Chapter 81632209

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Chapter NumberXVIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1898-02-16
Page Number27
Word Count2479
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe North Queensland Register (Townsville, Qld. : 1892 - 1905)
Trove TitleThe Mystery of Sea-Towers
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'Not in this room exclaimed Grace as the eoaciiTnan ia^ gaaxLeiDter were about to lififc Mm upon the (bed.

*,Nio>, at weald never dfc» fiar him to awake to consciousness tare ; besides Bie room wS91 need !to be exaim!iii*0d>, on the return of the detectives,' said Beal ri'oe hurriedly.

They carried him intoan apartment ca the other side of the 'hotise (and by the time a doctor -was in attendance had undressed audi placed <Mm «pn the bed. Grace supervised everything.

A stimulant was adimlnlstered by her direction, >his limfbs -sponged with Ihoit water ; cold water wtas ap plied to his "head, and everything <kxne

to restx>re amimatkm. He ihart 'taint ed, sihe fhoqiglrt, ?through w<aiot of (food, Cowl air, and exhaustion.

Doctor Shirley, Who <etame in re sponse to her summons,' expressed Shim self as extremely (pleased with her management of the <3ase, and although he said Dr Strong's coMditiom was a very serious ome, (he toad every hope Of {raffing (Mm througfti. fie himself would remain tand mumse "him thivmgh

the exists. *

<A*fiter a time the patient's (breathing became more regular and na tural, and in respomse to the effect olf tfhe stinrn tant some colour returned to the pal

lid flace.

William iShlrley, M. D., had Ibeem on kntimate terms with botih Dr Stnxxng and his sister, amd Ms <?urfosity to know where fras friend Ibad' (been found was great; but 4ie saw that Grace was wholly a'bsortied with anxiety for 'her brother's recovery, and iHiat While hit life huu<g In the ?balance, it .would be useless to interrogate (her. The only reply to his question, as to Where anil how they had found- 'him, had bu* further mystified <hiin. Said Grace

. 'We found Mm in the room in which he was lost; but dioctor dx>i*'t ask me anytM^j? about it now.

Br Shirley sat and watdhed Ms pa tient, and occasionally felt life pulse, the beating of which was hardly per ceptible.

He looks as though he <had (been, poi

soned i>y noxious gfas, as well as starv j

ed,' lie ©aid to Grace.

'Very iiikely,' she replied, as she] quietly btBt deftly moved aSbout the room fin attend ance TOpon her <broitiier*s


The detectives, Bruce amd Seymour, i returned towards evening, and on hear ! sing- of the startling turn in affairs,

at office sought an 'mfcervdetw with Beat <


.It miigiht have 'beeaii expected? that they would have evincedmuch grati fication at the discovery of Doctor Strong ; tout tfliey both ceg'arded it as^ yatber Hnf&j^nate-fcemuse tker ba4

.not made the discovery themselves. On hearing the particulars, 'however, from Miss Baliaaiiyiie, they !fchoaigh.t better of tihe case, for their only com petitors were two wosneia. And it would be a queer thfing if they could not manage to so report, a® to secure the credit of the -matter for them selves.

Of course their report would laave to talTy wCth any sworn evidence -wMdi might -come out in the inevitalble trial which would follow their capture of the crinritnals; but it wouM vbe easy enough to fix that up.

*Pheir first course was plain. Mrs DaTbert must, if possible, be immed iately arrested, and' In the meantime the chamber must be -watched. They .were loath to ask for further assist ance, at a time which seemed' tto offer the successful elucidation of a mysterious crime which had set

all Melbourne toy the ears. One of them would have to go into the city, procure a waraaut, and arrest Mrs Dalbert- 4tiat Is if he could find her-wliile the oitfter must wiatcli the Towers.

Matters were certainly getting wJarm ^nd lively for the officers; and as for the Towers, the whole household was . simmering with; .excitement. They none <w£ them exactly knew where the missing Doctor lhad< coane -from, and none of them had seen Mrs Dialbert; but they all knew that ttaeibwo ladies were the chief actors in the affair, and fchatsoanethng very extraofrdinary Siad happened to him in the haunted cham her. However, there'was awo* qaossahil iiy cf the Doctor being removed that .night to 'his own residence, so <wftli DoetorShirley and tJhe ladfes slaying Id tbe bouse, tfcere inore life aft

out the place. At least that was the view the cook and 'liouisemaid took of the master.

It was noteworthy that mane of tfliem had 'beeoine friendly with the dtetec- ] tives. Had they 'been ordinary police-officers it is probable .tha't the female servants wxmld Suave jtMsen them linto favour at oruce. But to a cook or ho-useroaM there is a great gulf fixed between a detective officer amd a policeman. The 'foamier wears no alluring uniform, and is less partic ular a<bont Ms food. Tlien too, the officers in question had shown them selves extremely -suspMoais aind loquis itive. One after anoiflier they tad in an informal way examined 'and .cross examined. the eervamts.

