Page 14 article text (OCR)
14 MASON CITY GLOBE-GAZETTE MAD LAUGHTER . _,. . . tinausra BY C*=*TIIAI. riuss assoaATKW.'-oos-xnioHT. jiÂ» , A THRILLING AAYSTERY STORY + by MILES BURTON BEAD THIS FIRST: Dick Penhaniptoii, friend of as Slstant police commissioner, Sir EC Tie Comvay,' is put on the trail o the stolen Hardway diamonds, ntte Inspector Brooks has been klllec Disguised as a down-and-outcr, Dick wins the confidence of several sus nests, Ee is looking for a job am the gang tells their boss, who send 2or Dick. He is interviewed In n darkened room by a man who ten iatively hires him. As he is leaving the man who he cannot see, break into a frightful laugh. Dick is in lovi with Alison Weatherleigh and ht does not tell her of his dangerous work. Arriving homo Dick is asked to draw a picture of the Hnrdwa-j diamond necklace for Inspector Pollard, a Scotland Yard officer who is working independently,on the case. Dick gets back Into his disguise as Captain Blackwood and returns to Jerry, his companion The gang leader sends Dick a map with a, place marked on it and notifies him to be there at 11:30 p. m, NOW GO ON WITH THE STORY, CHAPTER 17. This ruined house must be the place marked on the map, and, after a moment's hesitation, Dick set off along the wall towards it. As he drew nearer, he could see that tt had once been a four-roomed cottage, built probably for the accommodation of the wharf keeper. But it had long fallen into disuse. The glass had disappeared from the windows, the roof showed ugly gaps where the slates had slipped and fallen. At last Dick stood looking down upon it. But not a gleam of light greeted him, not a sound disturbed the grave-like silence of the marshes. Dick clambered down the sloping lide of the sea-wall, arid walked round the house to the gap where the front door had been. With a shudder of distaste he entered. It was utterly dark within; a darkness charged with the heavy stench of the gases from the refuse heaps, which seemed to have collected here thru the ages. A furtive scuttling sounded ail round him,"and he wondered vaguely what even rats coultj find to live on in this barren spot. And at regular intervals the beams of the beacon shone thru the yawn- Ing window 'frame, casting a faint, ghostly radiance on slimy floor and reeking walls. He took out his torch and threw its rays rapidly round the room. It was bare, empty, stripped of everything that turns a mass of bricks and mortar into a home. But there was a doorwa'y leading- ; n to a second room, and thru this Dick passed. He fancied that his torch was nearly exhausted; he had called upon it too frequently during his journey from -Â·-Raicow station. The dim light of the bEacon was enough to guide hirh thru the doorway and to show him at intervals the faint outline of this second room. It, too, was empty, save for something, ill-defined in the intermittent glow, standing in the center of the "floor. But, as the light of the beacon showed for a second or two before expiring Into complete blackness, it fell upon a point, which reflected the beam like an eye of fire. , Dicit stepped cautiously towards the object, his hand outstretched, before him. His groping fingers fe!t the outlines of a table, then, moving upwards, encountered something- which made him leap backwards with a half-suppressed cry of terror. In trembling haste he fumbled for his torch once more, and threw its rays upon the table. Upon it lay, rigid with the horror of vio- -lent death, the body of a man, and on his breast, sparkling with lurid beauty, was a diamond, which Dick recognized as having been torn from the Hardway necklace. * * * Dick stood rooted to the spot with horror. His whole soul clamored for flight, to escape from this terrible place, from that awful stretch ed-ou; form, with the diamond gleaming upon it like some malignant talisman. But his muscles refused to act, he was unable to do more than stand there, trembling violently, the light of the torch, held in his shak- ing'hand, causing strange shadows to play across the ghastly face, until it seemed to mock