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About Corvallis gazette. (Corvallis, Benton County, Or.) 1900-1909 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 13, 1906)
He stared at me in astonishment.
"Do you mean to tell me, Mr. Les
ter," he questioned, "that you haven't
been spending the evening with Jim
Godfrey of the Record?"
Then, in a flasn, I understood, and as
I looked at the rueful faces of the men
gathered about me I laughed until the
"So it was you," I gasped, "who
chased us up Broadway?"
"Yes, but our horses weren't good
enough. Where did he take you?"
"To the Studio Sixth avenue."
"Of course!" he cried, slapping his
leg. "We might have known. Boys,
we'd better go back to Podv.nk."
"Well, at least, Mr. Lester," spoke up
another, "you oughtn't to give Godfrey
"But I didn't give him a scoop. I
didn't even know who he was."
"D;dnt you tell him what was in the
note':" 1 '
"Not a word of it. I told him only
"And what was that?"
"That the person who wrote the note
didn't know that Rogers was color
blind. You are welcome to that state
ment too. You see, I'm treating you all
They stood about me staring down at
me, silent with astonishment.
"But." I added, "I think Godfrey sus
pects what was in the note."
"Well, his theory fits it pretty close
ly." "His theory! What is his theory, Mr.
f'Oh, come," I laughed. "That's tell
ing. It's a good theory too."
They looked at each o,ther, and, I
fancied, gnashed their teeth.
"He seems a pretty clever fellow," I
added, just to pile up the agony. "I
fancy you'll say so, too, when you see
Lis theory In tomorrow's paper."
"Clever!" cried Rankin. "Why, he's
a Tery fiend of cleverness when it
comes to a case of this kind. We're not
In the same class with him. He's a
fancy fellow just the Record kind.
You're sure you didn't tell him any
thing else, Mr. Lester?" he added anx
iously. "Godfrey's capable of getting a
story out of a fence post."
"No, I'm quite sure I didn't tell him
anything else. I only listened to his
theory with great interest."
"And assented to it?"
"I said Lihouzbt it jjlau&ibjg."
An electric shock seemed to nxa
around the room.
"That's It!" cried Rankin. "That's
what he wanted. Now, it Isn't his
theory any more. It's yours. Oh, I
can see his headlines! Won't you tell
us what it was?"
I looked up at him.
"Now, frankly, Mr. Rankin," I asked,
"if you were in my place would you
i He hesitated for a moment and then
held out bis hand.
"No," he said as I took it. "I
shouldn't. Shake hands, sir; you're all
right Come on, boys; we might as
well be going."
They filed out after him, and I heard
them go singing up the street. Then
I sank back into my chair and thought
again of Godfrey's theory. It seemed
to fit the case precisely, point by point
even and I started at the thought
to Miss Holladay's reticence as to her
whereabouts the afternoon before. The
.whole mystery lay plain before me. In
some way she had discovered the ex
istence of her half sister, had secured
he? r.:-"r: -V.? !:r.a gone to visit her
ami had f jund her away from home
it was probable, even, that the half
Bister had written her, asking her to
come though, In that case, why had
she not remained at home to receive
her? At any rate, Miss Holladay had
awaited her return, bad noticed her
agitation; had, perhaps, even seen cer
tain marks of blood upon her. The
news of her father's death had pointed
all too clearly to what that agitation
and those blood spots meant. She had
remained silent that she might not be
smirch her father's name, and also,
perhaps, that she might protect the
other woman. I felt that I held In my
hand the key to the whole problem.
Toint by point but what a snarl It
was! That there would be a vigorous
search for the other woman I could
not doubt, but she had a long start and
should easily escape. Yet perhaps she
had not started. She must have re
mained in town, else how could that
note have been sent to us? She had re
mained, then but why? That she
should feci any affection for Frances
Holladay seemed absurd, and yet how
else explain the note?
I felt that I was getting tangled up
in the snarl again. There seemed no
limit to its intricacies; so, in very de
spair. I put the matter from me as
completely as I could and went to
The morning's Record attested the
truth of Rankin's prophecy. I had
grown famous In a night, for Godfrey
had In a measure made me responsible
for his theory, describing me with a
wealth of adjectives which I blush to
remember and which I have even yet
not quite forgiven him. I smiled as I
read th first. Hrtont
Copyrtfb. 1903. by
Henry Holt and
- A Record representative had the pleas
i are yesterday evening of dining' with Mr.
Warwick Lester, the brilliant young- at
, torney who achieved such a remarkable
J victory before Coroner Goldberg yester-
day afternoon in the hearing' of the Hol
i laday case, and, of course, took occasion
to discuss with him the latest develop
ments of this extraordinary crime. Mr.
