The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on December 4, 1895 · Page 6
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 6

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 4, 1895
Page 6
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"We shall have to catch the Aurora, nnd she has a name for being a clipper. I will 1r!l you how the land lies, Wat- eon You recollect how annoyed I was ftt being balked by so small a thing?" "Yes." "Well, I gave my mind n thorough rest, by plunging into :i ehc:ui.">' ounlysis. One of our greatest statesmen has MI I that a change of work is the best rest. So it is. When I had succeeded in dissolving the hydrocarbon which I was at, we; 1 !; at. I came liack to our problem of the •'•'.".' thought the whole matter o 1 My boys had been river end down the river result. Th- ki-.inch was any landing i.lav.'e 'Yet it way unu lie i s. rnrerly. this time, even ecu some a day, to '•, the bal- le weak," that he his expedition.'' ly think so. This lair of ? too va h.;...ble a retreat in i'.ii- hh set cut upo:i to give it. up until could do \vithout ill') '.'era tion struck st have felt ar.(.'o of 'h lie iriiess to in the • had > America anything made him suspicious ho would lie simp for another week." "But you might have stuck to Mordceaf Smith, and so been led to their hiding-place," said I. "In that case I should have wasted my day I think that it is a hundred to one against Smith knowing "where they live. As long as he has liquor and good pay, why should he ask questions 0 They send him messages what Ui do No, I thought over every possible course, and this is the best." While this conversation had been proceeding, we had bet-:i shooting the long !.eries of bridges which span the Thames As we passed tiie city the last •avsof the su:i were gilding the cross upon th-.'summit, of St. Pav.l'v It was twili t. bel'o :1 i 1 ,. printing 1<: i:;' \: we reached tho tower. ,lacob-,<::i's vi-.rd." said. a bri'dle of masts the Surrey side. nd down bore under ;: of l-.Thu-rs." lie •'••.•, :;!;:: :•:•;- from llif. •• : ,-.•.•. • :• u 1 at the ottf searchligiit tpoS that we could plainljr see the'flgffihSS upon her deck. One man sat by the stern, with Something blaAk between! his knees over which ho Stooped. Beside him lay a dark mats which looked like a Newfoundland dog. The boy held the tiller, while ngain&t the red glare of the furnace f could r,ee old Smith, Stripped to the waist, and shoveling coals for dear life. They may have had some doubt at first as to whether we were really pursuing them, but Sow as we followed every xvinding and turning which they took there could no longer be any question tvbbiit it. At Greenwich we were about three hundred paces behind them. At Blackwall W« could not have been more than two hundred nnd fifty I have eonfsed lie one 8te|J either lot-wards he possibly backt^afds. renni a. J them," hort said al eager by wait for We were he policemen arid stokers, who had a very vngue idea of what was goti:g forward. "We have no right to take anything for granted," Holmes answered. "It is certainly ten to oi;e that they go down stream, but\vo cannot be certain. From this point we can see the entrance to the ya.rd,a::d (.hey can hardly see us. It will be a clear night and plenty of light. We raivt stay where we are. !.-'ee how the full; swarm over the pi: "They are cor yard." ' "Pirty-lookinr pose every cive h i-park e<::::ecalc would not think There is no n pi it. A strange ei "Some one cal in an animal," 1 "Winwood Re: subject," said \ that, while tho insoluble puz*.:lc many creatures ing my checker sport mad, flying man give me such a iu many countries (lur- d career, but never did wild thrill ai5 this hunt down the yelled in impotent rage, and Incited 'frantically into the mud with his other foot, but his struggles only bol-ect hia wooden pin tl-e deeper into the sticky bank. When we brought our launch alongside he was so (irmly anchored that it was only by throwing the end of a rope over his shoulders that we were able to haul him out, and to drag him. like some evil fish, over our side. The two-.Smiths, father and son, sat sullenly in their launch, biit came aboard meekly enough when com i manded. The Aurora herself we hauled off and made fast to our stern. A solid iroti chest of Indian wofkman i ship stood upon the deck. This, tliefe could be no question, was the same that had contained the ill-omened treasure of tho Sholtos. There was no key, but it Was of considerable Weight, so we transferred it carefully to oUr own little cabin. As we steamed slowly upstream ngain, We flashed our search-light in. every direction, but there was no sign of the islander. Somewhere in the dark ooze at the bottom of the Thames lie the bones of that strange visitor to our shores. "See here," said Holmes, pointing to the wooden hatchway. "We were hardly quick enough with our pistols." There, sure enough, just behind where we had been stand!ng* stuck one of those murderous darts which wo knew KO well. It must have whizzed between us at the instant that \ve fired. Holmes smiled at it, and shrugged his shoulders in his easy fashion, but 1 confe:-:-; that it turned me sick to think of the horrible death which had passed so close to us that Weil ftAtt tiftft l 'feut I eerta&ly did fcot know that the Auroi-a was such n elippoi-." "Smith says that site is one of the fastest launches on the Mver, and that if he had had another man to help him with the engines we should neve? hate caught her. lie swears he knows nothing of this Norwood business.