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f Jv-^iir 22 MASON CI7Y GLOBE-GAZETTE FEBRUARY 19 1931 MAD LAUGHTER ; . .__,_.. ,, . *4J"-t;AStD or L??.-TKA[,rncnAuauATi A THRILLING MYSTERY STORY by MILES BURTON BEAD THIS FIRST: Young Dick Perihampton, fricn of the assistant police eommisslonc Sir JEMric Conway, is put on the tra 'of'tbe famous Hardway diamonds stolen by Thomas Herridge, afte Inspector Brooks' dead body ha been delivered in a packing case t Sir Edric. Disguised as a down-anil outer, Dick wins tho confidence o several suspects. He Is looking for a job and the gang tells their boss who sends for Dick. He is Inter viewed In a darkened room by a man he cannot see and who tentatively hires him. NOW GO ON WITH THE STOIll CHAPTER 14 The voice broke off in a peal o: laughter, so sinister that Dick's blood ran cold at the sound of it It echoed thru the rooms, sardonic and terrible, like the laughter 01 flemons In the nethermost pit. And then, just as Dick had reached the limit of endurance, it ceased as abruptly as it had begun. "That's only just by way of warning," continued i the voice. "If you bear that in mind, I think you may possibly do. You will receive further instructions in due course. When you get them, you will carry them out at once, and without question. Now, take a couple of steps forward, until you come to the table. Put your hand on it, and you will find your first week's pay in advance." Dick did as he was told. The top of the table was sticky with filth beneath his touch. He fumbled about on it in the darkness, until his fingers came to a packet of notes, which he put in his pocket. "Now!" exclaimed the voice. "Go back and sponge on that friend of yours in Walworth until I want you." ' Without a word, Dick turned and groped his way towards the door. He reached it, and found his way into the passage. Suddenly, behind him, the blood-curdling laughter rang' out again, pea! after peal, threatening him, mocking his povv- erlessness. He almost ran to the door of the house and slammed it behind him. But he could not rid his ears of the sound. All the way back to Walworth it rang in his head, above the roar and rattle of the traffic. Jerry answered his knock and admitted him. "Anything wrong, sir?" he asked anxiously when they were safely in the back kitchen. "You look a bit upset, sir, if you'll forgive the liberty." Dick shuddered. "I've heard the devil's laugh in hell," he replied shortly. * * Â« Mellin Street was all very well in its way, but the amenities of tha back kitchen scarcely provided sufficient occupation for Dick's restless , mind. He bad put his hand" to the Â·'Â·'Â·plough, and, altho he confessed to himself that he had been shaken * by his adventure in Wappfng, ho had no intention of abandoning his quest. Besides, the very fact that the unknown man had paid him for a week in advance seemed to prove that he would receive a further summons from him. He took the notes out of his pocket and examined them closely. There were five of them, all old and crumpled and it was obvious that they had been so long in circulation that there was no hope of tracing them. All he could do was to wait. He fidgeted about the,back kitchen, with ill-concealed impatientce, until about one o'clock. Then, since no message had come for him, he announced to Jerry his intention of going out. "I shall be back this evening before six," he said. "If anybody comes to see me before then, you can take the message or tell them to come back. I can't stop here doing nothing." Dick left the house, took a tube at t"^Â» White Eelcphant and Castle and got out at Charing Cross, where he hailed a taxi and told the man to drive to his rooms. He felt pretty certain that he had not been followed. Even supposing that the gang ,with which he had got in touch desired to keep him under observation, they were scarcely likely to run the risk of tracking: him across London. Nor did he see any one who could recognize him as he hurried into the house. , His first action was to go into his dressing-room and discard the shabby garments of Captain Blackwood. He had divested himself of these, and was engaged in selecting an attire more suitable to the fastidious Dick Penhampton, when there came a peremptory knock on the outer door. Dick swore under his breath. This was an infernal nuisance. He wtv's supposed to he out of town,and he was not at all anxious for any of his inquisitive friends to discover his whereabouts. His first impulse was not to answer the door, in the hope that the caller would abandon his attempt. But then it struck him that whoever it was might have seen him drive up in the taxi! On :','.e whole, it would be better to let him in and concoct some story to account for his sudden return. He slipped on a dressing-gown and opened the door. On the threshold stood an apologetic little man, in a jowler hat and a thick overcoat. He ooked as tho he had called about the rent, or some such prosaic mater. But, since the door was open, here was no other course but to let iim in. "Come inside," said Dick abruptly. 