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,T THE BINGHAM NEWS ' ' ,r-- - , .,:.",;; " ""t ... Fa il Jl Jrii iiiVM lniplniero By E. PHILLIPS OPPENHEIM Copyright bj Llttl Brtwa ud Company room the waitress was watching them curiously. "Good God!" Francis Ledsam ex-claimed at last, suddenly realizing his whereabouts. "Do you mean to affirm solemnly that what you have been tell-ing me Is the truth?" The woman continued to button her gloves. "It Is the truth," she said. Ledsam sat up and looked around him. He was a little dazed. Be had almost the feeling of a man recovering from the Influence of, some anesthetic Before his eyes were still passing visions of terrible deeds, of naked, ugly passion, of man's unscrupulous savagery. During those few minutes he had been transported to New York and Paris, London and Rome. Crimes had been spoken of which made the murder for which Oliver Hllditch had Just been tried seem like a trifling In-discretion. Hard though his mentality, sternly nintter-of-fac- t as was his out-look, he was still unable to fully be-lieve In himself, his surroundings, or In this woman who had Just dropped a veil over her ashen cheeks. Reason persisted In asserting Itself. "But If you knew all this," he de-manded, "why on earth didn't you come forward and give evidence?" "Because," she answered calmly, as she rose to her feet, "my evidence would not have been admissible. I am Oliver Hilditch's wife." Francis Ledsam arrived at his club, the Sheridan,, an hour later than he had anticipated. He came face to face with his most Intimate friend, Andrew Wllmore. The latter, who had Just hung up his coat and hat, greet-ed him with a growl of welcome. "So you've brought it oft again, Francis 1" "Touch and go," the barrister re-marked. "I managed to squeak home. This case has upset me." "Upset you? But why the dickens should It?" the other demanded. In a puzzled tone. "It was quite an or-dinary case, in its way, and you won It" "I won It," Francis admitted. "Your defense was the most Ingeni-ous thing I ever heard." "Mostly suggested, now I come to think of It." Francis rose to lils feet, shook him-self, and with his elbow resting upon court and told me the story of Oliver Hilditch's life." "A stranger?" "A complete stranger to me. It transpired that she was his wife," Wllmore lit a cigarette. "Believe her?" "There are times when one doesn't believe or disbelieve," Francis an-swered. "One knows." Wllmore nodded. "All the same, you're crazy," be de-clared. "Even If you did save the fel-lo-from the gallows, you were only doing your Job, doing your duty to the best of your ability. You bad no reason to believe him guilty." "That's Just as It happened," Fran-cis pointed out. "I really didn't care at the time whether he was or not I had to proceed on the assumption that he was not, of course, but on the other band I should have fought just as hard for him If I bad known blm to be guilty." "And you wouldn't now tomorrow, say?" "Never again." "Because of that woman's story?" "Because of the woman." There was a short silence. Then Wllmore asked a very obvious ques-tion. "What sort of person was she?" Francis Ledsam was silent several moments before lie replied. The ques-tion was one which he had been ex-pecting, one which he had already asked himself many times, yet he was unprepared with any definite reply. "I wish I could answer you, An-drew," his friend confessed. "As a matter of fact, I can't I can only speak of the Impression she left upon me, and you are about the only per-son breathing to whom I could speak of that." Wllmore nodded sympathetically. He knew that, man of the world though Francis Ledsam appeared, he was nevertheless a highly Imaginative person, something of an Idealist as re-gards women, unwilling as n rule to discuss them, keeping them, In a gen-eral way, outside his dally life. "Go ahead, old fellow," he Invited. "You know I understand." "She left the Impression upon me," Francis continued quietly, "of a wom-an who had ceased to live. She was young, she was beautiful, aha bad all It seemed to me to rather lack color." "It was a very simple and straight-forward case," Francis said slowly. "Oliver Hllditch Is the principal part-ner In an American financial company which has recently opened offices In the West End. He seems to have ar-rived In England about two years ago, to have taken a house In