The County Democrat. (Tecumseh, Okla.), Vol. 23, No. 8, Ed. 1 Friday, November 10, 1916 Page: 3 of 8
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THE COUNTY DEMOCRAT, TECUMSEH, OKLA.
THE LONE WOLF
11 IT i»
By LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE
Vauquslin was boldine out an arm
nod staring at It Incredulously; Lan-
yard's gaze focused upon the same
•pot—a ragged perforation In the
sleeve of the leather surtout. Just
•bore the elbow.
"What Is ItT" he Inquired stupidly,
forgetting again that the other could
oot possibly hear him.
The eyes of the aviator, lifting from
the perforation to meet Lanyard’s
•tare, were clouded with consterna-
Then Vauquelln swerved quickly In
his seat and looked bark. Involuntar-
ily he ducked his head. Simultaneous-
ly something slipped whining past
Lanyard's cheek, touching his flesh
with a touch more chill than that of
the Icy air Itself.
"Damnation!” he shrieked, almost
hysterically. “That madman In the
Valkyr Is firing at us!"
. CHAPTER XXXII.
Ths Flying Death.
Steadying himself with a splendid
display of self-control and downright
courage. Captain Vauquelln concen-
trated upon the management of the bi-
The drone of his motor thickened
again, its speed became greater and
the machine began to rise still higher,
tracing a long, graceful curve.
Lanyard glanced apprehensively to-
ward the girl, but she continued In ap-
parent unconsciousness that anything
was happening out of the ordinary.
Her profile still looked forward, and
•till the wlnd-vell trembled against her
Thanks to the racket of the motor,
no audible reports had accompanied
the sharpshooting of the man In the
monoplane, while Lanyard's cry of hor-
hor and dismay had been audible to
himself exclusively. Hearing nothing,
Lucy suspected nothing.
Again Lanyard looked back.
Now the Valkyr seemed to have
crept up to within a quarter of a mile
•f the biplane, and was boring on at a
tremendous pace. Its single spread of
wings on an approximate level with
that of the upper plane of the Parrott.
Rut this last was rising steadily.
The driver's seat of the Valkyr was
■occupied by a muffled, burly figure that
might be anybody—De Morblhan, Ek-
•trom, or any other homicidal maniac.
At the distance its actions were as
Illegible as their results were unques-
tionable. Lanyard saw a little tongue
of flapie lick out from a point close be-
side the head of the figure—he couldn’t
distinguish the firearm Itself—and,
like Vauquelln, quite without premedi-
tation, he ducked.
Simultaneously there sounded a
hard, ripping noise Immediately
above his head, and he found himself
•taring up at a long, ragged tear In
the canvas ot the plane, caused by a
bullet striking It aslant.
"Where to be done?" he screamed
passionately to Vauquelln.
But the aviator only shook his head;
and they continued to ascend rapidly;
already the web of gold that cloaked
earth and sea seemed thrice as far be-
neath them as It had*been at the mo-
ment when Vauquelln made the ap-
It Turned and Dived Headlong.
palling discovery of his bullet-punc-
But the monoplane was doggedly fol-
lowing suit; as the Parrott rose, so
did the Valkyr, if a trace more Blowly
and less readily.
Lanyard had read somewhere, or
heard it said that monoplanes were
He told himself that. If this were
true, Vauquelln knew his business.
and from this reflection drew what
comfort b« might.
, And he was glad, very glad, of the
dark wlnd-vell that shrouded bis face,
which he believed to show nothing
less than panic terror.
He was. In sober fact, quite rigid
with fright and horror. It were Idle
to argue that only unlikely chance
would wing one of ths bullets from
the Vslkyr to a vital point—there
was ths torn canvas overhead, there
was that hole through Vauquelln’s
And then the barograph on the strut
beside Lanyard disappeared as If by
magic. He was aware of a slight Jar;
the framework of the biplane quiv-
ered as from a heavy blow; something
that resembled a handful of black
crumbs sprayed out Into the air ahead
and vanished—and where the Instru-
ment had been nothing remained but
an iron clamp gripping the strut.
