The House of Mystery
William Henry Irwin
Part 3 out of 3
when they want to, though a woman knows they cry oftener than any _man_
ever sees. You have to take it out in booze."
Blake heard his own voice, far away, saying:
"What did you come for?"
"You'll know soon enough. If I didn't have the patience of an angel I'd
never have waited. Gee, those gentlemen's clubs is exclusive! Now I
want you to remember you're drunk and keep quiet and not hurry me. I've
got things to tell you. Miss Markham came in from a walk this
Dr. Blake saw his own hand lift in a gesture of repulsion, heard his
own voice say:
"I don't want to hear about her."
"Will you kindly remember," said Rosalie Le Grange, "that you're
supposed to be drunk? She came in from a walk this morning about half
past ten, in a worse state than I ever saw her. I didn't much care, way
I felt about her then--you know--now let me go my own way. Mrs. Markham
was shut in her room all the morning. I was busy packing--I was getting
ready to send in my notice but didn't, thank our stars--an' I didn't
run onto her but once or twice. She was movin' about the house, and her
face was like death.
"Just before lunch, I came down to the library, lookin' for a sewin'
basket. Mrs. Markham was at the table, writin' a note. In meanders
Annette Markham an' begins to pull out the books in the library,
listless. She'd open one, flip the pages, put it back and open another.
She kept that up quite some time. I wasn't noticing special until she
took out three or four together, reached into the space they left and
pulled out a sizable gray book that had fallen down behind the
stock--or been put there!
"Mrs. Markham had just looked up, and I saw her git stiff. She spoke
quick--'Annette!'--jest like that--sharp, you know. Annette looked at
her. Mrs. Markham reached over and took the book away. The girl, never
looked down at it again, I can swear to that--she was starin' straight
at her aunt. Mrs. Markham dropped the book on the table, but she put
her elbows on it, and said: 'I'd been hunting everywhere for that--I'm
glad you found it.' Annette never said a word, never tried to get the
book back; she jest went on rummaging.
"Well, one thing was clear. Mrs. Markham didn't want her to git as much
as a sight of that book. Why? It was about the funniest little thing
I'd seen in that house. Better believe I found business in the front
parlor where I could keep my eyes on 'em. After a minute or two,
Annette walked out, listless as ever. Soon as her back was turned, Mrs.
Markham went to the desk an' locked the book in the top drawer.
"It was an hour before the coast was clear for me to git into the
parlor and open that lock with a skeleton key an' a hairpin. An' when I
seen the title of that book--well it got as clear--"
Blake saw, through the veil above his sight, that Rosalie's face had
broken out dimples and sparkles as a yacht breaks out flags. It
irritated him remotely.
"What has that to do with the case?" he asked; and then, weakly, "I
don't want to hear about it."
"If I was to tell you," persisted Rosalie rolling the sweets of
revelation under her tongue, "that jest the name of the book in the
secretary showed your girl was all right and you and I was fools, what
would you say?"
The veil lifted from Blake. It was he himself who had risen from his
chair, was leaning over the table, was asking:
"What do you mean? Tell me--what do you mean?"
Rosalie herself rose, leaned over to meet him, and whispered four words
in his ear.
"See!" she added aloud. "See!"
Blake fell back into his chair with a thump.
"I, a doctor and a man of science and I never thought once of that!
What a damned fool I was!"
"_We_ was," amended Rosalie Le Grange.
ANNETTE TELLS THE TRUTH
It seemed to Blake, waiting in Rosalie's sitting-room for a quarter of
nine, that this silent house of mystery vibrated suppressed excitement.
He sat with his hands clenched, his body leaning forward, in the
attitude of one waiting the signal to strike. Rosalie, sitting opposite
him, sent over a smile of reassurance now and then, but neither spoke.
There was no need of words. They had talked out the smallest detail of
Rosalie's plot, even to mapping the location of the furniture. Inch by
inch, objection after objection, she had conquered his cautions and
scruples; had persuaded him that the dramatic method was the best
method. When Blake entered the house, nothing was left to chance except
the question whether Norcross would miss his engagement to "sit" with
Mrs. Markham. Rosalie settled that. From the front windows, she had
observed the green limousine automobile waiting by the curbing outside;
through her open registers she had caught the murmur of conversation.
