The Perils of Pauline
Part 5 out of 6
"Excellent, master," exclaimed Balthazar. "It could be done today.
Can I have two of your men, Rupert?"
"Yes; take Gaston and Firenzi. They are always to be trusted."
At his words two men, stepped forward. One of them had been working at
the metal pots. But in response to a hurried word from Rupert he
quickly threw off his cap and apron, and caught up a hat and coat.
Rupert Wallace stepped to the side of the room where a pair of upright
levers stood out of the floor like the levers of an automobile.
He pulled the one nearest him and the sliding doors parted softly.
Owen and Balthazar, with their new escort, stepped through. For a
moment, Wallace waited. Then he drew back the other lever, and the
departing guests found as they reached the end of the secret passage,
that their path opened, almost magically before them, in the hushed
unfolding of the second door.
"Goodbye, Cyrus," said, Harry as Pauline strolling down the garden with
him, tossed to her new pet a dainty from the box of bon-bons she
"What do you mean by that?" she demanded.
"That the oysters on the half shell would be better for his health."
"I didn't give him oysters on the half shell."
"No; but you gave him everything else in the house. He is stuffed like
the fatted calf -- or like the prodigal son -- I don't care which --"
"If he likes candy he shall have candy," declared Pauline, sitting down
on an arbor bench and extending another sugar-plum to the dog.
The gratitude of Cyrus was expressed in a leap to the side of his
mistress. As Harry sat down, he discovered that Cyrus had occupied the
favored place beside Pauline. Next instant there was a yowl of dismay
and the adored gift of Lucille fell several feet away from the bench.
"Harry! I think that is dreadful!" exclaimed Pauline, springing to her
"I do, too," he answered. "That was why I threw it off the bench."
"To treat a poor innocent dumb creature like that!"
"Polly! You don't mean it, do you? You think I hurt him?"
"That doesn't matter, but if I've hurt yours -- it does. I apologize."
"You are always joking. You don't understand how sweet and dear
animals are. You will probably treat me the same way after we are
She ran to the spot where the wary Cyrus was munching the last piece of
candy. But he accepted her caresses without enthusiasm, keeping a
careful eye on Harry.
She called to the dog and walked briskly toward the house.
But Cyrus did not follow. The box of candy was still on the garden
bench, and Cyrus was not immune to temptation.
Owen followed on his motorcycle the runabout in which Balthazar and the
two chosen members of Rupert Wallace's band made their swift journey
toward Castle Marvin.
A quarter of a mile from the grounds Owen drew alongside.
"This would be a good place to stop. The car can be hidden in the
"Yes; master," said Balthazar.
He wheeled the machine upon a narrow roadway into the cover of the
woods, and, with his companions, got out. Owen rode on ahead and was
waiting for them as they neared the little foot path gate to the Marvin
"Look through the hedge there," he directed.
Balthazar crawled on his hands and knees to the box wall that
surrounded the grounds. He thrust his shoulders through the bush and
gazed for a moment at the dog devouring Pauline's bon-bons on the
"I should say it would be well to act now -- instantly, master," he
"Go on. I will be at the house, and will try to hold them back if
there is any noise."
As Owen began to wheel his cycle up the drive to Castle Marvin,
Balthazar and his two aides wriggled through the hedge-row, crossed a
strip of sward and reached the bench. Balthazar caught the dog's head
in his powerful hands. There was not a sound. The animal's muzzle was
shut fast and in a minute it had been tied, leg and body. They ran to
the gate, to the runabout, and were away.
"Why Harry, I can't find him anywhere. What could have happened to
him?" cried Pauline, rushing into the library.
"Owen lost? Thank Heaven!" he exclaimed fervently.
"No; Cyrus. Harry it's your fault. He was angry because you pushed
him off the bench and he ran away."
"Polly," he said, wheeling in his chair, "I am not worried. I decline
to be worried. And I am going away from here."
"Not before you help me find Cyrus."
"Yes -- long before."
She turned and whisked crossly out of the room.
Harry picked up his hat and coat, and in a few minutes was being driven
away by Farrell on an urgent call to town.
Pauline stood on the veranda and watched his departure with silent
"I wonder if he is really cruel -- or -- if he is just a man and
doesn't know any better," she pondered audibly.
Then, as she saw Owen approaching from the side path, "Oh, Owen, won't
you help me? I've lost Cyrus!"
"Cyrus? Am I sure whom you mean? Ah, yes; the new member of our
"Yes; he's gone."
"The only thing to do, I should say, is to advertise. I will call up
the newspapers immediately, Miss Pauline."
"You are dear! I must have him back. Think what Lucille would say if
I lost him on the first day!"
"I'll offer a generous reward and he'll soon be back."
"Thank you, Owen."
CYRUS MAKES A REPUTATION
The proceedings behind the hidden doors in the cellar of the ruined
house between Bathwater and Castle Marvin were not interrupted by so
small a matter as the kidnapping of an heiress -- a kidnapping that had
progressed no further as yet than the capture of a dog.
As Owen stepped into the den the next forenoon he saw the bull terrier
tied to the wall.
"I see we have the main ingredient of the repast in hand."
"The main ingredient and the most dangerous," said Wallace. "He has
done nothing but howl and. bark. May we kill him?"
"Not yet," answered Owen. "It is possible that she might demand sight
of him before entering the house, or some nonsense of that sort. I
would let him howl a little longer."
"Very well," laughed Wallace. "What orders have you for us today,
The other counterfeiters kept steadily on at their work over the
melting pots, the molds and stamping machines. The old woman was
stacking half-dollar pieces at the table.
"Why do you have the woman here?" demanded Owen suddenly.
"To prevent starvation," answered Wallace. "Carrie is not only our
purchasing agent, but our excellent cook."
The hag looked up for a moment with a cackle of appreciation; then bent
again to her work.
"Can she write?" asked Owen.
"Well, then, she can help us. Here is an advertisement which appears
in the morning papers."
He presented a newspaper clipping to Wallace, which read:
LOST -- A fine white bull terrier. Finder will receive liberal reward
if dog is returned to Pauline Marvin. Castle Marvin, N. Y.
"What do you want Carrie to do?"
"Answer the advertisement. Just call her over here."
The hag laid down the coins and moved laboriously to the, table.
Wallace produced from a drawer a pen, paper and ink, and told the woman
to take his chair. Owen dictated:
"Miss Pauline Marvin:
A dog came to my house yesterday which I think is the one you advertise
for. I am an old, crippled woman and it's hard for me to get out.
Can't you come and see if it is your dog?
Mary Sheila, 233 Myrtle Avenue."
The old woman wrote slowly in a shaking hand, and Owen waited patiently
while she addressed an envelope. Then he placed the letter in the
envelope, sealed it, and took his leave.
"And no sign of Cyrus?" inquired Harry cheerily as he entered the
library, where Pauline sat disconsolate.
She did not even answer and she was still gazing dejectedly out of the
window when Bemis brought in the mail. Two of the letters she laid
aside, unread; the third, she opened: "A dog came to my house yesterday
--" Her face lighted with hope and happiness; she read no further.
"Oh, isn't Owen -- splendid," she breathed. "He knew just what to
do." And with the letter in her hand she ran out to the veranda.
"Harry! Harry!" she called across the garden. There was no answer.
"Run up to Mr. Marvin's room and see if he is there, Margaret. Bemis,
go out and see if he is at the garage."
"No, Miss Marvin," said Bemis. "He has gone into Westbury."
Pauline stood silent for a moment.
"Well, then I must go myself," she said with quick decision.
She sped upstairs and within a few minutes was, out at the garage in
her motoring dress. A mechanic was working over her racing car in
front of the garage, the racing car that was just recovering from
recent calamity in the international race.
"Is it all fixed, Employ? Can I drive it today?" she asked eagerly.
"Why - yes, ma'am -- you could," said the mechanic. "But I haven't got
it polished up yet."
"That doesn't matter in the least. I want to use it to day -- now."
She sprang lightly to the seat of the lithe racer and in a moment was
away down the drive.
NO. 233 Myrtle avenue was an address a little difficult to find.
