|Chapter Title||NAME THE MAN!"|
|Newspaper Title||Euroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 - 1920)|
|Trove Title||Written in Red; Or, The Conspiracy in the North Case. A Story of Boston|
WRITTEN IN RED; O, " 'E-E CONSPIRACY IN'. THE NORTH CASE.' A STORY OF BOSTON. BY Cass. Moranors AN-o C. W. DYUl CHAPTER XIV.--"NA- E =S M L-e!" Monday morning, eleven dayes exactly i from that last and memorable meeting of the directors of the Nic-aragua Midland, when Paul North's coming was awaited in vain, Thornton Stackhouse staggered into ( the nff?ce of Detective Lammn. A few hours ad wrought a great change in the man--a changeforthe worst. Careworn before, e was now absolutely haggard. But one look was needed to assure Mr. Lamm thathis visitor had passed a sleepless, wretched night. Unmistakable signs of over--.rinkling, too, were to h? observed. His lips twitched strangely; the lines of his anxious face r were more deeply drawn; an unhealthy,f blotched redness had taken the place of once healthy colour; and there was an incessant trembling of the hands, unusual and ominous. Mr. Lamem, with a good deal of concern ex. pressed in his look, sprang up to greet him, and assisted the man to a chair. "Why, Mr. Stickhouse," he exclaimed, a "you are not well. Why did you come down town this morning? You should have sent o formse. You are in no condition to be out in d the street onsuch a warm day. Let me call a t carrage. Iillgodown to your room at the r Adams-house and talk with you there, if you I, like." Thornton Stackhouse shook his head and put out a trembling hand. A !"No-no," he said, huskily. " You are very c god to think of it. Perhaps I should not have teftm mroom. aot th frenly o i ing the scowling face of some creditor of North as and Stackhoun?e. People point after me as I Walk alog, and talk under their breath about t me. Fools! They think I do not see these things. I am followed here, there, and every Fhere, hounded like an escaped convict. On a Saturday I laid down on a bed, and they broke n, open my room to make sure I had not escaped them! I thankyou, Mr. Lamm, for all that o: you have done and meant to do for me. But I ave made up my mind not to endure this life I qo longer. I am going away." `Non'ssse!" returned Mr. Lamm, cheer- n fsy, with his snd on the mn's shoulder, unt Iooing anxiously, none the less, into his haggarface. "'Sick to your colours a little h longer. The fight is almost over." a "Almost over!" Stackhouse echoed the Words witha curious, dull intonation. "My o hopes of happiness are wrecked. The future s dark--all dark. The shadow of crime, one it falls on a man's life, can never be liftd. ou h know how terribly true that is, Mr. Lamm. This is no more than my just deserts. No more. P Yes, Iam going away. Whatever the risk, I care not. Why should I stay in this city of torment?" Mr. Lam m gave another friendly touch unon i the'shoulder of the dejected figure, but his e own look of anxiety was only intensified. "Wait!" returned the detective, in tones of sympathy. "The truth is coming, and it is coming fast. You have trusted me so far. Don't cast my advice to the winds now." t "I do not care the turn of my hand whether thetruthcomes out or to-morrow, or never," I gloomily answered Stackhouse, looking at the I face bent near his own, with hollow, despairing eyes. "Ihaveno longer any interest in any possible event that may happen to me. But out of this horible place and these horrible surroundings I mean to go, and without delay. Mr. Lamm, I thank you again for the noble way in which you have helped me." "Don't speak of that," interposed Mr. "I mustspeak ofit. In all my troubleand remorse I have not for'otten it. And now let me have your bill, Mr.Lamm, and I will draw my cheque for the amount at once-the last t che?ue that Thornton Stackhouse will ever fill ont mBoston." "My dear sir," iMr. Lamm remonstrated, "I have no bill to present. hy, my work is not done yet. When the proper time comes I shall not forget it, be sure of that," heti added, with assumed lightness of manner. Stackhouse got up ratherunsteadily, butwith I set purpose in his look. "Let me go into your inner office," he asked, "eand make out a cheque, if it's only as a matter of form. Besides, I want to write a moment on another matter, and I should like to be undisturbed by any chance caller' ydu t Lamm was at the door ot his little" den" in a moment, opened his desk, and placed pen an'd paper at his visitors' disposal. " - - eki ats eat down, and the detective went out, softly closing the door upon the client at hiawortk. Roused from certain regretful momentary meditations by the entrance of his trusted worker, "Bill," Mr. Lammjbegan to talk with himnin an undertone. In the very middle of their hushed con ference, both men started and looked" wildly around. The sound of an explosion came to their ears with terranble distinctneas. It was unmistakably a pistol shot. Moved