|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||The Third Degree|
enough courage to make it. Hut, after all, she was by no means sure herself her-self that Underwood had committed suicide. Howard had confessed, so why should she jeopardize her good name uselessly? "No," -epeated the judge, shaking his head, "there's something strange in the whole affair. I don't believe Howard had any hand in It." "But he confessed!" exclaimed Alicia, The Judge shook his head. "That's nothing," he said. "There have been many instances of untrue confessions. A famous affair of the kind was the Boom case In Vermont. Two brothers confessed having killed their brother-in-law and described how they destroyed the body, yet some time afterward the . murdered man turned up alive and well. The object of the confession, of course, was to turn the verdict from murder to manslaughter, the circumstantial evidence against them having been so strong. In the days of witchcraft the unfortunate women accused of being witches were often urged by relatives to confess as being the only way of escape open to them. Ann Foster, at Salem, in 1692, confessed that she was a witch. She said the devil appeared to her in the shape of a bird, and that she attended a meeting meet-ing of witches at Salem village. She was not insane, but the horror of the accusation brought against her had been too much for a weak mind. Howard's confession may possibly be due to some such influence." "I hope for his poor father's sake," said Alicia,, "that you may be right and that he may be proved innocent, but everything is overwhelmingly against him. I think you are the only one in New York to express such a doubt." v t f k I I. .. iie!n'-fv A -.j.ijimim inn .in.iiii J El I it.jW.Mln. K.ni, I. .11 m i n nr. ,irirjS tion had steeled her heart and stifled I impulses that were naturally good, but otherwise she was not wholly de- j void of feeling. She was really sorry j for this poor little woman who was fighting so bravely to save her husband. hus-band. No doubt she had inveigled Howard into marrying her, but she Alicia had no right a) .sit in judgment judg-ment on her for that. If the girl had been ambitious to marry above her. In what way was she more guilty than she herself had been in marrying marry-ing a man she did not love, simply for his wealth and social position? Besides, Be-sides, Alicia was herself sorely troubled. Her conscience told her that a word from her might set the whole matter right. She might be able to prove that Underwood committed com-mitted suicide. She knew she was a coward and worse than a coward because she dare not speak that word. The more she saw her husband's hus-band's anger the less courage she had to do it. In any case, she argued to herself, Howard had confessed. If he shot Underwood there was no suicide, sui-cide, so why should she incriminate herself needlessly? But there was no reason why she should not show some sympathy for the poor girl who, after all, was only doing what any good wife should do. Aloud she repeated: "I'll see the girl and talk to her. She must listen to reason." "Reason!" exploded the banker, angrily. "How can you expect reason from a woman who hounds us, dogs our footsteps, tries to compel us to take her up?" Judge Brewster, who had apparently apparent-ly paid no attention to the banker's remarks, now turned around,. Hesitatingly Hesi-tatingly he said: "I think you do her an injustice, Jeffries. She comes every day in the hope that your feelings toward your son have changed. She wishes to "It's No Use Talking About Her Any More." "Don't forget his wife," remarked the judge, dryly. "No," she replied. "I really feel sorry for the girl myself. Will you give her some money if I " The lawyer shook his head. "She won't take it. I tried it. She CHAiaXS KLEIN v y ILLUSTRATIONS BYRAYWU.TER$ COPYRCNT. I90, BY P.W. DILLINGHAM COMPANf i give color to the belief that his father's fa-ther's lawyers are championing his cause. She was honest enough to tell me so. You know her movements are closely watched by the newspapers and she takes good care to let the reporters think that she comes here to discuss with me the details of her husband's defense." The banker shifted impatiently on his chair. Contemptuously he said: "The newspapers which I read don't give her the slightest attention. If they did I should refuse to read them." With growing irritation he went on: "It's no use talking about her any more. What are we going to do about this latest scandal? This woman wom-an is going on the stage to be exhibited ex-hibited all over the country and she proposes to use the family name." "There is nothing to prevent her," said the lawyer, dryly. The banker jumped to his feet and exclaimed angrily: "There must be! Good God, Brewster, Brew-ster, surely you can obtain an injunction injunc-tion restraining her from using the family name! You must do something. some-thing. What do you advise?" "I advise patience," replied the judge, calmly. But Mr. Jeffries had no patience. He was a man who was not accustomed accus-tomed to have his wishes thwarted. He did not understand why there sffould be the slightest difficulty in carrying out his instructions. wants me to defend her husband I tried to bribe her to go to some other lawyer, but it wouldn't work." "Well, something ought to be done to stop her annoying us!" exclaimed Alicia, indignantly. "Mr. Jeffries suffers suf-fers terribly. I can hear him pacing up and down the library till three or four in the morning. Poor man, he suffers so keenly and