Myrtle avenue was well outside the new town and Pauline had made
several inquiries before an elderly man, whom she found in the
telegraph office, volunteered directions.
She thanked him, and drove back for two miles before she found the turn
he had indicated.
The appearance of the place was unprepossessing enough to dampen even
the ambitious courage of Pauline. But the sight of woman on the porch
training a vine over the front door, allayed her fears.
"You are Mrs. Sheila -- you sent me a message that you had found my
dog?" she asked, approaching.
For a moment the confusion that the woman had meant to simulate was
sincere. She had expected to see no such vision as that of Pauline on
the blackened steps of the coiners' den.
"A dog?" she quavered vaguely. Then, "Oh, yes, my -- dear little lady
-- the pretty white dog. He came to us yesterday. My son he brought
me the newspaper, and -"
"Oh, you are just a dear," cried Pauline. "May I see him now? I am so
fond of him!"
"Yes, my little lady. Will you come in?"
Pauline followed her into the basement. She stepped back with a tremor
of suspicion as the woman rapped three times upon the folding doors,
and they opened silently on their oiled rails. But she was inside the
narrow passage, and the light that gleamed through the second pair of
doors allayed her anxiety. With a bow and the wave of a directing
hand, the old woman waited for Pauline to enter.
In a breath she was seized from both sides. Strong cruel hands held
her, while Wallace smothered her cries with a tight-drawn bandage.
She had hardly had time to see the little terrier tugging at his chain
in the corner of the room, but his wild barking was all she knew of
possible assistance in the plight in which she found herself.
They laid her on the floor. She heard a voice that seemed strangely
familiar giving abrupt orders. Pauline sought in vain to place the
memory of the voice of Balthazar, the Gypsy.
Suddenly she heard cries. The barking of the dog had stopped and there
was the thud of heavy foot steps on the stone floor of the cellar.
"Catch him! Shoot if you have to," came the command in the
mysteriously familiar voice. She felt that her captors were no longer
near. There was a beat of rushing foot-steps on the floor.
It was several minutes before she heard voices again.
"The cur hasn't been there long enough to know her. It won't make any
difference," said Wallace, coming through the open doors. "But I'm
sorry it got away."
"Where is Miss Pauline?" asked Harry, as he entered the house on his
return from Westbury.
"She has found her dog, sir," answered Margaret, smiling. "She went to
get him -- with the racing car."
His brow darkened. "The advertisement was answered, you mean,
"I think so, sir."
An hour later he walked into the garden and sat down on the rustic
bench where he and Pauline had quarreled. He had just taken up his
newspaper when he was startled by the spring of a small warm body
fairly into his face. Lowering the torn paper, he saw Pauline's dog
cavorting around the bench in circles of excitement.
The animal rushed towards him again, but did not leap this time. It
came very near and, with braced feet, began to bark wildly.
Harry stood up. The dog, with another volley of barks, started towards
the gate. Harry followed instinctively. The terrier dashed ahead of
him, reached the, gate, returned, renewed the appealing barks, and
again led the way.
In another minute Harry was following the urgent little guide. He was
thoroughly stirred now. As the dog returned to him the second time,
with its appealing yelps, he quickened his speed.
After traversing five miles of dust-laden road they reached a certain
house on the thoroughfare, which still carried the dignity of "Myrtle
The dog rushed up the steps. Harry, following closely, was surprised
to find the door was ajar. He entered and found himself in the cellar
A sound outside made him grasp the broken rope on the collar of the
dog. It was an automobile wheezing to a stop and it was followed by
the sound of voices. The outer door opened. Harry drew the dog aside
into the darkness and held its muzzle tight.
Four men entered. One rapped on the wall and the panels opened
softly. The man went in.
Harry's hand had fallen on a slim stick as he stooped in the darkness,
and he slipped the stick into the aperture between the folding doors.
He carried the dog to the outer door and thrust it through. Then he
"Who is the woman?" asked a gruff voice.
"She does not concern you. Have you distributed all of the coins?"
"All but $5,000. She's a peach, ain't she?"
The door crashed at their heels. Harry was in the room. He had
gripped Wallace by the throat before the man could stir. The others
backed toward their hidden weapons. Shots blazed in the room but the
smoke was protection for Harry, swinging wildly at whomsoever he saw.
"You're there, Polly?"
"Yes," she gasped, tugging at her bonds in desperation. She was almost
Harry had Wallace at his feet and Wallace's gun was in his hand. He
blazed blindly through room. A shriek told of one man gone.
Pauline felt strong hands grasp her. She was whisked through the
door; through the outer door and away, into the fresh air, and into the
waiting automobile. She felt Harry's hot breath on her fore head as
they sped in flight.
There was clamor behind them for a moment car was starting. Then came
only the thrash of footsteps through the grassy road as the coiners
rushed to their own machine.
One stern command reached the ears of Pauline and Harry as they sped
"It's your lives or theirs. Get them or kill yourselves."
"It's no use, Polly. Come," cried Harry, after a time.
His voice sounded grim, peremptory. The machine with a sudden swerve
had gone almost off the road with an exploded tire. It was only
Harry's powerful hand that had saved them from wreck.
But as he helped Pauline out and led her on a run into the forest he
heard the sound of the pursuing machine coming to a stop and the tumult
of voices behind them. He knew that one peril had only been supplanted
"Where -- Where are we going, Harry?"
"The Gorman camp -- if we can make it; if we can reach the river."
"There's the old quarry," she exclaimed as they came out on the crest
of a blast-gnarled cliff overlooking a stream. "I know their camp is
near the quarry."
"But on the other side of the river. Don't talk; run," he pleaded,
leading her down a footpath that traced a winding way over the face of
the cliff into the quarry.
In the shelter of the rocks there stood two small buildings about five
hundred yards apart. One was the old tool house of the deserted
quarry. The other was a hunter's hut, evidently newly built.
A commanding cry came from the top of the cliff.
"Halt or we fire!"
They ran on. A shot echoed and a bullet flattened itself against the
stone base of the quarry not two yards from Pauline.
"In here -- quick," said Harry, dragging her to the hunter's lodge and
thrusting her through the open door. There was another shot and the
thud of another bullet as he slammed the door.
It looks like a fight now, Polly," he said, as he' moved quickly around
the hut. "And thank Heaven -- here's something to fight with."
From a rack in the wall he lifted down a Winchester rifle and a belt of
cartridges. "Get into the corner and lie down," he ordered.
"No, give me the revolver," cried Pauline.
She did not wait for his protest, but drew from hilt coat pocket the
pistol he had wrested from Wallace.
For an instant he looked at her with mingled admiration, love and
fear. He opened the little window of the hut, aimed and fired three
shots at the group of six men who were running down the cliff path.
"Into the tool house," ordered Balthazar, stopping only for a glance at
one of his fellows who had fallen. The five gained the workmen's hut
and burst the door open. Immediately from the air hole and the wide
chinks in the sagging walls came a blaze of shots.
A small white dog ran down the path into the quarry, but no one saw
Balthazar was searching the tool-house. "Ha!" he exclaimed suddenly.
"That is what we want!" He lifted from the floor a box of blasting
powder. But the next instant he dropped it and sprawled, cursing,
beside the half-spilled contents. Another man, shot through the body,
had fallen over his leader.
Balthazar quickly recovered himself. He whisked about the hut and
found a coil of fuse. The shots were still dinning in his ears while
he fashioned, with the powder and the box and the fuse, a bomb powerful
enough to have shattered tons of imbedded stone.
"Stop shooting," he commanded. "Here's a better way!"
As he suddenly threw open the door and dashed out, he nearly fell over
the dog whining in terror. But Balthazar kept on. In a better
business - -with a heart in him -- he would have been counted among the
bravest of men. Running a swaying, zigzag course, in the very face of
the fire of Harry and Pauline, he reached the hunter's hut and dropped
the bomb beside it.
He did not try to return. With the long fuse in his hand he moved into
shelter behind the hut, struck a match, lighted the fuse, and fled
toward the river.
After him ran the small white dog.
