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-CL. 20 MASON CITY GLOBE-GAZETTE FEBRUARY 24 HI 1931 MAD LAUGHTER D BY O3TTMM, MIESS AMOdXTIOW--CQl'imOUT, 11 A THRILLING MYSTERY STORY * by MILES BURTON RE.vD THIS FIRST i After the theft of the famous Hardway diamonds and Inspector Brooks la killed, Sir Edrlc Conway, police commissioner, puts his young friend, Dick Penhampton, who Is in love with pretty Alison YVeather- lelgh, on the trail. Disguised as Captain Blackwoodt, a down and outer, Dick gets a job from a gang lender known as the Funny Toff, who Dick does not see, hut hears his maniacal laughter. His first mission Is to a deserted house at midnight, where he discovers the dead body of a crook named Herrldge, who 'originally stole the jewels: One of the diamonds has been placed on the man's breast, Dick again hears the frightful laughter of his unseen employer. Dick realizes that whoever placed the diamonds for him to find must have kriown of his own connection \ylth the necklace. NOW GO ON WITH THE STORY CHAPTER 18 Dick felt a sudden wave of shame at the realization. His puerile attempts at amateur detection had teen as transparent as glass to the hrain which directed the gang;. His assumption of the disguise of Captain Blackwood, his 'futile lurking- in the unsavory heart of Walworth, had been to his adversary as an open hook. His identity was known, his motives were patently revealed. But why had he been afforded this grim warning? How was it that some other victim, rather than himself, lay on the table in that sinister house ? Here mystery. was yet another His adversary had won the first round! of that there could be no question. Yet, while still under the horror of his recent experience, Dick was not intimidated. He had picked up the wrong weapons, that was all. It remained to discard them and to choose others, for he had no intention of abandoning- the struggle. But he must first see Sir Edric. At Barking he was Jucky enough to fall in with a lorry driver, who gave him a lift as far as Mile End. From there he walked thru the city and along the embankment to Whitehall, wondering how he should approach his friend. No time Â·was to he lost, he knew well enough. He had no wish to walk into Scotland Yard and blurt out his story. For one thing, he had nothing on him by which to prove his identity, and he was under no delusions as to the curious figure he cut. At last he decided to enter a telephone "call box and ring up Sir Edric at his flat. Fortunately, he was a widower and lived alone. Besides, Dick reflected that an assistant commissioner of police must be accustomed to be rung up at all hours, even before dawn on Sunday morning. He put his idea iato practice, and was rewarded by the sound of .Sir Edric's brisk and alert voice. "Dick Penhampton?" he replied, Â·without a trace of surprise. "Yes, come along at once. I'll let you in. No, don't apologize. I'm used to turning 1 out at any time." In a few minutes Dick had .reached the flat In Whitehall Court. Sir Edric admitted him, and could not restrain an exclamation of astonishment at his appearance. But he asked no questions, and merely led Dick into the dining room, where he lighted the fire and poured out a stiff measure of brandy. "Here you are, drink this and take off your wet clothes," he said. "I'll lend you a dressing- gown and you can slip it on while T make a cup of tea. You'd rather I didn't disturb the household." He disappeared, to return in a few minutes bearing a steaming pot of tea, "I can't work in the morning till I've had my tea/' he said cheerfully. "And, by the look of you, you won't be any the worse for something warm. Now then, if ready, let's have the yarn." you're Dick hesitated. In this comfortable room, in the presence of his matter-of-fact friend, it seemed as If the night's experiences had been some horrible nightmare. As much to reassure himself as anything else, he put his hand in his pocket and produced the diamond, which he laid on the table. It sparkled In the blaze of the electric