|Newspaper Title||Euroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 - 1920)|
|Trove Title||Written in Red; Or, The Conspiracy in the North Case. A Story of Boston|
>WRI'TEN IN RED: ; On, THE, CONSPIRACY IN THE NORTH 1 CASE.` a A STORY OF BOSTON. t -Bt Caas. MoavrAGas AND C. W. DYAa. 'CHAPTER XVI (cor.vnrUn).-ConsrPmac-. Thomas had risen and was holding up his hand. There was something horrible even to this veteran in the merciless arraignment of the sister of the woman-he had protected. It might betrue. John Lamm was the shrewdest of shrewd men; but he would not believe it until he had all the proofs before him. "I tell you, Lamm," he declared, "I will not believe that woman planned that murderas long as there is a chance in the world for a reasonable do6ubt. And I can show-" There wasa rattle at the door handle. "It's my man Bill," said the detective, back again from Swampscott." E. He unlocked the door. '"And what has her ladyship to offer to The messenger placed a letterin John Lamm's hand, The detective broke the seal and read it -aserly. "' See," he said, passing it to Thomas, a "it'e from my little parlour maid at Swamp. - The reporter perused the missive in his turn. With a little editing it would have read as dollows:-: "tSheis getting worse and worse: If this o goes on much longer I can't stay here. Since tellran away she's acted stranger than ever. It-wouldn't do to speak to her for your life. M? -Fetridge called last night again.. Their talk was short. She got a letter from her hus- 0 bandlast'ni"ht. I brought it from the post office;and knsowhis S's. She spent all the evening, I think writing, forher room warn fll -sof'tnyscraps, written on, this morning;. but d ahe must have torn them all up, for no 'lette as been posted from this house; that's certain. P 'm crazy to know if that poor girl's been heard from .. Don't keep the news from me, as soon as she is found. I think Stella's going has -ecaed M. She looks like a ghost, and I'm afiaid of her, and so are all the rest." . "It's evident she tried to answer the letter Stiackhouse'wrote her," said Thomas. .-Some. thing must have thrown her into an unusual atte of indecision." John Lamm's comments •wereentirely mental. Heonly remarked that li' had a deal of work before him. Before e setting out, however, on his new quests, the de tective took a decided notion that he wanted to be' introduced to Stella, with whom he had .never been given an opportunity to talk. Thomas was delighted at the chance of con verting his friend wholly to the cause of the un fortunate girl, as he was sure a visit to her would do. So the two men were soon in the horse cars, on their way to the reporter's home. 'homas led Lamm to alittleroom in the second -storey, where his mother-a delightful lady with. a sweet voice and a facea little faded and worn with?the cares of fifty years, but brimming full of the goodwill and sympathy of a heart that 'theyears had failed to harden--is seated at her e knitting. The old lady takes off her spectacles, said is delighted to meet any friend of her son, whom it is easy to see she has placed in a niche far above the ordinary walks of mankind. She .drops a little curtsey, arid when her son d whispers in herear, becomes brimful of impor tair e and mystery. Going to the door of the adjoining chamber-her own room-she says something in a low voice. There is a rustle of a.woman's dress, and Stella North appears on the'threshold. -Pale and haunted by a cruel fear such as never troubled her young life before, she is, nevertheless, so much her old self that her eyes seem ready to laugh again, and the dimples to indent themselves in her pretty t cheeks, If sufficient encouragement is given for hear roguish smile. Alas, poor child! Her accustomed mirth had been a stranger to her for-some time; and 'the laughing face that nature had given her was onlya cruel mockery. Itwas useless for John Lamm to ask himself whether she were part and parcel of the' mur derous conspiracy which he suspected. The .refutation of all doubt was written in her clear blue eyes, her timid, shrinking from a stranger, her honest, roguish face. hy, that girl was meant for the open air and the sunshine, to sing, to love, to be -'happy, he thought It is an incongruous hard.hip that a tragedy like this should -Comeinto herlife. She is asoutof place as a gay soubrette in the family of Lady hMacbeth ! But whenshe spoke, when, encouraged by he ready tact of Thomas, she was led to take part in the pleasant conversation that ensued- Thomas had expresslyv stipulated that no re ferenoe should be maoe to the tragedy-why, thenoJ6hn Lamm could not restrain his honest --_dmiration and his cordial sympathy. A erea r tnr,?I?.once so frank, so free, so shy and so bold, so ,nodest and so reckless, in a breath, was enough to disarm the most severe of erities. Andthedetectivopronounced her