The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on November 27, 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, November 27, 1895
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,Mf StOTp&fif. his cMfi M* Idofeed hope note, but tK8ffe wfts " " As he spoke, there came a swift pattering of naked feet upon the stairs, a clatter of high voices, and in rushed a dozen dirty and ragged little street- Arabs. There was some show of discipline among them, despite their tu- inultuous entry, for they instantly <lrew up in line and stood facing Us with expectant faces. One of their number, taller and older than the others, stood forward with an air of lounging superiority which was very funny in such a disreputable little scarecrow. "Got your message, sir." said he, "and brought 'em on sharp Three bob and a tanner for tickets." "Here you are," said Holmes, producing some silver. "In future they can report to you, Wiggins, and you to me. I cannot have the house invaded in this way. However, it is just as well that you should all hear the instructions. I want to find the whereabouts of a steam launch called the Aurora,, owner Mordecai Smith, black with two red streaks, funnel black with a white band. She is down the river somewhere. I want one boy to bo at -Mor- •decai Smith's landing-stage opposite Millbank to say if the boat comes back. You must divide it out among yourselves, and do both banks thoroughly. Let me know the moment you have news, is that all clear?" ,' "Yes, guv'nor," said Wiggins. "The old scale of pay, and a guinea to the boy who finds the boat. Here's ! a day in advance. Now off you go!" He handed them a shilling each, and away they buzzed down the stairs, and I saw them a moment later streaming .down the street. , "If the launch is above water they will find her," said Holmes, as he rose from the table and lit his pipe. "They can go everywhere, .see everything, -overhear everyone I expect to hear before evening that they have spotted her. In the meanwhile,, we can do nothing but a wait results. We cannot pick up the broken trail until we find either the Aurora or 'Mr Mordecai Smith. ' "Toby could eat these scraps, 1 dare say. Are you going to bed. Holmes'?" ^ I ."No; I am not tired. I have a curi- • ous constitution. 1 never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely I am going to smoke and to think over this queer business to which my fair client has introduced us. If ever man had an easy task, this df ours ought to be. Wooden-legged men are not so common, but the other man must, I should think, be absolutely unique." : •'.'That other man again!" i "I have no wish to make a mystery of him—to you, anyway. But you must have formed your own opinion. Now, do consider the data. Diminutive footmarks, toes never fettered by boots, naked feet, stone-headed wooden mace, great agility, small poisoned darts. What do you make of all this?" "A savage!" 1 exclaimed. "Perhaps one of those Indians who were sociatesof Jonathan Small." "Hardly that," said he. "When first 1 saw signs of strange weapons 1 was inclined to think so; but the remarkable character of tho footmarks caused me to reconsider my views. Some of the inhabitants of the Indian peninsula are small men. but none could have left such marks as that. The Hindoo proper has long and thin feet. The sandal-wearing Mohammedan has the great toe well separated from tho others, because the thong is commonly passed between. These little darts, too, could only be shot in one way, They are from a blowpipe. Now, then, where are we to find our savage?" "South American," I hazarded. He stretched his hand up and took down a bulky volume from the shelf. •"This is tho first volume of a gazeteer which is now being published. It may 'be looked upon as the very latest authority. What have we here? 'Andaman islands, situated three hundred and forty miles to the north of Sumatra, in the bay of Bengal.' Hum! hum! What's all this? .Moist climate, coral reefs, sharks, Port Blair, convict barracks, Rutland island, cotton woods —ah, here we are. 