." ' w Mr. Thomas abruptly arose and looked out of u the little window.? -".. - . - at "' How doyou imagineshegottawayfroinyou, G Kitgmn ?"'- purleed Mr.Lasmm:- .".. - . . " A piece of bad luck," the reporterreturned; curt y.-s:'-'-We all have those sort othappenings w oessbnetires." "I suppose-:the 'girl: watched- her. tO chance and stoleat away. othinlrvery cilculat- t, ing about that, it seems to me. .It washer good fortune;" " e " Justso, jdstuso," asserted Mr Lammi "It's m a" sore spot with yvou, old fellow, eh?. Well, never mind. W'-e know now, of course, who the hi guilty party is in this' affair. Never mind hi Fetridge now. Flight is confession, and you can take ample revengehby helping to' bring fe that largeseyed matden who gave you the slip t} to justice. Tou gee the point, Kingman?" Si. t No, I don't," esaid Mr. Thomas, turning upon the ingenious Mr. Lamm in great heat. " Vhat morbid state of mind has come over lb you? What's the matter with you that you go to on maunderinig like this ?" ... - hi "Mauitdering!" Mr. Lamm's face wcr. a' look of cleverly-assumed astotiishment. kt "Yes. Mhsundering is what I said, and I Io meant it, too. Come ! You don't mean to look me in the face and tell me that you think tata ar timid, shrinking girl like Stella' North would cc ever have the courage to murder her father, a even if she had the heart to do it?" : ' "But she ran away'- " There was a tell-tale twitching at the corners e of the detective's mouth despite his efforts to sa the contrary, observing which, Mr..Thomas gave little start;'pulled up his" shirt collar, relaxed ci his features, laughed, though rather can- f, strainedly, and clapped Mr. Lamm on the th shoulder. "Have done with your 'kidding,' old man." m hesaid. !'I'm not one of the Central Office crowd." -b Mr. Lamm coughed behind his hand. "You can't make me believe any of your sc foolishness," continued the reporter. "Now, talk straight fora moment. Stackhouse or Fet- b ridge-whom shall I watch, now " . c No use to try to cheat you, Kingman," re torted Mr. Lamm,-with an expansive smile. f "Well, in'the present uncertain state of affaira, both must be watched. We ought to ba here, both of. us, to?look after niattersm:butT-als' suddenly called away, and'this is why I. am so glad you came in." - " Called away?" ' I "YesT old Jobson, the clerk- at -North and Stackhouee, has just told me in his innocent way all about a certain suspicious character that occasionally came to see North, and lives in -New York. I am-'goiig to look the:man up d there, ind for a day.or two you must wastchthe Boeton ?t?d for both of us." . . ." 'Mr. Lamm, after: advising Thomas .to still watch Swampseott, and promisilng to bring in a man or two to help cover the city points, bade the reporter a friendly "good.bye," and went from his office directly towards the Alban y station. But the protuberance on his valise, which b marked the sojourning place of the very rigid hair brush which was iMr. Lamm's constant travelling companion, soon pointed north in stead of south. It was Mr. Thodtas whom the detective followed. Seeing him enter the office of his newspaper, Mr. Lamm turned back, deposited his valise in his office, and betook himself to Court Sqare. a " Nowak, how are you ?" Thus lhaled the- detective a tall, well- . built, well-dressedyoungman who was crossitig the pavement at a brisk pare. fe "'Hallo, Lamm, how goes everything ?" the , reporter said. h "Quietly, quietlr. How are the boys in the Globe office? I hardly ever see them nowadays, a not even Kingman, whom I used to run across it so often." ' • : "Kingiman ?" said Mr. Nowak. " Oh, he's I busy on the North mystery. D)oesn't do any- it thing else. Has his own time, and flits in and out of the office at all sorts of odd hours. Sometimeshe's in a dozen times a day. And then, again, the editor may not see him for twenty-four hours or more. But Kingman is a privileged character, you know. He never b wastes his time when he is ona job." ' Mr. Lamm nodded his head emphatically. , "You're right, Nowak, The word shirk is not d in Kingman F. Thomas's vocabulary. -You are quite positive that he has not had any:b other work but the North case ?"' I "Oh, sure. They wouldn'ttake him off of it under any circumstances, now, when the fao's s are liable to come out at any hour." tl " I hope he isn't wasting his time and energy. It's a queer case, isn't it ?" " Deuced queer." With a friendly hand-grasp the two parted. Mr. Lamm proceeding to a drug store;-close at hand. consulted the chi-ined directory, and ' found in a. minute a certain address desired. 0 Boerding a car, he journed southward. - :-.Where the'streets' began to b-show bits of: garden in front of the houses, and every bricir wallwas not a party wall, MIr. Lamm alighted, and walked up a pleasant-looking avenue. - Anew apartment house, not far from the corner, appeared to have a particular interest for JohnLa.m. Initsnei"hbourhood. indeed, he passed the better part ooan hour. - Without apparent effort. ?. Lamm entered into easy conversation with'several people there and thereabouts, and as a result thereof, there was a sudden transfer of especial interest from the family hotel to the building next door. MIr. Molon's modest dwelling was by no meansequalin height toits neighbour. But its gravelled roof, nevertheless, offered certain facilities that the detective greatly desired. A brief colloquy was all that proved necessary to gain the desired permission. Once upon the roof, Mr. Lamm placed him self behind a sheltering chimney, and cautiously peered into the windows of the neighbouring building that overlooked the place. All the curtains were up, and the light, streaming cheerfully into what was evidently t a sittin"-room. brought into relief the face of a motherly-looking old lady, busied with her knitting. 'Presently she looked up; and soon the sight I of another face rewarded John Lamm'oe watch. It was the face of a short, rather thick-:et I young man, whose dark-brown, kindly eyes had looked into his own not many hours before. The detectiove noted them carefully as they 1 stood talking together- earnestly. "He saw Sthem turn cuickly, and as the rays of the aettig suu shtne through the glass, another form came into full view. It was a woman's figure. John Lamm looked with all his eyes. There was no mistake: no room for error. It was as hethought and hoped, and a smnil of absolute satisfaction played about his lips un consciously. Suddenly he drew back. The tthick-set young man in the room opposite was just tutr iug round. Before he could peer out of the winsdow, in his turn; the form was out of view. When the sidelong, glande was next directed outwards the blinis were drawn over the tell Stale window. But the precaution eamo too late. The next moment Lamm found his way o down the stairs, thanked lIr. Mdlon behind his counter very kitsdly for his courtesy, walked up the street, and took a ear eitywards. " Ah, my black-haired friend," he thought, Sexohltinly, "a very clever hchems of ycure. But walls have eyes for John Lamm once in awhile, 'Kingmas, and though yoo've -kept
your erate well.from the crowd, you couldn't .-onceal it from your partrer. ihat would Applebee say, what would Stackhouse say, fo, that matter, if they knew that Kingman F. Thomas had a pretty guest, none other than the strangely-missagg Stella North?" (TO BE CONTIfUED.)