Balthazar turned and uttered a scream of rage. He dashed at the
animal, which dodged and passed him. In its teeth it held the bomb he
had just laid at the risk of his life. The fuse was sputtering behind
as the dog fled.
Balthazar pursued desperately. The path to the river led through a
narrow defile of rock. But the beast was not trapped at the water's
edge as the Gypsy had expected. It took to the water with a wide
Balthazar turned away, cursing. He rushed back to the huts. The guns
and pistols were silent. He picked up from the side of the path a huge
piece of wood. As he neared his companions, he shouted:
"come out! Rush them, You cowards! Follow me!"
Harry fired his last two shots and two men fell. Pauline had long ago
emptied the revolver.
Three men came on. There was a crash as the log in Balthazar's mighty
hands beat down the door and he staggered through.
But Harry was upon him. He hurled the Gypsy across the room. He
charged at the others and one went down.
Through the door came four men.
"It's Harry. Help him!" cried Pauline.
Balthazar charged straight at the newcomers but he did not attempt to
fight. He was out through the door and away to the river before they
could intercept him. Within a few moments his companions lay bound on
the hut floor.
"But how did you find out? How did you know we needed you?" asked
Pauline afterward of young Richard Gorman, whose camping party had been
"That's the girl who told us," he said, pointing to a dejected little
bull terrier that stood, quaking with excitement, a few feet away.
"Cyrus!" cried Pauline, running and clutching the little terrier in her
"Yes, he brought us the dead bomb and we knew something was up."
THE GUEST OF HONOR
"Well, prove it," said Harry. "Show me that you mean it!"
"Why, Harry, what a woman says she, always means."
"Always means not to do."
"But, Harry, really I'm going to be good this time," pleaded Pauline.
They were emerging from the gate of the Marvin mansion to the avenue,
and as Harry turned to Pauline with a skeptical reply on his lips, the
approach of a young man of military bearing stopped him.
"By Jove, isn't that -- who the deuce is it? Why, Benny Summers!"
The young man was hurrying by without recognition, when Harry called
sharply: "Hello, Ben!"
"Harry -- Harry Marvin! By the coin of Croesus, is it really you?"
"No," said Harry, grasping his hand, "not the 'you' you used to know.
I've been driven into premature old age by caring for a militant
sister. Polly, this is Ensign Summers of the navy. Please promise me
that you won't get him into danger, because he used to be a friend of
mine. He has never done anything more dangerous than run a submarine
and shoot torpedoes out of it in a field of mines."
"A submarine? Torpedoes?" cried Pauline. "Isn't that beautiful."
"But, Benny, how are you? What have you been doing? I haven't seen
you in a thousand years."
"I'm still at it. And I've got it, Harry. I give you my word, I
"The torpedo -- I mean THE torpedo, in capital letters and italics with
a line under the word. I've invented one that would blow -- well --
I've got it."
"Congratulations, felicitations, laudatory, remarks, and enthusiasm,"
cried Harry. "Without having slightest idea what a torpedo is, I
rejoice with you. Come on back to the house, and tell us about it"
"I'm sorry, I can't, Harry, now. I'm engaged for a conference with the
Naval Board, and I'm late already. But will you and Miss Marvin come
to luncheon with me tomorrow?
"Why not you with us, we saw you first?"
Summers laughed. "Well, for this reason, I want you to meet Mlle. de
Longeon, who will preside at this particular luncheon, and who is -"
The flush that came suddenly to the cheeks of the young officer brought
involuntary laughter from Harry and Pauline.
"I take that as an acceptance -- the Kerrimore, East Fifty-sixth
street," he called, sharing in their laughter as he fled.
But at the gate of the Marvin house he came upon Raymond Owen. There
was a hasty clasp of hands and "You're to come, too," cried Summers,
continuing his flight.
"Where am I to come?" asked Owen, as he approached Harry and Pauline.
"To luncheon with Ensign Summers tomorrow. Isn't he dear? I love men
who blush. They seem so innocent."
"The Fates defend us!" implored Harry.
* * * * *
Ensign Summers had gained a position beyond his rank in the navy. A
natural bent toward science and a patriotic bent toward the use of
science as a means of national defense had inspired him to experiments
which had resulted in success amazing even to himself. He had been
allowed -- during the year preceding the meeting with Harry and Pauline
-- a leave of absence. In that time he had visited Italy, France,
England and Germany, and had studied under naval experts. He had come
back home with his own little idea undiminished in its importance to
his own mind, and he had proceeded with youthful enthusiasm and
effrontery to prove its importance to the highest of his commanders.
The tests now about to be made -- tests of a new torpedo gun and new
torpedo -- had been ordered by the mightiest in the land. Triumphant
in his discovery and wealthy in his own right, Summers was the happiest
of men. It was in Paris that he had met Mlle. del Longeon.
Exquisitely beautiful, of the alluring and languorous type, quick of
wit, tactful, and with great charm of manner, she had completely
fascinated the young officer. He had vowed his adoration of her almost
before he knew her. His avowals had been repulsed with just that
margin of insincerity that would double his ardor.
It had required many letters to induce Mlle. de Longeon to leave her
beloved Paris and visit friends in America. Summers knew she was not a
Frenchwoman, but he was totally in the dark as to what was her
nationality. Summers didn't care. He was madly mad in love with her,
and there was no other thing to consider.
It was for this reason that Mlle. de Longeon was the guest of honor at
the little luncheon in his rooms, to which he had invited Harry and
Pauline. The affair was quite informal. There were a number of navy
men present, a few young married people. The atmosphere of the
gathering was "sublimely innocuous," as Mlle. de Longeon remarked to
Summers in the hall after the guests had departed.
But Mlle. de Longeon had met one guest who did not impress her as
innocuous -- or sublime -- Raymond Owen. Pauline had presented the
secretary on his arrival, and Owen had immediately devoted himself to
her. Not long after luncheon was served the voice of Mlle. de Longeon
rose suddenly above the general talk.
"But, Mr. Summers, you have not told us yet of your new invention.
When shall the plans be ready? When shall you rise to the realization
of your true success?"
Summers beamed his happiness in the face of the brazen compliment, like
the good and silly boy he was.
"I'm supposed to keep this secret," he answered, "but I can trust every
one here, I know. The plans are going to be sent out day after
"You mean you will have them completed -- all those intricate plans?"
queried Mlle. de Longeon in a tone of breathless admiration.
"I'll work all tonight and most of tomorrow; but, of course, it's only
a case of putting into words ideas that have already been put into
solid metal. My gun and torpedo are ready for work. It isn't so very
difficult, and it's -- well, it's a lot of fun."
"And great honor," paid the woman he loved.
For a moment their eyes met, but only for a moment. The next, Catin,
the valet, who was taking charge of the luncheon, under pretense of
anticipating a waiter moved quickly to fill her wine glass. Even the
subtle eye of Owen was not sharp enough to see Mlle. de Longeon pass
him a crushed slip of paper, and she had been too long trained to
concealment of even the simplest emotions to betray uneasiness now.
Nevertheless, there was the possibility of surprising Mlle. de Longeon,
and that possibility was realized as she glanced at Raymond Owen. His
set, tense face reflected for the moment all his hatred of Harry and
Pauline, who were talking blithely with Ensign Summers, another naval
officer and two of the wives of the civilian visitors. She turned to
him with a suddenness that would have seemed abrupt in the manner of
one less beautiful.
"Mr. Owen, do come to see me," she said. "I am sure -- at least I
think I am sure -- that we have many matters of mutual interest."
In her softly modulated tones, the invitation had no significance
beyond the literal meaning of the words.
"It will be an honor," he answered.
"Tomorrow evening, then?"
"Delighted. And, later, the Naval Ball?"
"No, I'm afraid the Ensign will not permit any one else to take me to
the ball; but we shall meet there, afterward."
In a New York street, among the lower there was at that time a foreign
agency that was not a consulate, but was visited by diplomats of the
highest rank in a certain nation, the name of which, or the mystery of
whose suspicions, need not be touched upon.
There was no regular staff at the agency. The rooms were maintained
under the name of a certain foreign gentleman -- or, rather, under the
name that he chose to assume. There were two servants, but they saw
little of the master of the house. He was seldom at home, but when he
was, he had many visitors.