themostperfect ideal of an innocent, mischievous, light-hearted girl, not too shallow to love, but altogether too snny to hate. But, more than all he noted the half-abashed half-reverential air with which she regarded her guardian Thomas; and the peculiarly soli etous, respectful, and protecting manner which .be exhibited towards her. '" Well, well," sighed Lamm, as he walked away, " there is one outcome to the North case which I feel perfectly safe in predicting at the present time. These two people are in love. A curious match! To think that Thomas should meet his fate undersuch circumstances i Well, well! I wish I felt so sure of the rest as I do -of them!". And John Lamm hastened back.to resume 'the drooped thread of the case which was in. tensifying in interest with every hour of inves tigation. - " If I am right," he muttered, "1 shall soon find that Richard Fetridge and that-curious woman were in that house together." T?e went direct to his office and sat down at hila desk. CHAPTER XVII.--Framuo IS STILr Rr TICENTo Mr. Lamm had hardly got comfortably •settled in his chair, and was meditating a look over the public statutes to freshen his memory on acertain point, when his familiar announced -that r. Thornton Stackhouse was in n aiting. The broker sho wed in his care-furrowed face something of the effect of the strain he had been unr ; but until he was alone with the detective hemaintaiued much of his accustomed decision of mauner. Then he made no further -effort to conceal his anxiety. " M"r. Lamm," he said, eagerly bendiing over the table and tapping it with i.ervous fingers, S"this strain is becoming greater than I can endure, andI wantyour best advice what to "You may command me," was the response, " girenin by no means an unfriendly tone. "But
sit down, sit down, and talk about the matter calmly." "Calmly!" Stackhousa smiled bitterly. "You do not know what I have to suffer, man. The failure is bad enough ; the distrust of me I see on every hand is hard to endure; but I could stand up against everything if I did not have trouble at home." There was a break in the man's tone, but he controlled himself in a moment, though he studiously avoided meeting Mr. Lamm's stead fast look. " My wife and I have bad serious trouble. I cannot live here under all these burdens." " Women are odd sometimes," said Lamm, "but almost all of them have some weak spot through acquaintance with which they may be managed. It ought to be possible to effect a reconciliation with our wife. Excuse me for speaking thusplain y, Mr. Stackhouse." '"Tou know neither the woman nor the cause of the trouble,"returnedStackhouse. hurriedly. "However, this was not the subject I camehere to discuss." "How can I assist you, Mr. Stackhouse? Command me." "Mr. Lamm, I have every reason to believe that my steps are dogged-that all my actions are spied upon. If 'I go in the streets after dark, there is a man always just at my elbow, If I make any sudden movement in the daytime somebody starts into life in an unexpected I qusrter, and is directly upon my heels. This 1 morningI opened a letter. An I stood stll to readitl becam aware that aace was peerng* over my shoulder. I turned suddenly, but the man was quite as quick, and passed on without looking at me. But I was well aware that I did not now see him for the first time. All of which leads me to believe that I am watched." - "A logical conclusion, Mr. Stackhouse." "Well, then," said Stackhouse, nervously, "what I came to ask you was this: Suppose I wanted to do so, what do you think of the possibility of my getting quietly out of town?" The detective's warning finger was uplifted in an instant. .1 "Don't go," pronounced Mr. Lamm, deci sively. "Bly no means try to leave Boston." " You mean. it would be of no use for me to try," rejoined Stackhouse, dejectedly. "I 1 know I am being dogged constantly, but with your help, I thought-" '. "There would be no trouble in giving 'the slip to the men who follow you about,' said Mr. Lamm. "You could get away from Boston easily enough. But you would be stopped by telegraph before you had gone forty miles. I Come, Mr. Stackhouse, give up the idea of i Blight. It isn't -like you to think of it. Stay here and fight your trouble' out, man fashion, saying nothing,; keeping quietly about your business. :"ou must not embarrass me; for one I thing. I am running down the guilty party, I verilybelieve." -:... Stackhouse rose, clutching the table with both hands. "You mean it?" he said,hoarsely. 