Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, June 17, 1921, Image 2

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The Adventures of a
Demobilized Officer Who
Found Peace Dull
| SC
Copyright by Gee. H. Doraa Co.
(Continued from last week.)
PROLOGUE.—In December, 1918, four
men gathered in a hotel in Berne and
heard one of the quartet outline a plan
to paralyze Great Britain and at the
same time seize world power. The other
three, Hocking, American, and Steineman
and Von Gratz, Germans, all millionaires,
agree to the scheme, providing another
man, Hiram Potts, an American, is taken
in. The instigator of the plot gives his
pame as Comte de Guy, but when he
leaves for England with his daughter he
decides to use the name Carl Peterson.
CHAPTER I. — Capt. Hugh (Bulldog)
‘Drummond, a retired officer, advertises
for work that will give him excitement,
signing “X10.” As a result he meets
Phyllis Benton, a young woman who an-
swered his ad. She tells him of strange
gourders and robberies of which she sus-
ts a band headed by Carl Peterson and
nly Lakington of being the leaders.
CHAPTER IL—Drummond decides to
go to The Larches, Miss Benton's home.
An attempt is made on the road to wreck
his machine when another, occupied by
Peterson, Lakington and a strange man,
blocks the road. While dining with Phyl-
lis Benton and her father Drummond
hears a terrible shriek at The Elms. Dur-
the night Drummond leaves The
Larches and explores The Elms. He dis-
covers Lakington and Peterson using a
thumbscrew on an American who signs
@ paper. Drummond rescues the Ameri-
cen after a struggle and takes him to
fis home. The man is Hiram C. Potts.
CHAPTER IIL—Peterson visits Drum-
mond the next day, departing with a
threat to return later and recover Potts
and also a torn paper which Drummond
seized the night of the fight. With the
aid of Peter Darrel, an old army friend,
Drummond arranges to hide Potts, and
gubstitute in his place one Mullings, a de-
mobilized soldier, who is seized by Peter-
son and his gang and taken to The Elms,
along with Drummond.
CHAPTER 1V.— When Peterson dis-
covers the hoax Drummond Is escorted
by Irma to a room where he is to stay
for the night. During the night Drum-
mond is exploring the house when he gets
in a strange room in which is a cobra.
Fe escapes, but on the stairs has a fight
in the dark.
CHAPTER V.—Drummond enlists the
ald of Algy Longworth, Toby Sinclair,
Ted Jerningham and Jerry Seymour, the
latter an aviator. Drummond, after an
encounter with the pseudo Potts, meets
Irma - talking to the marquis of Laidley
‘and suspects the gang is plotting for the
Laidley jewels. Drummond and his friends
are gassed as they sit in his apartment.
Lakington carries off Potts.
CHAPTER VI—When Drummond and
his friends recover they plan to again res-
cue Potts. Drummond goes to see Phyl-
lis and besides learning Potts has been
taken to The Elms also becomes engaged
to her. Drummond is captured by the
gang in the attempted rescue.
Slowly Lakington sank back in his
chair, a hard, merciless smile on his |
lips; and for a moment or two there |
was silence in the room. It was broken
by the unkempt man on the sofa, who,
without warning, exploded unexpected- |
1y. |
ws tae to ail this fooling” be |
burst forth in a deep rumble; “I con-
fess 1 do not understand it. Are we !
assembled here tonight, ceenrades, to i
listen to private quarrels and stupid :
talk?” '
A murmur of approval came from
the others, and the speaker stood up
waving his arms. !
“] know not what this young man |
has done: I care less. In Russia such
trifies matter not. He has the appear-
ance of a bourgeois, therefore he must
dle. Did we not kill thousands—aye, !
tens of thousands of his kidney, before
we obtained the great freedom? Are |
we not going to do the same in this |
accursed country? Kill him now— |
#Kill Him Now—Throw Him in a Cor
ner and Let Us Proceed.”
throw him in a corner and let us pro-
reed.” |
He sat down, amidst a murmur of
approval, in which Hugh joined heart-
“Splendid,” he murmured. “A mag-
pificent peroration. Am I right, sir,
in assuming that you are what is vul-
garly known as a Bolshevist?”
