Tutt and Mr. Tutt
by Arthur Train
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"Ouch! O—o—oh!" he yelled in agony. "Oh!"

"Come here, Andrew!" said Mr. Appleboy mildly. "Good doggy! Come here!"

But Andrew paid no attention. He had firmly affixed himself to the base of Mr. Tunnygate's personality without any intention of being immediately detached. And he had selected that place, taken aim, and discharged himself with an air of confidence and skill begotten of lifelong experience.

"Oh! O—o—oh!" screamed Tunnygate, turning wildly and clawing through the hedge, dragging Andrew after him. "Oh! O—oh!"

Mrs. Tunnygate rushed to the door in time to see her spouse lumbering up the beach with a white object gyrating in the air behind him.

"What's the matter?" she called out languidly. Then perceiving the matter she hastily followed. The Appleboys were standing on their lawn viewing the whole proceeding with ostentatious indifference.

Up the beach fled Tunnygate, his cries becoming fainter and fainter. The two clam diggers watched him curiously, but made no attempt to go to his assistance. The man in the field leaned luxuriously upon his hoe and surrendered himself to unalloyed delight. Tunnygate was now but a white flicker against the distant sand. His wails had a dying fall: "O—o—oh!"

"Well, we warned him!" remarked Mr. Appleboy to Bashemath with a smile in which, however, lurked a slight trace of apprehension.

"We certainly did!" she replied. Then after a moment she added a trifle anxiously: "I wonder what will happen to Andrew!"

Tunnygate did not return. Neither did Andrew. Secluded in their kitchen living-room the Appleboys heard a motor arrive and through a crack in the door saw it carry Mrs. Tunnygate away bedecked as for some momentous ceremonial. At four o'clock, while Appleboy was digging bait, he observed another motor making its wriggly way along the dunes. It was fitted longitudinally with seats, had a wire grating and was marked "N.Y.P.D." Two policemen in uniform sat in front. Instinctively Appleboy realized that the gods had called him. His heart sank among the clams. Slowly he made his way back to the lawn where the wagon had stopped outside the hedge.

"Hey there!" called out the driver. "Is your name Appleboy?"

Appleboy nodded.

"Put your coat on, then, and come along," directed the other. "I've got a warrant for you."

"Warrant?" stammered Appleboy dizzily.

"What's that?" cried Bashemath, appearing at the door. "Warrant for what?"

The officer slowly descended and handed Appleboy a paper.

"For assault," he replied. "I guess you know what for, all right!"

"We haven't assaulted anybody," protested Mrs. Appleboy heatedly. "Andrew—"

"You can explain all that to the judge," retorted the cop. "Meantime put on your duds and climb in. If you don't expect to spend the night at the station you'd better bring along the deed of your house so you can give bail."

"But who's the warrant for?" persisted Mrs. Appleboy.

"For Enoch Appleboy," retorted the cop wearily. "Can't you read?"

"But Enoch didn't do a thing!" she declared. "It was Andrew!"

"Who's Andrew?" inquired the officer of the law mistrustfully.

"Andrew's a dog," she explained.

* * * * *

"Mr. Tutt," announced Tutt, leaning against his senior partner's door jamb with a formal-looking paper in his hand, "I have landed a case that will delight your legal soul."

"Indeed?" queried the elder lawyer. "I have never differentiated between my legal soul and any other I may possess. However, I assume from your remark that we have been retained in a matter presenting some peculiarly absurd, archaic or otherwise interesting doctrine of law?"

"Not directly," responded Tutt. "Though you will doubtless find it entertaining enough, but indirectly—atmospherically so to speak—it touches upon doctrines of jurisprudence, of religion and of philosophy, replete with historic fascination."

"Good!" exclaimed Mr. Tutt, laying down his stogy. "What kind of a case is it?"

"It's a dog case!" said the junior partner, waving the paper. "The dog bit somebody."

"Ah!" exclaimed Mr. Tutt, perceptibly brightening. "Doubtless we shall find a precedent in Oliver Goldsmith's famous elegy:

"And in that town a dog was found, As many dogs there be, Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound, And curs of low degree."

"Only," explained Tutt, "in this case, though the man recovered of the bite, the dog refused to die!"

"And so they want to prosecute the dog? It can't be done. An animal hasn't been brought to the bar of justice for several centuries."

"No, no!" interrupted Tutt. "They don't—"

"There was a case," went on Mr. Tutt reminiscently "Let me see—at Sauvigny, I think it was—about 1457, when they tried a sow and three pigs for killing a child. The court assigned a lawyer to defend her, but like many assigned counsel he couldn't think of anything to say in her behalf. As regards the little pigs he did enter the plea that no animus was shown, that they had merely followed the example of their mother, and that at worst they were under age and irresponsible. However, the court found them all guilty, and the sow was publicly hanged in the market place."

"What did they do with the three little pigs?" inquired Tutt with some interest.

"They were pardoned on account of their extreme youth," said Mr. Tutt, "and turned loose again—with a warning."

"I'm glad of that!" sighed Tutt. "Is that a real case?"

"Absolutely," replied his partner. "I've read it in the Sauvigny records."

"I'll be hanged!" exclaimed Tutt. "I never knew that animals were ever held personally responsible."

"Why, of course they were!" said Mr. Tutt. "Why shouldn't they be? If animals have souls why shouldn't they be responsible for their acts?"

"But they haven't any souls!" protested Tutt.

"Haven't they now?" remarked the elder lawyer. "I've seen many an old horse that had a great deal more conscience than his master. And on general principles wouldn't it be far more just and humane to have the law deal with a vicious animal that had injured somebody than to leave its punishment to an irresponsible and arbitrary owner who might be guilty of extreme brutality?"

"If the punishment would do any good—yes!" agreed Tutt.

"Well, who knows?" meditated Mr. Tutt. "I wonder if it ever does any good? But anybody would have to agree that responsibility for one's acts should depend upon the degree of one's intelligence—and from that point of view many of our friends are really much less responsible than sheep."

"Which, as you so sagely point out, would, however be a poor reason for letting their families punish them in case they did wrong. Just think how such a privilege might be abused! If Uncle John didn't behave himself as his nephews thought proper they could simply set upon him and briskly beat him up."

"Yes, of course, the law even to-day recognizes the right to exercise physical discipline within the family. Even homicide is excusable, under Section 1054 of our code, when committed in lawfully correcting a child or servant."

"That's a fine relic of barbarism!" remarked Tutt. "But the child soon passes through that dangerous zone and becomes entitled to be tried for his offenses by a jury of his peers; the animal never does."

"Well, an animal couldn't be tried by a jury of his peers, anyhow," said Mr. Tutt.

"I've seen juries that were more like nanny goats than men!" commentated Tutt. "I'd like to see some of our clients tried by juries of geese or woodchucks."

"The field of criminal responsibility is the No Man's Land of the law," mused Mr. Tutt. "Roughly, mental capacity to understand the nature of one's acts is the test, but it is applied arbitrarily in the case of human beings and a mere point of time is taken beyond which, irrespective of his actual intelligence, a man is held accountable for whatever he does. Of course that is theoretically unsound. The more intelligent a person is the more responsible he should be held to be and the higher the quality of conduct demanded of him by his fellows. Yet after twenty-one all are held equally responsible—unless they're actually insane. It isn't equity! In theory no man or animal should be subject to the power of discretionary punishment on the part of another—even his own father or master. I've often wondered what earthly right we have to make the animals work for us—to bind them to slavery when we denounce slavery as a crime. It would horrify us to see a human being put up and sold at auction. Yet we tear the families of animals apart, subject them to lives of toil, and kill them whenever we see fit. We say we do this because their intelligence is limited and they cannot exercise any discrimination in their conduct, that they are always in the zone of irresponsibility and so have no rights. But I've seen animals that were shrewder than men, and men who were vastly less intelligent than animals."

"Right-o!" assented Tutt. "Take Scraggs, for instance. He's no more responsible than a chipmunk."

"Nevertheless, the law has always been consistent," said Mr. Tutt, "and has never discriminated between animals any more than it has between men on the ground of varying degrees of intelligence. They used to try 'em all, big and little, wild and domesticated, mammals and invertebrates."

"Oh, come!" exclaimed Tutt. "I may not know much law, but—"

"Between 1120 and 1740 they prosecuted in France alone no less than ninety-two animals. The last one was a cow."

"A cow hasn't much intelligence," observed Tutt.

"And they tried fleas," added Mr. Tutt.

"They have a lot!" commented his junior partner. "I knew a flea once, who—"

"They had a regular form of procedure," continued Mr. Tutt, brushing the flea aside, "which was adhered to with the utmost technical accuracy. You could try an individual animal, either in person or by proxy, or you could try a whole family, swarm or herd. If a town was infested by rats, for example, they first assigned counsel—an advocate, he was called—and then the defendants were summoned three times publicly to appear. If they didn't show up on the third and last call they were tried in absentia, and if convicted were ordered out of the country before a certain date under penalty of being exorcised."

"What happened if they were exorcised?" asked Tutt curiously.

"It depended a good deal on the local power of Satan," answered the old lawyer dryly. "Sometimes they became even more prolific and destructive than they were before, and sometimes they promptly died. All the leeches were prosecuted at Lausanne in 1451. A few selected representatives were brought into court, tried, convicted and ordered to depart within a fixed period. Maybe they didn't fully grasp their obligations or perhaps were just acting contemptuously, but they didn't depart and so were promptly exorcised. Immediately they began to die off and before long there were none left in the country."

"I know some rats and mice I'd like to have exorcised," mused Tutt.

"At Autun in the fifteenth century the rats won their case," said Mr. Tutt.

