Charles Goddard.

The Perils of Pauline online

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moment, Wallace waited. Then he drew back the other lever, and the
departing guests found as they reached the end of the secret passage,
that their path opened, almost magically before them, in the hushed
unfolding of the second door.

"Goodbye, Cyrus," said, Harry as Pauline strolling down the garden with
him, tossed to her new pet a dainty from the box of bon-bons she

"What do you mean by that?" she demanded.

"That the oysters on the half shell would be better for his health."

"I didn't give him oysters on the half shell."

"No; but you gave him everything else in the house. He is stuffed like
the fatted calf - or like the prodigal son - I don't care which - "

"If he likes candy he shall have candy," declared Pauline, sitting down
on an arbor bench and extending another sugar-plum to the dog.

The gratitude of Cyrus was expressed in a leap to the side of his
mistress. As Harry sat down, he discovered that Cyrus had occupied the
favored place beside Pauline. Next instant there was a yowl of dismay
and the adored gift of Lucille fell several feet away from the bench.

"Harry! I think that is dreadful!" exclaimed Pauline, springing to her

"I do, too," he answered. "That was why I threw it off the bench."

"To treat a poor innocent dumb creature like that!"

"Polly! You don't mean it, do you? You think I hurt him?"


"That doesn't matter, but if I've hurt yours - it does. I apologize."

"You are always joking. You don't understand how sweet and dear
animals are. You will probably treat me the same way after we are

She ran to the spot where the wary Cyrus was munching the last piece of
candy. But he accepted her caresses without enthusiasm, keeping a
careful eye on Harry.

She called to the dog and walked briskly toward the house.

But Cyrus did not follow. The box of candy was still on the garden
bench, and Cyrus was not immune to temptation.

Owen followed on his motorcycle the runabout in which Balthazar and the
two chosen members of Rupert Wallace's band made their swift journey
toward Castle Marvin.

A quarter of a mile from the grounds Owen drew alongside.

"This would be a good place to stop. The car can be hidden in the

"Yes; master," said Balthazar.

He wheeled the machine upon a narrow roadway into the cover of the
woods, and, with his companions, got out. Owen rode on ahead and was
waiting for them as they neared the little foot path gate to the Marvin

"Look through the hedge there," he directed.

Balthazar crawled on his hands and knees to the box wall that
surrounded the grounds. He thrust his shoulders through the bush and
gazed for a moment at the dog devouring Pauline's bon-bons on the

"I should say it would be well to act now - instantly, master," he
cried, returning.

"Go on. I will be at the house, and will try to hold them back if
there is any noise."

As Owen began to wheel his cycle up the drive to Castle Marvin,
Balthazar and his two aides wriggled through the hedge-row, crossed a
strip of sward and reached the bench. Balthazar caught the dog's head
in his powerful hands. There was not a sound. The animal's muzzle was
shut fast and in a minute it had been tied, leg and body. They ran to
the gate, to the runabout, and were away.

"Why Harry, I can't find him anywhere. What could have happened to
him?" cried Pauline, rushing into the library.

"Owen lost? Thank Heaven!" he exclaimed fervently.

"No; Cyrus. Harry it's your fault. He was angry because you pushed
him off the bench and he ran away."

"Polly," he said, wheeling in his chair, "I am not worried. I decline
to be worried. And I am going away from here."

"Not before you help me find Cyrus."

"Yes - long before."

She turned and whisked crossly out of the room.

Harry picked up his hat and coat, and in a few minutes was being driven
away by Farrell on an urgent call to town.

Pauline stood on the veranda and watched his departure with silent

"I wonder if he is really cruel - or - if he is just a man and
doesn't know any better," she pondered audibly.

Then, as she saw Owen approaching from the side path, "Oh, Owen, won't
you help me? I've lost Cyrus!"

"Cyrus? Am I sure whom you mean? Ah, yes; the new member of our
family circle."

"Yes; he's gone."

"The only thing to do, I should say, is to advertise. I will call up
the newspapers immediately, Miss Pauline."

"You are dear! I must have him back. Think what Lucille would say if
I lost him on the first day!"

"I'll offer a generous reward and he'll soon be back."

"Thank you, Owen."



The proceedings behind the hidden doors in the cellar of the ruined
house between Bathwater and Castle Marvin were not interrupted by so
small a matter as the kidnapping of an heiress - a kidnapping that had
progressed no further as yet than the capture of a dog.