'The aborigines of the Andaman islands may perhaps -claim the distinction of being the smallest race upon this earth, though some anthropologists prefer the Bushmen of Africa, the Digger Indians of America and the Terra del Fuegians. The average height is rather below four feet, although many full-grown »dults may be found who are very much smaller than this. They are a fierce, morose and intractable people, though capable of forming most devoted friendships when their confidence has once been gained.' Mark that, Watson Now, then, listen to this; 'They are naturally hideous, havins 1 larjre. misshapen heads, small, fierce eyes, and distorted features. Their feet and hands, however, are remarkably small. Wo intractable and fierce arc they that all the efforts of the British officials have failed to win them over in any degree. They have always been a terror to shipwrecked crews, braining the survivors with their stone-headed clubs, or shooting them with their poisoned arrows. These massacres are invariably concluded by u ounnibal feast. 1 Nice, Amiublo people, Wutbon! If this follow had been left to his own unaided devices thN affair jjjigh.t Jmv<T taken an wore ghastly '$iirn, ., I, fancy that, as it is, Jc>nuj.h$i i u good deal uofrtb "But how came he to have so singular a companion?" "Ah, tnat is more than t can tell. Since, however, we had already determined that Small had come from the Andamans, it is not so very wonderful that this islander should be withjiim. No doubt we shall know all about it in time. Look here, Watson; you look regularly done. Lie down there ott the sofa, and see if 1 can put you to sleep." He took up his violin from the corner, and as I stretched myself oiit he began to play some low, dreamy, melodious ali^-hi's own, no doubt, for he had a remarkable gift for improvisation. I have a vague remembrance of his gaunt limbs, his earnest face, and the rise and fall of his bow. Then I seemed to be floated peacefully away upon a soft sea of sound, until I found myself in dreamland, with the sweet i'nee of Mary Morstan looking down upon me. CliAPTBR IX. A IJUKAK IN THE CHAIN. It was late in the afternoon before I woke, strengthened and refreshed. Sherlock Holmes still sut exactly as I had left him, save that he had laid aside his violin and was deep in a book. He'looked across at me as I stirred, and I noticed that his face was dark and troubled. "You have slept soundly," he said. I feared that our talk would wake you." "I heard nothing," 1 answered. "Have you had fresh news, then?" "Unfortunately, no. 1 confess that I am surprised and disappointed. I expected something definite by this time. Wiggins haw just been up to report. He says that no trace can be found of the launch It is a provoking check, for every hour is (if importance." "Can 'l do anything? I am perfectly fresh now, and quite ready for another night's outing." "No; we can do nothing. We can only wait. If we go ourselves, the message might come in our absence, and delay be caused. You can do what you willi but I must remain on guard." "Then I shall run over to Camberwell and call upon Mrs. Cecil Forrester. She asked me to, yesterday." "On Mrs. Cecil Forrester?" asked Holmes, with the twinkle of a smile in his eyes. "Well, of course, on Miss Morstan too. They were anxious to hear what happened." I would not tull them too much," said Holmes. 'Women are never to be entirely trusted—not the best of them." I did riot pause to argue- over this atrocious sentiment "I shall be back in an hour or two." 1 remarked. "All right! Good luck! But. 1 say, if you are crossing the river you may as well return Toby, for I don't think it is at all likely that w.e,shall have any use for him now.'' 1 took our mongrel accordingly, and left him, together, with a hall sovereign at the old naturalist's in Pinchin lane. At Carnbenvell 1 found Miss Morstau a "1 suppose that Mr. She*lot& MoIiStea has gone out," 1 said to Mrs. ttttdfeoft as she fc&me tip to lower the blinds. "No, sir. He has gone to his fjyom, sir. Go you know, sit," sinking he? voice Into an impressive whisfsef , "1 &tfl afraid f of his health?" Why so, Mrs. Hudson?