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Watertown re-union. (Watertown, N.Y.) 1866-1918, June 15, 1918, Image 8

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: ; ?vo' :;.-^;:. THE WATKETOWN RE-UNION. m V V- ^ n il r MIIMIMMMMIMMIMMM^^ Bt/Mary Roberts Rinekurt Copyright, 1917, by the Ridgway Company ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Copyright, 1917, by Mary Roberts Rinehart riTiM«i*»tyM»*MM»»MiiM«tMMiir HEDWiG AND THE CROWN PRINCE WAIT IN VAIN FOR THE RETURN OF NIKKY. Synops^^s—The crown prince of Livonia, Ferdinand William Otto, ten years old, taken t o the opera by Sfs. aunt, tires of the singing and slips away to the park where he makes-the acquaintance of Bobby Thorpe, fultttle Asaerican boy. Returning to the palace at night, he finds everything in an uproar as a result of the search which has been made for htmj The same night the chancellor calls to consult the boy's grandfather, the old king, who is very ill. The chancellor sug- gests that to preserve the kingdom, which is threatened by plots of the terrorists to form a republic, the friendship of the neighboring 'khigdom of Karnia be secured by giving the Princess Hedwig in mar- riage to King Karl of that country. Countess Losehek, lady-in-waiting to Princess Anfunciata, Hedwig's mother, is in love with King Karl and plots! 70 prevent his marriage to Hedwig. Hedwig, who loves Nikky Larisch, Otto's aid de camp, is dismayed when told of the plans for her marriage. Countess Losehek sends a secret message to King Kari. The messenger is attacked by agents of the terrorists and a dummy letter substituted. Captain Larisch, unaware of the substitu- tion, holds up Earl's chauffeur and secures the envelope. CHAPTER VI. Two Prisoner*. Herman Spier had made his escaj* with the letter. He ran through tor- tious .byways of the old city, under arches into court yards, out ftsain by doorways set in the walls, tt-asisd, doubled like a rabbit. And all this \»(th no pursuit, save the pricking one at terror. But at last he halted, looked about, p*rcelved that only his own guilty «pBsclence accused him, and took htwith. He made his way to the house in tfce shadow of the park until, an letter now buttoned Inside his coat, and, finding the doors closed, lurked In the shadow of the park until an fnouf later, Black Humbert himself ap- peared. He-eyed his creature with cold an- get. \It is a marvel,\ he sneered, \that such flight as yours has not brought the police In a pack at your heels.\ \I had ihe letter,\ Herman replied auftiif. \It was necessary to save It\ \Ton were to see where Niburg took trie substitute.\ But here Herman was the one to «neer. \Niburg!\ he said. \You know well enough that he will take no sub- stitute tonight, or any night. You strike hard, my friend.\ The concierge growled, and together tl»ey entered the house across the street. In the absence of Humbert, his niece, daughter of a milk seller near, leapt the bureau, answered the bell, and after nine o'clock, when the doors were belted, admitted the various occupants of the house and gave them the tiny tapers with which to light themselves upstairs. She was sewing and singing softly when they entered. \All right, girl. You may go,\ said Humbert. ''Good night to you both,\ the girl eaU, and gav« Herman Spier a nod. When she was gone, the concierge locked the door behind her. \And now,\ he said, \for a look at tke treasur<B.\ He rubbed his hands together as Herman produced the letter. Heads elose, they examined it under the lamp. 'Chen they glanced at each other. \A cipher,\ said the concierge •hortly. \It tells nothing. \Code!\ And struck the paper with m ftsiry fist. \Everything goes wrong. A Cipher,\ Said the Concierge Short- ly. ?\t Tells Nothing.\ lift blond devil. interferes, and now Us letter speaks but of blankets and wives i\ The bell rang, and, taking care to trust the letter out of sight, the con- 4»rge disappeared. Then ensued, in *•• hnil, a short colloquy, followed by t Oiiimping on the staircase. The 'liianr)\* returned. ''Old Adelbert, from the opera,\ he said. \He has lost his position, and would have spent the night airing his grievance. But I sent him off!\ Now, as between the two, Black Humbert furnished evil and strength, but It was the pallid clerk who fur- nished the cunning. And now he made u suggestion. \It is possible,\ he said, \that he— upstairs—could help.\ \Adelbert? Are you mad?\ \The other. He knows codes. It was by means of one we caught him. I have heard that all these things have one basis, and a simple one.