So even Rosalie, whose tongue ran by custom in greased grooves, found
nothing to say until the little mantel clock tapped three times to
announce a quarter to the hour. It brought Blake to his feet with such
a jerk that Rosalie shook both her hands at him by way of caution. At
the door she stopped a second, put her lips to his ear.
"I don't have to tell you to be brave, boy," she said. "But keep your
head and don't git independent. You do what I say!"
She touched his side pocket, which bulged. "An' not too brash with
that!" she added. "Revolvers is good for bluffs but bad for real
Blake nodded. And for the second time they crept down the silent,
padded halls to those apartments above Mrs. Markham's alcove library.
They approached, then, not the closet door, but the door leading to
that boudoir which he had seen once before through Rosalie's hole in
the wall paper. Rosalie applied a key, turned it with infinite caution,
opened the door, motioned him in. The room appeared as before. The
light burned low over the white desk; the portieres hung close. Rosalie
pointed to the rounded, further end of the room--the space where he had
seen the ghostly thing which was Annette disappear through the floor.
That floor space was bare; a rug, rolled up, rested against the further
wainscot. Blake took it in, and smiled at Rosalie as though to say,
"everything is ready I see!" Then for a minute they stood immobile,
listening. A murmur of conversation came up from below, and in the room
behind the portieres someone was breathing, lightly, regularly. Rosalie
touched his arm and beckoned. Moving without sound, they lifted the
portieres, stepped within.
No light inside that room, except the low radiance from a prone figure
by the outer wall. It seemed at first that this ghost of Annette lay
suspended between heaven and earth. Blake's mind put down the awe which
was stealing over his senses. His eyes sharpened until he could make
out a few details.
At the right, dimly suggested, was a disordered bed. Annette lay on a
couch. The robes swathed her from head to foot, but the veil over her
face was parted as though to give her air. Her eyes were closed; her
arms, with something strained and stretched in their attitude, lay
along her sides.
And now Rosalie had her lips at his ear.
"Quick!" she said.
Blake crept to Annette's side and spoke in a low tone.
"Annette, this is I--Walter, your lover. You belong to me. I revoke no
other commands, but you are to listen to me also and do as I tell you.
Answer me first. You have been commanded to rise when you hear music?"
As by the miracle of one speaking in normal tones out of sleep, Annette
"Speak low. You have been commanded to enter the other room then, turn
out the light, lift a trap, let down a rope ladder, descend it, and say
"Yes." The tone was less than a whisper.
"Have you been given anything special to say to-night--has anything
been impressed upon you?"
"What is it?"
"After the rest, I am to say: 'Robert, they tell me that the great
danger is near. They give me a message which I do not understand--"Declare
that dividend tomorrow." You do not know the awful things which will
come if you do not.'"
Blake could hear Rosalie catch her breath at this. It came to him,
also, that he had intervened at the very climax of Mrs. Markham's
operation on Robert H. Norcross. But he went on firmly:
"Obey that. Do as you were told. But do something else. So that you
will remember, I am going to whisper it in your ear."
Blake leaned over for a minute, and whispered. Presently he raised
himself a little, so that he bent over her face, and said in a low
"Do all that. I command you. I am Walter, and you must obey me. And
remember especially--when you have done it all, then wake--wake and do
not be alarmed. Do you hear?"
"Will you obey?"
"You will not be frightened?"
Rosalie touched his arm. Blake, with one last look back, stepped
outside and dropped the portieres. Rosalie drew him into the hall,
softly locked the door, beckoned him to follow to the head of the
stairs. And hard upon this movement, the piano downstairs began:
_Wild roamed an Indian maid, bright Alfaretta._
"Make no noise--and hurry!" whispered Rosalie. Down the stairs they
went, and stationed themselves by the hall door of the drawing-room.