"Its like their impertinence,' said the cook, 'to .pry Into our private af fairs in the way they do, and 'that Sey mour is the worst. He acfeaaMv asked

, me the other day wJiether my 'hair had

always 'bean the colour at 'is -now ? Tlhe cilieek of the fellow ! 1 'believe he kmoiws every ,particular atoooit ifche Jbirfcli and history of everyone of us.'

The gardener was the most embit

I fcened against them, for tiiey ihad <mad£

a very searching inquiry lnjfeo diis past

' career, *wMeh was noit altogether to

Ms credit, and .Seymour at one time threatened 4£lm that he mogiht find him self in trouble if lie did not tase care

It was ecrtalnly not a wise course, and Detective 'Bruce (had sev eral times had occasion to check .the ardour and impatience of Ms less ex penieraeed fellow officer.

They had a long and serious consul tation fbefore Bruce decided -to sitart for iiihe -city to arrest Mrs Dalfoert.

Tot -willi harve to use toe utmost

vigiteuce, -Seymour,' e&Ul Bruce, Ton

any word1 I-hardly <care «to leave you here alone, and -there is just a cShance that this Mrs Dalibert may mat «be an actual accomplice, and In going after iuea*e we may lose more valuable game.'

'lou ought to get "there and »bacic in three or four hours, asid "have the woman safely in custody,' replied iSey

mooir. ,

'Ah, (but it's evening now, and good ness knoiws where the chamber magis trate wall be. Yo<u see there is mo one to give her .in <?liarge and -I can't arrest her withonrfc a warrant. There's no knowing what may happen to 'delay me,' replied Bruce.

'You may rest sure that I tvob'l leave the room with iflie fireplace. un til you return,' said Seymour. 'I feel very mfueh inclined to get the "coach man and gardener in a ad Ijroak down into the place "below, as 'Miss Ballan tyne suggested we might,' said Sey


'Never do! There must foe some means of exit from Jbelow, *ancl >half an hour before you could (break your way down :tihere, the >birds would diave flown. From -what Miss Ballantyne says my opinion is that some one will work the lift to-night from ibelow to see "w<hether Uhe doctor has fbeen dis covered ; and if tthe thing is manag ed properly tihey 'might (be taken in the act'

"Good heaven ! don't make a mess of if, Seymour. I don't know wheth er it would not be better for me to send you to Melbourne after unLss they are caught to night there will i>e no cfiiance when they have discovered tSiafc the doctor has «beea moved. 33hey are siure, I ttimk, (to come back ; but probably it will be in the early hours of the morning, and' I wall (be (back l>y then. There's the coachmsrn with my horse, so I will get off at once and <be Jyack as quickly as possible. See that you have one x>f the men with you until I return.'

Seymosir, however, decided as 'his superior officer ixxie rapidly away that he would not enlighten the ser vants any farther aiLwrot the matiter , but would' watch the chaanlber alone r until the return of Bruce; 'He was

I eager for distinction anjd (promotion, I and if he could only do somelMng

i bold and original in Uhe present case he might achieve 'both.

He decided to tell no one at stll of his intended' movements, for he was suspicious tiiia't some of the servants might be accomplices, and he hiadi an idea which he wanted to work out.

It should be said to his credit that Seymour was not deficient dn personal l courage, and just now he would ihave ? faced any danger, with Ms (revolver J handy, for he had great -faith in; his | own sk:ll and dexterity in dealing ' with criminals, and-his curiosity was ? aroused to the highest pitcih. He had

himself fro>m observation, after hav . ing entered the room with the greatest

quietness, and there waited.

I He was In the dark, fjut had a tail's

eye lantern with him which he occas ionally used to look at the time. He j was too amiGh excited to feel sleepy j and sat behind *t3ie curtains of the 3>ed j thinking over all that Miss Ballan . tvne had told them of the moving- of i the fireplace and square and of the

startling events which followed. She

had specially emphasised the facth&tt

;4lie lift Tracked ®oisele«$ly, and t!h? 'iUoiagiit c'ccuartii- to Seytfttarrr, ISvip pose that I shcraM ai<at' Tiear libeiiftj and tliM at jfaaqild toing <up somieont

fcsiovi- v.ili'a mife'iit spxSiag upon me unexpectedly,. It is a most try ing Uihiug to \v£it !lu suspense, with stotalnehl iRivo.v hcra* "after Hiour Mo-ii*: ia-s Sey.UK>m' \y<23 ;,i50w diaing. Tuue, lie toad 'many a time \ratehied -under more uiieamtor^ble cireumstaoces - lifliysic 3llv, but there was an uucamiyiiess alxAr-.t .tl:o -proseat ajdvembure wMch. specially itself upon ills


He k;cfc_'d at Ms wajtwh and' fkrand it i/jxe rnidn^M, <he «nfig!ht al uiyst any time -expect the retflimi of, who might jprofoaibiy bring h'o'jvn lucre assiistansee with Mm.

