"The Web of the Spider"
19, 1911. p i d e r A COMPLETE NOVEL, eb the HELEN TOMPKINS 1 0 Morning- The of By CHAPTER ONE Four Letters. "He made pood time on that last half mile," enid the gentleman it t tins opposite 11 cu inn j ue mmooea ais greatcoat. m "la that lo?" I Answered a little indifferently. Tbe midnight expreaa on the C. R. L. waa three hours late. Tbe rain was falling u lurreuis aim 1 oaa own unaoie to procure a berth la tbe sleeplng-rar. I bad not reated for three nlghta. So I drew a breath of relief aa tbe kist car came to a Jarring halt nnder tbe ahed of the station. The people drifted past me, sleepy and cross. It was with no thought, at least 00 especial thought, of avoiding recognition, that I settled ray hat lower over my res and turned my trllar uo about my throat. Attached as I bad been for several Jeara to the Darby Detective Agency I was ut Indifferently well-known in my native , city, which I was now entering for the rai time aiter an sosence or several weeas. The platform was almost deserted as I swunar mvaelf down from th mp tna Tbe roan who bad spoken to me about the speed of the train hurried past me. No one spoae to me or noticed me in any way. I struck across tbe station platform at a and deserted now save for the single electric aii on me corner. ine rain naa oeen almost a deluge. I thought of my warm and pleasant room In the quiet boarding house on Washington street and quick-ened my pace a little. Aa I did so a carriage swung around the corner of Fifth and Mnple, tbe driver lashing his horses Into a gallop, snd I was almost run down. I waa directly under the electric light, and I caught a confused glimpse of a slender man. straight and dark. He leaned out of the window and signalled with one eager hand to the driver. 'There bas been a mistake I" he called out hurriedly. I noticed a faint, foreign accent in his voice. "Hhe train is already In. Fifty dollars if you get me there in time!" The hand touching tbe carriage window was a slender, womanish one. There waa a coat sleeve of grayish tweed, a snowy cuff, and a button that attracted my eyes .t once a spider In grayish fretted gold with eyes of emerald. The next Instant the wl idow came down with a snap, the horses rved, tbe vehicle lurched forward, and 1. 11 shed In the darkness In the direction of ie station. It was some little time before T could rid myself of the uncomfortable impression left upon me by the fleeting glimpse which I had bad of the man's face. I have always prided myself pon my powers of Intuition, and something told me now that the stranger and his haste nearly concerned me. " I let myself Into the boarding house with a latch key end went straight to my own room. It was very cold outside, and a clock In the neighboring steeple struck four. The room was warm and pleasant. I locked the door behind me, threw my overcoat and hat aside and, still pursuing the train of thought awakened by the hurried sight of the roan's face, lighted the gas. There was a little pile of letters on the table, placed ao that they would fall instantly under the eye of any one on first entering tbe room. A little Impatiently I threw myself into a chair and opened the first envelope. It enclosed this short note from my chief: Dear Reynolds: I enclose a letter from a new client of ours. As you will see by reference to it he lives In that part of the country which has attracted so much attention of late, and in he nlntn with von has been sllzbtlv tin der suspicion himself. So I hope to be able to kill two birds with one stone by sending! you to him, the more especially as he has ssaed tor your personal services. "A wire this afternoon Indicates that Srnlthson bas escaped from the police, so we cannot put tbe thumb screws on Mm as we had hoped to be able to do. Tou bad better accept this assignment at once and leave on the first train. I will forward written Instructions. , Darby." T laid tbe letter aside In disgust It was tike Darby to send me on a wild-goose chase such as this promised to be, without even allowing me time to report fully on my last case. I looked at my watch and then consulted a map upon the wall. Rldsrely was In the extreme southern part of the state and the next train, in fact the