An hour after the luncheon in the rooms of Ensign Summers, the master
of the mysterious dwelling was at home. And he had four guests. It
would have, greatly surprised Ensign Summers had he known that one of
the diplomat's guests was his own man servant, Catin.
"It is the worst duty I have ever had to perform," the diplomat said
solemnly. "It means, almost certainly, your death. But it is death
for your country. It is the command of your country. The submarine
must be destroyed and the plans - - we shall get the plans through
"I am not afraid to die," said Catin.
"Then here is the model of a submarine -- not of the one you will
enter, of course, but it will give you an idea. I have marked the
place where you will secrete the explosive until the proper moment. I
have also indicated the position for you to take in order to have some
faint chance of reaching the surface and being saved."
One of the other men stepped forward and handed Catin a small square
box. "This is the explosive. You know how to handle it."
With a military salute, Catin turned and left the place. Within half
an hour he was carefully brushing Ensign Summers' clothes, as Summers
"Would it be too much to ask, sir, inquired the perfect valet, "that I
might accompany you in the submarine? I am afraid you will be very
uncomfortable without me."
Summers laughed good-naturedly.
"It's impossible, Catin. This boat is a government secret in itself,
and my new torpedo makes it a double secret. No one but a picked crew
will be allowed on it, except --"
"Well, I admit I could command it. But it would be very unwise, Catin,
and, I assure you, I shall get along all right."
Mlle. de Longeon's apartment was characteristic of the lady herself.
The artist would have found it a little too luxurious for good taste --
a little over-toned in the richness of draperies, the heavy scent of
flowers, the subtleties of half-screened divans -- there was something
more than feminine -- something feline. To Raymond Owen, however, it
was ideal. The dimmed ruby lights, the suggestive shadows of the
tapestries, were in tune with the surreptitious mind of the secretary.
But there remained for him a picture that he admired more -- Mlle. de
Longeon coming through the portieres with a cry of pleasure.
"I am so glad you came -- and so sorry I must send you away quickly,"
exclaimed Mlle. de Longeon. "The little ensign has telephoned that he
is coming early to take me for a drive before the ball."
"I can come again -- if I may have the honor," said Owen, rising
"Oh, there is time for a word," she said, smiling.
"There was something you wished to say to me, was there not? Something
you did not care to say at the luncheon yesterday?"
"Yes. Why do you hate Miss Marvin?"
Owen was silent for a moment. "Why do you hate the little ensign, as
you call another?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that we can be of service to one another, in all likelihood,
and that, therefore, we should be frank friends. You wish to have
Pauline Marvin out of the way, do you not? "
"How did you find that out?"
"People engaged in similar business find out many things. Now I --"
"Wish to be rid of Ensign Summers."
"You are an international agent?"
"Yes. And I offer you my aid and the aid of the powerful men I control
in return for your aid to me and them. Is it a bargain?"
They were seated on one of the curtained divans, a low-turned light
above them. She leaned forward. Her long, delicate hand touched his.
A splendid jewel at her throat heightened the magic of her beauty.
"Because it is my business to hate him -- and make love to him at the
same time. Come, Mr. Owen, let us be frank."
For the first time in his life Owen felt himself mastered by the sheer
fascination of a woman. "What am I to do?" he said breathlessly.
"I will tell you tonight at the ball. Now you must run away."
He arose instantly, but as she stood beside him, be turned, caught her
in his arms and kissed her passionately.
She protested with a little cry and a struggle not too violent to
damage her coiffure. He drew back from her. There was something of
astonishment in his eyes -- astonishment at himself.
"You are the only woman in the world who ever made me do that," he
"Go, go," she pleaded.
"But you are angry? You break our agreement?"
"No, but I am overcome. I shall meet you tonight."
He caught her hand to his lips, and hurried from the house.
It was more than an hour after he observed her arrival at the Naval
Ball before Owen had the privilege of a greeting from Mlle. de Longeon,
and then it was only a smile as she passed him on the arm of a
distinguished looking foreign diplomat.
Owen saw that she spoke a quiet word to her escort, who turned and
looked at Owen. She beamed brightly at Owen, who smiled back at her,
and moved slowly toward the door of the conservatory into which she and
the diplomat had disappeared. He was surprised, a moment later, to see
Pauline rush by him, with a little laugh.
"Is anything the matter?" Owen called.
"Nothing you can help. Stay right where you are," she cried.
Owen laughed his understanding and moved over to where Harry and
Lucille were talking with Ensign Summers.
Meanwhile, Pauline, in the darkest recess of the conservatory was
pinning together a broken garter. As she started back to the ballroom
she was surprised to hear voices near her.
There was something about their foreign accent that roused the
ever-venturous, ever-curious interest of Pauline. She crept along a
row of palms and peered through an aperture. Mlle. de Longeon and the
diplomat were talking together as they paced the aisle of palms on the
other side. Pauline crept nearer.
Presently the voice of the diplomat became distinguishable.
"It is all arranged. The thing is to be done in Submarine B-2
tomorrow. All you have now to do is --"
Pauline could not catch the final words.
The two moved back to the ballroom. She followed close behind, a
little suspicious, but with the thrill of a new plan gripping her.
She saw Ensign Summers step forward early to greet Mile. de Longeon.
Another dance was beginning.
"This one is Mr. Owen's," said Mile. de Longeon, as she moved away on
the arm of the secretary.
"Have you anything to tell me?" he asked.
"Yes. Induce her to make Summers take her down in his submarine
tomorrow, and she will never trouble you again."
As the dance ended, Pauline and Harry, Summers and Lucille, joined
"Mr. Summers, I have a great request to make," declared Pauline.
"I grant it before you breathe a word," he answered.
"I want you to take me along on your submarine trip tomorrow."
"Polly, have you gone crazy all over again?" cried Harry.
"I don't believe it would be --" began Summers.
"It must be," she commanded.
"Well, I promised too soon, but I'll keep my word."
Owen and Mile. de Longeon had stepped aside.
"What does it mean?" gasped the secretary. "She is doing the very
thing we want her to do."
"Sometimes Fate aids the worthy," said Mile. de Longeon softly.
At the dock of the navy yard a submarine lay ready for departure.
There was nothing about its appearance to indicate that its mission was
of more than ordinary importance. But it was an unusual thing to see a
woman aboard, and the curiosity of the crew was matched by that of the
young officers who had come down to see Summers off on his voyage of
The officers got little reward for their considerate interest. Ensign
Summers was engaged. He was explaining to Pauline, as they stood on
the deck of the war-craft, the entire history of submarines from the
time of Caesar, or Washington, or somebody to the present day, and
Pauline was listening with that childlike simplicity which women use
for the purpose of making men look foolish.
"By Jove! I thought he was tied, heart and hope, to the lovely
foreigner," exclaimed one of the shoreward observers.
"So he is," said another. "But Mlle. de Longeon isn't interested in
his daily toil. Do you know who the young lady up there is?"
"No. She must have got a dispensation from the secretary himself to go
on this trip."
"So she did -- easy as snapping your thumb. She's Miss Pauline Marvin,
daughter of the richest man that has died in twenty years."
The boat gong sounded the signal of departure.
Summers, with a hasty apology, left Pauline and stepped forward. The
engines began to rumble. The deadly and delicate craft -- masterpiece
of modern naval achievement -- drew slowly from the pier.
There was a shout.
Summers, delivering rapid orders on deck, turned with an expression of
annoyance to see his faithful man servant, Catin, out of breath and
excited, rushing toward the boat.
Summers ordered the vessel stopped. It had moved not more than
stepping distance from the pier and in a moment Catin was beside his
master on the deck.
"She told me it must --" he paused, gasping for breath.
"Who told you what?" demanded Summers.
"Mlle. de Longeon. I am sure it is a message of importance. She told
me I must give it to you before you risked your life on the voyage."
"Mlle. de Longeon!" He caught the letter from Catin's hand.
"My Hero -- I cannot keep the secret any longer, cannot wait to tell
you that it is you I love. Estelle de Longeon."
