Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

22 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



CHAPTER XXL The Lion's Jackals. ^bed Xovvtiabend bewail to get forth (what he wished float?, Maadsiay betsan to wonder. iTowasijead deci-ireC! it waa. necessary that every jBOvecoeuJ of lEIsnslow'a should be watehed. ,he'flce'crwMd, a-nti that the watch slaould mot he ''intermitted £ oc tvsringlo aiomaot. Isn t rhat man than we c3.a*accomp]5«h ?" said Itaaudsiay. Suppose lie sboald bavevco be watch ed for days ? i am readv to bear my rpart bus I urn mortal. I am moved by weak a esires, for food ana drink, fer warwth-arid sleep*; and so ale y.oa, I suppose My dear fellow." answered TownsSiend, we'1 Quotha watching'by deputy. Thoreware a good man? people always associated with me in a business of this sqce. At this moineota. humcis triced of min. ;s driving Mr Hijnalow b ome, or wherever he aajied to 06 taken. Maudilay w pndered. "Come on with me-to Jerniyi>street c tinued Towrush end. The cab mans will bring his r&po.t to me there. And "Maudsia)'wondered still .-core. He won- derad most of alil when,-alter waiting-two hoars from their airiva/Jn Jezunyn street, ,the cabmaa was announced. Weil, [,;Y,ton z!id Town iiiiend. what's-the reaalt ? There's some linnid refreshment on the sideboard, u you ¡Úi e t.o help yoarsefcSL" Thank ye, marc) uis," said the ashman, who gee mad 1m intelligent vonng lel-ow. "You'va fceea a rather long trine,Jhaveu'C yon ?" said Townsher'.d. Well, yea, martinis, yon see <Sone two journeys. The goat uaid, Drive me to-Nocfofk Mansions, Victoria atire< and I ijrifvea him. When we gets theiia, iia jamps Wait a bii, I wanls yoa.a little while longer.' 1 savs, Right, sir,' acod in fca goes. I whistles, and up cornea Ilemroir; I tip3 hicnjthe wink, %nd when the gent comes out again be ..hangaon jBecisd." How waa Mr Henslov? dressed wherstfhe came out again ?" asked 'l'DívDsheDd.Still in evening dress ?" I No sir. In A scat of cycling snit." Ah," -aid Townshsnd. And where did he want to be taken a second time ?" You'll never gaatss,.marquis," answered the man, with a smile. To JBromptiaa Cennefary.' Noasense, Lipton." Fact, sir. Of coarse, te didn t, me, Brompton CemeSery,* plnmp oat. JSe says, The Ball and Hares,' in tha Lillieiaatd, near by ths Cemetery and when he gets there he says, Yon give your 'oss and yonraelfja drink, md I'll had you here in le-ir, thaii 'alf an sour.' It vvas HemmiDg-what sav; binv,go into )he Cemetery." "Saw him go in T' exclaimsd Townsbend, »?identiy moved to wonder and incredulity. Saw him go JD, n.Mqnis. lie turned down a side road till he come to a quiet apot, and then, Ae abinnicd ovar the high wtJl like stjamp- lighter." At that, Townahcnd flashed a glance,of em- phasis to Miadslay." And Hemming went after him. of course ?" said be, The cabman shifted to the other foot. Well, Bo, marqais- Hemming's a heavy man. and he was not brought up as a lamplighter, conse- quently he coald not shinny that wall and there was no goorl thinking of a ladder, for the cove woold ha' been off by thatHmo. Sohod:d the best he could, and come back to me, on the zbemce of the cove keeping his word." And be kept his word and entire back ?" He did, iriar^aig." If he hada't," said Town3heud. rumpling his crest of lair. and frowning fiercely, our business might have been spoilt." I Well, yea, it might, marquis," assented the cabman, uneasily. cabman, uneasily. I'm not pleased with Uemtniiig," said Town- sheod. No, marquis, of conras yon ain't. But Hem- ming, I deasay, Vli!t come and tell you all about it." At present he is -where 1" Where I took him up, sir oulrfida Norfolk Mansions, V Ictozia-street" With Mr iienslow inside ?" That's it sir.' When the man departed, Townahend rwnpled his forelock and pondered, and Maudslay con- tinued sileot. lie was like a man who enters what he expects to be a familiar room, and who suddenly finds himself surrounded by strange furniture and strange faces, strange voices and strange Who were those aSSOCiates whom To?.ii: hend encouraged, and presumably paid ? Had be these men alway3 ready %t his secret bidding ? And did they all call him marquis," us the cabman d'd ? With such questions 8.3 these cropping up, even