by a common impulse, both rushed towards the inner office. When Detective L.ammpushed open the door and went in, his subordinate was dclose behind. lThe room was full of smoke, but the cloud lifted as the current of fresher air entered, and in an instant the two were staring into a face a face that did not return the look of honrror the face of a dead man. Dead! Sittingup in his chairat Mr.Lamm's desk, with one hand clutching a pen and in the other a revolver, frsm which a tiny wreath of smoke curled, was the form of Thornton Stack house. So true had been his aim that the transition fom life to death could have taken scarcely a second of time. He had blown out his brains. -With a stifled cry Mr. L smm's companion started back. His whiteface met at the outer door the frightened look of another man, a con veyanoer, whohad anoifce close by. "A manhas shot himself in there !" whis pered Bill. -The newcomer immediately hurried out of room. Others, alarmed at the report of the distol, were hurrying to the scene; and in an incredibly short space of time every occupant of the building seemed to be possessed of the startling news. John Lamm quickly regained his accustomed Composmre, and barred the outer door in ad vance oftherush of the excited throng which he knew was coming. 'He returned; a moment later, to the little rloom paying not the slightest heed to the :cruh without, or to the loud ajd reiterated -demands: "Letusin! Let usin" -Writen on the blotting pad of the desk be t Ipst -l·e~~~eer wt a
fore which the dead mansat was this, the last for message of Thornston Stackhouse: "Send for my wife, Marion Stackhouse. of "Tell her my death is my reparation. S" cnforglvo her if she can forgive me. no But I cannot live without her." -Mr. Lamm read the words, and gave a look full of pity at the motionless figure sitting there be -so near him, yet in an awful sense so far re. all moved. The stentorian demand at the outer door had a ceased when he re-entered his main office, but there was a dull murmuring, which grew to a veryBabel of excited sound when Mr. Lamm's at form was seen on the threshold. Two men were standing close to the door, having apparently been given that post of distinction by common consent of the crowd, who held hack a little way. SMr. Lamm knew his men at ones. " Gentlemen," he said, gravely, " you are o outwitted !" They made a pretence of misunderstanding Shim. 0 "What do you mean ' said the older man. "o I mean," returned the detective, quietly, "that you can inform your inspector that your 0 services will be no longer necessary. The inner room,.gentlemen." He waved his hand for them to enter.. They hurried in. In another minute one of them came out, forod? wOrayohrsough ths .Ugroosafn. throng I whch blocked the entrance, and hurried after InspectorApplebee. Mr. Lamm turned gravely to his assistant. " Go to Richard Fetridge's office," he said in a low tone. "and have him here at once. Don't explain. Don't listen to any excuses for I delay." The manpushed through the crowd and was off like a shot. Both messengers were signally successful. To theimmenso satisfaction of the breathless officer in citizen's clothes, be met Inspector Appleboe coming down the street holding his course directly in the line taken by Mr. Lame's messenger. Two words, and the inspector hurried to wards the scene of death, and found his way through he press. Mr. Lmm, waiting at the door, bowed and admitted him at once. With Inspector Applebee and his man, a great surge of excited humanity rushed into Mr. Lamm's office. Only by dint of the most active exertions could the police keep back the eager crowd from the little room. Presently there was a stir at the outer door. Attention wasdiverted for the moment from' what the little room contained of animate or inanimate humanity, as Mr.. Fetridge, visibly excited, entered the oflice under the guidance of Mr. Lamm's messenger. Mr, Lamm, couuting uI0on his speedy coming, was on the watch, and with the co-operation of Inspector Applebee, to whom the detective deferred as being the representative of authority, Richard Fetridge was admitted to the inner room. "A horrible sight!" he murmured, putting his hands before his face, and leaning against one of the others. t In a few moments he had recovered, but avoided, as much as he could, turning any fi glanco towards the desk. " Do you remember what Daniel Webster said onee?" Fetridge spoke to Mr. Lamm under his breath, but not so low that the lis tening ear of Inspector Applebee did not catch every word: "'There is no refuge for the " murderer but suicide. And suicide is con fession!" Hardly was the sentence uttered, when Inspector Apploehee, as if aroused by come sudden though, ordered the officers to clear the outer room and to prevent further blockade upon the stairway. " Not you, of course," said the inspector, b addressing generally the little group. No word was spoken by them while the