And even as any one of these bul-
lets might have proved fatal, their first
successor might incapacitate ths avia-
tor, If it did not slay him outright—
in either case Inevitably the result
would be death following a fall from a
height, as recorded on the barograph
dial the Instant before its destruction,
of over four thousand feet.
And they were still climbing.
Now the pursuer was losing some of
the advantage of his superior speed;
the Parrott was perceptibly higher;
the Valkyr must needs mount In a
more sweeping curve. ,
None the less. Lanyard, peering
down, saw still another tongue of
flame spit out at him, and two bullet
holes appeared In the port wings of
the biplane, one In the lower, one In
the upper spread of canvas.
White-lipped and trembling, the ad-
venturer began to work at the fasten-
ings of his surtout. After a moment
he plucked off one of his gloves and
cast It Impatiently from him. Asprawl,
it sailed down the wind like a wound-
ed sparrow. He caught Vauquelin’s
eye upon him, quick with a curiosity
which changed to a sudden gleam of
comprehension when Lanyard, thrust-
ing his hand under the leather coat,
groped for his side pocket and pro-
duced an automatic pistol which Du?
croy, learning that he was unarmed,
had pressed upon him.
They were now perhaps a hundred
feet higher than the Valkyr, which
was soaring a quarter of a mile off to
starboard. Under the guidance of the
Frenchman the Parrott swooped round
in a narrow circle until It bung almost
Immediately above the other—a ma-
neuver requiring, first and last, some-
thing more than five minutes to effect.
Meanwhile Lanyard rebuttoned bla
surtout and, clutching the pistol, tried
hard not to think. But already bis
Imagination was sick with the thought
of what Would ensue when the time
came for him to carry out his Inten-
Vauquelln touched hts arm with Ur-
gent pressure; but Lanyard only shook
his head, gulped, and without looking,
surrendered the weapon Jo the aviator.
Bearing heavily against the chest-
band, he commanded the broad, white
spread of the Valkyr's back and wings.
Invisible beneath these hung the mo-
tor and the driver’s seat
An InstaDt more and he was aware
that Vauquelln was bending forward
over the edge ot the plane.
Aiming with what deliberation was
possible, the aviator emptied the clip
of Its cartridges in less than a minute.
The reports rang cut against the
drum of the motor with an accent as
vicious as the cracking of a black-
Momentarily, Lanyard doubted If a
single bullet had taken effect. He
could not, with bis swimming vision,
detect any sign of damage In the can-
vas of the Valkyr.
He saw the empty automatic slip
from Vauquelln’s numb and nerveless
fingers, and vanish.
A frightful fascination kept his gaze
constant to the soaring Valkyr. Be-
yond it, down, deep down, a mile of
emptiness, was that golden floor of
tumbled cloud, waiting.
He saw the monoplane halt abruptly
In Its strong onward surge—as if It
had run, full tilt, bead on against an
Invisible obstacle — and for what
seemed a round minute, It hung so,
veering and wabbling, muzzling the
wind. Then, like a sounding whale,
It turned and dived headlong, propel-
ler spinning like a top.
Down through an eighth of a mile
of space It plunged plummetlike; then,
perhaps caught in a flaw of wind, It
turned sidewise and began to revolve,
at first slowly, but with Increasing
rapidity in its fatally swift descent.
Toward the beginning of Its revolu-
tions something was thrown off, some-
thing small, dark and sprawling—like
that glove which Lanyard had discard-
ed. But this object dropped with a
speed even greater than that of the
Valkyr; In a brace of seconds had di-
minished to the proportions of a gnat;
In another was engulfed in that vast
sea of golden vapor.
The monoplane itself, scarcely less
precipitate, spun down through the
abyss and plunged to oblivion In the
And Lanyard was still hanging
against the chest-band, limp and spent
I and trying not to give way to deadly
slckneas when, of a sudden and with-
out any warning whatever, the sten-
torian chant of the motor ceased and
was blotted out by that Immense
silence of those vast solitudes of the
upper air, where ne er a sound Is
heard save the voices of the elements
at war among themselves—a silence
that rang with an accent as dreadful
as If It were the very crack ot doom.