Summers walked slowly, dizzily up the deck was in an ecstasy. He was
oblivious to all the world - even to Pauline, who stood questioning an
officer at the rail. The fact that his servant, Catin, slipped
silently down the hatchway to the main compartment, and thence on to
the pump room at the vessel's bottom, would hardly have interested him
--- even if he had known it.
"Shall we put off, sir?"
The second officer saluted.
The Ensign came to himself instantly. "Yes, of course. I put back
only for an important message," he said. "My man got off, did he?"
"I think so."
"All right. Go ahead."
Catin, with that rare fortune which sometimes favors the wicked, had
chosen precisely the right moment for his ruse. The crew of the
submarine were all on deck save those in the engine room, and his quick
passage to the vitals of the vessel was unseen.
Once in the pump room, he hastily drew from under his coat the bomb
placed in his hands at the conference of diplomats, wound its
clock-work spring and laid it beside the pumps.
There was a strange look on the man's face as he did this -- a look at
once proud and pitiful. Catin had not sense of treachery or shame.
The deed in itself did not lack the dignity of courage, for, with the
others, he was planned his own death. And while the others were to die
suddenly, ignorant of their peril, Catin was to die in deliberate
knowledge of it.
On deck Pauline was eagerly questioning an under officer about the
torpedoes, when Summers came up.
"You'll have to come down and see for yourself," he said, overhearing
"First I'll show you the pump room -- the most important part of us,"
he was saying as Catin, in the boat's bottom, first caught the sound of
Catin leaped up the steps from the pump room. He was in the nick of
time. A large locker in the main compartment gave him refuge just as
Pauline and Summers reached the room.
"The pumps are our life-savers," said Summers, as he directed Pauline
down the second ladder. "If they go wrong when we're under water we
can't come up."
"And what do you do then?" asked Pauline innocently.
"Oh, just-stay down."
Catin waited breathless in his hiding place until they returned. "By
heaven, they didn't find it!" he breathed eagerly.
Pauline and Ensign Summers stood at the rail watching the foamy rush of
a fast motor boat, when a hail sounded across the water.
A man was standing up in the motor boat and calling through a
Summers raised his glasses. "Do you know who that is?" he asked
"Of course not. What does he want?"
"It's Harry, and I suspect he wants to take you away from us."
Pauline uttered an exclamation of annoyance.
"Isn't he silly!" she cried, "One would think I was, a baby, the way he
Soon the voice of Harry could be plainly distinguished.
"Clear your ship; I am going to sink you," he called.
"Cargo too precious this trip; don't do it," answered Summers.
"Let me take the megaphone," demanded Pauline.
"What do you mean by following us?" she cried.
"I don't trust that sardine can, and I want a regular boat on hand when
you are wrecked."
"I am very angry with you. It looks as if -"
Her words were drowned in Summers' laughter.
"Never mind. I know a way we can escape from him," he said.
"Why, sink the boat."
"That will be splendid."
He stepped aside and gave a terse order. Delightedly, Pauline watched
the brief, machine-like movements of the crew trimming the deck.
Summers escorted her back to the conning tower. They descended.
Within a few moments the wonderful craft was buried under the waves.
"There he is -- looking for us," laughed Summers, as he made room for
Pauline at the periscope.
Amazed, fascinated, she gazed from what seemed the bottom of the sea
out upon the rolling surface of the waves. Harry's motorboat was near
and he was standing in the bow, scanning the water with binoculars.
"And he can't see us?" asked Pauline.
"Oh, yes, he'll pick up out periscope after a while. Shall we fire
the torpedo at him?"
"Yes, please," said Pauline.
Summers' laugh was cut short. As if someone had taken his jest in
earnest and really fired a projectile, the crash of an explosion came
from the bottom of the boat.
"Stay here --" ordered Summers with a set face as he joined the rush of
seamen into the pump room.
But Pauline followed.
An officer, with blanched face but steady voice, came up to Summers.
"What was it, Grimes?"
"It seems to have been a bomb, sir. There was no powder down there."
The face of the Ensign darkened with suspicion and alarm.
"A bomb? So they were going after us -- the enemy! We'd better get
right up and back to port, Grimes."
"I have to report, sir -- the pumps are disabled."
Summers turned with a look of pity toward Pauline, who stood at his
"And we can't get up again?" she questioned.
"There is one chance, but --" He stopped openly and listened. "Open
that locker," he commanded.
A seaman pulled back the door of the locker and disclosed the cringing
form and defiant face of Catin.
The man stepped forward with a smile of triumph.
"You set off the bomb? You wanted to kill me?"
"I did my duty. I obeyed my orders as you obey your orders. I had no
enmity for you. I am, in fact, sorry that you were fool enough not to
see that I was a little more than a valet."
"You are a spy, Catin?"
"Yes, sir. And I have done my work, and I am willing to die with the
rest of you."
Pauline drew back, shuddering. She touched Summers' arm.
"Oh, Mr. Summers, I believe -"
"What is it?"
"I believe I know of the plot. I was in the conservatory at the naval
ball. A man and a woman --"
"Mlle. de Longeon and her diplomatic friend -- you remember."
"Yes -- well?"
"They talked together in whispers. The man said 'The thing will be
done on Submarine B-2 tomorrow.'"
A look of agony that the fear of death could not have caused came into
the face of the young Ensign.
"Mlle. de Longeon? No!"
"Yes! Mlle. de Longeon," sneered Catin stepping nearer. "Mlle. de
Longeon is the principal proof of my statement that you are a fool.
Mlle. de Longeon recommended me to you as a capable valet, did she
not? Mlle. de Longeon frequently was your guest. Now Mlle. de Longeon
has the plans of your submarine and your torpedo -- plans which I took
the liberty of removing from the little cupboard over the desk in your
Summers sprang forward but he recovered himself.
"I should have told you," wailed Pauline.
"How should you have known?" said Summers. In a moment he had lost his
life work and his love. Suddenly he straightened himself. The soldier
in him mastered the man.
"There is still a chance -- one little chance," he said.
"To get out?" cried Pauline.
"Yes -- through the torpedo tube."
"I am going to make you do it," he said, "because it is the only
chance. The men will follow you. Harry's boat will be near."
"I do not matter any more. Come."
A gunner opened the great tube as Summers led Pauline into the torpedo
room. Obediently she entered the strange passageway of peril and of
"Goodbye," he said, "and good luck."
"Goodbye," she answered. "You are a brave man. You are as brave --
you are as fine -- as Harry."
From the end of the torpedo tube a woman's form shot to the surface of
the water. Choking, dazed, but courageous, Pauline tried to turn on
her back and gain breath. But they were well out to seat and the waves
"What is that?" asked Harry, pointing and passing his glasses to the
The man looked and without a word swung the craft about and put the
engine at top speed. And in a few moments Harry's strong arms drew her
from the water.
"My darling, what has happened? " he gasped.
"Don't think of me -- think of them!" she begged, weakly. "They were
trapped -- down there. There was a bomb -- a plot -- the machinery is
ruined. Harry, help them!"
The boatman who overheard Pauline's first cry of appeal, now came
forward respectfully. "There's a revenue cutter -- the Iroquois --
coming out," he said, significantly.
Harry looked. "Splendid!" he cried. "Can we signal her?"
"No, but we can catch her?"
Shouts from a speeding motorboat brought the Government vessel to a
stop. Officers came to the rail and helped Harry and Pauline to the
"Ensign Summers and his crew are sunk in their submarine. The pumps
are gone. There was a bomb explosion. Can you get help?"
"Where are they?"
"You can pick up their buoy with a glass -- there."
The chief officer looked through his glass. "Yes," he said. "You'll
come abroad, or keep your own boat?"
"We've got another piece of work to do -- if we can leave our friends
to your guarding," said Harry.
"Well have the wrecking tugs and divers in twenty minutes."
Harry and Pauline climbed back to the motorboat and sped up the bay.
"What did you mean another piece of work?" asked Pauline as she clung
to his arm.
"My car is at the Navy Yard pier," was his only answer.
