The New Era. (Davenport, Okla.), Vol. 7, No. 29, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 26, 1915 Page: 2 of 8
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Wig CMS SPY
* The Mystery of a Silent Love * *
AUTHOR °J-"THr CLOJO) DOOR," CTC
ILLUSTRATIONS fy CD-RHODES
COPYRIGHT BY TMC SMART i£T PUBLISH/XT CO
W W f W
The yacht Lola narrowly escapes wreck
ki Leghorn harbor. Uordon Qregg, locum
Vcnens for the British consul. Is called
upon by Hornby, the Lola'B owner, and
dines aboard with him and Ills friend,
Jlylton Chater. Aboard the yacht he ac-
cidentally sees a room full of arms and
ammunition and a torn photograph of a
young girl. That night the consul's safe
Is robbed anil the Lola puts suddenly to
«e« The police find that Hornby Is -t
fraud and the Lola's namo a false one.
Orogg visits Capt Jack Durnford of the
pannes aboard IiIh vessel, and Is sur-
prised to learn that Durnford knows,
out will not roveal, the mystery of the
Lola. "It concerns a woman." In Lon-
don Gregg Is trapped nearly to his death
by a former servant Ollnto, who repents
yi time to save him, but not to give a rea-
jon for his treachery. Visiting In Dum-
pies Gregg meets Muriel Lelthcourt,
Who la strangely affected at the mention
pf the Lola Hornby appears. Muriel In-
troduces Hornby as Martin Woodroffe,
]|er father's friend. Gregg finds that she
u engaged to Woodroffe Lelthcourt'! ac-
tions and connection with Woodroffe ars
piysterloup. Gregg sees a copy of the
tprn photograph on the Lola and finds
that the young girl Is Muriel's friend,
woodroffe disappears. Gregg discovers
the body of a murdered woman In Ran-
And Muriel, a pretty figure In a low-
cut gown of turquoise chiffon, stand-
ing behind her father, smiled secretly
it me. I smiled at her In return, but
It was a strange smile, I fear, for with
the knowledge of that additional mys-
tery within me—the mystery of the
woman lying unconscious or perhaps
dead, up In the wood—held me stupe-
I had suspected Lelthcourt because
of his constant' trystB at that spot, but
I had at least proved that my sus-
picions were entirely without founda-
tion. He could not have gone home
and dressed in the time, for I had
taken the nearest route to the castle
while the fugitive would be compelled
to make a wide detour.
I only remained a few minutes, then
went forth into the darkness again,
utterly undecided how to act. My first
Impulse was to return to the woman's
aid, for she might not be dead after
And yet when I recollected that
hoarse cry that rang out in the dark-
ness, I knew too well that she had
been struck fatally. It was this latter
conviction that prevented me from
turning back to the wood. You will
perhaps blame me, but the fact Is I
feared that if I went there suspicion
might fall upon me, now that the real
culprit had so Ingeniously escaped.
Whether or not I acted rightly In re-
maining away from the place, I leave
it to you to Judge In the light of the
amazing truth which afterwards tran-
I decided to walk straight back to
my uncle's, and dinner was over before
I had had my tub and dressed. Next
day the body would surely be found;
then the whole countryside would be
filled with horror and surprise. Was
it possible that Lelthcourt, that calm,
well-groomed, distinguished looking
man, held any knowledge of the ghast-
ly truth? No. His manner as he
«tood In the hall chatting gayly with
m* was surely not that of a man with
a guilty secret. I became firmly con-
vinced that although the tragedy af-
fected him very closely, and that it
had occurred at the spot which he had
tach day visited for some mysterious
purpose, yet up to the present he was
in ignorance of what had transpired.
But who was the woman? Was she
youhg or old?
A thousand times I regretted bitter-
ly that I had no matches with me so
that I might examine her features.
