The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on September 18, 1895 · Page 6
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 6

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Algona, Iowa
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Wednesday, September 18, 1895
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KfcPUHMCAN, Al^OM ICOPtniOHT. J894.1 CHAPTER i.—WOMAN'S wtL&s. Whcw-w-w-w! how the wind blew! How it swept along the Kentish fields, driving the snow <—•>--"- ...K«=*U«into drifts, whistling a little way out of Dover, off the high road ovef the cliffs? He decided on the latter course. Df. Lowe was not a man who kept early through the bare brunches of the trees, and hurrying the black clouds along in the lowering 1 sky! The mail train was speeding along to Dover, and the passengers, blinking out of the windows, shrugged their shoulders and shivered at the prospect before them. "If it's like this inland," said one prosperous-looking old gentleman, tucked up in rug's in the corner of a first-class compartment, to his opposite neighbor, "what will it be like at Do-, ver? Ten to one the boat won't cross to-nSffht!" At "the further end of the carriage a young man was sitting, who seemed much disturbed by this remark. "Do you really think so?" he asked anxiously, joining in the talk for the first timV.' "It takes a great deal to stop the mail boat." The first speaker replied with the calm and pompous assurance of an experienced traveler. "Well, and what do you call 'a great deal,' if you haven't got it there?" And he pointed with his finger to the snow-covered landscape just as a fresh blast came howling round the flying train, covering the window with thick white sheet of driving snow. The young man looked more anxious than ever. He was a clerk in the em ploy of a firm of stock brokers, and hac teen intrusted for the first time with a duty of great importance. He was the bearer of a large amount of negotiable securities which, for safety, it wa thought advisable to send by hand and he had to deliver them in Paris on the following day. When the train stopped at Dover station, therefore, George Llewellyn, for that was the young fellow's name, was among the first of the passengers to spring on to the platform, and to ask eagerly whether the mail boat was going to cross, hours, and George, who rememberect in what direction the house lay although he had not been there since his boyhood, decided that he would be able to spot where there were crossfcads, and where he should have to take the toad on his right to get down into the village, where Dr. Lowe's house stood. The crossroads were at the highest point of the neighborhood, and George could scarcely keep his feet, much less choose Ins way as he approached it. Just before he reached the turning he came to a fair-Sized house of only two stories, shut in by a garden in- closed by a high wall. Just as George got under shelter of the Wall, a door in the middle opened, and out of the darkness the voice of the girl he had just met spoke to him: "You will never find you? way into the village through this snow. Won't you come inside the house until it lias left off a little?" George stopped. He could hardly see the girl's pretty face in the darkness and the blinding snow; but the voice Was alluring in its sweetness, and the temptation to look once more .Upon such exceptional beauty as hers de- esctts'6. Cided him. Thank you. It is very good of you, '{UK DETKCT1YK CAMK f! TO HIM. to-night. "No, sir. She won't cross The storm's too high," was the disap- •pointin" answer of the official. T levellyn; however, would not give r r- V neat once. He had no luggage bin Hid hand bag, and ho waited about, refusing all offers of the porters to carry it for him, and made further inquiries, in the vain hope of at length hearing better news. At last he became aware that something about him had made him an object of suspicion to two men whom, by their boots, he guessed to be detectives; and as, recognizing this, he was about to leave the station, one of these men came up to him very quietly and _ quested him to step into the superintendent's office. Llewellyn saw that H was best to comply quietly, and, on finding himself shut in with the detective and a couple of policemen in uniform, he gave at once the fullest details as to his name, his residence, his place of emr-ioyment, and his present errand, He also gave up his keys, so that the detective v.Mild inspect the documents he was c- .