\ The concierge considered. Then he rose. \It Is. worth trying,\ he ob- served. He thrust the letter Into his pocket, and the two conspirators went out into the jgiopmy hall. There, on a ledge, lay white tapers, and 'one he lighted, shielding It from the draft In the hol- low of his great hand. Then he led the way to the top of the house. Here were three rooms. One, the best, was Herman, Spier's,, a poor thing at that. Next to it was old Adel- bert's. At the extreme end of the nar- row corridor, in a passage almost blocked by old furniture, was another room, a sort.of attic, with a slanting roof. Making sure that old Adelbert did not hear them, they went back to this door, which the concierge unlocked. Inside the room was dark. The taper showed little. As their eyes became accustomed to the darkness, the out- lines of the attic stood revealed, a junk room, piled high with old trunks, and in one corner a bed. Black Humbert, taper in hand, ap- proached the bed. Herman remained near the door. Now, with the candle near, the bed revealed a man lying on it, and tied with knotted ropes; a young man, with sunken cheeks and weary, desperate eyes. Beside him, on a chair, were the fragments of a meal, a bit of broken bread, some cold soup, on which grease had formed a firm coating. Lying there, sleeping and waking and sleeping again, young Haeckel, one time of his majesty's secret serv- ice and student in the university, had lost track of the days. He knew not how long he had been a prisoner, ex- cept that it had been eternities. Twice a day, morning and evening, came his jailer and loosened his bonds, brought food, of a sort, and allowed him, not out of mercy, but because it was the committee's pleasure that for a time he should live, to move about the room and bring blood again to his numbed limbs. The concierge untied him, and stood back. \Now h e said. But the boy—he was no more—lay still. He made one effort to rise, and fell back. \Up with you!\ said the concierge, and jerked him to his feet. He caught the rail of the bed, or he would have fallen. \Now—stand like a man.\ He stood then, facing his captors without defiance. He had worn all that out in the first days of his im- prisonment. \Well?\ he said at last. \I thought —you've been here once tonight.\ \Eight my cuckoo. But tonight I do you double honor.\ But seeing that Haeckel was sway- ing, he turned to Herman Spier. \Go down,\ he said, \and bring up some brandy. He can do nothing for us in this state.\ He drank the brandy eagerly when It came, and the concierge poured him a second quantity. What with weak- ness and slow starvation, it did what no threat of personal danger would have done. It broke down his resist- ance. Not immediately. He fought hard, when the matter was first broached to him. But in the ehd he took the letter and, holding it close to the candle, he examined it closely. His hands shook, his eyes burned. The two terrorists watched hlni. Brandy or no brandy, howeve-, he had not lost his wits. He glanced up suddenly. \Tell me something about this,\ he said. \And what v \11 you do for me if I decode it?\ The concierge would promise any- thing, and did. JHaeckel listened) and knew the offer of liberty was a lie. But there was something about the story of the letter itself that bore the hall marks of truth. \You see;\ finished Black Humbert cunningly, \she—this lady of the court —is plotting with some one, or so we suspect. If It is only a liaison—!\ He spread his hands. \U as i s pos- sible, she betrays lis. to Karnia, that we should find out. It is not,\ he added, \among our plans that Karnia should know too much of us.\ The brandy was still working, but the spy's mind was clear, He asked for a pencil, and set to work. After all, if there was a spy of Karl's In the palace, it were well to know it. He tried complicated methods first, to find that the body of the letter,, after all, was simple enough. By rending every tenth word, he got a consistent mes- sage, , save that certain supplies, over which the concierge had railed, -were special code words for certain regi- ments. These he could not decipher. \Whoever was t o receive this,\ he said at last, \would have been In possession of complete data of the He Crumpled Up in a Heap. army, equipment and all, and the loca- tion of various regiments. Probably you and your band of murderers have that already.\ The concierge nodded, no whit ruf- fled. \And for whom was It intended?\ \I cannot say. The address I s fic- titious, of course.\ Black Humbert scowled. \So I\ he said. \You tell us only a part!