Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on November 1, 1897 · Page 6
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Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 6

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Logansport, Indiana
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Monday, November 1, 1897
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^^^P^ ^V^^ iB ^B ^^ AUTHOR. OF. ,-FKOn CUVEL TO ,"T7ie. LAND of me CHANSw<? "A MUTE. CCMF£S50R."- X ETC. £TC ETC. . 1597, BY WILL N.H$RBENi *• 'Q.., CHAPTER L Ml*i Hastings waked •with a start Bbe found herself trembling. She had »n idea that some unusual sound had roused hor. She sat Dp in bed to listen, Then she heard a voice. It was old Mr, Benton in his room adjoining hers. He was speaking in a lond, angry tone. Miss Hastings rose, thrnst her feet Into slippers and pnt on a wrapper. She was vaguely frightened and yet hardly knew why she should be so. She turned up the gas, which had been burning low, and approached the partition between her room and the old man's. Now she conld hear more distinctly. Mr. Beaton seemed to be an" Has- grily upbraiding some one. Miss tings opened the door leading into the corridor, and the voice of the old man became more distinct. "You are no child of mine from this day forth!" she heard him cry. "I shall disown you tomorrow I Get out of my sight I To think that you"— The door of Mr. Benton's room was •nddenly slammed, and Miss Hastings ehrank from the crack through which ehe had been peering. Then she heard footsteps pass her door and descend the front stairs. Miss Hastings sat down at her table, took up a book and tried to read, bnt found herself tnruirif,' page after page •without recalling a word she had read. She conld hear the heavy tread of the old man as he walked to and fro in hisi room. What had happened? What was about to happeu? What had been going on all thsit week between her friend Alice Benron aud her father? The old man had treated Arthur Montcastle, a guest like herself, very rudely aud had since been taking his meals in his own room to avoid meeting him. Besides this he had quarreled constantly with Alice and his sou Ralph about trifles bothering ever since Miss Hastings arrived, a week before. It had made her feel very uncoin- ' fortable, and she would have gotfe home ' but for her sympathy for Alice and the fact that Ralph had asked her to remain longer. Old Benton's walk had ended. Miss Hastings hoped he had gone to bed, but just as she was about to undress herself ehe heard his step and the rattling of his doorknob. He was leaving his room. Miss Hastings again peered cautiously into the corridor. She saw the old man, dressed as he had been all day, go into the laboratory which adjoined his room on the other side. Looking out on the lawn below, she saw a bright light streaming from the window of the laboratory and know that he had lighted the powerful electrio lamp which hung in the center of the 'room. Now and then she saw his gigantic shadow on the lawn as be moved about. What could he he doing there at aucli a late hour? She looked at her watch. It had run down aud stopped at 11, but she thought it was at least two hours later than that. Suddenly the light left the lawn. Then she heard Mr. Bentou close the door of the laboratory and descend the back stairs leading to the garden. Miss Hastings decided to go to hed. She was angry with herself for being 80 unreasonably nervous. She had unbuttoned her wrapper when— "Crack 1" It was a loud, clear report like that of a revolver. Miss Hastings' blood ran cold. She conquered an impulse to scream, deliberated a moment us she stood quivering in the center of the room, then jerked the old fashioned bell pull One minute, two, three, ten minutes passed. No one came to answer her ring, and there was nothing to indicate that the report had roused any one else in the house. Miss Hastings did not want to run the risk of making herself appear ridiculous in the eyes of the rest of the house party, so she began to try to persuade herself that the report was made by some explosive with which old Benton was experimenting. What could be more natural, since he was given to such Things and had just left his laboratory? She sat down and tried to calm herself by using her will power. Half an hour passed. It expanded slowly into an hour, and yet Mr. Benton had not returned to his room. Miss Hastings' fears were now increased tenfold. She was sure she had done wrong in not rousing tbo house at first. She drew the silken bollcord to the floor several times. Then, getting no re- spouse, she decided to vr:ike some one. Mr. Staur-'ood, a guest of the house, roomed across the corridor. She went to his door and rapped. She knew ho was sleeping