Texhoma Argus. (Texhoma, Okla.), Vol. 4, No. 14, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 6, 1911 Page: 3 of 14
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MARY ROBERTS RINEHART
Jhthor •/ Th* Circular Staircaf,
Tfm Man In Lowt
Ooprrlakt 1M, by tb*Bobte Uarrlll Oo.
CHAPTER XI. Continued.
f 1 feaw yoti *1bb her in me dining
room, remember that!" Aunt Bellna
went on, giving the screw another
It was Bella'a turn to be excited, j
She (are me an awful stare, then she
fixed her eyea on Jim.
"Besides," Aunt Sellna went on,
"you told me today that you loved
her. Don't deny It, James."
Bella couldnt keep quiet another In-
•Unt, She came over and stood at
the foot of the bed.
"Please don't excite yourself, dear
Kiss Caruthers," she aald, In a voice
tike loe. "Every one knowa that he
loves her; he simply overflows with
It It—It la quite a by-word among
their friends. They have been sitting
together in a corner all evening."
Tea, that waa what she said; when
I had not spoken to Jimmy the whole
time In the den. Bella was cattish,
and ahe was Jealous, too. I turned on
my heel and went to the door; then I
turned to her, with my hand on the
, "You have been misinformed," I
said coldly. "You can not possibly
know, having spent three hours In a
corner yourself—with Mr. Harbison."
I abhor Jealousy In a woman.
> Well. Aunt Sellna ate all the lobster
salad, and drank the port after Bella
had told her It was beef, Iron and
wine, and ahe alept all night, and
in me auenen. ne is uie onrfge**. *
taan In the house."
I left him babbling apologies and
went to bed, but I had an uncomfort-
able feeling that Bella had been a wit-
hess to our conversation, for the door
into Aunt Selina'i room closed softly
•a I passed.
I knew beforehand that I was not
going to sleep. The Instant I turned
out the light the nightmare events of
the evening ranged themselves in a
procession, or a series of tableaux, one
after the other: Flannigan on the
loof, with the bracelet on his palm,
looking accusingly at me; Mr. Harbi-
aon and the scene on the roof, with
my flippancy; and the result of that
flippancy—the man on the stairs, the
arms that held me, the terrible klssee
that had scorched my lips—It waa aw-
ful! And then the absurd situation
across Aunt Sellna's bed, and Bella*!
face! Oh, it was all so ridiculous—my
having thought that the Harbison man
was a gentleman, and finding him a
ead, and worse. It was exoruoiatlngly
funny. I quite got a headache from
laughing; Indeed I laughed until I
found I waa crying, and then I knew I
was going, to have an attack of
atrangulated emotion, called hysteria
Bo I got up and turned on all the
lights, aiiu balnea my face with co-
logne, and felt better.
But I did not go to sleep. When
the kail clock chimed two, I discover-
ed I waa hungry. I had had nothing
alnce luncheon, and even the thirst
following the South American goulaah
waa gone. There was probably some-
thing to eat in the pantry, and if there
was not, 1 waa quite equal to going
to the basement.
As it happened, however, I found a
very orderly assortment of left-overs
and a pitcher of milk, which had no
business there, in the pantry, and
with plenty of light I was not at all
I ate bread and butter and drank
milk, and was fast becoming a ra-
tional person again; I had pulled out
one of the drawers part way, and
with a tray across the corner I had
Improvised a comfortable seat. And
then I noticed that the drawer waa
full of soiled napkins, and I remember-
ed the bracelet. I hardly know Why 1
decided to go through the drawer
again after Flannigan had already done
it, but I did. I finished my milk and
then, getting down on my knees, I
proceeded systematically to empty the
drawer. I took out perhaps a dozen
napkins and as many dollies without
finding anything. Then I took out a
large tray cloth, and there was some-
thing on it that made me look farther.
One corner of it had been scorched,
the clear and well-defined imprint of ft
lighted cigarette or cigar, a blackened
streak that trailed off into a brown
and yellow. I had a queer, trembly
feeling, as if I were on the brink of a
discovery—perhaps Anne's pearls, or
the cuff buttons with storks painted
on china in the center. But the only
thing I found, down in the corner of
the drawer, was a half-burned ciga-
To me, it seemed quite enough. It
was one of the South American ciga-
rettes, with a tobacco wrapper instead
of paper, that Mr. Harbison smoked.
man that smokes drop ashes wherever
he happens to be?"