\ \There is nothing else to tell. Save, as I have written here, the writer ends: 'I must see you at once. Let me know whore.'\ The brandy was getting in its -worlr well by that time! He was feeling strong, his own man again, and reck- less. But he was cunning, too. He yawned. \And in return for all this, what?\ he demanded. \I have done you a service, friend cut-throat.\ The concierge stuffed letter and translation-into his pocket. \What would you have, short of liberty. \Air for one thing.\ He stood up and stretched again. God, how strong he felt! \If you would open that ac- cursed window for an hour—the place reeks.\ Humbert was in high good humor In spite of his protests. In his pocket he held the fcey to favor, aye, to a plan which he meant to lay before the com- mittee of ten, a plan breath-taking in its audacity and yet potential of suc- cess. He went to the window and put his great shoulder against Ik Instantly Haeckel overturned the candle and, picking up the chair, hurled it at Herman Spier. He heard the clerk go down as he leaped for the door. Herman had not locked it- He was in tho passage before the con- cierge had stumbled past the bed. Haeckel ran as he had never run before. The last flight now, with the concierge well behind, and liberty two seconds away. He flung himself against the doors to the street. But they wore fastened by a chain, and the key was not in the lock. He crumpled up In a heap as the concierge fell on him with fists like flails. Some time later, old Adelbert heard a sound in the corridor, and peered out. Humbert, assisted by the lodger. Spier, was carrying t o the attic -what appeared to bo an old mattress, rolled up and covered with rags. In the morning, outside the door, there was* a darkish stain,' however,' which might have been blood. *•*»•*•• * At nine o'clock the next morning the chancellor visited the crown prince. He came without ceremony. Lately he had been coming often. He liked to come in quietly, and sit for an hour In the school room, saying nothing, Prince Ferdinand William Otto fbiind these occasions rather trying. \I should think,\ he protested once to his governess;, \that he would have something else to< do. He's the chancellor, isn't he?\ The king had passed a bad night, and Haeckel was still missing. The chancellor's heart was heavy. The chancellor watched the crown prince, as he sat at the high desk, laboriously writing. It was the hour of English composition, and Prince Ferdinand William Otto was writing a theme. \About dogs,\ he explained. \I've seen a great many, you know. I could do it better with a pencil. My pen ;stlcks in the paper,\ He wrote on, and Mettlich sat and watched. He caught Miss Braith- walte's glance, and^l'ie knew what was in her mind. For nine years now had come, on'ce a year, the painful anni- versary of the death of the late crown prince and his young wife. For nine years had the city mourned, with flags at half mast and the bronze statue of the'old queen draped in black. And for\ nine years hnd the day of grief passed unnoticed by the lad on whom tag the destinies of the kingdom. Now they confronted u new sit- uation. The next day but one was the anniversary agajp. The boy was .oldqr, and observant. It would not be pos- sible to conceal from him the significance of the procession march- ing through the streets with muffled drums. They could not continue to Ho to the boy. Truthfulness had been one of the rules of bis rigorous upbring- ing, And he was now of an age to re- member. So the chancellor sat and waited, and fingered hiB heavy watch chain. Prince Ferdinand William Otto put his attention to the theme, and finished It, Then, flushed with authorship, he looked up. \May I read you the last line of \It?\ he demanded of the chancellor. \I shall be honored, highness.\ Not often did the chancellor say \high- ness.\ Generally he said \Otto\ or \my child.\ Prince Ferdinand William Otto rend aloud, v?Ith dancing eyes, his last line: '\I should like to own a dog.' I thought,\ he said wistfully, \that I might ask my grandfather for one.\ \I see no reason why you should not have a dog,\ the chancellor observed. \Not one to be kept a t the stables,\ Otto explained. \One to stay with me all the time. One to sleep on the foot of the bed.