"Who got 'em off?" asked Tutt.

"M. Chassensee, the advocate appointed to defend them. They had been a great nuisance and were ordered to appear in court. But none of them turned up. M. Chassensee therefore argued that a default should not be taken because all the rats had been summoned, and some were either so young or so old and decrepit that they needed more time. The court thereupon granted him an extension. However, they didn't arrive on the day set, and this time their lawyer claimed that they were under duress and restrained by bodily fear—of the townspeople's cats. That all these cats, therefore should first be bound over to keep the peace! The court admitted the reasonableness of this, but the townsfolk refused to be responsible for their cats and the judge dismissed the case!"

"What did Chassensee get out of it?" inquired Tutt.

"There is no record of who paid him or what was his fee."

"He was a pretty slick lawyer," observed Tutt. "Did they ever try birds?"

"Oh, yes!" answered Mr. Tutt. "They tried a cock at Basel in 1474—for the crime of laying an egg."

"Why was that a crime?" asked Tutt. "I should call it a tour de force."

"Be that as it may," said his partner, "from a cock's egg is hatched the cockatrice, or basilisk, the glance of whose eye turns the beholder to stone. Therefore they tried the cock, found him guilty and burned him and his egg together at the stake. That is why cocks don't lay eggs now."

"I'm glad to know that," said Tutt. "When did they give up trying animals?"

"Nearly two hundred years ago," answered Mr. Tutt. "But for some time after that they continued to try inanimate objects for causing injury to people. I've heard they tried one of the first locomotives that ran over a man and declared it forfeit to the crown as a deodand."

"I wonder if you couldn't get 'em to try Andrew," hazarded Tutt, "and maybe declare him forfeited to somebody as a deodand."

"Deodand means 'given to God,'" explained Mr. Tutt.

"Well, I'd give Andrew to God—if God would take him," declared Tutt devoutly.

"But who is Andrew?" asked Mr. Tutt.

"Andrew is a dog," said Tutt, "who bit one Tunnygate, and now the Grand Jury have indicted not the dog, as it is clear from your historical disquisition they should have done, but the dog's owner, Mr. Enoch Appleboy."

"What for?"

"Assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon."

"What was the weapon?" inquired Mr. Tutt simply.

"The dog."

"What are you talking about?" cried Mr. Tutt. "What nonsense!"

"Yes, it is nonsense!" agreed Tutt. "But they've done it all the same. Read it for yourself!" And he handed Mr. Tutt the indictment.

* * * * *

"The Grand Jury of the County of New York by this indictment accuse Enoch Appleboy of the crime of assault in the second degree, committed as follows:

"Said Enoch Appleboy, late of the Borough of Bronx, City and County aforesaid, on the 21st day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifteen, at the Borough and County aforesaid, with force and arms in and upon one Herman Tunnygate, in the peace of the State and People then and there being, feloniously did willfully and wrongfully make an assault in and upon the legs and body of him the said Herman Tunnygate, by means of a certain dangerous weapon, to wit: one dog, of the form, style and breed known as 'bull,' being of the name of 'Andrew,' then and there being within control of the said Enoch Appleboy, which said dog, being of the name of 'Andrew,' the said Enoch Appleboy did then and there feloniously, willfully and wrongfully incite, provoke, and encourage, then and there being, to bite him, the said Herman Tunnygate, by means whereof said dog 'Andrew' did then and there grievously bite the said Herman Tunnygate in and upon the legs and body of him, the said Herman Tunnygate, and the said Enoch Appleboy thus then and there feloniously did willfully and wrongfully cut, tear, lacerate and bruise, and did then and there by the means of the dog 'Andrew' aforesaid feloniously, willfully and wrongfully inflict grievous bodily harm upon the said Herman Tunnygate, against the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace of the People of the State of New York and their dignity."

"That," asserted Mr. Tutt, wiping his spectacles, "is a document worthy of preservation in the Congressional Library. Who drew it?"

"Don't know," answered Tutt, "but whoever he was he was a humorist!"

"It's no good. There isn't any allegation of scienter in it," affirmed Mr. Tutt.

"What of it? It says he assaulted Tunnygate with a dangerous weapon. You don't have to set forth that he knew it was a dangerous weapon if you assert that he did it willfully. You don't have to allege in an indictment charging an assault with a pistol that the defendant knew it was loaded."

"But a dog is different!" reasoned Mr. Tutt. "A dog is not per se a dangerous weapon. Saying so doesn't make it so, and that part of the indictment is bad on its face—unless, to be sure, it means that he hit him with a dead dog, which it is clear from the context that he didn't. The other part—that he set the dog on him—lacks the allegation that the dog was vicious and that Appleboy knew it; in other words an allegation of scienter. It ought to read that said Enoch Appleboy 'well knowing that said dog Andrew was a dangerous and ferocious animal and would, if incited, provoked and encouraged, bite the legs and body of him the said Herman—did then and there feloniously, willfully and wrongfully incite, provoke and encourage the said Andrew, and so forth.'"

"I get you!" exclaimed Tutt enthusiastically. "Of course an allegation of scienter is necessary! In other words you could demur to the indictment for insufficiency?"

Mr. Tutt nodded.

"But in that case they'd merely go before the Grand Jury and find another—a good one. It's much better to try and knock the case out on the trial once and for all."

"Well, the Appleboys are waiting to see you," said Tutt. "They are in my office. Bonnie Doon got the case for us off his local district leader, who's a member of the same lodge of the Abyssinian Mysteries—Bonnie's been Supreme Exalted Ruler of the Purple Mountain for over a year—and he's pulled in quite a lot of good stuff, not all dog cases either! Appleboy's an Abyssinian too."

"I'll see them," consented Mr. Tutt, "but I'm going to have you try the case. I shall insist upon acting solely in an advisory capacity. Dog trials aren't in my line. There are some things which are infra dig—even for Ephraim Tutt."

* * * * *

Mr. Appleboy sat stolidly at the bar of justice, pale but resolute. Beside him sat Mrs. Appleboy, also pale but even more resolute. A jury had been selected without much manifest attention by Tutt, who had nevertheless managed to slip in an Abyssinian brother on the back row, and an ex-dog fancier for Number Six. Also among those present were a delicatessen man from East Houston Street, a dealer in rubber novelties, a plumber and the editor of Baby's World. The foreman was almost as fat as Mr. Appleboy, but Tutt regarded this as an even break on account of the size of Tunnygate. As Tutt confidently whispered to Mrs. Appleboy, it was as rotten a jury as he could get.

Mrs. Appleboy didn't understand why Tutt should want a rotten jury, but she nevertheless imbibed some vicarious confidence from this statement and squeezed Appleboy's hand encouragingly. For Appleboy, in spite of his apparent calm, was a very much frightened man, and under the creases of his floppy waistcoat his heart was beating like a tom-tom. The penalty for assault in the second degree was ten years in state's prison, and life with Bashemath, even in the vicinity of the Tunnygates, seemed sweet. The thought of breaking stones under the summer sun—it was a peculiarly hot summer—was awful. Ten years! He could never live through it! And yet as his glance fell upon the Tunnygates, arrayed in their best finery and sitting with an air of importance upon the front bench of the court room, he told himself that he would do the whole thing all over again—yes, he would! He had only stood up for his rights, and Tunnygate's blood was upon his own head—or wherever it was. So he squeezed Bashemath's hand tenderly in response.

Upon the bench Judge Witherspoon, assigned from somewhere upstate to help keep down the ever-lengthening criminal calendar of the Metropolitan District, finished the letter he was writing to his wife in Genesee County, sealed it and settled back in his chair. An old war horse of the country bar, he had in his time been mixed up in almost every kind of litigation, but as he looked over the indictment he with difficulty repressed a smile. Thirty years ago he'd had a dog case himself; also of the form, style and breed known as bull.

"You may proceed, Mister District Attorney!" he announced, and little Pepperill, the youngest of the D.A.'s staff, just out of the law school, begoggled and with his hair plastered evenly down on either side of his small round head, rose with serious mien, and with a high piping voice opened the prosecution.

It was, he told them, a most unusual and hence most important case. The defendant Appleboy had maliciously procured a savage dog of the most vicious sort and loosed it upon the innocent complainant as he was on his way to work, with the result that the latter had nearly been torn to shreds. It was a horrible, dastardly, incredible, fiendish crime, he would expect them to do their full duty in the premises, and they should hear Mr. Tunnygate's story from his own lips.

Mr. Tunnygate limped with difficulty to the stand, and having been sworn gingerly sat down—partially. Then turning his broadside to the gaping jury he recounted his woes with indignant gasps.

"Have you the trousers which you wore upon that occasion?" inquired Pepperill.

Mr. Tunnygate bowed solemnly and lifted from the floor a paper parcel which he untied and from which he drew what remained of that now historic garment.

"These are they," he announced dramatically.

"I offer them in evidence," exclaimed Pepperill, "and I ask the jury to examine them with great care."

They did so.

Tutt waited until the trousers had been passed from hand to hand and returned to their owner; then, rotund, chipper and birdlike as ever, began his cross-examination much like a woodpecker attacking a stout stump. The witness had been an old friend of Mr. Appleboy's, had he not? Tunnygate admitted it, and Tutt pecked him again. Never had done him any wrong, had he? Nothing in particular. Well, any wrong? Tunnygate hesitated. Why, yes, Appleboy had tried to fence in the public beach that belonged to everybody. Well, did that do the witness any harm? The witness declared that it did; compelled him to go round when he had a right to go across. Oh! Tutt put his head on one side and glanced at the jury. How many feet? About twenty feet. Then Tutt pecked a little harder.