"That's the question of the ages," I
replied languidly. "What was Max
talking so horribly about a little
while ago?" Lollie looked up ag-
"About nothing at all," she declared.
"Anne told me to clean the bathtubs
with oil, and I did it, that's all. Now
Max says he couldn't get it off. and
his clothes stick to him, and if he
should forget and strike a match in
the—in the usual way, he would ex-
plode. He can clean his own tub to-
morrow," she finished vindictively.
At noon Jim came in to see me,
bringing Anne aa a concession to
Bella. Ho was in a rage, and he car-
ried the morning paper like a club in
"What aort of a newspaper lie
would you call this?" be demanded ir-
ritably. "It makes me crazy; every-
body with a mental image of me lean-
ing over the parapet of the roof, wa-
ving a board, with the rest of you sit-
ting on my legs to keep me from
'Maybe there's a picture!" Anne
"No picture," he announced. "I won-
der why they restrained themselves! I
wiah Bella would keep off the roof,"
he added, with fresh access of rage,
"or wear a miuk or veil. One of those
fellows is going to recognize her, and
there'll be the deuce to pay."
'When you are all through discuss-
ing this thing, perhaps you will tell
me what is the matter," I remarked,
from my couch. "Why did you lean
over the parapet, Jim, and who sat on
"I didn't; nobody did," he retorted,
waving the newspaper. "It'B a lie cut
out of the whole cloth, that's what it
is. I asked you girls to be decent to
those reporters; it never pays to of-
fend a newspaper man. Liaten to this,
He read the article rapidly, furi-
ously, pausing every now and then to
make an exaaperated comment
able to ait up in a chair the next.
4*7, and ao Infatuated with Bella
feat ahe would not let her out of her
tight. But that ia ahead of the story.
At midnight the house was fairly
fulet except for Jim, who kept walk-
Ing around the halls because he
eotaldn't aleep. I got up at last and
ordered him to bed, and he had the
audacity to have a grievance with me.
\ "Look at my situation now!" he
Bid, sitting pensively on a steam re-
nter. "Aunt Sellna la crazy. I only
£Mie4 your hand, anyhow, and I don't
ow why you aat in the den all even-
tng; you Might have knows that Bella
would notice it Why couldn't you
leave me alone to my miaery?"
jt "Very well," I aald, much offended.
The Roof Garden.
I was quite ill the next morning—
from excitement, I suppose. Anyhow,
I did not get up, and there Wftsn't
any breakfast. Jim said he roused
Flannigan at eight o'clock, to go
down and get the-flre started, and then
went back to bed. But Flannigan did
not get up. He appeared, sheepishly,
at half-past ten, and by that time
Bella was down, in a towering rage,
and had burned her hand and got
the fire started, and had taken up a
tray for Aunt Selina and herself.
As the others straggled down they
boiled themselves eggs or ate fruit,
and nobody put anything away. Lollie
Mercer made me some tea and scorch-
ed toast, and brought it, about 11
"I never saw such a house," ahe de-
clared. "A doien housemaids couldn't
THE ROOF GARDEN.
Attempt at Escape Frustrated—Mem-
bera of the Four Hundred
t>efy the Law.
'Special Officer McCloud, on duty
at the quarantined house of James
Wilson, artist and clubman, on Nine-
ty-fifth Btreet, reported this morning
a daring attempt at escape, made at
ft a. m. It Is in this house that some
eight or nine members of the smart
set were imprisoned during the course
of a dinner party, when the Japanese
butler developed smallpox. The party
shut in the house includes Miss Kath-
erlne McNair, the daughter of Theo-
dore McNalr of the Inter-Ocean sys-
tem; Mr. ftp/1 Mra. Dallas Brown, the
Mlasee Meroer, Maxwell Reed, the
well-known clubman and whip, and a
Mr. Thomas Harbison, guest of the
Dallas Browns and a South American.
•"Officer McCloud'a story, told to a
Chronicle reporter thla morning, is ae
follows: The ooeupanta of the houae
had been uneasy all day. From the
air of subdued bustle, and from a oare-
ful inspection of the ITXst, made by the
entire party during the afternoon, his
suspicion had been aroused. Nothing
unusual, however, oqctrrred during the
earty part of the night From eight
o'clock to twelve MoOloud was re-
lieved from duty, his plaoe being
taken by Michael Bhahe of the Eighty-
sixth street station.