*' "Neither ho did," cried our prisoner —''not a word. 1 cho'se his l&utich because 1 heard that she was ajflyef. We told him nothing, but we paid hint well, and he was to get something handsome if We reached our vessel* the l3sniefalda, at 6ravesend t outward bound for the Brazils.*' "Wellj if he has done no wrong we shall see that no wrong conies to liiin. If we are pretty quick iii catching oitt tnen. We are not so quick in condemn- QUITK ht. from wor! the rear-;. orr.'.' li bout to lr but 1 snp- '.!'.• iiuir.ortal You !; ;••;, tilt-m. L-i probability about ma ;:? man!" m a soul concealed s k> would send back hari' would police did i!ow, then, e'.i arid yet wanted? 1 ready arranged for or the colonies." "llut the h-.unc'b? The have taken that, to their 10 "Uuile so. must be i::> grc 1 its invisibility. the place i.f Small n. man of ' probably c the h: u:K:h or to keep it at a • make pursuit easy if the happen to get on his track, could he conceal the lau have her at hand when wondered what I should <.!o myself if I were in hir, t.hoe.?,. I could ->nly think of one way of doing it. 1 might hand the kimich over to some boatbuilder or repairer, with directions to make a trifling change in her. She would then be removed to bin shed or yard, and GO 1)0 effectually concealed, while at the same "time i could have her at a few hours' notice." "That seems simple enough." "It very simple things winch are extremely liable to be overlooked. However, I determined to act on the idea-. I.started at once in this harmless seaman's rig and inquired at all the yards down the river. I drew blank fit fifteen, but at the sixteenth— Jacobson's—I learned that the Aurora had been handed over to them two days ago by a wooden-legged man, with some trivial directions as to her rudder. 'There ain't naught amiss with her rudder,' said the forernaii. •There sho lies, with the red streaks.' At that moment who should come down but Mordeeai Smith, the missing owner? lie; was rather the worse should not, of course, him, but ho bellowed and the name of his nit her to-night at eight -'at eight o'clock sharp, for liquor, i have known out hiii name launch. '1 wa o'clock,' said he- mind, for I have two gentlemen who won't be kept waiting.' They had evidently paid him well, for he was very flush' of money, chucking shillings about to the men. 1 followed hmisomo distance, but he subsided in an ale house;.so I went back to the yard, and, happening to. pick up one of my boys on the way, I KtaLiunwd him as; a sentry over the launch. He i:; to stand at the water's, edge and wave his handkerchief to us when they start. We shall bo Jying of? in tho stream, and it .will boa Strange thing if wo do not take men, and all.'" \ 'YPH have planned it, all very neatly, whether they an; the right men or not," t>nid Jonev, "but if tho affair were in my hsindt, i : houkl have had yurd, cuino my body of police in Jacobson't. am^ted them when they M Whioli would have been utnvr. ou Small is a pretty -shrewd, fellow. M..M,I,) ^nd-a ^cout on ,'i'••>••«) nnd if od upon the lolsncs. "Lie remarks, in'.liviuual man is an , in the aggregate ho becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one mem will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will bo up to. Individuals vary, but percent-ages remain constant. So says the statistician. But do I see a handkerchief? Surely there is a white nutter over yonder." "Yes. it is your boy," I cried. "I can see him plainly." "And there is the Aurora," exclaimed Holmes, "and going like the devil! Full speed ahead, engineer. Make after that launch with tho yellow light. By heaven, I shall never forgive, myself if she proves to have the heels of us!" She had slipped un:-,::en through the yard entrance and pns.