h orders were carried out, not without somes diffliculty. When the room was cleared at last, the inspector motioned to one of his men to h remainby the body, and led the way into the larger room, Mr. Lamm and Mr. Fetridge ' following in turn. P Taking no note of the detective, Inspector a Applebee wheeled upon his companion and clapped a firm hand on his arm. "I am sory to have to say it, Mr. Fetridge, bi articulate a syllable. m Self-possessed asover, Mr. Lamm took his cue o to s eak. inspector Applebee," he said very coolly, "it is not my business, perhaps, but you are o sure that in arresting Mir. Feoridge you are notmaking a mistake t' The inspector put on at once his visible robe h of official dignity. "I think I know what I am about, Mr.p. Lamm." He was very curt. bi "Oh, no doubt, no doubt, Mr. Inspector," responded the private detective. "Of course, if you are possessed of any in formation, sir, the authorities will be glad to have you discloseit," said Inspector Applebee at with his official manner emphasised. a "I do profess to some knowledge of this case, Mr. Inspector," returned Mr. Lamm, "and that is the reason why I made that suggestion just now about Mr. Fetridge p: here." "Oh, we understand that this is a com plicated affair," remarked Inspector Applebee. "We know very well that Richard Fetridge is not the only person in the case. It's not pro fessional, perhaps, to tell you, Mr. Lamm, but it is a fact that headquarters have a man at h Swxmpscott, now, and another importuntarrest has already taken place. Mr. Fetoidge, are you ready?" "Another arrest!" he gasped. "In the name of Heaven, who is it? Who? Not a that unfortunate sufferer at the North villa ?" The inspector replied to this wild, im petuous appeal in no other way than by a -very gri? smile. Mr. Lamm had stepped aside, and Inspector ] Applebee had already hooked his arm firmly in Mr. Fetridge's, when a great noise at the door attracted their attention. Angry remonstrances and determined asser tion were contending for the upper hand, when Mr. Lamm recognised, orthoughtherecognised, one of the voices. "Imust go in! Imust, I say!" It was Kingman F. Thomas who spoke the words, and there was no doubt about it. Dis missing all formality, Mr. Lamn hastened to the support of his ally, tried and true. Inspector Applebeo, still attached to Richard Fetridge in this peculiarly "professional" manner, had not made up his mind whether or not to rebuke Mr. Lamm for his precipitate action, when Kingman F. Thomas entered the room and joined the trio. - Breathless from his verbal and physical con test with the guardian of the portal-himself panting and angry enough-Thomas could not speak fora moment. • S"Well, Thomas," said the inspector, testily, "what is the matterwith you ?" "Something will be the matter with you-in aminute-whenItellyonwhatIknow,"gasp5ed the reporter. * His manner was so unuosal and excited- tihat everybody began to have lively apprehen sions. SWhat do you mean F" saced the inspector, hastily. .'.'Do you refer to the North ease?" " Most assuredlyIdo," cried Thomas. "I am in possession of allthefacts. Lockthe doors, gentlemen. Everything mast etay just as it is til I have told you my story." 'Thereis no time for stories," said Apple boee. "If you are in possession of all the facts, you know who committed the murder. Tell us ina wore. Who was it? Name the man." - There was a profound silence in the room as Hingman F. Thomas, at last himself agais; opened his mouth for a reply. CHAPTER XXV.-Noy WaT TcEm Ex -PEOTED, sumT --.s i 'Inspectorn" returned Thomas, in a voice Sthat trembledin spite of his eiletsto the con' trary, "I give you the solemn word of a men who at least believes that he speaks the truth. There has been no murder!" - But for the excited breathing of the living in the office of John Lamm, detective, there was no more sound in the moment following this utter ance than there would have been if Thomas's auditorshad suddenly become so many ingenious and lifelike pieces of waxwork. SThe inspector was the first to recover sufficient command of himself to trust his voice. "Do you mean to have us believe that it was a suicide?" he demanded, with scornful in credulity. "I do not," Thomas returned, decisivelv. "I mean to have you believe that Paul North died from accident, pure and simple, without the Sintervention of any second person in any possible " way." It "And is this man," said the still incredulous e inpector, with a toss of his head in Fetridge's direction, "supposed to have knowledge of this d fat?" - "'e t" gaussed Richard Fetridre. '.' I assure hyou, e, that I haven't thefaintaet ideaof what he is talking about." . ." e "Ah! And the conspuiracy?" murmured a Sreproachful voice close to the reporter's ear. d Thomas turned quickly to grasp Lamm's hand. "My friend," he said,' solemnly, "I em sorry to say that you were quite right. Thenr was a conepiracy. Ton werehrewdliy esen.
