WOMEN BURNED TO DEATH. Two women. one aged eighty-four, have been burnt to death in a lonelv cottage at Coseley, near Dudley, Worcestershire. When the police arrived the cottage was a masts of flames. The bedroom Hoor collapsed before the fire brigade reached the house, and revealed three bodies, believed to be those of Ann Xewill, aged eighty-four, and her daugh- ter Mary," a single woman aged fifty-five. The bodies were so burnt as to be almost beyond recognition. Among the debris were the remains of bank- notes, and. about < £ 300, the savings of the couple, are said to have been destroyed. I
• — =s — » I rall Rigtits Reserved. rAll Rights Reserved. :1 THE SILVER DAGGER :1 BY !I R. A. J. WALLING, i' 11 Author of "Flaunting Moll," "A Sea Dog of Devon," &c. 1!?; i -= « CHAPTER IV. TN WInCR TOKKEBY TELLS THB STORY OF THE SHRINE. Upon this amazing discovery, a distressing agitation seized Torfrey. Pushing by Mr. lladford, he knelt down beside the body. "By Heaven!" he exclaimed, "it's not cold. He's still living, thank God! Run down to the house at once for help. Get them to bring up something we can use as a ctreieher; and bring some brandy." Lucy ran off in the direction of the house. "A strange encounter," said Mr. Radford, -when they were alone with the mute body. "'My eyes must be & little sharp, though they are getting old. He might have lain there for days, I daresay, if I pad not jioticed the disturbance of the bushes," Yes," replied Torfrey. "I should never Slave noticed it." "One gets into observant habits when one has lived in wild countries," said his com- panion. A little procession, advancing from the house, interrupted the conversation. Lucy led the way, followed by men who bore a trestle-board on which some cushions had been placed. The servants were a little frightened as they looked upon the silent form of Tom Gannett. Torfrey spoke a few words to his sister in a whisper. "I'll have him taken to Ross's cottage," lie went on. "We'll not take him to the 'house, for the sake of the girl. Mr. Rad- ford, you will excuse me. If you will walk *b?ek with Lucy, I'll follow when I've seen what can be done for the poor chap." The group divided, two men carrying the body towards the cottage of Torfrey's keeper, and their master walking beside them, while the rest of the party went back to the house. Torfrey saw Tom Gannett safely deposited in Mrs. Ross's best bed- room, sent a messenger to Charlie Pudifin .-and his doctor friend, and awaited their arrival. He informed them of the circum- stances of the discovery, and learnt fronj lloskings's brief examination that the man was suffering from a severe concussion, the result of a blow at the back of the head, 1mt that he might recover. He invited the two to follow him when all had been done that could be done, and walked slowly back to the Villa Zamora. Torfrey was sick at heart. An indefin- able sense of horror and sadness came upon him. The mystery of this affair seemed to grip his mind, and his depression was all the greater in contrast with the elation of yesterday. Arriving at the house, he found his sister with Mr. Radford in the library. "Here you arc, Mat," said Lucy. "Ilow as poor Tom? Will he get over it?" "Hoskings says-Hoskíugs is a doctor who is staying with Charlie Pudifin-Ics- kings says that he has concussion of the brain, caused by a blow. Ile mav get on,or it. They will be coming along presently." Meanwhile we can do nothing more? "Nothing that I can see. I can't dis- cover anything that gives a clue. There .mast have been somebody in the woods last night, who first frightened the girl, and t hen struck down Tom as he ran to her rescue. As to Polly, it will be better not to cross-examine her till the police come to investigate it." "You laughed at her idea, Torfrey," ob- served Mr. Radford. "Of course. I thought it was the fancy of a silly girl. I had not heard that Tom j i was missing; in fact, nobody missed him t because he was supposed to have started on -4 journey early this morning." "I never laugh at the idea of anything 'Unusual," said Mr. Radford. "whether natu- ral or supernatural. There is generally something at the bottom of these fancies. And that is a- particularly eerie place for dark happenings at. minnig-ht, By the way, ■Torfrey, you promised to fell me the story." "Yes; it. won't, take long. It may help to lift our minds off this mystery for the time," said Torfrey. "I am most. anxious to hear it," Radford remarked. As