1 Mr. Lamm nodded with perfect asosurance.. "I do mean it, Mr. Stackhouse. Now you have retained me in this case, don't spoil my c work by an attempt to run away. It wouldnot onl.have .a'very adapp'earance, but eadly t interfere withl my plane. Stand firm. I know you are having a great deal to contend with, but it will onlymake matters worseto-well, suppose we say change your base of operations.' Come! Promise me thatyou'llquietlystayhere in Boston until, at least, the North 'case ceases e to be a mystery." The detective's hand was stretched out ashe a spoke, and. soon. encircled Mr. Stackhouse's palm. The warm grip. seemed to.put new courage into the man, and as he thanked'Mr.. I Lamm and went out, he seemed more like the p junior partner of North and Stackhouse, in their v most flourishing days, than he. had been-for b many a day. - Mr. Lamm listened to the retreating footstep, h and felicitated himself in having done at least one niece of good work. I " I can't conscientiously say," he ,remarked t to his reflection in the looking glas, ' "that I enjoy being retained byquite so many people in d one case. Before this time I expected to be able to resign from one or the ether; but I' t don'tseem to be quite able to make up my mind. p What with ingman's pro!'gie and this luckless man Stackhouse, I have quite enough to occupy mymind and thought. ButnowforthatAgsllo' whom I suspect." Mr. Richard Fetridge was found in his .quiet ii little office in anything but a reposeful state of n mind, and his books and Pagerus were in. great o dieordM.. " Good afternoon, Mr. Lamm," said Mr. Fetridge. "·Excuse the looks of the room, and s find a chair for yourself, if you can. I've just been clearing up my Nicaragua Midland a account. A tidy stm I've dropped in that t swindle. It's not the money I care about, but v the being taken in so shamefully. North and Stackhouse, indeed! A nice mess that rascally junior partner has made of it" Mr. Iamm acquiesced in look, but not in t words, and then began-to question his com panion about the details of the failure and its extent. "'The creditors won't get ten cents on a dollar, air." Richard Fetridge had repeated these words with much emphasis, when a little dried-up - clerk, who had been holding an animated'?con versation in an undertone with somed one in the passage, came up with an apologetic air. ' "Well, what's the matter,' Olsen ?" 'queried Fetridge, rather irritably. ' "Man at the door," answered the clerk. "Won't go away. Says-he must see you. Very S important business." er "What sort of looking man ?" asked the employer. " 'Rather disreputable, sir. Been drinkidg; should say, but seems really to have business." As if-by way of emphasing unmistakably Mr.' ' Olsen's half-whispered 'words, ' an unkempt head, with watery eyes, peeredin through'lthe doorway.. ' :. ':. Mr. Lame looked at him with mild curiosity, while Mr. Fetridge gave a start of recognition. "Good-day, asir," said a shambling figure that little by little gained a foothold within the room. "Mr. Fetridge, good-day, sir, I hope a you are well, sir." - - Without awaiting an answer to these saluta tions, delivered' in rather a thick voice. Mr. Fetridge motioned the clerk aside, and'said to t the detectiveunder his breath " Just go inside the office yonder a moment. I suppose I must see this fellow; but I'll not be long. " Inwardly wondering, Mr. Lamm suffered himself to be introduced intota 'little room with a window opening out upon a wall, and furnished with two chairs,; a deal table, and several rows of shelves occupied by dusty books. t t There was a fanlight over-the door that gave r access to the larger office. This much the de c tective knew at first glance. " I must use that fanlight," he said' to him self. "This proceeding of Fetridge is 'very curious. It maybe only one of his whims- he's a notional man, I can see. But, at auy 1 rate, it will do no harm to watch the intevieow. t What can a well to-do manlike Fretridge -have in common with a fellow like thatr"' As Mr. Lamm asked himself thie question he noiselessly brought a chair to the door, and followed thatproceedisg with an equally silent trisfer of severalbooks." By the aied oi'thi device the detective found himself able to look 1 through' the fdnlight unobserved, and soon 5 realised that he could hear as well as see. The unkempt head was unpleasantly near Mr. Fetridge, as Mr. Lamm looked in, and the expression of disgust on Mr. Fetridge's counten ance left no room to doubt that he fullyrealised the fact. "I wan' ten doll'rs, an' I van' it now," ro e marked the caller, thickly, but emphaticallyv. - "What do you mean ?"- returned- Fetridge, drawing away his arm. "Didn't you prdmie, on your honour, when I gave you thecmoney last time, that you wonldn't trouble me There was a cunning look in the bleared,' red eyes. :-. L "I was halffull and don' rmember what I said,!' he rejoined.. "Don' care, any way. I wian'.that ten doll'rs, aud I must have it" The visitor shook his trembling hand at PFeridge with an apoloy for a Ihbreat. Mr. Lsmm, rathersurpresed, noticed that the bhoi nessman did not openly resent hin companion's tone, but stood there;evidently in much per plexity of mind. -Come," continued the tramp, in' louder tones.