Was the victim that sweet-faced young
klrl whose photograph had been so
ruthlessly cast from Its frame and de-
stroyed? The theory was a weird one,
but was it the truth? I retired to my
room that night full of fevered appre-
hension. Had I acted rightly In not
■returning to that lonely spot on the
brow of the hill? Had I done as a
man should do in keeping the tragic
secret to myself?
At six 1 shaved, descended, and
went out with the dogs for a short
walk; but on returning I heard of
nothing unusual, and was compelled to
remain Inactive untli near midday.
I was crossing the stable yard where
1 had gone to order the carriage for
my aunt, when an English groom, sud-
denly emerging from the harness room,
touched his cap, saying;
"Have you 'eard, sir, of the awful
affair up yonder?"
"Of what?" I asked quickly.
"Well sir, there seems to have been
a murder last night up in Rannoch
wood," said the man quickly. "Holden,
the gardener, has Just come back from
that v'liaxe and Bays that Mr. Lelth-
co^rt's under gamekeeper as he was
going home at five tills morning came
upon a dead body."
"Call Holden. I'd like to know all
he's heard," I said. And presently,
when the gardener emerged from the
grapehouse, I sought of him all the
particulars he had gathered.
"I don't know very much, sir," was
the man's reply. "I went Into the Inn
for a glass of beer at eleven, as I al-
ways do, and heard them talking about
It. A young man was murdered last
ftlght up in Rannoch wood."
"The body was that of a man?" I
asked, trying to conceal my utter be-
"Yes—about thirty, they say. The
police have taken him to the mortuary
at Dumfries, and the detectives are up
there now looking at the spot, they
A man! And yet the body I found
was that of a woman—that I could
After lunch I took the dogcart and
drove alone Into Dumfries.
The police constable on duty at the
town mortuary took me up a narrow
alley, unlocked a door, and I found my-
self In the cold, gloomy chamber of
death. From a small dingy window
above the light fell upon an object
lying upon a large slab of gray stone
and covered with a soiled sheet.
The policeman lifted the end of the
sheet, revealing to me a white, hard-
set face, with closed eyes and dropped
Jaw. I started back as my eyes fell
upon the dead countenance. I was en-
tirely unprepared for such a revela-
tion. The truth staggered me.
The victim was the man who had
acted as my friend—the Italian waiter,
I advanced and peered into the thin
inanimate features, scarce able to real-
ize the actual fact. But my eyes had
not deceived me. Though death dis-
torts the facial expression of every
man, I had no difficulty In Identifying
"You recognize him, sir?" remarked
the officer. "Who Is he? Our people
are very anxious to know, for up to the
present moment they haven't succeed-
ed in establishing his identity.
"I will see your inspector," I an-
swered with as much calmness as I
could muster. "Where has the poor
fellow been wounded?"
"Through the heart," responded the
constable, as turning the sheet farther
down he showed me the small knife
wound which had penetrated the vic-
tim's Jacket and vest full in the chest.
"This is the weapon," he added, tak-
ing from a shelf close by a long, thin
poniard with an Ivory handle, which
he handed to me.
In an instant I recognized what It
was, and how deadly. It was an old
Florentine miserlcordta. with a hilt
of yellow Ivory, the most deadly and
fatal of all the daggers of the middle
ages. It was still blood-stained, but as
I took the deadly thing In my hand I
saw that Its blade was beautifully dam-
ascened, a most elegant specimen of a
medieval arm. Yet surely none but
an Italian would use such a weapon,
or would aim so truly as to penetrate
the heart. And yet the person struck
down was a woman and not a man!
I looked again for the last time upon
the dead face of the man who had
served me so well, and yet who had
enticed me so nearly to my death. In
the latter Incident there was a deep
mystery. He had relented at the last
moment, Just In time to save me from
my secret enemies.
Could it be that my enemies were
his? Had he fallen a victim by the
same hand that had attempted so in-
geniously to kill me?
