By E. W. HORNUNG
The Amateur Cracksman
by Charles Bcrlbner's Sons
PROLOGUE OF THE STORY.
Miss nouvcrlo, n compnnlon to Mrs.
Clarkson on nn Aiistrnllnu
ceases singing when n dapper joung
man walks Into the ranch house. IIo
politely Lids her sing more, whllo ho
plays. Her voice receives his high-ecommendation.
Ilefore leaving ho
promises to bo nt Mrs. Clarkson's cond
cert, which Sir Julian Crum, tho
English musical authority, Is
A Hold Up.
next night Uio main trio
strangely absorbed In
station happening which
not arouse Miss
curiosity In tho least. They
were excited and yet constrained at
dinner and drew their chairs close together on the veranda afterward. Tho
young lady caught at least ona word of
iwhlcbsho did not know tho meaning.
jBhe ,d tho tact to keep out of earshot
"t . that. Nor was she very much
LiOre Interested when she met tho two
young men with revolvers In their
hands the following day.
"Going to fight' a duel?" sho Inquired, smilingly, for her heart wos
till singing grand opera and oratorio
"More or less," returned the overseer, without his usual pleasantry.
"We're going to have a match at a target behind the pines."
Tho London bookkeeper looked nn
anxious clerk; the girl was glad when
she saw tho pair alive at dinner. There
seemed to be llttlo doing. Though tho
summer was already tropical, there had
been plenteous rnlns, nnd Mr. Clarltson
observed In ITIlda's hearing that tho
recent day's mustering would bo the
last for somo Utile time, She was
thrown much In his company, nnd sho
liked Mr. Clarkson when Mrs. Clarksnn
was not thero. In his wife's hands tho
good man was wax: now a mere echo,
now n vcrltnblo claque In himself, ho
pandered lndefnllgnbly to the multitudinous vanities of n ludicrously vnln
womnn. Hut It was noon Miss
experience that he could, when
he dared, be attentively considerate of
lesser ladles. And In many ways tlieso
wero much the hnpplest days that sho
had spent on the station.
They were, however, days of a consuming excitement for the raged and
gagged nightingale that Hilda Itou-verlnow conceived herself to be. Sho
sang not another nolo aloud. Mr.
Clarkson lived In slippers on the
which Hilda now associated
chlelly with n stranger's spurs, for of
tho booted and spurred stranger she
was thinking incessantly, though still
without the emotions of nn ordinarily
AVould ho bo
nt tho concert, or would ho not? Would
ho turn out to bo what slio llrinly
Imagined him, or was she to find nut
Might ho not In nny
easo have said or written some pregnant word for her? Was It beyond
tho bounds of possibility that sho
should bo asked to sing after all?
Tho last question was tho only one
to bn answered before tho time, unless a point blank Inquiry of Mrs.
Clarkson bo Included In tho category.
Tho lady had returned with a gorgeous
gown, only less full of her experiences
than of tho crowning triumph yet to
como. Sho had lHiught every song of
Sir Julian's to bo had In Melbourne,
and his name was always on her Hps.
In n reckless moment Miss Itouvcrlo
had Inquired his age.
"I really don't know," said Mrs.
Clnrkson. "What can It matter?"
"I only wondered whether ho was a
youngish man or not"
Mrs. Clarkson had already raised her
At this nnstvor they disappeared behind n toupet dating from
her lato descent upon tho Victorian
"Iteally, MliiS llouverle!" sho said,
and nothing mora In wends. Hut tho
tono was Intolerable, and lis nconni-pnnjlnsneer n rellnenient In vulgarity which only tho really refined
would have resented ns It deserved.
Miss rtouvcrlo got up nnd left the room
without n word, ltut her flaming fueo
left n misleading tola behind.
She was not Introduced to Sir Julian;
but that was not her prime disappointment when the great night came.