The man turned his sunken eyes,
glowing with ¢he burning fires of fanat-
jcism, on Drummond.
«I am one of those who are fighting
for the freedom of the world,” he cried
harshly, “for the right to live of the
proletariat.” He flung out his arms
wildly. “It is freedom; it is the dawn
of the new age.”
Hugh looked at him with genuine
curiosity; it was the first time he had
actually met one of these wild vision-
aries in the flesh. And then the curi-
osity was succeeded by a very definite
amazement : what had Peterson to do
with such as he?
For the moment his own deadly risk
was forgotten: a growing excitement
filled his mind. Could it be possible
that here, at last, was the real object
of the gang; could it be possible that
Peterson was organizing a deliberate
plot to try and Bolshevize England?
He looked up to find Petiizon regard-
ing him with a faint smile.
«It is a little difficult to understand,
isn’t it, Captain Drummond?” be said,
carefully flicking the ash off his cigar
“1 told you you'd find yourself in deep |
water.” Then he resumed the contem-
plation of the papers in front of him.
Hugh half closed his eyes, while a
general buzz of conversation broke out
round the table.
Fragments of conversation struck his
ears from time to time. The intimi-
dated rabbit, with the light of battle
in his watery eye, was declaiming on
the glories of workmen's councils} a |
bullet-headed man was shouting an In-
spiring battle cry about no starvation
wages and work for all.
“Can it be possible,” thought Hugh, !
grimly, “that such as these have the
power to control big destinies?’ And
tlien, because he had some experience
of what one unbalanced brain, whose
owner could talk, was capable of
achieving ; because he knew something
sbout mob psychology, his half con-
temptuous amusement changed to a
bitter foreboding.
“You fool!” he cried suddenly to
the Russian; and everyone ceased t2lk-
ing. “You poor d—d boob! You—and
your new earth! In Petrograd today
bread is two pounds four shillings a
pound ; tea, fifteen pounds a pound. Io
you call that freedom?” He gave u
contemptuous laugh.
Too surprised to speak, the Rus-
sian sat staring at him; and it was
Peterson who broke the silence with
his suave voice.
“Your distress, 1 am glad to say,
is not likely to be one of long dura-
tion,” he remarked. “In fact, the time
has come for you tio retire for the
night, my young friend.”
He stood up smiling; then he walked
over to the bell behind Hugh and rang
“Dead or mad—I1 wonder which.”
He threw the end of his cigar into
the grate as Hugh rose. “While we
| He Opened the Door and Stood There
deliberate down here on various mat-
ters of importance we shall be think-
ing of you upstairs—that is to say,
if you get there. I see that Lakington
fs even now beginning fo gloat in
pleasant anticipation.”
Not a muscle on the soldier’s face
twitched; not by the hint of a look
did he show the keenly watching au-
| dience that he realized his danger.
Lakington’s face was merciless, with
its fiendish look of anticipation, and
Hugh stared at him with level eyes
for a while before he turned toward
the door.
“Then I will say ‘Good night,’” he
remarked casually. “Is it the same
room that I had last time?”
“No,” said Peterson. “A different
one—specially prepared for you. If
vou get to the top of the stairs a man
will show you where it is.” He opened
the door and stood there smiling.
And at that moment all the lights
went out.
The darkness could be felt, as real
darkness inside a house always can
#3 felt. Not the faintest glimmer
even of greyness showed anywhere,
and Hugh remained motionless, won-
dering what the next meve was going
to be.
had commenced, all his nerve had re-
Now that the night's ordeal
turned to him. He felt ice-cold; and
as his powerful hands clenched and
faintly to himself. Then very cau-
tiously ke commenced to feel his way
toward the door.
At that moment someone brushed
past him. Like a flash Hugh's hand
shot out and gripped him by the arm.
The man wriggled and twisted, but
he was powerless as a child, and with
another short laugh Hugh found his
throat with his other Land. And
again silence settled on the room . ..
