Lexington Leader (Lexington, Okla.), Vol. 21, No. 5, Ed. 1 Friday, October 20, 1911 Page: 3 of 8
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fi^LOUIS JOSEPH VANCE
AUTHOR OP "THE BRASS HOWL" ETC. n /
OQJLQ>OT[3U5JO®I39 by BiSSf W&HrGGQS ^
COPYfbQ'HT OY LOU/J dO£U*i YAHC£
David Ambflr, starting for a duck-«hoot-
fof visit with his friend, Quatn, comes up-
on a young lady equestrian who has been
dismounted by her horse becoming fright-
ened at tiie sudden appearance In the road
•f a burly Hindu. He declares
Nay, but tell me. King of my Soul.
did It not leap a little at the thought
of meeting me?"
With a quick gesture she throw her
veil aside and lifted her Incomparably
fair face to his, and he was conscious
Beharl Lai "chatterjl" "The"' appointed ] that he trembled a little, and that his j
«'a^an'oV wSi.^ai/lndT"^^ I Tolce shook as he answered evasive
mysterious little bronze box, "The To- ly: "Thou shoilldst know, Ranee.
Ven." Into his hand, disappears In the ; riraw h.,„v
wood. The girl calls Amber by name.
He In turn addresses her as Miss Sophie
Farrell, daughter of Col. Farrell of the
British diplomatic service in India and
visiting the Qualns. Several nights later
the Qualn home is burglarized and the
bronze box stolen. Amber and Qualn go
bunting on an Island and become lost and
Amber Is left marooned. Tie wanders
about, finally reaches a cabin and rec-
ognizes as Its occupant an old friend
flamed Rutton, whom lie last met In Eng-
and, and \\ m i appears to be in hiding.
When Miss Furrefl is mentioned Rutton Is
strangely agitated. Chatterjl appears
and summons Rutton to a meeting of a
mysterious body. Rutton seizes a revol-
ver and dashes after Chatterjl. He re-
turns wiidly excited, says he ^i:is killed
the Hindu, takes poison, and when dying
asks Amber to go to India on a mysteri-
ous errand. Amber decides to leave at
once for India. On the way he sends a
letter to Mr. Labertouche, a scientific
friend In Calcutta, by a quicker route.
Upon arriving he finds a note awaiting
blm. It directs Amber to meet his friend
at a certain place. The latter tells him
he knows hts mission is to get Miss Far-
rell out of the country. Amber attempts
to dispose of the Token to a money-len-
tier. is mistaken for Rutton and barely
escapes being mobbed. A message from
T.shertouche causes him to start for D'ir-
leellng; on the way he meets Miss
Farrell, and at their Journey's end asks
her to become his wife. A Hindu con-
ducts Amber to a secret place, and into the
rresence of a beautiful woman who mis-
ftkes him for Rutton. I^ater Amber la
drugged. The Hindus plot rebellion.
CHAPTER XVII. (Continued).
"Hazoor," the native quavered In
fright, "It was cold upon the water
and you kept me waiting overlong. I
landed, seeking shelter from the wind.
If your talk was not for mine ears,
remember that you used a tongue I
Aid not know."
"So you were listening!" Amber
calmed himself. "Never mind. Where's
"I thought to hide It In the rushes.
If the hazoor will be patient for a lit-
tle moment . . The native
dropped down from the bund and dis-
appeared Into the reedy tangle of the
lake shore. A minute or so later Am-
ber saw the boat shoot out from the
shore and swing In a long, graceful
curve to the steps of the bund.
"Make haste," he ordered, as he
Jumped In and took his place. "If I
have kept you waiting, as you say,
then I am late."
"Nay, there Is time to spare." Dulla
Dad spun the boat round and away.
"I did but think to anticipate your Im-
patience, knowing that you would as-
"Ah, you knew that, Dulla Dad?
How did you know?"
"I, hazoor? Who am I to know
itigbt? . . . Nay, this have I
heard"—he paused cunningly: "'You
ahall find but one way to Kathiapur.' "
Amber, realizing that he had invited
this Insolence, was fair enough not to
resent It, and held his peace until he
could no longer be blind to the fact
that the native was shaping a course
almost exactly away from the Raj
Mahal. "What treachery Is this, dog?"
he demanded. "This Is not the
"Be not mistrustful of your slave,
hazoor," whined the native.
bidding of those before whose will I
am as a leaf In the wind. It Is an
order that I land you on the bund of
the royal summer pavilion, by (he
northern shore of the lake. There will
you find one waiting for you, my
He landed on the steps of the bund
and waited for Dulla Dad to join him;
but when, hearing a splash of the pad-
dle, ho looked round. It was to find
that the native had already put a con-
siderable distance • between himself
and (he shore. Amber called after
htm angrily, and Dulla Dad rested
upon his paddle.