only train for twenty-four hours, was due to leave at half past five. Tbe next letter puzzled me a little. It was addressed to Darby's DetecllvS gCDCJ nd was about aa follows: 'Teir Sir: "Tf pnrare TteynMm : fl alt yvtir aory, r;ease sDd tbe earliest possible moment. I wish to employ bins to pursue investigations of a private and personal nature. I am a man of some wealth and expense is no consideration." Here tbe writer seemed to have lost entire command of himself. "For God's sake send him down at once," the letter concluded. slipped this letter In the breast pocket! or my coat ror later examination ana picsea up the third. It was a delicate envelope directed In a slightly unformed, girlish hand and cootatned on a single sheet of paper the following astonishing words: 'Dar Horace: 'On no account must you leave the city once you have entered It without seeing me. I have the most ImDortant Dlece of news for you and it is quite Impossible for me to write It. I must see you personally. They tell me at the office that you are out of town, but that you are expected home on every train. Therefore, I am leaving one copy of tbia letter at tbe office and one at your boarding bouse so that you cannot Bossibly fall to get one or tbe other. Mr. arby is exceedingly cross but hints that yon may be called out of town again for some weeks on business of a orlvate na ture. Whatever he may say, do not leave wunouc seeing me. Sincerely, Agnes. I read this letter oyer twice. It ner- ntexed me vaguely. Calling on Agnes waa ror toe moment entirely our ox tne question. Truth to tell, my little sweetheart, although a most charming girl and the light of my eyes, was a very Impressionable little person, given to dreams and the like ana nornoiy solicitous soout my sarety. Much as I longed to see her, it was decidedly best to slip quietly out of the city without allowing her to know that I bad received bar letter. Tbe Inst letter was In an envelope of coarse, grayish-blue texture, and tbe writing was either palpably disguised or tbat of an entirely uneducated person. Without giving the little errors and peculiarities tbat made It almost untranslatable on first reading. It ran about as follows: "Dear Sir: "When you receive this you will be considering a trip to Rldgely. This from a Friend Is to warn you solemnly tbat if you do, from the time tbat you put your foot on the station platform at Rldgely your life is not worth a handful of rotten grain. The path you walk the air you breathe the people you meet the food you eat are death to you. If you enter Rldgely you will leave It in a pine box. To prove the truth of what I say, if you are fool enough to doubt It and to stick to your purpose look about you. This is the first of four warnings which you will receive before your train puli.i out. Look out I A Friend." This settled the matter for me. Every Impulse of my being was in arms in an Instant. Give up my work for the sake of a cowardly anonymous letter T Not If It was an hour until the time for my train to leave. I laid my coat and waistcoat aside preparatory to bathing my face, but found the water lug empty. The chambermaid was negligent and It was not the first time It had occurred "nor the first time that I had found it necessary for me to do her work. Fortunately I knew where to find the hydrant. I stole noiselessly down tbe back stairs and out into the back yard. There was a faint grayish tinge in the east and I heard one or two of the servants stirring in the kitchen. The rain was still falling heavily drearily. I had filled the Jug and reached the upper floor again when suddenly the light went out leaving tbe upper hall In utter darkness. The fact did not embarrass me. however. I was thoroughly familiar with the bouse and hardly slackened my pace in the leaat. My room was at the extreme end of the hall. A grayfsh-Itght, only noticeable as contrasted with the deeper blackness of the hall, filtered through the windows, and suddenly through the darkness I heard s faint sound and saw a shadow pass serosa the grayish square .lust outside my room. I hurried down the hnll but met no one. hertrd the sound of no closing door. I had left my room lighted not only by the gas but by a candle as well. I bad lighted this Inst with the intention of carrying it down sfalrs but had changed my mind and left If- burning on the table. The windows were closed and I was forced to believe that some one and not n gust of wind bod extinguished it. The wick was still smouldering. My first snxlety was for tbe Mters. T bad left my coat, tbe pocket of which held them, o" ji chnlr. 