Townahend was now become somewhat unfamiliar and Maadsiay reminded himself, that however in- timate he appeared to have become with the mysterious man, he had not known him a week yet, and thtcQ was still surviving tho question, Who is he ? Bus Townahend spoko: and these ■peculations were abandoned. Do you hhi,tie« to know," he asked in slow, meditative fa, bjoo, whe^e the eider Honslov.' was buried ?'' I don t, answered Mandslay, but my friend the doctor may know he attended him 1Ip to the end. Saall I ask him ?" I wish you vrould," aaswaied Townehend, stili rumpling his tcck, J should like to know, or ro venture a good gueas, why Fenslow has inade tha.t untimely visit to the Cemeterv- climbing in hke a thief and a. robber." It is certaicly veiy od;i;" said Maadsiay. But the truth is I am completely at aea now and I don't sec how i can be of any more use in this Heuelow affair." .1. I quite anlerstauj," said Townahend. with his characteristic smile. ¥ou'd like to be down at Beckford Priory again. Whv not ? In fact," be continued. "otcewhat to Maudslay's surprise, 'I think you may now be of more rr-g down there than up here." Of use for what ?" Maudalay asked himself U I can ainnago ffenslow here," added Town. thend '• it you can Lead him off there—if he øhould determine to take to the fields again. And. nrjt of all, you can wire me back if the elder Htnalow is, or is not, buried at Brompton." The hour was late Townahend, if unexpac- pectediy mysterious, was still to be tiuated and Maudalay was tired, and so, with a meze All right," he vvsr.t ho:ue to Ctcmwell-road. It was not till next tncmiitg, with hurried preptiratioas, to catch Llie earliest possible trnn to liackford Friory. that he began to exercise his mind on the strange position lie occupied between his fnenaa at Beckford and the mysterious Mr Sownahend. The exercise of his mind brought him to no exact conclusion. He therefore abandoned it, and dwelt on the pleasure he acticiFated from being near Cynthia Brooke. Meanwaile the mysterious Mr Townshonci whom my readers ought to know better than MrMaudalay dJd, was engaged in a fashion which to him was supremely congenial he was drawing bis net about Mr Henslow, and tempting that asiute bird into the snara of the fowler. His leading desire was to provoke Henslow to flight, when he might be caught—by Townshend and no other—with the valuable crown of Sapi- Yaw-L at in his possession. The consommaticn ha waa determined to effect alone-for reaeons which you may guess, or which, if yoa do not gojees, yen vrill presently discover—ana therefore it was that he bad pi-opoaed Maudalay's visit to Hhe coutiuy. He had already alarmed flenalow for the safety of the crown which was presumably in his hands, and ho now set himself to alarm the man for the safety of his person. To thai end he did an extraordinary thing. Late although it was when .Maadsiay left him. he told his yoa: man to call a hiMMOoJ. lie drove to a news agency, where he was known, saw the managet, and wrote for Mm the following slip • THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH IN QUEEN MAliY'S MANSIONS. •» We learn that a warrant has been applied for and granted for an arre3t on suspicion in connection with the death of Mr Billiter. A aensaticnal development may be looked for." II Ab," said the manager, whan he had glanced at the slip, can, 6 yon give us the name ?" -♦ Mustn't," answared Townahend, not yet." All right," said the baay manager, and maiked the slip for immediate issue to the news- oapers. I ♦'I'll wait a litlie," said anj get one of yonr type-written slips." All right,'r said the manager again, and went on with something else. In a. few minutes Townshsna departed with a type-written copy of the e?l;p he bad hajaded in. made on the official paper of the agency, wilh its title printed large at rhe top. He smiled as he folded it away in his pocket, for he knew that all the morning newspapers would contain 'that threatening anonncement, and wonla give aa important place to it, He returned to Jermyn Street. He wrote on a card that Mr Johnson. Private Detective and Inquiry Agent." would have the pleasure of call- ing at six o'clock in the evening and the card, with the type-writtsD announcement of