-ed behind two or three small craft, KO that she had fairly got her speed up before we saw her.' Now she was (lying down the stream, near in to the shore, going at a tremendous rate. Jones looked gravely at her and shook his head. "She is very fast," he said. "1 doubt if we shall catch her." "We must catch her!" cried Holmes, between his teeth. "Heap it on, stokers! Make her do all she can! If wo burn the boat we must have them!" Wo were fairly after her now. The furnaces roared, and the powerful engines whizzed and clanked, like a, great metallic heart. Her sharp, steep prow cut through the still river water and sent two rolling waves to right and to left of us. With every throb of the engines we sprang and quivered like a living thing. One great yellow lantern iu our bows threw a long, flickering funnel of light in front of us. Right ahead a dark blur upon the water showed where the: Aurora lay, and the swirl of white foam be.hind her spoke of the pace tit which she was going. We Slashed past barges, steamers, mcreluuit-vussek, in and out, behind this one and round the other. Voices hailed u:.. out of the darkness, but still the Aurora thundered on, and still wo followed close upon her track. "Pile it on, men, pile it on!" cried Holmes, looking down into the engine- room, while tha tierce glow from below beat upon his eager, aquiline face. "Get every pound of steam you can." "I think we gain a little,"said Jones, with his eyes on the Aurora. "I am sure of it," said I. "We shall be. up with her in a very few minutes." At that moment, however, as our evil fate would have it, a tug with three barges in tow blundered in between us. It was only by putting our helm hard down that'we avoided a collision, and before wo could round them and recover our way the Aurora had gained a good two hundred yards. She was still, however, well in view, and the murky uncertain twilight was settling into a clear starlit night. Our boilers were strained to their utmost, and the frail shell vibrated and creaked with the fierce energy which was driving ua along. We had shot through the pool past the West India docks, down the long Deptford Jleach, and up again after rounding the Isle of Dogs. The-dull blur in front of us resolved itself now clearly into tlje da,inty Aurora, Jones Thames. Steadily we drew in upon them, yard by yard. In the silence of the night we could hear the panting and clanking of their machinery. The man in the stern still crouched upon the deck, and' his arms were moving as though he were busy, while ivery now and then lie would look up and measure with a glance the distance which still separated us. Nearer we came aud nearer. Jones yelled to them to stop. Wo were not more than four boats' lengths behind them, both boats Hying at a tremendous pace. It was a clear reach of the river, with Harking level upon one side and the melancholy Plumstead marshes upon tho other. At our hail the man in the stern .sprang up from the deck and shook his two clinched lists at us, cursing the while in a high, cracked voice. lie was a good-sized, powerful man, and as he stood poising himself with legs astride I could sec that from the thigh do%vnwarcl(3 there was but a wooden stump upon the right side. At the sound of his strident, angry cries there was movement in the huddled bundle upon the deck. It straightened itself into a little black man—the smallest I have ever seen—with a great, misshapen head and a shock of tangled, disheveled hair. Holmes had already drawn his revolver, and I whipped out mine at the sight of this savage, distorted creature, lie was wrapped in some sort of dark ulster or blanket, which left only his face exposed: but me SHOOK ins TWO OLINCIIF.D AT US. FIST9 that face was enough to give a man a sleepless night. Never have 1 seen features so deeply marked with all bestiality and cruelty. His small eyes glowed and burned with a somber light, and his thick lips were writhed back from his teeth, which grinned and chattered at us with a half animal fury. "Fire if he raises his hand," said Holmes, quietly. We were within a boat's length by thin time, and almost within touch of our quarry. I can seethe two of them now ass they stood, the white man with his legs far apart, shrieking out curses, and the unhallowed dwarf, with his hideous face, and his strong yellow teeth gnashing at us in the light of our lantern. It was well that we had so clear a view of him. Even as wo looked he plucked out from under his covering a Bhprt, round piece of wood, like a school rulor, and clapped it to hia lips. Our pistols rang «ut together. Ho whirled round, throw up his arms, and with a kind of choking cough fell sideways into the stream. I caught one glimpse _of hia venomous, menacing eyes amid tho white swirl of the waters. At the same moment tho wooden-logged man threw himself upon the rudder and put it hard down, so that his boat made straight in f° v the southern bank, .while we shot past her stern, only clearing her by a, few feet. Wo were round after her in an instant, but she was already nearly at the bank. It was a wild an4 desolate plftce^where the moon glimmered upon a wide ex-s pan'bc o| marsh }an"d, with pools of stagnant water and beds of decaying vegetation. TfcP tow? 1 *, with & chill thud, ran up on the mud banU, with her bow in iUe fifr n» d hoy stera flush av. T> fuffMye sprang in.stft.RtJy fjanfc lt§ TITO Q UK AT AGUA Our captive sat in the cabin opposite to the iron box which ho had done GO much and waited so long to gain, lie was a sunburned, reckless-eyed fellow, with a network of linen aud wrinkles all over his mahogany features, which told of a hard, open-air