'"When MoCloud came on duty at
midnight, Shane reported that about
11 o'olock the searchlight of a steamer
on the river, flashing over the house,
had shown a man crouching on ths
parapet, evidently surveying the roof
across, which at thla point is only IS
feet distant with a view of making
his escape. On seeing 8hane below,
however, he had beat a retreat, but
not before the olfloer had seen him
distinctly. He waa dressed in evening
clothes and wore a light tan over-
" 'OfllceT McCloud relieved Shane at
midnight, and aent for a plain-clothes
from the itetitn tern. Tfei?
was sxanonea on Tne roor or tne
lngton residence next door, with strict
injunctions to prevent an escape from
the quarantined mansion. Nothing
suspicious having occurred, the man
on the roof loft about 3 a. m., report-
lng to McCloud below that everything
was quiet. At that moment, glancing
skyward, one of the officers was as-
tounded to see a long narrow board
project itself from the coping of the
Wilson house, waver uncertainly for
a moment, and then advance Btealth-
ily toward the parapet across. When
It was within a foot or two of a rest-
ing place, McCloud called sharply to
the invisible refugee above, at the
same time firing his revolver in the
'VThe result was surprising. The
board stopped, trembled, swayed a lit-
tle. and dropped, missing the vigilant
officer by a hair's breadth, and crash-
ing to the cement with a terrific force.
An Inspection of the roof from the
Bevington house, later, revealed noth-
ing unusual. It is evldont, however,
that the quarantine is proving irksoma
to the Inhabitants of the Bequsstered
residence, most of whom are typioal
society folk, without resources in
themselves. Their condition, without
valets and maids, is certainly pitiable.
It has been rumored that the ladies
are doing their own hair, and that tha
gentlemen have been reduceu to puU
ting their own buttons in their shirts.;
This deplorable situation, however, i
" 'The vigilance of the board of
health has been most commendable in
this case. Beginning with a wager
over the telephone that they would
break quarantine In 24 hours, and end-
ing with the attempt to span a 12-foot
gulf with a board, over which to croaa
to freedom, these shut-In poclety foils
have shown characteristic disregard
of the laws of the state. It is quit®
time to extend to the millionaire tha
same strictness that keeps the com-
muter at home for three weeks witk
the measles; that makes him get the
milk bottles and groceries from the
pate-post and smell like dog soap for
a month afterward, as a result of dis-
We sat In dead silence for a minute.
"Perhaps it is true," I said. "Not
of you, Jim—but some one may have
tried to get out that way. In fact, I
think It extremely likely."
"Who? Flannigan? You couldn't
drive him out. He's having the tlmo
of his life. Do you suspect me?"
"Come away and don't fight," Anna
broke In pacifically. "You will hava
to have luncheon sent In, Jimmy; no-
body has ordered anything from tha
shops, and I feel like old Mother Hub-
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Colonial Meeting Housea In Winter.
In winter the colonial meeting house
was a cold place. It may be said
that the congregation sat "shivering
on the brink" of perdition, if the ley
temperature of the house and the ter-
rible doctrines of the sermon are to
be taken together. Samuel Bewail
notes that there was a "great cough-
ing" in the congregation; that the
sacrament bread was frozen hard as
pebbleB, and pieces of it rattled as
they fell in the pewter plates.—•
Bliss's "Side Glimpses."
Mr. Arnold and ths Amerloan Lady.
Matthew Arnold was sitting in his
study one morning when the butler
showed In an American lady and a
small boy. The lady said, "Glad to
make your acquaintance, Mr. Arnold.
I have often heard of you. No don't
trouble to speak, sir: I know how
valuable your time Is." Then turning
to the boy she said: "This is him,
Lenny, the leading critic and poet
Somewhat fleshier than we had bsan
led to expect!"—A. C. Benson, In the
Long Distance Dpldsr Wsb.
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Buckley, Joe L. Texhoma Argus. (Texhoma, Okla.), Vol. 4, No. 14, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 6, 1911, newspaper, April 6, 1911; Texhoma, Oklahoma. (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metapth352430/m1/3/: accessed November 20, 2019), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.