Still holding the unknown man in
front of him, he reached the foot of
the stairs, and there he paused. He
had suddenly remembered the mys
terious thing which had whizzed past
his head that other night, and then
clanged suddenly into the wall beside
him. He had gone up five stairs when
it had happened, and now with his
foot on the first, he started to do
some rapid thinking.
If, as Peterson had kindly assured
him, they proposed to try and send
him mad, it was unlikely that they
would kill him on the stairs. At the
same time it was cbviously an imple
1=ent capable of accurate adjustment.
rnd therefore it was more than likel
i that they would
Lim. - And if they Cic—if they did...
| The unknown man wriggled feebly
in his hands, and a sudden unholy
look came on to Hugh's face.
“It’s the only pessible =hance,”
said to himself, “and if i's you
| me, laddie, I guess it’s git to
With a quick heave he jerked the
{man off his feet, and lifted him up
| till his head was above the level of
{his own. Then clutching him eight.
' he commenced to climb. His own
head was bent down, somewhere in
the region of the man's back, and
he took no notice of the feebly Kick-
Ing legs.
Then at last he reached the fourth
step, and gave a final adjustment to
his semi-conscious burden. He pressed
his head even lower in the man’s
heck, and lifted him up another threo
“How awfully jolly!” he murmured.
“1 hepe the result will please you.”
*1'd stand quite still if 1 were you,”
said Peterson suavely. ‘Just listen.”
As Hugh had gambled on, the per-
formance was designed to frighten.
lostead of that, something hit the
neck of the man he was holding with
such force that it wrenched him clean
out of his arms. Then came the clang
beside him, and with a series of
ominous thuds a body rolled down
the stairs into the hall below.
“You fool.” He heard Lakington’s
voice, shrill with anger. “You've
killed him. Switch on the light . .."”
But before the order could be car-
ried out Hugh had disappeared, like
a great cat, into the darkness of the
pussage above. As luck would have
it the first room he darted into was
empty, and he flung up the window
and peered out.
A faint, watery moon showed him
a twenty-foot drop onto the grass,
-nd without hesitation he flung his
legs over the sill. And at that mo-
ment something prompted him to look
It was a dormer window, and to an
active man access to the roof was
easy. Without an instant’s hesitation
be abandoned all thoughts of retreat;
and when two excited men rushed in-
to the room he was firmly ensconced,
with his legs astride of the ridge of
the window, not a yard from their
Securely hidden in the shadow, he
watched the subsequent proceedings
with genial toleration. A raucous bel-
low from the two men announced
that they had discovered his line of
garden was full of hurrying. figures,
One, calm and impassive, his identity
betrayed only by the Inevitable cigar,
stood by.the garden door, apparently
taking no part in the game; Laking-
ton, blind with fury, was running
round in small circles, cursing every-
one impartially.
“The car is still there.” A man
came up to Peterson, and Hugh heszd
the words distinctly.
“Then he's probably over at Ben-
ton’s house. I will go and see.”
Hugh watched the thick-set, mas-
sive figure stroll down toward the
wicket gate, and he laughed gently
to himself. Then he grew serious
again, and with a slight frown he
pulled out his watch and peered at it.
Half-past one . . . two more hours
before dawn. And in those two hours
he wanted to explore the house from
on top; especially he wanted to have
a look at the mysterious central room
of which Phyllis had spoken to him—
the room where Lakington kept his
treasures. But until the excited
throng below went indoors, it was
unsafe to move. Once out of the
shadow, any one would be able to
see him crawling over the roof in the
At times the thought of the help-
less man for whose death he had in
cne way been responsible recurred to
him, but he shook his head angrily.
It had been necessary, he realized:
you can carry Someone upstairs in
a normal house without him having
his neck broken—but still . . . And
then he wondered who he was. It
had been one of the men who sat
round the table—of that he was toler-
ably certain. But which ... ? Was
it the frightened bunny, er the Rus-
sian, or the gentleman with the blood-
ghot eye? The only comfort was that
whoever it had been, the world would
not be appreciably the poorer for his
sudden decease. The only regret was
that it hadn't been dear Henry. . . .
He had a distate for Henry which
far exceeded his dislike of Peterson.