soundly, for it was several minutes before she heard him risa He opened the door glightly. "Who is it?" he asked. "It's I, Mr. Stauwood—Miss Hastings," she explained apologetically. "I—I heard a lond report in the garden about an hour ago. It sounded like a revolver, and as Mr. Benton—Mr. Jacob Benton—went out about that time and has not returned I was afraid something might have happened to him, some burglar or"— "Oh, I presume not!" said the young man lightly. "It may have been some one shooting at cats. They have been noisy in the neighborhood lately." I—I don't think it was that," said th« yonng lady, "and really I am so have rung several times, but the servants seem not to have beard." "Oh, certainly!" exclaimed Stanwood. "I'll be ready in a minute. " She was waiting for him, her head enveloped in a shawl, when be emerged. "I believe I'll go down stairs with you," she said. "Tbe others must be up, for I think I heard voices outside. I don't like to be left alone up here." "You are nervous," replied Stanwood. "Come on, then; we'll soon clear it up." She followed him down the carpeted stairs into the large, dark hall below. He turned on the electric light. No one was in the library or the adjoining drawing room, but low voices were heard outside. Passing through the sitting room, which lay beyond the drawing room toward the rear, they met Mr. Montcastle and Miss Alice Benton entering at a door that opened on to a side veranda. Both of them were dressed as if they were prepared for a journey. "Hellol" cried Stanwood. "What's the trouble outside?" "Trouble?" echoed Montcastle. "I— I don't know. What do y-yon mean? The fact is, Miss Benton and I"~ His j words failed him. He fumbled with the buttons of his ukter and stared at them through the semidarkness. Miss Benton leaned on his arm, put her handkerchief to her face and was silent. "The report of the revolver, or explosion, or whatever it was, in the garden, "said Stanwood. "Didn't yon hear it?" "No," cried Alice, uncovering her face. "What—who heard it?" "I did," answered Miss Hastings. "It must have been an hour ago. It Rounded as if it came from the garden down toward tbe north walk." "It may have been nothing worth about," said Stanwood. "Hello.'" cried Stanwood. "What's trouble outsider' "Montcastle and I will go down and look around if you will remain here." For a moment no one spoke as they all followed Stauwood out into the yard through the door by which Montcastle and Miss Benton had just entered. "Come on, Montcastle," proposed Stanwood. "We might as well investigate and have done with it." "Ob, no; don't leave us!" cried Miss Benton, leaning on Miss Hastings. "I am afraid I am going to faint. Something has happened." A window sash was raised in Ralph Benton's room up stairs, and he looked out. What's the matter down there?" he asked. "Oh, brother, something must have happened in the garden!" replied Miss Benton. "Agnes heard the report of a revolver." "Agnes—Miss Hastings must have made a mistake," said the young man slowly. "When did you hear it?" "About an hour ago," replied Miss Hastings. She was wondering why his voice sounded so strange to her. Wake papa," Alice Beuton called up to him, ' 'and come down. The gentlemen are going to search the grounds. Oh, I wish we didn't live so far out! I haven't seen a policeman near here in a month." The window sash fell with a crash. Ralph Bentou had disappeared. Your father," Miss Hastings explained to- her friend, "went down the back stairs just before I heard the report. He has not returned, and that is the reason I became so anxious." "About an hour ago, did you say?" asked Alice Beuton. "I luink it was about that rime." Miss Benton looked at Monrcastle. "Did you see him?" she asked. "I thought perhaps"— "The governor is not in his room or in the laboratory," Ralph interrupted as he came across the veranda. He wore a light overcoat with upturned collar, j and the rest of his attire bore evidence i of his having hastily dressed. i "Miss Hastings thinks the report ! came from the direction of the north j walk," said Stanwood. "It is no use j looking elsewhere just now. Come on, j Benton. Leave Montcastle with the I ladies." j The last words came from the speaker ; after he had disappeared in the shrub- j bery among the shadows of the tall i i trees. I Ralph made a step or two in the same J direction. Then he seemed to change his Miss Hastings, who was looking at him wonderingly, saw him rest his bands on the edge of the basin and look down in to the water. Presently he stood erect, turned and slowly came back toward them. Just then they heard a startled whistle from Stajwood. Ralph paused while yet awarel yards from the others. "9e must have made a discovery of ioiae sort," he said. "I say, Stanwood, wb-wbat's