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i - - THE BINGHAM NEWS, BINGHAM, UTAH t-- " "" J ; jl Hie Big-Tow- n Round Up i jj By William MacLeod Raine J Copyjit by Wniiam MacLeod Rtlne jj prove GotllM dm abootin' a tne I can plead " That's what H was. ef Fours," "Yes. But Durand doesn't men to let it go at that He was here to see tue this uio'uln'." . Clay turned to the mining man, bU voice low bat lnclstve. His brain was working clear and fast. "Mr. WWtford, I have a hunch he's go-ing to destroy the evidence that's In my favor. There must be two bullet holes in the partition of the rear room where Collins was killed. See If you can't find those bullet holes and the bullets in the wall behind." Til do that, Lindsay." "And hire me a good lawyer. Send him to me. I won't use a smart one whose business Is to help crooks e. If he doesn't believe In me, I don't want him. Ill have him get the names of all those pulled In the raid and visit them to see If he can't And some one who heard the shots or saw shooting. Then there's thp gun. Some one's got that gun. It's np to us to learn who." ,. "That's right" "Tim Muldoon will do anything he can for me. There'a a girt Uvea with his mother. Her name's Annie Mllll-ka- She has waya of finding out things. Better talk It over with her too. We've got to get busy la a hurry." "Yes." agreed Whltford. "We'll do "Will you nowl An' 111 have ptei.ty of good witnesses to swear he wasn't Dnrand bared his teeth In teres!. "That's not all, either. IU tie yon up with the rube from the West and wad " you ' up to Sing Sing as accessory. How'd you like that ?" ' "If I teU the truth" "You'll be convicted of murder In place of him mid he'll go up as acces-sory. I don't care two straws how It is. But you'd be a d d fool. I'll say that for you." "I'm not going to let an Innocent man suffer In my place. It wouldn't be playing the gume." Durand leaned forward and tapped' the table with his finger-tips- . His voice rasped like a file. "You can't save him. He's goln to get it right. But you can hurt yourself a h I of a lot Get out of the country and stay out till ft'a all over with. That's the best thing you can do. Go to the Hawaiian islands, man. That's a good healthy climate an' the hotel cooking's a lot better than It Is at Sing Sing." "I can't do It," moaned the clubman. "My Q d, man, If ft ever came out ; that I'd paid money to to ruin his reputation, and that I'd run away when I could have saved an Innocent man I'd be done for. I'd be kicked out of every club I'm In." "It won't ever come out If you're v CHAPTER XVI Continued. k. 11 The trouble was that Whltford was arguing from false premises. He was assuming that Clarendon was an Inno-cent man,, whereas the clubman knew Just how guilty he was. Back of the killing lay a conspiracy which might come to light during the investigation. : He dared not face the police. His con- -' ( science was not clean enough. "Of course Dad's right. It's the only ? way, to save your reputation," Bea- - - trice cried. "I'm not going to leave you till you promise to go straight down there to headquarters. If you "It's your cell pal I've come to take a look at the one who's goln' to the chair." ' With one lithe movement Clay swung down to the floor. He sauntered for-ward to the grating, his level gaze on the ward boss. "Shiny, this fellow's rotten," he said evenly and Impersonally. "He's not only a crook, but he's a crooked crook. He'dVthrow down his own brother If It paid him." Durand's cruel Hps laughed. . "Your pal's a little worried this mornln", Shiny. He ain't slept much. You see the bulls got him right. It's the death chair for him and no lifeboat in sight" footsteps sounded on the stair treads. Into the room burst a man. "Sllm'8 been croaked," he blurted. "What !" Durand's eyes dilated. ' "At Maddock's." "Who did It?" "De guy he was to gun. "Lindsay ?" "Dat's de fellow." "Did the bulls get Lindsay?" "Pinched him right on de spot." "Gun 'Slim,' did he?" "Nope. Knocked him cold wit' a chair. Cracked his skull." "Is he dead?" "He'll never be deader. Dave grabbed thts sucker Lindsay and yelled that he have some of mine," he told the coun-terfeiter. "Maybe youH go up Salt creek," said