The Inola Register. (Inola, Okla.), Vol. 7, No. 15, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 21, 1912 Page: 3 of 8
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AutKor of HEARTS AND MASKS
MAN ON THE BOX etc-.
Illvistraliorvs by AV.G.Kirrr^nei^ . ♦
COPYRIOHT igU by BOBB3 - MERRILL CXlMPA^Y
"Well, I've Got a Rug Up In My Room I'd Like to Show You."
Oram Pfrclvsl Algernon Jones. v]ca-
president of th Metropolitan Oriental Rug
eompany of New York, thirsting for ro-
Biinca, la In Cairo on a business trip
Horace Ryanne arrives at the hotel In
Cairo with a carefully guarded bundle.
George's romance gathered Itself for
a flight. Perhaps It wag love thwart-
ed and the gentleman with the mus-
tache and Imperial, In spite of his ami-
ability, might be the ogre. Perhaps
It waa love and duty. Perhaps her
lover had gone down to sea. Perhaps
(for lovers are known to do auch
thlnga) he had run away with the
other girl. If that was the case.
George did not think highly of that
tentative gentleman's taste. Perhaps
and perhaps again; but George might
have gone on perhapslng till the
crack o' doom, with never a solitary
glimmer of the true state of the girl's
mind. Whenever he saw an unknown
man or woman who attracted his at-
tention, be never could resist the im-
pulse to invent a romance that might
Immediately after desisert the two
rose; and George, finding that nothing
more important than a pineapple Ice
detained him. got up and followed. Mr
Ryanne almost trod on his heels as
they went through the doorway into
the cosy lounging-room. George
dropped Into a vacant divan and watt-
ed for his cafe a la Turque. Mr.
Ryanne walked over to the head-por-
ter's bureau and asked If that gentle-
tran would be so kind as to point out
Mr. George P. A. Jones, if he were
anywhere In sight. He thoughtfully,
not to say regretfully, laid down a
"Mr. Jones?" The porter knew Mr.
Jones very well. He waa generous,
and treated the servants as though
they were really human beings. Mr.
Ryanne. either by his inquiry or as
the result of his bribe, went up sev-
eral degrees In the porter's estima-
tion. "Mr. Jones is over there, on the
41van by the door."
But Ryanne did not then seek the
young man. He studied the quarry
from a diplomatic distance. No; there
was nothing to Indicate that George
Parclval Algernon Jones was In any
way handicapped by his Arthuresque
"No fool, as Gloconda In her Infinite
wisdom hath said; but romantic, ter
rlbly romantic, yet. like the timid
bather who puta a foot Into tha water,
And* It cold, and withdraw* It It will
•11 depend upon whether h* Is a real
•ollector or merely • buyer of ruga
forward, then, Horace; a sovereign
baa already dashed headlong down the
far horlson." The curse of spenklng
bis thoughts aloud did not lie heavily
upon him tonight, for these cogitation*
war* mad* In silence, unmarked by
•■j facial expression. He pro<*eded
across the room and sat down beside
George. "I beg ycur pardon," he be-
gan, "but are you nai Mr. JonesT"
Mildly astonished. Oeorge signified
that he waa
"George P. A. Jonea?"
Oeorge nodded again, but with tone
beat In hla cheeka. "Ye*. What la
ItT" 1t««> girl had Just finished her
eoff«a and waa going away. Hang thla
fellow! What did he want at this mo-
If Ryanne saw that he wa* too
much, as the French say, he also per-
ceived the cause. The desire to shake
George till his teeth rattled was In-
stantly overcome. She hadn't seen
him. and for thla he was grateful.
"You are Interested In rugs? 1 mean
old ones, rare ones, rugs that are
bought once and seldom If ever sold
"Why. yes. That's my business."
George had no silly Ideas about trade
He had never posed as a gentleman'a
son in the sense that It meant Idle-
Rjanne presented his card
"How do you pronounce ItT" asked
"As they do In Cork."