1 now fmiifl both coat tnrt wale"1-' !Hntr on flr neir the d --r . Vi" n.pi hrtTT'"'''. assured m ;.'v hid n -t ,ion tvi"hd. EDITOR'S NOTE Miss Tompkins, in "The Web of the Spider" has succeeded in writing a story that for mysterious and mystifying situations and f stirring scenes has not been equaled by any story writer in many years. Eveiy chapter contains a startling incident. There is a detective in it, and in a minor way it is a detective story; but he is just a plain, level-headed Lecocq, who knows that the successful outcome of his labors depends upon hut J work personal bravery and ingenuity. Sitting in a closed room with a friend and watching the cigar smoke curl up to the ceiling is not sufficient for him A love story threads its way through the narrative and adds a touch of sentiment A further examination convinced me that my watch was quite safe, and the sight of it remtnaea me or the necessity ror naste. It was five o'clock. I was a little surprised at this, .for I had fancied that it must be later. I finished my toilet hurriedly. There was tittle use In seeking to learn the identity of tbe person whom I felt quits sure I bad seen leaving my room. He might probably did. belong to tbe ordinary sneak -thief variety which are the plagues of the second-class boarding house, and it waa already nearlng daylight. The only concession that I made to my dimly-formed suspicion that bis presence In my room held any personal menace to me was to thrust a loaded pistol in the pocket of my loose coat. I locked my door behind me, and then without tbe dimmest Idea of the dangers I was going to meet or the dark and tangled path mv feet must try before I touched the threshold of my home again, t slipped down stairs and out of the still silent house. CHAPTER TWO The Four Warnings II had not hcimn to stow Her tit bai had the rain ceased to fall heavily wben I reached tbe station again. Two men walked In just ahead of me. "IB I the train tnr thn flnnth fn xmtV nn of them asked. "Pulled out ten minutes ago," said the other carelessly. "Due at 5:30, you know." roe woras startiea me, ana l took my watch from mv Docket and examined the face of it by the light of the station lamp. It was five o'clock. I remembered then that that had been the time when I left It and went down stairs with the Jug. The wmcn naa stop pea on tne si rose or nve. While I was still looking at It dully, a clock near by rang out the hour and I counted the strokes: One two three four five six ! Intuition told me for the first time that T had discovered the reason for the nresencn in my room of the uninvited guest who had paid me that puzzling visit. He had meant to thwart my Intention of leaving town or at lenst to postpone it for twentv-four hours. For the first time tbe thought tbat there might be something more than a practical joke In the anonymous letters smote me like a douche of icy water. I was more fortunate, however, than I had hoped.' "The train from the north Is an hour late," said the ticket agent whom I knew slightly. "Are you leaving town, Mr, Reynolds?" But I muttered something that might mean either absent or denial and drawing my hat over my eyes sat down to wait for my train devoutly thankful that for once Fate he,i proven my friend and brought the t!sl?ns of my mvsterlous enemy to nacght. xnere wo: many trains one at in.ir hour and tteia were only a few people scattered about over tbe wide waiting room. I found no face that was familiar to me. bnt the zoom whs so imperfectly lighted that there mient have oeen a ioxen ana I would be none the wiser, I took a book from my pocftet and begnu to cut tba leaves. As I did so a man, stumbling clumsily over my feot. approached the ticket agent Kosenerry." nn ssia in a low, rat ner sweet voice. "One dollar and ninety cents? Thank you." He turned, enn rrom nis vantage place near the ticket window