life. There was a singular prominence about his bearded chin which marked a man who was not to be easily turned from his purpose. His age may have been fifty or thereabouts, for his black, curly hair was thickly shot with gray. His face in repose was not an un- plcasing one, though his heavy brows and aggressive chin gave him, as I had lately seen, a terrible expression when moved to anger. He sat now with his handcuffed hands upon his lap and his head sunk upon hia breast, while he looked with his keen, twinkling eyes at the box which had been the cause of his ill-doings. It seemed to me that there was more sorrow than anger in his rigid and contained countenance. Once he looked up at me with a gleam of something like humor in his eyes. "Well, Jonathan Small," said Holmes, lighting a cigar, "1 am sorry that it has come to this." "And so am I," he answered, frankly. "1 don't believe that I can swing over the job. I give you my word on the hook that I never raised my hand against Mr. Sholto. It was that little hell-hound Tonga who shot one of his cursed darts into him. 1 had no part in it, sir. I was as grieved au if it had been my blood-relation. I welted the little devil with the slack end of the ropH for it, but it was done, aud 1 could not undo it again." "Have a cigar," said Holmes; "and you had best take a pull out of my flask, for you are very wet. How could you expect so small and weak a man as this black fellow to overpower Mr. Sholto and hold him while you were climbing the rope? "You seem to know as much about it as if you were there, sir. The truth is that 'i hoped to find the room clear. I knew the habits of the house pretty well, and it was the time when Mr. Sholto usually went down to his supper, I shall make no secret of. the business. The best defense that I can make is just the simple truth, Now, if it had been the old major I would have swung for him with a light heart. I, would have thought no more of knifing him than of smoking this cigar. But it's cursed hard that I should bo lagged over this young Sholto, with whom I had no quarrel whatever," "Yoti aro under the charge of Mr. Athelney Jones, of Scotland Yard. Ho is going to bring you up to my rooms, and I shall ask .you for a true account of the matter. You must make a clean breast of it, for if you do I hope that I may bo of use to you. I think I can prove that the poison quickly that tho man was dead before ever you reached tho room." "That ho was, sir. I never got such a turn in ray life as when I saw him •grinning at me with his head on his shoulder as 1 climbed through the window. It fairly shook ire, sir, I'd have half killed Tonga for it if he had not scrambled of?. That was how he caino to leave his club, and some of his. darts, too, as ho tells mo, which I dare say helped to put you on our track; though . how you kept on it is more than I can tell. I don't feel no malice against you for U. But it does seem a'queer thing," he added, with a bitter smile, "that I, who have u fair claim to nigh upon half a million of rnonoy should spend the first half of my life building a ing them." It was amusing to tiotiei how the consequential Jones was already beginning to give him.,elf airs on the strength of the capture. Krom the slight smile which played over Sherlock Holmes' face, I could sec that the speech had not been lost upon him. "We will be at Vaiixhall bridge presently," said Jones, "and shall land you. Dr. Watson, with the treasure- box. I need hardly tell you that I u taking a very grave responsibility upon myself in doing this. It, is most irreg ular; but of course an agreement is an agreement. I must, however, as a mat tcr of duty, send an inspector with since vou have so valuable a you, brpakwatcr }n the Andamans, and am like to spend the- other half diggin 1 drains at Dartmoor. It was an evil day for mo when first 1 clapped eyes upon tho merchant Acbmet and had to do with th« Agra treasure, which never brought anything but a curse yet xvpon, tbo man who owned, it, To him jt brought murder, t,o Maj, Sholto it brought fear and guilt, to mo it meant slavery for life." , At ' 'this moment Athpjney thrust his broad face apcl heayy into tko tiny cabia. "Quite charge. You will drive, no doubt?" "Yes, I shall drive." "It is a pity thpre is no key, that we may make an inventory first. You will have to break it open. Where is the key, ray man?" "At the bottom of the river," said Small, shortly. "Hum! There was no use you giving this unnecessary. trouble. We have h'ad work enough already through you. However, doctor, I need nob warn you to bo careful. Bring the box back with you to the Baker street rooms. You will find us there on our way to the station." They landed me at Vauxhall with. my heavy iron box and • with a bluff, genial inspector as my companion. ; A quarter of an hour's drive, brought • us to Mrs. Cecil Forrester's. The servant seemed surprised at so late a visitor. Mrs. Cecil Forrester was out for the evening, she explained, and