he won't let any one sympathize with him. He won't let me mention his son's name. I feel we ought to do something. Try and persuade him to let me see this girl and you are his friend as well as his legal adviser." Judge Brewster bowed. "Your husband is a very old friend, Mrs. Jeffries. I can't disregard his wishes entirely " There was a knock at the door of the private office. "Come in," called the judge. The door opened and the head clerk entered, ushering in Howard Jeffries, Sr. The banker, still aristocratic aristo-cratic and dignified, but looking tired and careworn, advanced into the room and shook hands with the judge, who greeted him with a cordial smile. There was no response on the banker's bank-er's face. Querulously he demanded: "Brewster, what's that woman doing IT SYNOPSIS. Howard Jeffries, banker's son. under the evil influence of Robert Underwood, fellow-student at Yale, leads a life uf dissipation, dis-sipation, marries the daughter of a gam-Dler gam-Dler who died in prison, and Is disowned by his fatlier. He Is out of work and In desperate straits. Underwood, who had j :mce been engaged to Howard's step mother, Alicia, is apparently in prosperous prosper-ous circumstances. Taking advantage of his Intimacy with Alicia, he becomes a sort of social highwayman. Discovering his true character. Alicia denies him the house. i-Ie sends her a note threatening suicide. Art dealers for whom he acted .is commissioner, demand an accounting. He cannot make good. Howard calls at his apartments in an intoxicated . condition condi-tion to request a loan of SU.000 to enable him to take up a business proposition. Underwood tells him he is in debt up to tils eyes. Howard drinks himself into a muudlin condition, and goes to sleep on a divan. A caller Is announced and Underwood Under-wood draws a screen around the drunken The lawyer was silent and toyed somewhat nervously with the paper cutter, as if not quite decided as to what response to make. He coughed and fussed with the papers on the desk. "Why don't you have her put out of the office?" she repeated. The judge looked up. There was an expression in his face that might have been interpreted as one of annoyance, an-noyance, as if he rather resented this intrusion into his business affairs, but Mrs. Jeffries, Sr., was too important im-portant a client to quarrel with, so he merely said: "Frankly, Mrs. Jeffries, If it were not for the fact that Mr. Jeffries has exacted from me a promise not to .n.iiy one uau auvise paueuue: iw exclaimed, hotly, "but that's not doing do-ing anything." Banging the desk angrily with his fist, he exclaimed: "I want something done!" Judge Brewster looked up at his client with surprise. The judge never lost his temper. Even in the most acrimonious wrangles in the courtroom court-room he was always the suave, poI; ished gentleman. There was a shade of reproach in his tone as he replied: "Come, come, don't lose your temper! tem-per! I'll do what I can, but there is nothing to be done in the way you suggest. The most I can do is to remain re-main loyal to you, although to be quite candid I confess it goes against the grain to keep my hands off this case. As I told your, wife, there are certain features about it which interest inter-est me keenly. I feel that you ar8 wrong1 to " "No, Brewster!" interrupted Mr. Jeffries, explosively. "I'm right! I'm right! You know it, but you won't admit it." The lawyer shrugged his shoulders and turned to his desk again.' Laconically, Lacon-ically, he said: "Well, I won't argue the mattet with you. You refuse to be advised by me and " sleeper. Alicia enters. She demands a promise from Underwood that he will not take his life. He refuses unless she will renew her patronage. Tins she refuses, and takes her leave. Underwood kills himself. The report of the pistol awakens awa-kens Howard. He rinds Underwood dead. Realizing his predicament he attempts to flee and is met by Underwood's valet. Howard is turned over to the police. Capt. Clinton, notorious for his brutal treatment of prisoners, puts Howard through the third degree, and finally gets an alleged confession from the harassed man. Annie. Howard's wife, declares her belief In her husband's innocence, and says she will clear him. She calls on Jeft'rles, Sr. He refuses to help unless she will consent to a divorce. To save Howard she consents, but when she finds that the elder Jeffries does not intend to stand by his son. except financially, she scorns his help. Annie appeals to Judge Brewster, attorney for Jeffries. Sr., to take Howard's case. He declines. Annie haunts Brewster's office. CHAPTER XIV. Continued. "You mean about the Underwood case?" Alicia nodded. "Yes. Mr. Jeffries is terribly upset. As if the coming trial and all the rest of the.scandal were not enough. But now we have to face something even worse, something that affects me even more than my husband. Really, I'm frantic about it." "What's happened now?" asked the lawyer, calmly. "That woman Is going on the stage, that's all!" she snapped. "H'm," said the lawyer, calmly. "Just think!" she cried, "the name, 'Mrs. Howard Jeffries' my name- take up this case, I should be tempted to consider the matter. In the first place, you know I always liked Howard. How-ard. I saw a good deal of him before your marriage to Mr. Jeffries. He was always a wild, unmanageable boy, weak in character, but he had many lovable traits. I am very sorry, indeed, to see him in such a terrible position. It was hard for me to realize real-ize it and I should never have! believed