"Nay, heaven-born!" he replied.
"Here doth my responsibility end. An-
other will presently appear to be your
guide Go you up to tho jungly path
leading from the bund."
Thou wilt not draw back In the
end?" Her arms clipped him softly
about the neck and drew his head
down so that her breath was fragrant
In hla face, he.r lips a sweet peril be-
neath his own. "Thou wflt brave
whatever may be prepared for- thy
testing, for the sake of Naralni, who
awaits' thee beyond the Gateway. O
'T shall not be found wanting."
Lithe as a snake, Bhe slipped from
his arms. "Nay, I trust thee not!"
she laughed, a quiver of tenderness In
her merriment. "Let my lips be mine
alone until thou hast proven thyself
worthy of them." She raised her
voice, calling: "Ohe. Runjlt Singh!"
The cry rang bell-clear In the still-
ness, and Its silver echo had not d ed
before it was answered b'y one who
stepped out of the hla^k shadow of a
spreading banian, some distance away,
and came toward them, leading three
horses. As the moonlight fell upon
him, Amber recognized the uniform
the man wore as that of the Imperial
household guard of Khandawar, while
the horses seemed to be stallions he
had seen In the palace yard, with an-
other but little their inferior In mettle
"Now," announced the woman In
tones of deep contentment, "we will
She turned to Amber, who took her
up In his arms and set her In the sad-
dle of one of the stallions.
The sowar surrendered to Amber
the reins of the other stallion and
stepped hastily aside. The Virginian
took the saddle with a flying leap, and
a thought later was digging his knees
into the brute's sleek flanks and saw-
ing on the bits, while the path flowed
beneath him, dappled with moonlight
and shadow, like a ribbon of gray-
green silk, and trees and shrubbery
streaked back on either hand In a
rush of melting blacks and grays.
Swerving acutely, the path ran Into
the dusty high road. Amber heard a
rush of hoofs behind him. and then
slowly the gauze-wrapped figure of the
queen drew alongside.
"Maro! Let him run, my kingl
The way Is not far for such as he.
Have no fear lest ho tire!"
But Amber set his teeth and
wrought with the reins until his
mount comprehended the fact that he
had met a master and, moderating his
first furious burst of speed, settled
down Into a league-devouring stride,
crest low, limbs gathering and stretch-
ing, with the elegant precision of
clockwork. His rider, regaining his
poise, found time to look about him
and began to enjoy, for all his carts,
this wild race through the blue-white
They circled finally a great, round,
grassless hillside, and pulled rein in
the notch of a gigantic V formed by
two long, prow-like spurs running out
I do the I "'10n B Ploln whose sole, vngue bound-
' ary was the vast arc of the horizon.
Before them loomed dead Kathiapur,
an island of stone girdled by the shal-
low silver river. Like the rugged
pedestal of some mammoth column. Its
cliffs rose sheer threescore feet from
the water's edge to the foot of the
outermost of Its triple walls. From
the notch In ths hills a great stone
causeway climbed with a long and
rasv grade to th" level of the first
great gate, spanning the chasm over
the river by means of a crazy wooden
A gasp from the woman and an
oath from the sowar startled Amber
out of somber apprehensions Into
which he had been plunged by contem-
plation of tills Impregnable fortress
of desolation. Gone was his lust for
peril, gone his high, hendless joy of
adventure, gone the Intoxication which
I, Naralni," he returned In English; •
tongue which teemed somehow better
suited for service In combating the es-
oterlo Influences at work upon his
mind. "What's the next turn on the
"I like not that tone, nor yet that
tongue." The woman shivered. "Even
as the Eye seeth, my lord, so doth
the Ear hear. Is It meet and wise to
speak with levity of that tu whose
power thou shalt shortly Ve?"
"Perhaps not," he admitted, thought-
fully. " In whoso power I Bhall short-
ly be.' . . . Well, of course!"
"And thou wilt go on? • Thou art
not mind to withdraw thy hand?"
"Not so that you'd notice It, Na-
"For the sake of the reward Na-
ralni offers thee?" Bhe persisted dan-
"I don't mind telling you that you'd
turn 'most any man's head, my dear,"
he said, cheerfully, and let her Inter-
pret the words as she pleased.
She was not pleased, for her ac-
quaintance with English was more in-
timate thup she had chosen to admit;
but If she felt any chagrin she dis-
simulated with her never-falling art.