"Didn't you tear a hole in the hedge and stamp down the grass when by taking a few extra steps you could have reached the beach without difficulty?"

"I—I simply tried to remove an illegal obstruction," declared Tunnygate indignantly.

"Didn't Mr. Appleboy ask you to keep off?"


"Didn't you obstinately refuse to do so?"

Mr. Pepperill objected to "obstinately" and it was stricken out.

"I wasn't going to stay off where I had a right to go," asserted the witness.

"And didn't you have warning that the dog was there?"

"Look here!" suddenly burst out Tunnygate. "You can't hector me into anything. Appleboy never had a dog before. He got a dog just to sic him on me! He put up a sign 'Beware of the dog,' but he knew that I'd think it was just a bluff. It was a plant, that's what it was! And just as soon as I got inside the hedge that dog went for me and nearly tore me to bits. It was a rotten thing to do and you know it!"

He subsided, panting.

Tutt bowed complacently.

"I move that the witness' remarks be stricken out on the grounds first, that they are unresponsive; second, that they are irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial; third, that they contain expressions of opinion and hearsay; and fourth, that they are abusive and generally improper."

"Strike them out!" directed Judge Witherspoon. Then he turned to Tunnygate. "The essence of your testimony is that the defendant set a dog on you, is it not? You had quarreled with the defendant, with whom you had formerly been on friendly terms. You entered on premises claimed to be owned by him, though a sign warned you to beware of a dog. The dog attacked and bit you? That's the case, isn't it?"

"Yes, Your Honor."

"Had you ever seen that dog before?"

"No, sir."

"Do you know where he got it?"

"My wife told me—"

"Never mind what your wife told you. Do you—"

"He don't know where the dog came from, judge!" suddenly called out Mrs. Tunnygate in strident tones from where she was sitting. "But I know!" she added venomously. "That woman of his got it from—"

Judge Witherspoon fixed her coldly with an impassive and judicial eye.

"Will you kindly be silent, madam? You will no doubt be given an opportunity to testify as fully as you wish. That is all, sir, unless Mr. Tutt has some more questions."

Tutt waved the witness from the stand contemptuously.

"Well, I'd like a chance to testify!" shrilled Mrs. Tunnygate, rising in full panoply.

"This way, madam," said the clerk, motioning her round the back of the jury box. And she swept ponderously into the offing like a full-rigged bark and came to anchor in the witness chair, her chin rising and falling upon her heaving bosom like the figurehead of a vessel upon a heavy harbor swell.

Now it has never been satisfactorily explained just why the character of an individual should be in any way deducible from such irrelevant attributes as facial anatomy, bodily structure or the shape of the cranium. Perhaps it is not, and in reality we discern disposition from something far more subtle—the tone of the voice, the expression of the eyes, the lines of the face or even from an aura unperceived by the senses. However that may be, the wisdom of the Constitutional safeguard guaranteeing that every person charged with crime shall be confronted by the witnesses against him was instantly made apparent when Mrs. Tunnygate took the stand, for without hearing a word from her firmly compressed lips the jury simultaneously swept her with one comprehensive glance and turned away. Students of women, experienced adventurers in matrimony, these plumbers, bird merchants "delicatessens" and the rest looked, perceived and comprehended that here was the very devil of a woman—a virago, a shrew, a termagant, a natural-born trouble-maker; and they shivered and thanked God that she was Tunnygate's and not theirs; their unformulated sentiment best expressed in Pope's immortal couplet:

Oh woman, woman! when to ill thy mind Is bent, all hell contains no fouler fiend.

She had said no word. Between the judge and jury nothing had passed, and yet through the alpha rays of that mysterious medium of communication by which all men as men are united where woman is concerned, the thought was directly transmitted and unanimously acknowledged that here for sure was a hell cat!

It was as naught to them that she testified to the outrageous illegality of the Appleboys' territorial ambitions, the irascibility of the wife, the violent threats of the husband; or that Mrs. Appleboy had been observed to mail a suspicious letter shortly before the date of the canine assault. They disregarded her. Yet when Tutt upon cross-examination sought to attack her credibility by asking her various pertinent questions they unhesitatingly accepted his implied accusations as true, though under the rules of evidence he was bound by her denials.

Peck 1: "Did you not knock Mrs. Appleboy's flower pots off the piazza?" he demanded significantly.

"Never! I never did!" she declared passionately

But they knew in their hearts that she had.

Peck 2: "Didn't you steal her milk bottles?"

"What a lie! It's absolutely false!"

Yet they knew that she did.

Peck 3: "Didn't you tangle up their fish lines and take their thole-pins?"

"Well, I never! You ought to be ashamed to ask a lady such questions!"

They found her guilty.

"I move to dismiss, Your Honor," chirped Tutt blithely at the conclusion of her testimony.

Judge Witherspoon shook his head.

"I want to hear the other side," he remarked. "The mere fact that the defendant put up a sign warning the public against the dog may be taken as some evidence that he had knowledge of the animal's vicious propensities. I shall let the case go to the jury unless this evidence is contradicted or explained. Reserve your motion."

"Very well, Your Honor," agreed Tutt, patting himself upon the abdomen. "I will follow your suggestion and call the defendant. Mr. Appleboy, take the stand."

Mr. Appleboy heavily rose and the heart of every fat man upon the jury, and particularly that of the Abyssinian brother upon the back row, went out to him. For just as they had known without being told that the new Mrs. Tunnygate was a vixen, they realized that Appleboy was a kind, good-natured man—a little soft, perhaps, like his clams, but no more dangerous. Moreover, it was plain that he had suffered and was, indeed, still suffering, and they had pity for him. Appleboy's voice shook and so did the rest of his person as he recounted his ancient friendship for Tunnygate and their piscatorial association, their common matrimonial experiences, the sudden change in the temperature of the society of Throggs Neck, the malicious destruction of their property and the unexplained aggressions of Tunnygate upon the lawn. And the jury, believing, understood.

Then like the sword of Damocles the bessemer voice of Pepperill severed the general atmosphere of amiability: "Where did you get that dog?"

Mr. Appleboy looked round helplessly, distress pictured in every feature.

"My wife's aunt lent it to us."

"How did she come to lend it to you?"

"Bashemath wrote and asked for it."

"Oh! Did you know anything about the dog before you sent for it?"

"Of your own knowledge?" interjected Tutt sharply.

"Oh, no!" returned Appleboy.

"Didn't you know it was a vicious beast?" sharply challenged Pepperill.

"Of your own knowledge?" again warned Tutt.

"I'd never seen the dog."

"Didn't your wife tell you about it?"

Tutt sprang to his feet, wildly waving his arms: "I object; on the ground that what passed between husband and wife upon this subject must be regarded as confidential."

"I will so rule," said Judge Witherspoon, smiling. "Excluded."

Pepperill shrugged his shoulders.

"I would like to ask a question," interpolated the editor of Baby's World.

"Do!" exclaimed Tutt eagerly.

The editor, who was a fat editor, rose in an embarrassed manner.

"Mr. Appleboy!" he began.

"Yes, sir!" responded Appleboy.

"I want to get this straight. You and your wife had a row with the Tunnygates. He tried to tear up your front lawn. You warned him off. He kept on doing it. You got a dog and put up a sign and when he disregarded it you sicked the dog on him. Is that right?"

He was manifestly friendly, merely a bit cloudy in the cerebellum. The Abyssinian brother pulled him sharply by the coat tails.

"Sit down," he whispered hoarsely. "You're gumming it all up."

"I didn't sic Andrew on him!" protested Appleboy.

"But I say, why shouldn't he have?" demanded the baby's editor. "That's what anybody would do!"

Pepperill sprang frantically to his feet.

"Oh, I object! This juryman is showing bias. This is entirely improper."

"I am, am I?" sputtered the fat editor angrily. "I'll show you—"

"You want to be fair, don't you?" whined Pepperill. "I've proved that the Appleboys had no right to hedge in the beach!"

"Oh, pooh!" sneered the Abyssinian, now also getting to his feet. "Supposing they hadn't? Who cares a damn? This man Tunnygate deserved all he's got!"

"Gentlemen! Gentlemen!" expostulated the judge firmly. "Take your seats or I shall declare a mistrial. Go on, Mr. Tutt. Call your next witness."

"Mrs. Appleboy," called out Tutt, "will you kindly take the chair?" And that good lady, looking as if all her adipose existence had been devoted to the production of the sort of pies that mother used to make, placidly made her way to the witness stand.

"Did you know that Andrew was a vicious dog?" inquired Tutt.

"No!" answered Mrs. Appleboy firmly. "I didn't."

O woman!

"That is all," declared Tutt with a triumphant smile.

"Then," snapped Pepperill, "why did you send for him?"

"I was lonely," answered Bashemath unblushingly.

"Do you mean to tell this jury that you didn't know that that dog was one of the worst biters in Livornia?"

"I do!" she replied. "I only knew Aunt Eliza had a dog. I didn't know anything about the dog personally."

"What did you say to your aunt in your letter?"

"I said I was lonely and wanted protection."

"Didn't you hope the dog would bite Mr. Tunnygate?"

"Why, no!" she declared. "I didn't want him to bite anybody."

At that the delicatessen man poked the plumber in the ribs and they both grinned happily at one another.

Pepperill gave her a last disgusted look and sank back in his seat.

"That is all!" he ejaculated feebly.

"One question, if you please, madam," said Judge Witherspoon. "May I be permitted to"—he coughed as a suppressed snicker ran round the court—"that is—may I not—er—Oh, look here! How did you happen to have the idea of getting a dog?"

Mrs. Appleboy turned the full moon of her homely countenance upon the court.

"The potato peel came down that way!" she explained blandly.