be-lieved him guilty had he not confessed con-fessed to the crime." "Yes," she assented. "It Is an awful aw-ful thing and a terrible blow to his father. Of course, he has had nothing noth-ing to do with Howard for months. As you know, he turned him out of doors long ago, but the disgrace is none the less overwhelming." The lawyer looked out of the window win-dow and drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair. Suddenly wheeling round, and facing his client, he said: "You know this girl he married is no ordinary woman." "Oh!" she exclaimed, sarcastically. "She has succeeded in arousing your sympathy." The judge bowed coldly. "No," he replied. "I would hardly say that. But she has aroused my curiosity. She is a very peculiar girl, evidently a creature of impulse and determination. I certainly feel sorry for her. Her position is a very painful pain-ful one. She has been married only out mere again : ii s noi iue uisi time I've met her in this office." Alicia looked up eagerly. "Is she out there now?" she cried. "What right has she to come here? What's her object?" went on the banker irritatedly. The lawyer shrugged his shoulders. "The same old thing," he replied. "She wants me to take her case." The banker frowned. "Didn't you tell her it was impos sible?" "That makes no difference," laughed the judge. "She comes just the same. I've sent her away a dozen times. What am I to do if she insists in-sists on coming? We can't have her arrested. She doesn't break the furniture furni-ture or beat the office boy. She simply sim-ply sits and waits." "Have you told her that I object to her coming here?" demanded the banker, haughtily. "I have," replied the judge, calmly, "but she has overruled your objection." objec-tion." With a covert jmile he added, add-ed, "You know we can t use force." Mr. Jeffries shrugged his shoulders impatiently. "You can certainly use moral force," he said. "What do you mean by moral force?" demanded the lawyer. Mr. Jeffries threw up his hands as if utterly disgusted with the whole business. Almost angrily he answered: The banker looked up Impatiently. "What is your advice?" The lawyer, without looking ui from his papers, said quietly: "You know what my feelings in th matter are." (TO BE CONTINUED.) paraded before the public! At a time when everything should be done to keep it out of the papers this woman is going to flaunt herself on the stage!" She fanned herself indignantly, while the lawyer rapped his desk absent-mindedly with a paper cutter. Alicia went on: "You know I have never met the woman. What is she like? I understand under-stand she's been bothering you to take the case of that worthless husband hus-band of hers. Do you know she had the impertinence to come to our house and ask Mr. Jeffries to help them? I asked my husband to describe her, but all I could get from him was that she was impertinent and Impossible." She hesitated a moment, then she added: "Is she as pretty as her pictures pic-tures In the paper? You've seen her, of course?" Judge Brewster frowned. "Yes," he replied. "She comes here ' every day regularly. She literally compels me -to see her and refuses to go till I've told her I haven't changed my decision about taking her case." "What insolence!" exclaimed Alicia. ! "I should think that you would hare her put out of the office." Y a few months, and now her husband has to face the most awful accusation that can be brought against a man. She is plucky in spite of it all, and is moving heaven and earth in Howard's defense. She believes herself to be in some measure responsible for his misfortune. mis-fortune. Apart from that, the case interests me from a purely professional profession-al point of view. There are several strange features connected with the case. Sometimes, in spite of Howard's confession, I don't believe he committed com-mitted that crime." Alicia changed color and, shifting uneasily on her chair, scrutinized the lawyer's face. What was behind that calm, inscrutable mask? What theory had he formed? One newspaper had suggested suicide. She might herself come forward and declare that Robert Rob-ert Underwood had threatened to take his own life, but how could she face the scandal which such a course would involve? She would have to admit visiting Underwood's rooms at midnight alone. That surely would ruin her in the eyes not only of her husband, but of the whole world. If this sacrifice of her good name were necessary to save an Innocent man's life, perhaps she might summon up "Moral force is moral force. I mean persuasion, of course. Good God, why can't people understand these things as I do?" The judge said nothing, but turned to examine some papers on his desk. He hardly liked the inference that he could not ( see things as plainly as other people, but what was the use of getting irritated? He couldn't afford af-ford to quarrel with one of his best clients. Alicia looked at her husband anxiously. anx-iously. Laying her hand on his arm, she said soothingly: "Perhaps if I were to see her " Mr. Jeffries turned angrily. "How can you -think of such a thing? I can't permit my wife to come In contact with a woman of that character." Judge Brewster, who was listening in spite of the fact that he was seemingly seem-ingly engrossed in his papers, pursed his lips. "Oh, come," he said with a forced laugh, "she's not as bad as all that!" "I'm sure she isn't," said Alicia, emphatically. em-phatically. "She must be amenable to reason." The banker's wife was not altogether altogeth-er bad. Excess!? ranitr and ymhi.