'I've only a moment or two to pare--" "I am very sorry to trouble you, tfr. Penhampton," said the man, as e followed Dick into the room. "I vould not have called, had I known hat it was an Inconvenient time." He proffered a card, which Dick T lanced at in astonishment. It bore tie words:, "Detective-Inspector 'ollard, C. I. D." "Sit down, Inspector," said Dick, ather more quietly. "Your'e lucky o catch me. I've only come up to own for an hour or two. What can do for you?" "I am investigating the case of ady Hardway's diamonds, sir," relied Pollard. "The unfortunate eath of Inspector Brooks has left s ignorant of certain essential acts and the Assistant Commis- oner told me that I could apply to ou for a few particulars." "I'll tell you what- I can, of ourse," said Dick. "But wouldn't i t ' e better for you to go to Wood- ! ridge Square and see Lord and; ady Hardway? They know more : bout the business than I do." "Well, it's like this, you see, sir," eplied Pollard. "As you know, In- pector Brooks made full inquiries he' day after, the burglary. If I were to repeat these inquiries, his ordship might become Impatient. He is not at present aware of the death of Inspector Brooks." "I see," said Dick with a smile. 'Well, fire away, Inspector, I'll ans- ver any questions I can." Pollard made a few inquiries as o the safe and the occupants of the ibuse in Woodbridge Square, to vhich Dick replied to the best of his xbility. Pollard thanked him, and hen, taking out a note-book and :cil, handed them to Dick. There's one thing more, sir," he aid. "You are familiar with the np- earance of the necklace, I suppose? t would be of the greatest help to lie if you would draw a rough ketch of it." "I'm not much of a draughtsman, 'm afraid," replied Dick, as he took he book. "It was something like his." He sat down, and in a few minutes produced a very creditable ketch of the missing' necklace, which 'Pollard studied with a look f admiration. "I did not hope for anything as good as this, sir," he laid. "I'm sure I'm very grateful to 'ou. Now I don't think that I need vaste your time anv further." (TO BE CONTINUED.) FORLORN FIGURES By CLIFFORD McBRIDE High powered ad writer for cereal com- pny ties to persuade junior to eat his breakfast rood. MUGGS McGINNIS GOTTA C~OA\E OVER ANO SAY X IN ON IT-OR ill SET A SPAKSKlM'-TH'GROCER JUST CALLED SISTER Up 1 .! , ILL HELP OUT AMD THE(v\ "60 5oT HELP M* in -T WASKiT fepyright. IBS^hy^Cenlial Tress THE POOR OLD R/VoC/V- 5OPER.STITIOUS - c; HOSTS -HE UETTER- DOV/W K REAÂ° THIS. LETTED FROM MIKE DAl_KlHERVT- HEl COP MOVED OR JUMPED OFF OF -TABUS- By VlcManus 1331. lm-1 Foa.ure EervJce. I l Britain rtEhu KEEP XOUR MOUTHS OR Hi. JOMP RIGHT Dovw Xouc. THEOWS/ SA\O OH TVte SAKE TI6I-D - U.TO O O T K r [O 3WOVJO OFF Â« Her Plan Misfired 61EL Pt Nice, eox OF-5rpiTioNeRV WITH HEIH_ OM IT 7 -- v)e-LU fÂ«.\H-T (T WHILS. VoO TGWice.'.' voa E5 IT FILL urn IN EFFotarr Tree. Him PINO No Wedding Bells Today SAID HE U3AMTED US To THE. LOT ATOMCE. HE'S CSOT A FUNVJV LOOK 'BOOT HIS EVE Tv-lA.T L\K6. NJOUJ LUKV CODLONJ'T ME L.E.T US TAK. BIRD5 WE Old ' BOOT Ti-l/^T M(\M UUHOS BOOOV HI'S B\ROS. AT HE TA.UKED ACOFOL A. LOT OF WE HAD TO SELL.. THE \XJHO1_E LOT OF TOMORROUJ SO 1 EVERVTH1MS t5 ALL RIHT. UJE GUOCrvLL AlOO A QUA.RTER FROM ' OOTOP- BIRDS. 1 kNOWJ HE HAD on. POOR, 'CAOS r EIM. LET OS MA\/E 'EM ? MO.-3IR) Food for Thot Copyrijht, 1031. by Central IVÂ«sÂ» Association. Ire MV DEAR CHAPR1E., you HAVE THE WRONG CONCEPTION OP AFRICA T HAS OF INHABITANTS.' DOES THAT GIVE YOU A CLEARER 7 IDEA OF THE COUNTRY? VE.S, SIR, AFRICA SURE MUST BE A BIS LARGER THAN THE ENJTIRE UNITED STATES/ SURH. UNDERSTAND ABOUT IT, NJOW ' BV56ER THAN THIS ,, TOWN ? Clear as Mud Copyright, 193J, by Centra) Press Association. Inc.