Lester agreed with the Record in a the
ory which is the - only one that fits the
facts of the case and completely and sat
isfactorily explains all Its ramifications.
The theory was then developed at
great length, and the article concluded
with the statement that the Record
was assisting the police In a strenuous
endeavor to find the guilty woman.
Now that the police knew in which
quarter to spread their net, I had little
doubt that she would' soon be found,
since she had tempted Providence by
remaining in town.
Mr. Graham and Mr. Royce were
looking through the Record article
when I reached the office, and I ex
plained to them how the alleged inter
view had been secured. They laughed
together in appreciation of Godfrey's
"It seems a pretty strong theory,"
said our senior. "I'm inclined to be
lieve it myself."
I pointed out how it explained Miss
Holladay's reticence her refusal to as
sist us in proving an alibi. Mr. Royce
"Precisely. As Godfrey said, the the
ory touches every point of the case.
According to the old police axiom, that
proves It's the right one."
THE body of Hiram Holladay was
placed beside that of his wife
in his granite mausoleum at
Woodlawn on the Sunday fol
lowing his death. Two days later his
will, which had been drawn up by Mr.
Graham and deposited In the office
safe, was read and duly admitted to
probate. As was expected, he had left
all his property, without condition or
reserve, to his daughter Frances.
There were a few bequests to old serv
ants, Rogers receiving a handsome leg
acy; about half a million was given to
various charities In which he had been
interested during his life, and the re
mainder was placed at the absolute
disposal of his daughter.
We found that his fortune had been
overestimated, as la. usually the case
with men whose wealth depends upon
the fluctuations of the Street, but there
still remained something over four mil
lions for the girl a pretty dowry. She
told us at once that she wished to leave
her affairs in our hands and in finan
cial matters would be guided entirely
by our advice. Most of this business
was conducted by our junior, and,
while, of course, he told me nothing, it
was evident that Miss Holladay's kind
ly feelings toward him had suffered no
diminution. The whole office was more
or less, conversant with the affair and
wished him success and happiness.
So a week or ten days passed. The
utmost endeavor of newspapers and
police had shed no new light on the
tragedy, -and for the great public it
had passed into the background of
the forgotten, but for" mo, at least,
it remained of undim.lnisb.ed Interest,
and more than once I carefully re
viewed its features to convince my
self anew that our theory was the
right one. Only one point occurred to
me which would tend to prove it un
trueIf there was an illegitimate
daughter, the blow she had dealt her
father had also deprived her of what
ever Income he had allowed her or of
rny hope of income froic fc.hr; ro she
had acted in her own despite Still,
Godfrey's theory of sudden passion
might explain this away. And then
again Miss Holladay could probably
be counted upon, her first grief past,
to provide suitably for her sister.
Granting this, the theory seemed to me
One other thing puzzled me how
had this woman eluded the police? I
knew that the French quarter had been
ransacked for traces of her, wholly
without success, and yet I felt that
the search must have been miscon
ducted, else some trace of her would
surely have been discovered. Miss Hol
laday, of course, rigidly refused her
self to all inquirers, and here again 1
found myself on the horns of a dilem
ma. Doubtless she was very far from
wishing the discovery of the guilty,
woman, and yet I felt that she must
be discovered. If only for Miss Holla
day's sake, in order to clear away the
last vestige of the cloud that shad
Then came new developments with a
startling rapidity. It was toward quit
ting time one afternoon that a clerk
brought word into the inner office that
there was a woman without who
wished to see Mr. Royce at once. She
had given no name, but our junior,
who happened to be at leisure for the
moment, directed that she be shown in.
I recognized her in an Instant, and so
did he it was Miss Holladay's maid.
I saw, too, that her eyes were red
with weeping, and as she sat down
beside our junior's desk she began to'
"Why, what's the matter?" he de
manded. "Nothing wrong with your
"She ain't my mistress any more,"
J Bobbed the s3rL . . "She. dtecharsed me-
"Discharged yon!" echoed our junior.
"Why, I thought she thought so much
"And so did I, sir, but she discharged
me just the same."
j "But what for?" persisted the other,
j "Thafs Just what I don't know, sir.
: I begged and prayed her to tell me, but
" she wouldn't even see me. So I came
down here. I thought maybe yon could
"Well, let me hear about it just as It
happened," said Mr. Royce soothingly.
"Perhaps I can help you."
"Oh, If you could, sir!" she cried.
