The Mooreland Leader. (Mooreland, Okla.), Vol. 6, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, April 10, 1908 Page: 4 of 8
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By Omar Schnocbelen.
A Mystery Story
of San Francisco
EARLE ASHLEY WALCOTT
■nftke It wai gone In an Instant, butl **In Heaven'i name, Henry, whats
? had time to trace effect to cause, up?" I exclaimed with some temper.
Lh„ad.1 came this time from "You're a. full of mysteries a. a
(Copyright 1VM, the lioblw-Uorrill Co.)
A Dangerous Errand.
A city of hills with a fringe of
houses crowning the lower heights;
half-mountains rising bare in the
background and becoming real moun-
tains as they stretched away in the
distance to right and left; a confused
mass of buildings coming to the
water's edge on the flat; a forest of
masts, ships swinging in the stream,
and the streaked, yellow, gray-green
water of the bay taking a cold light
from the setting sun as It struggled
through the wisps of fog that flut-
tered above the serrated sky-line of
the city—these were my first impres-
sions of San Francisco.
The wind blew fresh and chill from
the west with the damp and Bait of
the Pacific heavy upon It, as I
breasted It from the forward deck of
the ferry Bteamer, El Capitan. As I
drank In the air and was silent with
admiration of the beautiful panorama
that was spread before me, my com-
panion touched me on the arm.
"Come into my cabin." he said.
"You'll be one of those fellows who
can't come to San Francisco without
catching his death of cold, and then
lays it on to the climate instead of
his own lack of common Bense. Come,
I can't spare you, now I've got you
here at last. I wouldn't lose you for
a million dollars."
"I'll come for half the money." 1
returned, as he took me by the arm
and led me into the close cabin
My companion, I should explain,
was Henry Wilton, the sou of my
lather's cousin, who had the advan-
tages of a few years of residence In
California, and sported all the airs
of a pioneer. We had been close
friends through boyhood and youth
and it was on his ofTer of employment
that I had come to the city by the
"What a resemblance!'" I heard a
woman exclaim, as we entered the
cabin. "They must be twins."
-There, Henry," 1 whispered with
a laugh; "you see we are discovered."
Though our relationship was not
close we had been cast in the mold
of some common ancestor. We were
so nearly alike in form and feature as
to perplex all but our intimate ac-
quaintances, and we had made the
resemblance the occasion of many
tricks In our boyhood days.
Henry had heard the exclamation
«s well aB I. To my surprise, it ap-
peared to bring him annoyance or ap-
prehension rather than amusement.
"I had forgotten that it would make
as conspicuous," he said, more to
himself than to me, 1 thought; and
ho glanced through the cabin
though he looked for some peril.
"We were used to that long ago,"
I said, as we found a seat. "Is the
business ready for me? You wrote
that you thought it would be in hand
by the time I got here "
"We can't talk about it here." he
aaid in a low tone. "There is plenty
of work to be done. It's not hard. but.
as I wrote you. it needs a man of
pluck and discretion. It's delicate
business, you understand, and dan-
The warning came thiB time from
the eyes of a man, a lithe, keen-faced
man who flashed a look of triumphant
malice on ub as he disappeared in the
waiting-room of the ferry-shed. But
the keen face and the basilisk glance
were burned into my mind in that
moment as deeply aB though I had
known then what evil was behind
My companion swore softiy to him-
"What's the matter?" I asked.
"Don't look around," he said. "We
"The snake-eyed man?"
"Did you see him, too?" His man
ner was careless, but his tone was
troubled. "I thought I had given him
the slip," he continued. "Well, there's
no help for It now."
"Are we to hunt for a hiding-place?"
i asked doubtfully.
"Oh, no; not now. I was going to
take you direct to my room. Now
we are going to a hotel with all the
publicity we can get. Here we are."
In another moment we were In a
lumbering coach, and were whirling
over the rough pavement, through a
confusing maze of streets, past long
rows of dingy, ugly buildings, to the
"A room for the night," ordered
Henry, as we entered the hotel of-
fice and saluted the clerk.
Your brother will sleep with you?"
inquired the clerk.
Henry paid the bill, took the key,
and we were shown to our room. Af-
ter removing the travel-stains, I de-
clared myself quite ready to dine.
We won t need this again," said
Henry, tossing the key on the bu-
reau as we left. "Or no, on second
thought." he continued, "it's Just as
well to leave the door locked. There
might be some inquisitive callers."
And we betook ourselves to a hasty
meal that was not of a nature to
raise my opinion of San Francisco.
"Are you through?" asked my com-
panion. as I shook my bead over a
melancholy piece of pie, and laid down
my fork. "Well, take your bag. This
door—look pleasant and say nothing."