Shiny hopefully. Afraid the allusion might not be un-derstood, he thoughtfully explained that this was the underworld term for the electric chair. Clay made no further comment , He found the theme a gruesome one. "Anyhow, I'm glad dey didn't put no holster nor damper-gette- r wit' me. I'm partlckler who I meet. De whole pro-fes- h Is gettin' run down at de heel. I'm dead sick of rata who can't do nothin' but lift pokes," eoncluded the occupant of the lower berth with dis-gust Though Clay's nerves were of the best he did very little sleeping that night He was In a grave situation. Evan If he had a fair field his plight would be serious enough. But he guessed that during the long hours of darkness Durand was buey weaving a net of false evidence from which he could scarcely disentangle himself. Unless Bromfleld came forward at once as a witness for him, his case would be hopeless and Clay suspected that the clubman would prove only a broken reed as a support. The fellow was selfish to the core. He had not, In the telling western phrase, the guts to go through. He would take the line of least resistance. Beatrice was In his thoughts a great deal. What would she think of him when the news came that he was a murderer, caught by the police In a den of vice where he had no business to be? Some deep Instinct of his soul told him that she would brush through the evidence to the essential truth. She had failed him once. She would never do it again. He felt sure of that The gray morning broke, and brought with It the steaming smell of prison cooking, the sounds of the caged un-derworld, the sense of life all around him dwarfed and warped to twisted that boy." "Oh, Clay, Ym sure, It's going to be all right !" cried Beatrice, in a glow of enthusiasm. "We'll give all our time. We'll get evidence to show the truth. And well let you know every day what we are doing." "How about my going bail for you?" asked her father. Clay shook his head. "No chance Just yet. Let's make our showing at the coroner's Inquest. Fit do fine and dandy here till then." He shook hands with them both and was taken back to his cell. But hope was In his heart now. He knew his friends would do their best to get the evidence to free hlra. It would be a battle royal between the truth and a lie. , CHAPTER XVIII Bromfleld Makes an Offer. A youth with a face like a fox sidled up to Durand In the hotel lobby and whispered In his ear. Jerry nod-ded curtly, and the man slipped away as furtively as he had come. Presently the got up, sauntered to the street and hailed a taxi Twenty mlnutea later he paid Clay leaned against the bars negli-gently. He spoke with a touch of lazy scorn. "See those scars on his face, Shiny the one on the cheek bone and the othor above the eye. Ak him where he got em and how?" Jerry cursed. He broke Into a storm of threats, anger sweeping over hlra In furious gusts. He had come to make sport of his victim and Lindsay somehow took the upper hand at once. He had this fellow where he wanted hlra at Inst. Yet the man's soft voice still carried the note of easy contempt If the Arlzonan was afraid, he gave no least sign of it. "You'll sing another tune before I'm through with you," the prize-fighte- r prophesied savagely. The westerner turned away aud swung back to his upper berth. He knew, what he had before suspected, that Durand was going to "frame" him if he could. That information gained, the man no longer Interested him. Sullenly Jerry left. There was no profit In jeering at Lindsay. He was too entirely master of every situation that confronted him. "Within the hour Clay was wakened from sleep by another guard with word that he was wanted at the office of the warden. He found waiting hlra there Beatrice and her father. The girl not here. But If you force my liand well, that's different." Again Jerry's grin slit his colorless face. He had this poor devil where he wanted hlra, and he was enjoying himself. "What do you want me to do, then?" cried Bromfleld, tiny beads of perspiration on his forehead. "You'll do as I say beat it outa the country till the thing's over with." "But Lindsay will talk." "The boob's padlocked his mouth. For some fool reason he's protectln' you. Get