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',.',;? : ; '' V THF RINOHAM NEWS li2l L f p sss 1 THE ' EVIL SHEPHERD I By E. PHILLIPS OPPENHEIM Copyright by Little, Brown and Company In this for you, Andrew," he concluded, with a little laugh, "but, my God, I'm In earnest!" "What does this mean so far as re-gards the routine of your dally life?" VVIlmore asked curiously. "Well, it brings us to the point we discussed down at Brancaster," Fran-cis replied. "It will affect my work to this extent. I shall not accept any brief unless, after reading the evi-dence, I feel convinced that the ac-cused Is Innocent." "That's all very well," Wilmore ob-served, "but you know what It will mean, don't you? Lawyers aren't llkelj to single you out for a brief .without ever feeling sure whether you will ac-cept It or not." "That doesn't worry me," Francis declared. "I don't need the fees, for-tunately, and I can always pick up enough work to keep me going by attending sessions. One thing I can promise you I certainly shall not sit In my rooms and wait for things to happen. Mine Is a militant spirit and it needs the outlet of action." "Action, yes, but how?" Wilmore queried. "You can't be always hang-ing about the courts, waiting for the chance of defending some poor devil who's been wrongfully accused there aren't enough of them, for one tiling. On the other hand, you can't walk down Regent street, brandishing a two-edge- d sword and hunting for pick-pockets." Francis smiled. "Nothing so flamboyant, I can as-sure you, Andrew," he replied, "nor shall I play the amateur detective with his mouth open for mysteries. But listen," he went on earnestly. "I've had some experience, as you know, and, notwithstanding the Oliver of the world, I can generally tell a criminal when I meet him face to face. There are plenty of them about, too, Andrew as many In this place as any other. I am not going to SIR TIMOTHY BRAST BTNOPSia Francis Ledsam de-fends Oliver Hildltch, a buslnena - J man, In murder case and uc- - X , oeeds In getting him oft, only to be told by a young, prepoHMeoalng woman, who ir.yj that., aha lit Oliver Hildltch's wile, that Hil-dltch la an areh-crlmin- and that Ledsam hai turned loose a dangerous roan to resume hU preying upon aoctety. LedHam, dining with hla beet friend. An-drew Wilmore, meets Hildltch and hla wife and l Invited todlne with them at their home. At dinner with the Hlldltches, Oliver bourns of killing Jordan. . lookea ote&dlly at this imsoo-fo- t companion, learning nothing, however, from the g smllf and Im-perturbable expression. "Your he repeated. "Do you mean to say that you are the fa-ther of of Oliver Hildltch's wife?" "Widow," the other corrected gently. "I have that honor. You will under stand, therefore, that I feel myself on this, the first opportunity, compelled to tender my sincere thanks for evidence so chivalrously offered, so flawlessly truthful." Francis was a man accustomed to l, but he clenched his hands so that his finger nails dug Into his flesh. He was filled with an Insane and unreasoning resentment against this man whose words were biting into his conscience. Nevertheless, he kept his tone level. "I do not desire your gratitude," he said, "nor, If you will permit me to say so, your further acquaintance." The stranger shook his head regret-fully. "You are wrong," he protested. "We were bound. In any case, to know one another. Shall I tell you why? You have Just declared yourself anxious to set your heel upon the criminals of the world. I have the distinction of being perhaps the most famous patron of that maligned class now living and my neck is at you service." "You appear to me," Francis said suavely, "to be a buffoon." It might have been fancy, but Fran-cis could have sworn that he saw the glitter of a sovereign malevolence In the other's dark eyes. If so, It was but a passing weakness, for a moment later the half good-nature- half-cynl-c-smile was back again upon tht man's lips. "If so, I am at least a buffoon of parts," was the prompt rejoinder. "I wilt, If you choose, prove myself." There was a moment's silence. Wil-more was leaning forward In his place, studying the newcomer earnestly. An Impatient invective was ,' somehow stifled on Francis' Hps. "Within a few yards of this place, some time before the closing hour to-night," the Intruder continued, earnest-ly, yet with a curious absence of any human quality in his hard tone, "there will be a disturbance, and probably what you would call a crime will be committed. Will you use your vaunt-ed gifts to hunt down the desperate criminal and, In your own picturesque phraseology, set your heel upon his neck? Success may bring you fame and the trail may lead well, who knows where?" Afterwards, both Francis and An-drew Wilmore marveled at themselves; unable at any time to find any reason-able explanation of their conduct, for