\ But here the chancellor threw up his hands. Instantly he visualized all the objections to dogs, from fleas to rabies. And ho put the difficulties into words. No mean speaker was the chancellor when so minded. He was n master of style, of arrangement, of logic and reasoning. He spoke at length, even, at the end, rising and pacing a few steps up and down the room. But wheh lie had concluded, When the dog, so to speak, had fled yelping to the country of dead hopes, Prince Ferdinand William Otto merely gulped, and said: \Well I wish I could have a dog I\ The chancellor changed his tactics by changing the subject. \I was won- dering this morning, as I crossed the park, if you would enjoy an excursion soon. Could it be managed, Miss Bralthwaite?\ \I dare say,\ said Miss Bralthwaite dryiy. \Although I must say, If there Is no Improvement In punctuation and capital letters—\ \What sort of excursion?\ asked his royal highness, guardedly. He did not care for picture galleries, \Out-of-doors to see something In- teresting. A real excursion,, up the river.\ \To the fort? I do want to see the new fort.\ As a matter of truth, the chancellor had not thought o£ the fort. But like many another before him, he accepted tho suggestion and made It his own. \To the fort, of course,\ said he. \And take luncheon along, and oat It there, and have Hedwig and Nikky? And see the guns?\ But this was going too fast. Nikky, of course, would goi and If the princess oared to, she too. But luncheon! It was necessary to remind the crown prlnne that the officers at the fort would expect to have him join their moss. There was a short parley over this, and it was finally settled that the officers should serve luncheon, but that there should be no speeches. \Then that's settled,\ h e said at last, \I'm very happy. This morning I shall apologize to M. Puaux.\ During the remainder of the morn- nlhg the crown prince made various excursions to the window t o see If the weather was holding good. Also he asked, during his half hour's Intermis- sion, for the great box of lead soldiers that was locked away In the cabinet. \I shall pretend that the desk is a fort. Miss Bralthwaite,\ he said. \Do you mind being the enemy, and pre- tending to be shot now and then?\ But Miss Bralthwaite was correcting papers. She was willing to be a passive enemy and be potted' at, but she drew the line at falling over. Prince Ferdi- nand William Otto did not persist. He was far too polite, But he wished In ill his soul that Nikky would come, i Nikky, he felt, would die often and hard. But Nikky did not come. At twelve o'clock, Prince Ferdinand William Gtto, clad in his riding gar- ments of tweed knickers, puttees, and a belted jacket, stood by the school room window and looked out. The inner windows of his suite faced the court yard, but tho schoolroom opened over the place—a bad arrangement surely, seeing what distractions to les- sons may take place in a public square, what pigeons feeding in the sun, what bands with drums and drum majors, what children flying kites. \I don't understand it,\ the crown prince said plaintively. \He is gen- erally very punctual. Terhups—\ But he loyally refused to finish the sentence. The \perhaps'' was a grievous thought, nothing less than that Nikky and Hedwig were at that moment riding in the ring together, and had both forgotten him. Prince Ferdinand William Otto con- sulted his watch. It was of gold, and on the Inside was engraved: \To Ferdinand William Otto from his grandfather, on the occasion of his taking his first communion.\ \It's getting rather late,\ he ob- served. Miss Bralthwaite looked troubled. \No doubt something has detained him,\ she said, with unusual gentle- ness. \You might work at tho frame for your Cousin Hedwig. Then, if Captain Larisch comes, you can still have a part of your lesson.\ Prince Ferdinand William Otto brightened. The burnt wood photo- graph frame for Hedwig was his de- light. And yesterday, as a punishment for the escapade of the day before, It had been put away with an alarming air of finality. The pyrography outfit was produced, and for fifteen minutes Prince Ferdi- nand William Otto labored, his head on one side, his royal tongue slightly protruded. But, above the thin blue smoke of burning, his face remained wistful. He was afraid, terribly afraid, that he had been forgotten again. \I hope Nikky is not ill,\ he said once. \He smokes a great many ciga- rettes. He 'says he knows they are bad for him.\ \Certainly they are bad for him,\ said Miss Bralthwaite. \They contain nicotine, which is a violent poison. A drop of nicotine on the tongue of a dog will kill it.\ The reference was unfortunate. \I wish I might have a dog,\ ob- served Prince Ferdinand William Otto. Fortunately, at that moment, Hed- wig came in. She came in a trifle defiantly, although that passed un- noticed, and she also came unan- nounced, as was her cousinly, privilege. And she stood inside the door and stared at the prince. \Weill\ she said. \Is there to be no riding lesson today?