I! Ill street, and to have spent a great deal of money. A month or so ago, his partner from New York arrived In London, a man named Jordan of whom nothing was known. It has since transpired, however, that his Journey to Europe was undertaken because he was unable to obtain certain figures relating to the business, from Hllditch. Oliver Hll-ditch met him at Southampton, trav-eled with him to London and found hlra a room at the Savoy. The next day the whole of the time seems to have been spent In the office, and It la certain, from the evidence of the clerk, that some disagreement took place between the two men. They dined together, however, apparently on good terms, at the Cafe Royal, and parted In Regent street soon after ten. At twelve o'clock Jordan's body was picked up on the pavement In Hill street, within a few paces of Hilditch's door'. He had been stabbed through the heart with weapon, and was quite dead." "Was there any vital cause of quar-rel. between them?" Wllmore Inquired. "Impossible to say," Francis replied. "The flnnnclal position of the company depends entirely upon the value of a large quantity of speculative bonds, but as there was only one clerk em-ployed. It was Impossible to get at any figures. Hllditch declared that Jordan had only a small share In the business, from which he had drawn a considera-ble Income for years, and that he had not the slightest cause for complaint" "What were Hilditch's movement! that evening?" Wllmore asked. "Not a soul seems to have seen him after he left Regent street," was the somewhat puzzled answer. "His own story was quite straightforward and has never been contradicted. He let himself Into his house with a latch-key after his return from the Cafe Royal, drank a whisky and soda In the library, and went to bed before half-pa- st eleven. The whole affair" Francis broke off abruptly In the MYSTERY, ADVENTURE, ROMANCE, LOVE "Mrs. HUditch," said Ledsam, "will you allow m to make my apologies? Your husband and I have arrived at an understand-ing or perhaps I should say a misunderstanding which renders the acceptance of any further hospitality on my part impossible", She held out the tips of her fingers. "I had no idea" she observed, with gentle sarcasm, "thai you barristers were such purists morally. I thought you were rather proud of being the last hope of the criminal classes." "Madam," Ledsam replied, "I am not proud of having saved the life of a ed murderer, even though that man may ' be your husband." Hilditch was laughing softly to himself as he escorted his departing guest to the door. "You have a quaint sense of humor," Ledsam remarked. "Forgive me, Oliver Hilditch begged, "but your last few words rather appealed to me. You must be a person of very scanty perceptions if you could spend the evening here and not understand that my death is the one thing in the world which would make my wife happy." "It is Margaret Ilildilch speaking," she announced. "I felt that I must ring up and tell you of a very strange thing which happened after you left this evening. My husband persisted in playing with that curious dagger. lie laid it against his heart, and seated himself in the chair which Mr. Jordan had occupied, in the same attitude. It was what he called a reconstruction. While' he was holding it there, I think that he must have had a fit, or it may have been remorse, we shall never know. lie called out and I hurried across the room to him. I tried to snatch the dagger away 7 did so, in fact but I must have been too late. He had already applied that slight movement of the fingers which was necessary. The doctor has just left. lie says that death must have been instantaneous." A dramatic situation! Here Is Francis Ledsam, a brilliant London barrister of thirty-five- , who has never been Interested In a woman. He has Just succeeded in securing the acquittance of Oliver Hilditch In a trial for murder. He dines with Hilditch and his beautiful wife. Led-sam has fallen in love with the wife at first glance.. Hilditch boasts of committing the murder. Also he says his own death would make his wife happy. And a few hours later his wife calls up Ledsam and tells him her husband is dead. It sounds like suicide but Ledsam knows bet-ter and fears that Mrs. Hilditch Is guilty. This is one of the seventy or more popular stories of E. Phillips Oppenheim, whose public is international. It's