-' " You can't frighten me!. I know where you were that night-don't forget that!" Mr. Fetridge wheeled his importunate caller around and said, in apprehensive waring- "Huoh Don'tspeaksoloud! There- are people within hearing!" "Hand over, then," answered the man, sullenly, "and make no more bones about the matter, either !" As if fearfulof some interruption, Fetridgo put some money between the grimy fingers of his creditor and fairly pushed him out of the room amid some mutterings which the watcher at the fanlight could not overhear. Mir. Lamm hIad restored the books to the shelves snd was sitting down, looking out into the well, when Fetridge opened the door of the little office. "Come in." he said; "I've got rid of the fellow; used to be a gardener on my place at Swampscott, and I put up with his visits because he is really a capable man when not in liquor." John Lamm looked Richard Fetridge full in the face.
" When I nam in a gentleman's employ," he began, "I do not feel that I have done my full duty as confidential detective if I do not warn him when he is treading on danigerous ground." Richard Fetridge grew a little red in the face. - - "LWhat do you mean?" 'he asked, con strainedly. "I mean that when a gentleman situated as you are pays blackmail to a man who. looks like a'dirty tramp--".- ' . Mr. Fetridge turned upon him hotly. "This is going too far, Mr. Lamm; alto gethertoo far. It is none of yourbusiness." "Pardon me," answered the detective very imperturbably.. "Under these circumstances, Mr. Fetridge, it is my business to warn you, very emphatically, that your giving money to thisman here, just now, was a very ticklish annd dangerous proceeding. You may ask how I know." . "I do ask how you know," put in .Mr. Fetridge, with anger and shame contending for thecmastery. "It was dangerous, Mr. Petridge, because you are one of the parties under surveillance in this matter of the murder of Paul North." " What!" " Don't- get excited, sir. I am simply stating facts. You were the last person seen with Paul North, so far as the evidence in hand indicates. Consequently, until more is known about this phase- of the case, you are under suspicion' to certain' extent. whether you know .it or not.?sir you have been watched- I alifist constantly." -. . " Watched !" ejaculated Fetridge, now very pale. "Watched. By the police," pursued Mr. Lamm. - "Now, 1 have been frank with you, and you must be equally frank with me. How do you' imagine my services as confidential detective can u'be of value to you, Mr. Pet ridge, if you do not give me your entire confl dence?" There was some answer on Mr. Fetridgo's lips, but he could not seem to give it utter ance. Mr. Lamm pursued his advantage steadily. "Let me ask you one:question. You paid blackmail to that man b-cause he -knew, that you had an- interview with Paul North at his house the night of. the, murder. Am :I not right?" - - - . Fetridge started up. -- - " I beg- your pardon ': he exclaimed, ". but you misapprehend the state of the case,. Mr. Lamm..I. did not pay the. man becauseIt feared to have the truth known on mv account. I have kept silent on the subject simnply out of I respect for the feelings of Mr. North's family.". Ssmewhat enigmatical and:. unsatisfactory Mlr.. Lamm. thought this statement. But he I made no comment, and continued his ques- I Vatning. - "It this is not a case of.blackmail,;?r.i Fetridge, why did you pay this man money ? Do you mean to say that you were not at Paul North's house that night" ., Mr. Fetridge by this time had regained his i "om have no hesitation in saying to you thit I was at his house that: night,"; he answered.- - - The detective's face grew dark. f " Why did you not tell me this ? Why did c you not makoethe fact known to the police?" " For the simple reason, that the police have a not asked me." - Mr. Lamm ,t ok an impatient- step or two. around the.eroom; . " Mr. Fetridge, you are an enigma," he re sumed, rather sh.rply. "Perhaps you will be c good enough to explain why you permitted the publicto have the inpression that you parted c with Paul North for the last time the afternoon c before the murder at the Old State House?" : . " I had no idea or 'suspicion that Mr. North I had been putout of the way when I made that statement at the directors' meetins,", " Mr. Fetridge explained. "Besides, Stalclousos was there. Iwould not have let him know of my private conference with afr. North for a great deal. And since the crime came out, I-have been living in hope that you would discover the facts in season for. me to keep out ofany possible connection with the affair. I shouldt have toldyou about it.; I realise it now. - But what's past is past." . . . Mr. Fetridge sat down resignedly. - " Wy did you go to-Mr. -North's that even ing ?" Mr. Lamm questioned, noiw quite un' moved, so- far as outward, appearance- was concerned. - S'.To discuss