Why had Lelthcourt gone so regu-
larly up to Rannoch wood? Was It In
order to meet the man who was to be
entrapped and killed? What was
Olinto Santini doing so far from Lon-
don, if he had not come expressly to
4neet someone In secret?
With my own hand I re-covered the
face with the sheet. I accompanied
the constable to the inspector's office
some distance across the town.
Having been introduced to the big,
fair-haired man in a rough tweed suit,"
who was apparently directing the In-
quiries Into the affair, he took ine
eagerly Into a small back room and
began to question me. I was, however,
wary not to commit myself to any'
thing further than the identification of
"The fact Is," I said confidentially,
"you must omit me from the witnesses
at the Inquest."
'Why?" asked the detective sus-
"Because If It were known that I
have identified him all chance of
getting at the truth will at once van-
ish," I answered. "I have come here
to tell you In strictest confidence who
the poor fellow really is."
"Then you knpw something of the
affair?" he said, with a strong High-
"I know nothing," I declared. "Noth-
ing except his name."
"H'm. And you say he's a foreigner
"He was in my service In Leghorn
for several years, and on leaving me
he came to London and obtained an
engagement as waiter in a restaurant.
His father lived in Leghorn; he was
doorkeeper at the prefecture."
"But why was he here In Scotland?"
"How can I tell?"
"You know something of the affair.
I mean that you suspect somebody, or
you would have no objection to giving
evidence at the Inquiry."
"I have no suspicions. To me the
affair Is Just as much of an enigma
as to you," I hastened at once to ex-
plain. "My only fear Is that If the
assassin knew that I had Identified
him he would take care not to betray
"You therefore think he will betray
"I hope so."
"By the fact that the ntan was at-
tacked with an Italian stiletto, It would
seem that his assailant was a fellow-
countryman," suggested the detective.
"The evidence certainly points to
that," I replied.
"Someone who waited for him on the
edge of that wood and stepped out and
kilted him—that's evident," he said,
"and my belief Is that it was an Ital-
ian. There were two foreigners who
slept at a common lodging house two
nights ago and went on tramp towards
Glasgow. We have telegraphed after
them and hope we shall find them.
Scotsmen or Englishmen never use a
knife of that pattern."
"I know not whom to suspect," I
declared. "It Is a mystery why the
man who was once my faithful servant
Revealing to Me a White, Hard, Set
Face With Closed Eyes and Dropped
should be enticed to that wood and
stabbed to the heart."
"There Is no one In the vicinity who
"Not to my knowledge."
"We might obtain his address in
London through his father in Leg-
horn." suggested the officer.
"I will write today if you so desire,"
I said readily. "Indeed, 1 will get my
friend the British consul to go round
and see the old man and telegraph the
address if he obtains it."
"Capital!" he declared. "If you will
do us this favor we shall be greatly
Indebted to you. It Is fortunate that
we have established the victim's iden-
tity—otherwise we might be entirely
In the dark. A murdered foreigner is
always more or less of a mystery."
Therefore, then and there, I took a
sheet of paper and wrote to my old
friend Hutcheson at Leghorn, asking
him to make Immediate Inquiry of
Olinto's father as to his son's address
We sat for a long time discussing
the strange affair. In order to be-
tray no eagerness to get away, I of-
fered the big Highlander a cigar from
my case and we smoked together. The
inquiry would be held on the morrow,
he told me, but as far as the public
was concerned the body would remain
as that of some person "unknown."
"And you had better not come to
my uncle's house, or send anyone,"
I said. "If you desire to see me, send
me a line and I will meet you here
in Dumfries. It will be safer."
The officer looked at me with thoee
keen eves of his, and said;
Really, Mr. Gregg, T can't quite
make you out, I confess. You seem
to be apprehensive of your own safety.
"One neTo* knows whom one of-
fends when living in Italy," I laughed,
as lightly as I could, endeavoring to
allay his suspicion. "He may have
fallon beneath the assassin's knife by
giving a small and possibly Innocent
offense to somebody. Italian methods
are not English, you know."