He led the way to the bar and then
through a back room or two, until
Henry smiled grimly.
"Maybe you don't recognise that
this is serious business," he said.
I was about to protest that I could
not know too much, when Henry
raised bis hand with a warning to b1-
lence. I heard the sound of a cau
tious step outside. Then Henry
sprang to the door, flung it open, and
bolted down the passage. There was
the gleam of a revolver in his hand.
I hurried after him, but as I crossed
the threshold he was coming softly
back, with finger on his lips.
"I must see to the guards again. I
can have them together by midnight"
"Can I help?"
"No. Just wait here till I get back.
Bolt the door, and let nobody in but
me. It isn't likely that they will try
to do anything before midnight. If
they do—well, here's a revolver.
Shoot through the door if anybody
tries to break it down."
I stood in the door, revolver in
hand, watched him down the hall, and
listened to his footsteps as they de-
scended the stairs and at last faded
away into the murmur of life that
came up from the open street.
with a turn we were in a blind alley
After a pause to observe the street
before we ventured forth, Henry
"I gu«?ss we're all right now. We
must chance it, anyhow." So we
dodged along in the shadow till we
came to Montgomery Street, and after
a brief walk, turned into a gloomy
doorway and mounted a worn pair of
The house was three stories in
height. It stood on the corner of an
alley, and the lower floor was in
tended for a store or saloon; but a
renting agent's sign and a collection
of old show-bills ornamenting the
dirty windows testified that it was
"This isn't just the place I'd choose
for entertaining friends," said Henry,
with a visible relief from his uneasi-
. , negs as we climbed the worn and
gerous if you can t keep your head. « ■. m ^
But the danger won't be yours. I vu
got that end of It."
"Of course you're not trying to ao
anything against tho law?" I said.
"Oh. it has nothing to do with the
law," he replied with an odd smile.
"In fact, it s a little matter in which
■we are- well, you might say—outside
1 gave a gasp at this distressing
suggestion, and Henry chuckled as he
saw the consternation written on my
face. Then he rose and said:
"Come, the boat is getting in."
"But 1 want to know—" I began.
"Oh, bother your want-to-knows.'
It'B not against the law— just ouiside
ft, you understand. I ll tell you more
of it when we get to my room. Give
me that valise. Come along now."
And aB the boat entered the slip we
found ourselves at the front of the
pressing crowd that is always surging
in and out of San Francisco by the
gateway of the Market Street ferry.
As we pushed our way through the
clamoring hack-drivers and hotel-run-
ners wbo blocked the entrance to the
city, 1 was roused by a sudden thrill
"Oh, that's all right," I said, mag-
nanimously accepting his apology.
"It doesn't have all the modern con-
veniences," admitted Henry as we
stumbled up the second flight, "but-
it s suitable to the business we have
in hand, and—"
"What's that?" I exclaimed, as a
creaking, rasping sound came from
the hall below.
We stopped and listened, peering
into obscurity beneath.
"It must have been outside," said
Henry, and opened the door of the
last room on the right of the hall.
The room was at the rear corner
of the building. There were two win
dows. one looking to the west, the
other to the north and opening on the
• Not bo bad after you get In," said
Henry, half as an introduction, half
as an apology.
"It's luxury after bIx days of rail-
roading," I replied.
"WTell, lie down there, and make
the most of it, then," he said, "for
♦^here may be trouble ahead." And he
of the 7nVtinct of danger that warns listened again at the crack of the
eae when he meets the eje of a door.
A Cry for Help.
I hastily closed and locked the door.
Then I rallied my spirits with some-
thing of resolution, and shamed my-
self with the reproach that I should
fear to share any danger that Henry
was ready to face. Wearied as I was
with travel, I was too much excited
for sleep. Reading was equally Im-
possible. I scarcely glanced at the
shelf of books that hung on the wall,
and turned to a study of my surround-
The room was on the corner, as I
have said, and I threw up the sash of
the west window and looked out over
a tangle of old buildings, ramshackle
sheds, and an alley that appeared to
Some sound of a drunken quarrel
drew my attention to the north win-
dow, and I looked out Into the alley.
There were shouts and curses, and
one protesting, struggling Inebriate
was hurled out from the front door
and left, with threats and foul lan-
guage, to collect himself from the
This edifying Incident, which was
explained to me solely by sound, had
scarcely come to an end when a noise
of creaking boards drew my eyes to
the other window. The shutter sud-
denly flew around, and a human figure
swung in at the open casing.
"S-h-h!" came the warning whisper,
and I recognized my supposed robber.
It was Hisnry.