She still clung to him in tremulous uncertainty as the motor sped them
up through Broadway, into Fifth avenue, and on to the door of Mlle. de
She and the diplomatic grandee who had held the confidential conference
with her in the conservatory at the naval ball were together in her
"And you have the plans actually in your possession?" he said.
"Yes. It has been a tedious process. It was easy to make him fall in
love, but he is so fearfully scrupulous about his work. It took even
his valet three months to locate the secret hiding place of the
"A little more caution mingled with his scruples and he would not now
be dead at the bottom of the bay."
"Oh, this is the day, is it?" asked Mlle. de Longeon, wearily. "After
all, it is rather cruel to Catin."
"To die for his country?"
"Nonsense! He dies because he knows he would be killed in a crueler
way if he refused to obey you."
The diplomat smiled. "Will you give me the plans?"
"Yes -- why, Marie, what is it?"
A maid had entered with cards. "I am not at home today."
Mlle. de Longeon moved to her writing desk, removed from it a packet of
papers, and, with a little courtesy gave it into the eager hands of the
"It has been a splendid achievement, Mademoiselle," he said,
enthusiastically. "I shall see that -- what? Who is this?" he
exclaimed, as Harry and Pauline burst into the room.
"Marie, Marie, I told you that I was at home to no one!" screamed Mlle.
"How dare you intrude in these apartments?" demanded the diplomat.
"I dare, because I want those papers," declared Harry.
The packet was still in the diplomat's hands. He tried to thrust it
into his pocket, but Harry was upon him. They clinched, broke from
each other's grasp and struggled furiously.
As the last resource the diplomat drew the packet from his breast and
flung it across the room toward Mlle. de Longeon. She pounced upon
it. But Pauline was beside her. Stronger both in body and in spirit
than the adventuress, she grasped her wrists, and in the luxurious,
soft-curtained room there raged two battles.
But the struggles did not last long. Harry hurled his antagonist, an
exhausted wreck, to the floor, and sprang to the side of Pauline.
Throwing off Mlle. de Longeon's grasp, be picked up the packet from the
floor, and with Pauline ran from the room.
A revenue cutter was landing a group of faint and silent men, at the
pier of the Navy Yard when an automobile flashed in.
"Hurrah! They did it! You're safe!" cried Pauline, rushing past Harry
to greet Ensign Summers.
The officer took her extended hands gratefully, but there was no light
in his eyes as he answered.
"Safe -- and dishonored," he said. "I am only glad for my men."
"Why dishonored?" asked Harry.
"Don't you understand?"
"The man," said Pauline, curiously, "the man who placed the bomb?
Where is he?"
"Dead," said Summers. "He broke the tube after you were released and
then attacked me with a knife. I had to kill him."
"Good for you!" broke in Harry. "But what's all the gloom talk for?
This stuff about dishonor? You've proved yourself a hero, man."
"I have lost the most important documents of the Navy Department --
through a silly entanglement with a woman."
"No, you haven't. We went and got them for you," said Harry,
presenting the packet of plans.
A PAPER CHASE
In Balthazar's band, which had failed so often do away with Pauline
Marvin, there was, nevertheless, one man who had attracted the
particular interest Raymond Owen -- Louis Wrentz. Physically and
mentally brutal, he had always been one to oppose Balthazar's delays.
Six months before Owen would have shuddered at the thought of employing
this ruffian. Then his great aim was to be rid of Pauline by the most
indirect and secret means.
But Pauline's hair-breadth escape a few weeks before from Mlle de.
Longeon's cleverly planned plot, the almost incredible rescue of the
submarine and recovery of Ensign Summers' torpedo boat plans, as well
as the fact that the year of adventure was rapidly drawing to a close
and that Harry's growing hostility and the increasing danger of
exposure at the hands of some one of his aides, made the secretary
willing to take every chance, made it imperative that he should have a
lieutenant who could be trusted to strike boldly. Owen sent for
The man appeared in the guise of a servant seeking employment, and was
brought up to Owen's private sitting-room.
"Wrentz, I want you to take charge of my work hereafter," said the
"You mean the work of --"
Owen raised his hand in caution. "The work of conducting a certain
person to a far country."
"But Balthazar?" questioned Wrentz.
"I am through with Balthazar. He's done nothing but procrastinate.
All his plans have failed because it was to his profit that they should
"I'll do the work quickly. What's your present plan?"
"A very simple one, but one that must be very shrewdly handled. It
will mean that you and some of your friends will have to make a trip to
Philadelphia. Where shall I be able to call you within a day or two?"
"At Stroob's lodging house, in Avenue B."
"Very well. Be prepared to act on short notice."
"I'll stick close to the place, sir."
"And, Wrentz, understand that you are also to act firmly. No
Balthazar, tactics. I'm through being tricked."
"I'm sure I never failed you, sir," said Wrentz, with an aggrieved
Owen smiled. "True, but temptation occasionally leads even the most
honest of men astray," he said, sarcastically.
While this last plot was being hatched Pauline and Harry were playing
chess in the library. As she checkmated him for the third time he
arose in mock disgust.
"They say chess is a perfect mental test. I wonder who is the brains
of this family now?" she taunted.
"There's a difference between brains and hare-brains. You know, I lost
because I had that Chicago thing on my mind."
"Oh, isn't that settled yet?"
"No; I'm expecting to be called up any minute with a message that will
send me out there."
"Oh, Harry! That's terrible! When you go to Chicago you never get
back for a whole week."
"If you like me so much, why don't you marry me and go with me on all
"Conceited!" she began, but her face fell again as the telephone bell
sounded. Harry answered it, and after a few rapid questions turned to
"That's what it is," he said; "I go tomorrow. I must see Owen," and
rang the bell.
"Owen," Pauline exclaimed upon his entrance, Harry must go to Chicago
tomorrow. Isn't it dreadful?"
"I am very sorry. But I hope it will not be for long."
"No," said Harry, curtly. "Look over these papers."
An hour later Owen drew from his typewriter this letter:
"Miss Pauline Marvin,
Carson & Brown,
Publishers, 9 Weston Place,
After reading your marine story, published in the Cosmopolitan
Magazine, we have decided you are just the person to write a new serial
we have in mind.
Would you be interested to call on us at your earliest opportunity?
Yours very truly,
J. R. Carson."
Owen sealed, addressed and, stamped the letter and enclosed it in a
larger envelope, which he addressed to a friend in Philadelphia, with
instructions to post the enclosure in that city.
He did not trust the mailing of the double letter to a servant, but,
putting on his motor togs, prepared to ride to Westbury
"Well, he's got a reprieve; he's going to stay with us one more day,"
Pauline cried, happily, as she met Owen in the hall.
For the flash of an instant something twinged at the cold heart of the
secretary. The bright beauty of Pauline, her happiness, her love for
her foster brother, struck home the first realization of something
missing -- and never to be achieved -- in his grim existence. Perhaps
for the moment Raymond Owen had a dim understanding of the value of
The next afternoon Pauline stood on the veranda bidding Harry goodbye.
"I hate to go, Polly, but I must," he said. "I hate to leave you with
"Harry, please don't start again on that. You know I don't agree with
you, and -- and I don't want to quarrel with you when you're going
"Very well," he said, embracing her, "but don't get into any of your
scrapes while I am away. Remember, it's a long way to Chicago."
"And Tipperary," she laughed. "Goodbye, darling boy, and run home the
minute you can."
"I will. Goodbye."
Pauline had turned dejectedly back toward the house when the sound of
steps on the walk drew her attention. It was the postman.
"I'll take them," she said, extending her hand.
She ran over the envelopes swiftly until she came to one which bore the
corner mark of a publishing concern in Philadelphia. She had never
heard of the firm of Carson & Brown, but, to her enthusiasm of young
authorship, the very name "publisher" was magical. She opened the
letter hastily and read.
For a moment she stood spellbound with happiness. The realization of
her dreams was at hand. Publishers were calling for her work instead
of sending it back when she sent it to them.
With a glad cry, and waving the treasured letter, she rushed out into
the garden to Owen.
"It's happened!" she sang, gaily. "I am discovered."