the matter?" Miss Hastings noticed that his voice seemed to break when he raised it in calling to Stanwood. "Gentlemen, I think you'd better come down here," came in a guarded tone from the searcher. "Oh, no! Don't leave us'."cried Alice Benton. "I cannot bear it." "What Is it, Stanwood?" asked Ralph. "The ladies refuge to be left alone." Stanwood came out of the shrubbery. "Something awful has happened," fee said, looking at Misa Benton. "Be prepared"— "Father!" gasped Miss Benton. Stanwood hesitated and glanced qnes- tioningly atj Ralph. "Out with it," said Ralph, turning his face toward the house. "I found your father," said Stanwood, "He has been murdered." "Are yon sure it was he?" asked Ralph. "Quite sure. He is lying under the large oak in the middle of the north walk." Miss Benton's head eanfc to Miss Hastings' shoulder, and she uttered a low moan. Suddenly she raised her head and stared at Montcastle queation- ingly. "I don't believe it," said Montcastle. "I shall go and see." "Hold on I" The command came from Ralph. "I presume Stanwood knows what he ig talking about. We most be careful »nd not do anything which would stand in the way of police investigations. Many a valuable clew has been lost by too many people being on the spot before detectives arrive. We will notify the authorities at once. He'll have to lie where he is till"— "Oh, brother," protested Miss Benton, "can't yon have him brought into the house?" "He is quite right," Montcastle put in. "If your father is dead, it would not help matters to move him. Tou ladies ought to go in." "Oh," cried Alice, "I cannot bear to think of it, and yon and I"— "Hush!" interrupted Montcastle in a cautious whisper. "Remember your promise." He drew her arm into his and started toward the house. The whispered warning escaped Miss Hastings, for .Ralph was telling Stanwood what ought to be done. Stanwood agreed to stand guard at the end of the north walk, while Ralph escorted Miss Hastings to the house and informed the police. "You see," Ralph explained, "I want the thing sifted to the bottom in tho best possible way. I—I want to know who did it and bring the criminal to juatica Am I not right, Stanwood?" "Quite," returned Stanwood. "I presume you will employ Minard Hendricks. He is wonderful. Nothing escapes him. " Ralph hesitated. Miss Hastings saw a strange expression cross his sallow face. "I—I don't know," he stammered. "Of course—well, I presume the police will know if it is necessary. " "I should have Hendricks by aH means," Stanwood advised. "I see by the papers that he is in the city. He is undoubtedly the finest detective in America." Ralph gave his arm to Miss Hastings. "All right," said he, "if the police think it necessary. I—I don't want anything left undone." nervous that I should be very grateful : mind and instead walked down to the if you would get up and see about it I • fountain in the center of the grounds. ] CHAPTER II. At 3 o'clock that morning Minard Hendricks, the detective, called at the apartments of his friend, Dr. Lampkin, the hypnotic physician. He roused the janitor and went hastily up to his friend's bedroom. "Wake up, old man!" he called out as he rapped loudly. The doctor opened the door and looked into the dimly lighted corridor. "Oh, it's you, eh? What's up? Is the house afire?" "You are funny when yon are only half asleep, " Hendricks jested. ""Let me in. We mustn't wake the entire block. Yon were yelling at the top of your lungs." "Was I? Your loud rapping made me think the building was tumbling down. " Hendricks entered and closed the door after him. "Why, it must be — what time is it?" asked the doctor, fumbling among the bric-a-brac on the mantelpiece for a match. Three o'clock," answered the detective. ' 'Put on your clothes. I want your assistance again." "What's up?" "Another murder." "Where?" "East Orange, N. J. It's only half an hour from here. I want to catch the irst train on the other side; boat leaves pretty soon." Dr. Lampkin began dressing hurriedly. "Who's the victim?" "Old Jacob Benton, a wealthy inventor. You've seen his name mentioned in connection with electric experiments and photographic improvements. That's all I know about him. My information was in the shape of a telegram from the chief of police over there I understand Benton was having a sort of house party, and there will be a good many people to take in all at once. You have helped me often with your impressions of character. I seem to be lacking in that sort of judgment. What I gee is always through external evidence." "Bosh! I can't help yon in the least" "Get into those duds," said Hendricks. "I have no time to argue with you. If it hadn't been for you hypnotiz- ing 'WhiabJ in the Strong murder case, I never should have Rot on to the track of