at lating here one day as to which person was at the head of it, and which person carried it out; but you fell wide of the truth there. Lamm Paul North himself was at the head of that . conspiracy,and that pitiable woman,his adopted daughter, was the misguided instrument of k perpetuating his vengeance." e Among those who stared at Thomas there was - certainlV none whose face expressed more of bewilderment, dumb and hopeless, thanRichard a Fetridge. it Thoas observed this, but the sight seemed a to kindle his indignation. S" And as for the cause of the whole thing," he said, " it is easily to be found in the man who Sentered into a conspiracy with an adventuress Sfor puroses of his own to completely ruin the , husband of Paul North's daughter." " For the cause of truth and justice," inter posed Fetridge in a faint voice. " For the family s hnonour and-and my own." Thomas turned from him with a contemptuous shrug of the shoulders. And yet, was he wholly just in co 'demning this man, whose chief fault had been that he loved Marion North.Stackhouse too well to give her up so long as a chance remained of winning her? CWith what feverish eagerness Richard Fetridge I must have seized upon the stiaw of hope which the revengeful Creole had brought into his office that fatful morning in May; and how he must have argued with hs own conscience till he had justified his coarse to himself! But then. alowanco must bo made for the framo eo d of Mr. Thomas, who was grievously dis. satisfied with the outcome of the North case. "And Thornton Stackhouse?" he asked. "To speak more plainly, perhaps, Albert tunyon. I was told that he was here." "Thornton Stackhouse is dead," returned the inspector impatiently. "He committed suicide this morning. We are wasting preciou time, Mr. Thomas. If what you say is true, it is eminently important that I should be asured of it at once. Tell your story in the fewest possible words. In. the first place, how did you become possessed of this infor malion ?" . . . "Dead!" murmured the reporter. He looked about him sharply, and the truth seemed to come to him. He pointed towards the inner room. "In there ?" Lamm nodded. " What a coincidence!" Everyhbdy noticed thst thereporter's lips had turned white. For a short time he [seemed vainly trying to articulate. The inspector, uuaware of the cause of his agitatiou, again leminded him impatitntly of the flight of time. Thomas drew himself togethtr with an effdrt. "Permit me..to sit ddwn," he said, anit drpped at once into the nearest chair. - - I He began to search in an inner pocket, and I "All necessary information isconrained here," i he said, his voice gaining stiength. "I have obtained it. It is my property, and I stipulate I but one thing, inspector-1 am to dictate just how much o it is to be given to the Press. Just enough of it may be presented to satisfy the l public. 'o more. There is scandal enough in this affair at the best, without heaping the whole truth upon the heads of this very un fortunate family." a "' You know yourself whether your request is f' reasonable," returned Applebee. "If it is, I you know very well that I shall only b be too glad to comply with it, if I can do so without placing my department in a false light i at all before the public." " This," continued Thomas, as he unfolded hi the document, "is the sworn statement of 8 Marion North." . " You mean, of course. Mrs. Stackhouse " ff "No, I mean Marion North, sir.. As to how I obtained it, I may say that it was partly by F threat, partly by argument. I accidentally became possessed on aturday of the cause of al her separation from Thornton Stackhouse. f The information Ifound in a letter written by her to him. I found her in the last agonies of " a determined conflict between her pride and P' her sense of justice, which 1 am sure would eventually have ended in the surrender of her pride, even without my intervention. At first P she fought me off with all her strength, but I ir was fortunately possessed of a stronger argu- " eant than anybody else could have brought to i bear upon her in the person of her sister." o " .Y_" cried thelusnector 1___ e _ n iend. The iady is a particuloar-i-e?aio- ? my mother, and has been stopping with her to or the week past. I took Stella North to C Swampscott with me yesterday afternoon. I obtained a fullconfession last night. But I was obliged to wait till morning for a iustice of the 01 peace to prepare it in proper form. cs "Permit me, gentlemen, if this explanationof r how I came by the document is sufficiently x plicit, to read it to you." "Read it," commanded the inspector, Ph briefly. "y Swampscott, June 27, 1887. I " About