"What!" exploded the dealer in rubber novelties.

"The potato peel—it spelled 'dog,'" she repeated artlessly.

"Lord!" deeply suspirated Pepperill. "What a case! Carry me out!"

"Well, Mr. Tutt," said the judge, "now I will hear what you may wish to say upon the question of whether this issue should be submitted to the jury. However, I shall rule that the indictment is sufficient."

Tutt elegantly rose.

"Having due respect to Your Honor's ruling as to the sufficiency of the indictment I shall address myself simply to the question of scienter. I might, of course, dwell upon the impropriety of charging the defendant with criminal responsibility for the act of another free agent even if that agent be an animal—but I will leave that, if necessary, for the Court of Appeals. If anybody were to be indicted in this case I hold it should have been the dog Andrew. Nay, I do not jest! But I can see by Your Honor's expression that any argument upon that score would be without avail."

"Entirely," remarked Witherspoon. "Kindly go on!"

"Well," continued Tutt, "the law of this matter needs no elucidation. It has been settled since the time of Moses."

"Of whom?" inquired Witherspoon. "You don't need to go back farther than Chief Justice Marshall so far as I am concerned."

Tutt bowed.

"It is an established doctrine of the common law both of England and America that it is wholly proper for one to keep a domestic animal for his use, pleasure or protection, until, as Dykeman, J., says in Muller vs. McKesson, 10 Hun., 45, 'some vicious propensity is developed and brought out to the knowledge of the owner.' Up to that time the man who keeps a dog or other animal cannot be charged with liability for his acts. This has always been the law.

"In the twenty-first chapter of Exodus at the twenty-eighth verse it is written: 'If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die; then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.'

"In the old English case of Smith vs. Pehal, 2 Strange, 1264, it was said by the court: 'If a dog has once bit a man, and the owner having notice thereof keeps the dog, and lets him go about or lie at his door, an action will lie against him at the suit of a person who is bit, though it happened by such person's treading on the dog's toes; for it was owing to his not hanging the dog on the first notice. And the safety of the king's subjects ought not afterwards to be endangered.' That is sound law; but it is equally good law that 'if a person with full knowledge of the evil propensities of an animal wantonly excites him or voluntarily and unnecessarily puts himself in the way of such an animal he would be adjudged to have brought the injury upon himself, and ought not to be entitled to recover. In such a case it cannot be said in a legal sense that the keeping of the animal, which is the gravamen of the offense, produced the injury.'

"Now in the case at bar, first there is clearly no evidence that this defendant knew or ever suspected that the dog Andrew was otherwise than of a mild and gentle disposition. That is, there is no evidence whatever of scienter. In fact, except in this single instance there is no evidence that Andrew ever bit anybody. Thus, in the word of Holy Writ the defendant Appleboy should be quit, and in the language of our own courts he must be held harmless. Secondly, moreover, it appears that the complainant deliberately put himself in the way of the dog Andrew, after full warning. I move that the jury be directed to return a verdict of not guilty."

"Motion granted," nodded Judge Witherspoon, burying his nose in his handkerchief. "I hold that every dog is entitled to one bite."

"Gentlemen of the jury," chanted the clerk: "How say you? Do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty?"

"Not guilty," returned the foreman eagerly, amid audible evidences of satisfaction from the Abyssinian brother, the Baby's World editor and the others. Mr. Appleboy clung to Tutt's hand, overcome by emotion.

"Adjourn court!" ordered the judge. Then he beckoned to Mr. Appleboy. "Come up here!" he directed.

Timidly Mr. Appleboy approached the dais.

"Don't do it again!" remarked His Honor shortly.

"Eh? Beg pardon, Your Honor, I mean—"

"I said: 'Don't do it again!'" repeated the judge with a twinkle in his eye. Then lowering his voice he whispered: "You see I come from Livornia, and I've known Andrew for a long time."

As Tutt guided the Appleboys out into the corridor the party came face to face with Mr. and Mrs. Tunnygate.

"Huh!" sneered Tunnygate.

"Huh!" retorted Appleboy.

Wile Versus Guile

For 'tis the sport to have the engineer Hoist with his own petar.—HAMLET.

It was a mouse by virtue of which Ephraim Tutt had leaped into fame. It is true that other characters famous in song and story—particularly in "Mother Goose"—have similarly owed their celebrity in whole or part to rodents, but there is, it is submitted, no other case of a mouse, as mouse per se, reported in the annals of the law, except Tutt's mouse, from Doomsday Book down to the present time.

Yet it is doubtful whether without his mouse Ephraim Tutt would ever have been heard of at all, and same would equally have been true if when pursued by the chef's gray cat the mouse aforesaid had jumped in another direction. But as luck would have it, said mouse leaped foolishly into an open casserole upon a stove in the kitchen of the Comers Hotel, and Mr. Tutt became in his way a leader of the bar.

It is quite true that the tragic end of the mouse in question has nothing to do with our present narrative except as a side light upon the vagaries of the legal career, but it illustrates how an attorney if he expects to succeed in his profession, must be ready for anything that comes along—even if it be a mouse.

The two Tutts composing the firm of Tutt & Tutt were both, at the time of the mouse case, comparatively young men. Tutt was a native of Bangor, Maine, and numbered among his childhood friends one Newbegin, a commercial wayfarer in the shingle and clapboard line; and as he hoped at some future time to draw Newbegin's will or to incorporate for him some business venture Tutt made a practise of entertaining his prospective client at dinner upon his various visits to the metropolis, first at one New York hostelry and then at another.

Chance led them one night to the Comers, and there amid the imitation palms and imitation French waiters of the imitation French restaurant Tutt invited his friend Newbegin to select what dish he chose from those upon the bill of fare; and Newbegin chose kidney stew. It was at about that moment that the adventure which has been referred to occurred in the hotel kitchen. The gray cat was cheated of its prey, and in due course the casserole containing the stew was borne into the dining room and the dish was served.

Suddenly Mr. Newbegin contorted his mouth and exclaimed:

"Heck! A mouse!"

It was. The head waiter was summoned, the manager, the owner. Guests and garcons crowded about Tutt and Mr. Newbegin to inspect what had so unexpectedly been found. No one could deny that it was, mouse—cooked mouse; and Newbegin had ordered kidney stew. Then Tutt had had his inspiration.

"You shall pay well for this!" he cried, frowning at the distressed proprietor, while Newbegin leaned piteously against a papier-mache pillar. "This is an outrage! You shall be held liable in heavy damages for my client's indigestion!"

And thus Tutt & Tutt got their first case out of Newbegin, for under the influence of the eloquence of Mr. Tutt a jury was induced to give him a verdict of one thousand dollars against the Comers Hotel, which the Court of Appeals sustained in the following words, quoting verbatim from the learned brief furnished by Tutt & Tutt, Ephraim Tutt of counsel:

"The only legal question in the case, or so it appears to us, is whether there is such a sale of food to a guest on the part of the proprietor as will sustain a warranty. If we are not in error, however, the law is settled and has been since the reign of Henry the Sixth. In the Ninth Year Book of that Monarch's reign there is a case in which it was held that 'if I go to a tavern to eat, and the taverner gives and sells me meat and it corrupted, whereby I am made very sick, action lies against him without any express warranty, for there is a warranty in law'; and in the time of Henry the Seventh the learned Justice Keilway said, 'No man can justify selling corrupt victual, but an action on the case lies against the seller, whether the victual was warranted to be good or not.' Now, certainly, whether mouse meat be or be not deleterious to health a guest at a hotel who orders a portion of kidney stew has the right to expect, and the hotel keeper impliedly warrants, that such dish will contain no ingredients beyond those ordinarily placed therein."

* * * * *

"A thousand dollars!" exulted Tutt when the verdict was rendered. "Why, anyone would eat mouse for a thousand dollars!"

The Comers Hotel became in due course a client of Tutt & Tutt, and the mouse which made Mr. Tutt famous did not die in vain, for the case became celebrated throughout the length and breadth of the land, to the glory of the firm and a vast improvement in the culinary conditions existing in hotels.

"Come in, Mr. Barrows! Come right in! I haven't seen you for—well, how long is it?" exclaimed Mr. Tutt, extending a long welcoming arm toward a human scarecrow upon the threshold.

"Five years," answered the visitor. "I only got out day before yesterday. Fourteen months off for good behavior."

He coughed and put down carefully beside him a large dress-suit case marked E.V.B., Pottsville, N.Y.

"Well, well!" sighed Mr. Tutt. "So it is. How time flies!"

"Not in Sing Sing!" replied Mr. Barrows ruefully.

"I suppose not. Still, it must feel good to be out!"

Mr. Barrows made no reply but dusted off his felt hat. He was but the shadow of a man, an old man at that, as was attested by his long gray beard, his faded blue eyes, and the thin white hair about his fine domelike forehead.

"I forget what your trouble was about," said Mr. Tutt gently. "Won't you have a stogy?"

Mr. Barrows shook his head.

"I ain't used to it," he answered. "Makes me cough." He gazed about him vaguely.

"Something about bonds, wasn't it?" asked Mr. Tutt.

"Yes," replied Mr. Barrows; "Great Lakes and Canadian Southern."

"Of course! Of course!"

"A wonderful property," murmured Mr. Barrows regretfully. "The bonds were perfectly good. There was a defect in the foreclosure proceedings which made them a permanent underlying security of the reorganized company—under The Northern Pacific R.R. Co. vs. Boyd; you know—but the court refused to hold that way. They never will hold the way you want, will they?" He looked innocently at Mr. Tutt.

"No," agreed the latter with conviction, "they never will!"

"Now those bonds were as good as gold," went on the old man; "and yet they said I had to go to prison. You know all about it. You were my lawyer."