not necessary to say more. They're all good reading and this is one of the best. The author has written a novel of English life of a melodramatic character, so fascinat-ing and so stirring that the most hardened reader can hardly fail to get many a thrill out of it. E. Phillips Oppenheim was born In England In 1866. His good Eng-lish and clear style are probably due In large part to a Boston (U. S. A.) Influence, for In 1892 he married Elsie Hopkins, who came from that city of culture and precise language. He has always made his home In Eng-land and turns out never less than two and ometimes three or four books a year. m tmmfr ' mm the gifts culture, poise and breeding but she had ceased to live. We sat with a marble table between us, and a few feet of floor. Those few feet, Andrew, were like an Impass-able gulf. She spoke from the shores of another world. I listened and an-swered, spoke and listened again. And when she told her story, she went. I can't shake off the effect she had upon me, Andrew. I feel as though I had taken a step to the right or to the left over the edge of the world." Andrew Wllmore studied his friend thoughtfully. He was full of sympathy and understanding. His one desire at that moment was not to make a mis-take He decided to leave unasked the obvious question. "I know." he Bald simply. "Are you dining anywhere?" "I thought of staying on here," was the Indifferent reply. "We won't do anything of the sort" Wllmore Insisted. "There's scarcely a soul in tonight, and the place Is too humpy for a man who's been seeing spooks. We'll go to Clarldge's." CHAPTER II The two men occupied a table set against the wall. They were, In their way, an Interesting contrast physically, neither of them good-lookin- according to ordinary standards, but both with many pleasant characteristics. Andrew Wllmore, slight and dark, with sallow cheeks and brown eyes, looked very much what he was a moderately suc-cessful Journalist and writer of stories, a keen golfer, a bachelor who pre-ferred a pipe to cigars, and lived at Richmond because he could not find a flat In London which he could afford, large enough for his somewhat ex-pansive habits. Francis Ledsam was of a sturdier type, with features per-haps better known to the world owing to the constant activities of the car-toonist. Ills reputation during the Inst tew years had carried him, not- - withstanding his comparative youth-- he was only thirty-fiv- e years of age Into the very front ranks of his profes-sion, and his income was one of which men spoke with lmted bre.ith. He came from a family of landed proprie-tors, whose younger sons for genera-tions had drifted always either to the bar or the law, and his name was well known In the purlieus of Lincoln's Inn before he himself had made It famous, lie was a persistent refuser of Invita-tions, and his acquaintances In the fashionable world were comparatively few. Vet every now ami then be felt a it i II Interest In the people whom his companion assiduously pointed out to IiIiii. Francis finally broke In on Andrew's chatter. "I know you're dying to talk about the llihlltdi case, aren't you? Well, tin ahead." "I'm only interested n this last de-velopment," Wllmore confessed. "O1' cciiiisi', I read the newspaper reports To tell you the truth, for a lounler trial middle of bis sentence. He sat with hla eyes fixed upon the door, silent and speechless. "Whot In Heaven's name Is the mat-ter, old fellow?" Wllmore' demanded, gazing at bis companion In blank amazement. The latter pulled himself together with an effort The sight of the two new arrivals talking to Louis, the head waiter, on the threshold of the res-taurant, seemed for the moment to have drawn every scrap of color from his cheeks. Nevertheless, his, recovery was almost Instantaneous. "If you want to know any more," he snld calmly, "you had better go and ask him to tell you the whole story himself. There he Is." "And the woman with him?" Wll-more exclaimed, under his breath, "Ills wife!" To reach their table, the one con-cerning which Francis and his friend had been speculating, the new arrivals, piloted by Louis, had to pass within a few feet of the two men. The woman, serene, coldly beautiful, dressed like Frenchwoman In unrelieved black, with extraordinary attention to details, passed them by with a careless glance and subsided Into the chair which Louis was