noon of the 16th of Tune last, Ire- r ceived an anonymous letterwhich has since been tolen from my writing desk, warning me that an affair of great importance to my happiness was to be discussed at my father's house in Marlboro Street that evening, and advising me, 9 if I valued my future happiness, to be secretly present and overhear the conversation. S"I had previously become suspicious that everything was not right about the affairs of h my father and the man whom I considered my husband; and I could see no harm to resultfrom this means of obtaining information. I en trusted nobody with the contents of that letter, t but, resolved to accept the advice therein con- h tained, I took my keys to the house in Marlboro h Street, and late in the afternoon of Thursday f, went to Boston. "I- reached the house before 7 o'clock, and let myself in by the front door. A little more than half-an-hour later I heard tr noise of the latch key. I was then onthestairs, near the floor above, and when the door opened I very plainly heard the voices of my father and 1 Mr. Richard Fetridge. "' I am very sure," said my father, that Thorntonis here. Or else hehas been nere and forgotten to lock the storm door wheen t he out.' - . . " 'We must know before we begin business,' t returned Mr. Fetridge. "' I agreed to this place, you know, because there seemed to be absolutely no danger of our being overhead or interrupted. And Stack house is the very man of all others whom I wished to avoid. Is there no possibility that he has been warned of this conf.rence ?' " ' None,' returned my father. 'I give you my word of honour, Mr. Fetridge, that I have not mentioned a syllable of this affair to a I livingsoul.' -"And then I. heard them coming upstairs. I understood from what they said that they intended to search the house. I ran up as I lightly as I could and locked myself intoa f clothes-press in my own room. They after wards came to the dor of my room, but evi dently had already concludad thAt there wase no intruder in the house. a : "ýWhen I was sure that they had gone down again, Istole from-the room 'and took up a position on the stairs between the second and third floors. I did not dare to go any nearer,' but as they were in the library, the door of whichwas open, I could hear plainly b everythingthat was said. "I soon distinguishel a woman's voie, and realised that she bad been admitted to this mysterious ' conference' between Richard Fet ridge and my father. This was the woman, I did not donbt, who had sent moths anony mous letter, for I did not see how anybody else could be aware of the appointment at this honse." Richard Feteidge interrupted the reading at this point by breaking a paper ruler which he had been convulsively twisting in his hands as if he fencied his fingers were about the throat of the treacherous Marie. "Curse the woman!" he cried. "Curse her! curse her! She sacrificed me to gratify her own instinct of revenge. She betrayed my confidence. She was not satisied with what I promised her. It I had knovn that night that she had dared to do it !" ' "'Humph!" said Thomas. "When a man enters into on alliance with such a woman, what can he expect?" Fetridge buried his face inhis hands and did notreply. The reading continued. "I soonlearned who she was and why she was here, and what Richord Fetridge had to say that he was afraid Thomrnton Stackhouse might overhear. The woman's name was stated as Marie Moissot. though it was ad I mitted that she was now living under an alias. It appeared from the conversation that she had accidentally discovered the identityof Thornton Stackhouse with the Albert Runyon for whom she had long been searching, some weeks before, and had only been prevented from creating a scandal by the mnterveition of Richard Fetridge,who had pacified her by agree ing to effectually ruin him. if she would consent to foregothe malicious pleasure of involving the family in the disgrce of a public scandal. " In this paper, which I design to be a simpl statement of facts, I do not wish to parade my own sufferings or emotion.. But it is neceseary -to say that I haa never loved my husband; that t had married only because I became en gaged to him in a moment of foolieh pique, and my pride was too great to admit of my break. ing that engagement. This imperious pssion, which had already wrecked my happineuss, was the hateful thing that wua wounded, outraged, Sstung oto fury bythe revelations which I now overheard. Iw that Marie Moissotwith the natural suspicion. of a unscrapnlo pe raon,