There, it was pitch dark. Without risk of being seen, they could look
along the dim reaches of Mrs. Markham's parlors. From a point above
their heads, a little, shaded cabinet-lamp gave a fan of low light
which shone full on the dark curtains of the alcove library. They could
make out, by his white hair and collar, the back of a man, and a
shadowy figure at the piano. "Wild roamed an Indian maid" was falling
away to its dying chord. Silence settled again; the back of the old man
swayed. Mrs. Markham spoke from the piano stool:
"I feel your influence, Helen. You are stronger every time, dear,
because his love grows stronger. Come, dear--come."
A pillar of light glowed against the cabinet curtains. Norcross rose;
Blake could catch a suggestion of his face and collar against the dark
draperies. There came the same exchange of love words, of pats, of
caressing speeches, which he had heard from the closet; even now,
better understood as this thing was, the sound of them drew his finger
nails up into his palms.
Rosalie's touch brought him back to his sense of observation. Here,
now, came the climax; here the moment upon which everything depended.
The low, sweet contralto voice was saying:
"They tell me that the great danger is near. They give me a message
which I do not quite understand. They say, 'Declare that dividend
to-morrow!' You cannot know what awful things will follow if you do
Rosalie's clutch tightened on Blake's arm. For the voice had ceased
altogether. A silent moment; then they saw the pillar of light become a
crumpled blotch on the floor, heard a sudden shuffle of feet, heard
Annette's voice, loud, clear, distinct, crying:
"This is a lie! I am not Helen Whitton! I am Annette Markham. I am not
a spirit! I am alive! You are being fooled--fooled!"
There followed a jangle of piano keys, as though something had dropped
upon the keyboard.
In that instant, Rosalie Le Grange jerked the string of the cabinet
light, throwing the shutter wide open. The details of that group by the
curtain blazed into Blake's sight as he jumped forward--Annette, all in
black, her white gauze robes a crumpled heap at her feet, swaying in
the center of the floor; Norcross a huddle against the wall; Mrs.
Markham, stiff as though frozen to stone, leaning against the piano.
More light blazed on them; Blake knew that Rosalie, according to
program, had lit the gas. He reached the curtains an instant before
Mrs. Markham, roused to sudden, cat-like action, threw herself toward
Annette. Blake came between; out of his pocket he whipped the revolver.
"I'm talking to you all!" he said. "You, old fool over there, and you,
you devil! I'll kill the first that moves!"
Now Rosalie had slipped up beside Mrs. Markham, laid a hand on her
"Don't make any fuss, my dear. I'm a medium myself an' I've been
exposed four times. Take it from me, _your_ play is to be a lady--and
Suddenly, Mrs. Markham lifted herself from the piano keys and spoke:
"Annette, my dear, control yourself. Come to me, dear--my poor, insane
niece. Mr. Norcross, I will explain these intruders later. Come to me,
dear!" She had stepped toward Blake, who stood with his left arm about
Annette. Blake felt Annette shrink away from him, felt her sway toward
her aunt. He raised the revolver.
"Stay where you are!" he commanded. "Annette, listen to me. I control
you now--I! Until I say otherwise, keep your face on my shoulder. Do
not look up. Keep your mind on what I am saying."
Annette's first movement away from him ceased. She gave a little
inarticulate murmur of obedience. Simply as a child, she settled her
face into the hollow of his shoulder.
He turned to Norcross.
"You old fool--" then he caught the face of him who had been king of
the American railroads. Norcross had settled into a chair; more, he had
shriveled into it. His mouth had fallen open as from senile weakness;
his eyes, suddenly grown old, glazed and peering, seemed to struggle
with tears. His hands moved uncertainly, feebly.
"I beg your pardon, Mr. Norcross," he said, "I came here to-night to
take away this girl, whom I intend to marry, and I'm excited. Now
listen--Annette, I want you to listen also. Keep your mind upon me
alone, dear, and remember I told you not to be frightened. This girl is
ward of that she-devil there. Since her childhood, Mrs. Markham has
been hypnotizing her--for her own purposes. So good a subject has she
become that Mrs. Markham uses her to play ghost for these
seances--without her own knowledge--"
"Stop!" cried Mrs. Markham.