"Yon know, I thought the world and
all of Miss Frances. I've been with
her nearly eight years, and for her to
go and treat me like this why, It just
breaks my heart, sir! I dressed her
this afternoon about 2 o'clock, and
she was as nice to me as ever gave
me a little brooch, sir, that she was
tired of. Then she went out for a
drive, and about an hour ago came
back. I went right up to her room to
undress her, and when I knocked, sir,
a strange woman came to the door and
said that Miss Frances had engaged
her for her maid and wouldn't need me
any more, and here was a month's
Wages. And while I stood there, sir,
too dazed to move, she shut the door
in my face. After I'd got over it a
bit, I begged that I might see Miss
Frances, if only to say goodby, but
she wouldn't see me. She sent word
that she wasn't feeling well and
wouldn't be disturbed."
Her sobs mastered her again and
she stopped. -I could see the look of
amazement on our junior's face, and
did not wonder at it. What sudden
dislike could her mistress have con
ceived against this Inoffensive and de
"You say this other maid was a
stranger?" he asked.
"Yes, sir; she'd never been in the
house before, so far as I know. Miss
Frances brought her back with her in
"And what sort of looking woman is
The girl hesitated.
"She looked like a foreigner, sir,"
she said at last. "A Frenchwoman,
maybe, by the way she rolls her r's."
I pricked up my ears. The same
thought occurred at that instant to
both Mr. Royce and myself.
"Does she resemble Miss Holladay?"
he asked quickly.
"Miss Holladay? Oh, no, sir. She's
much older her hair's quite gray."
Well, certainly, Miss Holladay had
the right to choose any maid she
pleased and to discharge any or all of
her servants; and yet it seemed
strangely unlike her to show such
seeming injustice to any one.
"You say she sent down word that
she was ill?" said Mr. Royce at last.
"Was she 111 when you dressed her?"
"Why, sir," she answered slowly, "I
wouldn't exactly say she was 111, but
she seemed troubled about something.
I think she'd been crying. She's been
crying a good deal, off and on, since
her father died, poor thing," she added.
That would explain it, certainly, and
yet grief for her father might not be,
the only cause of Frances Holladay's
"But she didn't seem vexed with
"Oh, no, sir; she gave me a brooch,
as I told you."
"I fear I can't promise you any
thing," said Mr. Royce slowly, after a
moment's thought. "Of course it's
none of my business, for Miss Holladay
must arrange her household to suit
herself ; yet, If you don't get back with
your 'old mistress, I may perhaps be
able to find you a position somewhere
slse.l Suppose you come back in three
or four days, and I'll see what I can
"All right, sir, and thank you," she
said, and left the office.
I had some work of my own to keep
me busy that night, s devoted no
thought to Frances Holladay and her
affairs, but they were recalled to me
with renewed force next morning.
"Did you get Miss Holladay's sig
nature to that conveyance?" Mr. Gra
ham chanced to ask his partner in the
course of the morning.
"No, sir," answered Mr. Royce. with
just a trace of embarrassment, "a
called at the house last night, but she
sent down word that she was too ill
to see me or to transact any business."
"Nothing serious, 1 hope?' asked the
"No, sir. I think not Just a trace
of nervousness, probably."
But when he called again at the
house that evening he received a sim
ilar message, supplemented with the
news Imparted by the butler, a servant
of many years' standing in the family,
that Miss Holladay had suddenly de
cided to leave the city and open her
country place on Long Island. It was
only the end of March, and so a full
two months and more ahead of the
season. But she was feeling very ill,
was not able to leave her room, indeed,
and believed the fresh air and quiet
of the country would do more than
anything else to restore her shattered
nerves. So the whole household, with
the exception of her maid, a cook,
house girl and underbutler, were to
leave the city next day in order to get
the country house ready at once.
"I don't wonder she needs a little
toning up," remarked our chief sym
pathetically. "She has gone through
a nerve trying ordeal, especially fo
a girl reared as she has been. Two
or three months of quiet will do her
good. When does she expect to leave?"
"In about a week, I think. The time
hasn't been definitely set. It will de
pend upon how the arrangements go
forward. It won't be necessary, will
it, to bother her with any details' of
business ? That conveyance, for in
stance" "Can wait till- she gets back. No, we
(To be Continued.)
You Doubtless want to know
BURTON E. STEVENSON
DEALING WITH ROMANCE AND MYSTERY
Now Running in the
The New York
The reader will
put the book down until he has
reached the last page.CJ Well
written? intoakt hell bargain."
You can read it without money in the
Corvallis Gazette. New Sub
scribers supplied with back
chapters of the story.
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sore thioat, hot skin, quick pulse, hoarse
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