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securely bound and lying on the sofa which formed a
part of the furniture of the room.

"Now let us find Viola," Mrs, Beekmaii said.



In a Terrible Rage. 507

She took the lamp and searched the rooms on that
floor.

Then she went below at the suggestion of Howard,
and it was but a few minutes ere they opened the door
of Viola's prison and looked upon her as she lay in a
stupor on the cot.

Mrs. Beekman looked terrified for a moment, then
ran to Viola's side and bent anxiously over her-

"Can she be aroused, mother?" Howard asked.

"Yes, she is safe," she replied. "'But lift her and
carry her upstairs by the fire. But, hark ! what is that
noise?"

"It is I, Mrs. Beekman!'' cried a voice, which both
recognized as belonging to Walter.

"Just in time, then," answered the good lady. "We
have secured the scoundrel, and were just about to
carry his victim upstairs."

Almost before she had finished, Walter had leaped
into the room and had fallen on his knees by the side
of his darling, raining kisses on her face.

"Oh, my love my love ! Can she not be aroused ?"
he demanded.

"Not until we have her at home/ 1 Mrs. Beekman
answered; "but she is in no danger."

"Let us hasten, then P Walter cried, as he took the
beloved form in his strong arms and bore her up the
stairs.



3 f >8 In l& Rage,



:.. Mrs,- Beekman, who carried the lamp, I. -

into the room where Peter lay bound, followed by the
whole party, the detective, in his silent way, bringing
up- the rear. :

"Caught at last like. a. rat in a trap, eh?" he said
^nnily, as hi's eyes fell on- the bound- form of the scoun-
,

Peter's eye* were -fix-eel on the picture of Walter with
Viola in his ? arins. That sight more than anything else
seemed 1 , to m^ke him feel that he had -been thoroughly
defeated. . ,.

A horrible rage took possession of him, and : with a
hideous, snakelike wriggle he contrived to squirm/ to

"You can't touch me without hurtjng others f" he.
screamed, "And she is mine.. L loved her first. Yoti
shall never nev- Ah, what is, this?"

He reeled as he -spoke and fell back ward, on the soia.
The detective sprang to him. and lifted him to place him
on the sofa, so that he would lie , at length.

"Dead!" he said, in a shocked tone.

"It must have been his heart/' whispered Mrs. Seek-
man, in an-ctived tone. "Pray i*emove the bonds '.frmii
his limbs." .

"All of you go>" the detective said. ""I will remain,
here until morning. I am an officer of the laA^ x and
he is my.. prisoner, . .There is,, no need for any qf ; ypu



In a Terrible Rage. 309

fe be mixed up. : in this. All of you go. I will Attend
tc' everything:'"'

'Ai nis mother's- suggestion Howard ran out and'
brought in- a carriage rug to wrap Viola in; and then he
Volunteered to take Walter's carriage back to its stable
while Walter took Mrs. Beekman and Viola home.

Walter was more grateful than he could express for
all their kindness, but did not hesitate tb accept How-
ard's offer,

It was just -before dawn when they reached Mrs.
Bkman's house. Viola was carried to the good lady's
v, ! rn

"'"We will let -her sleep till daylight/' Mrs. Beekman
said to Walter. "It will be better for her now if the
drugi will wear itself off naturally.''

So Walter gently kissed the -lips of his darling, and
retired to the room they gave him, .and iri spite of his*
anxiety was so worn out that he fell asleep and did
not awake until 4 he" felt Howard's' hand on his shoulder.

He started up 'and looked at the other;. and his ! first
quick word was :

"Viola !"

"She is awake 'and quite well," -Howard answered.
"Mother has told her you are here, and she is eager
to see ydtr."

With a giad cry Walter sprang out of bed, every
-'of fatigae. gone. In a tiaarvetously .short, time



310 In a Terrible Rage.

he rejoined Howard, who was waiting in the hall to
conduct him to the sitting room, where Viola awaited
him.

The young girl rose as she heard his step on the
stairs, and was halfway across the room to meet him
when he entered.

''My dear love!" he murmured, in an ecstasy of joy,
and folded her in his arms.

Mrs, Beekman stole out of the room and closed the
door, so that the long-parted lovers might have all
the bliss of being alone in the first moments of their
transports.