the Press Agency, be enclosed in an envelope addressed to "Mr llenalow,Norfolk Mansioas, Victoria Street, 8.W"" Townshead bad no intention of calling onilemslow, nor of sending Mr Johnson he tnorely dosired to hasten the alarm and flying teetof the holder of the crown of Sapi-Yaw-Lat. Next, morning Townahend stayed at home. He rolled cigarettes and smoked them ceaslessly, The while he fancied the astonishing effect of hi3 communication to Mr Henslow. In imagina- tion he noted Henslow when he tors opeu the envelope at breakfast and read what it con- tained, lie considered the perturbation of his mind when he casually tounti confirmation of the ternbio communication in his usual morning '1'61101, be watchcd him while ho hastily rose and ran, the bell, and sent his servant out to Lay more ipaws-all tii2 papers, even the expensive f" Times he saw him receive tbem. and glance through thorn one by one, his alarut growing as The read, ard his Jeeling of being a hunted beast that tnuat eitape somewhere. To-.ufhend was still indulging in these fancies, one of his watchers was announced, He feroQgliS wvid thtH Hooelow had already .j | bicken cover." He bad gone to the Victoria btation of the Underground Ra;lway, carrying a Gladstone bag and had taken train to Hum- mersrnitb, whither two other watchers had followed him. By and by one of these came with the announcement that Henslow had passed from Hammersmith Station to an old mn over- looking the river half a mile above the bridge, and that from there he had sent out a. message to a local owner and hirer of electric lanncbes. "Ob. that is his game-ii it? 'said Towushend: and rose and stretched himself, prevaxed to take a hand in the game. He fingered at home a little while longer, waiting for the promised telegram from ilauds- < Jay. Ic came. It contained the words, Yes. Tomb. Mandslay," Ah," said he. That's enough." Havientoatto a public telephouecall office i and iicmmoned two more of his mysterious co- adjutors from heaven knows where. In half- aa-hour they entered his sitting-room in-Jermyn Street. He instructed them to go to Brompton Cemetery,discover theHenslow tomb, and; remaÜl there watching it. Thoy were. of course, .to hang about during the day merely Jike other visitors afflicted with tomby minds; but they ware to take j care not to be turned oat when dusk fell and ) ths gates were closed. When these dispositions weromade it-was time for lunch. Bat Townshead had other business I en hand. He went to a large wardrobe in bis bedroom, and took therefrom a frill of black bearj, a soft felt bat, and a thie-k-pilot coat. He gave a touch and a dab or two to his face, with the practised dexterity of anractor; and put on the beard, the bat, and the coat. As a second thought, he dropped a lonCPistol into-i the inner pocket of the coat and he left the house with all the appaarance o £ ?a seafaring 3L man, and a daring buccaneer at that. He jumped into a cab, drove to St James's Park Station, and took the train to Hammersmith, promising to entertain himself at soma river- side inn with bread and cheese, and rehearsing to himself the saying of Thaci:eray, I-pnv tho epicure who canuot upon occasion enjoy a mead of English cheese and bread and a!e." CHAPTER XXII. An Extraordinary Surprise. On his arrival a. Hammersmith Station of the District Railway, Mr Townshend asked for a Bradshaw at the bookstall. The new one is not out yet, sir," said the man in oblige. "Ithinh," said Townshend, the old one will serve my purpose." lie departad with the old one in his pocket, He went down the road at the head of the bridge. Then he halted and entered an old tavern. He chose it for three reasons—is was central for the water-side industry of that region it was likely to be a depot of informa- tion concerning boating interests both ab07e the bridge and below and it was near enough to, .without being too remote from, the inn where 1_ In a moment Henslow spraog;over the cemetery wall. -1 his quarry larked. He tramped on into the f most seclnded part of the tavern, and called for i bitter ale and bread and cheese. The Janalord, seeing a man with something of fe presence, came forward to serve himself. Having fulfilled came forward to serve himself. Having fulfilled