"Then bid me farewell, O my soul,
"Up thereT" he Inquired, lifting his
"Aye, up the causeway and over the
bridge, Into the city of death."
"Aye, alone and afoot, my king."
"Pleasant prospect, thanks." Am-
ber whistled, a trifled dashed. "And
therf, when 1 get up there—?"
"One will meet thee. Go with him,
"And what will you do, meanwhile?"
"When thou shalt have passed the
Gateway, my lord, Naralni will be
waiting for thee."
"Very well." Amber threw a leg
structure, strong enough to sustain a
troop of warriors but light enough to
be easily drawn up, had extended
across the chasm, rendering the city
lmprtgnab!e from capture by assault
If bo, It had long since been replaced
by an ttlry and well-ventilated lattice-
work of board* and timbers, none of
which seemed to the wary eye any too
sound Amber selected the most solid
looking' of the lot and gingerly ad-
vanced a pace or two along It. With
a soft crackling a portion of the tim-
ber crumbled to dust beneath his feet.
He retreated hastily to the causeway,
and swore, and noticed that the Eye
was watching him with malevolent In
terest, and swore some more. En-
tirely on Impulse he heaved a bit of
rock, possibly twenty pounds In
weight, to the middle of the structure.
There followed a splintering crash
and the contraption dissolved like a
magic-lantern effect, leaving a soVtarv
beam about a foot In width and six
or eight Inches thick, spanning a
flight of twenty and" a drop of sixty
feet. The river received the rubbish
with several successive splashes, dis-
tinctly disconcerting, and Amber sat
down on a boulder to think It over.
"Clever Invention," he mused;
"one'd think that, after taking all this
trouble to get me here, they'd chaftged
their minds about wanting me. I've
a notion to change mine."
There seemed to be no possibility
of turning back at that stage, how-
ever. Kuttarpur was rather far away,
and, moreover, he doubted if he would
I be permitted to return. Having come
thus far. he must go on Moreover,
' Sophia Farrell was on the other side
| of that Swordwlde bridge, and such
I being the case, cross It ho would
though he were to find the next world
1 at Its end. Finally he considered that
he was presently to undergo an ordeal
of some unknown nature, probably ex-
Came Toward Them Leading Three Horses.
The Vli^glnian lifted his shoulders had beeI1 his who had drunk deep of
Indifferently, and ascended to discover thp 0„p romance: there remained
a wide footpath running Inland be- | oniy knowledge that he, alone and
tween dark walls of shrubbery, but single-handed, was to pit his wits
quite deserted. He stopped with a apl|nst the Invisible and mighty
whistle of vexation, peering to right j for(.e9 that lurked In hiding within
and left. "What the deuce!" he said those walls, to seem to submit to
aloud. "Is this another of their con- j the!r designs and so find his way to
founded tricks?" , the woman of his love, tear her from
A low and inarvclously sweet laugh the grasp of the unseen, and with her
sounded at his elbow, and he turned j escape . . .
with a start and a flutter of hl3 pulses. ! Naralni had. Indeed, no need 'o cry
"Naralni!" he cried aloud or eluteh his hand In order to
"Tell me not thou art disappointed, apprise him that the Eye was vigilant.
over the crupper, handed the stallion's
reins to the sowar, who had dismount-
ed and drawn near and dropped to his
j Naralni nodded to the sowar, who j
j led the animal away. When he was
j out of earshot the woman leaned from
the saddle, her glorious eyes to Am-
ber's. "My king!" she breathed in
But the thought of Sophia Farrell
and what she might be suffering at
that very moment was uppermost—
obtruded Itself like a wall between
himself and the woman.
"Goodnight, my dear," he said amia-
bly; and, turning, made off toward the
foot of the causeway.
When he had gained it, he looked
hack to see her riding off at a wide
angle from the causeway, heading out
Into the plain. When he looked again,
some two or three minutes later. Na-
ralni, the sowar, and the horses had
vanished as completely as if the earth
had opened to receivo them. He
rubbed his eyes, stared and gave it
So he was alone! . . . With a
shrug, he plodded on.
0 my king!" she said, placing a soft
hand firmly upon his arm. "Didst
thou hope to meet another here?"
"Nay, how should I expect thee""
His voice was gentle though he
steeled his heart against her fascina-
tions; for now he had use for her.
"Had Dulla Dad conveyed me to the
palace, then I should have remember-
ed thy promise to ride with me to
Kathiapur. But, being brought to this
place . .
"Then thou didst wish to ride with
me?" She nodded approval and satis-
faction. "That Is altogether as 1 would
tiave It be, Lord of my Heart By this
have I proven thee, for thou hast con-
sented to approach the Gateway, not
altogether because the Voice hath
summoned thee, but likewise. I think,
because thine Own heart Urged the#.