*' Well, he's that strange, si*. After you Was gone he walked afid he walked, up and dowbj and ii£ atid down, until 1 was weary of the e&ttttd of his footstep.. Then 1 heard him talking 1 to himself atul muttering, and every time the bell rang out he came on the stair-head with: 'What ia that, Mrs. Hudson?' And now he has Slammed of? to his room, but 1 eftti hear him walking away the same as ever. 1 hope he's not going to be ill, sir, I ventured to say some thing to him about cooling medicine, but lie turnedfOU me, sir, with such a look that 1 dptt't know how 1 ever got out of the room," "1 don't think that you have any cause to be uneasy, Mrs. Hudson," I answered. "I have seen, him like this before. lie has some small matter upon his mind which makes him restless." I tried to speak lightly to our worthy landlady, but I was myself somewhat Uneasy when, through the long night, 1 stilf from time to time heard the dull sound of his tread, and knew how his keen spirit was ^chafing against this involuntary inaction. At breakfast time he looked worn and haggard, with a little fleck of feverish color upon either cheek. "You are knocking yourself up, old man," I remarked. "I heard you marching about in the night." ' "No, I could not sleep," he answered. "This infernal problem is consuming me. It is too much to bo balked by so •petty an obstacle, when all else had been overcome. I know the men, the launch, everything; and yet I can get no news. I have set other agencies at work, and used every means at my disposal. The whole river has been searched on either side, but there is no nev,-s, nor has Mrs. Smith 'heard of her husband. I shall come to the conclusion soon that they have scuttled the craft But there are objections to that." "Or that Mrs. Smith has put us on a wrong scent." "No, I think that may be dismissed. I had inquiries made, and there is a launch of that description." "Could it have [rone up the river?" "I have considered that possibility too, and there is a search party who . i t foffirotfrttati the Writes nsv-e « clew Mo the real etilgfits, and that H is being ptOSe'ctll^S tft Mr. Atheifte$ Jones, df SeotiaffcS tftfd, with all his weil^tttOwii eftetj^ aftd sagacity. FfiF- ther arrests toay toe expected at any i. Hejiftdia'e-oidfeiJ sc-srf & t aftd 1 (amid MS um 8* his fa-ee sate a fair oi keufc dftrtt etefhtifif fee 9esh£ white that is satisfactory sd fa* as It thought 1. "frrieftd Bholto is safe at any fate. J wonder what the r fresh clew ftifty- be{ though it seems td •be a stereotyped fofstt wheflevef the CLAD IN RUDE SAILOR DRESS. work up as far as .Richmond, uo news comes to-day, I shall start off myself to-morrow, and.go for the men rather than the 'boat. But surely, surely, we shall hear something." We did not, however. Not a word 'A. GUINEA TO T11K 150V TUE BOAT." woiild little weary after her night's adventures, but very eager to hear tin news. Mrs, Porrester.too, was full of curiosity. I told them all that we had done, suppressing, however, the. more dreadful parts of the tragedy. Thus, although I spoke of Mr. Sholto's death, I said nothing of the exact manner and method of it. With all my omissions, however, there was enough to startle and amaze them. "It is a romance!" cried Mrs. Forrester. "An injured lady, half a million in treasure, a black cannibal and a wooden-legged ruffian. They take the place of the conventional dragon or wicked earl." "And two knight-errants to the rescue," added Miss Morstan. with a bright glance at me. "Why, Mary, your fortune depends upon the issue of this search. I don't think that you are nearly excite'd enough. Just imagine what it must ba to be so rich and ,to have the world at your feet!" It sent a thrill of joy to my heart to notice that she showed no sign of ela* tion at the prospect. On the contrary, she gave a toss of her proud head, as though the matter were one in which she took small interest- "Jt is for Mr. Thaddeus Sholto that I am anxious," she w4- "Nothing else is of any consequence; but I think that he has behaved -most kindly an4 honorably throughput. It is our <juty to c}ear him of wfc dreadful and ija* founded charge.*' came to us either from Wiggins or from the other agencies. There were articles in most of the papers upon the Norwood tragedy. They all appeared to be rather hostile to the unfortunate Thaddeus Sholto. No fresh details were to be found, however, in any of them, save that an inquest was held, upon the following da.y I walked over to Camberwcll in the evening to to report our ill success to the ladies, and on my return 1 found Holmes dejected and somewhat morose. He would hardly reply to my questions, and busied himself all evening in an abstruse chemical analysis which, involved much heating of retorts and distilling of vapors, ending at last in a smell which fairly drove me out of the apartment. Up to the small r.ours of the morning I could hear the clicking of his test-tubes which told me that he was still engaged in his malodorous ex : pertinent. . in the early dawn I woke with a. start, and was surprised to find him standing by my bedside clad in a rude sailor's dress, with a peajackot, and a coarse red scarf round his neck, "I an) off down the river, Watson," have been turning it over and I can see only one way It is worth trying, at all said he. "I in wy mind, out of it.