flashed a quick eager glance over tbe room; then, as If not nnding what be sought, turnea to the ticket agent again. "Ten miles beyond Roscberry Junction, eh?" he said In a louder voice with some emphasis, "and after last night's storm a dangerous road, sir, as you say the road to the south." I looked nn rrom mv boot: a little start led. "I saw noth'ng of tne kina. sir." sata tbe agent cnrlly. "I havo beard of damage belnc done to tte line by the Rtorm either north or 0'ith. Pertain'? tbero can be m tronbip r my division or. nib and ;bcre was I should bare keta ootiflel' 'take lbs slightest The stranger langbed scornfully. "Yet I say there is danger," he an Id meaningly, still with his voice slightly lifted. "It Is a bad day, sir, for traveling southward." He looked at me with so much meaning that 1 rose to my feet As ! did so he raised his right hand to his cheek and I caught for tne second time tbat nlgbt a confused gllmpe of a gray sleeve and an Immaculate cuff held together by a golden nldf with M of minv.faitri arm v I ah green gems. Wit1! tn almost Imperceptible! gesture ana glance mat met mine squareiy e lifted his eyebrows expressively, then wheeled and leit the station. For one moment the mad longing to fol low him to wrest a meaning from his words thrilled me. and yet If be cared to avoid me, wjt cbiace was there for me to overtake him In the rain-smothered darkness outside tb dimly Hub ted station. Be sides, the people were thronging Into tbe room ana i anew mat my train could not be long delayed. "And so I get my second warning!" I said with something that waa almost a shiver of apprehension. i saunterea laiy towara toe wicset. "Drunk, do you suppose V I asked indifferently. "Darned If I know. Something wrong with his think tank undoubtedly.1' I sat down again and picked up my brok. As I did so I became aware for tbe first time that two young women sitting near me were regarding me a little curiously. I stared back at them until tbe older, the less prepossessing of the two, caught ny glance and colored with annoyance. Trey were both tall and slender, rather fashionably dressed, although of that I could hardly perhaps be a good judge, and .e younger woman was neavllv veiled. The older, as tf to escape my too-eager scrutiny, opened a book which waa lying on her knee, and which I discovered to be a copy of the same book- which I held, one of the popular, recently published works of fiction, began to turn the leaves. "Here is one of the most striking Das- sages tn the book to my mind," she said to her companion, but with a sly look at me mat put me on my guara at once. "'The way is full of menace: so much so, that the man who foolishly enters upon It is damned already. No matter how pow- " mi nis rrienas may ne, now wise ne may ti- - lc himself, neither guardianship nor hrr. neither oowpr nor wit can satp Mm , "i the merited consequences of bis own pi. niption. Even the girl who loves him will -1 her prayers unheeded. Well for his t:"-tr!ven soul if she begins now to-day Uie offices for the dying" She paused a moment. "The train is coming' she said. "We are too late, 'Vieve. iet us go." This time this second warning had found me on my guard. "leu me what you mean!" I said sharply. Your words were addressed to me and and they are not In the book. They" Bne looted at me over ner snouhier with a little startled exclamation and slipped from my touch like a frightened thinsr. The next moment she and ber companion were swallowed up by a throng of people wno just tneu encerea me station, ana i heard the whistle of the train coming In from the north. ! picked up my belongings still a little dazed and left the station. It had now grows quite light outride, a dreary grayish ngnt mat ni terra r.rougn veil or railing rain. I ascended tnv steps of the Pullman and toot the last scat In the car If I were to trust t t"ie evidence of my own senses the situation was extending Its ram ifications Into all tv different strata of soeletr. Tto wearc of the cuff buttons belonged to the u $ classes while the two vounger wonj, although handsomely dressed, belonged qui t as certainly to the aivision or woruers I looked anxiously cftoat me. Would my enemlc nlve up te matter when thy foil d m