And. 1U propeller no longer gripping
the air, the aeroplane drifted on at
ever lessening speed, until at length
It had no way whatever, and rested
without motion of any sort, as It might
have been In the cup of some mighty
and Invisible hand.
Then, with a little shudder of hesita-
tion, the planes dipped forward—lm
clined slightly earthward—and began
slowly, and at first, as If reluctantly,
to slip down the long and empty chan-
nels of the air.
At this, rousing. Lanyard became
aware of his own voice yammering
wildly at Vauquelln:
"Good God, man! Why did you do
Vauquelln answered only with a pale
grimace and a barely perceptible
Momentarily gathering momentum,
the biplane sped downward with a re-
sistless rush, with the speed of a
great wind, with a speed so great that
when Lanyard again attempted speech
the breath was whipped from his lips
and he could utter no sound.
Thus from that awful height, from
the still heart of that Immeasurable
“Wertheimer!" He Exclaimed.
void, they swept down and ever down
In a long series of sickening swoops,
broken by pauses of negligible dura-
tion. And though they approached It
on a long slant, the floor of vapor rose
to meet them with the rapidity of a
mighty, rushing wave; and In a trice
the biplane was hovering an instant
before plunging down Into Us cold,
In that flash of hesitation, while still
the adventurer gasped for breath and
pawed at his streaming eyes with an
aching hand, pierced through and
through with cold, the fog showed it-
self as something less substantial
than it had seemed; blurs of color
peered through Its folds of gauze, and
with these the rounded summit of a
Then they lunged on, down out of
the bleak, bright sunshine Into the
cool twilight depths of clinging va-
pors; and the good green earth lifted
Its warm bosom to receive them.
Tilting Us nose, fluttering as though
undecided, the Parrott settled grace-
fully, with scarcely a Jar, upon a wide
sweep of unfilled land covered with
short, coarse grass.
For Borne time the three remained in
their perches like petrified things,
quite moveless, and—with the possible
exception of the aviator—hardly con-
But presently Lanyard became aware
that he was regularly filling his lungs
with air, sweet, damp, wholesome, and,
by comparison, warm, and that the
blood was tingling painfully in hia
half-frozen bandB and feet.
He sighed as one waking from a
strange dream and looked round.
At the same time the aviator be-
stirred himself and began a bit stiffly
to climb down from his place.
Feeling the earth beneath his feet,
he took a step or two away from the
machine, reeling and stumbling like a
drunken man, then turned hack.
"Come, my friend!" he urged Lan-
yard In a voice of Strangely normal
Intonation—"look alive—If you’re able
—and lend me a hand with mademoi-
selle. I'm afraid she has fainted."
And, In fact, the girl was reclining
Inertly In the bands of webbing, her
eyes closed, her mouth ajar, her limbs
Small blame to her!" Lanyard com-
mented, fumbling clumsily with the
chest-band. "That dive was enough
to drive a body mad I"
"But I had to do It!" the aviator
protested earnestly. "I dared not re-
main longer up there. 1 have never
before been afraid In the air, but
after that I was terribly afraid. I could
feel myself going—taking leave of my
senses—and I knew I must act If we
were not to follow that other. God!
what a death!"
He paused, shuddered, and drew the
back of his hand across his eyes be-
fore continuing: "So I cut off the Igni-
tion and volplaned. Here—my hand.
Bo-o! All right, eh?"
“Oh, I’m all right,” Lanyard Insisted
But his confidence was belled by a
look of daze, for the earth was billow-
ing and reeling round him as though
bewitched; and before he knew what
had happened he had sat down hard
and was staring foolishly up at the
"Here!" said the latter courteously,
bis wind-mask biding the smile—"my
hand again, monsieur. And now for
But when they approached the girl,
she surprised both by shivering, sit-
ting up, and obviously pulling herself
"You feel better now, mademoi-
selle?" the aviator Inquired, hasten-
ing to free her from her fastenings.
"I’m better—yes, thank you," she
admitted In a small, broken voice—
“but not yet q^e myself."