< events." "Surely I can cowe with you, then," said I, "No; you can be much wore useful \t you will rewain here as wy representative, I aw loath to go, for it is quite on the cards that sowo wessage way cowe during the day, though Wiggins was despondent about it last night. I want you to open all, notes and tele* graws, and to act on your own judgment if any news should come, Can I rely upon you?" "Most certainly." "I aw afraid that you will not be able to wire to m,e, for J can hardly tell yet where I may flnd myself. If I aj» in luob, however, I pi$y not be gone so. very lon^ I shali have news of so?ne sort or pther before I get back-" - "• pfhimbybrealf* Pu phoning Ihe Standard, hpweyer, I fpwnd that there was a fresh flllusipn tp ®& busing, "With, edy» J) it rejn^rked, '%e have reason (*> believe that ihe natter pypmises to u§ eyen owe «8»pJ»* «# mysterious 1 tossed the fjapttf dowft upon the ta* ble, hilt at that Moment iny 1 eye caught an advertisement in the atfony column. It rah in this ways "Lost, — Whereas Mordeeai Smith, boatman, and his sbn Jim left Smith's Wharf at br about three o'clock, last Tuesday morning in the steam launch Aurora, black with two red stripes, funnel black With a white band, the sum of five bottnds will be paid to any* one who can give information to Mrs. Smith, at Smith's wharf, or at 221 b Baker street, as to the whereabouts of the said Mordecai Smith and the launch Aurora." This was clearly Holmes' doing. The Baker street address was enough to prove that. It struck me as rather ingenious, because it tpight be read by the fugitives without their seeing in it more than the natural anxiety of a wife for her missing husband, , It Was a long day. Every time that a knock came to the door, or a sharp step passed in the street, I imagined that it was either Holmes returning^r an answer to his advertisement. I tried to read, but my thoughts would wander off to our strange quest and to the ill-assorted and villainous pair whom we were pursuing. Could there be, I wondered, some radical flaw in my companion's reasoning? Might he be suffering from some huge self-deception? Was it not possible that his nimble and speculative mind had built up this wild theory upon faulty premises? I had never known him to be wrong; and yet the keenest reasoner may occasionally be deceived. He was likely, I thought, to fall into error through the over- refinement of his logic—his preference for a subtle and bizarre explanation when a plainer and more commonplace one lay ready to his hand. Yet, on the other hand, I had myself seen the evidence, and I had heard the reasons for his deductions. When I looked back on the long chain of curious circumstances, many of them .trivial in themselves, but all tending in the same direction, I could not disguise from myself that even if Holmes' explanation were incorrect the true theory must bo equally outre and startling. At three o'clock in the afternoon there was a loud peal at the bell, an authoritative voice in the hall, and, to iry surprise, no less a person than Mr. Athelney Jones was shown up to me. Very different was he, however, from the'brusque and masterful professor of common sense who had taken over the case so confidently at Upper Norwood.' His expression was downcast, and his bearing meek and even apologetic. "Good day, sir; good day," said he. "Mr. Sherlock Holmes is out, I understand." "Yes, and I cannot be sure when he will be back. But perhaps you would care to wait. Take that chair and try one of these cigars." "Thank you; I don't mind ; if I do," said he, mopping his face with a red bandanna handkerchief. "And a whisky-and-soda?" "Well, half a glass. It is very 'hot for the time of year; and I have had a good deal to worry and try me, You know my theory about this Norwood case?" . . , "I remember that you expressed