they answered this man neither wits ridicule, rudeness nor civility. Thej simply stared at him, Impressed with the convincing arrogance of his chal-lenge and unable to find words of re-ply. They received his mocking fare-well without any form of reciprocation or sign of resentment. They watched him leave the room, a dignified, dis-tinguished figure, sped on his way with" marks of the deepest respect by wait ers, maitres d'hotel, and even the man ager himself. They behaved, Indeed as they both admitted afterwards, like a couple of moonstruck Idiots. "Well, I'm d d !" Francis exclaimed Soto, come here at once." The iimnuger hastened smilingly to their table. "Soto," Francis Invoked, "tell us quickly tell us the name of the who has Just gone out, and who he Is?" "You don't know Sir Timothy Brast. sir?" he exclaimed. "Why, he Is sup posed to be one of the richest men in the world ! He spends money like wa-ter. They say that when he is In Kng liind ills place down fte river alone costs a thousand pounds a week. When he gives a party here, we can find nothing good enough. lie Is our most generous client." "Sir Timothy Brast," Wilmore re peated. "Yes, I have heard of him." "Why, everybody knows Sir Timo-thy," Soto went on eloquently. "He Is the greatest living patron of boxing. He found the money for the last Inter-national fight." "I've seen his name In tTie paper In connection with . something or other, during the last few weeks," Wilmore remarked reflectively. "I'robubly about two mCnths ago, sir," Soto suggested. "He gave a do-nation of ten thousand pounds tp the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and they made him a vice president. ... In one moment, sir." The mummer hurried away to re-ceive a newly arrived guest. Francis and his friend exchanged a wondering glance. . "Father of Oliver Hildltch's wife," Wilmore observed, "the most munifi-cent patron of boxing in the world, vice president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Anim!ls, and archcrlmlnal He fooled lis pretty "well !" "1 suppose so," Francis assented ab-sently. Wilmore glanced at tils watch. "What about moving on some where?" he suggested. Francis shook his head. "We've got to see this thing out," he replied. "Have you forgotten that our friend promised us a sensation before we left?" Wilmore begun to laugh a little de risively. "You're not taking him seriously, are you?" he inquired. Francis nodded. "Certainly I am," be confessed. "I have been wanting to tee you very much," he said. (TO BK CONT1NWKS.) ( rooms and turned In. They were there in the middle of the night when he was awakened, shivering, by the shrill summons of his telephone bell. He stood quaking before the Instrument in his pajamas. It was the voice which, by reason of some ghastly premoni-tion, he had dreaded to hear level, composed, emotionless. "Mr. Ledsam?" she Inquired. "I am Francis Ledsam," he assented. "Who wants me?" "It Is Margaret Hildltch 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." "Go on," he begged hoarsely. "After you left," she went on, "my husband persisted In playing with that curious dagger. He laid It against his heart, and seated himself In the chair whh'h Mr. Jordan had occupied, in the snme attitude. It was what he culled a reconstruction. While he was hold-ing It there, I think that he must have had a fit, or It may have been remorse, we shall never know. He called out and I hurried across the room to him. I tried to snatch the dagger away I 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. He snys that death must have been Instantaneous." "Bin this Is horrible!" Francis cried out Into the well of darkness. "A person Is on the way from Scot-land Yard," the voice continued, with-out change or tremor. "When he has satisfied himself, I am going to bed. He Is here now. (lood-nlgh- t t" Francis tried to speak again, but his words beat against a wall of silence. He sat upon the edge of the bed, shiv-ering. In that moment of agony he seemed to hear-agai- n the echo of Oli-ver Hildltch's mocking words: "My death Is the one thing in the world which would make my wife happy 1" CHAPTER IV For a few months Ledsam disap-peared from his usuul haunts, his clerk, acting under his Instructions, turning down four fine cases offered him. At last he returned with Wil-more and, at dinner the first night of their return, Andrew plunged boldly Into the forbidden subject. They had consumed an excellent din-ner, An empty champagne bottle had Just' been removed, double liqueur brandies had taken Its place. Francis, with an air of complete and even ex-uberant humanity, had lit a huge cigar. The moment seemed propitious. "Francis," his friend began, "they say at the club that you refused to be briefed In the Chippenham affair." "Quite true," was the calm reply. "1 told Griggs that I wouldn't have any-thing to do with It." Wilmore knew