She gave a hand to the aviator, the
other to Lanyard, and as they helped
her to the ground Lanyard, warned by
his experience, stood by with a ready
She needed that support, and for a
few minutes didn't seem even con-
scious of It. Then, gently disengaging
herself, she moved a foot or two away.
“Where are we—do you know?”
“On the South Downs somewhere?"
Lanyard suggested, consulting Vauque-
"That le probable," thle last af-
firmed—"at all events, reckoning by
the course I held. Somewhere well In
from the coast, at a venture, for 1 do
not hear the sea."
"Near Lewes, perhaps?"
"I have no reason to doubt It."
An odd, constrained pause ensued.
The girl looked from the aviator to
Lanyard, then at neither—turned a
trifle away from both and, trembling
with fatigue and enforcing self-control
by clenching her hands, stared aim
lessly off into the mist.
Painfully Lanyard set himself to
consider their position.
The Parrott had come to rest In
what Beemed to be a wide, shallow,
saucerllke depression, whose Irregu-
lar bounds were cloaked in fog. In
this space no living thing stirred save
those three; and as far as he could
determine, the waste was crossed by
not so much as a sheep track. In a
word, they were lost. There might be
a road running past the saucer ten
yards from its brim In any quarter.
There might not. Possibly there was a
town or village immediately adjacent.
Quite as possibly the downs billowed
away for miles on either hand, deso-
late, uninhabited. From where they
were therG was no means of telling.
"Well—what do we do now?" the
girl demanded suddenly In a nervous
"Oh. we’ll find a way out of this
somehow,” Vauquelln asserted confi-
dently. "England Isn’t big enough for
anybody to remain lost In It—not for
long, at all events. Only, I’m sorry
we’re not more sure of our where-
abouts on Miss Shannon’s account.”
"We’ll manage somehow,” Lanyard
The aviator smiled curiously. "To
begin with,” he advanced, "I dare say
we might as well get rid of these awk-
ward costumes of ours. They’ll ham-
In spite of his fatigue. Lanyard was
so struck by the circumstances that he
couldn’t help remarking it as he tore
off his wind-veil.
“Your English Is wonderfully good.
Captain Vauquelln," he observed.
The other laughed shortly.
"Why not?" said he, removing his
Lanyard looked up into his face,
stared, gasped, and fell back a pace.
“Wertheimer!" he exclaimed.
The Hollow In the Downs.
The Englishman smiled cheerfully in
response to Lanyard’s cry of astonish-
"In effect," he observed, stripping
off his gauntlets, "you’re right, Mr.
Lanyard. ‘Wertheimer’ Isn’t my name,
but It is so closely Identified with my
—ah—lnslnuatlve personality as to
warrant the misapprehension. I sha’n’t
demand an apology so long as you per-
mit me to preserve an Incognito which
may yet prove somewhat useful."
"Incognito!” Lanyard stammered,
completely discountenanced. “Use-
"You have my meaning exactly;
although my work In Paris Is now end-
ed, there’s no saying when It mightn’t
be convenient to be able to go back
without establishing a new Identity."
Before Lanyard replied to this ths
look of wonder In hi' eyes had yielded
to one of understanding.
"Scotland Yard, eh?" he queried
Wertheimer bowed. "Special agent,"
"I might have guessed, if I hadn’t
the wit of the domestic goose!" Lan-
yard affirmed bitterly. ’’But I must
"Yes," the Englishman assented
pleasantly; "I did pull your leg—didn't
IT But no more than the limbs of our
other friends. Of course. It’s taken
some Urn*. I had to establish myself
firmly over bare as a shining light of
ths swell mob before De Morblhan
would take me to hie hospitable bo-
"And—I presume I’m under arrest T”
With a laugh the Englishman shook
his bead vigorously.
"No. thank you!” he declared. "I’ve
had too convincing proof of your dla-
Llstenlng to the Drone That Presently
Dwindled to a Mere Thread of Sound.
taste for Interference In your affairs.