"Now, my dear," protested Rosalie, "I've been in the house four weeks
jest watchin' you work. Your play is to shut up until you see what
we've got in our hand. If you don't, you'll put your foot in it!"
As though aware of her presence for the first time, Mrs. Markham turned
and looked Rosalie straight in the face. And as though realizing the
common sense in this counsel, she seated herself. Only a gnawing at her
under lip indicated her mental disturbance.
Now Annette, as though beginning to realize the situation, was sobbing
softly. Blake patted her shoulder; and the passion went out of his
voice. But he still held the revolver alert in his free hand.
[Illustration: "STAY WHERE YOU ARE," HE COMMANDED]
"Her method is fairly established. In a few minutes, I will permit you
to see the trap between the ceiling of that cabinet room there and the
floor of the room above. The trap is hollow; in it, for safety, she
keeps those phosphorescent robes"--he nodded toward the white heap on
the floor--"all her cabinet paraphernalia, and the notes on such as
you. Full information on your love affair with Helen Whitton has been
in that trap for weeks." Then, seeing how raw was the nerve which he
had touched in the old man, he added:
"I beg your pardon again, sir; but I must speak of this. Mme. Le Grange
there--my agent in this house--is an expert on such matters. She
informs me that those notes are the work of a private detective--that
the information comes from an old aunt of Helen Whitton who must have
been her confidante. Do you see now what happened? Every night of a
seance, Mrs. Markham has prepared for you by sending this girl to bed
early--by sitting beside her and putting her to sleep. That is what
Miss Markham, in her innocence, calls it. It _is_ sleep--the hypnotic
sleep. Miss Markham is in bad condition. Her nerves are those of the
overworked hypnotic horse. Mrs. Markham has used that as a pretext for
putting her to bed early. Shall I particularize? Do I need to go on?"
"Oh, pray do! You are very interesting!" spoke Mrs. Markham from the
"I will--since you wish it," returned Blake with an equal sarcastic
courtesy. "When sleep was established, Mrs. Markham made her rise and
dress herself in those phosphorescent robes"--he pointed to the gauzy
heap on the floor--"put her back on the couch, and gave her directions.
She was to rise at a signal--you know it--'Wild roamed an Indian maid.'
Must I tell you any more?" he burst out. "Do you know that three nights
ago I looked into her sitting-room above that trap and saw her--saw her
go down to you--heard what she said to you!"
Annette was gasping and moaning.
"Oh, did I do that?" she said.
"No, sweet, _she_ did it," he said. He turned to Rosalie. "Take this
revolver and keep order for me. Annette ought not to stand any longer."
Still keeping her head on his shoulder, he seated her beside him on a
couch. "She has never heard this before, Mr. Norcross, and you must
know what a shock she is suffering. This is a desperate case, and it
required a desperate remedy. That accounts for this drama to-night.
Mme. Le Grange there is housekeeper of this place, and my agent.
Putting her in this house was part of the remedy. Fifteen minutes ago,
she and I entered the room where Miss Markham lay in hypnotic trance,
waiting to go down to you. I supplemented Mrs. Markham's suggestion by
a command of my own--you know what it was. I took a risk. One never
knows whether a hypnotic subject--even such a perfect one as this--will
obey a supplementary suggestion. Had it failed, had she started back
toward the ladder, I should have turned on the lights and seized the
spook in the vulgar manner, and Mrs. Markham would have had the
thousand excuses which a professional medium can give in such
circumstances. But Annette obeyed--she even woke on my command before
she had fulfilled the whole of Mrs. Markham's suggestion--because we
love each other. That made the difference." He drew Annette's head
closer on his shoulder. "I'm going to take her away to-night. She's
done with all this." He turned to Mrs. Markham. Her hand still rested
on the keyboard. Her face was pale, but her lips wore a sneering smile.
"It is your turn, Madame," he said.