a business matter." "A= queer place i" Mr. Lamm spoke.in a significant tone. . " You think so ? Yet I hd peculiar reasons, and I accounted them weighty reasons, for I meeting Mr. North at his house.. My business was confidential, and could not be done at the office or in my place so well as at the house in Marlboro street." "Mr. North's partner was not a partner- to I the business in hand ?" t S'Fetridge's eyes flashed angrily. " It would-have been well if he had not been 1 a party to any of' North and Stackhouse's e business," he said, with some bitterness' of I tone. "But this was a special matter. How important it was you may judge from this fact -that if Stickhouse had found out North was t possessed of the information I gave him, and I did not know that I' knew it also, he would 8 have an amplo motive for committing the crime of which I believe him guilty. - Mr. Iamm looked athim curiously. S"And you still- wish to keep the subject of c your last conversation a secret, .even from t me?" t " Even from you," responded Fetridge obsti- 1 nately. "I must await developments, and I 1 hope those developments will preclude the I necessity of my spe?king about the matter at i all." - . "Bear in mind what I ~aid to you just now t about surveillance." Mr. Lamm spoke gravely. I ! You are liable to arrest at any time." Fetridge gave an incredulous laugh. " I don't think they'll arrest me," Fetridge t answered lightly. Then, in more serious tone, " One thing I'll tell you, Mr. Lamnm. To the best of my knowledge aid belief taclkhouse was in Paul North's house that c ght." - t - ' Something more than knowledge and I belief is requisite-evidence," responded Mr. I Lamm rather drily. "There's much in this e whole business that concerns you closely-more I closely, perhaps, Than you think. At whatI time did you leave Paul North's 'house in Marlboro streetthatnigbtl" - ?"Between half-past 8 and a quarter to 9.' '" Was there any one in the street or near by, i so far as you know?" " No- one. But I had not gone far when I this fellow who was here just now touched me on'the shoulder. I turned round and re cognised him." - " '"Oho! You know him then ?" -. " Why, yes. IHeusedtobeheadclerkinNorth and Stackhouse's office; got to speculating; was pinched in Nicaragua Midland; lost his little all; took to drink andso forth. I pitied the fellow, knowing how he came to-be-dowi 1 in the world, end occasionally gave him a little to help him along." " . "He wanted money that night, of course '?" "Of course. Ididn'tfancy hisbaving met meat such a time and place, and as. I handed him the fire-dollar note I bade him not mentisi having sen me. He readily agreed, and t~ein Mr. Lamm pursed his lips together. - And since then the fellow has been hunting you for more money." "That's about the state of the case," answered Fetridge, rather reluctantly. "You understand, I thought it was cheaper to buy the man's silence, being sure that a few days would clear up the whole matter." The detective shook his head. " LVery risky business, sir. But never mind that now. A few moments ago you said something about believing Stackhouee had been at North's house that night. WVhy ?" "Why ?" returned Fetridge. "The cuter door-the storm door-was unlocked when we cames there. Mr. North himself called my attention to the fact." 'Hullo,' he said ' Thornton is here probably.' I knew it would never do to have that man overhear our con versation, and we searched the house high and low. Finally I was convinced that, though Stackhouse may have been there, he had gone away agai. The idea thrat he might come- back that night never entered my head. But I have no doubt whatever now that he did come back, and that Thornton Stackhouse was the last person who saw Paul North alive." " Indeed! Well, then, Mr. Fetridge, I must reuest a rely to a quostion I asked you once before. lhat connection had this Creole woman, Marie Moissot, with the case ?" Fetridge started. "You told me onece, I believe, that the medical examiner says that the murder was committed in the first partof the evening?" "Idid,sir." "Thank you. I wanted to be sure." "But what has this to do with the Creole P" Lamm asked with some impatience. " Oh," returned Fetridge, with an unsuccess ful assumption of carelessness, " I forgot. Excuse me. MIy mind wanderedfrom the sub. ject. TheCreole woman?- She has no con nection'with the murder. That is quite im. possible." - " Then once moreI ask you, plainly, who is shB?" he - "WId, then, plainly, sir, I will answer you. She was a foolish girl whobelieved too readily in Stackhstue.'- He paried~frms her andwent