out, an' you're safe." Bromfleld sweated blood as he walked up and down the room looking for a way out of his dilemma. He had come to the parting of the rond again. If he did this thing he would be a yel-low cur. It was one thing to destroy Lindsay's influence with Beatrice by giving her a false Impression. From his point of view their friendship was pernicious anyhow and ought to be wiped out. At most the cattleman would have gone back unhurt to the Arizona desert he was always talking about. Nobody there would care about what had happened to hlra In New York. But to leave him. an Inno-cent man, to go to his death because he was too chivalrous to betray his don't you'll be smirched for life and you'd be doing something absolutely dishonorable." He came to time with a heart of heavy dread. "All right, Bee, I'll go," sl-- j he promised. "It's an awful mess, but rTe ot to go through with It,-- sup- - pose." . , "Of course you have,"Lshe said with complete conviction. You're not a quitter, and you can't hide here like a criminal." "WaTl have to be moving, Bee," her father reminded her. "You know we have an appointment to meet the district attorney." Beatrice nodded. With a queer feel-ing of repulsion she patted her fiance's cheek with her soft hand and whis-pered a word of comfort to him. "Buck up, old boy. It won't be half as bad as you think. Nobody is going to blame you." They were shown out by the valet "You don't want to be hard on Brom-- I field, honey," Whltford told his daugh ter after they had their car. "He's a parlor man. That's the way he's been brought up. Never did a hard day's work In his life. Everything made easy for him. If he'd ever rid-den out a blizzard like Clay or stuck It out In a mine for a week without , food after a cave-In- , he wouldn't balk on the Job before hlra. But he's soft. And he's afraid of his reputation. That's natural, I suppose." Beatrice knew he was talking to save her feelings. "You don't need to make excuses for him, Dad," she answered gently, with a wry smile. "I've got to give up. I dont think I can go throws', with It" "You mean marry him?" . "Yes." She added, with a flare of passionate scorn of herself: "I de-serve what I've got. I knew all the time I didn't love him. It was sheer selfishness in me to accept him. I wanted what he had to gJve me." Her father drew a deep breath of re-lief. "I'm glad you see that, Bee. I don't think he's good enough for you. But I don't know anybody that is, come to that." "That's Just your partiality. I'm a mean little bounder or I never should nave led him on," the girl answered In frank disgust. Both of them felt smirched. The be-havior of Bromfleld had been a reflec-tion on them. They had picked him for a thoroughbred, and he had failed them at the first test. "Well, I haven't been proud of you In that afTalr," conceded Colin. "It didn't seem like my girl to" He broke oft la characteristic fashion to ' berate her environment. "It's this crazy town. The spirit of It gets Into a person and he accepts Its standards. Let's get away from here for a while, sweetheart." "After Clay Is out of trouble, Dad, I'll go with you back to Denver or to Earope or anywhere you say." "That's a deal," he told her' prompt-ly. "We'll stay till after the annual election of the company and then go AT on "honeymoon together, Bee." bloomed In that dingy room like a cac-tus In the desert. She came toward him with hands ex-tended, In her eyes gifts of friendship and faith. "Oh, Clay 1" she cried. "Much obliged, little pardner." Her voice went to his heart like water to the thirsty roots of prickly pears. A warm glow beat through his veins. The doubts that had weighed on him dur-ing the night were gone. Beatrice be-lieved In hlra. All was well with the world. He shook hands with Whltford. "Blamed good of you to come, sir." "Why wouldn't we come?" demanded the mining man bluntly. "We're here to do what we can for you." Little wells of tears brimmed over Beatrice's lids. "I've been so worried." "Don't you. It'll be all right." Strangely enough he felt now that it would. V Her coming had brought rip-pling sunshine Into a drab world. "I won't now. I'm going to get evi-dence for you. Tell us