he spoke. Pudifin and his friend Hoskings were announced, and made their report of the condition of the patient. "Martin is going to tell Mr. Radford the story of the Serine in the Wood, Mr. Pudi- fin," said Lucy. "You have heard it, of course? "Not in detail," the curate answered, "arid I am sure Hoskinga would be glad to ¡ m:!?e one of the listeners." j I "This house and this estate," Torfrey began, "owe their origin not to the Tor- freys. but to a family which has now been dissipated over the face of the earth. I think it was in the sixteenth century that one Gomez—of a refugee family of Spaniards—settled in this part of England -and began to build up a new line. At first they had little wealth, but in the course I of generations a great fortune descended to I them from the old stock in Aragon. Tliev were owners of mines, I believe; at anv rate. when fortune did commence to accrue to them it accumulated very fast. As 1 ime parsed, they had become almost English, ) marrying and intermarrying among our people. It was a Gaspar Gomez who. at the end of the eighteenth century, added a great purchase to this estate, and built the Villa Y,aiiiora-heiiiee its loreig-n-sounding- name This Caspar was a fiery fellow-a Snaniirrt more Spanish than any of the line had been before since their settlement in Devon-and wnat is more, he married a Spanish wife lie was a reckless man, and he came to loggerheads with my great-grandfather, Septimus Torfrey, who was a lawyer in Exeter, and owned some land here which is now part of the estate. My own opinion of that great-grandfather of mine is not very exalted." I "Bit of a 6hark, perhaps?" said Mr. Rad- foi-d. "You shall see. He managed to get Gasper Gomez involved in a lawsuit which -dragged on for years, and eventually ruined him. He bought the estate over his head, and never allowed an opportunity for humiliating him to pass. The feud grew more bitter. Collecting the remnants of his fortune, Gomez went to the other side of the river to live in the cottage that stood on the site of the very place you now occupy, Mr. Radford. Septimus Torfrey. then a Widower, came to reside here. Gomez died swearing that Torfrey had swindled him out Cf I, i r, property, and passing on as a legacy to his eon the task of wreaking vengeance ) Upon the usurper. Then," Torfrey continued, a curious j ??ing happened. My great-grandfather be- j > ?'tme obsessed by an insane passion for the "'idow of his former enemy. She was a I ^P^nish sefiora of nearly fifty, but retained i'k°r beauty longer than, I am told, these dl"ky graces usually do. She had imbibed > ￼ her husband's hatred for the house and i ? name of Torfrey. She spurned his auit, ? ??'.d devoted her remaining years to in- ?P'ring the same hatred in the breast of he: I ,^n- But her dislike and scorn made no "?ence to Torfrey's passion-he was mad ￼ it. Misfortune after misfortune fell ￼ the hou?e of Gomez. Something went ?"S with the mines, their income ceased ?a.' aether, and they were reduced to ex- I f ?? poverty. The little estate across the i was sold. Torfrey offered to buy it j &d make her a present of it; but she would 1(Jt hear of consenting. He did not buy the j ?ate, but when their effects were dia- !'crc,? he bought a lot of things, including ? ? t?trait of the scilora I "i?ere it hangs upon your wall, I per- 1 said Radford. I ?cy all turned to look where he pointed. Yes, that's it. Did you guess?" I | Oh, the resemblance to the statue in tha ? ?Pel is so complete," replied Radford. Well," Torfrey resumed, "the widow j die"l cursing Torfrey, and transmitting the fUrse to her son for execution. The boy was ken away by some relatives in Spain, and ￼ direct line died out from this neigh- ?rhood. I believe there was a branch fo lindld by a cadet of the family in another art ? the country, but I have lost trace of th + The curious part of it again is that t? ? d? ?ath of Sefiora Gomez did not affect tho ?saion of my great-grandfather. He Rt? .n worshipped her. He had bought at the 'll-e a *??? containing a tress of her hair &n? a miniature. It had belonged to 11-oIrr husband, and appears to have been included accidentally among the jewellery sold. It was that tress of hair which he held in his dead hand, and which now lies with him in his coffin. The locket with the miniature was buried with him." "A strange old fetish-worshipper!" said Mr. Radfoio. Y es," Torfrey replied, "as mad on this point as mad could be. That," he