on, and she; I supposo, had to suffer for her redulity. Dut this was teuyears ago, and he has doubtless forgotten her.' "Alh! Well, this brings me to another question. How comes Marton Stackhouse to I know of the existence of this woman ?" I " Goad heavens !" cried Fetridge, excitedly. " She does not, does she?" "I think she does," said Lamm, dreamily. "But passisg-that, since you do nut know, we come to question No. 2. Why-does Marion Stackhouse refuse to live with her husband t since the murder ?" Fetridge flushed. "You will persist, Mr. Lamm, for some[, strange reason, in assuming me to be in Mrs. Stackhouse's confidence." "I know that you are a friend of the family'," said the detective, calmly. - - " Very well,' said Fetridge, "Igive you my word of honour thiat I am not in that lady's confidence. I have urged her to tell me her I reasons. She declines to do it. I can only I guess at them. Her conduct is significant enough to me that she has by some means be-. come possessed of evidence againstherhusband. ?ut what wife would acknowledge such a fact?" "Ah!"'' was Mr. Lamm's only, reply to this interrogatory. Neither Mr. Fetridge nor any body else would be likely to gain much infor mation from this charasteristic grunt, which was even more than non-committal. ?, y theway," said Mr.Lamm, ? u. heose to go.- '"I supposerought to tell you that'press of'other bnsmeos in liable to cause me -to drop your work at short nutice, Mfr.:etridge. I had no idea, when I took the case; thatit would last so long." - "' I hope not," said Fetridge, earnestly. "I -hope not, too," returned Mr. Lamm; " but I must say the case looks dubious at the present time. _ However, I'll let you know definitely very soon." "Confound that man," muttered the detective, as he went down the stairs.. "-It is not at all improbable that he may fiSd outesdoie day that in dealing with a man of my standing. and profeosien it will pay him'to stick to the c truth. One link more in the chain of evidence, and then good;bye, RichardFetridge !" . CHAPTER-_XVlJl.-MADncE RAYnOn. ' John Lasm,. contfident th?t- a' conspiracy was to be found at the bottom of theNorth case, - was reasonably sures already - of -two parties thereto - 3aiion . Stackhodse and Richard Fetrillge.- Whether there was any body else conceined he had not yet. mado up his mind. Thie plain yet puzzling charge of Thornton Stackhouse in the letter to the Moissot woman, who seemed to the detective to have been created "for the express purpose of tenthlising.hintf with thi hiigiis 'of- her ex= istence, -iCiated that StackhouseB himself had reason to: believe her the head and front of all offence. - SAgain and again John Lamm studied that letter, endeavouring to squeeze out of it the last drop of possible.significance; but the writer had so well chosen his words, with the evident -urpose. of makinig them unintelligible to a . third person, that the detective was suspicious of what seemed the' logical deductions there from. One thing was certain. Stackhouse charged Marie Moiasot (the "person unknown" of:tur. Lamm's notes): with having carried to successful issue, on the 16th of Jume, a con piracy to ruin him, and Mr. Lamm believed himself fully possessed of the unfortunate events which had overwhelmed the man during that day. The discovery of this unique charge. of- murder written in - Red on the wall of North's library, he did not forget was not the I only misfortune. The extraordinary conduct D of his wife was quite as serious to Stackhouse, notimpossibly more so than this implied accusa tion. To be sure, these two conspicous facts 1 seemed to be part and parcel of one larger fact, and perhaps appeared- to Mr. Stackhouse's mind as one thing; but the .deective- was altogether too cautious not to have seen thatthe letter might refer to either one.. of these calaniities. The problem in John Lamm's mind, c therefore, stood in this wise.:- Q. Does Mr. Stackhouse hold Marie Moissot responsible for implicating him in the murderof his partner or in embittering his domestic rela tions. h Q. If the former were his belief, would he not have acquainted:n.e with the fact? And as Mr. Lamm could not help answering the latter question in the affirmative, he was stllt'reasonaoly.sure that there was no evidence in his possession of a third'party to thi" greatn " conspiracy " which was so puzzling him. - Whence-it seemed to be plain that his present duty was to centre his efforts upon the two people whom he suspected-to investigate their doings thoroughly, to watch both of them with all possible vigilance. . TokeepMariou Stckhouse undersurveillance was a comparatively easy task. She had not left the confines of the North estate, except on t the occasion of the funeral, since the discovery of her father's death; and for a full report of her conduct for the immediate present Lamm felt he could safely rely on the vigilance of Moffett and Mollie White. But the movements of Richard Fetridgeo were not soeasilyfollowed. Consequently, John Lamm did not dare to trust this apparently most important task to any body but himself and those under his active supervasson. On: the Wednesday