"You are what, Miss Pauline?"
"Don't you understand? Can't you see?"
"Not exactly, while you slant that letter above your head like a
reprieve for a doomed man."
"Well, read it." She leaned breathlessly over his shoulder as he read
the familiar lines.
"Miss Pauline, it is splendid!" he exclaimed. "I was always sure you
would be successful with your writing."
"Yes, you encouraged me to get new experiences, while Harry always
opposed me," she said. "But, oh, I wish Harry was here to see this."
"Shall you go to Philadelphia?" inquired Owen
"Indeed - shall and instantly."
"Is it so urgent as that."
"Of course. They might change their minds any moment and get some one
else to write the story. Will you see what train I can take this
evening, Owen, while I run and pack a few things?"
"With pleasure -- but don't you think some one ought to accompany you?"
"To Philadelphia? Nonsense. It's just like crossing the street.
Please, Owen, don't you begin to worry about every little thing I do."
"Very well," he laughed. As soon as she was gone he selected a time
table, and scanned the train list. Then he took up the telephone and
called a number.
"This is Owen. It worked. Be at the Pennsylvania station with your
men tonight. And, Wrentz, if the plan I gave you fails, I leave it to
you to invent a new one. You understand? What? No. I don't want any
return this time."
Before Owen had helped Pauline into her car and bidden her goodbye,
Wrentz and his men were on watch in the railroad station.
"Goodbye and good luck."
Pauline was standing in the aisle, the porter stowing her baggage into
her drawing room, when the men entered the car. She noted them with
curiosity. There was nothing very sinister about them, but they seemed
obviously out of place, but the next moment she had forgotten about
them, and for the twentieth time, was reading her own story in the
Cosmopolitan. For now, in the light of the magic it had wrought, she
was bent on studying every word -- to absorb the power of her own
genius, so to speak -- in order that "her publishers" should not be
disappointed in the forthcoming novel.
When Pauline got off the train at Philadelphia she did not notice that
one of the four men who had aroused her curiosity walked behind her as
she left, or that he was joined by the three others in the taxicab
which followed hers.
When she left the cab at one of the fashionable hotels, Wrentz alone
He was at Pauline's elbow when she registered. As she followed the
bell boy through the lobby, he stepped to the desk, and, noting the
number of Pauline's room -- NO. 22 -- he signed his name under hers
with a flourish.
"By the way," he said easily to the clerk, "is that pet room of' mine
vacant - the one I had last year?"
The clerk smiled. "I'll see," he said. "I had forgotten it was your
pet room. I can't remember everybody."
"Oh, I was just here for a few days," said Wrentz.
"I remember you."
"Yes, sir; 24 is yours," said the clerk. "Front."
Wrentz stood at the cigar counter to make a purchase. He did not wish
to follow Pauline so closely that she might know he had taken the room
next to hers.
In spite of her excitement, Pauline slept soundly that night. The next
morning she had breakfast in her own room and at ten o'clock was ready
to go to "Carson & Brown's." She was considerably provoked by the
ignorance of the hotel clerk, who not only did not know the publishing
house of Carson & Brown, but could not even direct her to Weston
place. He called the head porter and taxicab manager. The latter had
"I don't think it's Weston Place, but there's a Weston Street down in
-- well, it's not a very good section of the city, Miss. I wouldn't
want to --"
"Never mind. In New York some of our best publishing houses are
perfect barns. You may call a taxicab."
"Publishing house in Weston Street-whew! But she doesn't look crazy,"
he instructed one of his chauffeurs. "I don't know what the game is,
but it's a good job."
Pauline's spirits revived as the cab whisked her through the big
business streets, newly a-bustle with their morning life. She had a
sense of pity for the workers hastening to their uninspiring toil. How
few of them had ever received even a letter from a publisher! How few
had known the thrill of successful authorship!
A few moments after Pauline's departure Louis Wrentz and his companions
set to work.
Two of the men left the room and sauntered to opposite ends of the hall
where they lingered on watch. Wrentz and the other man stepped out
briskly and each with a screwdriver in his hand began unfastening the
number-plates over the doors of rooms 22 and 24.
A low cough sounded down the corridor and they quickly desisted from
their task and retired to their room while a maid passed by.
In a moment they were out again. Wrentz passed the number plate of 24
to his assistant, who handed back the plate Of 22. The numbers were
refastened on the wrong doors. The watchers were called back.
"Now," said Wrentz, "it is only a matter of waiting."
Pauline's cab passed out of the central city into the region of
"This looks like the section where the print shops are in New York,"
she said confidently to herself.
But the driver kept on into streets of dingy, ancient houses -- streets
crowded with unkempt children and lined with push-carts.
"Are you sure you got the right address of them publishers, Miss?" he
asked after awhile. "The next street is Weston and it don't look very
She drew the letter from her handbag and showed it to him.
"Well, that's the queerest thing I know," he said, astonished by the
letterhead. "I've been drivin' cabs -- horse and taxi -- for twenty
years, and I never heard of no such people or no such place."
"Well, at least go around the corner and see. Perhaps it is a new firm
that isn't listed as yet," said Pauline.
The driver swung the cab into a street even more bleak and bedraggled
than the one they had just traversed. He stopped and got out. Pauline
followed him. A blear-eyed man, slouching on a stoop, looked up in
faint curiosity as she addressed him.
"There ain't no No. 9 Weston Street," he answered.
"It usta be over there, but it's burnt down."
Pauline's face fell. "Well, this is certainly stupid," she exclaimed.
"Of course it isn't Weston Street; it's Weston Place, as the letter
"But my 'City Guide' ain't got no such place in it, miss," answered the
"Well, I'll go back to, the hotel," she said dejectedly.
She was on the verge of tears as she left the elevator and started for
her room. She had looked through all the directories and street guides
and knew at last that she had been the victim of a cruel hoax. All her
joy and pride of yesterday had turned to humiliation and grief. She
wanted to be alone -- and have a good cry.
She was puzzled for a moment as she drew her key from her handbag and
glanced at the numbers on the doors. She had been almost sure that No.
22 was the left- hand door, but she had been in such excitement that
she could not trust any of her impressions. She started to place the
key in the lock of the right-hand door.
Like a flash it opened inward and two pairs of hands gripped her. Her
cry was stifled by a hand over her mouth. She was dragged into the
THE MUMMYS LAST WARNING
Pauline had barely time to recognize in her new captors the four
strange men who had attracted her attention on the train, before a
bandage was drawn over her eyes, another over her mouth, and cruel,
heavy hands began to bind her limbs.
As she listened to the rough voices of the men, the mystery of the
"Carson & Brown" letter was entirely cleared away.
"That was easy," commented Wrentz.
"Easier than the rest of the work will be," said one.
"Shall we leave her on the floor," boss asked another.
"Yes, of course."
"Then I'll put a pillow under her head."
"Pillow? Why a pillow? Since when did you become tender-hearted,
Rocco scowled, but he made no reply.
"You don't need any pillows or Pullman cars on the way to heaven," said
Wrentz with a snarling laugh.
The laugh was checked abruptly by a rap on the door. For an instant
the ruffians looked at each other in alarm. There was no telling
whether to open that door would be to face the drawn revolvers of
detectives or only the expectant eyes of a bellboy.
There was nothing to do but to answer, however. Wrentz moved to the
"Who is it?" he asked.
"Your trunk, sir."
"You are the porter?"
"Well, you can leave the trunk at the door. I am too busy to be
interrupted just now. But here -"
Wrentz opened the door an inch and passed a dollar bill to the porter.
"I am going to need you again in a few hours," he said.
"Yes, sir; thank you, sir."
Move the girl over behind the bed -- out of range there," commanded
Wrentz. Two men seized Pauline and dragged her across the room where
she could not be seen through the door, which Wrentz now opened wide.
In the corridor outside stood a large trunk. Wrentz and one of the men
lifted it and carried it into the room.
"Your baggage is light," said the man.
"It will be heavier in a little while. Open it."
"Do you think it is large enough?" asked Wrentz.
"Large enough for what -- the girl?" demanded Rocco, who had been
sulking since his rebuke.