"I never saw It spelled that w ay be-
"Nothing surprising in that," replied
Ryanne. "No one else has, either "
George laughed and waited for the
"You see. Ryan Is a* good a name
as they make them; but It classes
with prize-fighterB. politicians and bar
chemists. The two extra letters put
the finishing touch to the name. A
jewel is all right, but what tells is
the way you hang It round your neck
To mo, those additional letters repre-
sent the Jewel Ryan In the hands of a
"You talk like an American."
"1 am; three generations. What'
th* matter?" with sudden concern.
George was frowning. "Haven't I
mot you somewhere before?"
"Not to my recollection." A specu-
lative frown now marred Ryanne's
forehead. It did not illustrate a search
In his memory for such a casualty as
the meeting of Oeorge. He never for-
got n face and certainly did not re-
member George's. Rather, the frown
had Its source In the mild dread that
Percival Algernon had seen him some-
where during one of those Indisposi-
tions of the morning after. "No; I
think you have made a mistake "
"Likely enough. It Just struck me
that you looked something like a chap
named Wadsworth. who was halfback
jn the varsity, when I entered my
"A university man? Lord, no! I
was turned loose at ten; been hustling
ever since." Ryanne spoke easily, ndt
a tremor In hi* voice, although he
had received a *llght mental Jolt.
"No; no college record here. Rut 1
want to chat with you about rug*
I've heard of you, Indirectly."
"From the carpet fellow*? We do
a big busines* over here. What have
"Well. I've • rug up In my room
I'd like to show you. I want your Judg-
ment for ona thing. Will you do me
Since the girl had disappeared and
with her those imaginary appurte-
nances that had for a space trans
formed the lounging toom Into a stage.
George saw again with normal vision
that the room wa* almoly a common
meeting ground for well dressed per-
sons and 111 dressed persons, of the
unimpeachable, the Impeccable, the
doubtful and the peccant; for In Cairo,
as in ancient Fgypt. there Is every
class and kind <# humans, for whom
the Oecnlogue was written, tran-
scribed. and shattered by the turbu
lent Moses, an Incident more or less
forgotten these days. From the tall
of his eye he gnve swift *crutlny to
his chance acquaintance, and he found
nothing to warrant suspicion. It was
not an unusual procedure for men to
hunt him up In Cairo, In Constantinople.
In Smyrna, or In any of the Oriental
cities where his busines* Itinerary led
him. The house of Mortimer & Jones
was widely known. This man Ryanne
might have been anywhere between
thirty and forty. He was tall, well *et
up. blond and smooth-skinned. True,
he appeared to have been ill-fed re-
cently. A little more flesh under the
cheek-bones, a touch of color, and the
Irishman would have been a handsome
man. George could read a rug a league
off, as they say, but he was a child In
the matter of physlngtiomy, whereas
Ryanne was a past-master In this re-
gard; it was necessary both for his
business and. safety.
"Certainly, I'll take a look at It. i
But I tell you frankly," went on I
George, "that to Interest me It's got
to be a very old one. You see. It 9 a ;
little fad of mine, outside the business
end of it. I'm crazy over real rugs,
and I know something about every
rare one In existence, or known to ex-
ist. la It a copy?"
"No. I'll tell you more about It
when we get to my room."
"Come on. then." George was now
quite willing to discuss rugs and car-
Having gained the room. Ryanne
threw off his coat and relighted his
cigar, which. In a saving mood, he had
allowed to go out. He motioned George
to be Boated.
"Just a little yarn before I show you
the rug. See these cuffs?"
"You will observe that I have had
to reverse them. Note thla collar?
Same thing. Trousers hem* a bit
frayed, coat shiny at the elbows
Ryanne exhibited hi* sole fortune.
"Four sovereign* between me and
George became thoughtful. He wa*
generou* and kind hearted among
those be knew intimately or slightly,
but he had the Instinctive reserve of
the seasoned traveler in cases like
thla He waited.