All doslro for nn Introduction, all Interest In tho conceit, died a sudden death
In Hilda llouverlo at her first glimpse
of the gentleman who was duly presented to Mrs. Clarkson ns Sir Julian
Ho was moro than middle
aged; he wore n gray beard and tho
air of n somewhat supercilious martyr;
his near sight was obviated by double
lenses In gold rims. Hilda could have
wept leforo tho world.
three weeks sho had been Ism-luImagination to u very different Sir
Julhin, lK)wlng lis though sho had
never beheld ultu i iur life before;
and yet In thrco minutes she saw how
little real reason sho had ever had for
tho Illogical conclusion to which sho had
Jumped. Sho searched for tho sprightly (Iguro sho had worn In her mind's
eye; his presence under nny other
tinmc would still havo been welcome,
enough now. Hut ho was not thero
nt all. In tho patchy glaro of tho
keroseno lumps, against tho bunting
which lined tho corrugated walls of
(Julia nil's new Iron store, among flower
and weed of township and of station,
did Miss llouverlo seek In vnln for a
sluglo eyeglass and n military mustache.
Tho concert began. Miss llouverlo
opened It herself with the Inevitably
thankless planoforto solo, In this case
gratuitously meretricious Into the bargain, albeit the arbitrary choice of no
less n Judge than Mrs. Clarkson.
apwas received with perfunctory
through which n dissipated
stockman thundered thickly for a song.
Miss llouverlo averted her eyes from
Sir Julian (ensconced Ilko royalty In
tho center of the first row) ns sho descended from tho platform.
not tho hardihood to glnnco toward
llonn whose somen lint uneven teno.-wa- s
shaken to Its depths by the simple
fsithos of "When Hmrrows Itiilld."
Mrs. Clarkson could nlTord to encourage such t.iros with marked applause.
The only danger wns that Sir Julian
might think she really admired their
"One must do it." she then-foroccasion to explain ns she chipped.
"They arc so nortons. The bird thing
Is to put oneself III thei.' place.
nothing to me to slug a song. Sir Julian."
"So I can sec, madam," snld he.
At the extreme end of the same
llouverle passed her unemplojed
moments between .Mr. Itadfoid mid the
wall and wns not oay until she had
slgniliil to little .Mr. Hack to occupy
the sent behind her. With tho two together she felt comparatively comfortable. Mr. Itadfmd's running criticism
on the performers, always pungent,
was often amusing.
It was the Intertill between parts ono
nod two. The platform was unoccupied.
A cool draft blew through
the Iron building from open door to
oH'H door. There was no occasion to
go outside. They had done so, however, at the lower end, Thero was n
sudden staiypodlng of returning feet.
A something lu tho scullllng steps, n
certain outcry that accompanied them,
caused Miss llouverlo and her companions to turn their heads. They
turned again nt ns sudden a Jlnglo on
the platform, ami tho girl caught her
breath. There stood her missing hero,
smiling nn the people, dapper, swarthy, booted, spurred, and for ono mo
ment tho man she had reason to remember, exictly as sho remembered
him. Tho next his folded arms sprang
out from the shoulders unil a braco of
long barreled revolt era covered tho
"Up with your hands, every man of
the great man until the Indistinct
stockman had hail his wMi and Mrs.
Clarkson, In her line new raiment,
hail both sung nnd acted a coy ditty
of tho previous decade, wherein every
line began with the word somebody."
It was an Immodlalo success. The
stockman led the encore, but
Miss llouverle, who duly accompanied,
extracted solace from the depressed
attitude In which Sir Julian Crum sat
looking down his nose.
The township boasted Its score of
dwellings, but few of them showed a
light that evening. No fewer than ninety of the round hundred of inhabitants
clapped their h.md-- t anil mopped their
foreheads In !ulluiid'n new store. It
might Kate been run up for Its present
There was an entrance at
one end for the performers, nnd that on
the platform Km el, since the ground
sloped a little. At the other end was the
only other entrance, by w hich the audience were admitted. A makeshift lobby
hud been arranged behind the platform, nnd thither Mrs. Clarkson let 1ml
to uwalt her earlier encores.
the compliment became ii recognized
matter of course she abandoned the
mere form of a momentary retirement
and stood patiently smiling In the satin
ball dress brought from MollKnimo for
the nonce. And for tho brief Intervals
between her etloits she descended to n
throne specially reserved on the great
iiiMslcl in's right.