-ing. The exu.aiaation lasted a very few moments. "Quite right, sir, thank you," said the man, touching his hat with a smile, "and now you must excuse me for hav* ing detained you, but we've just had a wire telling us to be on the lookout for two well-known thieves, a man and a woman, who are supposed to have oome down by this train with a number of stolen securities. So you see, sir, although it was a bad shot in one way to suspect you, on the other it was a good one, for you were traveling with securities, although they didn't happen to bo stolen ones." George Llewellyn accepted the apol* oo-y and explanation good-huinoredly and asked if it was by order of the police that the boat was stopped. "Oh. no, sir. The weather's re' reach it in an hour, allowing for the state of the weather. It was by this time twenty-five minutes past ten o'clock, and the snow was falling less thickly. It did occur to Llewellyn that the expedition had its risks, considering the value of the property he was carrying, but on the other hand a night spent at a hotel vas not without its dangers in the cir- umstanccs. So George, who was -oung, tall, muscular, and provided vith a revolver, started on his way hrough the town. He could hear the roar of the waves as they broke upon the beach; he had to fight against the wind when he reached the corner of the street. But on the whole the walk, for a strong young man, had its pleasures, for the snow had ceased to be blinding, and battle with the wind stirs young blood into pleasurable excitement. In a very short time he had got clear of the town, and was on the high road in the open country. Here the snow impeded his progress more than he had expected; for there was nothing in this high bleak spot to check the caprices of the wind, which swept almost bare great patches of the open land, and swirled the snow into heaps in unexpected places. It was a lonely walk enough, and George began to be puzzled as to whether he was keeping the right way. There were so few hedges or trees, and the featureless character of the country made it easy for the snow to blurr its outlines until they were quite undistinguishable. He felt rather relieved when ne caught the sound of human voices. He waited, as they seemed to be behind him. He heard them again in the roar of the wind. He hailed the unseen persons but then the voices ceased. He presently went on again until he was startled to see in the darkness between him and the sea the dim out lines of two figures keeping pace witl him at a little distance. He hailed them again, and the figures promptly vanished. Without giving way to any cowardly fears George began to wish that he had been more discreet and that he had stayed at a hotel. There was nothing to do now, however, but to go forward as quickly and carefully as he could, for more than two-thirds of the distance must have been traversed by this time. Unfortunately, however, soon after this incident he lost his way, hopelessly, undeniably. He found himself floundering, knee-deep, in snow, over something which might be a freshly-plowed field or which might be the ruins of a house, but which was certainly not the open road. After a few fruitless struggles to o-et on firmer ground George nn-ain caught sight, a little way to the left this time, of two figures, which he perceived to be those of a man and a woman. Just at the moment of his discerning them the figures parted, that of the man disappearing t..^ fiow while the woman held on JLA*M"J"*» 4 /*^* — •• " 4. n • i, very good of you, indeed. If I am not intruding, I shall indeed be glad to ac- kind offer for a few min- cept your utes." HE CAME TO A FAIR-SIZED UOUSE. She stepped nimbly back, opening the door for him. He passed through on to a stone-flagged path, which led, under cover all the way, to a deep porch, under which the lamplight streamed brightly and invitingly through the open door. The curtains of a large window on the right of the porch were drawn; but those on the left were stall open, and allowed George to see into a dining- room made cozy by the shaded light of lamps, and by the glow of a bright excuaD . . u ^ be noted thdt his nig vague suspicions had melted suddenly in the glow of her beauty and of her gracious, smiling manner. "1 thank you, I don't knoW how to thank you enough," he stammered, already wavering in his intention of going on; "but I really ought not to take advantage of you* kindness. The fa6t is 1 am traveling with some valuable securities—" „»*.*..