"The Dark Mirror"

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THE ROOSEVELT STANDARD ROOSEVELT UTAH anif A anity LOUIS JOSEPE by TE VANCE CE I 1 etli A I 1 he 11 D X r ML au author thor or of ll 11 is the rt T lone the false faces sak ST W W tek W T 31 a afi wolf etc vy fr 0 M ix i lyal A jal illustrated by IRWIN MYERS copyright 13201220 by the author now she was vas in indis his arms and glad his lips closed on hers for a long breathshe was a mere thing of reeling senses you love met mel 1 I dont know slie she murmured ma may y be b e tomorrow you will marry me and we will go away 1 1 I doyet dont know perhaps yes I 1 will trill but not tomorrow not right away A rattle raffle of shotssounded and looking back she saw the plainclothes plain clothes man pitch forward on hisknees then fall prone the policeman scrambling up pistol in hand received the balance of the clip in reds beds automatic and sank slowly down upon hisside screaming with horror th the e girl fell back frofrom in the window red ked dragged her after hint him still screaming like a madwoman rousing housing on an elbow pris- cillamaine fo found und herself awake with a racing heart a throat swollen with a strangled cry of horrorand a mind through thi ough whose tainted murk the reflections of a womans comans screams ran like a thread of purple light it was true thenshe was safely restored to her own intimate environment where nothing resembled even remotely that frowsydrowsy room where here w murders had been dons done from which it would appear that priscilla Pris ciHa maine thefash- ionable young heiress hel resi hadhad a particularly vivid dream in which sho had promised to be the wife of oneman andhad beenrescued fromthe police by another a redhanded gunman but that entirely explain things becausebecame the encounter with the police in the slums was described in detail in in the eveningnewspapers and of course priscilla been there though a girl just likeher hadbeen in the fight in short in the dark mirror louis vance whose fame as a writer of mystery stories is internationalhas told a most fascinating taleof something that resemblesdual personality sona lity but you will not be able to solve the mystery until the very end for it almost baffled a young physician clan who was doing his bestsincehe was iu in love with priscilla and naturally want to give her up to herdream lover and you will enjoy this exceedingly lively and quite unique story CHAPTER ONE the street of strange faces 1 THE DARK CORNER the way of the thin thing was ever ener the samecame it befell without warning or rather mathei the girl had never learned to take heedof signs which seemed plain enough in retrospect when she sat silone alone and puzzled her pretty head with thedarkriddle of this shadow life which set her so widely apart from every girl she knew and indeed from all the rest ofhumankind she had a day of restlessness whose every hour brewed its new peculiar mood eliosechose every mood was purposeless with times of almat feverish gayety gaiety causeless fitful fugitive andother times when tor for no reason in her knowledge she caught tier beltbelf sighing long fluttering sighs ahat shook her strangely so might ones writ spirit sigh in weariness faint with the burden of incessant strife with borno great antagonist of identity toward nightfall all these were soothed away into a feeling of serene poise and self posse iou and saturate with consciousness of the rich strong atron wine of vitality that quickened led lierber she thought of life in the likeness of a wide vide placid river wherein she drifted like a fearless swimmer swi miner a stream whose waters were x aarm arm sweet and edw alth a penetrating quality ofdelicious calmslie never dreamed couldbebc disturbed so absolute it seemed sd so permanent so imperturbable only the he signs persisted oddly na as if her spirit knew moments of melan choly ot of which tierher mind knew ew noth ing and insidiously the tranquil surface of that contentment was flawed by apprehensions ofnameless danger of peril latent stealthy and implacable as though the swimmer surmised some monstrous shape of evil skulking unseen in those opaque deeps or felt herselfheiselt subtly ensnared by a current whose irresistible set was altogether toward destruction jow ow at length perceiving what was vas to come panic paralyzed in her tile the instinct of self preservation though horror brimmed the cup of being she made no effort to fight freebut as one whoknows that struggling roust must provoprove vain resigned herself and let thebaneful current work its willwith her fascination toowas at work deppdeep within tierher a mad desire to go again that wild way shehad so often gone and oncemore be and doand see so go it 1 is so it must be with those to whom a drug lias has made itself a tiling thing of life and death on oil alfendlike a bend in the river waited that turning in her psychic life which she knew as the dark cor- nor corner while c shehe lay passive in the arap of that power which so obscurely haditsrise in her yet was repugnant to tierher being at once berwalt herber will Wilt andher necessity and as the dart dark corner drew momentarily more near the transfusion which shetermedthe change was a as effected by what nay may only be described as a convulsion oftierlier very soul after which came lassitude a vast ener enervation Tation in which all lingering traces of reluctance were obliterated now she was no longer herself but another woman than the one she knew a strange woman clothed in her own ile flesh ii but in no other way akin to herself of everyday having do thought impulse or emotion with