fully deUrmlnd or would 'hw follow n.e even herst The rar was llll.'p raplcif but the pl were stranjifrs to on win Hxemea ;o !'rfsl Id my move ments. Just then a messenger boy touched my arm. beg your pardon, sir," be said, "but your friend said to give yon this package and to say to you that he would see you later." "Mv friend!" I said stunldlr. He nodded and handed me a little oblong bundle wrnnned In brown DaDer. Before 1 could auestion him further I beard the cry or ' Ait Aooara, ' ana ne nurriea out; ot tbe car. I was so tlfrronghly persuaded tbat tbe package held my fourth and last warning that 1 did not open it at first The train pulled slowly out of the station rattling over tne switcnes ana ins wnistie screeca inn like a demon. I looked anxiously over my traveling companions. They were seven in number. Two old oeo Die. husband and wife appar ently, a little unused to traveling, who talked eagerly to each other In an under tone In German; an old woman traveling with two little boys wno leaned timidly against her knees; a young married couple wno ciaspea nanus ana gazea serapnicaiiy into each other'a eyes; a middle-aged man with a band of crene on his hat. who stared moodily out of the window. I fancied, at first, that he looked at me, then later avoided my gaze a little suspiciously until 1 heard the conductor speak to faim about his wife who It seems was In a coffin In the baggnge car. After that, naturally, I dismissed him from my mind. "Ticket !" I handed the conductor some coins. "Roseberry Junction," I said slowly, for I bad determined, in spite of the fact that I believed my enemies had given up tbe cbase, to divert any possible espionage by leaving the car at the Junction and riding tne rest oi tne way witn cue engineer in the cab. The conductor passed on through the car. When he had done so I opened the packet lying on my knee. Inside the coarse brown outside wrapping was a mass of tissue paper. Upon opening It carefully I fouud a long, slender dagger with an edge like a razor and with tbe noint hidden In the heart of a daisy. I am not always dull. Even ! have my moments of brlllisncy. I remembered the old name of "Daisy" that had followed me through my school days Into a professional life, although I was known by it only to a few Intimate frfenda and my heart died within me. A child could have read tbe mcftnge. I bad received my fourth and last warning l CHAPTER THREB The Spider 1 left the car at Roseberrr Junction mnde as sure as I could that 1 was not followed, and after renewing an old, though rather slight acaualntance with jerry uia bam, the engineer, and showing him a hit of paper signed in a grateful but unguarded moment ny ine president oi me v.. a. u, took a seat with him In the cab. We stonoed at the Junction for twenty minutes, but I saw no one who seemed to be interested In me and after a warning shriek from tbe whistle we left the station ;tml started on the twenty mile run across ;i ; 'x of nralrie ana river-roa roiling wooa land to the little town of Rldgely. Very little vs said in the cab. The train wos runuluff nt a high rate or speed snd I found the ji lting of the cab and the frenzied shrieking of tbe whistle not conducive or encouraging to imversatlon, so I watched the srenery as It flitted by the cub window. avoiding the curious eyes of Oldham and the fireman as much as possible and said norning. Tbe rain had ceased and the snn was shining when we reached Rldgely. I found It little more than what is termed op probriously a "wide place in the road.' since the town itself was more than 1 mile from tho station. My sleepless nlphf were beginning to tell upon me. 1 had raging headache when I climbed out nf tbf cab and waited, leaning negligently again! the station house wall until the train should pull out again. I had no mind to face the inslo of ibe stuffy little waiting room. Avp rntly I was the only passenger for Rldgely, for no one else left the train, it leaving me alone, save tot a maa who was approaching me with a sheaf of yellow papers In his band and whom I took to be tbe station agent. Huddenly I was electrified by hearing my own name pronouncea in a low voice. "Do not be startled, Mr. Reynolds, snd above all do not turn your bead. Keep your eyes fixed upon tbat man approaching and neither by word or sign allow him to suspect that some one is speaking to you." "Why?" I asked in the same guarded tone and without turning my head. "Why? Mv (ioo, is the man maa: wnyr Because I am making one last desperate effort to save your worthless life, which personally 1 care as lime ior as i ao ior tbe dust beneath your feet and yet which 1 am risking a suaaen, nornoie aeaca to saver "Not tbe slightest Ir," I answered I fihnnM fnn mind. I wonder. 