the visitor's demand, he leaned on the bar to enter into conversation. Taking a comprehen- sive look at the visitor's appearance, he opened with— "Going to be a beast of a day. sir, I'm afraid." Looks very tnnch like it," said Townshend. And smells like it," ftdded the landlord. Townshend glanced at him over bis pewter- pot, and he went on, "a wind from the east blowiug up stiffer and etiffer, and a strong whiff of snow or sleet in it don't like it." It'll be a lilthy night," said Townshead, Tbnt it will," said the landlord with patent disgust. But the weather," said Townshend, can't matter much to yon here in these days there can't be much riverside business going." That's right so far, sir," said the landlord. Tb-i ain't the place it was. Bnt there's a tidy bit doing of one sort and another." Not with boats at this time of year ?" No, sir: not with boats. But there's bargds, and lighters, and tngs." I supcose," said Townahend, all the boats are not laid up for the winter ? I wanted to drop down to London with the ebb." There won't be much dropping down to-day, sir," said the landlord with a laugh. "It'll be all bard rowing. Why not take the train ? I don't liko the train," answered Town- shend. No, sir ? More used to the water, I des&ay?" Yes more used to the water." Well," said the landlord, 11 there's such things as launches, you know—steam and electric." Ah, ves." said Townshend but they're all in private bands-aren't they ?" Well, but there's no saying bat private hands might hire thsm out. I'm a private hand myself," said he with a laugh. ■' I've got a bit to do with a steam launch lying down there," and he jerked his thumb over bia shoulder to- wards the river. I Oh, that's good news," said Townshend. And you let it out ?" I let It t a figare," answered theland- Jord. At a figure, of courso. Wall. I think I shall want it tc-night bQt I U toll yon for certain Inan hOLr or so. Will that do ?" t°al 1* do. But don't"make no mistake. Mine a a steam launch. If it's an electric you want, don't come td me mine's a steamer. Zio I wonidn t deceive nobody." <i und2r8taad," said Townshend. i j i/ou. do understand," said tbe landlord, • it s all right. But I've bad folks up and say to me after I've told them all abont i ve had them say to me when tbev was aboard. And this is worked by electrieity-, I -wti, t L6 ,n!Jtatlon of a woman's voice- # aHV6 t0iay' No> steam good, o d-faahioned steam '-and they don't E6ewh 'i!° Uu ? *° as Sou understand." When hia bread and cheese and ale had been consumed, Townshend opened hia Bradshaw Ha consumed, Townshend opened hia Bradahaw Ha I turned immediately to the record of steamahin I sailings, found London, and then ran down the London list till be cathe to Rotterdam. Sailings from Limehonse to Rotterdam twice a week—<m I Tuesdays and Fridays; and the hour, he knew woald be according to the tide. That day wai Tuesday had Honslow arranged for flight to ¡ Rotterdam ? lie leit Bradshaw on the bar, and want out. He marched with assured step along the Ham- mersmith Mail, and on by a passage andfa quaint little Venetian bridge to the inu which bad boon designated as tho lurking-place of Henslow. He entered the low-browed doorway, and glanced about the bar. His eye found the man be sought -obviously, one of his own-ani passing close to him be murmured II Jermvn." Tbat seemed to be a pass, or signal word. The man's glance searched his face. Right, marquis," he murmured in reply. 10 Where ?" ashed Townshend. "Out there—with a man," anqweredltbe other. Townshend gave an order at the bar for some- thing to drink, tharched on—" out tnere "—and found himself in a wide gallery or verandah, i abutting on the river. There were benches and little tables, as In a tea-garden, and there was a landing-vlace for boata. Towards one end, looking out upon the water, were two men in converse. A glance was enough to toll Town- shsnd tbat the one—the man in loose knicker- bockers-was Henslow, while the other was a stranger, and from his appearance might be a foreigner. Townshend sat down two or three yards off, with his back towards them. while Henslow also bad his back turned towards him. A slipshod young ma,t.