« A sort of sickness seised George When he got as far as this, and made him suddenly stop, tfor as soon as he men« tioned the securities he saw a flash of light on his hostess* face. As he paused, she took up his speech for him, "If you have anything of much value about you, that is all the more reasoti why you should not stumble about blindly in the snow, as you were doing when I first met you." And she stepped out quickly from the dining-room into the hall, drew him inside the house by an unexpected movement of a strong arm, and closed the front door behind him before he had recovered from the amazement into which the rapidity and decisiveness of the movements had thrown him. "Really, I must beg you to let me go on now," said he, in a low voice, as he made a strong effort to pull himself together, and to resist the pressure which he knew she was going to put upon him to stay. "And I must beg you to be more reasonable, and not to reject the good fortune the gods send, just because it happens to be offered by a stranger. "I am afraid 1 must seem ungracious—" said George quickly, as he put his hand upon the handle of the door. But she, laughing rather nervously, turned the big key in the lock, and pulling it out in quite a leisurely manner, thrust it into her pocket, and sprang, almost at one bound, back to the dining-room door. "If you say no to a woman, you know," she said as she once more invited him, by a gesture, to enter, ' she finds some way of circumventing you after all." CIIAPTEB U.—MAN'S REVENGE. The young man felt himself torn as if by sharp thorns, with keen feelings, of passionate attraction, of repulsion as keen, and by a sense of imminent danger. He followed the girl into the dining-room, holding his bag with a firm hand, and looked at 'her with an expression which caused the blood to rush to her face, and her eyes to droop suddenly. The table was between them, for she was standing by the fireplace at the opposite end of the room, leaning wall, as you may have seen, as a protection from the gales .we feel here so terribly.',' Without answering George put up his hand to throw back the catch of the window. - , < - • "Oh!" cried she, in a higher key; "you are not obliged to go but that way* tf you will take a glass of wine to make amends for you? doubts of my hospitality, t Will open the door fo* you immediately." , Without waiting for an answer she left the room, and returned in a very feW moments With a decanter of wine* which she placed upon the table. \Vith- out heeding the fact that he had opened the window, and was evidently on the point of making his escape by that way, she poured out a glass of wine, and offered it to him with her own hand, coming round the table and holding st close to him. "Yoti won't refuse, Will you? George, with one searching look into why, Llewellyn, Why, what her face,' took the glass, and put his lips to the Wine. Then he put the glass, with a firm hand, down on the table. ., . "You must excuse me," said he, shortly. "This wine is drugged." She Was very near to him as he spoke. The next moment she had snatched the bag from his hand and sprung to the door. In the second Which followed the seizure she had got such a good start that she was able to slam the door in his face as he pursued her. By the time he had opened the door she had reached the extreme end of the long, narrow hall which ran through the house from the front to the-back, and was pointing a revolver at him as he darted after her. If you follow me,. I'll Ore," she ihrieked word died ftw&y *#o*» his lips, as the elderly gentleman, starting and stating at him in his Infra, suddenly exclaimed: ,. "Little Geofgie! Henry Llewellyns fion, by all that's marvelous! why, What's this? George little George turned thief! does it mean?" George had by this time grown accustomed to the sudden change froM the darkness outside to the light of the room, and he staggered in amazement against the table. ' , "boctor-Dr. Lowe!" he exclaimed hoarsely. "Was it—Was it your datigh- tei* that took my bag afad-^atid shot ine?'* ., There Was a moment's pause, during Which the girl, with a cry, and a look of horror, sank dowtt into a ehaif, with a deadly white face. The doctof took off his glasses and Wiped them. "There has been some mistake, some desperate blunder!" said he, decidedly. • ,__^ . - * L 4 . . • at _a 1 *^ 4.1* !