holding. Her companion, however, as he recognized Francis, hes Itated. His expression of somewhat austere gloom was lightened. A pleas-ant but tentative smile parted his lips. He ventured upon a salutation, half a nod, half a more formal bow, a saluta-tion which Francis Instinctively re-turned. Andrew Wllmore looked on with curiosity. "So that is Oliver Hilditch?" he mur-mured. "That Is the man," Francis observed, "of whom last evening half the people In this restaurant were probably asking themselves whether or not he wss guilty of murder. Tonight they will be wondering what he Is going to order for dinner. It Is a strange world." "Strange, Indeed," Wllmore assented. "This afternoon he was In the dock, with his fate In the balance the con-demned cell or a favored table at Clarldge's. And your meeting I One can Imagine him gripping your hands, with tears In his eyes, his voice broken with emotion, sobbing out bis thanks. And Instead you exchange polite bows. I would not have missed this situation for anything." "Tradesman!" Francis scoffed. "One can guess already at the plot of your next novel." "lie has courage," Wllmore declared, "lie has also a very beautiful compan-- Ion. Were you serious, Francis, when you told me that that was his wife?" j "She herself was my Informant," was the quiet reply. "I killed Jordan Irt the very chair in which you are now sit-- ting." i lTi 14 H CtlNTINUiCU. I CHAPTER I Francis Ledsam, olert, well satisfied with himself and the world, the echo of a little buzz of congratulations still In his ears, paused on the steps of the modern Temple of Justice to light a cigarette before calling for a taxi to take him to his club. Visions of a whisky and soda his throat was a little parched and a rubber of easy-going bridge at his favorite table, were already before his eyes. A wom-an who had followed him from the court touched him on the shoulder. "May I speak to you for a moment, Mr. Ledsam?" The barrister frowned slightly as he swung around to confront his ques-tioner. It was such a familiar form of address. "What do you want?" he asked, a little curtly. "A few minutes conversation with you," was the calm reply. "The mat-ter Is Important." The woman'a tone and manner, not-withstanding her plain, Inconspicuous clothes, commanded attention. Francis Ledsam was a little puzzled. Small things meant much to him in life, and he had been looking forward almost with the zest of a schoolboy to that hour of relaxation at his club. He was Impatient of even a brief delay, a sentiment which he tried to express In his response. "What do you want to speak to me about?" he repeated bluntly. "I shall be In my rooms in the Temple tomor-row morning, any time after eleven." "It Is necessary for me to speak to you now," he Insisted. "There Is a tea-sho- p across the way. Please ac-company me there." Ledsam, a little surprised at the coolness of her request, subjected his aceoster to a closer scrutiny. As he Old so, his Irritation diminished. He shrugged his shoulders sliglitly. "If you really have business with me," he said, "I will give you a few minutes." They crossed the street together, the soman negative, wholly without the embarrassment of one performing an unusual action. Her companion felt the awakening of curi-osity. J'.caloiisly though she had, to nil appearance, endeavored to conceal the f:i"t, she was without a doubt Her volep and manner lacked nothing of refinement. Yet her attrac-tion to Francis Ledsam. who, although a perfectly normal liuiiuin being, was no seeker after promiscuous adven-tures, did not lie In these externals. As a barrister whose success at the criminal bar had been phenomenal, lie had attained to a certain knowledge of h.iimifl nature. He realized that thl woman was no Impostor. They onswd Into the ten shop and ' "tv corner. L hung up his hat and gave an order. The wdman slowly began to remove her gloves. When she pushed back her veil, her vis-a-vi- s received almost a shock. She was quite as good-lookin-as he had Imagined, but she was far younger she w:. Indeed little more than a girl. Hei eyes were of a deep shade of hazel brown, her eyebrows were delicately marked, her features and poise admit':, Me. Yet her skin was entirely colo.Iess. She was as pale Bo one whose eyes have been closed in death. Her lips, although in no way highly colored, were like streaks of scarlet blossom upon