"I lose gracefully," answered Mrs. Markham, "yet if Mr. Norcross will
think very carefully, he may realize that I am not all a loser."
Rosalie crossed the room to Dr. Blake. "Here, you take this thing," she
said, extending the revolver, "it makes me nervous, an' I told you at
the start there wasn't no use of it."
And now, something had clicked in Norcross again. His mouth had closed
like a vise, light had come back to his eyes; he was again the Norcross
of the street.
"You're a devil," he said, "but you're a marvelously clever woman--"
"So clever," responded Mrs. Markham in dulcet tones, "that I intend
never to worry about finances again--by your leave, Mr. Norcross."
"That means blackmail, I suppose," said Norcross.
"Now, Mr. Norcross, I beg of you," protested Mrs. Markham, "I have
_never_ used harsh names for unpleasant truths with you! Do me the same
courtesy. You will agree, I think, that the Norcross interests would
suffer if people knew that Robert H. Norcross was running to spirit
mediums--my business is little appreciated. The newspapers, Mr.
"Would any newspaper believe you?" asked Norcross.
"An admirable method," responded Mrs. Markham, "an admirable method of
getting these people before the public as witnesses"--her gesture
indicated Dr. Blake and Rosalie--"would be to sue for custody of my
niece, whom this young man intends, I believe, to take away tonight.
Certain unusual features of this case would charm the newspapers."
Rosalie shook Blake's shoulder.
"Doctor!" she cried, "can't you see what she's aiming at? She's trying
to drag us into her blackmailing. She's tryin' to make this look like a
plant." She whirled on Norcross.
"Listen, Mr. Norcross. I'll tell you what this was done for! Do you
know a youngish lookin' man, smooth-shaven, neat dresser, gray eyes,
about forty-five, got something to do with Wall Street, wears one of
them little twisted-up red and white society buttons in his buttonhole,
has a trick of holding his chin between his fingers--so--when he's
thinkin'? Because _he_ started it. He's the nigger in your woodpile. He
came here a week before you ever saw Mrs. Markham, bringin' the notes
about Helen Whitton--the dope that she's been feedin' you. If you'll
put that together with what the spirit--she--Miss Markham, told you
tonight about declarin' dividends--"
"Mrs. Granger," interrupted Mrs. Markham, "you are a shrewd woman, but
you carry your deductions a little far--"
"Deductions, your grandmother!" retorted Rosalie Le Grange, "To think
how close you come to foolin' even _me_ that's played this game, girl
and woman, for twenty-five years! If I hadn't caught you so anxious to
stop that little girl from seein' that you kept Practical Methods of
Hypnotism' hid behind the bookcase, I'd have gone away from here
believin' that she was deep in the mud as you was in the mire. You
certainly sprung a new one on me!"
The eyes of Norcross lighted, as though with a new idea, and he broke
abruptly into this feminine exchange:
"I do not believe that this is a plant. Mrs. Markham, shall we
"I like the life in London," said Mrs. Markham. "I have been waiting to
"Twenty-five thousand dollars?"
"Oh dear, no! Fifty."
Norcross drew a check book, flipped it on his knee. Mrs. Markham raised
a protesting hand.
"Yes, you will--you'll take it in a check or not at all," he said. "I
want this transaction recorded. I'll tell you why. It is worth just
that to keep this story out of the papers. I was caught, and I pay. It
is worth no more. I will give you this check to-night. You will cash it
in the morning. I shall have the cancelled check as a voucher. If ever
you ask me for a dollar more, you go to State's Prison for
extortion--on the testimony of these three witnesses. My legal
department is the best in the country. In short, it is worth fifty
thousand dollars to me. It is not worth fifty thousand and one. Also,
you sail to London within a week. Does that go?"
Mrs. Markham drummed a minute with her fingers, and her face went a
"It does," she said in a low voice.
Blake bent over Annette.
"Do you hear that?" he asked. "Do you know what it means? It is called
"Oh, Aunt Paula, Aunt Paula!" whispered Annette. Her face settled
closer on Blake's shoulder, and she burst into a torrent of weeping.