fill which thatself could sympathize save such ns as may be considered corn- mon to all tierher sex yet incomprehensibly hen sibly consciousness of the old self identity survived and though as slie she conceived it dispossessed from its tenement herself continued by tierher blodys side observant critical intrigued tri gued rl something amused in tills this wise rounding the dark cor- nor corner she passed into that place which sheliehadnamed the street of strange faces andthe enigma of this concu sionof self with non self was forgotten in therushof exotic sensation andemotion excitement and lawless joy i which ich invariably accompanied definite and finalcommitment to renewed pursuit ofthose thesetranscendental adventures 11 LEONORA together with the faces its windows madeneade the street being of many sorts sons to each its own significant illumination mi hardbard plate glass masksof saloons beaming false fellowship mean shop fronts of ingratiating shine windows of homelygoldenglow others through whose latticedshutters filtered sinister gleams be speaking the unspeakable others a gain again that gave only dullreflections in grimed be panes of naphtha flames flaring luridly above pushcartspush carts arrayed in un- brokenlines jinesalong the curbs through this welter of light and shadow in the sidewalk channels tile the faces passed and re passed lurking darkly in forbidding doorways seeking brazenly the brightestglare corning coming and going without rest in uncouth carnival kind and brutal cunning and naive wicked and I 1 innocent cent sar swarthythy fair unique commonplace faces that ds disgusted faces that a- lured a- ured allured al- ured faces faces that meant nothing that were mere empty mouthing masks faces of oriental cast yellow andred and brown ne negro gro faces in every shade of quartering she knew themall they all knew tierlier the sense of strangeness ebbed with every step with every look around with eiery breath she drew she was losing touch with her othor other self which had so singularly renounced its authority and faded into impotence at the dark corner but which still kept step with he lier r clung to tierher more closely thin thantierher shadow and like a wraith ofthe living watched noted and compared while taking part in fictions actions whollyforeign to its nature and experiencing reactions obscure to it and unintelligible now the girl moved swiftly with ease and boldboldness iless oveneven with a hint of arrogance giving tile thefilers facts tooklook for looksmile for smile frown for frown lang laughing bingimpishly up at a tall policeman who bo knitted black brows over indulgent blue eyes eves flinging Ill ngin racy retorts to tilethe I 1 banter anter of a knotof men emerging from a ginpin mill chilling with glance find and word the advances ofthose who should have known better clin chattingtring adio lm bawled in tierher earscars the tawdry virtues of their waresvares pausing now and again to exchange more kindly persiflage sill fige with folk who held title to hei thing liking cutting an impudentfigure as confident and unabashed asa coil cit turned loose in home pastures her sharp perceptions took in everything not one considerable detail es their remark and she liked it il she likedit nil she was burlous curiouslyly pot per to tier her vc very ry marrow with delight in sounds and sights and smells famil familiar lvir lo 10 her senses sincetimebe- yond iligir eari earliest lest record tl TI v street never wide was the narrower forits double rank of pushcarts push carts det cen these an occa occasionallonal automobile or horse drawn vehicle went gingerly to spare the multitude of urchins half dressed and less than ili n n half washed w chedof everyage andalmoalmost at every nationality that swarmed nied upon the asphaltum tenement houses their fire escapes converted intobal- conies lavishly draped with candid bedding and still more candid women drew ir confidential heads together on high leaving visible only a slender bibbo ribbon n of cobalt sky in between the air was sluggish thick with unnat- uralhaze laze and rank with many odors an unholy alliance of garlic fried fish boiled cabbage and stale beer maintaining debatable over the native aroma of a stratum of society which holds soap less necessity than luxury and the night was tumultuous with screams of children at crude piny howls ofbabies wallowing in neglect bawling of street vendors each ea ell striving to his nearest competitor clatter of tinnypianos blareand whine of jaded phonographs all relieved against a wholly normal undertone of incessant gossip all and bickering the girl hugged to herself the joy of living this wasto tier herthe breath oflife even more it was enterprise adv adventure future the very stuffof romance she went tierher way smiling with a conscioussmilebredof knowledge that she was dressed in herbest in her very newest best at that garments of a cut and cost and quality such as the street et seldom saw nevertheless tier her show ofnoncha- lance cloaked circumspection if tierher looks were free and rovingthey were likewise keen and watchful though Y you know I 1 love you I 1 make no secret of that the width of the street was between them she was mas well aware of two plainclothes plain clothes men who turned to stare when nhenshe hadbad gone by and conferred together concerning her craftily after the absurd manner of their kind out of the corners of their mouthsmonths cut but that was wag a minor circum circumstance st rine e I 1 more tun fun than reason for worry they jug a girl for wearing good clothes even if they know where she had got them or how the stress of her