light, splendid and iridescent. Sir Edric glanced at it, and then looked intently at Dick. "Well?" he asked. "That is one of the smaller and less valuable stones from the Hard- v/ay necklace," replied Dick. . Sir Edrlc -oicked it up and examined it with" interest. "There is/no doubt of that, I suppose?" he inquired. "None whatever," replied Dick positively. "In an amateur sort of way, I am a bit of an expert In Wapping?" inquired Dick eagerly. Sir Edrlc nodded. "That is tne man," he replied gravely. "None of us have ever seen him, to our knowledge. But, for the last ten years or so, whenever there has been a mystery which we could not solve, a crime of which we could not detect the perpetrator, we have come across traces of him in the course of out investigations. We knew nothing of nim for a long time, we believed that he was not an individual, but merely a sign adopted by the members of one of the criminal gangs.. We possess nothing by which to identify him, no finger-prints, no footmarks, no tangible evidence of his existence. So far he has completely eluded us." "But how do you know of him, then?" asked Dick. i "By a word dropped here and there," replied Sir Edric. "We know that a directing mind exists, which engineers the details of many curious crimes. So much we have extorted from the tools who have fallen Into our hands. But never have we succeeded in persuading any of these tools to give us the slightest clew as to his identity. He has established a regular reign of terror among the criminal classes, any member of which would rather undergo the utmost penalty of the law than inform against him. Personally, I believe that they know very little more about him than we do ourselves. The only characteristic that has ever been described to us is his laugh." Dick shuddered. "Ugh, I can hear it still! 1 ' he exclaimed. "What is the man's name? \ "His real name?" replied Sir Edric. "That I would give a good deal to know. The underworld has christened him from his laugh, and we have 1 adopted the nickname." "And that is?" suggested Dick. "The Funny Toff," replied Eir Edric gravely. * * Â» Inspector Pollard was struggling with a theory. Struggling was, in fact, the only word which adequately expressed his frame of niind. On the one hand, the theory was so ridiculous that no sane man could be expected to accept it. On the other hand, the few facts which he was able to discover tended to confirm it. Pollard was a thoroly domesticated man. He had a wife and two children and was the owner of a very nice little house in Clapham. His hours off duty he spent in the bosom of his family, slippers on his feet, pipe in his mouth and the latest detective story in his hand. He loved detective stories. Having little or no imagination himself, he had a supreme contempt for that attribute as an aid to detective work. The charm of the crime novel was, to him, in the wide gulf it displayed between fact and fiction. From the first, he had been secretly disgusted at -being put in charge of the Hard way case. Had the matter begun and ended with the disappearance of the necklace, he would not have minded. But the' murder of his friend Brooks had enormously complicated matters. Brooks had been murdered as the result of incautious inquiry into the burglary. Surely to take on his job was the business of an unmarried man, of which there were plenty in the forcei It would be highly unpleasant for his family if he were to share Brooks' fate. Not that Pollard was in any sense a coward. He was merely cautious. If it became necessary, he would risk his life as fearlessly as any of his colleagues. But he had resolved that, if he could help it, it would not become necessary. His plan was not to enter into a personal duel with his adversary, but draw the net tighter and tighter round him until he could be landed stones, well." and I knew the necklace "Where did you find It?" asked Sir Edric. . "Lying on the body of a dead man," replied Dick. "Listen, and I'll tell you the whole story." He was as good as his word, and gave a