"Never to part again, dear," was one of the things
Walter whispered in her ear.

"But your father, Walter?" she queried, fixing her
brown eyes on his face.

"My father shall have nothing to say about it, Viola,
my love. Never again shall any one decide the ques-
tion of our love for us. We love and must wed."

She could not combat him when he spoke in that de-
cided way. It was so sweet to have one so strong and
masterful to cling to.

"Will you leave everything to me, dear?" he asked.

"Yes, everything," she murmured.

'Then we will be married this afternoon," he said.



CHAPTER XLI.

THE SILVER LINING.

When the subject of the marriage was broached i6
Mrs. Beekman by Walter, she listened to his argu-
ments, and then agreed that it would be justifiable
under the circumstances.

"Viola's mother cannot be present, for which I am
sorry/" she said, **but I will be the best substitute I -can.
I think that, after all Viola has undergone, it is in
every way best that she should become your wife at
once."

So everything was arranged for the afternoon, and
they were all pleased when Mr. Phil Dexter, tire de-
tective, put in an appearance.

He added his commendation to the others when he
learned what was going to be done. He explained to
Mrs. Beekman that there would be no notoriety at-
tached to any of them in connection with the death of
Peter Harriem.

*'I took it all on myself," he said, "and the coroner
will see that there is no fuss made."

It was a very happy wedding if not a large or
fashionable one, and there was a merry wedding SUJH
per after it.



-The Silver Linin.



.



r supper the newly wedded pair was t6 start on
a -short bridal trip; after which Walter proposed to
;return to the city.

Phil Dexter listened to his plans with a quiet smile
on his sphinx-like face, and when there was an oppor-
tunity, drew Walter aside and said to him:

"I suppose you have plenty of money ?"
, ..Walter thought at once of his promise to pay the
detective his own price/and answered quickly :

"I have a few thousand dollars. I will pay you
whenever you let me ; know how much I owe you//

"Oh," said Phil, u that can wait well enough. What
I was wondering was if you had enough to be inde-
pendent of your father."

"I intend to find something to do. I suppose he will
tiot like this act of mine, and T don't intend to ask any
favors of him; he has not -acted rightly toward tiiy
wife."- :

"Non-sense!" said the detective. "He is your father
and is very fond of you. Will you give me permission
to handle the affair in my own way?"

"I won't have anything done that savors of humbling
myself or wife for his favor," Walter answered
proudly.

"All right," laughed the detective; "I guess there
won't be any proposition of that-sort."

Walter had not much hope that the detective would



The Silver Lining. - jf 3

the. handling of 'hk^at-her an- easy; task/ but his
% heartyy'as. light, and he dfcove from the House'' when
the time came, with a smile on his face and the little
K hand he loved held tight in his, '

Phil Dexter watched the carriage until it washout
of sight; then turned to Mrs. Beelcman, with a shake
of his head.

"Love is a beautiful thing, Mrs, Beekmati, but it will
be none the less attractive for a little gold to gild it



-Do you, really hope, to w-in the father's entire for-
giveness ?": she asked

:.".! have not the slightest doubt of -it/' he replied,
with a grim smile. ;

. /Twishy.you luck- for their sakes>" : she said.

"Thank you; and, now; with your permission, I will
catch my train and returnto the 'city."-

Silas Hardman knew nothing of the wedding of his

son to the salesgirl, against whom he had permitted

:: his confidential man to plot, but he -was in a very bad

humor because that confidential man was not there that

morning.

It had been clearly understood between them rfiat
Peter was to have his own time in working out his
scheme, but he had. never taken so much time away
before, and it vexed Mr. Hardman.

For one thing, it. -gave him a great deal of extra



3 14 Tl~-t Silv-er L

work to do, and perhaps made him realize either

he was growing too old for so much work, or that

Peter had always greatly relieved him.

The truth was tnat Peter had made it his business to
shoulder as much as possible of the work that Mr.
Hardnian would naturally do.

This was the way he had taken to make hi]
accessary.

"Ccn found the fellow !" grumbled Mr. Hardmaii.
*T wish I had never entered into the agreement with
him. "Well, what do you want?"