“He's not over there” Peterson's
voice came to him from below, “And
unclenched by his sides, he grinned .
se it to frighten .
and, in half a minute the
.| house.
we've wasted time enough as it is.”
The men had gathered together in, just below where Hugh was
sitting, evidently awaiting further or-
“Do you mean to say we've lost the
voung swine again?” said Lakington
“Not lost—merely mislaid,” mur-
mured Peterson. “The more I see of
him the more do I admire his initia-
Lakington snorted.
“It was that d-—d fool Ivolsky’'s own
fault,” he snarled; “why didn’t he
keep still as he was told to do?”
“Why, indeed,” returned Peterson,
his clgar glowing red. “And I'm
afraid we shall never know. He Is
very dead.® He turned toward the
“That concludes the enter-
tainment, gentlemen, for tonight. 1
think you can all go to bed.”
Ha cisappeared into the house, and
the others followed :lowly. For the
time being Hugh was sare, and with
a sigh of relief he stretched his
crumped limbs and lay back against
the sloping roef. If only he had dared
to light a cigaretie,
1t was half ar Lour before Drum-
mond Cecided that it was safe to start |
exploring. First Le took off kis shoes,
und tying the laces together, he slung
them around his rezk. Then, as si-
l:ntly as he could, he commenced to
scramble upward.
It was not an easy operation; one
siip and nothing could have stopped
Lim sliding down and finally crash-
ing into the garden below, with a
Lroken leg, at the very least, for his
pains. In addition. there was the
risk or dislodging a siate, an unwise
sroceeding in a honse where most of
‘he occupants slept with ¢ne eye open.
lsut at last he got his hands over the
1.dge of the roof, and in anotker mo-
rent he was siting
across ie.
A sudden rattle close to him made
aim start violently; only to curse him-
self for a nervous uss the next mo-
nent. and lean forwerd eagerly. One
of the blinds bad beev released from
nside the room. and a- pale, diffused
light came filtering out into the night
from the side of the glass roof. He
was still craning backward and for-
ward to try and find some chink
through which he could see, when,
with a kind of uncanny deliberation,
one of the panes of glass slowly
opened. It was worked on a ratchet
from inside, and Hugh bowed his
thanks to the unseen operator below.
Then he leant forward cautiously, and
peered in. . . .
The whole room was visible to him,
and his jaw tightened as he took in
the scene. In an armchair, smoking
as unconcernedly as ever, sat Peter-
son. He was reading a letter, and
occasionally underlining some point
with a pencil. Beside him on a table
was a big ledger, and every now and
then he would turn over a few pages
and make an entry. But it was not
Peterson on whom the watcher above
was concentrating his attention; it
was Lakington, taking a red velvet
box out of a drawer in the desk. He
opened it lovingly, and Hugh saw the
flash of diamonds. Lakington let the
stones run through his hands, glitter-
ing with a thousand flames, while Pe-
terson watched him contemptuously.
“Baubles,” he said, scornfully.
“Pretty baubles. What will you get
for them?”
“Ten, perhaps fifteen thousand,” re-
turned the other. “But it’s not the
money I care about; it’s the delight
in having them, and the skill required
to get them.” >
Peterson shrugged his shoulders.
“Skill which would give you hun-
dreds of thousands if you turned it
into proper channels.”
Lakington replaced the stones, and
threw the end of his cigarette into
the grate. ‘
“Possibly, Carl, quite possibly. But
it boils. down to this, my friend, nat
yon like the big canvas with broad
effects; I llke the miniature and the
well-drawn etching.”
“Which makes us a very happy com-
bination,” said Peterson. “The pearls,
don't forget, are your job. The big
thing”—he turned to the other, and
a trace of excitement came into his
voice—“the big thing is mine.”
The sound of the door opening made
both men swing round instantly; then
Peterson stepped forward with a
smile as Irma entered.
“Back, my dear. I hardly expected
you so soon.”
In a few words he told the girl
what had happened, and she clapped
her hands together delightedly.