careful account of nis doings from the time of his first visit to the Margate Jetty to his discovery of the body on the table. Sir Edric HstPned attentively, putting in a question here ard there, and maHng notes of names and places on a sheet of paper. He sat for some moments In silence, after Dick had finished, and then laughed shortly. "I ought, I suppose, to read you a lecture on usurping the functions of the police," ne said. "You know. Dick, the amateur detective Is usually an infernal nuisance, and always ends up giving us more trouble than he's worth. But, in this case, I won't deny that you ve been useful. Ever since I saw poor Brooks' body in that packing-case, I have suspected the agency at the bottom of it all, and you've confirmed my suspicions. You have without risk. (TO BE CONTINUED.) Many Changes Made by Leland Farmers L E L A N D , Feb. 24.--Change: March 1 are as follows: N. D. Hal verson will leave the Bick Connor farm west.of Leland and go to the Sperring place west of Neils. Mr and Mrs. Irving Langerud will go t the Connor farm. C. H. Peterson who also lives west of here, retiree from farming and his son, Hiran Peterson and family, will move to Ihe home place and live with Mr and Mrs. C. H. Peterson. Ole Aker son will come from Forest City t live on the Ohma farm the Peter sons leave. Andrew Solomonson goe: from a farm north of town to i farm near Scarville vacated by A W. Anderson who has moved to 0 T. Ambroson's farm near Lelanc Hjalmar Carlson comes from nea Scarville to the farm Mr. Solomon son left. Christ Olson and Jame Hermanson go to farms near Laki Mills and Mr. and Mrs. Gisle John son will go to the Langerude farrr vacated by Mr. Hermanson. Goorg H. Anderson's will move to a farm north of Thompson and the plac the Andersons leave will be occu pied by Mr. Hellickson and family Oscar Trytten and family hav come from Emmons, Minn., to liv on the Llefson farm west of her that was occupied by Henry Rlerso and family who have moved to place near Forest City. Mr. Mrs. R. A. Carlson and aon leave the Carlson homestead and g to Mrs. McLean's farm southeast o here that Joseph Flugum and fam l!y leave to go to the Flugum home stead north of here. | It is regrettable that Woodrov ! Wilson could not have lived to sc been in the presence of a/ man who I Gandhi in India emerging victor! is the greatest criminal mystery of I oua on the ground that he is "too modern times." I proud to fight."--Detroit Free "The man I zr.et 'a Creek Street, J Pre-a. MUGGS HcGINN25 /-* A UNCUE. tANKW ' HE \ WANTS A NEW PAIR OF SUOES ^ L Size TWELVE. !'. WHAT COLOR. t0 VA HE'D LIKE -- BLACK OR BROWM ? KMOVV To MATCH A MAHOGOMV DESK 1 . BETTER GIVE. HIA/V. BROWM X Uncle Danny's Color Scheme Copyright. 1931. by Central *63 Association, Inc. \ STARTING TO TUEW N\E NICE AGAIN- I DONT 1 KNOW WHETHER I OUGHT TO GE.T HER A NECKLACE OR A. OOCTOR I'VE. BEEN THINKINq ABOUT THE._HAPPV DAY5 \VHESj "YOU WERE. COURTING BRIMS ME PLOWERS AND CAMDV XDU ALWAYS SAID YOU WERE. UNWORTHY OP -THAT YOU WERE. NOT FIT TO Tit. N\Y Â·5H06.-UACBS I USED TO THINK IT WAS BLNRNE.-V-BUT NOW I REALIZE XOU YVER ABSOLUTELV RIGHT YeS CfeRTAMei OUTFITS -15 JÂ«S A KSS MODEL W TOOAS - SO MUCH AQOUT THEN-CAN GET-STATION I.OL NOW 7 Bur WAT GOIMGTO PEGSOH AT THEATRE. THAT5 A MIGHT! SET-- Playing Safe By Paul Robinson VOO Oo / / These Obliging Drivers TV-CIS IS A HECÂ«OF A MOTE.! HOOSE is POLL OP BIR.D3 AN' IP I TRV TO 3G THS^'L-l- GET OUTl MAV8E T OOMWIE5 CHA-SlM''eNA'ROOMO Â·SUMPV IM HIS HAMD! (Ts THE CELLAR AM' HE'^-HES TnvitO'TO Â·SALT ON THEIR. T^MUS.! AuJ, HIE EVER. CATCH'EM THAT UJAV. 1 OOHTA BE HELP)W.' UIHILU IKE-MS I I KNOUJ Â·SHOULD COOR.K. FIND O-5SOR.M AT HE'S GOT THE V/EEV THKJG. FOR. SORT OF COOR.K- AM t DONT C^\UE GO IM TO HELP VMR.OUGW TW E UJ I W OOUJ .' By Leslie Forgrave WELL., SWIFTY, HOW tO VOU LIKE THE. OCEAM? WE BEEW OKI THE. OCEAM A DAY AMD A MIGHT ALREADY-- AMD "S8g^i3 YOU CAM'T \ EVEM SEE. THE PltR. J NET/ V^ V. GEE WHILLIPERS, I KMOW IT/ Peering Toward Africa Copyright. 1931. by Central Press Association, Inc.*.