—aad !n shirt-atoevoe ?in spite the weather — brought Townshend 5 a drink and then he was alone with Henslow and the other. Henslow had walked past him with the stran- ger; to play the polite hogt. On returning to his placo be faced Townahend. Their eves met. Re- fleciion flashed from nenalow, but, after a. dead pause of a second, he passed on to where he had sat- Townshend rose immediately to depart to his thinking nothing was to be got by lineeiing there. Then Henslow came and stood Before him. 1'Haven 11 me? yon taot wtkri with bis thick, soft voice in his smoothest manner. You may hava," answered Townshend, with- out attempting disguise of his notable voice- the which indeed was difficult. But he was as quick to choose a coacse as to invent one; and he bad alfeadv decided that ce would boldly confess himself for there was recognition iu Henslow's sye. I. A few days ago at a certain place in the country I To 4o esact," broke in Townshend, at Beckford Priory." "Ah," responded Honsiow. There was a colportanr—an old like you." He was remarkably like," answered Town- shend be was me.i; Ah," saii^ Henslow again, bsginni-nq to loolt. ngly and angry. Last uigbt—at dinner-I met* a man; a German, Horr Silbsrm-ann he also I was remarkably like you." Petmit me, Mr Henslow," said Townshend, to congratulate you on your eye for realistics beneath disguises; yea have discovered me again. I was Herr Silbermann." And what, or who, may I ass, are you now?" "i am what you piease," acswerad Townshend. "Well, now, Mr What-yoG-please," aaid Hens- low, yoa will forcive me if I inquire what is the reason of this clandestine, shall I s&y ?-in- terest in me." j Oh, come, Mr Henslow," said Townshend, tbat is not clever enough. You know only too \7ell the cause of my intecest in you. When you recall our two previous interviews and remember I that the subjects of our conversation were Bar- mah and the crown of Sapi-Yavv-Lat, yon can- not miss the cause." And what have you to do'with the crown of Sapi-Yaw-Lat ?" The tone was still soft and Jow, bat it was thick with ferocity. My dear sir," said Townshend. the crown of Theebaw's queen concerns me as much as it does yon or the IndiDn Government, or as it did I your late brother, or tbe Qneen of Theebaw, or Thr.ebaw himself; no more and no less. None has any fixed right in It-except. perhaps, the miner who dug tho stones from the earth For which he was paid," put in Henslow. And," continued Townshend, the workman who set tbem in tba srown." And ha was paid, too," put in Henslow. In any case," said Townshend, with a raised forefinger, they are oat of the reckoning. And, to be precise, the future of the crown rests be. tween me and you yon possess it,and I covet it. There yon have the situation in a couple of simple sentences." Henslow considered the strange man a mcment. And," said be, "supposing 1: possessed it, do YOll thinlr you could take it from me ?" That is my hope," said Townahend. A delusion, sir," said Henslow Yon don't know what I am capaJbl&of; yon don't know what lean do." And, my dear sir," said Townshend, you don't know what I haw done. If you did, yon would understand howruseleas it is to set yourself agaiDst me." Henslow had now become pads and passionate but he still kept hia thick, foft "voice. I think," said he, I will venture it. What, may I ask, ia your distinguished name Townshend." Never heard it before." The loss then," said Townshend "is yours." And with that, and a bit of a entered the tavern, !tnd so passed from Hensiow's sight, By the onter door Townshend found again his man. Tha SVincbman," he murmured— j where did be go ?" "Lives close answered the man—"a wine- i wharf—to the right-over the little bridge." la tbat the man-that has the launches ?" "Tbe very same,sir." Townshend turned to the right and passed over the little Veneaian bridge, the way he had come. In the passage he found a. large, doub la- leaved gate, openingupou the river-side. To the 'gate was tacked a visiting card, Gaaton Lebon, Marctiand des Vina," while on a larger paste- board was written. Wine in your own bottles." Townshend pushed one half of the gate. It yielded, and he passed through. He found him- self on a fairly spacious wharf. On one side was a large zinc-roofed shed, through the open door of which was visible a long