con- cluded, "is the story of the Shrine in the Wood. The Torfrcys have always been warned of the curse which resta upon them; but they are not superstitious, and so many years have passed without a sign to show whether the family of Gomez still exists that I do not think we need fear being dis- turbed by its fulfilment." "I would not be too rash if I were you," r.aid Mr. Radford. "These Spanish families have a habit of lingering on and suddenly reasserting themselves. f know something of them, for I have travelled a good deal in Spain, and in Mexico, too. You never know when the shadow of a Gomez may lie ) iicross your door." "They have lain perdu for a long time, at any rate," said Torfrey. "Yes, a long time," Lucy remarked. "Bv ilie wa 'v, what would they say for perdu' iu Spanish, Mr. Radford?" I"erd U-coneealed, hidden? Let me see, why, escondido,' I fancy. Why do you ask ?" "Oh, merely a whim to know. I often think about them." Lucy was busying herself with the tea things, which by general request had been brought into the library, when the arrival of the police-constable was notified to Tor- frey, who went out. Presently he returned l-o aFk for the attendance of Pudifin and Hoskings, and the four were closeted for a long time in consultation with Polly. Mr. Radford had taken his departure before the interview was over, asking Lucy to apolo- gise for him to his host. "A strange business," said Hoskings to the curate as they walked up the hill together. "Most strange. I don't know what to make of it. There is trouble in the air." "You're as jumpy as Mr. Radford," said the doctor. "Ah What do you make of the new- comer i' "A venerable-looking old chap-a wonder- ful constitution. Did you notice his skin and complexion?" "Yes. Did you notice his eyes?" "Yes: strong and dark." "Anything else, Hoskings?" "Nothing particularly." "Nothing sinister?" r "No; I did not watch him closely." CHAPTER V. I IN WHICH HOSKINGS MAKES A The diligent and intelligent police con- stable who guarded the peace in this large and scattered parish found himself posed by a mysterious case. He sent for more dili- gence and intelligence from headquarters, but it also failed. Torfrey was more upset than he could ex- plain. It seemed to him that he dwelt under a sense of impending woe without having any definite idea of what he feared. In the meantime, Lucy wrote a letter to Diego. A good deal of it was of a private and confidential nature, very important to Diego, no doubt, but of no consequence to the current of the narrative. The essential part of it was this:— You know Spanish, Diego? I know a few words. Senorita' is one: it means Miss' or young lady.' Escondida,' I find on inquiry, means hidden.' Vamos,' I believe, is, in plain English, let us vamoose.' Playa '—does not that meano sea-shore or beach? But what is Sabequien es' ? I am curious to know. Yo'a shall teach me Spanish. "We are all in a terrible state of ex- citement about the Mystery of the Woods, which I have already described to you. At present I cannot see very much further into it than the policeman. What do you make of it? We are thrilled at every turn. Visions is about,' as the poet says. We dream of brigands and burglars and midnight marauders, and life is become a dchrious shilling shocker. Don't delay a day longer than you must, but come and take a hand in the game." Before she pasted that letter, Lucy re- cpcned it to add a postscript:— Yet another sensation. My letter will resemble a late edition of the evening paper. Last night, old Selwev's farm house—you know the lovely lane that leads to it, Diego—was burnt about his ears, and he just got his family out with their lives. It has been decided that this was the work of incendiaries, for when the fire was discovered, not only the house, but every rick and outbuilding on the place also was alight. There's not a stick left. "Here is more matter for our policeman and his attendant minions to break their heads on. Nobody saw anything isus- picious; there is no more clue than there was to the perpetrator of the wicked assault on Tom Gannett.. Martin is dis- tracted and desperate. A plague has broken out among his cattle, and you know how proud he is of his South Devons. By the way, when a Spaniard wants to swear, does he say 'Por- Dios' ? Lucy waited with a proper amount of eagerness for the answer to her letter, and -hen she received it she went out for a long rIde, and a very hard ride. Her brother in- expeKrted