Farleigh. You are too modest, my friend. You are a gold mine." Dr. Lampkin darted into a curtained alcove and presently reappeared fully dressed. "I'm ready," he §aid. "I'd rather watch you unravel a skein of tangled circumstances than to hypnotize millionaires at a fortune a sitting, and if I can help send your euphonious name on down to posterity and up to prosperity as a great and shi"— "Let up!" Hendricks cautioned as he took hold of tbe door latch. "Don't let the entire building know we are out after game. We might be troubled with a score of reporters over there." Tney succeeded in catching the desired boat and train and in half an hour were approaching the Benton homestead in the outskirts of East Orange. It was a great, two storied brick building, with a gothic roof and an L. In front was a wide, well kept lawn, and behind stretched quite an extensive piece of woodland. Hendricka waved his hand toward the rear. "A good, bang up place for a killing," he said, as if talking to himself. "It happened outsicie of tbe house, then?" said Lampkin. "So my telegram tells me, and back there." The gray of early morning was just beginning to show a suggestion of yellow. The dew upon the grass looked hard and white like frost From the street the two men could see that the front part of the house was lighted. They had reached a small gate opening into the central walk, that led to the front door, and Lampkin pnt out his hand to open it "Wait," Baid Hendricks, his broad brow wrinkling thoughtfully. "The carriage gate down there at tbe corner of tbe lot shows indications of not having been closed caref ally. The gardener who has kept this lawn and shrubbery in such perfect trim would not go to bed leaving a gate like that." "You have the eye of an eagle," laughed Lampkin. "Come on," said the detective, leading his companion down the sidewalk to tbe gate mentioned. He stood for a moment critically studying the walk and tbe gutter at the edge of the street; then, he smacked bis lips thoughtfully and opened the gate. "I thought you usually went directly to the scene of a murder and traced developments from there," remarked the doctor. "I make a habit of never allowing a thing to pass me till I see a logical reason for it," Hendricks responded. Then Lampkin heard him utter a low exclamation as he bent close to tbe drive and carefully sighted over the surface of the grass to the house. ' 'I say, doctor," he said in a tona of satisfaction, "do you see nothing in the appearance of that grass worth noting?" Dr. Lampkin imitated the detective in stooping and sighting over the lawn, and then, with a smile of defeat, said: "I must acknowledge I do not. lam not a cow or a horse, and therefore"— Hendricks interrupted him with a good humored laugh. "Don't you see that the dew glistens white and silvery like a broad sheet of frost over the lawn?" "Of course. That's plain enough." "Well, don't yon see two vague parallel lines about five feet apart, where the dew has been disturbed, leading from this point to the front door?" "Yes, I do now—carriage wheels or a wagon." Hendricks stooped and examined the grass, plucking blades of it and holding them close to his eyes. "Hansom cab," he said, drawing himself up, "and rubber tired." "How do you know that?" asked the doctor. ' "Iron tires would have bruised the grass. I can tell it was a hansom because the tracks were made by a two wheeler. Four wheels would have left four tracks where the cab turned on to the drive right here." "I see," exclaimed Lampkin in a tone of admiration. "What do you make of it?" "Anote,"said Hendricks. He smiled at the very weakness of his joke, but his smile immediately gave place to a serious, studious expression. "Whoever it was drove in that way." Hendricks indicated the same sort of "Oh, it's you, eht What's up?" tracks along the fence.which curved toward tbe house near the center walk. "I can see that by the way the horse's hoofs were turned. The driver came in on the grass and went out on it to avoid making any more sound than was necessary. " "Yon think so?" said the doctor in wonder. "Yes," Hendricks returned. "Yon see, fresh sand has been put on the drive, and cab wheels would make a crunching sound on it." "That's a fact, at any rate," replied tbe doctor. "Come em," said Hendricks, starting across the lawn betwesa the cab tracks he had first pointed out "I see something up there." He was several yards in advance of the doctor and suddenly stooped and began to examine something oa the ground. Wf/eri Lampkin came up to him, he saw that it was a notebook bound in calf. Hendricks stood up, leaving the book on tbe grass. "I presume,"he said, smiling, "that you would pick it up at once, doctor— that is, if you wanted to know what it contained." "Why not?" asked