“Assuredly I shall have to marry
that man,” she cried. “He is quite
the least boring individual I have met
in this atrocious country.” She sat
down and lit a cigarette. “I saw Wal-
ter tonight. He came over especially
to see you. They want you there for
a meeting, at the Ritz.”
Peterson frowned.
“It's most inconvenient,” he re-
marked with a shade of annoyance in
his voice. “Did he say why?”
“Among other things I think they're
uneasy about the American,” she an-
swered. “My dear man, you can easi-
ly slip over for a day.”
“Of course I can,” said Peterson
frritably; “but that doesn’t alter the
fact that it’s inconvenient. Things
will be shortly coming to a head here,
and I want to be on the spot. How-
ever—"” He started to walk up and
down the room, frowning thoughtfully.
“Your fish is hooked, mon ami,”
cantinued the girl to Lakington. “He
zas already proposed three times;
and he has introduced me to a dread-
ful-looking woman of extreme virtue,
who has adopted me as her niece for
the great occasion.”
“What great occasion?” asked
ington. A
| What was the best thing to
" time something of the nature of the
“Why, his coming of age,” cried the
girl. “I am to go to Laidley Towers
as an honored guest of the duchess
of Lampshire.” She threw back her
head and laughed. “What «o you
sBecauce Dear Freddie Has Told Me
So,” Answered the Girl.
think of that, my friend? The old
lady will be wearing pearls and all
complete, in honor of the great day,
and I shall be one of the admiring
house party.”
“How Go you know she'll have them
in the house?” said Lakington.
“Because dear FredcCie has told me
to,” answered the girl. She blew two
smoke rings and then laughed.
“Freddie is really rather a dear at-
times. { dop't think I've ever me
any one who is so pearly an idiot
without being one. Stiil,” she re-
peated thoughtfully, “he’s. rather a
“What,” Lakington asked curiously,
“does he think you are?”
“A charming young girl,” answered
Irma demurely, ‘whose father lost
his life in the war, and who at present
ekes out a precarious existence in a
government office. At least, that's
what he told Lady ¥rumpley—she’s
the woman of unassailable virtue.
She was profoundly sentimental and
scents a romance, in addition to being
a snob and scenting a future duke, to
say nothing of a future duchess. By
the mercy of Allah she’s on a com-
mittee with his mother for distribut-
ing brown paper underclothes to des-
titute Belgians, and so Freddie wan-
gled an invite for her. Voila tout.”
“Splendid,” said Lakington slowly.
“Splendid. Young Laidley comes of
age in about a week, doesn’t he?”
“Monday, to be exact; and so I go
down with my dear aunt on Satur-
Lakington nodded his head as it
satisfied, and then glanced at his
watch. ;
“What about bed?” he remarked.
“Not yet,” said Peterson, halting
suddenly in his walk. “I must see the
Yank before I go to Paris. We'll
have him down here now. Give him
an injection, Henry—and, by God,
we'll make the fool sign. Then I can
actually take it over to the meeting
back again, plucking feebly with his
hands at his dressing gown,
«Better, Mr. Potts?” said Peterson,
“]—]—" stammered
“Where am I?”
“At The Elms, Godalming, if you
wish to know.”
“I thought—I thought——" He rose
swaying. “What do you want with
me? D—n youl!”
“Tush, tush,” murmured Peterson.
where is a lady present, Mr. Potts.
And our wants are so simple. Just
your signature to a little agreement,
by which in return for certain services
you promise to join us in our—er—
labors in the near future.”
«I remember,” cried the millionaire.
“Now I remember. You swine—you
filthy swine, I refuse . . absolute-
“The trouble is, my friend, that you
are altogether too big an employer of
labor to be allowed to refuse, as I
pointed out to you before. You must
be in with us, otherwise you might
wreck the scheme. Therefore 1 re-
quire your signature.”
«And when you've got it,” cried the
American, “what good will it be to
you. 1 shall repudiate it.”
“Oh! no, Mr. Potts,” said Peterson
with a thoughtful smile; “I can assure
you, you won't. The distressing mal-
ady from which you have recently been
suffering will again have you in its
grip. It renders you quite unfit for
For a while there was silence, and
the millionaire stared round the room
like a trapped animal.