it mistrusted Mr. Fetridge's intention, perhap3s his ability, to hasten the complete downfall of 1, Thornton Staeckhouse, and had, therefore, it written to me. It is only of late that I have d thoroughly realised how maliciously shrewd she if wasin assuring herself that I should become ac. quainted with the facts. "a And these are the revelations that made my f ears tingle, my heart beat like a hammer, and my finger nails to indent themselves into the palms of my hands; that filled me for the time I with the instincts ofthe murderess, and made my blood boil with indignant hatred. Thornton Stackhoese with the assumed name of an ad venturer, Albert Runyon, whose legal wife and children were still living in New Orleans, who shad deserted them through the fascinations of Marie Moissot, a Creole, at that time but sixteen years old, only to leave her in turn,andto come r atlastto atB "This was the man for whom I had wrecked my life, broken two hearts, and sealed the Iwrrant of my degradation l "There is no room fordenial ; no chance for doubts. Everything that was presented to my father was in the form of documents, written evidence, sworn to anddulywitnessed. Rchard Fetridge is a lawyer and he had spent a month in verifying Marie Moumet's story. "LrNeither was there any room to doubt that Albert unyon in marrying me understood fully to what position he was reducing me; for the evidence showed that he continued even to Lthis datosno end his wie ha meanaty srC or.a.. for her support. "And the monster's excuse for all this villainy was that he did not love his wife, but lovedme! Asifa man who loved a woman could so heartlessly deceive her! - "But this is not all. Thornton Stackhouso had not been honest in his dealings with my father. The documents revealed a course of systematic treachery which if carried out would have ruined my father and enriched him. To be sur all these trans actions were of older date, and since his mock marriage with me there was no evidence that he had continued them. Inother words, hehad kindly consented to cease cheating Mr. North in consideration of having married his daughter. Did these circumstances palliate his offence in y ees? As wellnska drowning person if he is mindful of the subtracton or addition of a drop or two of the element that is killing him. "There have been times in my life when I have been frightened at the intensity of some sudden evil passion within me-something that is so contrary to my teaching and education, and arises so spontaneously that I have ?en led to regard such things as aninheritance from my unknown parents. And this night as I stood on the stairs listening, a passion of hatred took possession of me, which I can compare to nothing but a great sea of molten metal in a smeltiug furnace, hot and hissing'like a serpent if it comes in contact with any cooler surface. "?My father was scarcely less overcome than I was. He wao violent ana wretched by turns. it. Stackhouse had been a peculiar element in " his lifo. The man ibad had an influence over him such as no one else had ever gained. Now for the first time, he was shown the real character of the man. "E'ven through all the turbulence of my own emotions I understood the intensity of my father's feelings. He was a man of mpulsive andquicktemper. Henever preserved a hatred; but for that very reason it lived all the fiercerat the moment of its birth. His own rage at this instant was little short of mine. c "'Villain! Scoundrel! Harpy!' I heard o him mutter from time to time, and then he would burst out into violent imprecations that h would have terrified me had I been inamood to fear anythiong. "When ho had submitted his evidence, Mr. Fetridge suggested the action which he wished my father to take. He said that he had done ell that ho had done for the family honour andR for my honsur. Ihat if it had not been for his opportune intervention Marie Mois?st would have made the bigamy of Albert Rusyon a public scandal. He reminded my father that I was no more the wife of this scoundrel than as if that sacrilege of a ceremony had never been performed. There were, therefore, no legal lies to be severed. Mr. North must act in the ' matter as if he had become possessed of his Ie information thiough any source but the real P one. Richard Fetridge' part in the affair was never to be knownot even e. t to him, give him twenty-four hours to leave e country after signing a damaging document winch Mr. Fetriage had prepared. In course of time it was suggested that I might quietly obtain a divorce on the ground of desertion. In case this programme was carried out, Mr. Fet ridge proposed to help my father out of his h financial difficulties. t "When the arrangements had been com . plated, Mr. Fetridge went away with the woman, and my