when he received 0 Thomas's confidence in the Stella North affair, a Lamm redoubled the safeguards and pre cautions previously taken to assure. himself b of the integrity of Richard Fetridge. Not that he ignored other possibilities of investiga- d lion. Into the past lives of Stackhouse and t North and Marion he was already instituting the most carefulinquiries; butFetridge'scareer interested him still more. With that affable t good fellowship which made it possible for him l to make friends with all sorts and conditions of h men, he insinuated himself into the good graces t of-Fetridge's clerk, and learning that Olsen had a predecessor who had been discharged for taking too much interest in his employers' affairs, he hunted up that man, with what degree of reward will be hereafter recorded. He soon discovered that Mr. Fetridge had ceased to take active interest in legaI work, that he bad but few clients, and that his chief business now seemed to be to look after the investments of his large property.. JohnLamm made arrangements to be accurately informed from day to day of a full list of the millionaire's office visitors, especially of those whom he took n into his inner sanctum, and whose business.with him appeared to be confidential. It. was in 'this way that he first became informedof the existence of MadameRavmond. -Here is the report furnished by Richard Fetridge's clerk, Olsen, late in the afternoon of Thursday:--. S" About' 3 o'clock a mighty pretty woman, whose complexion had evidently been toned up by-artificial expedients, asked, in a tone of authority, if Mr. Fetridge was in. I said ' No;' but she might expect him in a few minutes. Would she sit down and wait? She would. She drew her chair-up near the window, and looked out all the time. It struck me she was careful not to turn round when anybody came in. Imay be wrong, but it occurred to me that she did this so as notto let her face be seen by any chance visitor. :' Itwas something like thirty minutes before the boslps-ev..l..A. -- s s'?ha heard his voice she turned round. "i-ne boss aveR a.-- 'Why, Radame Raymond.' he said, asd sur. prised enough he was. But he hurried her towards his private office, saying something in a low tone, and looking over in my direction. But you maybelieve I was aoding up a column of figures just at that time. "Well, the two were closeted an hour together, and then the woman came out. Always the politest of men is my boss when a good-looking tace is about. He danced attendance oni her, and I heard him say, as he took her hand at the door: "' Have no anxiety, my dear madam. Every thing is being crefully looked after.: Trust me to see that all comes out right.' "And that was the last I saw of the woman." Mr. Lamm, with his eagerness to get at the case only intensified by these incomplete and unsatisfactory disclosures, requested his in formant to let him know the instant that unknown woman appeared in Fetridge's office egin. a Hewas prepared for an indefinite period of waiting, and the arrival of this brief message the morning of the day after he had given these last instructions, came as a pleasant surprise:- "She is here !" With all speed the detective made his way towards the substantial brick buildirg where Richard Fetridge was usually to bu found during business hours on any week-day of the Weaiting in the quiet corridor, Mr. Lamm found-the place almost as deserted th:s summer morninsi as if it were a bank holiday. But the echo of a door closing on the flight above, and the sound of two voices, one of which was certainlyFetridge's, in amicable conversation, soon demanded his close attention. It wasa woman's voice that spoke'the only "good-byeo" that came unmistakably to the ears of the detective; and a woman's light step heard on the stairway gave him assurance thatithe- mysterious Madame Raeymond- was: coming his way. - SA slight-built, willowy woman, this, thought Mr. Lamm, as he watched her pass -near at hand, hisown presence entirely unnoticed. Pretty ;- anolive complexion, a- little too much " ? rmade up ;" large, lastroua eyes., ,blac hair
(her own undoubtedly), a very graceful figure. Altogether, as Mr. Lamim summed up the case, an attractive brunette on the sunny side of thirty, with something of a foreign air about her. Assuredly a visitor to Boston, wherever born andbred. The graceful figure, well set off by a coquettish bonnet, which, like the summer wrap bad a pleasant contrast of colour in it, flittedthrough the streets. Followed by more than one admiring glance, the lady was followed also by Mr. Lamm, though not one of the many acquaintances with whom thedetective exchanged a- bow and a pleasant word would have suspected the fact. Madame Raymond, hailing a South End car, and taking a seat with dainty supervision of her skirts, loooked at the shop windows past which her route took her with languid