"By Jove, sir, and I'm Jolly glad
they're not!" he said. "I shouldn't
think a police officer's life a very
safe one among all those Becret mur-
der societies I've read about" \
"Ah! what you read about them is
often very much exaggerated," I as-
sured him. "It Is the vendetta which
is such a stain upon the character of
the modern Italian; and depend upon
It, this affair in Rannoch wood is the
outcome of some revenge or other—
probably over a love affair."
"But you will assist us, sir?" he
urged. "You know the Italian lan-
guage, which will be of great advan-
tage; besides, the victim was your
"Be discreet," I said. "And in return
I will do my very utmost to assist you
in hunting down the assassin."
And thus we made our attempt.
Half an hour after I was driving In
the dogcart through the pouring rain
up the hill out of gray old Dumfries
to my uncle's house.
As I descended from the cart and
gave It over to a groom, old DaviB, the
butler, came forward, saying in a
"There's Miss Lelthcourt waiting to
see you, Mr. Gordon. She's in the
morning room, and been there an hour.
She asked me not to tell anyone else
she's here, sir."
I walked across the big hall and
along the corridor to the room the old
man had Indicated.
And as I opened the door and Mu-
riel Leithcourt in plain black rose to
meet me, I plainly saw from her white,
haggard countenance that something
had happened—that she had been
forced by circumstances to come to
me in strictest confidence.
Was she, I wondered, about to re-
veal to me the truth?
The Gathering of the Clouds.
"Mr. Gregg," exclaimed the girl with
agitation, as she put forth her black-
gloved hand, "I—I suppose you know
—you've heard all about the discovery
today at the wood? I need not tell
you anything about It."
"Yes, Miss Lelthcourt, I only wish
you would tell me about it," I said
gravely, inviting her to a chair and
seating myself. Who is the man?"
"Ah! that we don't know," she re-
plied, pale-faced and anxious. "I
wanted to see you alone—that's the
reason I am here. They must not
know at home that I've been over
"Why, Is there any service I can
"Yes. A very great one," she re-
sponded with quick eagerness, "I—
well—the fact is, I have summoned
courage to come to you and beg of
you to help me. I am In great dis-
tress—and I have not a single friend
whom I can trust—in whom 1 can con-
Her lips moved nervously, but no
sound came from them, so agitated
was she, so eager to tell me some-
thing; and yet at the same time reluc-
tant to take me Into her confidence.
"It concerns the terrible discovery
made up in Rannoch wood," she said
in a hoarse, nervous voice at last.
"That unknown man was murdered—
stabbed to the heart. I have suspi-
"Of the murdered man's Identity?"
"No. Of the assassin. I want you
to help me, If you will."
"Most certainly," I responded. "But
if you believe you know the assassin
you probably know something of the
"Only that he looked like a for-
"Then you have seen him?" I ex-
claimed, much surprised.
My remark caused her to hold her
breath for an Instant. Jhen she an-
swered. rather lamely. It seemed to
"From his features and complexion I
guessed him to be an Italian. I saw
him after the keepers had found him."
"Besides," she went on, "the stiletto
was evidently an Italian one, which
would almost make It appear that a
foreigner was the assassin."
"Is that your own suspicion?"
She hesitated a moment, then In a
low. eager voice she said:
"Because I have already seen that
knife In another person's possession."
"Then what is your theory regard-
ing the affair?" I inquired.
"It seems certain that the poor fel-
low went to the wood by appointment,
and was killed. Th* afTalr Interested
me, and as soon as I recognized the
old Italian knife in the hand of the
keeper, I went up there and looked
about. 1 am glad I did so, for I found
•omethlng which seems to have es-
caped the notice of the detectives."
"And what's that?" 1 asked eagerly
"Why, about three yards from the
pool of blood where the unfortunat#
foreigner was found Is another small
pool of blood where the grass and
ferns around are all crushed down as
though there had been a struggi,
"There may have been a struggle at
that spot, and the man may have stag-
gered some distance before he fell
"Not if he had been struck in the
heart, as they say. He would fall,
would he not?" she suggested. "No.