"Yes," assented Mr. Tutt, "I remember all about it now."

Indeed it had all come back to him with the vividness of a landscape seen during a lightning flash—the crowded court, old Doc Barrows upon the witness stand, charged with getting money on the strength of defaulted and outlawed bonds—picked up heaven knows where—pathetically trying to persuade an unsympathetic court that for some reason they were still worth their face value, though the mortgage securing the debt which they represented had long since been foreclosed and the money distributed.

"I'd paid for 'em—actual cash," he rambled on. "Not much, to be sure—but real money. If I got 'em cheap that was my good luck, wasn't it? It was because my brain was sharper than other folks'! I said they had value and I say so now—only nobody will believe it or take the trouble to find out. I learned a lot up there in Sing Sing too," he continued, warming to his subject. "Do you know, sir, there are fortunes lying all about us? Take gold, for instance! There's a fraction of a grain in every ton of sea water. But the big people don't want it taken out because it would depress the standard of exchange. I say it's a conspiracy—and yet they jailed a man for it! There's great mineral deposits all about just waiting for the right man to come along and develop 'em."

His lifted eye rested upon the engraving of Abraham Lincoln over Mr. Tutt's desk. "There was a man!" he exclaimed inconsequently; then stopped and ran his transparent, heavily veined old hand over his forehead. "Where was I? Let me see. Oh, yes—gold. All those great properties could be bought at one time or another for a song. It needed a pioneer! That's what I was—a pioneer to find the gold where other people couldn't find it. That's not any crime; it's a service to humanity! If only they'd have a little faith—instead of locking you up. The judge never looked up the law about those Great Lakes bonds! If he had he'd have found out I was right! I'd looked it up. I studied law once myself."

"I know," said Mr. Tutt, almost moved to tears by the sight of the wreck before him. "You practised up state, didn't you?"

"Yes," responded Doc Barrows eagerly. "And in Chicago too. I'm a member of the Cook County bar. I'll tell you something! If the Supreme Court of Illinois hadn't been wrong in its law I'd be the richest man in the world—in the whole world!" He grabbed Mr. Tutt by the arm and stared hard into his eyes. "Didn't I show you my papers? I own seven feet of water front clean round Lake Michigan all through the city of Chicago I got it for a song from the man who found out the flaw in the original title deed of 1817; he was dying. 'I'll sell my secret to you,' he says, 'because I'm passing on. May it bring you luck!' I looked it all up and it was just as he said. So I got up a corporation—The Chicago Water Front and Terminal Company—and sold bonds to fight my claim in the courts. But all the people who had deeds to my land conspired against me and had me arrested! They sent me to the penitentiary. There's justice for you!"

"That was too bad!" said Mr. Tutt in a soothing voice. "But after all what good would all that money have done you?"

"I don't want money!" affirmed Doc plaintively. "I've never needed money. I know enough secrets to make me rich a dozen times over. Not money but justice is what I want—my legal rights. But I'm tired of fighting against 'em. They've beaten me! Yes, they've beaten me! I'm going to retire. That's why I came in to see you, Mr. Tutt. I never paid you for your services as my attorney. I'm going away. You see my married daughter lost her husband the other day and she wants me to come up and live with her on the farm to keep her from being lonely. Of course it won't be much like life in Wall Street—but I owe her some duty and I'm getting on—I am, Mr. Tutt, I really am!"

He smiled.

"And I haven't seen Louisa for three years—my only daughter. I shall enjoy being with her. She was such a dear little girl! I'll tell you another secret"—his voice dropped to a whisper—"I've found out there's a gold mine on her farm, only she doesn't know it. A rich vein runs right through her cow pasture. We'll be rich! Wouldn't it be fine, Mr. Tutt, to be rich? Then I'm going to pay you in real money for all you've done for me—thousands! But until then I'm going to let you have these—all my securities; my own, you know, every one of them."

He placed the suitcase in front of Mr. Tutt and opened the clasps with his shaking old fingers. It bulged with bonds, and he dumped them forth until they covered the top of the desk.

"These are my jewels!" he said. "There's millions represented here!" He lifted one tenderly and held it to the light, fresh as it came from the engraver's press—a thousand dollar first-mortgage bond of The Chicago Water Front and Terminal Company. "Look at that! Good as gold—if the courts only knew the law."

He took up a yellow package of valueless obligations upon the top of which an old-fashioned locomotive from whose bell-shaped funnel the smoke poured in picturesque black clouds, dragging behind it a chain of funny little passenger coaches, drove furiously along beside a rushing river through fields rich with corn and wheat amid a border of dollar signs.

"The Great Lakes and Canadian Southern," he crooned lovingly. "The child of my heart! The district attorney kept all the rest—as evidence, he claimed, but some day you'll see he'll bring an action against the Lake Shore or the New York Central based on these bonds. Yes, sir! They're all right!"

He pawed them over, picking out favorites here and there and excitedly extolling the merits of the imaginary properties they represented. There were the repudiated bonds of Southern states and municipalities of railroads upon whose tracks no wheel had ever turned; of factories never built except in Doc Barrows' addled brain; of companies which had defaulted and given stock for their worthless obligations; certificates of oil, mining and land companies; deeds to tracts now covered with sky scrapers in Pittsburgh, St. Louis and New York—each and every one of them not worth the paper they were printed on except to some crook who dealt in high finance. But they were exquisitely engraved, quite lovely to look at, and Doc Barrows gloated upon them with scintillating eyes.

"Ain't they beauties?" he sighed. "Some day—yes sir!—some day they'll be worth real money. I paid it for some of 'em. But they're yours—all yours."

He gathered them up with care and returned them to the suitcase, then fastened the clasps and patted the leather cover with his hand.

"They are yours, sir!" he exclaimed dramatically.

"As you say," agreed Mr. Tutt, "there's gold lying round everywhere if we only had sense enough to look for it. But I think you're wise to retire. After all, you have the satisfaction of knowing that your enterprises were sound even if other people disagreed with you."

"If this was 1819 instead of 1919 I'd own Chicago," began Doc, a gleam appearing in his eye. "But they don't want to upset the status quo—that's why I haven't got a fair chance. But they needn't worry! I'd be generous with 'em—give 'em easy terms—long leases and nominal rents."

"But you'll like living with your daughter, I'm sure," said Mr. Tutt. "It will make a new man of you in no time."

"Healthiest spot in northern New York," exclaimed Doc. "Within two miles of a lake—fishing, shooting, outdoor recreation of all kinds, an ideal site for a mammoth summer hotel."

Mr. Tutt rose and laid his arms round old Doc Barrows' shoulders.

"Thank you a thousand times," he said gratefully, "for the securities. I'll be glad to keep them for you in my vault." His lips puckered in a stealthy smile which he tried hard to conceal.

"Louisa may want to repaper the farmhouse some time," he added to himself.

"Oh, they're all yours to keep!" insisted Doc. "I want you to have them!" His voice trembled.

"Well, well!" answered Mr. Tutt. "Leave it that way; but if you ever should want them they'll be here waiting for you."

"I'm no Indian giver!" replied Doc with dignity. "Give, give, give a thing—never take it back again."

He laughed rather childishly. He was evidently embarrassed.

"Could—could you let me have the loan of seventy-five cents?" he asked shyly.

* * * * *

Down below, inside a doorway upon the other side of the street, Sergeant Murtha of the Detective Bureau waited for Doc Barrows to come out and be arrested again. Murtha had known Doc for fifteen years as a harmless old nut who had rarely succeeded in cheating anybody, but who was regarded as generally undesirable by the authorities and sent away every few years in order to keep him out of mischief. There was no danger that the public would accept Doc's version of the nature or value of his securities, but there was always the chance that some of his worthless bonds—those bastard offsprings of his cracked old brain—would find their way into less honest but saner hands. So Doc rattled about from penitentiary to prison and from prison to madhouse and out again, constantly taking appeals and securing writs of habeas corpus, and feeling mildly resentful, but not particularly so, that people should be so interfering with his business. Now as from force of long habit he peered out of the doorway before making his exit; he looked like one of the John Sargent's prophets gone a little madder than usual—a Jeremiah or a Habakkuk.

"Hello, Doc!" called Murtha in hearty, friendly tones. "Hie spy! Come on out!"

"Oh, how d'ye do, captain!" responded Doc. "How are you? I was just interviewing my solicitor."

"Sorry," said Murtha. "The inspector wants to see you."

Doc flinched.

"But they've just let me go!" he protested faintly.

"It's one of those old indictments—Chicago Water Front or something. Anyhow—Here! Hold on to yourself!"

He threw his arms around the old man, who seemed on the point of falling.

"Oh, captain! That's all over! I served time for that out in Illinois!" For some strange reason all the insanity had gone out of his bearing.

"Not in this state," answered Murtha. New pity for this poor old wastrel took hold upon him. "What were you going to do?"

"I was going to retire, captain," said Doc faintly. "My daughter's husband—he owned a farm up in Cayuga County—well, he died and I was planning to go up there and live with her."

"And sting all the boobs?" grinned Murtha not unsympathetically. "How much money have you got?"

"Seventy-five cents."

"How much is the ticket?"

"About nine dollars," quavered Doc. "But I know a man down on Chatham Square who might buy a block of stock in the Last Chance Gold Mining Company; I could get the money that way."

"What's the Last Chance Gold Mining Company?" asked Murtha sharply.

"It's a company I'm going to organize. I'll tell you a secret, Murtha. There's a vein of gold runs right through my daughter Louisa's cow pasture—she doesn't know anything about it—"

"Oh, hell!" exclaimed Murtha. "Come along to the station. I'll let you have the nine bones. And you can put me down for half a million of the underwriting."