all about It" "Why, there Isn't much to tell that yon haven't read In the papers prob- - moral purposes. A warden came with breakfast a lukewarm, muddy liquid he called coffee and a stew in which potatoes and bits of fat beef bobbed like life buoya and Clay ate heartily while his cellmate favored him, be-tween gulps, with a monologue on ethics, politics, and the state of society, as these related especially to Shiny the, Shover. Lindsay was given to under-stand that the whole world was "on de spud," but the big crooks had fixed the laws so that they could wear diamonds Instead of stripes. Presently a guard climbed the iron stairway with a visitor and led the way along the deck outside the tier of cells where Cluy had been put. "He's In seventy-fou- r, Mr. Durand," the man suld as he approached. "I'll have to beat it. Come back to the of-fice when you're ready." The had come to gloat over him. Clay knew It at once. His pupils narrowed. He was lying on the bed, his supple body stretched at gracefpl ease. Not by the lift of as eyelid did he recog-nize the presence of his enemy. Durand stood in front of the cell, hands In pockets, the inevitable unlit black cigar In his mouth. On his face was a sneer of malevolent derision. Shiny the Shover bustled forward, all complaisance. "Pleased to meet youse, Mr. Durand." The gang politician's Insolent eyes He Paced Up and Down the Room, Chewing Nervously the End of an Unlit Cigar. done it The bulls pinched hlra like I suld right there." "Did It happen In the dark?" "Sure as you're a foot high. My Job was dousin' the glims, and I done it right." "What about 'Slim?' Was he shoot-ing when he got it?" The other man shook his head. "This Lindsay man claims he was. I talked wit' a bull afterword. Dey didn't find no gun on 'Slim.' The bull says there was no gun-play- ." "What became of 'SUm's' gun?" "Search me." Durand slammed a big fist exultant-ly down on the desk. "Better than the way I planned It. If the gun's gone, I'll frame Lindsay for the chair. It's Salt creek for his." He lost no time in getting Into touch with Gorilla Dave, who was under ar-rest at the station house. From him he learned the story of the killing of Collins. One whispered detail of It filled him with malicious glee. "The boob I He'll go to the death chair sure If I can frame him. We're lucky Bromfleld ran back Into the lit-tle room. Up In front a dozen guys might have seen the whole play even In the dark." Durand spent the night strengthen-ing the web he had spun to destroy his enemy. He passed to and fro among those who had been arrested In the raid and he arranged the testimony of some of them to suit his case. More than one of the men caught in the drag-net of the police was willing to see the affray from the proper angle in ex-change for protection from prosecu-tion. partner in an adventure this was something that even Broinfltdd's atro-phied conscience revolted at Clay was standing by him, according to Du-rand's story. The news of It lifted a weight from his soul. But it left htm, too, under a stronger moral obligation to step out and face the music. t The clubman made the only decision he could, and that was to procrasti-nate, to put off making any choice for the present. , "I'll think it over. Give me a day to make up my mind," he begged. Jerry shrugged his heavy shoulders. He knew that every hour counted In his favor, would make it more difficult for the tortured man to come forward and tell the truth. "Sure. Look It over upside and down. Don't hurry. But, man, what's there to think about? I thought you hated this guy wanted to get rid of him." "Not that way. 0 d, ol Durand, I'll give you any sum In season to let hlra go without bringing me Into It You can arrange It." Jerry slammed down a fist heavily on the table. "I can, but I won't Not if you was to go fifty-fift- y with me to your last cent I'm goln' to get this fellow. See? I'm goln' to. get hlra good. He'll be crawl In' on his hands and knees to me before I'm tfirough with hlra." "What good win that do you? I'm offering yon cold cash just ta let the troth get out that Collins waa trying to kill hlra when he got hit" Nothin doln'. I've been tkyln for this boob. I've got