You fight too sincerely, Mr. Lanyard—
and I'm as tired a sleuth this very
morning as ever was! I'll need a
week’s rest to fit me to cope with the
task of taking you into custody—a
week and some very able-bodied assist-
ance! But,” he amended with graver
countenance, "I will say this: If you’re
In England a week hence. I’ll he
tempted to undertake the job on gen-
eral principles. I don’t In the least
question the sincerity of your Inten-
tion to behave yourself hereafter; but
as a servant of the king, it’s my duty
to advise you that England would pre-
fer you to Btart life anew—as they say
—In another country. Several steam'
era will be sailing for the States be-
fore the end of the week—further de-
tails I leave entirely to your discre-
tion. But go you must,” be concluded
“I understand—" said Lanyard;
and would have said more, but
couldn’t. There was something suspl
clously like a mist before his eyes.
Avoiding the faces of his sweetheart
and the Englishman, he turned aside,
put forth a hand blindly to a wing of
the biplane to steady himself, and
stood with head bowed and limbs trem
Moving quietly to his side, the girl
took his other hand and held it tight.
Presently Lanyard shook himself
Impatiently and lifted his head again.
"Sorry," he said apologetic—"but
your generosity—when I looked for
nothing better than arrest—was a bit
too much for my nerves!"
"Nonsense!" the Englishman com-
mented with brisk good-humor. "We’re
all upset. A drop of brandy'll do us
no end of good.”
Unbuttoning his leather surtout he
produced a flask from one of the Inner
pockets, filled Its metal cup, and of-
fered It to the glrL
"You first If you please, Miss Shan-
non. No—I Insist. You positively
She allowed herself to be persuaded,
drank, coughed, gasped and returned
the cup, which Wertheimer promptly
refilled and passed to Lanyard.
The raw spirits stung like Are, but
proved an Instant aid to the badly
Jangled nerves of the adventurer. In
another moment he was much more
Drinking In turn, Wertheimer put
away the flask. "That’s better!” he
commented. "Now I shall be able to
cut along with this blessed machine
without fretting over the fate of Ek-
strom. But till now I haven’t been
able to forget—"
He paused and drew a hand across
"It was, then, Ekstrom—you think?”
‘‘Unquestionably! De Morblhan had
learned—I know—of your bargain with
Ducroy; and I know, too, that he and
Ekstrom spent each morning In the
hangars at St.-Germaln-en-Laye after
your sensational, escape. It never en-
tered my head, of course, that they
had any such Insane scheme brewing
as that—else I would never have so
giddily arranged with Ducroy—through
the surete, of course—to take Vauque-
lln’s place. Besides, who else could
It have been? Not De Morblhan, for
he’s crippled for life, thanks to that
affair In the Bots; not Poplnot, who
was on his way to the Sante, last I saw
of him; and never Bannon—he was
dead before I left Parle for Port Avia-
■m. quite!" The gngffoman afi
firmed nonchalantly. "When we a^
reeled him at three this morning—
chargod with complicity to the mur-
der of Roddy—he flew into a passion
that brought oa a fatal hemorrhage
He died within len minutes."
There wee a little silence.
“1 may tell you. Mr. Lanyard." the
Englishman resumed, looking up from
the motor, to which he wee paying at-
tention with monkey wrench and oil
can. "that you were quite mistaken
when you ridiculed the Idee of the 'In-
ternational Underworld, Unlimited.’
Of course. If you hadn’t laughed, I
shouldn't feel quite as much respect
for you as I do; In fact, the chances
are you'd be In handcuffa—or e cell la
the Sante—this very minute. But, ab-
surd as It sounded—and was—the ’Un-
derworld’ project was a pet hobby ot
Bannon'e—who'd oeen the brelna of a
gang of criminals In New York for
many years. He was a bit touched on
tho subject. A monomaniac. If yon
ask me. And his enthusiasm won De
Morblhan and Poplnot over—and met
He took e wonderful fancy to me,
Bannon did; I really was appointed
first lieutenant in Greggs' stead.
Nothing he wouldn't tell me. 1 even
got him to tell me about you—why he
was so uncommon vindictive. Do you
wish to know?”
"If you please."