* * * * *

That same evening Mr. Tutt was toasting his carpet slippers before the sea-coal fire in his library, sipping a hot toddy and rereading for the eleventh time the "Lives of the Chancellors" when Miranda, who had not yet finished washing the few dishes incident to her master's meager supper, pushed open the door and announced that a lady was calling.

"She said you'd know her sho' enough, Mis' Tutt," grinned Miranda, swinging her dishrag, "'case you and she used to live tergidder when you was a young man."

This scandalous announcement did not have the startling effect upon the respectable Mr. Tutt which might naturally have been anticipated, since he was quite used to Miranda's forms of expression.

"It must be Mrs. Effingham," he remarked, closing the career of Lord Eldon and removing his feet from the fender.

"Dat's who it is!" answered Miranda. "She's downstairs waitin' to come up."

"Well, let her come," directed Mr. Tutt, wondering what his old boarding-house keeper could want of him, for he had not seen Mrs. Effingham for more than fifteen years, at which time she was well provided with husband, three children and a going business. Indeed, it required some mental adjustment on his part to recognize the withered little old lady in widow's weeds and rusty black with a gold star on her sleeve who so timidly, a moment later, followed Miranda into the room.

"I'm afraid you don't recognize me," she said with a pitiful attempt at faded coquetry. "I don't blame you, Mr. Tutt. You don't look a day older yourself. But a great deal has happened to me!"

"I should have recognized you anywhere," he protested gallantly. "Do sit down, Mrs. Effingham won't you? I am delighted to see you. How would you like a glass of toddy? Just to show there's no ill-feeling!"

He forced a glass into her hand and filled it from the teakettle standing on the hearth, while Miranda brought a sofa cushion and tucked it behind the old lady's back.

Mrs. Effingham sighed, tasted the toddy and leaned back deliciously. She was very wrinkled and her hair under the bonnet was startlingly white in contrast with the crepe of her veil, but there were still traces of beauty in her face.

"I've come to you, Mr. Tutt," she explained apologetically, "because I always said that if I ever was in trouble you'd be the one to whom I should go to help me out."

"What greater compliment could I receive?"

"Well, in those days I never thought that time would come," she went on. "You remember my husband—Jim? Jim died two years ago. And little Jimmy—our eldest—he was only fourteen when you boarded with us—he was killed at the Front last July." She paused and felt for her handkerchief, but could not find it. "I still keep the house; but do you know how old I am, Mr. Tutt? I'm seventy-one! And the two older girls got married long ago and I'm all alone except for Jessie, the youngest—and I haven't told her anything about it."

"Yes?" said Mr. Tutt sympathetically. "What haven't you told her about?"

"My trouble. You see, Jessie's not a well girl—she really ought to live out West somewhere, the doctor says—and Jim and I had saved up all these years so that after we were gone she would have something to live on. We saved twelve thousand dollars—and put it into Government bonds."

"You couldn't have anything safer, at any rate," remarked the lawyer. "I think you did exceedingly well."

"Now comes the awful part of it all!" exclaimed Mrs. Effingham, clasping her hands. "I'm afraid it's gone—gone forever. I should have consulted you first before I did it, but it all seemed so fair and above-board that I never thought."

"Have you got rid of your bonds?"

"Yes—no—that is, the bank has them. You see I borrowed ten thousand dollars on them and gave it to Mr. Badger to invest in his oil company for me."

Mr. Tutt groaned inwardly. Badger was the most celebrated of Wall Street's near-financiers.

"Where on earth did you meet Badger?" he demanded.

"Why, he boarded with me—for a long time," she answered. "I've no complaint to make of Mr. Badger. He's a very handsome polite gentleman. And I don't feel altogether right about coming to you and saying anything that might be taken against him—but lately I've heard so many things—"

"Don't worry about Badger!" growled Mr. Tutt. "How did you come to invest in his oil stock?"

"I was there when he got the telegram telling how they had found oil on the property; it came one night at dinner. He was tickled to death. The stock had been selling at three cents a share, and, of course, after the oil was discovered he said it would go right up to ten dollars. But he was real nice about it—he said anybody who had been living there in the house could share his good fortune with him, come in on the ground floor, and have it just the same for three cents. A week later there came a photograph of the gusher and almost all of us decided to buy stock."

At this point in the narrative Mr. Tutt kicked the coal hod violently and uttered a smothered ejaculation.

"Of course I didn't have any ready money," explained Mrs. Effingham, "but I had the bonds—they only paid two per cent and the oil stock was going to pay twenty—and so I took them down to the bank and borrowed ten thousand dollars on them. I had to sign a note and pay five per cent interest. I was making the difference—fifteen hundred dollars every year."

"What has it paid?" demanded Mr. Tutt ironically.

"Twenty per cent," replied Mrs. Effingham. "I get Mr. Badger's check regularly every six months."

"How many times have you got it?"


"Well, why don't you like your investment?" inquired Mr. Tutt blandly. "I'd like something that would pay me twenty per cent a year!"

"Because I'm afraid Mr. Badger isn't quite truthful, and one of the ladies—that old Mrs. Channing; you remember her, don't you—the one with the curls?—she tried to sell her stock and nobody would make a bid on it at all—and when she spoke to Mr. Badger about it he became very angry and swore right in front of her. Then somebody told me that Mr. Badger had been arrested once for something—and—and—Oh, I wish I hadn't given him the money, because if it's lost Jessie won't have anything to live on after I'm dead—and she's too sick to work. What do you think, Mr. Tutt? Do you suppose Mr. Badger would buy the stock back?"

Mr. Tutt smiled grimly.

"Not if I know him! Have you got your stock with you?"

She nodded. Fumbling in her black bag she pulled forth a flaring certificate—of the regulation kind, not even engraved—which evidenced that Sarah Maria Ann Effingham was the legal owner of three hundred and thirty thousand shares of the capital stock of the Great Geyser Texan Petroleum and Llano Estacado Land Company.

Mr. Tutt took it gingerly between his thumb and forefinger. It was signed ALFRED HAYNES BADGER, Pres., and he had an almost irresistible temptation to twist it into a spill and light a stogy with it. But he used a match instead, while Mrs. Effingham watched him apprehensively. Then he handed the stock back to her and poured out another glass of toddy.

"Ever been in Mr. Badger's office?"

"Oh, yes!" she answered. "It's a lovely office. You can see 'way down the harbor—and over to New Jersey. It's real elegant."

"Would you mind going there again? That is, are you on friendly terms with him?"

Already a strange, rather desperate plan was half formulated in his mind.

"Oh, we're perfectly friendly," she smiled. "I generally go down there to get my check."

"Whose check is it—his or the company's?"

"I really don't know," she answered simply. "What difference would it make?"

"Oh, nothing—except that he might claim that he'd loaned you the money."

"Loaned it? To me?"

"Why, yes. One hears of such things."

"But it is my money!" she cried, stiffening.

"You paid that for the stock."

She shook her head helplessly.

"I don't understand these things," she murmured. "If Jim had been alive it wouldn't have happened. He was so careful."

"Husbands have some uses occasionally."

Suddenly she put her hands to her face.

"Oh, Mr. Tutt! Please get the money back from him. If you don't something terrible will happen to Jessie!"

"I'll do my best," he said gently, laying his hand on her fragile shoulder. "But I may not be able to do it—and anyhow I'll need your help."

"What can I do?"

"I want you to go down to Mr. Badger's office to-morrow morning and tell him that you are so much pleased with your investment that you would like to turn all your securities over to him to sell and put the money into the Great Geyser Texan Petroleum and Llano Estacado Land Company."

He rolled out the words with unction.

"But I don't!"

"Oh, yes, you do!" he assured her. "You want to do just what I tell you, don't you?"

"Of course," she answered. "But I thought you didn't like Mr. Badger's oil company."

"Whether I like it or not makes no difference. I want you to say just what I tell you."

"Oh, very well, Mr. Tutt."

"Then you must tell him about the note, and that first it will have to be paid off."


"And then you must hand him a letter which I will dictate to you now."

She flushed slightly, her eyes bright with excitement.

"You're sure it's perfectly honest, Mr. Tutt? I wouldn't want to do anything unfair!"

"Would you be honest with a burglar?"

"But Mr. Badger isn't a burglar!"

"No—he's only about a thousand times worse. He's a robber of widows and orphans. He isn't man enough to take a chance at housebreaking."

"I don't know what you mean," she sighed. "Where shall I write?"

Mr. Tutt cleared a space upon his desk, handed her a pad and dipped a pen in the ink while she took off her gloves.

"Address the note to the bank," he directed.

She did so.

"Now say: 'Kindly deliver to Mr. Badger all the securities I have on deposit with you, whenever he pays my note. Very truly yours, Sarah Maria Ann Effingham.'"

"But I don't want him to have my securities!" she retorted.

"Oh, you won't mind! You'll be lucky to get Mr. Badger to take back your oil stock on any terms. Leave the certificate with me," laughed Mr. Tutt, rubbing his long thin hands together almost gleefully. "And now as it is getting rather late perhaps you will do me the honor of letting me escort you home."

It was midnight before Mr. Tutt went to bed. In the first place he had felt himself so neglectful of Mrs. Effingham that after he had taken her home he had sat there a long time talking over the old lady's affairs and making the acquaintance of the phthisical Jessie, who turned out to be a wistful little creature with great liquid eyes and a delicate transparent skin that foretold only too clearly what was to be her future. There was only one place for her, Mr. Tutt told himself—Arizona; and by the grace of God she should go there, Badger or no Badger!