attention was alue ue to considerationsfar more weighty and when of a sudden at a crossing shedescried its cause she checked in unfeigneddismay with startled pulses III fit THE MAN MARIO on the far cornera tall man simply clothed comp composed oed of habit stood st friess hands clasped lightly before him in a gesture with which tilethe girl masus well acquainted lead headand shoulders lifting above the crowllcrowd against the tawny janny flamesof naphtha torches toi ches his profile was sharp find black the he silhouette of an ascetic gravely fine but none betterthan she knewhow low its austerity vas belled by haunted eyes bosc sincerity could wring truth from lips that moved to frame a lie and liehe was looking for tier her she knew that too in a lurry flurry so real that it touched tierher anger she ile swung asideinto tilethe oy street a grim street that led anywhere butthe nay she i shoil to go yet she welcomed its sullen gloom and wontwent swiftly li heedless cedless of everything thin buttile the necessity of escaping knowing inili herheart shefould not escape escalle iler was called in a voice of se sonant timbre Leo leonora noril I 1 beg of i N oil nil it Is 1 I marlo marjo slieshe stopped and swung round with a specious show of surprise Url irle I into indifference bace tone aud were discouraging buttierher heart wait wai taintfaint 11 oh its you the man paused hat in hand blind his attitude one of pleading and reproach yet ret informed with an ineffaceable dignity you saw me leonora why did you run from me she tossed tier her head what makes you think I 1 did 1 I do not think I 1 know you turned up this street to avoid me leonora why if you thought that that I 1 wanted to bobe left alone rhyd yo you u follow roeme the roanman lifted his hands palms hiim uppermost per most and let them fall you know I 1 love you I 1 make no secret of that I 1 have told you how many times ahundred yes liishis enunciation grew more rapid and you are not indifferent to me you never said so but I 1 know oiloh I 1 like you sou all right no more than that too much to wish to hurt me Is it not so why I 1 dont want to hurt you of course but if youve got to know I 1 was in a hurry ive got a date and im i late 1 to and I 1 am detaining you forgive me butlet me go with you a little way the girl shot hunted glances right and left then since nothing in sight promised diversion said ungraciously nobody can stop your walking with me nobody but you leonora one word one word from me and do exactly as you please with a nervous laugh oh come along slie she turnedback walking hastily the he man marlomario falling in at tier her side id just as leave youyon come all the way you do not wish roeme to know where yougo ilehe noddedsober confirma- tionof an unuttered guess 1 I see 11 you see a terribleloll 1011 lot tile the girl had a spasm of irritation youre always seeing things well what aliat do you see now you go to meet those others ot liers his tonewas sad those whom I 1 have so often boggedbegged ouon guess its my business who my friends are certainly you eive meno right to makeitmine that cannot affect the truth that such associations are unwise maybe im best judge of that too leonora why pretend to me deceive yourself if you must and mn an but not me not one wholoves you as I 1 do do not attempt it even it Is so useless with a courtesy the more gratifying because it was so novel mario put his hand underher arm lightly piloting tier her through the human mazes of the brawling braNI ing street which they crossed squarely and quickly left behind after a little ittle while being in the wrong slieshesaid sulkily 1 I dont see why youre always making out im trying in to put something over on oil you I 1 never promisedpremised true but you know what these friendsof youra your sare are and their ways whither they lead their inevitable end you know if you persist your fate must be as theirs 1 I buess guess u hats good enough for my friends is goodenough for rne no leonora you are too good for or that or I 1 could not love you the roanman paused and ills his hold of on tier her arm drew tile the girl to an unwilling pause with nith him midway down a dark deadblockof industrial buildings with a window less wall besidethem and not in a soul nearby to hear the girl was distressed more than a little humbled in tierlier own esteem by this revelation ree ladon of an affection more enduring and Le generous nerous and frank than any shehad ever knain 1 I am not a common man 11 alario was stating s simple fact innocent of conceit 1 I know tile world outside tin one yu y u know and the men and wom- enen who ave vo in it t where I 1 go I 1 look about me and reflect on what I 1 ii see I 1 am seldom mist mistakendLen in 11 those who interest me and you allom I 1 love I 1 tellfell you jou ire are no more of this ufalife than 1 I and you do arto a wrong thing n 11 wicked lindand cruel thing ailen you trample down that which Is good iu in ion rind night might brin bring 1 you to a splendid destiny impressed in tilte of ber herself self 1 and flattered too she s io looked uneasily away t twisting her or hands together tier her tongue faltering 1 I FUJI suppose 1 POe aou ou know what you mean Tor tomorrow lo morrow you winwill marry me and we will go avay I 1 7 T 0 B N tonta N ll 11 LD new ship lines A report alrow braell ss sv s that lint new lines are cociu iati fe be twedell ItIl italian liall tind ara I 1 fulan ports dont let HIP li of our belg betbors s olry you uleythey nathl do worse rn in i

Clipped from
  1. The Roosevelt Standard,
  2. 26 Jan 1921, Wed,
  3. Page 6

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