He himself had seen It break forth,
lurid star of emerald light suspended
high above the dark heart of the city.
Slowly, while they watched the
star descended, foot by foot, dropping
until the topmost pinnacle of a hidden
temple Bemed to support It: and
there it rested, throbbing with light,
now bright, now dull.
Amber shook himself Imrat'ently.
"Silly chniianlry!" he muttered, Irri-
gated by his own susceptibility to Its
sinister suggestion. . . . 'I'd like
to know how they manage It, though;
the light Itself's comprehensible
enough, but their control of It. . . .
If there were enough wind, I'd suspect
a kite. . . ."
"Thou art not dismayed, my king""
He laughed, not quite as successful-
ly as he could have wished, and. "Not
The Hooded Death.
The causeway down which the
horBemen of forgotten kings of Khan-
dawar had clattered forth to war, in
Its age-old desuetude had come to de
cay. Between its great paving blocks
*rass sprouted, and here and there
creepers and even trees had taken
root and in the slow Immutable proc-
ess of their growth had displaced con-
siderable masses of stone; so that
there were pitfalls to be avoided.
Otherwise a litter of rubble made the
walking anything but good. Amber
picked his way with caution, grumb-
After some three quarters of an
hour of hard climbing he came to the
wooden bridge, and halted, surveying
It with mistrust. Doubtless In the old
en time a substantial but movable
tremely unpleasant, and that this mat-
ter of the vanishing bridge must have
been arranged in order to put him in
a properly subdued and tractable
frame of mind.
He got up and tested the remaining
girder with circumspection and in-
credulity; but It somed firm enough,
solidly embedded In the stonework of
the causeway and Immovable at the
city end. So ho straddled It and,
averting his eyes from the scenery be-
neath him, hitched Ingloriously across,
collecting splinters and a very din
tinet, impression' that, as a vocation,
knight errantry was not without its
When again he stood on his feet he
was in the shadow of the outer gate-
way, the curtain of the second wall
Casting about, he discovered the sec
ond gateway at some distance to the
left, and started toward It, forcing a
way through a tangle of Bcrubby tin
dergrowth, weeds and thorny acacia,
but had taken few steps ere a heavy
splash In the river below brought him
up standing, with a thumping heart.
After an Irresolute moment he turned
back to see for himself, and found his
apprehension only too well grounded;
the swordwlde bridge was gone, dis
placed by an agency which had been
prompt to seek cover—though he con-
fessed himself unable to suggest
where that (*over had been found.
He gave It up, considering that, it
were futile to badger his wits for the
how ami tho wherefore The Impor-
tant fact remained that he was a pris-
oner In dead Kathiapur, his retreat
cut off, and— Here he made a sec-
ond discovery, infinitely more shock-
ing: his pistol was gone.
Turning back at length, he made his
way to the second gateway and from
It to the third, under the lewdly
sculptured arch of which ho stopped
and gasped, forgetting "s for'the first
time Kathiapur the Fallen was re-
vealed to him In tho awful beauty of
its naked desolation.
A wide and utataly avenue stretr.had
away from the portals, between row t
of dwellings, palaces of marble and
stone, tombstones and mausoleum!
with meaner holts s of sun-dried brick
and rubble, roofless all and disinte-
grate In the slow, terrible process
of the years.
As Amber moved forward small,
alert ghosts rose from the under-
growth and scurried silently thence;
a circumstance which made him very
The way was difficult and Amber
tired. After a while, having en
nothing but the jackals, an owl or
two, several thousand bats and a
crawling thing which had lurched
along In the shadow of a wall some
distance away, giving an admirable
Imitation of a badly wounded man
pulling himself Hver the ground, nnd
making strange guttural noises—Am
ber concluded to wait for the guide
Naralni had promised htm. Ho turned
aside and seated himself upon the
edge of a broken sandstone tomb The
sllejice was appalling nnd for relief
he took refuge In cheap Irreverence
"Home." he .observed, aloud, "never
was like this "
A heart-rending sigh from the tomb
behind him was followed by a rattle
of dislodged rubbish. Amber found
himself unexpectedly In the middle of
the street, and, without stopping to d<^
bate the method of his getting there
with such unprecedented rapidity,
looked back hopefully to the tomb. At
the same moment a black-shrouded
figure swept out-of It and moved a few
paces down the street, then paused
and beckoned him with a gaunt arm.
"I wish," said Amber, earnestly, "i
had that gun."