even^no when Diego might be expected. e 0 I:> "He has been called back to London, and has to put off this visit," she said, shortly. Tom Gannett had recovered consciousness three days after he was discovered in the woods, but he had been terribly ill, and Hoskings had forbidden him to be bothered with questions of any sort until a fortnight had passed. It was two days later than the tire at Selwev's farm when he and Pudifin went to see Tom, and found him waking from a sound sleep, feeling stronger, and developing curiosity about himself. I:> "How long have I been here?" he asked. "Just a fortnight," said Hoskir.g3. It was a case of touch-and-go, but you'll soon be as strong as a horse. You feel all right now, don't you?" J' "Right as rain," said Tom, with a weak emile, I:> and his visitors both laughed. "How did I come here, Mr. l'udifin 1" "You're not to worry yourself about that now." "But I feel all right. What's wroncr with me is 1 can t recollect wnat nappenea. "Can you remember the night when you were talking to Polly at the gate on the edge of the copse ?" "Ah!" said Tom. "Now I've got it. Why, yes. I wanted to speak to Mr. Tor- frey, and he was away at Haylands. I waited till nearly eleven o'clock, and he hadn't come back. I wanted to tell him I was going to Westport next day to see my brother, of course. And Polly walked along with me to the gate. And we stood there talking for a brave time-about one thing and another." Yes, Tom; till nearly midnight. Polly has told us." "Then Polly's all right—it wasn't her?" "What was not Polly?" "It wasn't her they were murdering?" "Who were murdering? "I don't know. Somebody. I was a bit of the way up the hill when I heard a H:'i( echo I listened for a few seconds. Then I heard another screech. Of course, I hadn't got two thoughts in my mind but what 'twas Polly, for I thought I recognised her voice. I turned and ran down the hill, and I heard the screeching again. I jumped over the gate and into the woods, and ran Jong the path. I fancied I saw a light just, along there by that leery place where old Mr. Torfrey had himself buried, and I was rushing on when I heard a sort of a laugh. 1 turned round sharp and saw a man. 'What the mischief are you doing?' says I. M'ii.Lt monkey trick's this? Who is it?' And thtu I felt a crack on the back of the head. and saw all the lightnings of tthe sky—ana that was all." 8 Pudifin and Hoskings looked at one an- other. The story corroborated what was already known, but it gave them no new light. "Did you not see or hear anything or anybody before you heard the kind of laugh ? "No," said Tom, "only the sound of my own feet hoofing it along the ground." "Anything peculiar about the laugh? "X l); a low sort of laugh; but any sound is strange in the woods at night, and I re- member that I jumped when I heard it. I had no time to think. But what about Polly it wasn't her that was screeching? Yes, it was," said Pudifin. She thought she heard someone moving, and saw someone in the bushes, and she was frigh- tened, and screamed." "She saw and heard somebody? But they didn't touch her. That was lucky, but it was curious. I wonder. "But I forbid you to wonder or to talk about it any more, now, Tom," said the doctor. "You're not strong enough. You can puzzle it out when you get quite well. Polly will be glad to hear you are so much better, and we'll send her along to see you to-morrow." Tom Gannett had to undergo the same ordeal as Polly and everybody else at the hands of the police, but that was as far as they got. The affair remained mysterious, but its interest waned as time passed on. The Rev. Charles Pudifin, who had wished his friend Hoskings good-bye soon after Tom's recovery, and received the promise of another visit when Christmas had passed, Wel" an observant person, and there were a good many things happening that he could not understand in that corner of his parish where lay the Villa Zamora. Although Lucy had chosen a lover elsewhere, Pudifin's affection—rarefied by the konwledge that he could never possess her-was none the less constant, and there was nothing that lie would not have done to secure her happiness. And he noticed with pain that Lucy was not happy; she was restless, and more than usually flighty. Further, Diego Holmes's business in London still prevented him from coming West. Another feature of the life in that corner of his parish was the condition of his friend Torfrey. Why the incident of Tonl Gannett