As Owen stepped into the den the next forenoon he saw the bull terrier
tied to the wall.

"I see we have the main ingredient of the repast in hand."

"The main ingredient and the most dangerous," said Wallace. "He has
done nothing but howl and bark. May we kill him?"

"Not yet," answered Owen. "It is possible that she might demand sight
of him before entering the house, or some nonsense of that sort. I
would let him howl a little longer."

"Very well," laughed Wallace. "What orders have you for us today,

The other counterfeiters kept steadily on at their work over the
melting pots, the molds and stamping machines. The old woman was
stacking half-dollar pieces at the table.

"Why do you have the woman here?" demanded Owen suddenly.

"To prevent starvation," answered Wallace. "Carrie is not only our
purchasing agent, but our excellent cook."

The hag looked up for a moment with a cackle of appreciation; then bent
again to her work.

"Can she write?" asked Owen.


"Well, then, she can help us. Here is an advertisement which appears
in the morning papers."

He presented a newspaper clipping to Wallace, which read:

LOST - A fine white bull terrier. Finder will receive liberal reward
if dog is returned to Pauline Marvin. Castle Marvin, N. Y.

"What do you want Carrie to do?"

"Answer the advertisement. Just call her over here."

The hag laid down the coins and moved laboriously to the, table.
Wallace produced from a drawer a pen, paper and ink, and told the woman
to take his chair. Owen dictated:

"Miss Pauline Marvin:

"A dog came to my house yesterday which I think is the one you advertise
for. I am an old, crippled woman and it's hard for me to get out.
Can't you come and see if it is your dog?

"Mary Sheila, 233 Myrtle Avenue."

The old woman wrote slowly in a shaking hand, and Owen waited patiently
while she addressed an envelope. Then he placed the letter in the
envelope, sealed it, and took his leave.

"And no sign of Cyrus?" inquired Harry cheerily as he entered the
library, where Pauline sat disconsolate.

She did not even answer and she was still gazing dejectedly out of the
window when Bemis brought in the mail. Two of the letters she laid
aside, unread; the third, she opened: "A dog came to my house yesterday
- " Her face lighted with hope and happiness; she read no further.

"Oh, isn't Owen - splendid," she breathed. "He knew just what to
do." And with the letter in her hand she ran out to the veranda.

"Harry! Harry!" she called across the garden. There was no answer.

"Run up to Mr. Marvin's room and see if he is there, Margaret. Bemis,
go out and see if he is at the garage."

"No, Miss Marvin," said Bemis. "He has gone into Westbury."

Pauline stood silent for a moment.

"Well, then I must go myself," she said with quick decision.

She sped upstairs and within a few minutes was, out at the garage in
her motoring dress. A mechanic was working over her racing car in
front of the garage, the racing car that was just recovering from
recent calamity in the international race.

"Is it all fixed, Employ? Can I drive it today?" she asked eagerly.

"Why - yes, ma'am - you could," said the mechanic. "But I haven't got
it polished up yet."

"That doesn't matter in the least. I want to use it to day - now."

She sprang lightly to the seat of the lithe racer and in a moment was
away down the drive.

NO. 233 Myrtle avenue was an address a little difficult to find.
Myrtle avenue was well outside the new town and Pauline had made
several inquiries before an elderly man, whom she found in the
telegraph office, volunteered directions.

She thanked him, and drove back for two miles before she found the turn
he had indicated.

The appearance of the place was unprepossessing enough to dampen even
the ambitious courage of Pauline. But the sight of woman on the porch
training a vine over the front door, allayed her fears.

"You are Mrs. Sheila - you sent me a message that you had found my
dog?" she asked, approaching.

For a moment the confusion that the woman had meant to simulate was
sincere. She had expected to see no such vision as that of Pauline on
the blackened steps of the coiners' den.

"A dog?" she quavered vaguely. Then, "Oh, yes, my - dear little lady
- the pretty white dog. He came to us yesterday. My son he brought
me the newspaper, and - "

"Oh, you are just a dear," cried Pauline. "May I see him now? I am so
fond of him!"

"Yes, my little lady. Will you come in?"

Pauline followed her into the basement. She stepped back with a tremor
of suspicion as the woman rapped three times upon the folding doors,
and they opened silently on their oiled rails. But she was inside the
narrow passage, and the light that gleamed through the second pair of
doors allayed her anxiety. With a bow and the wave of a directing
hand, the old woman waited for Pauline to enter.