The other performers did not dim her
brilliance by reason of their own,
Thero was her own dear husband,
whose serious recitation was the one
entertaining number. Thero was n rabbit hvqxvtor who rapped out "The!
Scout" lu u delimit burltoue and n pub-- 1
00,000 Men My Strike.
suffrage Is granted when parliament
meets this Nnvcmlior .Vni.uoil men will
strike." snld Secretary Cnmlllo lluys-ma- n
of the International Socialist bureau.
"Socialism Is letter organized In
than anywhere else in tho world,"
he continued, "and If we are forced
to strike our fellow Socialists In other
countries will get n valuable lesson In
what united action can do toward correcting existing social evils.
"Pour committees have been named,
one to provide food for the strikers,
one to raiso money, one to gather recruits nnd one to send children to
places of safety while tin- - struggle
rages. All ero hard at woik. When
the time conies everything will bo
ney, who says she Is glad of It nnd
Milk For 2,200 Dables.
thinks both cities should be proud,
New York, Oct. 29. Nathan Straus'
Tho reason our members of the fair work of protecting tho babies from
sex have the biggest feet In the world milk borne diseases has completed Its
she explains, Is athletics. Pretty young twenty-firs- t
year with n record of only
women nowadays! are coming Into one death the past summer among tho
strong, hanly muscles nnd moro com- 2,200 babies
mon sense ways of living,
with mill; modified nnd pateurlzcd In
"Strong, athletic girls speak well for the Straus laliorntorles and ijlspcnsod
the future of the race." declares Mrs, nt the seventeen Infant mllK depots.
"I wish other cities of the That one death was due to pneumonia.
country were blessed ns nro New York
During tho year S,103,i!SI liottles of
milk were supplied nnd 1,320,100
glasses of milk were served at the
summer stations In the parks and on
tho recreation piers. While the number of Infant milk depots In tho city
Increased to nearly a hundred, the
Straus stations are the only ones that
supply the milk In nursing liottles. first
modified and then pasteurized In the
Tho output by months was as follows: September. 100.019 bottles;
November, 143.SS0; Do.
comber, 101,17.": January, 101,78.":
April, 107,010; May. 2no,S7.".; June, 213.-29July. 211,072; August, 202.7S9.
Total. 2.1 13.03 1.
In tho twenty-on- e
.tears of tills work
Curing Prison Inmates.
over 33,OWi,ooo liottles of pasteurized
I'oughkeepsle, N. V., Oct. 22.
milk have been supplied for tho babies
that It Is most Important that
prisoners of tho stnte shall have sound and over 17.0X,noo glasses of milk
have been served nt the depots. In the
bodies If the state would cure their
first J ear 31,000 bottles wero supplied.
criminal habits. Colonel Joseph P.
Scott, superintendent of prlons, has
put Into practice n plan for the treat- Finds a Country,
inent of prisoners In stale Institutions.
London, Oct. 2S. After being a man
It protldes for special attention to the without a country some time I'rederlck
health of prisoners.
Staikey of lirlstol bus proved his right
"Wo propose," says Colonel Scott, "to to remain In Ungland, but ho will stay
subject every prisoner arriving nt a hero under restraint,
Stnrkey was arrested last December
stnte reformatory or prison to n thor- ongh physical examination.
If ho has and convicted on a charge of theft
When ho told the court ho was an
defective vision lie will receive expert
treatment to remedy tho trouble nnd American he wns ordered deported. On
will bo assigned to duties not preju- - reaching the United States admission
iis refused on the ground that he was
tllclal to recovery of his vision. The
man of tendencies toward deafness. a undesirable nllcn. The American
government sent him back to Uniland,
the man whose criminal life has
Ids liody In nny way that can and the lirlstol authorities Immediately
be cured by medical or surgical science shipped him to Prance. Stnrkey was
will receive such treatment as will tit Imprisoned there on the charge of
without a passport, and after sorthim for more work and better work
ing his sentence lie became a stowIn prison and glvo him an Improved
chance to make good when ho again away and again arrived at lirlstol. HI
record was then examined, nnd It wns
becomes a free man."
found that he was a Ilritlsh subject.