father, who proposed to sleep in the house and'to meet Mr. Fetridge early in the morning, after seeing them to the door returned to his library. f "I awoke gradually out of my long trance, I and went down to the library door. I did not sropose to conceal the fact of my presence from my father. The conference between us b was not to be delayed. It must take place to- r night. ' He was so engrossed that he did not ihear I my footsteps. -I was startled when I saw what I his occupation was. He was loading his pistol. I was not in a condition to measure accurately the flight of time, but I must have lingered on the staircase some minutes after his return to the library, for, asIfterwards discovered, he had quite finished his task when I intermupted him. He had taken out his box of cartridges I from a drawer of his writing desk, which still stood open. Father !' I called tohim. ' Father !'" "He uttered anexclamationof horror, pushed away the pistol, as if endeavourng ito conceal it, and turned towards me. He whisperedmy name, and took a step or two hastily towards me. i " At the same time I uttered a cry of warning for I saw the pistol topple over by its own weight. Slowly at first, and then with a quick dash, it slid from amass of papers upon which I it had been placed, dropped from the ed e, turned completely over, and was caught in the corner of the open drawer. o My cry was drowined by the simultaneous report. Mr. North threw up his hands, rushed forward with an awful look in his faure, and fell at my feet. "I vaguely remember hearing him speak my name and murmur something about my hue band. But this sudden, unexpected climax to theunutterable horrors of that night gave me a temporary relief to my suffering. I could bear no more. I have a dim remembrance of utting out my hands to save myself from falling. " I have no means of knowing how long I lay upon the floor. When I awoke I saw my father lying motionless by the door, with that horrible dripping scrawl which I knew had been made by his own blood upon the wall. I called to him. I seized his hand, but I soon saw that he was quitedead. "The sight of the blood did not terrify me. l am ashamed to confess it, and I cannot ex plain it, but it filled me temporarily with a stranre, wild, eavage exultation. I know now that I must have been rsazy. I know howl honoured and loved the man who had been a father to me. Iam told they suspected me of havin killed him. Heaven knows lam wicked enoua ; but not that crime-no, not that! "Let me pass over the next fifteen minutes. They will be a terror to me as long as memory remauns to me. WhenI became calmer, I tried to realise what had been done. I had no doubt that my tather hsdintended to write a message to me--to tell me, no doubt, that this man was notrey husband. In his dying moments his unfuflied purpose had haunted him. "1 cannot tell the stifling sensations which followed the sudden realisation that this writing on the wall would be taken as an accusation against the man who had done his best to ruin us both. "When this awful idea first came to me, I fled from the room, as if by doing so I could leave the idea behind me. I actually had opened the outer door to call help when the full relisation of all that my false husboand had done to me rushed over me with renewed force. I stopped still, and my- heart was steeled to every cry of eonsience. As fully possessed of my facuities aslver was in my life,I stood at the door and thought of everything-of the chances of the success of this terrible revenge formy wrongs; of myabilty to carry out the plan of the fact even that once embarked in it there could be no drawing hack; that I could never survive the disgrace of discovery. 'lie venge' I say now; but that night the word in my mind was 'justice.' Would this act of mine immolate Albert Rtuyon in a greater degree thanhehadsacrifcedme? No -and this to my mind that night was 'jstice !' "This reflection sealed my fate. I wentback resolutely. Imimured myself that my father was dead beyond allreall. Ireplaced the cart. ridges in the drawer whence he had takenthem. The fatal pistol still lay upside down firmly wedged in irs place, with its hsrtel laid acroe the oornerpointingoutwzd at annupwsrd angle. i The hlmmer had caught upon the ornamental scrol work just above the drawer as it fell.- To 'sucha point were my-facalties arpesed bythe Idanger and the boldness of my design that I noted every detail. I knew ttthia pistolwax the only testimony to the resaifect of my: fathersaa. death "I-put the pistolimmy poeket, turned Out .thaligbts, and stoefromthsohmnaberof death with the full'resaliation that I had made myself a "iainL"l.