The figure was apparently that of a
native swathed In black from his head
to his heels nnd Reomed the mere
strikingly peculiar In view of the feet
that, as far as Amber could deter-
mine, he had neither eyes nor features
although his head was without any
sort of covering. He gulped over the
proposition for an Instant, then
"Evidently my appointed cicerone,"
he considered. "ITnnuestlonably this
ghost-dance Is excellently stage man-
aged. . . . Though, of course. I had
to pick out that particular tomb "
He followed In tho wake of the fig-
ure. which sped on with a singular
motion, something between a walk
and a g'ldo, conscious that his eoua-
ntmlty had heen restored rather than
shaken by the Incident.
lie held on In pursuit of the black
shadow, passing forsaken temples and
lordly pleasure houses, all marble
tracery nnd fretwork, standing apart
In what had once been noble gardens,
sunken tanks all weed grown nnd
rank with slime, humbler dooryards
nnd cots on whose hearthstones the
fires for centuries had been cold—his
destination evidently the temple of
the unspeakable Eye.
As they drew nearer the lending
shadow forsook the shade of the walls
which he seemed to favor, sweeping
hastily across a plaza white with
moonglare and without pause on Into
the blaqlt, gaping hole beyond the
Here for the first time Amber hung
back, stopping a score of feet from
the donr. his nerves a jangle, He did
not falter In his purpose; he was go-
ing to enter the Inky portal, but
. . would he ever leave It? And
the world was sweet to him.
He took firm hold of bis reason and
went on across the dark threshold,
took three uncertain strides Into the
limitless unknown, and pulled up
short, hearing nothing, unable to see
a yard before him. Then with a ter-
rific crash like a thunder-clap the
great doors swung to behind him. He
whirled about with a stifled cry, con-
scious of a mad desire to find the
doors again, took a step or two to-
ward them, paused to wonder If he
were moving In the right direction,
moved a little to the left, half turned
I and was lost. Reverberating, the
echoes of the crash rolled far away
until they were no more than as a
whisper adrift in the silence, until
that was gone. , . .
Itigglng his nails Into his palms, he
waited: and In the suspense of dread
began to count the seconds. .
One minute . two . . .
I three . . . four . .
He shifted bis weight from one foot
to the other. . .
Seven . . .
He passed a hand across his face
and brought It away, wet with per
I splration. , . .
i Nine , . .
] In some remote spot a bell began to
toll; at first slowlj'—clang! . . .
clang! . . clang!—then more
I quickly, until the roar of Its Bonorous,
gong like tones scented to fill all the
| world and to set It a tremble, '^hen,
! insensibly, the tempo became more fie-
I date, 'he fir t clamor of It moderated,
and Amber abruptly was alive to the
! fact that the bell was speaking—that
its voice, deep, clear, sound, metallic,
j was rolling forth again and again a
! question couched In the purest Sans-
j "Who Is there? . Who la
i there? . , . Who Is there? . . ."
The hair lifted on his scalp and he
I swallowed hard in the effort to an-
swer; but the lie stuck in his throat;
I ho was not Rutton and . . . and
j it is very hard to He effectively when
i you sland in stark darkness with a
j mouth dry as dust nnd your hair stir-
ring at the roots because of the In-
tensely impersonal nttd aloof accents
i of an Inhuman bell-voice, tolling away
out of nowlt. n\
"Who is there?"
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
Wants Longer Nights,
j "Have you joined the More Daylight
club?" he asked,
! "I should say not. It's all I can do
now to get home before daylight," re
plied the old rounder.—Detroit Fret
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B.F.D., Graniteville, V't.
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COUCHS and COLDS
NATURALLY A HIT.
The Rooster—Our young friend.
Mr. Pig, is making a hit on the stage.
The Duck—What is he playing?
Some Shakespeare Statistics.
A Shakespearean enthusiast with a
turn for statistics has discovered that
the plays contain 106,007 lines and
$14,780 words. "Hamlet" Is the long
est play, with 3,930 lines, and the
"Comedy of Errors" the shortest,
with 1,777 lines. Altogether the plays
contain 1,227 characters, of which 157
are females. The longest part Is 'hat
of Hamlet. The part with the longbit
word in It Is that of Costard It.
"Love's Labor Lost." who tells Moth
that he Is "not so long by the head as
Gome Coffee Facts From tho Lone
I From a beautiful farm down In Tex-
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conies a note of gratitude for delivery
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j was of the old coftee.
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Read the little book, "The Road to
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are genuine, true, uud full of liuiuia
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Lexington Leader (Lexington, Okla.), Vol. 21, No. 5, Ed. 1 Friday, October 20, 1911, newspaper, October 20, 1911; Lexington, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc110489/m1/3/: accessed February 27, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.