"The truth Is. I'm all but done for
And If I fall to strike a bargain here
with you. ... Well, I should hate
to tell you the result. Our consul
would have to furnish me passage
home. Were you ever up against it to
the extent of reversing your cuffs and
turning your collars? You don t know
what life Is, then."
George gravely produced two good
cigars and offered one to his host.
There was an absence of sound,
broken presently by the cheerful
crackle of matches; two billowing
clouds of smoke floated outward and
upward. Ryanne sighed. Here was a
cigar one could not purchase In all the
length and breadth of the Orient, a
Pedro Murlas. In one of his doubt-
fully prosperous epochs he had smoked
them dally. How long ago had that
"Yonder Is a rug. a prayer rag. as
holy to the Moslem as the Idol's eye
Is to the Hindu, as the Bible Is to the
Christian. For hundreds of years It
never saw the outside of the Sul'an's
palace. One day the late, the recently
late. Abdul the Unspeakable Turk,
gave It to the Pasha of Bagdad.
Whenever this nig makes Its appear-
ance In Holy Mecca. It Is worshiped,
and none but a Sultan or a Sultar. s
favorite may kneel upon It. Bagdad,
the hundred mosques, the old capital
of Suleiman the Great, the dreary
Tigris and the sluggish Euphrates, a
muezzin from the turret calls to pray-
er. and all that; eh?"
George leaned forward from his
chair, a gentle terror In his heart.
"The Yhlordes? By Jove! I* that th«
Admiration kindled In Ryanne'*
eyes. To have hit the bull's-eye with
so fiw and quick an aim was ample
proof that Percival Algernon hsd not
boasted when he said that he knew
something about rugs.
"You've guessed It."
"Hi w did you come by It?" George
"Why do you ask that?"
"Man. ten-thousand pound* could
not purchnse that rug. that bit of car-
pet. Collector* from every port hava
been after It In vain. And you mean
to tell me that It lies there, wrapped
In butcher's paper?"
Ryanne solemnly detsched a cuff
and rolled up his sleeve. The bare
muscular arm was scarred by two
long, ugly knife-wounds, scarcely
healed. Next be drew up a trousera-
leg. disclosing a battetvd shin "And
there's another on my shoulder blsde,
the closest call I ever had A man
who takes his life In his hands, as I
have done, merits some reward Mr
Jones, I'll be frank with you I am •
kind of derelict. Since I was a boy, I
have hated the humdrum of
of Bhops. 1 wanted to he my own man.
to go and come as I pleased. To do
ibis and live meant precarious ex-
ploits. This rug represents one of
them. I am telling you the family
secret; I am showing you the skele
ton In the closet, confidentially. I
stole that rug; and when I say that
the seven labors of our old friend
Hercules were simple diversions com-
pared, you'll recognize the difficulties
I bad to overcome. You know some-
thing of the Oriental mind. I hand-
led the Job alone. I may not be out
of the jungle yet."
George listened entranced. He could
readily construct the scenes through
which this adventurer had go. «; the
watchful night-, the untiring pa lence.
the thirst, the hunger, the heat. And
yet, he could hardly believe. He was
a trifle skeptical. Many a rogue had
made the mistake of playing George s
age against his experience. He had
made some serious blunders in the
early stages of the business, how-
ever; and everybody, to gain some-
thing In the end, must lose something
at the start.
"If that rug Is the one I have In
mind, you certainly have stolen It.
And If It's a copy. I'll tell you quickly
"That's fair. And that's why,"
Ryanne declared, "I wanted you to
look at It. To me, considering what 1
have gone through to get it. to me It
is the genuine carpet. To your expert
eye It may be only a line copy. I know
this much, that rare rugs and paint-
ings have many copies, and that Bome
one is being hooked, sold, bamboozled, i
sandbagged, every day In the week. If j
this is the real article. I want you to
take It off my hands," the adventurer
"There will be a hue and cry."
"No doubt of It."