his terror. i The utter silence fell upon him like a pall, till his ears rang with a thousand imagined voices. He fancied that he heard whispering all about him, hoarse threatening whispers as of hidden men creeping towards him stealthily. And then, above the whispers, he imagined the echo of a laugh, a cruel scarce-human laugh, running up and down the scale with a menace whicn seemed to freeze his blood. How long he stood there he could not tell. At last with a sudden shuddering gasp, a rude awakening into consciousness, he stretched out nis Â·hand and grasped the diamond. Then, with faltering steps, he groped his way out of the house and clambered once more on to the sum mit of the sea-wall. After the horror from which he nad escaped, even the dismal, sulphur-laden atmosphere of tha marshes seemed to him fresh and invigorating. A vessel was coming slowly up the river and he gazerl eagerly, at her lights. They seemed to him the emblem of clean healthy life, an evidence that he was again in a world of honest human endeavor. Even the melancholy beacon, casting its pallid rays over the black water, seemed to him a symbol of hope. He made his way back along tha rain-sodden road, forcing his minti from the contemplation of the ruined house and its awful occupant. He must decide upon his course of action, and that at once. The day when he had so lightly embarked upon his mission seemed far away. He had been brot face to face witli tragedy, a stern reminder that he could no longer play the half-scornful role which he had assumed. Kainham station was dark and deserted; the last train had passtU thru, and, unless he watied fo many hours, there was no prospect, of reaching London by the railway. But he could not face the prospect of waiting. He was in a fever of excitement, and he felt that whatever was to be done, must be done at once. For a moment he thot of finding the nearest policeman and informing him of his discovery. But he reflected that this would lead to further delay, possibly to his own detention. No, there was only one man to whom he could unfold the whole story--Sir Edric Conway. .Resolutely he set out to walk to Barking, six miles perhaps on the road to London. He calculated that would arrive there about three o'clock in the morning, and altho it was unlikely that trains would be running at that hour, there was at least the possibility of findin.s; some vehicle in which to complete his journey. N And as he walked, his mind aecame clearer and he was able to consider the significance of his experience. The first and most obvious fact vhich struck him was that he had een given a terrible warning. There was very little doubt that he lad been sent to the lonely house n order that he might see for him- elf the fate that overtook those ivho opposed the wishes of the unknown man. He could form no idea 5f whom the victim had been, in this nstance. The man's features, dis- orted in death, had, been utterly trange to him. He retained the vi- ion of a slight, athletic-looking orm, dressed in the garments of an ast-end worker. The man's clothes .ad been sodden with water, treams of which had trickled down he legs of the table on to the floor. his might have been accounted for y the long exposure to the rain. ;ut from the appearance of the nan's face, Dick imagined that he ad met his end by drowning.-Dick shuddered as he pictured the cene. Some recalcitrant member of he gang-, no doubt, lured to that onely spot as he himself had been. Xnd then a sudden attack, a brief truggle, and then the wretched man, gagged and bound, no doubt, flung into the 'black water that eddied beneath the rotten piles of the abandoned wharf. A few minutes of iilence, broken only perhaps by a itrangling 1 gasp, and then the re- lovery of the body, that it might lerve as an awful warning. Dick's magination drew for him a vivirt licture of it lying in that lonely -oom, and with a cold thrill of hor- -or he remembered the scuffling of he rats-This would never- do. He must iull himself together and concen- rate upon some less fearful aspect f the matter, if