hlra now. I'm flola to turn the screws en and listen to hU holler." Bromfleld's valet stepped Into te room. "Mr. and Miss Whltford to nee yon, sir." Annie Mllllkan nodded her wis lit-tle head. "Jerry's gonna frame hto If be can. He's laid the wires for U. That's a lead pipe." "Sire," agreed Muldoon. "171 bet he'a been busy all night flxln p hto story. Some poor dlvvlea he'lf bully-rag Into swearin lies an otlwa he'll buy. Trust Jerry for the crooked stuff." "You Rotten Traltorl Cat Ou of My Room--or I'll Call the PeUcel the driver, turned a corner and passed Into an apartment house for bachelors. He took the elevator to the third floor and rang an electric bell at a door which carried the name "Mr. Claren-don Bromfleld." From the man who came to the door Mr. Bromfleld's visitor learned that he was not well and could receive no callers. "Just mention the Omnium dub, and say I'm here on very important business," said Jerry with a sour grin. The reference served as a password. Jerry was admitted to meet a host quite unable to control his alarm. At sight of hi visitor Bromfleld Jumped np anHly. A soon as his mas had gone he broke out In a subdued scream. "You rotten traltorl Get out of my room, or I'll call the police." ably. He came and was hit by a chair." "Was It you that hit him?" "Wouldn't I be Justified?" he asked gently. "But did you?" For a moment he hesitated, then made up his mind swiftly. "Yes," he told her gravely. She winced. "You couldn't help It How did yon come to be there f "I Just dropped in." "Alone?" "Yes." He had burned the bridges behind him and was lying glibly. Why bring Bromfleld Into It? She was going to marry him In a few days. If her fiance was man enough to come forward and tell the truth he would do so anyhow. It was up to him. Clay was not going to betray hlra to Beatrice. "The paper says there was some one with you." "Sho! Reporters sure enough have lively imaginations." ' "Johnnie told me yon had an engage-ment with Mr. Bromfleld." "Did you ever know Johnnie get any-thing right?" "And Clarendon says he was with you at Maddock's." (Hay had not been prepared for this cumulative evidence. He gave a low laugh of relief. "I'm an awfnl poor liar. So Bromflpld says he was with me, does he?" , "Yes." He Intended to wait for a lead before showing his hand. "Then you know all After breakfast Durand went to the Tombs, where Clay had been trans-ferred at daybreak. 'You needn't bring the fellow here," he told the wcrdn. '"HI go right to his cage and see him. I wantta have a talk with him." Between two guards Clay climbed the Iron steps to an upper tier of cage at the Tombs, ne was put Into a cell which held two beds, one above the other, as In the cabin of an ocean liner. By the side of the hunks w as a narrow spiice Just long enough for a roan to take two steps In the same direction. An unshaven head was lifted In the lower bunk to see why the sleep of its owner was b'lng disturbed. "I've brought yon a cell mute, Shiny," explained one of the guards. "You want to be civil to him. He's Just croaked a friend of yours." Durand found a comfortable chair, drew a case from hla pocket and se-lected a cigar. He grinned with evil mirth. "You will, eh? Like h 1 yon will. You're hldln' from the cops this blessed minute. I've Just found out myself where you live." "You took my money and threw me down. You hired a gunman to kill mo." . "Now, what would I do that for? I hadn't a thing In the world against you, an' I iiaven't now." "That d d ruffian ahot at me. He "We've got to tell the truth," said Beatrice crisply, pulling on her glovos. "And we'll do it, too. A ack of Hes can't stand against four of m all look-ing for the truth." Muldoon, who waa on night duty this month and thkietnre had his days free, guided Wh!tf?ra and his daughter to Maddock's Aa they reached the house 'm express vagon was being drlve away. Aatomatiealiy the number registered Itself In Tim's memory. The policeman took a key from his CHAPTER XVII Into the Hands of His Enemy. Durand waited alone for word to bo dashed him that the debt he owed day Lindsay had been settled In full. A telephone lay on the desk close at hand and beside It was a watch. The second-han- d ticked