and the slight misfortunes which had occurred on his estate should worry a man like Torfrey as they did was hard for Pudifin to conceive; why he should allow himself to settle down in a sort of melancholy gloom from which no interest seemed strong enough to stir him, was equally difficult to comprehend. It was clear that some occult influence was at work upon Torfrey whether from within or without—unmanning him and preying upon his mind. Radford, returning from a brief yachting trip, told the curate that lie noticed the same symp- toms, and begged him to induce Torfrey to take a voyage abroad if he could not be awakened in any other way. But Torfrey would not hear of it. He denied that there was anything the matter with him, and said that now Radford was home again, and he had a congenial neighbour, he would not think of leaving the place. He did brighten for a few weeks, made a confi- dant of his congenial neighbour, and life resumed its normal course at the Villa Zamora for all but Lucy. Pudifin watched her quietly with a grow- ing apprehension and sorrow, as he saw some of the light die out of her eves. Diego did not arrive for Christmas; Lucy was out riding all day, and did not share the Torfrey pew in church with her brother and Mr. Radford, a fact which was observed and commented upon by the whole village. The curate hailed with almost effusive joy the second visit of his friend Hoskings in the New Year to share his lodgings at St. Maurice for a fortnight. They sat late into the first night, smoking and talking. Pudi- fin waited almost anxiously for the talk to drift into the channel in which his own thoughts ran. It was soon there when Hoskings inquired after Tom- Gannett. "Tom's all right now," said he. "Did they ever discover anything more about that affair," said Hoskings. "Not a single thing," replied Pudifin, hastening to unbosom himself. "It was the strangest thing I ever heard of, and I can date from it a lot of sorrow. I don't think we've seen the last of it yet." "Why, how's that, Charlie? What on earth's the matter? You look as melan- choly as a Malahide cod about it." "Of course, Dick, it must be difficult for you to see; but I assure you it's true. There's Miss Torfrey—you're rather inter- ested in her?" "Well—I gathered that you- were; but it's the same thing. Yes; what of her?" "She's not the same girl, Dick, since that time. She's thoroughly unhappy. Her fine lover has not been near her for months. She's oppressed in that dreadful place by the melancholia that's seized upon Torfrey. I can't tell what she sees or fears; I do not ask her, naturally, but I belie re it is what I see and fear—that some influence is working upon Torfrey which will ruin him. mind and body, if it is not crushed. "And all this," said Hoskings. dat8 from an assault upon a servant? My dear Charlie, it's preposterous." Yes-the whole thing's as preposterous as you please; but there are the facts. You find me an explanation and you'll do me a great service." You must have some theory—the facts have unfolded themselves before your eves." I have a theory: it's so far-fetched that I cannot declare it even to you. But I will say this- much: all the trouble at Torfrey's has come upon him since his friend Radford arrired in the neighbourhood." I remember what you said of Radford the last time I was here. But an antipathy of that sort may often be the most unreason- able thing in the world." "Miss Torfrey has the distinctive antipathy as well as myself. A.s I said iust now, I can- not say what she knows or sees or fears; but she dislikes Radford, she hates him, she tees with alarm the influence he has over her brother—and she is quite alone and lielpless." Pudinn got up and paced the room. II I could only dare to offer my help to her he added. Do you think she wants it? Can I offer it and yet appear to be dis- interested; in fact, am I quite dis- interested ? My dear Charlie, examine yourself in this Jesuitical manner and you're well on the road to the lunatic asylum. Get lid of all the moonshiny notions, and tackle the subject fairly. I shall go down to the Villa Zamora to-morrow to renew acquaintanceship all round, and you may de- pend on me: I shall offer Miss Torfrey &.nv help she wants, whether she like me or not for it." In pursuance of this intention they went to the Villa Zamora the following day. They found Radford there, and Miss Hayland came in with Lucy soon after they had joined Torfrey and his new