«I refuse!” he cried at last. “It's
an outrage against humanity. You can
do what you like.’
“Then we'll start with a little more
thumbscrew,” remarked Peterson,
strolling over to the desk and opening
a drawer. “An astonishingly effective
implement, as you can see if you look
at your thumb.” He stood ip front
of the quivering nan, balancing the
instrument in Lis hands. “It was un
der its influence yeu gave us the first
signature, which we so regrettably lost,
I think we'll try it again. aa
The American gave a st:@zgled or)
of terror, and then the unexpected * ap-
pened. There was a crash as a pane of
glass splintered and fell to the floor
close beside Lakington; and with an
oath he sprang aside and looked up.
“Peep-lw,” came a well-known voice
from the skylight. “Clip him one over
the jaw, Potts, my boy; but don’t you
the other.
In Which He Goes tc Paris for a Night,
Drummond had acted on the spur of
the moment. It would have been man-
ifestly impossible for any man, cer-
tainly one of his caliber, to have
watched the American being tortured
without doing something to try to help
him, At the same time the last thing
he had wanted to do was to give away
his presence on the roof. The informa-
tion he had obtained that night was
of such vital importance that it was
absolutely essential for him to get
away with it somehow ; and, at the mo-
ment, his chances of so doing did not
appear particularly bright. It looked
as if it was only a question of time
before they must get him.
He watched Lakingten dart from the
room, followed more slowly by Peter-
son, and then occurred one of those
strokes of luck on which the incor-
rigible soldier always depended. The
girl left the room as well.
She kissed her hand toward him, and
then she smiled.
with me.”
He strode to the door, followed by |
Lakingten; and the girl in the chair |
stood up and stretched her arms above !
her head. For a moment or two Hugh
watched her; then he, too, stood up- |
right and eased his cramped limbs.
«Make the fool sign.” The words
echoed through his brain, and he
stared thoughtfully at the grey light |
which showed the approach of dawn. |
“Make” with Peterson generally im-
plied torture, if other means failed,
and Hugh had no intention of watch-
ing any man tortured. At the same
diabolical plot conceived by Peterson
was beginning to take a definite shape
in his mind, though many of the most
important links were still missing.
And with this knowledge had come
the realization that he was no longer
a free agent. The thing had ceased
to be a mere sporting gamble with
himself and a few other chosen spir-
its matched against a gang of crim-
inals; it had become—if his surmise
was correct—a national affair. Eng-
land herself—her very existence—was
threatened by one of the vilest plots
ever dreamed of in the brain of man.
And then, with a sudden rage at his
own impotence, he realized that even
now he had nothing definite to go on.
He must know more; somehow or
other he must get to Paris; he must
attend that meeting at the Ritz. Then
a sound from the room below brought
him back to his vantage point. The
American was sitting in a chair, and
Lakington, with a hypodermic syringe
in his hand, was holding his arm.
He made the injection, and Hugh
watched the millionaire, He was still
undecided as to how to act, but for
the moment, at any rate, there was
nothing to be done. And he was very
curious to hear what Peterson had to
aay to the wretched man, who, up to
date, had figured so largely In every
After a while the American ceased
staring vacantly in front of him, and
passed his hand dazedly over his fore-
head. Then he half rose from his
chair and stared at the two men sit-
ting facing him. His eyes came round
“You intrigue me, ugly one,” she re-
marked, looking up, “intrigue me vast-
ly. I am now going out to get a really
good view of the Kill”
And the next moment Potts was
alone. He was staring up at the sky-
light, apparently bewildered by the
Un) Eee ng
WB mn i) i Hi
“| Am Now Going Over to Get a Really
Good View of the Kill.”
sudden turn of events, and then he
board the voice of the man above
speaking clearly and insistently.
“Go out of the room. Turn to the
right. Open the front door. You'll see
a house, through some trees. Go to it.
When you get there, stand on the lawn
and call ‘Phyllis’ Do you get me?”
(To he Continued..)
——— A ———————
to the girl, and with & groan he sank
—Buy your own paper and read it.