1 uira t feel I "i in tt I vn Intn nn rtlmiijira At oncer beard mucb of your wisdom and clerer- ness, Mr. Reynolds. I should like to feel tbat tbey were eo Hated In my behalf. anon na nnanlhLe. I Ifirhtori the riant which be haoded and leaned back appreciatively tn tbe lum- noui carriage. "1 ahould rery mnch prefer to bare yo do ao," I sulci quietly. "Yon could not , baye, I am sure, a. more farorable oppor- . '"He'slzhed and threw bla bait smoke cigar salde. "I am a rich man, Mr. Reynolds," be , said. "I presume tbat I can control mora money today than any man than any tw I men In the atate. yet all my wealth can I neither buy me neace of mind nor lot- I The Tolce waa low. cold, and sweet munlty from physical danger. thin like a high note from some rare old' I looked at Mm keenly but did Dot la- Instrument and womanly-masculine or terrupt him. .. manly-feminine. I could not tell which. ' "I will bare to go a long way back te . Some one, a half grown boy, called to tbe begin my atory, Mr. Reynolds a hundred I station agent and he baited half way dowi .ears back to an Indian mutiny lu one of the platform and began to write lu a little he back prolncea. One of my anceatora ? note book. It gave me a moment's respite ed a small party who aicked the palac ' There la a train from the sontn in twenty r tne Kaian uoi-uuuaa, aua put uia nareaa minutes," said the Tolce. "Will yon, eren to the sword. at this unpnrdonably late hour, turn from 'There are all aorta of maa legends aboai your purpose and go back to town? I hay hat bloody affair; some of them falsa) I .nme little influence end ahull not fnll t :nonab I dare say: but eyen the mildest. exert tt in your faror. Eyen now H maj Jiost charitable construction put npon tba i not be too late." behaylor of my respected forbear would I hesitated not as to the tenor of toy hardly, I fear, bear the garish light of day. . answer but a little uncertain how to choose The best authenticated story tells tragically I y words. or now ne pui ine joiiugrni wuc ui mv "I am aent here on an especial mission 1 ralab to torture to make ber reveal the. which you may understand as well aa I. biding place of her husband s treasure; ot lOW BSC UICU Uuun luc uruim iicaiuirui, ind of ber mother, an aged hag. who fowled out fremled curses on tbe English wldlers and the English officer especially, ntll tbey tired of her clamor and Hun er, still Hying, atom tbe naming rami t h r.l.h'a nulnce. "My ancestor went home to bis yonna J ,-lfe well lsden with Jewels snd gauds and i realth beyond his maddest dreams. But ha , 'ound bis chlld-brlde, the only thing oat wrth he loyed better than gold, dead fn since you know so much," I said stnb Dorniy. I nnye noi tne tainiest iaea oi returning to town until tbe work whlcb 1 came here to do Is nnlahed." "Then you may go to the aem as toot aa you like!" said the voice behind mc "I wnsh my hands of tbe whole affair!" There was a slight rustle beblnd me an T turned sharply snd peered through tli window. There was no one In sight am the station and the waiting room wen empty. The station sgent came op abruptly It beer terror, while her infant, prematurely answer to my gesture. born, walled upon ner icy oosom. ins) IS mere any one nere irotn air wuujcu u mwuuru u k"" ' Areana'a this morning?" I asked. "He llyes ments told of being summoned to her roosa some distance from town, does he not?" by ebrieks of terror, and anaing on nee He looked at me oddly for a moment. Drenst a giant spioer. w ri r I h.e not aeen anybody." he asld hesi- known or dreamed of. when his child waa I tatingly, "but I hare been busy all the morning. I will ask .Tack. "Jack, baa tbe 'Spider' or any of hta people been in this morning?" I started