As the old lawyer walked slowly home with his hands clasped behind his back he pondered upon the seeming mockery and injustice of the law that forced a lonely, half-demented old fellow with the fixed delusion that he was a financier behind prison bars and left free the sharp slick crook who had no bowels or mercies and would snatch away the widow's mite and leave her and her consumptive daughter to die in the poorhouse. Yet such was the case, and there they all were! Could you blame people for being Bolsheviks? And yet old Doc Barrows was as far from a Bolshevik as anyone could well be.

Mr. Tutt passed a restless night, dreaming, when he slept at all, of mines from which poured myriads of pieces of yellow gold, of gushers spouting columns of blood-red oil hundreds of feet into the air, and of old-fashioned locomotives dragging picturesque trains of cars across bright green prairies studded with cacti in the shape of dollar signs. Old Doc Barrows was with him, and from time to time he would lean toward him and whisper "Listen, Mr. Tutt, I'll tell you a secret! There's a vein of gold runs right through my daughter's cow pasture!"

When Willie next morning at half past eight reached the office he found the door already unlocked and Mr. Tutt busy at his desk, up to his elbows in a great mass of bonds and stock certificates.

"Gee!" he exclaimed to Miss Sondheim, the stenographer, when she made her appearance at a quarter past nine. "Just peek in the old man's door if you want to feel rich! Say, he must ha' struck pay dirt! I wonder if we'll all get a raise?"

But all the securities on Mr. Tutt's desk would not have justified even the modest advance of five dollars in Miss Sondheim's salary, and their employer was merely sorting out and making an inventory of Doc Barrows' imaginary wealth. By the time Mrs. Effingham arrived by appointment at ten o'clock he had them all arranged and labeled; and in a special bundle neatly tied with a piece of red tape were what on their face were securities worth upward of seventy thousand dollars. There were ten of the beautiful bonds of the Great Lakes and Canadian Southern Railroad Company with their miniature locomotives and fields of wheat, and ten equally lovely bits of engraving belonging to the long-since defunct Bluff Creek and Iowa Central, ten more superb lithographs issued by the Mohawk and Housatonic in 1867 and paid off in 1882, and a variety of gorgeous chromos of Indians and buffaloes, and of factories and steamships spouting clouds of soft-coal smoke; and on the top of all was a pile of the First Mortgage Gold Six Per Cent obligations of the Chicago Water Front and Terminal Company—all of them fresh and crisp, with that faintly acrid smell which though not agreeable to the nostrils nevertheless delights the banker's soul.

"Ah! Good morning to you, Mrs. Effingham!" Mr. Tutt cried, waving her in when that lady was announced. "You are not the only millionaire, you see! In fact, I've stumbled into a few barrels of securities myself—only I didn't pay anything for them."

"Gracious!" cried Mrs. Effingham, her eyes lighting with astonishment. "Wherever did you get them? And such exquisite pictures! Look at that lamb!"

"It ought to have been a wolf!" muttered Mr. Tutt. "Well, Mrs. Effingham, I've decided to make you a present—just a few pounds of Chicago Water Front and Canadian Southern—those over there in that pile; and now if you say so we'll just go along to your bank."

"Give them to me!" she protested. "What on earth for? You're joking, Mr. Tutt."

"Not a bit of it!" he retorted. "I don't make any pretensions as to the value of my gift, but they're yours for whatever they're worth."

He wrapped them carefully in a piece of paper and returned the balance to Doc Barrows' dress-suit case.

"Aren't you afraid to leave them that way?" she asked, surprised.

"Not at all! Not at all!" he laughed. "You see there are fortunes lying all about us everywhere if we only know where to look. Now the first thing to do is to get your bonds back from the bank."

Mr. Thomas McKeever, the popular loan clerk of the Mustardseed National, was just getting ready for the annual visit of the state bank examiner when Mr. Tutt, followed by Mrs. Effingham, entered the exquisitely furnished boudoir where lady clients were induced by all modern conveniences except manicures and shower baths to become depositors. Mr. Tutt and Mr. McKeever belonged to the same Saturday evening poker game at the Colophon Club, familiarly known as The Bible Class.

"Morning, Tom," said Mr. Tutt. "This is my client, Mrs. Effingham. You hold her note, I believe, for ten thousand dollars secured by some government bonds. She has a use for those bonds and I thought that you might be willing to take my indorsement instead. You know I'm good for the money."

"Why, I guess we can accommodate her, Mr. Tutt!" answered the Chesterfieldian Mr. McKeever. "Certainly we can. Sit down, Mrs. Effingham, while I send for your bonds. See the morning paper?"

Mrs. Effingham blushingly acknowledged that she had not seen the paper. In fact, she was much too excited to see anything.

"Sign here!" said the loan clerk, placing the note before the lawyer.

Mr. Tutt indorsed it in his strange, humpbacked chirography.

"Here are your bonds," said Mr. McKeever, handing Mrs. Effingham a small package in a manila envelope. She took them in a half-frightened way, as if she thought she was doing something wrong.

"And now," said Mr. Tutt, "the lady would like a box in your safe-deposit vaults; a small one—about five dollars a year—will do. She has quite a bundle of securities with her, which I am looking into. Most if not all of them are of little or no value, but I have told her she might just as well leave them as security for what they are worth, in addition to my indorsement. Really it's just a slick game of ours to get the bank to look after them for nothing. Isn't it, Mrs. Effingham?"

"Ye-es!" stammered Mrs. Effingham, not understanding what he was talking about.

"Well," answered Mr. McKeever, "we never refuse collateral. I'll put the bonds with the note—" His eye caught the edges of the bundle. "Great Scott, Tutt! What are you leaving all these bonds here for against that note? There must be nearly a hundred thousand dol—"

"I thought you never refused collateral, Mr. McKeever!" challenged Mr. Tutt sternly.

Twenty minutes later the exquisite blonde that acted as Mr. Badger's financial accomplice learned from Mrs. Effingham's faltering lips that the widow would like to see the great man in regard to further investments.

"How does it look, Mabel?" inquired the financier from behind his massive mahogany desk covered with a six by five sheet of plate glass. "Is it a squeal or a fall?"

"Easy money," answered Mabel with confidence. "She wants to put a mortgage on the farm."

"Keep her about fourteen minutes, tell her the story of my philanthropies, and then shoot her in," directed Badger.

So Mrs. Effingham listened politely while Mabel showed her the photographs of Mr. Badger's home for consumptives out in Tyrone, New Mexico, and of his wife and children, taken on the porch of his summer home at Seabright, New Jersey; and then, exactly fourteen minutes having elapsed, she was shot in.

"Ah! Mrs. Effingham! Delighted! Do be seated!" Mr. Badger's smile was like that of the boa constrictor about to swallow the rabbit.

"About my oil stock," hesitated Mrs. Effingham.

"Well, what about it?" demanded Badger sharply. "Are you dissatisfied with your twenty per cent?"

"Oh, no!" stammered the old lady. "Not at all! I just thought if I could only get the note paid off at the Mustardseed Bank I might ask you to sell the collateral and invest the proceeds in your gusher."

"Oh!" Mr. Badger beamed with pleasure. "Do you really wish to have me dispose of your securities for you?"

He did not regard it as necessary to inquire into the nature of the collateral. If it was satisfactory to the Mustardseed National it must of course exceed considerably the amount of the note.

"Yes," answered Mrs. Effingham timidly; and she handed him the letter dictated by Mr. Tutt.

"Well," replied Mr. Badger thoughtfully, after reading it, "what you ask is rather unusual—quite unusual, I may say, but I think I may be able to attend to the matter for you. Leave it in my hands and think no more about it. How have you been, my dear Mrs. Effingham? You're looking extraordinarily well!"

Mr. McKeever had about concluded his arrangements for welcoming the state bank examiner when the telephone on his desk buzzed, and on taking up the receiver he heard the ingratiating voice of Alfred Haynes Badger.

"Is this the Loan Department of the Mustardseed National?"

"It is," he answered shortly.

"I understand you hold a note of a certain Mrs. Effingham for ten thousand dollars. May I ask if it is secured?"

"Who is this?" snapped McKeever.

"One of her friends," replied Mr. Badger amicably.

"Well, we don't discuss our clients' affairs over the telephone. You had better come in here if you have any inquiries to make."

"But I want to pay the note," expostulated Mr. Badger.

"Oh! Well, anybody can pay the note who wants to."

"And of course in that case you would turn over whatever collateral is on deposit to secure the note?"

"If we were so directed."

"May I ask what collateral there is?"

"I don't know."

"There is some collateral, I suppose?"


"Well, I have an order from Mrs. Effingham directing the bank to turn over whatever securities she has on deposit as collateral, on my payment of the note."

"In that case you'll get 'em," said Mr. McKeever gruffly. "I'll get them out and have 'em ready for you."

* * * * *

"Here is my certified check for ten thousand; dollars," announced Alfred Haynes Badger a few minutes later. "And here is the order from Mrs. Effingham. Now will you kindly turn over to me all the securities?"

Mr. McKeever, knowing something of the reputation of Mr. Badger, first called up the bank which had certified the latter's check, and having ascertained that the certification was genuine he marked Mrs. Effingham's note as paid and then took down from the top of his roll-top desk the bundle of beautifully engraved securities given him by Mr. Tutt. Badger watched him greedily.

"Thank you," he gurgled, stuffing them into his pocket. "Much obliged for your courtesy. Perhaps you would like me to open an account here?"

"Oh, anybody can open an account who wants to," remarked Mr. McKeever dryly, turning away from him to something else.

Mr. Badger fairly flew back to his office. The exquisite blonde had hardly ever before seen him exhibit so much agitation.

"What have you pulled this time?" she inquired dreamily. "Father's daguerreotype and the bracelet of mother's hair?"