\ \I don't know. iNikky, has not come.\ \Where is he?\ Here the drop of nicotine got in its deadly work. \I'm afraid he is ill,\ said Prince Ferdinand William Otto. \He said he smoked too many cigarettes, and—\ \Is Captain Larisch 111?\ Hedwig looked at the governess, and lost some of her bright color. Miss Bralthwaite did not know, and said so. \At the very least,\ she went on, \he should have sent some word. I do not know what things are coming to. Since his majesty's illness, no one seems to have any responsibility, or to take any.\ \But of course he would have sent word,\ said Hodwlg, frowning. \I don't understand It. He has never been so late before, has he?\ \He has never been late at all,\ Prince Ferdinand William Otto spoke up quickly. After a time Hedwig went away, and the crown prince took off his rid- ing clothes. He ate a very small luncheon, swallowing mostly a glass of milk and a lump In his throat. And afterward he worked at the frame, for an hour, shading the hearts carefully. At three o'clock he went for his drive. The horses moved sedately. Beppo looked severe and haughty. A strange man, in the place of Hans, beside Beppo, watched the crowd with keen and vigilant eyes. On the box be- tween them, under his hand, the new footman had placed a revolver. Beppo sat as far away from it as he dared. The crowd lined up, and smiled and cheered. And Prince Ferdlnapd Wil- liam Otto sat very straight, and bowed right and left, smiling. Old Adelbert, limping across the park to the opera, paused and looked. Then he shook his head. The country was indeed come to a strange pass, with only that boy and the feeble old king to stand between it and the things of which men whispered behind their hands. He went on, with his head down. ' AH they drew near the end of the park, where the land of desire towered, Prince Ferdinand William Otto search- ed it with eager eyes. How wonderful It was! How steep and high, and al- luring I He glanced sideways at Miss Bralthwaite, but It was clear that to her it wft» only a monstrous heap of , sheet iron and steel, adorned wltla de- jected greenery that had manifestly been out too soon iu the chill air of very early spring. A wondorfui possibility presented itself. \If I see Bobby,\ he asked* \may I stop the carriage and speak to him?\ \Certainly not.\ \Well may I call to him?\ \Think It over,\ suggested Miss Bralthwaite. \Would your grand- father like to know that you had done anything so undignified?\ He turned to her a rather desperate pair of eyes. \But I could explain to him,\ he said. \I was In such a hurry when I left, that I'm afraid I forgot to thank him. I ought to thank hira, really. He was very polite to me.\ Miss Bralthwaite sat still In her seat and said nothing, just then. But Inter on something occurred to her. \You must remember, Otto;\ she said, \that this—this American child dislikes kings, and our sort of government. II Is possible, isn't it, that he would re- sent your being of the ruling famllyl Why not let things be as they are?\ \We were very friendly,\ said Ferdi- nand William Otto In a small voice, \I don't think it would make any dif- ference.\ But the seed was sown in the fertile ground of his young mind, to bear quick fruit. It was the crown prince who saw Bobby first. He was standing on a bench, peering over the shoulders of the crowd. Prince Ferdinand William Otto saw him, and bent forward, 'There he Is I\ he said, in a tense tone, \There on the—\ \Sit up straight,\ commanded MlsJ Bralthwaite. \May I just wave once? I—\ \Otto I\ said Miss Bralthwaite, in a terrible voice. But a dreadful thing was happening. Bobby was looking directly at him, and making no sign. His mouth was a trifle open, but that was all. Otto had a momentary glimpse of him, of the small enp set far back, of the whito sweater, of two coolly critical eyes, Then the crowd closed up, and the carriage moved on. Prince Ferdinand William Otto sat back In his seat, very pale. Clearly Bobby was through with him. First Nikky had forgotten him, and now tho American boy had learned his unfor- tunate position as one of the devested order, and would have none of him. \Xou see,\ said Miss Bralthwaite, with an nlr of relief, \he did not know you.