then that all was well. Francis' old air of strength and decision had returned. His voice was firm, his eyes were clear and bright. His manner seemed even to Invite questioning. "I think I know why," Wilmore said, "but I should like you to tell me In your own words." Francis glanced around as though to be sure that thty were not overheard. "Because," he replied, dropping his voice a little, but still speaking wl.'h great distinctness, "William Bull Is a cunning and dangerous criminal whom I should prefer to see hanged." "It would be a great achievement to get him off," Wilmore persisted. "The evidence Is very weak In places." "I believe that I could get him off," was the confident reply. "That Is why I will not touch the brief. I think." Francis continued, "that I have already conveyed it to you Indirectly, but here you are In plain words, Andrew. I have made up my mind that I will de-fend no man In future unless I am convinced of his Innocence." "That means" "It means practically the end of my career at the bar," Francis admitted. "I realize that absolutely. Fortu-nately, as you know, I am not depend-ent upon my earnings, and I have had a wonderful ten years." "This Is all because of the Hildltch nffalr, I suppose?" "Kntirely." Wilmore was still a little puzzled. "You seem to Imagine that you have something on your conscience as re-gards that business," he said boldly. "I have," was the calm reply. "Come," Wilmore protested. "I don't quite follow your line of thought. Granted that Hildltch was a dcspernTe criminal whom by the exercise of your special gifts you saved from the law, surely his tragic death balanced the account between you and society?" "It might have done," Francis admit-ted, "if he had really committed sui-cide." Wilmore was genuinely startled. He looked at his companion curiously. "What the devil do you mean, old chnp?" he demanded. "Your own evi-dence at the inquest was practically conclusive as to that." Francis glanced around him with ap-parent Indifference, hut in reality with keen and stealthy care. "My evidence at the coroner's In-quest," he confided, "waa a aubtly con- - tissue of lies. I committed Icoctedfreely. That Is the real reason been a little on the nervy side lately, and why I took these few months out of harness." "Good God!" Wilmore exclaimed, setting down untasted the glass of brandy which he had Just raised Jo his lips. ., "I want to finish this matter up," Francis continued calmly, "by making a clean breast of It to you, because from tonight I ara starting afresh, with new Interests In my life, whnt will practically amount to a new career. That Is why I preferred not to dine at 'he club tonight, although I ara look-ing forward to seeing them ail again. I wanted Instead to have this conver-sation with you. I lied at the Inquest when I said that the relutlons between Oliver Hildltch and hla wife that night seemed perfectly normal. I lied when I suid that I knew of no cause for ll between them. I lied when I said that I left them on friendly terms. I lied when I said that Oliver Hildltch seemed depressed and nervous. I lied when I said that he expressed the deepest remorse for what he had done. There was every indication that night of the hate which I happen to know existed between the . woman and the man. I have not the faintest doubt In my mind but that she murdered him. In my Judgment, she was perfectly Justified In doing so." "You see," he continued, arguments-lively- , "I was morally and actually re-sponsible for the man's being brought back Into society. And far worse than that, I wns responsible for his being thrust back again upon his wife. Ergo, I was also responsible for what she did that night. The matter seems as plain as a pikestaff to me. I did what I could to atone, rightly or wrongly It doesn't matter, because It Is over and done with. There you are, old fellow, now you know what's been making me nervy. I've committed wholesale per-jury, but I acted according to my con-science and I tlilnk according to jus-tice. The thing has worried me, I admit, but it has passed, and I'm glad It's off my chest. One more liqueur, Andrew, and If you want to we'll talk about my plans fox the future." The brandy was brought. Wilmore studied his friend curiously, not with-out some relief. Francis hud lost the harassed and nervous appearance upon which his club friends had com-mented, which had been noticeable, even, to a diminishing extent, upon the golf course at Brancaster. He was alert and enger. He had the air of a man upon the threshold of some en-terprise dear to his heart. "I have been through a queer ex-perience," Francis continued present-ly, as he sipped his second liqueur. "Not only had I rather less than twelve hours to make up my mind whether I should commit a serious of-fense against the law, but a sensation which I always hoped that I might ex-perience, has