friend in the library. Radford 'talked pleasantly and jovially, describing some of his adventures iu the Mediterranean during his recent expedi- tion. and urging upon Torfrey the hygienic i.dvantages of the sea-breezes. The talk drifted this way and that till Radford said at last: Why, Dr. Hoskings, I saw your patient this morning. He seems quite well now. By the way. I have not met you since that stftemoon when we sat here listening to Torfrey's fascinating narrative of the foundation of his house. A strange and in- teresting story, that. I suppose none of your hereditary enemies have turned up yet. Miss Torfrey? "If they have." said Lucy, looking up from the low chair where she sat looking out on to the lawn, they have been well disguised." "A cryptic utterance, my dear young lady." responded the old gentleman. "But don't make too sure you remember what I said about the inconvenient knack of these Spanish families of rising out of their ashes? However, .there's no clue to the person who gave Master Tom such an ugly crack, I presume, Torfrey1 n None whatever—yet," said Torfrey, and was then silent, evidently desiring not to dwell on the subject. He became morose, indeed, from the moment it was mentioned. "Ah, then," said Mr. Radford, "we must wait. Have you heard from London?" "Eh? answered Torfrey, as one disturbed in a dream. "Oh, you mean about the detective—yes, I heard this morning; the man is coming down to-morrow." "Detective?" said the curate, inquir- ingly. Oh, you didn't know, Charlie, that I took Mr. Radford's advice, and sent to j Ijoadon for a private detective to took into these tinners. My cattle are stiU sufferins mysteriously. 1 believe they are bel-ur l>oisoned." Pudifin looked at Hoskings, and saw that he was re-arding Torfrey intently. "Yes," said Mr. Radford. "All these little things seemed to be worrying Torfrey vo badly that I suggested the private detective. The police are all very well, but in a matter of this sort-if there is any- thing in it-you want real expert advice." "I'm very glad," said Pudifin. "It's the light thing to do, if only to set Torfrey at his ease." They all seemed to be looking at Torfrey ns a sort of patient who required coddling; und he took the treatment without a pro- test. Lucy, the doctor noticed, was abso- lutely silent in the general talk, and only rpok e to Meg Hayland now and then. You're right, Pudifin," said Mr. Rad- ford. It's no good to let things drift. l'm on Iv sorry that I shan't be here to see the solving of the mystery." "Are you going away?" asked Pudifin. Yes-I came to say an revoir this after- noon. I'm off to the Mediterranean this evening: the Castilian will sail at eight." The two friends remained ti41 Radford had gone, and then wished Torfrey good- bye. As they left the room, Pudifin re- ceived a signal from Lucy which made his heart leap. It was the first sign she had given him. He could hardly contain his excitement when he was outside the house \?ith Hoskings. "She wants to speak to us, Dick," said he. "We must wait about." "By all means, old man. Let's take a liuru or two along the edge of the garden." "What do you make of it, Hoskings? "Radford? I don't know. I must oee more. There's nothing apparent." "You are blind! I see a ray of light." "Where?" "The detective is coming to-morrow." "Yes." "Torfrey has been induced to send for him bv the advice of Mr. Radford." "Yei." "That shows a disinterested friendship on the part of Mr. Radford." "Yes; apparently so." "Mr. Radford is leaving to-night—before The detective arrives." "Yes—but surely-" "He is going in his yacht, and taking his Whole establishment with him." "Probably." "The detective will have no more ground to work upon than we have." "I don't quite see what that signifies. We are not detectives." "My dear Dick, the whole thing is a blind." Hoskings shrugged his shoulders scepti- cally, and they paced the grounds waiting for Miss Torfrey. It was Polly who came to them, and said Miss Torfrey would be glad to see them in her sitting-room, and f,he took them by a devious way through the back of the house. The first moments of the meeting were awkward. Then Hos- kings took the bull by the horns. He said: "You'll excuse me if I am bluff, MI?a Torfrey, but it's no use to beat about. the bush. There is something wrong. We're here —we came down to-day on purpose—to know .whether you will tell us what it is, and to offer you our help in any practicable way. "I'm glad you've spoken