Rosalie tiptoed to the desk, bringing pen and ink, which she laid on
the table beside Norcross. It was quite evident that one of their
number was by this time enjoying the situation.
"Keep everybody here for three minutes--I'll be back," she said to
Blake, and floated out of the door.
As Norcross handed over the check, Dr. Blake spoke:
"I am taking Miss Markham away. She is not to see this woman
again--taking her to my aunt's house. I, too, want a witness. If I have
done anything for you to-night, will you return it by setting us down
in your automobile?"
"Certainly," responded Norcross. "I suppose I ought to thank you--but
I've got to think this thing out." He scrutinized Blake closely. "How
about you and the papers--I hadn't thought of you--"
Blake, still dropping soft love pats on Annette's hair and shoulders,
looked into the eyes of the railroad king.
"I have earned that opinion, I suppose," he said. "I can't say that I
feel myself greatly superior to--to anyone here--tonight. But I've done
what I started to do. My name is Blake, Mr. Norcross--Dr. Walter H.
Blake--lately army surgeon in the Philippines, if you take my
profession as a voucher. My father was Rear-Admiral Blake, if family
will help establish me. Or, better, I intend to marry this girl as soon
as the license clerk will let me--and it isn't likely that I'll make
public anything that involves my wife and her people. Does that satisfy
Norcross ran his eye across them. It rested a moment upon Annette; and
a ghost of that late emotion, of which she had been the instrument,
flashed across his face.
"I guess I'm satisfied," he said.
Now Rosalie, in hat and wraps, stood at the door carrying her suit
"Sorry to leave without notice, Mrs. Markham," she said, "but you
remember I haven't drawn no pay as housekeeper for doin' you up. I
guess we'd all better be goin'. Here's your hat, Dr. Blake, and a fur
coat and boots for Miss Markham."
Paula Markham, twirling the fifty thousand dollar check idly in her
fingers, rose from the piano stool.
"I wish you to listen, Dr. Blake," she said, "although you may not
believe it, I am really fond of Annette. The temptation to use her
became too strong. Believe me, I have intended for some time to stop
it. I had stopped it in fact, when this big fish came to my net. You
have seen, no more keenly than I, how hard it was on her nerves. Take
her away and give her a good time--she needs it. Indeed, had you come
into her life a little later, I should have welcomed you--for after I
found that she had no clairvoyance in her, I wanted her to be happy."
"You had an admirable way of showing it," responded Dr. Blake. "What
about putting aside earthly love for strength?"
"It kept off the undesirables," said Mrs. Markham, "and just then--with
this large order in hand--you were an undesirable. I shall not ask you
to let me see her for the present--indeed, I am going away--but years
from now, when you and she have softened--"
"When her will is built up--perhaps."
"May I kiss her?" For the first time in his experience of her, Blake
traced a note of feminine softness in Mrs. Markham's tones.
Blake took the back of the little head firmly in his hand, pressed the
face tightly on his shoulder.
"Her cheek--yes. You must not look into her eyes."
As Mrs. Markham lifted her face from Annette's cheek, the tears showed
under her lids.
"But, oh, Annette," she whispered, "I ask you to believe that I am
real--that once I was all real--but I fell like the rest."
For the first time Annette spoke coherently.
"Oh, Aunt Paula--it breaks my heart--but I will try to remember only
how kind you were."
And now Rosalie had wrapped her for the street; and now the door closed
between Mrs. Markham and her biggest operation.
* * * * *
Rosalie was first to quit the automobile--she had asked Norcross to
drive her to a woman's hotel.
"Good-night, people," she said cheerily at the curb, "I hope it ain't
good-by to any of you. Doctor, I'd like to be invited to the weddin',
however private--that's my tip. When I git settled again, I'll send you
my card an' address. Good-night, Mr. Norcross, I'm real pleased to have
met you. I had a cousin who was a conductor on one of your roads an' he
always spoke nicely of the way he was treated. An', oh, yes! Don't you
worry about _me_ givin' any of this away. I'm a medium, all right, but
I ain't in that kind of work. I ain't recommendin' myself, of course,
Mr. Norcross, but if you git over this--they generally do--an' want
some good, straight clairvoyant work done, write Mme. Rosalie Le
Grange, care the _Spirit Truth Bulletin_, an' I'll recommend you to
them that are strangers to graft. Good-night."