"And the devil's own Job to get It
out of Egypt" These were set phrases
of the expert, preliminaries to bar-
gaining. "One might as well carry
round a stolen elephant."
"But a man who is as familiar with
the ganie as you are would have little
difficulty. Your Integrity Is an estab
llshed fact, on both sides of the water
You could take It to New York as a
copy, and no appraiser would know
the difference. It s worth the attempt.
I'd take It to New York myself, but
you see, I am flat broke. Come; what
do you or I care about a son-of-a-gun
of a Turk?" drolly.
'What do you want for It. suppos
Ing It's genuine?" George s throat was
dry and his voice harsh. His con-
science roused herself, feebly, for it
had been a long time since occasion
hBd necessitated her presence.
Ryanne narrowed his eyes, carefully
balancing the possibilities. Say. one
thousand pounds. It Is like giving it
away. But when the devil drives, you
know. It is beyond any set price; It
Is worth what any collector Is willing
to pay for It. I believe I know the
kind of man you are. Mr. Jones, and
that Is why. when I learned you were
In Cairo. I came directly to you You
would never sell this rug. No You
would become like a miser over his
gold. Yoli would keep it with your
emeralds (I have heard about them,
tool; draw the curtains, lock the
doors, whenever you looked at It. Eh?
You would love It for Its own sake,
and not because It Is worth so many
thousand pounds. You are sailing In
a few days; that will help. The Pasha
Is In Constantinople, and It will be
three or four weeks before he hears of
the theft, or the cost." with a certain
"You haven't killed any one?" whls
"1 don't know: perhaps. Christian-
ity against paganism; the Occidental
conscience permits it." Ryanne made
a gesture to indicate that he would
submit to whatever moral arraignment
Mr. Jones deemed advisable to make.
But George made none He rose
hastily, (ought his knife and. without
so much as by your leave, slashed the
twine, flung aside the paper, and threw
the rug across the counterpane. It
was the Yhlordes. There was not the
•lightest doubt In his mind He had
beard It described, he had seen *
photograph of It. he knew Its hls'ory
and. most vital of all, he owned a
good copy of 11
Against temptation that was robust
and energetic and alluring (like the
man who Insists upon your having a
drink when you want It and ought not
to have It), what chance bad con
science. grown Innocuous In the long
period o* the young man s good be
havlor? Collectors *re always honest
before and after that moment arrives
when they want something desperate
ly; and George was no more saln'ly
than his kind And how deep Ryanne
and his confederates hud delved Into
human nature. how well they could
read and Judge It. was made manifest
In this moment of Oeorge'a moral re-
Bagdad, the Jlnns. Slnbad, the Thou
•and and One Night*. Allb-tba and the
Forty Thieve*; George waa transport-
ed mentally to that magic city, stand-
ing between the Tlgrla and the Eu-
phratea, In all It* white glory of a
thousand year* gone. Ryanne. the
room and It* furnishings, all had van- j
iBhed, all save the exquisite fabric pat-
terned out of wool and cotton and
knotted with that mingling lov« and
skill and patlenoe the world know* no
more. He let hi* hand *tray over It.
How many knees had pressed It* thick
yet pliant aubstance? How many
strange scenes had It mutely wit-
nessed, scenes of beauty, of terror? It
shone under the light like the hide of
a healthy hound. I
The nervea of a smoker are general-
ly made apparent by the rapidity of
his exhalationa. These two, in the
several minutes, had filled the room
with a thick, blue haze; and through
this the elder man eyed the younger.
The sign of the wolf gleamed In his
eyes, but without animosity, modified
as It was by the half friendly, half-
"I'll risk It," said George finally,
having stepped off the magical carpet,
as it were. "I can't give you a thou-
sand pounds tonight. I can give you
three hundred, end the balance tomor-
row. between ten and eleven, at
"That will be agreeable to me."
George passed over all the available
cash he had. rolled up the treasure and
tucked It under his arm. That some-
where in the world was a true be-
liever. wailing and beating his breast
and calling down from Allah curses
upon the giaour, the dog of an infidel,
who had done this thing, disturbed
George not in the least.