“It seems Bannon was the chap who
kidnaped and abandoned you at Troy
on’s. Your mother had been his wlfa
but left him for cause—divorced him—
and married again In England. You
were the child of her second marriage
Bannon managed to ruin your father-
drove him Into bankruptcy and to sui-
cide—and the shock of that, coupled
with your disappearance, killed your
mother. But even that wasn't enough
for Bannon; and when he found you'd
grown up to he the Lone Wolf, ht
signed your death warrant then and
there. Only you declined to be exp
cuted. Your family name—”
“Forgive me,” Lanyacd Interposed
hastily; "but I don’t care to know my
family name. If I have no parents liv-
ing, I’ve no kin who would welcome
my return. And If I had—I prefer to
prove myself before 1 hunt them up.
Some day, perhaps, I may apply to you
for more information. But for ths
present, I'm content—and grateful."
"I think,” said Wertheimer, reator-
lng the oil can to Us place In ths tool
kit, "you’re very wise. In fact, my per-
sonal feeling for you is one of grow-
ing esteem, if you’ll permit me to say
so. You’ve most of the makings ot e
man. Will you shake bands—with t
copper’s nark?” t
He gave Lanyard’s hand affirm and
friendly grasp and turned to the glrL
"Good-by, Miss Shannon. I’m truly
grateful for the assistance you gave us.
Without you we’d have been sadly
handicapped. And now It’s good-hy
and good luck. I hope vou may bS
happy. I’m sure you can’t go far wit)*
out coming across a highroad or a vil-
lage ; but—for reasons not unconnected
with my professional pursuits—I pre
fer to remain In Ignorance of the way
Releasing her hand, he stepped back,
saluted the lovers with a smile and
gay gesture, and clambered briskly to
the pilot’s seat of the biplane.
When firmly established, he turned
the switch of the starting mechanism.
The heavy, distinctive hum of ths
great motor filled that Isolated hollow
In the Downs with a sound like ths
.purring of a dynamo.
With a final wave of his hand, Werb
heimer grasped the starting lever.
Its brool deepening, the Parrott
stirred, shot forward abruptly. In two
seconds It was fifty yards distant. Its
silhouette already blurred, its wheels
lifting from the rim of the hollow.
Then lightly It rose and soared,
parted the mists, vanished.
For some time Lanyard and Lucy
Shannon remained motionless, cling-
ing together, hand In hand, their faces
upturned, as If expecting Its reappear
ance, listening to the drone that pres-
ently dwindled to a mere thread of
sound and died out altogether In the
obscurity above them.
Then, turning, they faced each
other, smiling uncertainly, a smile that
said: "So all that Is finished! Or, per-
haps, we have dreamed It!"
Suddenly, with a low cry, the girl
gave herself to Lanyard's arms; and
as this happened the mists parted and
bright sunlight flooded the hollow la
After a little, taking her lips away,
the girl rested her head on his shoul-
der and slphed a little sigh, a soft
sigh of content
"If we hurry," she said then, "U’e
possible that we may win to London
yet, before It’s too late."
"To get a special license—or what-
ever It ts one must get before one may
marry In haste In England. Don’t yon
He shook his head, laughed, and
caught her more closely to him.
"No,” he confessed; "I don’t know.
I haven’t had much experience. But
we can ask a policeman. Who’n
8ucker Not Landed.
"No, thank you I" politely said Pro-
fessor Pate, In reply to the tender of
the suave agent, "I do rot care to In-
dulge in oil stocks, mining shares, en-
cyclopedias or other golden opportu-
nities which must be grasped at once
or lost forever. While my experience In
the ways of the world Is somewhat
limited, I know of several more enjoy-
able methods of flinging away my
money.”—Kansas City Star.
The most manifest sign of wisdom
Is continual cheerfulness; such a state
and condition, like things In the re-
gions above the moon. Is always reel
Here’s what’s next.
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The County Democrat. (Tecumseh, Okla.), Vol. 23, No. 8, Ed. 1 Friday, November 10, 1916, newspaper, November 10, 1916; Tecumseh, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc1077520/m1/3/: accessed February 18, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.