is "It is unnecessary for me to tell what cf followed; of the clearer realisation of my e, position that came with refleotion; of the ro awful complication in which I found I had in Svolved myseoll and my innocent sister; of my c- bitter remorse when it was too late. "May Heaven have mercy on me, M "ano.v NoOnrT." " Swampscott, June, 26,1887. I e CoRmonwcalClh of assacrhuscetts. "There personally appeared before me the a above-named Marion North, who made oath . that the foregoin statemen, by he submitted, istrue. " Wxzt a Ftsrxchn, "Justice of the Peace." f "That is all, gentlemen," said Thomas, as he folded the document-" all that is written here. I hardly need sy that I do not subscribe to the Sladys idea of her father's purpose in writing his partner's name on the wal. She takes a view lenient as possible to him. But to my mind thatbe carrieda fullintention of reveng Ing himself upon his reiea nt part her from the momenthe set out to load that pistol with the intention of shooting him, to the moment of his death,is the only logical construction to be plaoer upon hiseonduct. And I unhesitatingly putNorth at the head of the conspiracy. Htis daoghter-mfortunate woman !--let his pnr. pose be carried out by concealing the evidences of the accident. In the sequel we see the mockery of fate from the endit is not Stack house, u ?.:tz;.a r.dae.. "ý t.ýý.-w fortoe crne, • - And, indeed, Thomas's view of the case was the theory which came eventually to be accepted by all cognisant of the facts, and though it may not be quite possible to determine beyond a doubt the intent of Paul North in writing upon the wall, still Mr. Thomas'a conclusion, that a purpose of reveng filled the mind of the dying man, must be, in lieu of something bettem, ac-s cepted as nal. Theprofound silence which immediately folowedlthe reporter's words was broken by Fetridge, who had been sitting with his hand shading his eyes during the latter portion of the reading. "And to think," he murmured, "that it was for this end I have been trying to keep this scandal from the public earl Why, it will be worse, a thousand times worse," he exclaimed, starting up, "than if I had pre cipitated the facts as I knew them. Then it might have been hushed up. Now that is im possible." - • "If you had but had a little confidence in me!" said John Lasism, reproachfully. "WIVel, inspector, what's to be done e" "How do we know that thiis-tatement is true?" exclaimed Applebee, who as but just recoveaing from his breathless amazement, "Fortunately this womanis already unider arrest. and-" "Ab, pardon me," interrupted Thomas, solemnly, "she is not, inspeetor.' T "Not arrested !" exclaimed the astonished official. "You do not know that woman," said the reporter with a sigh, "or you would have guessed the truth already. Marion North could not survive such a disclosure." "She is dead," repeated the reporter. "Soons after the witnessing of this document she com plained of feeling weak, and expressed a desire to lie down. A little later her sister came to me greatly alarmed. Marion was breathing s strangely. she said, and her face hadchanged a colour. I suspected the truth and hsitened c after a physicin. When he commenced his r examination he found this little bit of paper in h her bosom :-o "'For mercy's sake, conceal my disgrace! I n have poisoned msself.' "a iihardFetridge uttered a groan sank into £ his chair, and buriel his face in his hands. " Thephysician privatelyinformedthe officers i who came to arrest her," continued the re- q porter, "that she had been summoned before a s higher tribunal." And Richard Fetridge could onlymurmur- t "Heavenpity her and me, and have mercy tI on us both!" " t And so the great case came to an end. ti Thomas succeeded in keeping all but-the moat s meagre details from :the curious gaze of the n public. It was not in his province to suppress g news, but, as John Lamm said "·ma jLdu a_& caLdefor