*» *-*rt 6*4- *-\* has this . sponsible for that," answered the man, in hi* head. "Though I don't say say more shaking hi* head. "Thoug it won't help us to have a little time to look around." And he opened the door, saluting George, respectfully as, the latter passed ° U Out in the little squalid street outside the station, with the wind whistling round the corners anil the snow awlting into a dirty, blush *t Ins .feet Llewellyn asked W«isel| w hat do- from view, while her way As she was evidently on firm ground, George made towards her at once, not ,lling out, lest he should frighten her. Before he came up with her, he saw, by her walk and by her figure, that she was young; and when he addressed her, saying that he had lost his way, she turned her head quickly, showed him that she was adorably pretty. So entirely was he thrown off his balance by the unexpected sight of such a lovely face, that he stopped short in the middle of his speech, and left her to answer a question which he had not finished asking, "You are on the high road—to St. Piacid's," she said, quickly. "Keep straight on." And then she glanced, with a sudden change of expression, at~the bag he was carrying. Before he could do more than raise his hat and thank her, she had hurried past him like a hare, with just one more look, penetrating, intelligent, from his face to the bag. in his hand. George remained for a moment stupe' fled; he stared at the retreating figure before him, and fancied he saw her turn, with a gesture of invitation to him to follow and catch her up. Act' in" on the impression, Iw started for? ward, and then there Hashed, into his mind the words used Vy the detective at the station: "Two well-known thieves, a man and u woman," had trav* eied clow" by the saino train as him.' self! lie was at onco ashamed of his momentary suspicion that the beauti* fui girl he had just spoken to could be anything but the angel sho looked; but her furtive and eager glances at his bag recurred again and again to his mind. The wind waa still blowing very hard, and the snow, which had for some tiiao almost ceased, began to fall again in givat Unites, bo that the landscape was BOOH entirely view fire. Ho caught glimpses of armor helmets, spears, shields, shining on a dark rich wall; and of flowers and sparkling silver on a white-covered table. , , , . George, who was half dazed by his struggle with the wind and by the action of the snow upon his eyes thought vaguely of the story of "Beauty and the Beast," as he stag gered up the stone path. There wa something mysterious, almost uncanny about the shut-in house and its curiously hospitable inhabitant, which made him change his mind as he realized it, and turn, with an excuse upon his lips, to go out again. At that moment he heard a key turned in the door by which he had come, and he knew in a moment that he had done wrong in entering. He made two rapid steps back, and was met by the yo\mg girl. "This way," she said, as, passing him quickly with a smile of invitation on her face, she led the way into the hall. He followed reluctantly, lured by the wish to see the attractive countenance in the full light, but resolving as he went that he would make an excuse to leave at once She went so quickly and he so slowly, that she had entered the dining room by the time George reached the hall. She held the door of the room invitingly open, and spoke again as he stood hat in hand, on the threshold of the house. 'Won't you take off your coat and shake the'snow off before you come in? against the mantelpiece in an attitude which showed off the lines of her fine figure to unstudied advantage against the red glow. Her blush, the womanly bend of her head at his look, caused a revulsion of feeling entirely in her fain the young man. And even as vor he gazed at her, bending a little forward to get a better view of her face by looking under the hanging oil lamp with its rod shade, he saw that her expression of modest shame .gave place to f _ _ , , a f . OT.AlAAlmrl 11 W "IF you FOLLOW ME I'LL FIRE. He attempted to follow, not. heeding the warning. Ping! Ping! He heard two shots, and felt himself hit m the right arm. Notwithstanding this, however, he darted after her. But he was too late. She disappeared through the door at the end of the hall, and he heard the key turn on the other side. He threw himself with all his force against the door, but with no result. Then, finding that he was wasting his time, he ran back to the dining-room, one of doubt, of fear. She looked up quickly, and their eyes met. In a moment he felt satisfied, as an older man would not have been, that the suspicions her strange conduct had aroused were unfounded. He heaved a sigh of relief. He felt so much, however, that he had to put a constraint upon himself which made his manner abrupt, and his voice harsh as he spoke. I must go now," he said, turning abruptly. "Open the door, please." He had turned his back to her, to avoid the strong influence he felt she had upon him. In the silence which followed his words, he