"Don't speak out loud," he said in
suppressed tones. "Wait till I fasten
"Shall I shut the window?" I asked,
thoroughly Impressed by his manner.
"No, you'll make too much noise,"
he said, stripping off his coat and
vest. "Here, change clothes with me.
Quick! It's a case of life and death.
I must be out of,here in two minutes.
Do as I say, now. Don't ask ques-
tions. I'll tell you about it in a day
or two. No, just the coat and vest.
There—give me that collar and tie.
Where's your bat?"
The changes were completed, or
rather his were, and he stood looking
as much like me as could be imag
"Don't stir from this room till I
come back," he whispered. "You can
dress in anything of mine you like.
I'll be in before twelve, or send a
messenger if I'm not coming. By-by."
He was gone before 1 could say a
word, and only an occasional creaking
board told me of his progress down
the stairs. He had evidently had
some practice in getting about quiet-
ly. I could only wonder, as I closed
and locked the door, whether It was
the police or a private enemy that he
was trying to avoid.
I had small time to speculate on
the possibilities, for outside the win-
dow I heard the single word, "Help!"
1 rushed to the window and looked
out. A band of half a dozen men was
struggling and pushing away from
Montgomery Street into the darker
end of the alley. They were nearly
under the window.
"Give it to him," said a voice.
In an instant there came a scream
of agony. Then a light showed and
a tall, broad-shouldered figure leaped
"These aren't the papers," it hissed.
"Curse you, you've got the wrong
There was a moment of confusion,
ana the light flashed on the man who
had spoken and was goue. But the
flash had shown me the face of a man
I could never forget. It was a strong,
cruel, wolfish face—the face of a man
near sixty, with a fierce yellow-gray
mustachc and Imperial—a face broad
at the temples and tapering down into
a firm, unyielding jaw, and marked
then with all the lines of rage, hatred,
and chagrin at the failure of his plans.
It took not a second for me to see
and hear and know all this, for the
vision came and was gone in the
' drooping of aa eyelid. And then there
echoed through the alley loud cries of
"Police! Murder! Help!" I was con-
scious that there was a man running
through the hall and down the rickety
Btairs, making the building ring to
the same cries.
It was thus with a feeling of sur-
prise that I found myself in the street,
and came to know that the cries foi
help had come from me, and that 1
was the man who had run through the
hall and down the stairs shouting for
the police. The street was empty.
Fortunately the policeman on the
beat was at hand, and I hailed him
"Only rolling a drunk," he said
lightly, as I told of what I had seen.
"No, It'B worse than that I insisted
"There was murder done, and I'm
afraid it's my friend."
He listened more attentively as I
told him how Henry had left the
house just before the cry for help had
"It's a nasty place," he continued
"It's lucky I've got a light." He
brought up a dark lantern from his
overcoat pocket, and stood in the
shelter of the building as he lighted
it "There's not many as carrieB 'em,"
he continued, "but they're mighty
handy at times."
We made our way to the point be-
neath the window, where the men had
There was nothing to be seen ne
sign of struggle, no shred of torr
clothing, no drop of blood. Body
traces and all had disappeared.
RAISED FROM A SICK BED.
After Being an Invalids with Kidney
Disorders for Many Years.
John Armstrong, Cloverport, Ky.„
■ays: "I waB an invalid with kidney
complaints for many
years, and cannot:
tell what agony I
endured' from back-
ache. My limbs-
were swollen twice-
natural Bize and my
sight was weaken-
ing. The kidney se-
cretions were d 13-
colored and had a sediment. When II
wished to eat my wife had to raise
me up in bed. Physicians were un- '
able to help me and I was going down
fast when I began using Doan's Kid-
ney Pills. After a short time I felt
a great Improvement and am now a*
strong and healthy bb a man could be.
I give Doan's Kidney PIUb all th -
credit for It."
Sold uy all dealers. 60 centB a box-
Foster-MIlburn Co., Buffalo. N. Y.
A Cueotion in the Night.
I was stricken dumb at this end to
the investigation, and half doubted
the evidence of my eyes.
"Well," said the policeman, with a
sigh of relief, "there's nothing here.
I suspected that his doubts of my
sanity were returning.
"Here is where it was done," I as
serted stoutly, pointing to the spot
where I had seen the struggling group
from the window. "There were surely
five or six men in it."
"It's hard to mase sure of thingr
from above in this light," said the
policeman, hinting once more his sus
picion that I was confusing dreams
"There was no mistaking that job,'
I said. "See here, the alley leads
farther back. Bring your light."
A few paces farther the alley turned
at a right angle to the north. We
looked narrowly for a body, and then
for traces that might give hint of the
passage of a party.
"Nothing here," said the policeman
as we came out on the other street.