One of the subordinate clerks had thrust his head
doubtfully throxtgh the half-opened doorway.

"A gentleman to see you, sir."

"Has Mr. Harriem come yet?" snarled Mr. Hard-
man.

"No, sir."

"Who is the gentleman? What does he warn: '

"I don't know, sir."

'"Show him in, idiot!"

Tt was a very ungracious way of treating the c
but the clerks of Hardnian & Son were accustome
being treated so.

"Well, sir?" inquired Mr. Hardman, as a quiet
stranger was ushered in.

"I came to see you, sir," said the stranger, "about &
matter in which your son is concerned/ 5



The Silver Lining.

"Your name, please?" said Mr. Hardman.

"Philip Dexter. I am a detective, and was employed
to arrest a young lady who was accused of theft,

and "

'Ah ! and let her escape/' said Mr. Hardman icily.

"Yes; I told her I knew she was innocent and that
she had better run away until I should have time to
investigate the matter and clear her/'

"Indeed, sir! and have you done so?" demanded Mr.
Hardman.

"Yes," replied Phil Dexter dryly, "I have clone so.
The young lady did not steal the ring. It was placed
in her pocket as the result of a conspiracy between Miss
Eunice Carroll, Mr. Peter Harriem, and one other gen-
tleman, who was foolish enough to write and sign a
paper which clearly mixes him up in the matter."

Mr. Hardman rose to his feet, his face white and
set.

"How dare you, sir!" he began.

Phil Dexter held up his hand deprecatingly, and
drew a piece of paper from his pocket.

"I have the paper right here."

Mr. Hardman sunk back in his chair. For the first
time he realized what he had risked.

"I had no part in "

"My dear sir," interrupted the detective, "I know



3*6 The "Silve^ Linihg.

all about it. At any rate, I know 'that' you had no part
in the attempt on the life of your sori'.' j

"Life of rny son !" .gasped the old man, all the blood
leaving his face.

^Yes," said the detective; "Peter Harriem loved the
girl who had become your son's betrothed wife, and,
finding no other way good enough, tried to murder
Walter Hardman."

"Impossible! You are mad' My son is in Europe/'

"On the contrary, he is in- this country. He learned
of the persecution to which Viola Redmond was being
subjected, and he came over here at once."

*'And .now where is . h^? ?>

"On his way west, I believe. But Peter Harriem is
dead. He died of heart disease."

"Dead !"

"Yes ; he died after being foiled in a foul plot to ab-
duct, -the young lady, who is now your son's wife/' ..

"His- wife! he has married her?''

"Yes, he has married her ; and if you were to seek the
world over you tould not find a better or more beauti-
ful girl/'

"You see$i to be interested," said Mr? Hamlman, .

"Yes," replied the 'detective, "I am interested. Your
son. said he would not ask you for any assistance, and
I thought -that -was fight. At the-sarhe timi -I r halve



The Silver Lining, ,317

come to say to yoti that I thuik; you ought to treat
you r son as such a son should be treated. "

"Thank you," said the old man ironically. "I
think I know ftow and what to do. I wish you a
good day."

''Certainly. And this little piece of paper? Shall
I put it wjUh another piece I have in Miss Carroll's
writing and give them to a lawyer ?"
"Do you threaten me by my son's wish?" exclaimed
Silas Hardman.

"Your son, as yet, knows nothing of this piece of
>paper," said the detective.

"Give me the paper/' said the old man eagerly.
"Give it to me, and I. promise you my son shall have
atl : his heart could wish."

Without hesitation the deteetive handed the paper
to the : old man and , bowed himself out.

When Walter and his bride returned > to the city
there was a beautifully furnished house waiting for
them. And the time came when Sifas Hardman won-
dered at two things: How he had ever conducted his
business without Walter, and how he could ever have
wished for any other daughter-in-law.

TIJE END.

No. 1138, of the NEW EAGLE SERIES, entitled "My
Own Sweetheart," by Wenona Gilman, is an in-
tensely interesting romance, in which love and money
run a race, and the reader will be kept guessing
for .a long time as to which .will win.



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Online LibraryGeraldine FlemingHer priceless love; or, Bonny Belle → online text (page 15 of 15)