a marble linage. The contrast between her appearance and that of her com-panion was curiously marked. Fran-cis Ledsam conformed In no way to the accepted physical type of his pro-fession. He was over six feet In height, and power-fully made. Ills features were cast in a large mold, he was of fair, almost sandy complexion, even his mouth was more humorous than Incisive. His eyes alone, gray and exceedingly mag-netic, suggested the gifts which with-out a doubt lay behind his massive forehead. "I am anxious to avoid any possible mistake," she began. "Your name Is Francis Ledsam?" "It is," he admitted. "Tou are the very successful crim-inal barrister," she continued, "who has Just been paid an extravagant fee to defend Oliver Hllditch." "I might take exception to the terra 'extravagant,'" Ledsam observed dry-ly. "Otherwise, your Information ap-pears to be singularly correct I do not know whether you have heard the verdict. If not, you may be Interested to know that I succeeded In obtaining the man's acquittal." "I kuow that you did," the woman replied. "I was in the court when the verdict was brought In. It has since occurred to me that I should like you to understand exactly whot you have done, the responsibility you have in-curred," Leilsati) raised his eyebrows. "Responsibility?" he repented. "What I have done Is simple enough, I have earned a very large foe and won my case." "You have secured the ocqulttal of Oliver Hilditch," she persisted. "He Is by this time a free man. Now I am going to speak to you of tliat re-sponsibility. I am going to tell you s little about the man who owes his freedom to your eloquence." It was exictly twenty minutes nfter their entrance Into the tea shop when the woman finished her monologue. She began to draw on her gloves again liefore them were two uutasted cups of ten ami an untouched phtte of bread and butter. From u corner of the "Do You Mean to Affirm Solemnly That What You Have Been Telling Me la the Truth?" the mantelpiece leaned down toward his friend. "I'll tell you, Andrew. You're about the only man in the world I could tell. I've gone crazy." "I thought you looked as though you'd been seeing spooks," Wllmore murmured sympathetically. "I have seen a spook," Francis re-joined, with almost passionate seri-ousness, "a spook who lifted an In-visible curtain with Invisible fingers, and pointed to such a drama of hor-rors as De Qulncey, Foe and Sue combined could never have Imagined. Oliver Hilditch was guilty, Andrew, lie murdered the man Jordan mur-dered him In cold blood." "I'm not surprised, to hear that," was the somewhat puzzled reply. "He was guilty, Andrew, not only of the murder of this man, his partner, but of Innumerable other crimes and brutalities," Francis went on. "lie Is a (lend In human form, If ever there was one, and I have set him loose once more to prey upon society. I am morally responsible for Ids next rob-bery, his next murder, the continued purgatory of those forced to associ-ate w ith him." "You're dotty, Francis," his friend declared shortly. "I told you I was crazy," was the desperate reply, ".o would you be If you d sat opposite that woman for half an hour, and heard her story." 'What woman?" Wllmnre demand-ed, leaning forward in his chtilr and gazing at Ills friend with Increasing uneasiness. "A woikiii who met me outside the mm mimmmmm Chew it after I every meal lyfffTi " stimulates (Fv. appetite and 1 ' & aids digestion.' yi JbrO 1 makes yoor IsimufiiiiiWiiiiiiras good. Note how. 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Luoalrk BOSCHEE'S SYRUP Allays irritation, soothes and heals tbraat and lung inflammation, Ihe constant irritation of a cough keeps the delicate mucus membrane of the Ihmat and lanes in a coasted condition, which liosi MI'S Syrup gently and quickly heals. For this rcaun it has been a favorite household remedy f r colds, coughs, bronchitis and specially for lung trouhl. in million) of homes all over the world for the last fifty-sev-years, enabling the patient to obtain s good night's rest, frfe from coughing with easy expectoration In the morning. You caa buy Koscilt't'S SYPJ.1!' herev- -r medicines are sold. V. N. U., Salt Lake City, No. 10-1- 94 ISurguin counters never care whoso pocketbook they dent. A woman's ability to pity others gives her a lot of pleasure. The strongest plume In wisdom's wing Is memory of post folly.