\ Upon the box the man beside Beppo kept his hand on the revolver. The \There He l«l\ He Said. carriage turned back toward tin palace. Late that afternoon the chancellor had a visitor. Old Mathilde, his servant and housekeeper, showed some curiosity but little excitement over It She was, In fact, faintly resentful The chancellor had eaten little all day, and now, when she had an onielel ready to turn smoking out of the pan, must come the Princess Hedwig on foot like the common people, and de- mand to see him. «= Nikky has an exciting inter- view with King Karl and finds himself in a serious predica- ment as a result of his foolish undertaking. Read about this development in the next install- ment. (TQ BE CONTINUED.) 8tone Church Without Mortar. Although built early In the Christian era wlihout mortar, a stone church It Ireland still is to excellent cooditUs THE TOAD'S WISH. *T would like to own an automobile,* said Harvey Hop Toad. \You don't want a great deal, do you,\ said Teddy TreeV Toad. \No said Har- vey, \not such a great deal. I might want sev- eral automo- biles.\ \True said' Teddy, \or you might want a few sailing boats and a castle or \Would Carry You Along.\ two, and perhaps six dozen and a half! pages in blue velvet to wait upon you.\ \I wouldn't care at all whether they wore blue velvet or not,\ said Har- vey. \That's mighty good of you,\ said Teddy, with a funny little squeak and a grin. \It shows I don't want everything,\ said Harvey. \No I don't suppose you do. In fact, I don't suppose there Is anyone who can't find a few things they don't want,, as well as hundreds they do. But I've never heard them talk about the things they didn't want—only about what they do. \I've heard children chatting, and they have sold: \ 'Oh, for a new engine, and a new express wagon, or a doll or a picture book. Or even a baseball bat or a ten- nis racquet!' \They have never said: T don't want a balloon, or an ocean ship, or the railway tracks, or the moon.*\ \Well said Harvey, \it's not nearly so interesting to talk about what you don't want as about what you do.\ \I judge not,\ said Teddy. \Now come, be honest, wouldn't you like to own an automobile?\ asked Harvey. \What would I do with an automo- bile?\ asked Teddy. \I've often sat under my tree, reading a leaf, and I have heard a Toot-Toot-Toot, and a Honk-Honk-Honk, and I have thought to myself that there was a groat deal of noise and dust and fuss about an nutsunobile.\ \Ah said Harvey, \but think of the way It wouiu carry you along.\ \I don't want tu be carried along,\ said Teddy. \Why not?\ asked Harvey. \Because said Teddy, \my busi- ness Isn't to explore the world. I'm not Christopher Columbus. I'm Ted- dy, the Tree Toad. And if I were car- ried off, where would I want to go? Only to another tree—and then it wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't bo home. No, an automobile would mean nothing, nothing to mo.\ \You're strange,\ said Harvey. \Why?\ asked Teddy. \Because you don't want an auto- mobile, of course.\ \I don't see any 'of course' about it.\ \Every one wants an automobile,\ said Harvey. \Do they, Indeed?\ asked Teddy. \I want one, too,\ said Harvey, \bo- cause it would be so nice not to hop everywhere I went. I could toot a horn and say 'Get-up-auto'—and along I'd go.\ \You'd have to run it yourself, or else get a chauffeur,\ said Teddy, \and there aren't any such things as chauffeurs—I mean Toad chauffeurs. And I'm sure It would bo quite be- neath the dignity of a boy to be a chauffeur for a toad. I feel quite sure of that.\ \Oh dear,\ said Harvey, \but how nice it would be if I didn't have to hop any more.\ \Would you like to be injured go you cpuldn't?\ \Oh no,\ said Harvey. \Perish the thought! Never could I endure such a thing.\ \Well be thankful, then, that you; can hop. Half of us aren't nearly, thankful enough that we can crawl or hop or walk or jump. And, too, Harvey, did you ever think how expensive it would be? You'd always be worry- ing yourself thin and pale over whether you could sell enough bugs lo buy new tires, and so forth. Ah, iny dear toad, be a toad, and don't Reading a Leaf. try to copy a lot of people you see. And I'll tell you a secret. I believe that half the creatures who ride in au- tomobiles are more worried about hurt- ing them than they are happy over rid- ing in them. They're always so afraid they won't be able to buy the next tire. \Wish for good health, bugs, the> strength to hop, but don't wish for au- tomobiles. They're not everything in the world. No, indeed I Suppose the «un decided never to shine again.. 1'liat would be a sorrow.\ And Harvey,, agreed that Teddy was, right. , ~!> ,/*«! n •^ A la Don Quixote. / \Mamma may we have a plate?\' > \What do you want with a plate?\ \We want to play knights, anil thejj avt> to have breast-plutes;\ - h

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