Lampkin, "Because it is not my method. It must be done with a good deal of care." Bendricks picked it up cautiously and turned it over. "See," he said, "it is wet on the under side and comparatively dry on the side that was uppermost." "I notice that," said Lampkin. "It was dropped several hours after the dew had begun to fall; otherwise it would have been dry beneath and wet on top Presumably it fell from tbe cab, since we find it between the tracks of tbe cab, which went out after the dew had fallen. " "It looks that way, " said Lampkin, "but it would never have occurred to me to think of it." Eendricks held the book toward the light in the east and examined the cover. "I see a monogram here," he said, "'A. M.' We must find out to whom it belongs." He turned the pages. They were all blank, and the book contained nothing except a clipping from a newspaper, which had been thrust into a pocket inside the cover. ' 'The owner of it evidently left here in a cab some time last night," said the detective as they started on. As they netred the house a man and a woman oatue from r,he hall on to the verauda. The latter was wiping her eyes, and the man was evidently trying to console her. "Daughter of the murdered man or a gneet," muttered Hendricks. Reaching the step*, the detective removed his hat and bowed. His studious glance wa« on Montcastle rather than on Miss Benton when be epoke. "Minard Hendricks is my name," be said. "I have been notified by the police that my services as a detective might be needed, and I came out aa quickly as possible." The girl released the arm of her companion and approached the edge of the veranda, "I am glad yon came," she said. "It was my father. I am Miss Benton. Two policemen are out there waiting for you. This is Mr. Arthur Montcastle." Hendricks extended his hand to AToutcastle. "I picked up something belonging to you, Mr. Montcastle," he said, showing the notebook. Montcastle stared first at tbe book and then at Heudricks without replying. "You dropped it from your hansom as you drove across the lawn last night," continued the detective. Montcastle and Miss Benton glanced at each other inquiringly. It seemed to Lampkin that a look of vexation crossed the face of the former. "I—I suppose it is mine, "said Montcastle. "Let me see it. " Hendricks deliberately put it into his pocket. "Excuse me," he said. "I should like to keep it a little while." "You are welcome to it," said Montcastle. It seemed to tbo doctor that he spoke in a certain tone of defiance as he turned into the hall and disappeared. "I presume you want to see the spot," said Miss Benton. "You ranst go round the house that way and then down the last walk on the north side." (TO BE CONTINUED.] PACKING FLOWERS. How to Send Blossoms to Tour Friend* In Good Condition. To begin, with, they should be gathered with discretion, only flowers just out or still in bud being chosen, and they should on no. account be picked when either wet with rain or dew or when still warm with the sun's rays. To be sent off in a state of heat is even worse for them than moisture. All superfluous green, too, should be removed from their stalks, as it only crowds up precious space and will not be needed at tbe other end, as the foliage only discolors the water in the vases and causes the flowers to decay quicker than anything else. The stem of each flower should be enveloped in a little cotton wool that has been previously wetted (the cheapest, unbleached kind is all that is necessary), and then they should be packed in their receptacle with sufficient firmness to prevent them being shaken, a,nd after a layer of dry cotton wool has been laid right across them another slightly dampened should be added. Some flowers are naturally better travelers than others. Sweet peas, primroses, forgetmenots, poppies and all plants cf the honeysuckle or azalea nature are doubtful, even when every precaution ha,s been taken, and pelargoniums and geraniums, except doable varieties, are useless for sending by post, but carnations, roses (in bud), pinks, wallflowers, stocks or mignonette all travel splendidly, especially carnations, which have a wonderful power of doing without water and can well be worn for & whole day without drooping. The flowers should, of course, be unpacked immediately, and when all the cotton wool has been removed their stems should be slightly snipped and each flower placed in a basin of hot, not wanp, water for a few minutes, where one can actually watch it reviving instantaneously. They may afterward be arranged in their vases of clear, cold •water, and it will certainly be difficult to detect them from flowers brought straight in from the garden. An Aged couple were recently at Newburs, Wig. 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