"I say." as he opened 'he door, "you
must tell me all about the adventure.
It must have been a thriller."
"It was." replied Ryanne. "The
story will keep. Later, if you care to
"Of course," added George, moved
by a discretionary thought, "this trans-
action is just between you and me "
"You may lay odds on that." heart-
ily. "Well, good night. See you at
Cook's in the morning."
us. A disgresslon, perhaps, but mom
pertinently an application.
Temptation then no longer at hi*
shoulder, Oeorge began to hav
qualms, little chaps, who started bua-
zing Into his moral ears with all tha*
maddening. Interminable drone which
make* one marvel however do school-
teacher* *urvlve their flrat tenM.
Among these qualms there was non*
that pleaded for the desolate Turk or
hi* minions whose carelessness had
made the theft possible. For all Georg*
cared, the Moslem might grind hi*
forehead In the soulless sand and
make the air palpitate with his plaint*
to Allah. No. The disturbance waa
due to the fact that never before had
he been wittingly the purchaser of
stolen goods. He never tried to glo*e
over the subtle distinction between
knowing and suspecting; and If he had
been variously suspicious In regard to
certain past bargains, conscience had
found no sizeable wedge for her de-
murrers. The Yhlordes was confessed-
ly stolen. .
He paused, with his hand upon tha
doorknob of his room If he didn't
keep the rug. It would fall Into tha
hands of a collector less scrupulous.
To return It to the Pasha at Bagdad
would be pure folly, and thankless. It
was one Of the most beautiful weav-
Ings In existence. It was as priceless
in Its way as any Raphael In the \ atl-
c-an. And he desired its possession In-
tensely. Why not? Insidious phrase!
Waa It not better that the world
should see and learn what a wonderful
craft the making of a rare rug had
been, than to allow it to return to tha
Bordid chamber of a harem, to Inevit-
able ruin? As Ryanne said, what the
deuce was a fanatical Turk or Arab
Against these specious arguments In
favor of becoming the adventurer*
abettor and accomplice, there wa*
first the possible stain of blood. Tha
man agreed that he had come away
from Bagdad in doubt. George did
not like the thought of blood. Still,
he had collected a hundred emeralds,
not one of which was without It* red
record. Again, if he carried the nig
"Good night." George passed doan
the corridor to the adjoining room.
And now. bang! goe* l'anilora-* box.
An Old Acquaintance.
That faculty which decides on the
lawlessness of our actions; so the
noted etymologist described con-
science. U fell to another dlstln-
gutihed intellect to *dd th*t con
science makes cowards <>f u all Av
She may be overcome tt time*. *lde
tracked for any special desire that de
mands a clear way; but ihs'i after us.
fast enough, with that battered red
lantern of hers, which brought down
from all tongues crisply Into our own.
rends—"Don't do It!" She herself Is
not wholly without cunning She rare-
ly stands boldly upon the track to flag
us as we come She realizes that sh.
might be permanently ditc hed No; It
la far SBfer to run after ua and catch
It Wa* th« Yhlords*.
home with hi* other purchase*, he
could pull It through the custom* only
by lying, which wa* a* distasteful to
his mind as being a rar.elver of *tol«n
He had already paid a goodly awn
against the purchase; *nd It wa* not
likely that a man who was down to
reversing his collar* and cuff* would
take back the rug and refund tb«
money The fhlordes was bis. hap-
pen what might. So conscience snuffed
out her ted lantern and retired.
(TO BE CONTINVED.)
"Get off and let'* go tr the ball
• | got off the other day Can t re-
peal so so«/n."
"Then we'll go to th* theater to-
'Can't u<> that either The office
plays a rt«> hle-header ant* we work t -
Here’s what’s next.
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The Inola Register. (Inola, Okla.), Vol. 7, No. 15, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 21, 1912, newspaper, November 21, 1912; Inola, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc180524/m1/3/: accessed December 13, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.