In a breath she was seized from both sides. Strong cruel hands held
her, while Wallace smothered her cries with a tight-drawn bandage.

She had hardly had time to see the little terrier tugging at his chain
in the corner of the room, but his wild barking was all she knew of
possible assistance in the plight in which she found herself.

They laid her on the floor. She heard a voice that seemed strangely
familiar giving abrupt orders. Pauline sought in vain to place the
memory of the voice of Balthazar, the Gypsy.

Suddenly she heard cries. The barking of the dog had stopped and there
was the thud of heavy foot steps on the stone floor of the cellar.

"Catch him! Shoot if you have to," came the command in the
mysteriously familiar voice. She felt that her captors were no longer
near. There was a beat of rushing foot-steps on the floor.

It was several minutes before she heard voices again.

"The cur hasn't been there long enough to know her. It won't make any
difference," said Wallace, coming through the open doors. "But I'm
sorry it got away."

"Where is Miss Pauline?" asked Harry, as he entered the house on his
return from Westbury.

"She has found her dog, sir," answered Margaret, smiling. "She went to
get him - with the racing car."

His brow darkened. "The advertisement was answered, you mean,

"I think so, sir."

An hour later he walked into the garden and sat down on the rustic
bench where he and Pauline had quarreled. He had just taken up his
newspaper when he was startled by the spring of a small warm body
fairly into his face. Lowering the torn paper, he saw Pauline's dog
cavorting around the bench in circles of excitement.

The animal rushed towards him again, but did not leap this time. It
came very near and, with braced feet, began to bark wildly.

Harry stood up. The dog, with another volley of barks, started towards
the gate. Harry followed instinctively. The terrier dashed ahead of
him, reached the, gate, returned, renewed the appealing barks, and
again led the way.

In another minute Harry was following the urgent little guide. He was
thoroughly stirred now. As the dog returned to him the second time,
with its appealing yelps, he quickened his speed.

After traversing five miles of dust-laden road they reached a certain
house on the thoroughfare, which still carried the dignity of "Myrtle

The dog rushed up the steps. Harry, following closely, was surprised
to find the door was ajar. He entered and found himself in the cellar

A sound outside made him grasp the broken rope on the collar of the
dog. It was an automobile wheezing to a stop and it was followed by
the sound of voices. The outer door opened. Harry drew the dog aside
into the darkness and held its muzzle tight.

Four men entered. One rapped on the wall and the panels opened
softly. The man went in.

Harry's hand had fallen on a slim stick as he stooped in the darkness,
and he slipped the stick into the aperture between the folding doors.
He carried the dog to the outer door and thrust it through. Then he
came back.

"Who is the woman?" asked a gruff voice.

"She does not concern you. Have you distributed all of the coins?"

"All but $5,000. She's a peach, ain't she?"

The door crashed at their heels. Harry was in the room. He had
gripped Wallace by the throat before the man could stir. The others
backed toward their hidden weapons. Shots blazed in the room but the
smoke was protection for Harry, swinging wildly at whomsoever he saw.

"You're there, Polly?"

"Yes," she gasped, tugging at her bonds in desperation. She was almost

Harry had Wallace at his feet and Wallace's gun was in his hand. He
blazed blindly through room. A shriek told of one man gone.

Pauline felt strong hands grasp her. She was whisked through the
door; through the outer door and away, into the fresh air, and into the
waiting automobile. She felt Harry's hot breath on her fore head as
they sped in flight.

There was clamor behind them for a moment car was starting. Then came
only the thrash of footsteps through the grassy road as the coiners
rushed to their own machine.

One stern command reached the ears of Pauline and Harry as they sped

"It's your lives or theirs. Get them or kill yourselves."

"It's no use, Polly. Come," cried Harry, after a time.

His voice sounded grim, peremptory. The machine with a sudden swerve
had gone almost off the road with an exploded tire. It was only
Harry's powerful hand that had saved them from wreck.

But as he helped Pauline out and led her on a run into the forest he
heard the sound of the pursuing machine coming to a stop and the tumult
of voices behind them. He knew that one peril had only been supplanted
by another.

"Where - Where are we going, Harry?"

"The Gorman camp - if we can make it; if we can reach the river."