The police seem very dense, and this
plain fact has not yet occurred bo
them. Their theory is the same a«
what you suggest, but my own is some*
thing quite different, Mr. Gregg. I be*
lieve that a second person also felj
a victim," she added In a low, distinct
I gazed at her open-mouthed. Did
she, I wondered, know the actual
truth? Was she aware that the woman
who had fallen there had disappeared?
"A second person!" I echoed, ag
though in surprise. "Then do you b«r
lieve that a double murder was cou>
"I draw my conclusion from the fact
that the young man, on being struck
in the heart, could not have gone such
a distance as that which separates the
one mark from the other."
"But he might have been slightly
wounded—on the hand, or in the face—
at first, and then at the spot where
he was found struck fatally," I sug-
She shook her head dubiously, but
made no reply to my argument. Her
confidence in her own surmises made
it quite apparent that by some un-
known means she was aware of the
second victim, indeed, a few moments
later she said to me;
"It is for this reason, Mr. Gregg, that
I have sought you in confidence. No-
body must know that I have come hero
to you, or they would suspect; and if
suspicion fell upon me It would bring
upon me a fate worse than death. Re-
member, therefore, that my future la
entirely in your bands." •
"I don't quite understand," I said,
rising and standing before her in the
fading twilight, while the rain drove
upon the old diamond window panes.
"But I can only assure you that what-
ever confidence you repose in me, I
shall never abuse, Miss Lelthcourt.'*
"I know, I know!" she said quickly.
"I trust you in this mptter implicitly.
I have come to you for many reason^
chief of them being that if a second
victim has fallen beneath the hand
of the assasin. It is, I know, a woman."
"A woman! Whom?"
"At present I cannot tell you. I
must first establish the facts. If thia
woman were really stricken down,
then her body lies concealed some-
where in the vicinity. We must find
it and bring home the crime to the
"But if we succeed in finding it,
could we place our hand upon the
assassin?" I asked, looking straight at
"If we find It, the crime would then
tell Its own tale—It would convict the
person in whose hand I have seen that
fatal weapon," was her clear, bold
"Then you wish me to assist you in
this search, Miss Lelthcourt? My
search may bring suspicion upon me.
It will be difficult to examine the whole
wood without arousing the curiosity of
somebody—the keeper or the police."
"I have already thought of that," she
said. "I will pretend tomorrow to lose
this watch bracelet in the wood," and
she held up her slim wrist to show
me the little enameled watch set in
her bracelet. "Then you and I will
search for it diligently, and the police
will never suspect the real reason of
our Investigation. Tomorrow I shall
write to you telling you about my
Iobs, and you will come over to Ran«
noch and offer to help me."
I was silent for a moment.
"Is Mr. Woodroffe back et the
castle? I heard he was to return to-
"No. I had a letter from him from
Bordeaux a week ago. He is still on
the continent. I believe, Indeed, he
has gone to Russia, where ke some-
times has business."
"I asked you the question, Miss Mu-
riel, because I thought if Mr. Wood-
rolte were here he might object to
our searching in company," I ex-
Her cheeks flushed slightly, as
though confused at my reference to
her engagement, and she said mis-
"I don't see why he should object In
the least. If you are good enough to
assist me to search for my bracelet,
he surely ought to be much obliged to
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
Depends on the Man.
Any woman can have any man she
likes If she pursues him vigorously
enough or eludes him—either does.
There are two ways for a woman
to get what she wants. Either chase
it for all she is worth, or run from It
in the Bame manner. It depends on
the man.—"Time o' Day," by Dorlt
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Tryon, W. M. The New Era. (Davenport, Okla.), Vol. 7, No. 29, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 26, 1915, newspaper, August 26, 1915; Davenport, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc110009/m1/2/: accessed February 17, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.