to the point, Mr. Hoskings," said Lucy. "It was in order to try to enlist your help that I wanted to see you now. There is something wrong-very wrong indeed. The unhappy fact is that I don't know what is wrong, except that I see bv brother sunk in a condition which gives me frightful pain, and that there are other things, which I cannot name to you, that have upset me dreadfully. However, the oase of my brother is the principal thing. I :im not a logical person; I'm not very deep anyway; but I can see things, and what is plain to my woman's eye is that all this vague misfortune and this depression in him is coincident with Mr. Radford's arrival here. I mistrust Mr. Radford; I fear he is no friend to us." "What did I tell you, Dick?" said Pudi- fin. "Miss Torfrey," Hoskings answered, "my friend Pudifin has been rubbing it into me that in some way Radford is a mysterious old man of the sea whose influence is wreck- ing the happiness of yourself and your brother. Candidly, I can see nothing in him but a very ordinary, only a rather inte- I resting, old gentleman. I adsait that I may be quite wrong; I am open to conviction. Can you say anything substantial against him "Frankly-no.. Or very little. One or two things have happened to arouse my sus- picion. He has a gang of foreigners on his yacht; they watch me about. Who he it and what, nobody knows, and he never says. But trust my instinct-he is dangerous, wicked. I can see it in his eves; I can see it in his extraordinary influence over my blather." "lvhat can we do? Is there anv way in which we can help you?" "llieie is, but it is such a' strange and great thing that I do not care to ask it." "Ask it, Miss Torfrey," cried Pudifin with his lace pale and drawn. Lucy smiled at him. "I would ask you, Mr. Pudifin, if it were possible that you could do it. But I think it is not. On the other hand, if Dr. Hos- kings is sufficiently interested-" Vou may command me absolutely, Miss Forfrev," said Hoskings. "That is a rash promise," said Lucy. "Take care what you say." "I don't think you can ask me anything that I wouldn't do-if only to save Pudifin's sanitv he added laughing. "It is dangerous, but of course men like danger. It will require a sacrifice of time." "I can promise you the time. My locum tenens is as good for a month as for a fort- night. What is it, Miss Torfrey?" "Think well before you answer," said Lucy. "I want you to enter the lions' den. I want somebody to be on board the Cas- tilian to-night either hidden, or in disguise, and to worm out her secret and the secret of Radford's identity, his life, and his pur- pose—to go the voyage with him, and take every risk for the sake of the information with which I hope to be able to crush what I believe to be a noxious reptile' She had risen from her cliair and stood facing them, flushing a little. Hoskings and Pudifin stood staring at her for some seconds in gaping astonishment. The doctor was first to recover speech, lie said: "You can't ask me anything that I won't do, Miss Torfrey," and held out his hand to her. She took it, sajing simply: "Thank you. I trust with all my heart you won't find that which wrecks my life while it saves his." (To be Continued.)
I LOADING A RIFLE. Quite a number -of people believe that cartridges are served out to the soldiers separated from one another. Cartridges are. however, usually given out fastened together in clips of five. The modern rifle used bv the British Army is known as a magazine rifle, and holds two clips or ten cartridges in the magazine itself, as well as an extra cartridge above the magazine, eleven rounds in all. When the cartridge clip is forced into the magazine the fasten- ing is removed, so tnat eacn carmuge wneu it reaches the magazine is separate from the others. The magazine of the Army rifle is nothing more than a detachable box con- taining a spring. This spring forces up one 'cartrido-e at a time into its position ready for firing As a rule the ten cartridges in the magazine* are only use d in great emer- gency, as when the order for rapid firing is given to stop an enemy's charge. In the ordinarv way the magazine, with its ten cartridges, is shut off from the rest of the rifle by means of a metal slide called the "cut off." The i-ifle used by the Germans is verv similar to the British one. In the case of the German rifle, the famous Mauser, however, the magazine is not detachable as ours is, and it only holds five cartridges in. stead of ten.