"There's the old quarry," she exclaimed as they came out on the crest
of a blast-gnarled cliff overlooking a stream. "I know their camp is
near the quarry."

"But on the other side of the river. Don't talk; run," he pleaded,
leading her down a footpath that traced a winding way over the face of
the cliff into the quarry.

In the shelter of the rocks there stood two small buildings about five
hundred yards apart. One was the old tool house of the deserted
quarry. The other was a hunter's hut, evidently newly built.

A commanding cry came from the top of the cliff.

"Halt or we fire!"

They ran on. A shot echoed and a bullet flattened itself against the
stone base of the quarry not two yards from Pauline.

"In here - quick," said Harry, dragging her to the hunter's lodge and
thrusting her through the open door. There was another shot and the
thud of another bullet as he slammed the door.

"It looks like a fight now, Polly," he said, as he' moved quickly around
the hut. "And thank Heaven - here's something to fight with."

From a rack in the wall he lifted down a Winchester rifle and a belt of
cartridges. "Get into the corner and lie down," he ordered.

"No, give me the revolver," cried Pauline.

She did not wait for his protest, but drew from hilt coat pocket the
pistol he had wrested from Wallace.

For an instant he looked at her with mingled admiration, love and
fear. He opened the little window of the hut, aimed and fired three
shots at the group of six men who were running down the cliff path.

"Into the tool house," ordered Balthazar, stopping only for a glance at
one of his fellows who had fallen. The five gained the workmen's hut
and burst the door open. Immediately from the air hole and the wide
chinks in the sagging walls came a blaze of shots.

A small white dog ran down the path into the quarry, but no one saw

Balthazar was searching the tool-house. "Ha!" he exclaimed suddenly.
"That is what we want!" He lifted from the floor a box of blasting
powder. But the next instant he dropped it and sprawled, cursing,
beside the half-spilled contents. Another man, shot through the body,
had fallen over his leader.

Balthazar quickly recovered himself. He whisked about the hut and
found a coil of fuse. The shots were still dinning in his ears while
he fashioned, with the powder and the box and the fuse, a bomb powerful
enough to have shattered tons of imbedded stone.

"Stop shooting," he commanded. "Here's a better way!"

As he suddenly threw open the door and dashed out, he nearly fell over
the dog whining in terror. But Balthazar kept on. In a better
business - with a heart in him - he would have been counted among the
bravest of men. Running a swaying, zigzag course, in the very face of
the fire of Harry and Pauline, he reached the hunter's hut and dropped
the bomb beside it.

He did not try to return. With the long fuse in his hand he moved into
shelter behind the hut, struck a match, lighted the fuse, and fled
toward the river.

After him ran the small white dog.

Balthazar turned and uttered a scream of rage. He dashed at the
animal, which dodged and passed him. In its teeth it held the bomb he
had just laid at the risk of his life. The fuse was sputtering behind
as the dog fled.

Balthazar pursued desperately. The path to the river led through a
narrow defile of rock. But the beast was not trapped at the water's
edge as the Gypsy had expected. It took to the water with a wide

Balthazar turned away, cursing. He rushed back to the huts. The guns
and pistols were silent. He picked up from the side of the path a huge
piece of wood. As he neared his companions, he shouted:

"Come out! Rush them, You cowards! Follow me!"

Harry fired his last two shots and two men fell. Pauline had long ago
emptied the revolver.

Three men came on. There was a crash as the log in Balthazar's mighty
hands beat down the door and he staggered through.

But Harry was upon him. He hurled the Gypsy across the room. He
charged at the others and one went down.

Through the door came four men.

"It's Harry. Help him!" cried Pauline.

Balthazar charged straight at the newcomers but he did not attempt to
fight. He was out through the door and away to the river before they
could intercept him. Within a few moments his companions lay bound on
the hut floor.

"But how did you find out? How did you know we needed you?" asked
Pauline afterward of young Richard Gorman, whose camping party had been
the rescuers.

"That's the girl who told us," he said, pointing to a dejected little
bull terrier that stood, quaking with excitement, a few feet away.

"Cyrus!" cried Pauline, running and clutching the little terrier in her

"Yes, he brought us the dead bomb and we knew something was up."



"Well, prove it," said Harry. "Show me that you mean it!"

"Why, Harry, what a woman says she, always means."

"Always means not to do."

"But, Harry, really I'm going to be good this time," pleaded Pauline.