row of wine-barrels. On the other side, towards the river, was a little wooden bouse upon stilts, the door of which was gained by a little ladder. He stepped forward to the river-edge. There was neither launch, nor boat, nor barge there. Could it be that the launch had already gone to take ITeDslowoff ? lIe tinned arul,climbed the ladder and looked through the glass of the door of the little wooden house; it was set forth like an office, but there was no one there. He descended, and saw a man in a blouse and an apron, looking at him from the door of the shed. The man seemed the very genius of the piace. He was large, round, ar.d rosy, as if he were bursting with red wine. The very inanifor me," said Townshend to himself. to himself. tionjour, m'sien," said the man, doffing his < cap to Townshend as he strode up to him. I Bon iour," returned Townahend. He con- tinued in French I desire some wine, and I was looking for someone." I am at your order, m'3ieur," answered the man. But Monsieur Lebon-is be not near ?" Monsieur Ltebon is gone out of the city." answered the man. U Ab, that is a pity," said Townsbend; "I desired also to sneak to him about an electric launch." "The launch electric, m' the very thing that has taken him into the city. He has gona to replenish tho accumulators with electricity. Is i c necessary," said Townshend, to go so far as the city for that ?" "When I say the city,' explained the man, 1 mean a little way down the river-somewhere—I kpow not." Ah, then." said Townshend, I can wait till his return." That will be of no use, m'sicnr, if you desirs a launch electric to-day. Theie is no more than one launch electric here, and it is engaged for a monsieur to-night." Ab, for a monsieur." murmarcd Townshend. Oni, m'sicu." Townshend turned away. Tbe rosy cellarman reminded him that-he required wipe, but Town- shend made answer that he would first see Mon- sienr Lebon about the launch electric. "Tres bien, m'sien," said the man; and Towns- j hend departed. As he tramped back to the little inn where he had eaten bis lunch of bread and_ cheese, be reflected on what bad happened durine the past half-honr. lie had not intende:1 to reveal him- self to Henslow. Tie had been discovered, and ha thought he had made the best of the dis- covery. At any rate, his self-revelation had astonished, and he fancied, had alarmed Henslow. Henslow had been driven to flight by the threat of arrest for murder now he would be dcobly driven by the faar of losing bis crown. Datkness fell early, and when it fell it brought with it a thick flight of melting snow, which made the air as difficult to see through as the emptying of a feather bed. Moreover, the wind blew in fierce, boisterous gnsts, with a, blinding effect on whomsoever tried to lock in its eye. For these reasons the little steam launch that had Townshend aboard: which had meant to watch on the opposite side of the river from the old inn with the verandah, crossed to a point a little way above the verandah, and even then could make out little of what might happen there. The wind blew fromthe east, the melting snow flew and hissed on the hot little funnel, and three or four elms on the shore roared overhead. "I told you it would be a beaat of a night, "said theekipper. If We mast get nearer," said Townshend. Pat ont all your lights, and shut down your steam." It was just the turn of the ebb, and they floated down noiselessly. Thev waited within sight of the verandah but they saw nothing, After a little while the emptying -V1 ■■ ii1 — "-1 ■L — ThoHjteam launch was rapiflly overhauling her. of one of the monstrous feather-beds up above was over, and you coald see a. tolerable distance. Then it came plain that there was no sign of any kind of life by the inn verandah. Towns- nend wondered and speculated. Presently he J a movement a little lower down —in the shadow of the wine-meretmntis wharf. A boat ahot out towards mid-stream, dear of barges and all other moored craft, and the peculiar Hg-jipr' of an electric lanoch was borne up the river on the wind. By Jove," muttered Townafaend. That most be the thing. Ita off like a race-horse .down stream." Don't you fear," said the skipper, while the propeller began to whirl. We're after him. I've