nervously. "The. Spider 1" I ejnculflted. The man flushed a little. "Only a nickname, sir," he said with a touch of con-stmlnt. "I 1 guess I am mostly responsible for It, although people generally about here have taken It up In tbe last two or three years. He told me once tbat 'Arcana' was the generic name for spider and Do you know the gentleman?" "I hare not that honor," I said a little distantly. He turned sharply to the boy. "Is Mr. Arcana tn town this morning, Jack?" be asked. Before the lad could answer I beard the sound of footsteps behind us and turning hurriedly I saw the man whom I felt Intuitively to be tbe one of whom I waa In search, approaching. "I beg your pardon," he said in a voice that Impressed me most decidedly in his favor at once, "but I am sure that this must be Mr. Reynolds. I bad begun to think that you were going to fall me. This is the third time I have come to meet you." "I was out of town when Mr. Darby received your letter." I said, conscious that I was speaking a little stiffly. "I did not get your messnge until this morning and I left on the first train." He smiled a rare sweet smile tbat added the finishing charm to a face of singular sweetness. "Good! I like despatch. Be said genially. "It promises well for our plans. Come the carriage Is waiting." He turned to go but wheeled sharply. "The pleasure of meeting Mr. Reynolds Is making me forgetful." he said. "Anybody In on today's train, Simms?" "Nobody hut this gentleman, sir." "Very well. Tou know my wishes. And now, Mr. Reynolds. I im quite ready." He conducted me to the back of tbe station where I found a carriage and horses waiting. "T drive mvself," be ssld and (ben added '"Intedly, "more especially this morning "o It will give us a good onnortunitv to things over without any danger of -vprhenrd " "rris did not seent to call for an :i I onlv nodded. inlris. have you any idea of the nati work which yon have) come down Lwe v. uuiierinaBi'- I born twelve hours later there was a hor rible mark noon Ita bosom tne rorm a a gigantic spider. "It was not hard for those superstltlonslT Inclined to connect the frightful blow whlcH robbed the cruel officer of his young wlfa with the curses of the old Indian hag. tt is perhaps most probable that ha himself did so. ' years generations passea. cnuarev. were born, grew up. marnea, snn men. Some or tnem Dore tne spiaer oirm-maris more did not. Those who did not wora out their humdrum lives and went to theut graves In peace. Tne otners Hp turned and looked across the peaceful, rolling brown fields lying la the wlntef sunlight. "The Indians are a very peculiar, re- , vengeful race, Mr. Reynolds, ss perbspa you know, ana tne young wiie or ia rajnm was widely connected with some of tba ' more savage tribes of India. So the blood- ' h.tpeif deacended from father to SOB. andl ! sr!0j,9--hr later every bearer of the fatal ' birth-mark came to a niooay ena at rns) , hands of the descendants of the rajah's wife. "There is a verv well authenticated tra dltlon that a singular affection existed be- i fween mv great-grandfather and one of thai race which had been so fatal to our house. Dowle-Las saved my grandfather's llfaj more than once. They became as brothers, for my grandfather hid the secret of th birth-mark so well that Dowle-Las, al- J though they had drunk of the aame cup andj ; shared the same couch for months did nof , suspect tbe truth. One day, however, tba Englishman was stricken with delirium. , then unconsciousness, and tbe native) learned tbe truth. He plunged a dagger la the white man's heart that Bight, and through hardships Incredible carried tba body of the man who had loved andl trusted htm back to hia widow. And that night Dowle-Las sought death by the sstna dagger tbat had fonnd bis victim's heart sought death and found It" He turned and faced me, his eyes searching my face. "It sounds Incredible, does (1 not?" be ssld shortly. "It Is Incredible but tt Is true." "And vet a" tbta does not aiplslB tut connection with the case," I said flatly. "Unless" . ... "I had thought tbat yon wonl nnder. stand." be said looking at me In a dlai. pointed fsshioo. "Mr. Reynolds, my lite la in Jeonardv. for I bear the blrth-auk al tba spider!" , I T WtOaltllllJtJ .. ...i