he wished to retain u's reason. The diamond! Why had hat been left there, to glitter evilly upon the dead man'a breast? It ould not be sheer coincidence that ne of the Hardway diamonds, the ibject of his quest, had fallen in nis vay in this dramatic manner. It had een placed there to emphasize the varning-, to show him that the earch for the remainder of the ecklace could have only one end, so ar as he waa concerned. With a shock he realized that, iÂ£ his were the case, two other facts vere indicated. The first' was that he unknown man, with whom he iad almost by 'accident got into ouch, if not actually the present ossessor of the necklace, had at east the disposal of it. This was carcely helpful, since he had not. he slightest clew to the unknown nan's identity, and was pretty cer- ain that a search of the house in 2reek Street would fail to reveal ny traces of him. The second fact vas far more disturbing. Whoever laced the diamond for him to find must have known of his own con- ection with the necklace 1 . (TO BE CONTINUED) MUGGS FEBRUARY gÂ£J 1931 Bilgie Loses Caste By Waily Bishop Bringin UP ' Father By McMamis Etta Kelt What I'd Call a Mean Trick! By Paul Robinson Higli Pressure Pete Or a Plumber By Swan Big Sistar Get Some Salt THE STAINLESS WASHINGTON II. 1.. TENNEV, We think of Washington As ^one Who was not bought or sold For gold. He would not sacrifice For price. He stands With uncorrupted hands. No blot IB on this patriot. Man of integrity Was he. Today We need men who will say, "I will not cringe or cower, For power." For what they know is right They fight. Then mean To .keep their conscience clean. IMymoilth, lott'ft. -No trust will they betray For pay, Nor sell, Nor barter principle. They'll not Their name or record blot For bribes, Or fear of others' bribes. They stand For best things in the land. And stress The life of righteousness. To youth They're patterns of the truth We need such men, I say, Today, May men like Washington Come on. Strong: will our nation be, And free. Bv Leslie Forgrave Swifty Mrs. Van Rhyne Joins the Party By Verd WAT Ttt' BlLGIE? YA. LooKS KlMOA ' T1C ^ / ^ 1 A-^nir-x It SbSU BILSIE WWAT'S ' u SUICIDE i = 'S ALL THERE LEFT Â»'SlJCÂ»DIE. 11 M,WWAJ WAS'THE bOSUeST @UY IM 'O COME ' SUAME. = AM ^ Copyright. 1031, by Central Press Associalion Inc NEEDLES AND RMS -NEEDLES AND PINS - I HAV/E. A. TERRIBLE. EARACHE AND rAAGGiE HAS A. CATE. WITH HER --- SINGING TEACHER IVW3G1E WONT SING TO-NIGHT- TViERE. GOES WASHINGTON S FAREWELL Â· ADDRESS LOoT THAT PIECE oj= PAPER WITH MY SINGING TEACHER^ MR. WASHINGTON'S, ADORES? ON VT IF t CANT FIND IT 1 I BEFORE. SHE FINDS IT I HOPE. WE. NEVER FIND IT 0 f T ' \ Â© 1331. lnl-1 Feature Service. Inc.. Crcal Drilam fiElit rescued J HEVLO, MISS KETT ? I WAMrTOSpeAclii EARS IDSAi' LETS DUCK IN V.6T ON MAN - HUH !.'? - AÂ»D TEU-XOUR. OLD HE SHC M300HD rlt'LL GET TVIE D\C*i'S STRuC.GLE' (3UGGX IN FRONT Of" ETT7S5 TO WC3 FATHER-- VJEU. GET HIM OUT" OF BSD- HEUO SAN wvvws TOE IDEA OF THAT- U fTue VAfAP'OF A DAUGHtER- OF FOUR'S M SON OJT TILL THIS SHE is A *.'frrAV3Â» OW.XEAH? i \A!ELL SAME W \ TONCO." |j! FJWW HRNK fONT ^EMO OS RfML-(?OPiD Fp,v?e-ve U)Â£ "POUT ft?on -StPvC-T SOMniMO OUR. new \ uKe. MECK. 1-7 05 VOU Â·' -5HQOV.O GO o O? \.BP-- "DQ.p,\M T?V Pi eU^NfSCtH--- P\NO ^ O,'THER.Â£5 BUDDY BAC1K. ALREADY. DOM'T COKE (N, J DON'T OPEW THE: VOUL.L CXD IT THAT . UJE MU5T CALM CC'-GM ANJDTHINJÂ« OP A 3EE CUHATT TOOVe. I YOU'VE LET ALL. THOSE uoo5e IMTHE . 1 UJKATEVE.R CUIL.L nJd DO YOU'VE C3C7T7A GET BACK VER. ! OR.THEBlRO-5'Lt- ALL = YOU CAWT Oopynplit, J93], (y Central Press PLEASE OOM'T FEELW VOU'LL BE SO BAD- I'LL BE // LOOKIMS OUT AFTER HER ?? 6REAT SCOTT" fk OH,FLO- I TO-SEE VOU SO --I'LL BE so WORRlEP '- ABOUT VOU I THERE-THERE, MOTHER-- OOM'T CARRY OM SO! SAV- LAODIE. DO SAY SOMETrilMS TO MRS.VAM RHVNE TO REASSURE HER-- VdlTH MISS FLO EVERV Ml MUTE. IM AFRlCA,LOOrlM' OUT AFTER HER HE GIANT LIMER WHICH IS TO POOR MRS; VAN RHYNE./ AMD HIS FRIENDS TO THE BI6 GAME HUNT, is TLJGGIMG AT THE. LIMES. 1M A FEW MOMEMTS THE PARTY WILL BE OM THE WAY - TO AFRICA.