never known the electric yet I couldn't overhaul. Yon see the worst of an electric is tbat it leaks and if you start at high pressure down your speed comes with a ran. It'll be hard work at that to keep up, bnt youtH see wo']! overaul 'em, and then they can't get rid on us." Fall steam ahead was marked on the in- dicator of the engine, and they swished throagh the water at a great rate—a rate which was even dangerous, because the skipper kept the launch as close in shore as poasnble in order to ba the less easily observed from tha electric launch. Under Hammersmith Bridge before yon know and away along the carved beach to Putney, whenco Townahend had seen many boat-races start. After a short spell the banks on both sides are fairly clear, along the wooded Middle- sex shore, by the grounds of the Bishop's Palace, [ the flhadwa foil ihjck, and the ww fgilftkg,, f r and ihs<launch made good progress but ye4 she j conld do no more than keep the electric quarry ill view. The two Putney bridges were passed, j and in U;e reach to Wandsworth the launch met the wind pgaia. Before passing under Wands- v.-orth Bridge the ahipper steered ovor to the Surrey shote, because there the wind foil Ughi again, and so along that desolate reach they sped. 0,1 Batsersea Square, whem a fleet of Thames steamboats was mooted, the launch turned more inso fhe stream i.o avoia entangle j ments wj i'b moorings. Then plainly they heard the iig jig of fche other ahead of them. Sho'« getting tired," said the skipper. Csn't you heat ?" Certainly the steam launch was overtaking the electric as they passed under p-at-tersea Brulga. f Moreover, the weather was clearing somewhat, a young moon was showing at intervals through a rack of clouds, and the launches became visible to the other. Then became apparent the wise saying of the steam skipper concerning i electricity the electric launch coald by no means add to a speed wh;ch was-already decreas- ing, while the steam vessel could maintain, and by an effort increase the rate, it bad kept from the beginning. Between the Battersea and the AFoert Bridge the steam launch got within hail- ing distince of the other, Now, sir," said tha skipper to Townshend, what is i6 you want to :10 ? I want," said Townshend, the man in the knickerbockers--uot the Frenchman—tbe other." W ant to arrest him ?" No, no," answered Townshend. I want to search him. If there's a bag, you catch hold of it I'll handle the man." Can joa?—by yourself?"—asked the skipper. I tbink I can." So I overhaul 'em, and make 'em lay to ? How if they won't ?" Tosvnshend showed bis long pistol. „ Oh, firearms," exclaimed the skipper. That. won't do." No, my dear sir," said Townshend. There'a nothing fiery or noisy about it. When it goes off it mako3 no more eoand than a, maideu's- sigh." Rieht yoa are," said the skipper. Tbey shot the Albert Brdge, and the steam launch was within a stone's throw of the other, und gaining fast. As they neared tbe Chelsea Bridge the distance was reduced to some thirty feet. Stop," shouted Townshend, or I fire," and he showed and pointed his air-pistol. The moon shone ont and showed the men to each other. Oh," called Renslow, with complete self- I possessioo, but obvious reliaf, it's only yon.- Do you really think you have got me ?" be laughed. Stop," repeated TownEhend, or I shoot." The answer waj another laugh, to which the 1 Frenchman added some objurgations in his own tongue. They were just about to shoot Chelsea Bridge, when Townshend, plain to all, pointed his weapon. Then an astonishing thing liap- poned. Just as the peculiar stabbing shot of the air-pistol would have bit him. Henslow took a flying leap from the launch, and bit the smooth surface of the great iron pier they were passing. The leap seemed sheer madness, and desperation and they looked for him to fall bflck into tiio water. But to their amazement --be did not. He stuck, like a lump of clay, or like a slug and. before Townsheadhad recovered" sufficiently to aim at him a second time, he had, without any visible hold—but stilllike a slug with the speed of a fly—ascended the smooth pier, clambered on to the bridge, and vanished. (To be Concluded.)


















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