heard her rapid and labored breathing. His doxibts awoke again. He even glanced sharply round, as if in doubt whether she was not approaching him with some sinister purpose. And he. saw that she had indeed come a little nearer, anc that her large gray eyes were wide with doubt and fear. . "Why do you wish to detain me?" he ssked, so sharply that she was taken aback, and gave a little forced laugh while she prepared an answer. "Surely that is a singular way of Then, when this storm has passed, you J Rck ~owiedging hospitality," said she, without looking at him, "to question . •» * * t_ * ^Z ^£ 14- will be able to start on your way again, quite dry." and leapt out of the window into the snow-covered flower border underneath. The snow was falling as fast as ever, and he sank in it inches deep as he looked for a way out. But he found that ho was caught in a trap indeed, for tho wall, which was ;oo high to climb, inclosed the house, with its stables and garden, the whole way round. Ho made for the wooden door in the wall by which he had first entered the premises, and as he did so, he trod upon something hard, which was lying in the path. Looking down, he saw, to his surprise, a bag, so thinly covered with snow that it had evidently only lain there a few seconds. ' With a momentary absurd hope that it might be the bag which had just been stolen from him, Llewellyn stooped down, picked it up, .and was about to examine it in the light from the dining-room window, when there suddenly broke upon his ear the sounds of human voices within the house. . And first of all he heard the voice of the girl who had robbed him. She was sobbing, and crying in a voice full of distress: I had to shoot him, "What were you doifig in this part of the World?" "Coming to see you," replied Lie* wellyn, promptly. "1 was to have c'rosscdto Calais to-night, with some securities which \ was taking for our firm to Paris. Finding that the boat couldn't cross, I thought! would find you out and ask you to give me a night s shelter. I lost my way, and— _ He was interrupted at this point by a moan of distress from the young girl, who burst into tears and hid her face in her hands. The doctor, who was by this time examining Llewellyn's arm, to see the extent of the harm done, smiled rather grimly into the young fellow's face. "My strong-minded daughter v brought herself into a nice mess time," said ho. The girl herself sprang up at these words and ran to the door. "Is he—have I—is he—badly hurt? she jerked out between her sobs. "Well, he won't die of it," answered the doctor, with a twinkle in his eye. George was so much excited and relieved by the discovery he had just made that he answered in a tone which showed him to be in the best of spirits: "It's nothing at all; it's a mere scratch, Miss Lowe. Please don't make yourself unhappy." The girl turned slowly round, re-'eal- ing a most woe-begone and grief- stricken countenance. She looked anxiously at her father, and seeing by the expression of his face that she had really not done much harm, she began to dry her tears, although she still carefully avoided meeting Llewellyn's GVGS. "My dear," said Dr. Lowe, "go into the surgery and get me the box where' I keep my bandages. I can finish this business here, for it won't take me a minute, and it's cold in there." As soon as his daughter had left the room, the old doctor burst into a fit of laughter. "I shall break her heart if she hears me laughing," said he, wiping his eyes. "Just now when I came m, by the back way, as I.usually .do at night, I-found her waiting fbr me, waving a black bag ana I'm so airaiu i uui-u mm* * ^,M.*-« help liking him all the time, and oh! it was dreadful, dreadful! And now I've got his bag I want you to find him, and do all you can for him. if he is really , .„• -^^—*Mi •• ^^tmmmff hurt!" f -&#&iv.-' i '' i:r '' AJIP CLOSEP BEHIND HJM. "I am deeply obliged to you for your kindness," said George, who was utterly bewildered by the situation in which he found himself, so that his words came haltingly from his tongue. Seen in the bright light of the lamp which hung from the ceiling, his unconventional hostess was even more beautiful than sh« had looked outside in the dark ness. She was tail and fair, with a figure more suggestive of strengti than is usual in young women, almost masculine, indeed, in its unpineh^d natural waist and rather square shoul ders, A massive young woman, with long white hands .and quick, lithe • and with # certain "Oh! papa, papa, * *.•..« .