They were emerging from the gate of the Marvin mansion to the avenue,
and as Harry turned to Pauline with a skeptical reply on his lips, the
approach of a young man of military bearing stopped him.

"By Jove, isn't that - who the deuce is it? Why, Benny Summers!"

The young man was hurrying by without recognition, when Harry called
sharply: "Hello, Ben!"

"Harry - Harry Marvin! By the coin of Croesus, is it really you?"

"No," said Harry, grasping his hand, "not the 'you' you used to know.
I've been driven into premature old age by caring for a militant
sister. Polly, this is Ensign Summers of the navy. Please promise me
that you won't get him into danger, because he used to be a friend of
mine. He has never done anything more dangerous than run a submarine
and shoot torpedoes out of it in a field of mines."

"A submarine? Torpedoes?" cried Pauline. "Isn't that beautiful."

"But, Benny, how are you? What have you been doing? I haven't seen
you in a thousand years."

"I'm still at it. And I've got it, Harry. I give you my word, I

"Got what?"

"The torpedo - I mean THE torpedo, in capital letters and italics with
a line under the word. I've invented one that would blow - well -
I've got it."

"Congratulations, felicitations, laudatory, remarks, and enthusiasm,"
cried Harry. "Without having slightest idea what a torpedo is, I
rejoice with you. Come on back to the house, and tell us about it."

"I'm sorry, I can't, Harry, now. I'm engaged for a conference with the
Naval Board, and I'm late already. But will you and Miss Marvin come
to luncheon with me tomorrow?"

"Why not you with us, we saw you first?"

Summers laughed. "Well, for this reason, I want you to meet Mlle. de
Longeon, who will preside at this particular luncheon, and who is - "

The flush that came suddenly to the cheeks of the young officer brought
involuntary laughter from Harry and Pauline.

"I take that as an acceptance - the Kerrimore, East Fifty-sixth
street," he called, sharing in their laughter as he fled.

But at the gate of the Marvin house he came upon Raymond Owen. There
was a hasty clasp of hands and "You're to come, too," cried Summers,
continuing his flight.

"Where am I to come?" asked Owen, as he approached Harry and Pauline.

"To luncheon with Ensign Summers tomorrow. Isn't he dear? I love men
who blush. They seem so innocent."

"The Fates defend us!" implored Harry.

* * * * *

Ensign Summers had gained a position beyond his rank in the navy. A
natural bent toward science and a patriotic bent toward the use of
science as a means of national defense had inspired him to experiments
which had resulted in success amazing even to himself. He had been
allowed - during the year preceding the meeting with Harry and Pauline
- a leave of absence. In that time he had visited Italy, France,
England and Germany, and had studied under naval experts. He had come
back home with his own little idea undiminished in its importance to
his own mind, and he had proceeded with youthful enthusiasm and
effrontery to prove its importance to the highest of his commanders.

The tests now about to be made - tests of a new torpedo gun and new
torpedo - had been ordered by the mightiest in the land. Triumphant
in his discovery and wealthy in his own right, Summers was the happiest
of men. It was in Paris that he had met Mlle. del Longeon.
Exquisitely beautiful, of the alluring and languorous type, quick of
wit, tactful, and with great charm of manner, she had completely
fascinated the young officer. He had vowed his adoration of her almost
before he knew her. His avowals had been repulsed with just that
margin of insincerity that would double his ardor.

It had required many letters to induce Mlle. de Longeon to leave her
beloved Paris and visit friends in America. Summers knew she was not a
Frenchwoman, but he was totally in the dark as to what was her
nationality. Summers didn't care. He was madly mad in love with her,
and there was no other thing to consider.

It was for this reason that Mlle. de Longeon was the guest of honor at
the little luncheon in his rooms, to which he had invited Harry and
Pauline. The affair was quite informal. There were a number of navy
men present, a few young married people. The atmosphere of the
gathering was "sublimely innocuous," as Mlle. de Longeon remarked to
Summers in the hall after the guests had departed.

But Mlle. de Longeon had met one guest who did not impress her as
innocuous - or sublime - Raymond Owen. Pauline had presented the
secretary on his arrival, and Owen had immediately devoted himself to
her. Not long after luncheon was served the voice of Mlle. de Longeon

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Online LibraryCharles GoddardThe Perils of Pauline → online text (page 15 of 18)