Tba Rev. Abraham Charles Jacobs. forty- seven vears pastor of the Jewish synagogue at Brighton, has died, aged seventy-five. Out of 48 samples of milk recently taken iti the Citv of London, one in ten contained live tubercle bacilli. Out of 49 pigs fed on the milk five became tuberculous. A portable X-rays apparatusc of a special character has been presented by the staff and students of the Imperial College of Science, South Kensington, to Sir Alfred Keogh, K.C.B., the rector, who has been called upon by Lord Kirchencr to be Direc- tor-General of the Royal Army Medical Corps*. The apparatix, will be used at the front.
I » DADDY'S MEDALS. Mrs. Hunt, a Chertsey widow, had four sons fighting at the front. Two ot them, r. both sergeants in the East Surrey Regiment, were recommended for the Legion of Honour, but both have been killed. A third son has been wounded. In the photograph Mrs. Hunt is seen with her grandson, whose father has been killed. The baby is wearing one of his father's medals, and looking at others won by the dead hero.
SOLDIERS OF THE MOUNTAINS. This picture shows a regiment of the French Alpine Chasseurs on the march. These celebrated mountaineer-soldiers have figured prominently in the fierce fighting in Alsace. The regiment here seen is on its way to take up a position in the Vosges Mountains.
A WAR CURIOSITY. This photograph, is&ued by the authority of the Press Bureau, shows the extra- ordinary freak of a German bullet. It transfixed a clip of British cartridges which were in a soldier's bandolier. -■ — -—s————————i——■
KILLED BY HIS TOY. I How a six-year-old child was strangled by the lash of a top-whip was told at an inquest at Edlington, a mining village near Doncastor, on Vincent Kirkham, son of a miner. The Coroner stated that the case was one of the in.o.-t lemarkable he had ever come across. The mother of the child said that she left the house for five minutes, leaving the deceased with another child, aged two. Returning she found the deceased hanging from a rail in the mantelshelf with the lash of a top-whip round his neck. The loop of the whip near the stock was over the rail, and the lash was twisted round the neck. Near at hand was an overturned chair, which was in the right position when she left the house. On the shelf was a box of nails, and the other child told her the deceased had been trying to reach the"f'. She lifted him down, but artificial respiration proved unavail- ing. Th" jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death by strangulation."
"Oceania," an Italian newspaper pub- lished in Sydney, declares on the highest authority," that Italy will certainly take the field against Austria in April, striking fori herself and her lost provinces, quite apart from any quarrel with her former ally Germanv. For the first time in forty years there were no cases for trial at the Nottingham Assizes on Friday. Mr. Heddetwick, at North London Police- court, granted a summons against a German for changing his name. Wrapped in a sacking covering, a live calf was brought for sale into Bracknell iBerk- shire) Market in a lady's brougham, driven bv a coachman in livery. The Austrian Government has passed a measure, which becomes operative at once, imposing new war taxes on legacies, matches, insurance contracts, and deeds. According to the "Norddeutsche Allge- Tr.eine Zeitung," the growing of sugar beet in Germany is to be reduced in order that more valuable food stuffs may be cultivated.
HHllIIRIBlllHMKBIllllIMB i K Refy For Relief [■ K upon a thoroughly reliable remedy if -a remedy with a reputation! A g good reputation rests upon reliabil- ity, particularly in the case of a pro- a prietary medicine. An unreliable preparation-no matter how fully a and widely advertised-can never achieve a reputation of any stand- M ing. The reliabiiity of Beecliam's Pills explains their solid reputation. M Beecham's Pills fulfil expectations. = This they have done for countless ■ thousands of people, continuously, = ever since they first came into use. ■ You can therefore depend IN | Upon æ = Beecham's Pills for giving relief in = most cases of stomach and liver a trouble. Such symptoms as acidity, = biliousness, constipation, fiatu- 5 lence, headache, heartburn, loss of appetite, unpleasant taste in the mouth and general lack of tone call for the immediate use of that really S IN reliable remedy- Beecham's i Pillsi Pre::are¿ only t-y B a THOMAS BEECHAM, St. Helens, Lancashire. Sold everywhere in boxes, gg 0 price 1 11 (56 piEs) & 2'9 (ICB pills).