Its way Jerkily round and round the circle. Except for that the stillness weighed on him unbearably. He paced up and down the room chewing nervously the end of an unlit cigar. For the good tidings which he was anxious to hear was news of the death of the strong young enemy who had beaten him at every turn. Why didn't Collins get to the tele-phone? Was it possible that there had been a slip-up- , that Lindsay bird again broken the trap set for him? Had "Sllm's" nerve failed him? Or had Bromfleld been unable to bring the vlc-- Mm to the slaughter? His mind went over the details agu.a. The 'hing had been well planned even to II e unguarded door through which Collins was to escape. In the darkness Slim" could do the Job, make his get- - way along wllh Dave, and be safe from any chance of Identification. Bromfleld, to save his own hide, would keep Htf II. If he didn't, Durand was prepared to shift the murder upon his thoulders. The minute hand of the watch passed lown from the quarter to the half and from Hie half to the three-quarter- Still the telephone bell did not rtng. The gang loader began to sweat blood. Had some one bungled after at' the care with raloh he had laid his plans? a door ilaaiBied below. Hurried pocket and unlocked the door. The three went up the stairs to the desert-ed gambling hall and through It to the rear room. "From what Lindsay says, the bullet holes ought to be about as high as his armpits," said Whltford. " 'Slim' must 'a' been standln about here," guessed Muldoon, Illustrating his theory by taking the position he meant. "The bullets would hit the par-tltio- n close to the center, wouldn't tVy?" Beatrice had gone straight to the plank. wall. "They're not here," she told ttiein. (TO BE CONTINUED.) "For de love o' Guwd. Who did he croak?" "'Slim' Jim Collins. Cracked him one on the bean and that was Hope you'll enjoy each other's society, gents." The guard dosed the door and departed. "Is that right? Did youse do up 'Slim,' or was he klddln mef "I don't reckon we'll discuss that subject." said Clay blandly, but with' a note of finality In his voice. "No offense, boss. It's an honor to hove so distinguished a gent for a cell pal. For that matter I ain't no cheap rt myself. Dey pinched me for shovln' de Pd ought to get fifteen years." he said proudly. This drew a grin from Lindsay, though not exactly a merry one. "If you're anxious for a long term you can The Gang Politician's Ineolent Eyes Went Up and Down Him. "I Didn't Come to Sec You." went up and down him. "I didn't come to see you." " 'S allright. Glad to see youse, any-how," the counterfeit passer went on obsequiously. "Some day, when you've got time I'd like to talk wit youse about gettin some fall money." "Nothin' doln', Shiny. I'm not backln' you," said Jerry coldly. "You've got to go up the river." "Youse promised" "Aw, what the h l's eatin' you?" Shiny's low voice carried a plaintive whine, "If you'd speak to de Judge " "Forget It." Doraad brushed the plea away wits a f,ea of the batd- - about It?" he asked carelessly. Their eyes were on each other, keen and watchful. She knew he was g something of Importance. He had meant not to tell her that Brom-fleld had been with him. Why? To protect the man to whom she was en-gaged. She jumped to the conclusion that he was still shielding him. "Yea, you're a poor liar, Clay," she agreed. "You stayed to keep back Col-lins so as to give Clarendon a chance to escape." "Did I?" "Can you deDy It? Clarendon heard the shots as he waa rucsing Sown-stairs.- " "He told you that did her" "Yea." That ought to help a lot. If I can was still shooting when I struck him with the chair," cried Bromfleld, his voice shaking. "He didn't know It was you mis-took you for Lindsay In the darkness." "My Or--d, I didn't metm to kill him. I had to do something." "You did It all tight." "I told you there wasn't to be any violence. It wa explicitly stated. You promised. And all the time you were planning murder. I'll tell all I know. By 0 d, I will." "Go easy, Sir. Bromfleld," snarled Jerry. "If you do, where do ye think you'll got off at?" "I'll go to the police aad tell them your hire gunman was shooting at us," i Sorrows grow bigger by nursing.