Ait this, h-a threw 'the light of the ?bull's-eye la:irtera upon the firejpla«cfc arid square, <and then carefully arouaid

^Jho siocm.

He tben lallowed <to iilraself iililat It was a risky thing to do, /but St reas sajirred him ; as she tknoaiigMt the flight back, however, it fell upon ffihe oush k>n on which Dr Strong's -head had rested when, according 4o Miss Bal lantyne's precise and careful state ment, he&had come up from 'below.

?Ai': this a rush of thought .passed lihrcegh Jishe detective's uftiatL The cushion was different in icolour to others in the roam. Then it occurred

to Mm that someone might wigli to recover tlhSut cnsMttra. Tjhenibo©, as Jt was evidently -a most ingeniously Aim tcived .piece of iiieefliamiini, tohose -toe low might have some means of 'know ing w-Uetlier the doctor's foody was still lying upon tdie lift where ttiey had piacecl It. He was, In tbtis affair, fight ing no oirdinary criminal, %e would have to take every precaution oa* they wauM escape tiim.'

At (feast, as he fihus <£hou@ibt tihdmat ter over, fliis irmoginaiion; -caummeaced ffeo play liim tricks ; or it was itais. or other animals, he certainly 'h-eaiti sottrfids, and once or 'twice allowed a glimmer of ligSit -to escape (his ifouiTs eye, Sk* as to assure (himself that lilie lift toad noit 'been moved. Finally, to prevent any possMe mistake toeing made, lie decided to lie down himself i^xyit the square, and wi'tih cushion under his head pose as <tohe doctor. If the lift was moved 3ie would at any rate go down wlt9i ft -when, of coairsa ftliere would "be -a flutter and he might 'iiave to use his revolver, ."but he

would toave some'show .of achieving


'Good heaven! if it would only hap pen before Bruce returned, and he could do the whole thing single han


Without another 'thought the plucky young fellow made for the cushion and lay down, upon the square with

Jis lieid upoii it-. had todra/w up /?ills' legs a'bit, for lie was a^ts^ man;

and the position was a *bit cramped. Bat it was nothing to lying for six mortal: hours. in an iron drain pipe, which he had done on one occasion to catch a criminal who had secreted plunder in same long grass.

.He made "himself quite comfortable at last, witlihis head on the pillow, and thus waited.

"There's a queer smell about this pillow,' -he presently said to himself . He 'began .to feel a Ibit~ drowsy, for "another couple of hours had passed, and the position lie had assumed was not nearly so suited to keeping awake as an 'upright one.

^Gonfound it!' he thought, It will be a flue thing if I let myself go to sleep here. I shall have to get up and move a'bout a hit.' Just then he ihought that he heard a noise, and listened in momentary expectation of feeling the. lift move with him.

Another half hour passed, and Sey mour could not account for his drow siness; tout he had now 'been watch ing for over six hours, and unknown to 'him there wf.s that about the cush ion calculated to induce slumber.

'He shook himself, then put his head down again aiid listened, then closed his eyes, for it was Utile use keeping them open in the dark, .then he swore

UGdtr his breai'Ji that he would lie - there «uiiy longer, t4ien fa's taeadnu^

-juore h«avily upon lie Sn

he fell asleep, \

And it: Wiisaiot much to be wondej\ ed~ at und^-4jie cIrcunistaaieGs. \

When, howev^^r-JPeteetire Brace re turned to Sea^lffflCfrreqra the follow^

Ing morning in a very

thoroughly tired out--fpr he haalaii ed in his search for Mrs Dalfoerf:-W found Detective : Seymour unaccount - ably missing.

No one Jmew: anything afoouthim; the chamber .which tie had foeen de puted to watdh ;was there, presenting its ordinary appearance; but there wss no sign of Detective "Seymour.

<He must have gone out some where.' suggested William.

But the quick eye of ttie detective saw that the cushion which fcad come up'from below under the doctor's head, was absent. He had thought a good bit about -frhalt eoidhioin wihile away in the city amd blamed himself for "not having examined it,-«tad put ting it somewhere -under lock atnd key; but there was no cushion there mow, and no detective Seymmir^ anil" Mr Bruce went outside to see'if he might tve smoMng a. quiet pipe so met where after his night of lonely 'watching. But he did not find 'him "there.

(To *be Continued.) , x