come to me In what1 I suppose I must call most unfortunate fashion." "The woman?" Wilmore ventured. Francis assented gloomily. There was a moment's silence. Wilmore, the metaphysician, saw then a strange thing. He saw a light steal across his friend's stern face. He saw his eyes for a moment soften, the hard mouth relax, something Incredible transform-ing, shine, as It were, out of the man's soul in that moment of It was gone like the moinentnry pass-ing of a strange gleam of sunshine across a leaden sea, but those few sec-onds were sufficient. Wilmore knew well enough what had happened. "Oliver Hildltch's wife," Francis went on, after a few minutes' pause, "presents an enigma which at present I cannot hope to solve. The fact that she received her husband back again, knowing what he was and what he was capable of, Is inexplicable to me. The woman herself Is a mystery. I do not know what lies behind her ex-traordinary Immobility. Feeling she must have, and courage, or she would never hnve dared to have ridded her-self of the scourge of her life. But beyond that my judgment tells me nothing. I only know that sooner or later I shall seek her out. I shall dis-cover all that I want to know, one way or the other. It may bo for hap-piness It may be the etui of the things that count." "I guessed this," Wilmore admitted, with a little shiver which he was wholly unable to repress. Francis nodded. "Then keep It to yourself, my dear fellow," he begged, "like everything else I am telling you tonight. I have come out of my experience changed In many ways," he continued, "but, leaving out that one secret chapter, this Is the dominant factor which looms up before me. I bring into life a new aversion, almost a passion. An-drew, born In a tea-sho- p In the city, and ministered to by all that has hap-pened since. I have lost that sort of Indifference which my profession en-genders toward crime. I am at war with the criminal, sometimes, I hope. In the courts of Justice, but forever out of them. I am no longer Indiffer-ent as to whether men do good or evil so long as they do not cross my path. I am a hunter of sin. I hoi out to de-stroy. There's a touch' of melodrama CHAPTER III Continued. 3 "With this little weapon," he ex-plained, "'the point Is so sharpened and the steel so wonderful that it Is not necessary to stab. It has the perfec-tion of a surglcnl Instrument. You have only to lean It against a cer-tain point lu b man's anatomy, lunge ever so little and the whole thing Is done. Come here, Mr. Ledsam, and I will show you the exact spot." Francis made no '.movement, nis eyes were fixed upon the weapon. . "If I had only known !" he muttered. "My . dear fellow, If you had," the other protested soothingly, "you know perfectly well that It would not have made the slightest difference. Perhnps that little break In your voice would not have come quite so naturally, the Ay Jlttle sweep of your arm towards nie, 'v 'Vthe man whom a moment's thoughtless, ?l new might sweep Into Eternity, would Rive been a little stlffer, but what ' Z --'matter? You would still have done ' your best and you would probably still have succeeded. You don't care about trifling with Eternity, eh? Very well, 1 wtl! find the place for you." Hildltch's fingers strayed along his shirt-fron- t until he found a certain spot. Then he leaned the dagger against It, his forefinger and second finger pressed against the hilt Ills eyes were fixed upon his guest's. He seemed genuinely Interested. Francis, glancing away for a moment, wns sud-denly conscious of a new horror The woman had leaned a little forward In her easy-chai- r' until she had at-tained almost a crouching position. Her eyes seemed to be measuring the dis-tance from where she 6ut to that quiv-ering thread of steel. "You see, Ledsam," his host went on, "that point driven now at thai angle would go clean through the vital part of my heart. And it needs no force, either Just the slow pressure of these two fingers. Whnt did you say, Margaret?" he Inquired, breaking off abruptly. The woman was seated upon the very edge of her chair, her eyes rivet-ed upon the dagger. There was no change In her face, not a tremor In her tone. "I said nothing," she replied. "I did not speak at all.' I was just watch-ing." Hildltch tamed back to his guest. "These two fingers," he repeated, "and a flick of the wrist very little more than would be necessary for a thirty-yar- d putt right across the green," ' Francis had recovered himself, had found his bearings to a certain extent. "I am sorry that yon have told me this, Mr. Hildltch," he suid, a little stif-fly. "Why?" was the puzzled reply. "I thought you would be Interested." "I ara Interested to this extent," Francis declared, "I shall accept no more cases such as yours unless I am convinced of my client's Innocence. 