"I've grabbed off the whole bag of tricks!" he cried. "Look at 'em! We've not seen so much of the real stuff in six months.

"Ten—twenty—thirty—forty—fifty—By gad!—sixty—seventy!"

"What are they?" asked Mabel curiously. "Some bonds—what?"

"I should say so!" he retorted gaily. "Say, girlie, I'll give you the swellest meal of your young life to-night! Chicago Water Front and Terminal, Great Lakes and Canadian Southern, Mohawk and Housatonic, Bluff Creek and Iowa Central. 'Oh, Mabel!'"

It was at just about this period of the celebration that Mr. Tutt entered the outer office and sent in his name; and as Mr. Badger was at the height of his good humor he condescended to see him.

"I have called," said Mr. Tutt, "in regard to the bonds belonging to my client, Mrs. Effingham. I see you have them on the desk there in front of you. Unfortunately she has changed her mind. She has decided not to have you dispose of her securities."

Mr. Badger's expression instantly became hostile and defiant.

"It's too late!" he replied. "I have paid off her note and I am going to carry out the rest of the arrangement."

"Oh," said Mr. Tutt, "so you are going to sell all her securities and put the proceeds into your bogus oil company—whether she wishes it or not? If you do the district attorney will get after you."

"I stand on my rights," snarled Badger. "Anyhow I can sell enough of the securities to pay myself back my ten thousand dollars."

"And then you'll steal the rest?" inquired Mr. Tutt. "Be careful, my dear sir! Remember there is such a thing as equity, and such a place as Sing Sing."

Badger gave a cynical laugh.

"You're too late, my friend! I've got a written order—a written order—from your client, as you call her. She can't go back on it now. I've got the bonds and I'm going to dispose of them."

"Very well," said Mr. Tutt tolerantly. "You can do as you see fit. But"—and he produced ten genuine one-thousand-dollar bills and exhibited them to Mr. Badger at a safe distance—"I now on behalf of Mrs. Effingham make you a legal tender of the ten thousand dollars you have just paid out to cancel her note, and I demand the return of the securities. Incidentally I beg to inform you that they are not worth the paper they are printed on."

"Indeed!" sneered Badger. "Well, my dear! old friend, you might have saved yourself the trouble of coming round here. You and your client can go straight to hell. You can keep the money; I'll keep the bonds. See?"

Mr. Tutt sighed and shook his head hopelessly.

Then he put the bills back into his pocket and started slowly for the door.

"You absolutely and finally decline to give up the securities?" he asked plaintively.

"Absolutely and finally?" mocked Mr. Badger with a sweeping bow.

"Dear! Dear!" almost moaned Mr. Tutt. "I'd heard of you a great many times but I never realized before what an unscrupulous man you were! Anyhow, I'm glad to have had a look at you. By the way, if you take the trouble to dig through all that junk you'll find the certificate of stock in the Great Jehoshaphat Oil Company you used to flim flam Mrs. Effingham with out of her ten thousand dollars. Maybe you can use it on someone else! Anyhow, she's about two thousand dollars to the good. It isn't every widow who can get twenty per cent and then get her money back in full."

The Hepplewhite Tramp

"No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed—nor will we go upon or send upon him—save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." —MAGNA CHARTA, Sec. 39.

"'Somebody has been lying in my bed—and here she is,' cried the Little, Small, Wee Bear, in his little, small, wee voice." —THE THREE BEARS.

One of the nicest men in New York was Mr. John De Puyster Hepplewhite. The chief reason for his niceness was his entire satisfaction with himself and the padded world in which he dwelt, where he was as protected from all shocking, rough or otherwise unpleasant things as a shrinking debutante from the coarse universe of fact. Being thus shielded from every annoyance and irritation by a host of sycophants he lived serenely in an atmosphere of unruffled calm, gazing down benignly and with a certain condescension from the rarefied altitude of his Fifth Avenue windows, pleased with the prospect of life as it appeared to him to be and only slightly conscious of the vileness of his fellow man.

Certainly he was not conscious at all of the existence of the celebrated law firm of Tutt & Tutt. Such vulgar persons were not of his sphere. His own lawyers were gray-headed, dignified, rather smart attorneys who moved only in the best social circles and practised their profession with an air of elegance. When Mr. Hepplewhite needed advice he sent for them and they came, chatted a while in subdued easy accents, and went away—like cheerful undertakers. Nobody ever spoke in loud tones near Mr. Hepplewhite because Mr. Hepplewhite did not like anything loud—not even clothes. He was, as we have said, quite one of the nicest men in New York.

At the moment when Mrs. Witherspoon made her appearance he was sitting in his library reading a copy of "Sainte-Beuve" and waiting for Bibby, the butler, to announce tea. It was eight minutes to five and there was still eight minutes to wait; so Mr. Hepplewhite went on reading "Sainte-Beuve."

Then "Mrs. Witherspoon!" intoned Bibby, and Mr. Hepplewhite rose quickly, adjusted his eye-glass and came punctiliously forward.

"My dear Mrs. Witherspoon!" he exclaimed crisply. "I am really delighted to see you. It was quite charming of you to give me this week-end."

"Adorable of you to ask me Mr. Hepplewhite!" returned the lady. "I've been looking forward to this visit for weeks. What a sweet room? Is that a Corot?"

"Yes—yes!" murmured her host modestly. "Rather nice, I think, eh? I'll show you my few belongings after tea. Now will you go upstairs first or have tea first?"

"Just as you say," beamed Mrs. Witherspoon. "Perhaps I had better run up and take off my veil."

"Whichever you prefer," he replied chivalrously. "Do exactly as you like. Tea will be ready in a couple of minutes."

"Then I think I'll run up."

"Very well. Bibby, show Mrs. Witherspoon—"

"Very good, sir. This way, please, madam. Stockin', fetch Mrs. Witherspoon's bag from the hall."

Mr. Hepplewhite stood rubbing his delicate hands in front of the fire, telling himself what a really great pleasure it was to have Mrs. Witherspoon staying with him over the week-end. He was having a dinner party for her that evening—of forty-eight. All that it had been necessary for him to do to have the party was to tell Mr. Sadducee, his secretary, that he wished to have it and direct him to send the invitations from List Number One and then to tell Bibby the same thing and to order the chef to serve Dinner Number Four—only to have Johannisberger Cabinet instead of Niersteiner.

All these things were highly important to Mr. Hepplewhite, for upon the absolute smoothness with which tea and dinner were served and the accuracy with which his valet selected socks to match his tie his entire happiness, to say nothing of his peace of mind, depended. His daily life consisted of a series of subdued and nicely adjusted social events. They were forecast for months ahead. Nothing was ever done on the spur of the moment at Mr. Hepplewhite's. He could tell to within a couple of seconds just exactly what was going to occur during the balance of the day, the remainder of Mrs. Witherspoon's stay and the rest of the month. It would have upset him very much not to know exactly what was going to happen, for he was a meticulously careful host and being a creature of habit the unexpected was apt to agitate him extremely.

So now as he stood rubbing his hands it was in the absolute certainty that in just a few more seconds one of the footmen would appear between the tapestry portieres bearing aloft a silver tray with the tea things, and then Bibby would come in with the paper, and presently Mrs. Witherspoon would come down and she would make tea for him and they would talk about tea, and Aiken, and whether the Abner Fullertons were going to get a domestic or foreign divorce, and how his bridge was these days. It would be very nice, and he rubbed his hands very gently and waited for the Dresden clock to strike five in the subdued and decorous way that it had. But he did not hear it strike.

Instead a shriek rang out from the hall above, followed by yells and feet pounding down the stairs. Mr. Hepplewhite turned cold and something hard rose up in his throat. His sight dimmed. And then Bibby burst in, pale and with protruding eyes.

"There was a man in the guest room!" he gasped. "Stockin's got him. What shall we do?"

At that moment Mrs. Witherspoon followed.

"Oh, Mr. Hepplewhite! Oh, Mr. Hepplewhite!" she gasped, staggering toward him.

Mr. Hepplewhite would have taken her in his arms and attempted to comfort her only it was not done in Mr. Hepplewhite's set unless under extreme provocation. So he pressed an armchair upon her; or, rather, pressed her into an armchair; and leaned against the bookcase feeling very faint. He was extremely agitated.

"S-send for the police! S-s-send for B-burk!" he stuttered. Burk was a husky watchman who also acted as a personal guard for Mr. Hepplewhite.

An alarm began to beat a deafening staccato in the hall outside the library. Bibby rushed gurgling from the room. Several tall men in knee breeches and silk stockings dashed excitedly up and down stairs using expressions such as had never before been heard by Mr. Hepplewhite, and the clanging gong of a police wagon was audible as it clattered up the Avenue.

"Oh, Mr. Hepplewhite," whispered Mrs. Witherspoon, unconsciously seeking his hand. "I never was so frightened in my life!"

Then the gong stopped and the police poured into the house and up the stairs. There were muffled noises and suppressed ejaculations of "Aw, come on there, now! I've got him, Mike! No funny business now, you! Come along quiet!"

The whole house seemed blue with policemen, and Mr. Hepplewhite became aware of a very fat man in a blue cap marked Captain, who removed the cap deferentially and otherwise indicated that he was making obeisance. Behind the fat man stood three other equally fat men, who held between them with grim firmness, by arm, neck and shoulder, a much smaller—in fact, quite a small—man shabby, unkempt, and with a desperate look upon his unshaven face.

"We've got him, all right, Mr. Hepplewhite!" exulted the captain, obviously grateful that God had vouchsafed to deliver the criminal into his and not into other hands. "Shall I take him to the house—or do you want to examine him?"

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