likely to be very late. Miss Morstan, however, was' in the drawing-room; so to the drawing-room I went, box in hand, leaving the obliging inspector in the cab. She was seated by the open window, dressed in some sort of white diaphanous material, with a little touch of scarlet at the neck and waist. The soft light of a shaded lamp fell upon her as slic leaned back in the basket chair, playing over her sweet, grave face, and tinting with a dull metallic sparkle the rich coils of her luxuriant; hair, one white arm and hand drooped over 'the side of the chair, and her whole pose and figure spoke of an absorbing melancholy. At the sound of my footfall she sprang to her feet, however, and a brig-lit flush of surprise and of pleasure colored her pale cheeks. "I heard a cab drive up," she said. "I thought that Mrs. Forrester had corno back very early, but I never dreamed that it might bo you. What news have you brought me?" "I have brought something better than news," said I, putting clown the box upon the table uad speaking jovially and boisterously, though my heart was heavy within me. "I have brought you something which is worth all the news in the world. 1 have brought you a fortune." She glanced at the iron box. "Is that tho treasure, then?" she asked, coolly enough. "Yes, this is the great Agra treasure, Half of it is yours and half is ThaddBUS Sholto's. You will have a couple of hundred thousand each. Think of that! An annuity of ton thousand pounds. There will bo few richer young ladies in England. Is it not glorious?" } think that I must have been rather overacting my delight, and that she detected a hollow ring in my congratulations, for I sav/ her eyebrows rise a little, and she glanced at me- curiously, "If I have it," said she, "I owe it to you." • no," I answered, "not to me, n fc'to hear that! had plaedfltby frauds such hoi"fibie peril." "That is all over, 1 ' 1 answered. "It was nothing. 1 will tell you no more gloomy details. Let us turn to Something brighter. There is the treasure. What could be brighter than thttt? I got leave tc bring 'it with me. thinking that it would interest you to be the first to see it." It would be of the greatest interest to me," she said. There tvns no eagerness in her voice* however. It struck lief, doubtless, that it might seem lin- gracioUs upoii her part to be indiffer- tint to a prize which had cost so much to Win. What a pretty bos!'' she taid, stooping OVer it. "This is Indian work, t suppose?" 'Yes; it is Benares metal-work." 'And so heavy!" she exclaimed, try* ing to raise it. "The boi alone must * 7 of -some value. Where is the key?" Small threw it into the Thames," I answered. "I must borrow Mrs. Forrester's poker." There wiis in the front a thick and broad hasp, wrought in the imago of a sitting Ittiddhu Under ihi-, I thrust the end of the poker and twirled it outward as a lover. The hasp sprang open with a loud snap. With trembling lingers I flung back the lid. Wo both stood gazing in astonishment; The bo:: was orapty! L\o wonder that it was lie ivy The •iron work was two-thirds of an inijh thick ell round. H. was ma ' ive. well made and solid, likeachest co;is'i uctcd to carry things of great price, but not one shred or crumb of metal or jewelry lay within it. it. wa:i s:' li,t-l,-an 1 completely empty "The treasure Moratan. caimly As I I'si-oned to lite u-i•••:.. ,'i .-<••'' izcd what they, u great shadow seemed to pass from iri.y soul. I did not know, how this Agra treasure had weighed rue down, until now that it was; 1 dually removed. It was selfish, no doubt, disloyal, wrong, but I could realise nothing save that the golden barrier was gone from between us. "Thank God!" J ejaculated from niy very heart. She looked at tao with a quick, questioning smile. "Why do you say that?" she asked. • "Dccausc you arc within my reach again.'' 1 said, taking her hand. vSlic did not withdraw it. "Because I love you. Mary, as'truly as ever a man loved a woman Hecaiue this treasure, M ™^;£mMd'/M'Mt'/A- AMn "TIlE .TKEA0CTBK 'IS I.OBT," SAID 51168 MOKSTAN. these riches, sealed my lips. Now that they arc gone I can tell you how I lovo you. That is why I said: 'Thank God." 1 "Then I say.''Thank God,'too," she whispered, as I • drew, her to my side. Whoever had lost a treasure, I knew that night that I had gained one. (TO BE CONTINUED.) There's almost no wear out to tho They're built to stancl const&*$ wear and rough handling. Superior Cookers, Powerful but to my friend Sheviopk With all the will in the world, never URYO followed up a clew- has taxed OVQH }ii^ analytical genius, As it was, wo ve'vj' nearly lost it at the last moment." • "Pray sit down and tell roe n>U it, Pr. Watson," 1 narrated brjoity J had, so<m pi epWQh, ftp disppvew of stf Jones, (n»y-c»fle<UW«w ia a great variety of gtyle& A- written guarantee with one. OK 0, jly ' party," he remarked shall }jaw n, pull' at tlwt fla,sj$ Well, I tfeiuU we way all eaoU

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