"You are shrewd, Rocco. You have guessed rightly I suppose you'll want
to put a pillow in it."
"Yes,. I would," said Rocco, who was the youngest of the band, "or else
I would kill her first. What is the use of torture?"
Wrentz's dark fact grew even blacker as he eyed the young man.
"If you were a grown man, Rocco," he said, "instead of a soft-hearted
boy, you would know that there is one form of murder that is always
found out -- the trunk murder. And I want to say this to you," he
added with growing heat, "that if I hear one more word of rebellion
from you this prisoner will be alive some hours after you have
departed. Now, then, into the trunk with her."
Rocco sullenly helped the others in the grim task. The trunk, large as
it was, was not deep enough to permit Pauline a sitting posture, nor
long enough to prevent the painful cramping of her limbs. But she was
deadened to physical pain. With the words of her doom still ringing in
her ears -- the calm discussion of her death -- her terror was her
torture. The choking gag, the cutting bonds, the stifling trunk -- in
which the knife of Wrentz had cut but a few air holes -- these were as
nothing to the agony of her spirit -- the agony of a lingering journey
toward a certain but mysterious end.
Pauline had been a prisoner before, had been through many and desperate
dangers, but her heart had never failed her utterly until she felt the
pressure of the trunk lid on her bent shoulders and heard the clamping
of the locks that bound her in.
She could still hear the voices.
"I'll go down and settle my bill and send up that porter," Wrentz was
saying. "Don't let him help with the trunk, except to run the
elevator. You're sure your car is at the side entrance -- not out in
"I will meet you there."
Pauline had been so carefully bound that she could not stir in the
trunk. As she felt it lifted and carried rapidly through the corridor
to the hotel elevator she strained with all her might to make a noise
-- to beat with hands or feet or even with her head, the sides of the
receptacle. But it was no use. She was carried through the hotel and
out to the side entrance without attracting attention.
She felt the trunk lifted over the men's heads, and the whirring of an
automobile told her that she was being placed in the machine.
"Well, you didn't care much for your pet room this time, Mr. Wrentz,"
smiled the clerk as Wrentz asked for his bill.
"Indeed I did, but a message has called me back to New York."
He paid his bill and hurried out to the big car in the back of which
Pauline's trunk had been placed. Springing to the wheel, he ordered
his followers in, and they drove away.
Once on suburban roads, Wrentz, either fearful of pursuit or drunk with
success, began speeding.
Along the railroad tracks the noise of their speed drew a tumult of
wild sounds from a string of gaily painted cars on the siding. The
snarls and howls of beasts were mingled with the angry cries of men who
seemed to be at work on the other side of the cars.
To Pauline the noises came faintly, but with a horrid and unearthly
note. She, who had been the victim of so many cruet and fantastic
plots, knew not what new danger the roaring of the beasts threatened.
In a moment, though, her mind was set at rest on this point. For
Rocco, the young bandit, turning to the man next him, asked: "What does
it mean? What are they doing?"
"It is a circus train," answered the man. "They are loading the beasts
into the cars."
Pauline felt the machine swerve sharply and evidently take to a
by-road, for she could hear the swish of leaves on overhanging branches
as they brushed through.
"This place will do," she heard Wrentz say. "Now, be quick about it."
"It has come," breathed Pauline to herself. "This is the place where I
am to die."
Through her mind, in piteous pageant, flashed thoughts of home, of
Harry, of even Raymond Owen. There was a great loneliness in the hour
of doom. But it would be over quickly. She shut her eyes tight and
clenched her tied hands as the trunk was taken from the machine and
placed upon the ground.
"Open it," commanded Wrentz. "I don't want her to die in there."
The men quickly unclamped the locks and lifted Pauline out.
"Take off the ropes and the bandages," ordered Wrentz.
"Take them off? Why, she'll scream," exclaimed one.
"If she does you may choke her to death in the car," replied Wrentz.
"Why not here?" asked the oldest of the men. "Didn't Mr. --"
"Hush your mouth! You confounded rascal!" Wrentz screamed. "Are you
going to mention that name here?"
"What harm -- as long as she is to die? Dead women tell no more tales
than dead men."
"I will name all names that are to be spoken," declared Wrentz.
"Well, he of the name that is unspoken -- at least he did say that we
must have no delays. We want to earn our money as well as you, Louis
-- remember that."
"Come, come," he said. "This is no way to be arguing among friends.
You'll get your money all right; but there is one thing to remember-you
ain't get it except through me. So let me handle the matter. Put the
girl in the car."
Pauline, although her bonds had been cut away, was unable to rise to
her feet. They lifted her to her feet. She took a step or two, while
they watched her curiously. Quickly strength and self-control came
back to her. With a sudden spring, she struck at Wrentz with her fist,
and as he drew back, astonished she darted across the roadway toward
It was but a futile, maneuver. She had gone but a few paces when she
was gripped from behind and snatched back.
"You see, Louis -- I told you she would do something of the kind," said
the old bandit.
"And I told you it would do no harm. Place her in the car between you
and Rocco. If she screams or makes a move to get away you may do as
you wish, but not until then."
Pauline still struggled feebly as she was lifted into the machine.
Wrentz kicked the empty trunk to the side of the byroad and took the
wheel again. He drove back to the main drive that skirted the
Distant as they were by now, the clamor of the caged beasts in the
circus train could still be heard. To Pauline the creatures seemed
less wild and cruel than these, her human captors.
Wrentz put on even greater speed than he had ventured before. Two
policemen, Burgess and Blount, of the Motorcycle Squad, were standing
by their wheels in the roadway when the sound of the car's rush reached
their ears from half a mile away.
"By George, that fellow's coming some," exclaimed Blount.
"And looks as if he wasn't going to stop," said the other. "Halt!
Halt, there!" he commanded, as the machine flashed up in a mantle of
"They are coming, Louis," said one of the men.
"I know they are. But there is no machine made that can catch this
one. Have your guns ready, though. In case they begin to fire, pick
Pauline shuddered at the matter-of-fact way in which Rocco and the man
on the other side drew their heavy pistols from their hip pockets and
rested them on their knees.
"Do you see the girl in that car?" yelled Burgess to his companion over
the din of their streaking machines.
"Yes. We want that party for more than speeding, I guess," answered
Blount. They bent low over their handle-bars and raced on.
"If he takes the 'S' curve like that we've got him -- dead or alive,"
"And it looks as if he would. By George, he is!"
Wrentz's car had shot suddenly out of sight around a twist in the
road. Wrentz was an able driver, and, even at its terrific speed, the
machine took the first turn gracefully. But Wrentz had not counted on
a second shorter turn to the opposite direction. And he worked the
wheel madly for a second swerve; the huge car skidded, spun round, and,
reeling on two wheels for an instant, turned over in the ditch.
It was several moments before Pauline opened her eyes. She shut them
quickly and staggered to her feet shuddering -- she had been lying
across Rocco's dead body which had broken her fall and saved her life.
Two other men lay motionless in the road. But from under the
overturned car there came a sound, and Pauline realized, with quick
alarm, that Wrentz was still alive. She ran across the road and into
the parked woods that hid the railroad from the drive.
Wrentz struggled out from beneath the car. His eyes swept swiftly from
the bodies of his dead comrades to the form of Pauline just vanishing
in the thicket. He was bruised and bleeding, but with the instinct of
a beast of prey he followed his quarry.
"Dead or alive was right," said Burgess, jumping from his wheel and
examining the bodies in the road. "I wonder what that fellow was up
to. And where is the girl?"
"I saw her and one of the men make into the park there," said Blount.
"You take charge here and I'll go after them."
As he moved into the thicket in the direction Pauline had taken young
Blount's attention was attracted by a new commotion. The park was on
the crest of a steep cliff overlooking the railroad tracks and from the
tracks came a riot of voices. Blount forced his way through the wood
to a viewpoint from the cliff. Below him a score of men were moving
rapidly along the tracks in wide, open order, evidently bent on some
sort of a hunt.
"The circus men," said Blount to himself. "An animal must have got
out. This is certainly some day for business."
He turned back to the work in hand.
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