one." "Well, I have been obliged to reconsider it. I had my net drawn tightly round Mr. Sholto, sir, when pop he went through a hole in the middle of it. He was able to prove an alibi which could not be shaken,- Prom .the tiWe that he left his brother's room he was never out of sight of some one or other. So it could not be he who climbed over roofs and through, trap-doors. It's a very dark case, and my professional credit is at stake, I should be v?ry glad of a little assistance." '• We all need help sometimes," said 1. "Your friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, is a wonderful man, sir," said he, in a husky and confidential voice. "lie's a man*'who is not to be beat- I have known that young wan go into a good many cases, but I never saw the case j-ot that he could not throw a light upon. He is irregular in his methods, and a little quick, perhaps, in jumping at theories, but, on the whole, I think he would have wade a most promising officer, and I don't care who knows it, I;have had a wire frpw hjw this worn ale ffo\a the lifts & rfbii'athta Set!, tduktdtf t fme tb wisrli tailof toy cases ml Thefeii jeetibtt kj my having an tin-official ft* tefview with him eithef here m ffiy rooms or elsewhere, as ltffl| as he is efficiently guarded?"' "Well, yVtt are toaster df the sittfa* tion. ! have had no protjfs yet of the existence of Jonathan Small. How* ever, if you can catch him, t don't, sei hbw 1 catt refuse you an interview with him." "That is understood, then?" 1 ' Perfectly. Is there anything else?" "Only that 1 insist upon your dinifijf with us. It will be feady 'in half an hotir. t have oysters ahd a brace bf grouse, with something a little choice in white wine. Watson, you have never yet recognised my merits as a housekeeper." X. .. - & 45 ° "WHAT is IT, Mir MAN?", long gray side-whiskers.^ Altogether he gave me the impression of a respectable master marriner who had fallen into years and poverty. "What is it, my man?" 1 asked. He looked about him in the sloiv methodical fashion of old age. "Is Mr. Sherlock Holmes here?" said he. "No; but I am acting for him. You can tell me any message you have for him." "It was to him himself I was to tell it," said he. "But I tell yoti that 1 am acting^ for him. Was it about Mordecai Smith's boat?" "Yes. I knows well where it is. An I knows where the men he is after are. An'I knows where the treasure is. I knows all about it." "Then tell me, and I shall let him wa&to tell it," he petulant obstinacy If 1 ing, by which I understand that he has got some clew to ^his Sholto business, Here is his wessage," He took the telegraw out of his pocket, and handed it to we. It was dated from Poplar at twelve o'clock, *'Go to Baker street at once," it said. "If I have not returned, wait for me, I aw close on the track of the Sholto gang- YOU can cowo'with ws to-night if you want tP be in at the finish." "This sounds well. Re has evidently picked up the scent aRain." said J. "Ah, then he has been at fault too," exclaimed Jpnes, with evi4en1i satisfaction- "Even, tho best of us, are, th off sometimes, Of course this „ proye tP bo a'false $la>rn; but it is wy 'leer of the law to -"— to §}ip, Rut thpre is at the 4ppr. Perhaps this is heavy step w&s 11 with, i* pr»a$ a wan wfep Know." "It was to him 1 repeated, with the of a very old man. "Well, you must wait for him." "No, no; 1 ain't goin' to lose a whole day to please no one. If Mr. Holmes ain't here, then Mr. Holmes, must find it'all out for himself. I don't care about the look of either of ycm- and I won't tell a word." He shuffled towards the door, but Athelney Jones got in front of him. "Wait a bit, my friend," said he. "You have important infoi-mation, and you must not'walk off. We shall keep you, whether you like or not, until our friend returns." The old man made a little run towards the door, but, as Athelney Jones put his broad back up against it, he recognized the uselessness of resistance. "Pretty sort o' treatment this!" he cried, stamping his stick. "I come here to see a gentleman, and you two, who I never saw in .my life, seize • me and. treat me in this fashion!" i"You will be none the worse," I said. "We shall recompense you for the loss' of your time, Sit over here- on the sofa, and you will not have long to wait." He came across sullenly enough, and seated himself with his