curiosity. Mr. Lamm, two seats behind, did not seem to notice her. Madame Raymond left .the car at a shady crossing; and Mr. Lamm, having seen her on to the footpath and -well around the corner, swung off the car in his turn and quite casually walked up the street which the lady had traversed just before. SMr. Lamm weas going, by a modest-looking house, with a high doorstep, just as Madame Raymond was ringing the bell. She was ad mitted in a moment, and Mr. Lamm still walked on, turning the corner and taking a moeitattvespromenade down -a dusty .avenue for. little distance. But the now invisible magnet still drew him to that quiet little street and to the ninth house on theright in a distractingly regular row of highly respectable-looking dwellings. "A boarding-house," commented Mr. Lamm, as he leisurely looked at the windows on his way up the steps. " No need of a sign to tell that fact." " " , In his suave inquiry regarding eligible lodg. ings,.the careworn landlady who opened the door took an instant interest. She". liked the man's face, as.she confided anhour later to an intimate friend, in the millinery line, who chanced to call. ' We havea very good room hick, up one flight sir " quite near the bathroomi" ' ".Ah !"!'The caller seemed to he considering. " Ima quiet man of buiness, you understand. .o' gay roysterers, no noisy lodgers, no piano' thumping at'midnight; I suppose ?";. . 'Dear me, no s'r," the- landlady assured him. -"Fact is, we're rather empty niw. Only two 'clerks. very lice, steady -oung men, on- the third floor,and" a' transient; ,a lady,;who occupies the parlour bedroom "front; second storyi.. " . - " She's nptmusical ?" - !' I-think not,' air. -Shesa not song asnce shecame here, to my knowledge, a week ago last Wednesday, I think it woe-yese,'Iam sure, for the mai was sent' in:?to :;hiten the walls that dayand that is how I came to remember "Lady a transient, you say. Stranger, then, of coucses" " It's her first visit to Boston, she tells me. She lives in New York, and is here on` a httle business. Settling up an estate, I think, though- she'i- iot"Said "soein njuestseo ma ny words." - ; - "Al ! 'Well, in that case,: she can't have many friends.to call on her in the evening, and chatter, chatteri giggle, giggle, for hours together,' . - - . .. The landlady smiled and shook' her' head. Lamm resumed, in a very friendly, .off-hand fashion- ... .. " You see, ma'am, I should be quite near her room if I concluded to come here, and as I'm a quiet man and go to bed early, I don't-want to be kept awake by late and noisy callers or any other lodgers. That was the objection at my. last place, ma'am.' ... " , . . The landlady smoothed her apron compla. cently. "No such difficulty here, sir," she said with cnfidence. "Why, Madame Ray mond has only had one caller since she's been here, and I don't know as you can call it-a calltr.either, for he merely came home with her the evening of the day after the lady took the room here. Yes, it was Thursday week. I noticed him with her at the door when I an swered her ring. It was-after 9 o'clock, and I had got worried about her, being aetranger and so on, so that I was very glad to see she had company. ' My brother,' she said to me, and a nice appearing gentleman he was. - I liked his face. Well, bhecame in and had a quiet talk with the lady-a-talk that you couldn't hear an inch ontside the room, .and couldn't possibly disturb anybody. Madame Raymond has been out once or twice, but no one else-has called on her, and I am sure that nothing she and the brother could say, if heshould come to see her sgain, could possibly disturb you, sir." Mr. Lamm was very far indeed from sharing this opinion of the lady who so desired his. presence as a lodger. Jtut his face wore a look of entire; uxqualified assent. He asked. to see the much.comnlended apartment, "back, up one flight," approved its arrangements, and declared the pnce very reasonable. . But the best guarantee of his satisfaction was that he actually decided to take the- room at once. A week's rent in advance was deposited in the landlady's, willing hand. Mr. Lamm took a receipt for the money, with a latchkey rolled up therewith, and, saying that he might come in to occupy the room at any time, bade the woman "good day," and went towards his office, with thoughts in plenty to occupy his attention. -. He had quite made up his mind that it was high time to come to a thorough understanding with the man to whose cause he. had almost determined to exclusively ally himself- Thorn. ton Stackhouse. Something abouttheman had excited his sympathies from the first, and he never felt more kindly disposed towards him than on the present occasion. He looked into his haggard face anxiously, and after.that look he did not need to hear the man speak to know that he had come. to make some important die closure. - S(T cE cOrsTIro. ED.)