"Maybe they've carried him into one
of these back-door dens, and maybe
they whisked him into a hack here
and are a mile Or two away by now.'
"But we must follow them. He may
be only wounded and can be rescued
And these men can be caught." 1
was almost hysterical in my eager
"Aisy, aisy, now," said the police
man. "Go back to your room, now.
That's the safest place for you, and
you can't do nothin' at all out here.
I'll report the case to the head office,
an' we'll send out the alarm to the
force. Now, here's your door. Just
rest aisy, and they'll let you know ii
And he passed on, leaving me dazed
with dread and despair in the en
trance of the fateful house.
Once more in the room to wait till
morning should give me a chance to
work, I looked about the dingy place
with a heart sunk to the lowest
depths. I was alone In the face ol
this mystery. I had not one friend
in the city to whom I could appeal
for sympathy, advice or money. Yet
I should need all of these to follow
this business to the end—to learn the
fate of my cousin, to rescue him, ii
alive and to avenge him, If dead.
Then, In the hope that I might, find
something among Henry's effects tc
give me a clue to the men who had
attacked him, I went carefully
through his clothes and papers. But
I found that he did not leave memo
randa of his business lying about,
l'he only scrap that could have a pos-
sible bearing on it was a sheet ol
paper in the coat he had changed
with me. It bore a rough map, show
ing a road branching thrice, with
crosses marked here and there upoD
it. Underneath was written:
"Third road—cockneyed barn—iron
(TO BE CONTINUED.)
THE PART HE PREFERRED.
Subtle Meaning In Poet's Criticism of'
Joaquin Miller, the poet of the Sier*
ras, is something of a recluse and
rarely comes Into San Francisco, but
when he does he la made a good deaE
of a Jlon. On his last visit he was
one of the guests at a rather formal
dinner at a friend's house where ha
stayed overnight His hostess had
known the poet since her childhood,
bo she felt priviliged, next morning, to
discourse tp him of the beauties of"
the Parisian gown she had worn tha-
night before—beauties which seemed
to have escaped his observation.
Mr. Miller listened to all that sha^
had to say and remained silent.
"But didn't you really like th*
dress?" pleaded the lady.
"Well," replied the poet, "I did lika-
part of It well enough."
The lady brightened.
"Indeed?" she said. "What part?"
"The part you had on," answered
the poet; and that ended the discus
Hubby (disgustedly)—The doctor la
Wifey—What's the matter, dear?
Hubby—He said I need exercise-
Think of it! Exercise! Exercise for
a man who has looked after his owa
furnace all winter, and is now con-
templating the opening of the lawn
Cause and Effect.
"Yes, my son."
"I think our hen is going to lay an
"What makes you think so. my
' Cause I saw her eating the egg
plant in the garden today!"—Yonkers
The father—What is that book you
are reading, my son?
The son—It's a story of a man who
invested his money in a western gold
mine and lost every cent of it.
• Oh, that's ail right, my boy. I was
ifraid you'd got a hold of a work ol
Good Humor and Cheerfulness frona
Cheerfulness is like sunlight. It dis-
pels the clouds from the mind as sun-
light chases away the shadows of
The good humored man can pick,
up and carry off a load that the man
with a grouch wouldn't attempt to
Anything that interferes with good
health is apt to keep cheerfulness and
good humor in the background. A
Washington lady found that letting;
coffee alone made things bright for
her. She writes:
"Four years ago I was practically
given up by my doctor and was not
expected to live long. My nervoua
system was In a bad condition.
"But I was young and did not want
to die bo I began to look about for tha
cause of my chronic trouble. I used
to have nervous spells which would
exhaust me and after each spell it
would take me days before I could sit
up in a chair.
"I became convinced my trouble
was caused by coffee. I decided ta
stop it and bought some Postum.
"The first cup, which I made ao-
cording to directions, had a soothing
effect on my nerveB and I liked the
taste. For a time I nearly lived on
Postum and ate little food besides. I
am today a healthy woman.
"My family and relatives wonder
if I am the same person I was four
years ago, when I could do no work on
account of nervousness. Now I am do-
ing my own housework, take care of
two babies—one twenty, the other two
months old. I am so busy that I hard-
ly get time to write a letter, yet 1 do
It all with the cheerfulness and good
humor that comes Trom enjoying good
"I tell my friends it is to Postum
I owe my life today."
Name given by Postum Co., Battla
Creek, Mich. Read 'The Road to Welt
ville," in pkgs. "There's a Reason."
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The Mooreland Leader. (Mooreland, Okla.), Vol. 6, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, April 10, 1908, newspaper, April 10, 1908; Mooreland, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc157731/m1/4/: accessed April 23, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.