After they drove on, Blake, brazenly patting and caressing Annette
toward calm and a right mind, furtively noticed Norcross as the bands
of city light flashed his figure into view. He was huddled in a corner
of the cushioned seat; he looked again the pitiful, broken,
disappointed old man. But when he parted from the lovers at the curb of
an old house in Lexington Avenue, his voice came out of him with
certainty and ring.
"If I can do anything more for you in this matter, I am at your
service," Blake had said.
"I will attend to the rest myself, thank you!" answered Norcross.
"It has occurred to me," continued Blake, "that Mrs. Markham will
communicate at once with whatever confederates she had in this
business. I hope you don't mind my mentioning it."
"Probably," responded Norcross, "she's at the telephone now. That's my
part of it. Good-night."
MAINLY FROM THE PAPERS
(From the Wall Street _Sun_, Oct. 21, 190-)
Whatever motive impelled Robert H. Norcross to his mysterious
operations in L.D. and M. during the past two days, it looks rather
like stock manipulation than the larger financing which has
hitherto marked his career. When, on Wednesday, the directors of
the L.D. and M. adjourned without declaring a dividend, that stock,
which had advanced somewhat owing to the speculative trading of the
past three weeks, fell from 56 to 50, and closed weak at 49-1/4.
Directly after the close of the exchange, Norcross, as though by
program, reconvened the directors, who declared a dividend of one
and one-half per cent. The news was about by the time the market
opened yesterday, and L.D. and M. made the record jump of the year,
going to 76 and closing strong at 75-1/2. It scarcely went below
that point to-day, and at two o'clock touched its highest
notch--76-3/4. Considerable criticism of Norcross was heard on
the street to-day.
(From the Wall Street _Sun_, Oct. 24, 190-)
BROKERAGE FIRM ASSIGNS
The firm of Bulger and Watson, promoters and Stock Exchange
operators, made an assignment this morning. Liabilities $276,125;
assets $81,300. This failure followed the collapse of the Mongolia
Copper Mine in Montana, news of which reached New York last
Saturday. Bulger and Watson were heavily interested in that
property. An unusual feature of this failure, according to those on
the inside, was the action of Arthur Bulger, senior member of the
firm, in the L.D. and M. flurry of last Wednesday and Thursday.
Bulger, it is said by those who know his affairs best, had
speculated heavily in L.D. and M., playing for a rise. On the eve
of the fluky directors' meeting of last Wednesday--which, it will
be remembered, adjourned without action only to reconvene after
market hours and declare a dividend--Bulger began through his
brokers to unload. It is believed that he was acting upon some
advance inside information of the directors' action. He was sold
clean out of this stock when the market closed Wednesday afternoon.
Had he held on, the firm would doubtless have been able to survive
the Mongolia crash, for L.D. and M., following the unexpected
action of the directors in declaring a dividend, jumped on Thursday
from 50 to the neighborhood of 75. The failure will involve no
other firms, it is thought.
As the curve of Sandy Hook blotted from sight the last, low glimpse of
the skyscrapers which point Manhattan, Blake touched Annette's arm. She
turned from her reveries; the distance faded from her eyes.
"It's the end of a life for you--that," he said. "We don't see New York
again for two years. We're going back over the girlhood you never
had--you're going to dance and motor and walk--yes and coquette,
too--or as much as you care to with me as a husband. For two years,
you're just going to play!"
Then, noticing the expression of the dog who beholds his master with
which her sapphirine eyes regarded him, he dropped his hand on hers.
"But most of all, dearest," he added, "you're going to do what you want
to do! Not what I or any one else commands, but just as your own sweet
will dictates--Light of me!"
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