Law Against Hens.
llangor, Me., Oct. 2S. Tills city now
has a hen law. Tho local government
a new ordinance
which prohibits hens and, of course,
that Includes tho male poultry from
running nt large within n milo and
of tho postotllce.
This was regarded as a Joko when Introduced, but It develops tho city govThe Bull Moose In Indiana.
Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 2S. Ono of ernment wns nagged by people suffertho big figures In the Indiana campaign ing from the music of tho rooster at
Is Albert J. Hcverldge, former United night nnd the foraging of the hens In
States senator, who was succeeded by tho daytime. I'eoplo owning fowls nro
John W. Kern, llovcrldgo who left now subjected to prosecution and Hno
"I'p with your hands, ctcry man of
you!" ho cried. "No, not tho holies,
but every man and boy who doesn't
want a bullet In his brain!"
The command was echoed lu uncouth
accents at tho lower door, where, In
fact, a bearded savage had drlten lu
all and sundry at his pistol's point
And lu u few seconds the meeting was
as one which had carried by overwhelming show of hands a proposition
from which tho ladles alono saw occasion to dissent.
"Vou may havu heard of mo before,"
said tho man ou llio platform, sweeping the forest of hands with his eyeglass. "Sly name's Stlngaiee."
It wns tho word which Hilda llouverlo had heard on - , taken for some straiic -- . S
" ho Is lie
per that bespoke excite-bu- t
"Tho fancy bushnj
outlaw!" drawled liut uS',
ply. "1'to been oxp'i
was seen on our luJ'Vt
Clarkson went down tj
That memorable daj ''
terle! And It was thlj '
who hail been her ho- Imwhi--
A Glance ai Current Topics
Chicaao's Great TrminiJ
'i v, ' "!sjjvy',a
ber tinder nnns!
"And you never told
In an Indignant wlihqii
"We never told Mrs.J
Vou must blame the U
"Silence oter there"!
luuin Htiuui ino ill nn 'J
I have u weakness
kind, so long as It's gij
The ejeglass dropped 5
upon Mrs. Clarkson hi
and the Irreiiresslble It'
abled to continue his sa.
"Ho has, too, from a
a full oichestra, fruit
coat pocket next jou.
Is tho music,"
fee, longing navuer mail . jut.
direction, "which has In
tonight, l'te come to 11
other reason lu the ttj "t,"J,
n itely w hen one has a
head one has to take
tlons befoie teiitui-iuifellow men. And, thong
for gain or bloodshed,!, j
inn Iritiilili, If.
IlkO II dog."
"That's one for me,"
Intrepid oterseer lu
".Never mind, lie's not
now I believe Mrs. CJ
to faint. Vou take tvl-anslip It under your sh
sate a second by pasju
the Instant jou see her
Hilda hcslliited. A d
fallen on the crowded nil
mid III the silence Still
ready taking mi iiiiguarj
.Mis. tiaiksou's appoint
leiiuiuij liCIOM'IICtl I111U1
"Now!" whispcri-hesitated no more Shoj
lace shatti beT
pcni'iinccs ut the phinif
retolter under It lu aft
pressed it in ier bosoj-lentil .int. tilllKliti, tin. u
iiiiil...nt.il It ii, i lm Oiiii? s
"you hate been singing t tho quality of jour song
equal to the quantity.'
It sounded a brutal en
and to do Justice to u
audience not tirtherto reiw
Its spirit, the iiugallaut cj
audibly resented In the ha
maudlin stockman had no
strained by his neighbors;
tilting himself iqioii th"- Stlngnrce. Hut the effeia.iS
Clarkson Herself was still
able nnd tetoaled u subtle
the desperado's crueltv I)
Hushed: her hu Muster j
forth their Indignation! hi
wns on lire for nil the roon
To be continual