- -» ^—, . , v . t . and I'm so afraid I hurt him! I couldn't the motives of it. Out here in the country we are not like the people in towns, who look shyly and coldly upon strangers. On the contrary, we. offer them fire when they are cold, and light when they havelostthSk ™I' U J'?"' re *? suspicTousT why did you accept my direction as to the road you were to take?" »-" ""**••• •""*—., He paused before answering. It was not easy to tell her the reasons for the change in his attitude, although he could not but suppose that she knew ihera already, He had seen something of the world, and was not particularly diffident with any class of women, But there was something about this girl, an air of innate refinement, the iccent of a gentlewoman, a suggestion In her look and manner that she was playing a part for which she was not suited, which prevented bis put' ting upon her outrageous conduct the construction he unhesitatingly would have done in the case of another woman, '• •- . rT He was hopelessly puaaled, He that the room, comfortable as it was, was shabby aad worn as to furniture; that the girl's dress was severe in its mwenens, simplicity of manner which suggested blotted more djf thai eshe did not live the cribbed nawow Jife usual with the women the piddle classes. The very straig •f pfward sppntanei^y P! her welcome this stranger was what one would, h ejected of a man, rather than of young woman- But the freshness, the unexpected. ne sf Qf this was only another charm m from view ami Ucorgo fotjud more dif- n.es£ 0? W» W W *««?«»«*•.«•* v^-t «. fiSyth^verinkocping the wafl, the 4^0W«» <*..<&>*$* ^SSs Atiastho &kw-i i-Wo dark object in lie&u»4his heart heatmg fa?ter t MS, front oThim, %Yhioh W ho recognised, m UoRgue ttUttta*. as he>}«£«[ ftjWJ t£Sirt trw* wfcfoh "wfeea &at\$9fa.MA t Ji^. W^J* ^ «#$jg inexpensive simplicity; that the glass and silver whiph had looked so imposing from the outside were exceedingly old fashioned. He noted also that the was laid for two persons, An4, /, he remarked to himself upon the mot that since he entered he bad heard no sound indicating the presence jn, the hsuse of any person besides him self and his mysterious hostess. _ just as hp game to this, point in hi reflections, however, he saw in the lady's eyes a look which showed him that she was listening lor some sound outside, rather than waiting for the answer to hey question, Sphejnaide upW»HU»ar»pWywdv»: ly to tfes wis&pWji wfljgh. wfts, _a,poy| THE DOCTOR TOOK OFF HIS AND-WIPED THEM. in triumph over my head, and telling me she had caught a thief. And she was. so proud, poor child, of having inveigled you in here, and detained you so long. She said she was in an agony of fear, lest I should be late, and you would get away, bag and all." "But," asked George, when the doc> tor had finished another roar of laughter, "what made her take me for a thief? Surely a man may carry a bag without any dishonest intention?" "She's an operator at the telegraph office, and she was at the,instrument when a message came through to say ••• stolen securities • IT UP- George fclewellyn di4 not wait to hear more; he put his hand on the windowsill, and vaulted into the ropm, The relief he felt on discovering that he had now a roan to deal with was so great that, disregarding the faet that be was wounded, §nfl that the was trickling down through his he raised, his revolver awl turned the pewpomer. The young gir} screamed »ntl >r arms round her father'** n?9li l)u,t before another word was> BPJPS^P iorge Llewellyn's arm hart 4 l '°T " his side, and, fte S.IQQCI staring in jrraent, first §t' the' oJd jwsn at his daughter, For , V*'UeI fy VT*?'* T' 1 ' 'T '"*' r " T 7 f"«» "* v-y-™- —T^fHj ™ -» " - " r < 1 ' 1 m ^complies of tl^ves, JWY mty George stared foTamomea at the doctor, and then began It was annoying to have gone ,1, all the revulsions of feeling of the past hour for nothing, as it were. • "But what made her decide that/ must'be the thief?" asked he, "Well, she met a policeman on her way home, who told her that the tWevgs. had been seen to come in this ciirec* tion," V •/ Then George put a praot&al queewai < s , which betrayed the interest be fett ffi ( «J his fair captor! "And do you let that yowg girt w home py hersel* late at night over wild country?" . , ',,'-. Th§ 4petor shrugged his shoulders."She's as &elf*wttle<| fg gver sjj&fi§L pe, IB feofci SAP'S getting too Jnwft'ftB&g me," said Pr, kewe, with, a sig> ,,,-! ^ ~ "I meet her w the town wfcejp L J o&f'ff! fering J 16 ? J^ros* Bui the wait for me, and. re.a,sx>n to *pmm . jfor- jjQQ^mm 1 ^fcergo'that the niter rtwtart-itefc stenx&M. tawr awe

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