face resting on his hands. Jones and I resumed our cigars and our talk. Suddenly, however, Holmes' voice broke in upon us. "I think that you might offer me a cigar, too," he said. We both started in our chairs. There was Holmes sitting close to us with an air of quiet amusement. "Holmes!" I exclaimed. "You here!' But where is the old man?" "Here is the old man," said he, holding out a heap of white hair, "Here he is—wig, whiskers, eyebrows, and all. I thought my disguise was pretty good, but I hardly expected that it would stand that test." "Ah, you rogue!" cried Jones, highly delighted. "You would have made an actor, and a rare one. You had the proper workhouse cough, and those weak legs of yours are worth ten pound a week, I thought I knew the glint of your eye, though. You didn't get away frow us so easily, you see." "I have been working in that getrup all day," said he, lighting his cigar, "You see, a good many of the criminal classes begin to know me—especially since our friend here took to publishing some of wy cases; so I can only go on the warpath under some simple guise like this, You got wy wire?" "Yes; that was what brougU*. here," "How has your case "It has all cowe to nothing. I have, had to release two of wy prispoers, and there is no evidence against-the other two," '.'Never mind, We'shallgive you two others in the place Pf them, But ypu must put ypyrself under my or4ers. You are welcome tp all the pfficiftl credit, but ypn must ROt PJB the lipes. that I ppint put, Is that agreed?!' "Entirely, if ypu will help we to the KNb OF tMti out 1 meal was a meri-y one. Holmes Could talk exceedingly well when he chose, ahd that night lie did choose, He appeared 'to be in a state of nerv ous exaltation ! have never known him so brilliant. He spoke On a quick succession of subjects,— -on miracle- plays, on medieval potteryyOn Stradivarius violins, on. the Buddhism of Ceylon, and on the warships of the fu-> ture— handling each as though he had made a special study of it, His bright humor marked the reaction from his black depression of the preceding days. Athelney Jones proved to be a sociable soul in 'his hours of relaxation, and faced his dinner with thenair of a bon vivant; For myself, I felt elated at the thought that wo were nearing the end' of our task, and I caught something of Holmes' gayety. None of us alluded during dinner to the cause which had brought us together. When the cleth was cleared Holmes glanced at his watch and filled up three glasses with port. "One bumper," said he, "to the success of our little expedition. And now it is high time we were .off. Have you a pistol, Watson?" , "I have my old service revolver in my desk." • ' .. : : "You had best take it, then. It is well to be prepared. . I see the cab is at the ' door. I ordered it for half-past six." ' ' •••'•';• It was a little past seven before we reached the Westminster wharf and found our launch awaiting us. Holmes eyed it critically. "Is there anything to mark it as a police boat?" "Yes— that green lamp at the side." "Then take it off." The small change was made, we stepped on board, and the ropes were JONES, HOLMES AND I SAT ON THE DECK. cast off. Jones, Holmes and I sat in the stern. There was one man at the rudder, one to tend the engines, and two burly police inspectors forward. "Where to?" asked Jones. "To the tower. Tell them to stop opposite to Jacobson's yard." Our craft was evidently a very fast one. We shot past the long lines of loaded barges as though they were stationary. Holmes smiled with satisfaction as we overhauled a river steamer and left her behind us, "Wp ought to be able to catch anything on tho river," lie said. • "W&ll, hardly that. Uut there are t mnnv launches to beat us." (TO BE 'CONTINUED.) SALESMAN WANTED, for wen, "Weil, then, in tho first place J shall want a'f ast police'boa Waste am launch -to bo at the. Westminster Stsairs seven o'olosb," "That is easily always pne abput there; aorpss the road To sell Minnesota growp Stock, §ee<i Corn and Pot spring delivery. An early start js the. battle, Three plans pf work, Pay every weel?, Write fov particulars. 1 •' " JJSTVVlUb NURSERY CO,," Lake Ojty, Mion, ' . Swan Hudson's, Flow", at 1890. "Then J,§bau wipt | W P in pme pf.resista9ee.jf Jwew • ., ? : V k ' ^/,Vfr*$V^ 'j£ fvOf

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