1 look upon your confession to me as being In the worst possible taste, and 1 regret very much my efforts on your behalf." The woman was listening Intently, f Hildltch's expression was one of cynl-- r cal wonder. Francis rose to his feet and moved across to his hostess. --Mrs. Hildltch," he said, "will you allow me to make my apologies? Your husband and I have arrived at an un-derstandingor perhaps I should say a misunderstanding which renders the acceptance of any further hospi-tality on my part Impossible." She held out the tips of her fingers. "I had no Idea," she observed, with gentle sarcasm, "that you barristers were su'.h purists morally. I thought you wrjre rather proud of being the last hope of the criminal classes." "Madam," Francis replied, "I am not proud of having saved the life of a murderer, even though that man may bo your husband." Hildltch was laughing softly to him-self as he escorted his departing guest to the door. "You have a quaint sense of humor," Francis remarked. "Forgive me," Oliver Hildltch begged, "but your Inst few words rath-er appeuled to me. You must be a person of very scanty perceptions It you could spend the evening here and not understand that my death is tlie one thing In the world which would make n1y wife happy." Francis walked home with these last words ringing in his ears. They eemed with him even In that brief period of troubled sleep which came to him when he had regained his "I Am Going to Set My Heel on As Many of the Human Vermin of This City As I Can Find." be content with a negative position as regards evil-doer- 1 am going to set my heel on as many of the human ver-min this city as I enn find." liiudable, a most exhilarating and delightful pursuit! 'human ver--' mln,' too, is excellent. It opens up a new and fascinating vista for the mod-ern 'sportsman. My congratulations!" It was an Interruption of pecullur and wonderful significance, but Fran-cis did not for the moment appreciate the fact. Turning his head, he simply saw a complete stranger seated unac-countably at the next table, who had butted Into a private conversation and whose tone of gentle sarcasm, there-fore, was the more offensive. "Who the devil are you, sir," he de-manded, "and where did you come from?" The newcomer showed no resentment at Francis' little outburst. He simply smiled with deprecating amiability a tall, spare man, with lean, hard face, complexion almost unnaturally white; black hair, plentifully besprinkled with gray; a thin, cynical mouth, not-withstanding Its distinctly humorous curve; nnd keen, almost brilliant dark eyes. He was dressed In ordinary dinner garb; his linen nnd Jewelry whs Indeed In the best possible taste. Fran-cis, at h's second glance, was troubled with a vague sense of familiarity. "Let me" answer your last question first, sir," the Intruder begged. "I was sealed alone, several tables away, when the couple next to you went out, nnd having had pointed out to me the other evening at Claridge's hotel, and knowing well by repute, the great bar-rister, Mr. Francis Ledsam, and his friend, the world-fume- novelist, Mr. Andrew Wilmore, I er unobtrusively made my way, half a yard at a time, In your direction and here am. I came stealthily, you may object? Without a doubt. If I had come In any other fashion, I should have disturbed a con-versation In which I was much Inter-ested." "Could you find It convenient," Fran-cis asked, with Icy politeness, "to re-turn to your own table, stealthily or not, as you choose?" The newcomer showed no signs of moving. "In after years," he declared, "you would be the first to regret the fact if I did so. Tils Is a momentous meet-ing. It gives me an opportunity of ex-pressing my deep gratitude to you, Mr. Ledsam, for the wonderful evidence you tendered at the Inquest upon the body of my son-in-la- Oliver Hil-dltch." Francis turned in his place and f afterjevery meal J Cleanses month and teeth and aids dlrjcsUon. Relieves tbal over ' eaten feeling and acid mouth. lis flavor satlslies the craving for sweets Wrlgley's fs doable value In the benefit and pleasure It provides. StallJ in ft Parity -- A csLa 1 1EL Clear Your Skin with Cuticura tjtfK Soap to Cleans ) f Ointment to Ileal W Aholnt1r Nothing Better INFLAMED EYES BSTjvJ lite Or. Tbooipnon'e Mywter, 5ft HO Hirer, Tror.M.Y. Booklet. mOT . I I I'V" wiU reduce urflamed, swollen fi II jAJolllt, Sprains, Bruises, 14 if kEA " Soft Bunches; Heal A mfJiK 1 Bolla,PoUEvU,Qiilttor, 'V'il YiVfCXV 1 FlitoU Infected f.5) '! JTV sores quickly a It ie e J I4IM P0'1' antlseptlo and rrflKfTene germicide. 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With It you can . hear the "wheels in your head" go round. Her Identity "Stuff's off between Yvette and Slats," announced Heloise of the rapid-- fire restaurant. "Why, I sure thought she was the bride-to-be,- " returned Clundlne of the same establishment. "Nope! Instead she's the trled-to-be.- "