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(ALE. RIGHTS BEEEKVED]. For Love and Honour By HAROLD BINDLOSS, Author of "A Wide Dominion," His Adversary's Daughter," The Kingdom of Courage," "The Mistress of Bonaventure," &c. m m -M m m m m -M -M m m a LX a LX m M -M. -M -m- w- x W. x m ?, -E_Eœ_mm- m -M -X? CHAPTER. XXIII. I "Harry, who stayed in London while Alison idid so, and saw her frequently, had been back j "in the North a week when he sat on the lawn at Low Wood one evening with Christopher and Arnold Elliot. The latter had seldom visited the house of late, but Christopher see- ing him passing down the road had beckoned itim in. I wanted tb tell you that Vane's coming down next week," he said. He means to do some climbing, and told me to let you know he expects you to try the chimney in the west buttress of the Pike with us on the first day the rocks are dry." Arnold laughed. It's twelve years since I went up that chimney, and I'm not so agile or keen on risky amusement as I was then, but I don't mind trying it again. The approach to it looks more difficult from below now some <of the ledges have broken away. It would make things easier if we had a steady fourth man on the roue." "Here's Harry," said Christopher. "Vane will be down on the Wednesday evening." Then we'll attempt the chimney on the Thursday, provided there has been no rain. I could manage that, though I may be occupied the next two davs." Christopher seemed to take Harry's consent for granted, and the latter was glad he was not expected to express it; while willing to please his host and Vane, he would sooner have dispensed with Arnold's company. There "was now an antagonism between them that was the deeper because it was not openly re- vealed, for Arnold was invariably courteous to Harry when by chance they met. By-and-bye the latter took out his pipe, and Arnold became intent when his eyes fell upon it. It was an unusually handsome one, and he fancied he had seen it before, though he could not remember an occasion when Harry had used it in his presence. Arnold was fond of artistic pipes. That's a rather fine pipe. Margetson's make, isn't it? he said. The minute fading round the top of the bowl's effective and uncommon." I'm afraid it's a piece of extravagance," Harry replied. Margetson showed me a presentation pipe he'd been turning out when I bought this one, and I was so struck with the unique pattern that I told him to put it on mine. It's picked out, as you see, between the turned bands with some fine too! Arnold suddenly remembered where he had last seen a pipe with that curious chasing. It was lying on a desk in his office one evening. "No doubt he charged you stiffly for it?" he suggested. He did," said Harry. After confining myself to twenty-five cents for a pipe for years, it was, however, a pleasure to be reck- less for once." Arnold lighted a cigar, and while he seemed to watch the silvery mist creep down the fells that hemmed in the deep trough of valley he thought rather hard. I'iece by piece, he re- constructed the scene in his office on the even- ing when he had found Grayson at work soon after Harry had arrived in England. The clerk sitting ua.ver a shaded lamp had looked somewhat startled and nervous when he walked in. IT had fancied that the man was a little over worked and not quite up to the mark, but it now occurred to him that there might be another explanation. Close by Grayson lay the smouldering end of a cigar, which was not remarkable, since Arnold knew his clerks were in the habit of smoking when working after the uvsuai office hours; but it was curious that a partly empty pipe had been placed close beside it. It struck Arnold as unusual that a man should begin with a pipe and afterwards go on to a cigar. Then lie had noticed a japanned iron 'box standing on the floor, out of which he sup- posed Grayson had been taking some docu- ments he needed. He, however, now remem- bered that it stood at some little distance from Grayson's stool, and not where the latter would have placed it for convenient refer- cnce. Besides, he had a hazy recollection of hearing a window shut somewhere at the top of the building as he ascended the last flight of stairs. These things had made no impres- sion upon him on the evening in question, but on putting them all together now they looked significant. Then he roused himself with an ffort. Did Alison enjoy her visit to London?" be asked Christopher. Christopher said she had done so, and a few minutes later Arnold took his leave and walked back to Ruleholme in a thoughtful inood. Before he reached the house he de- cided to go up to London on the following day. On the morning after he arrived there lie lighted his pipe in his private office, though this was a thing he seldom did, and a little later rang for Grayson. I want you to make up a statement of the Lo relief coaling bills last run," he said. Before you begin, you had better go over and ask Mr. Webster, the consulting engineer, in exactly what shape he requires it." The errand would probably occupy Grayson half an hour; but as the latter was about to leave him Elliot carelessly took up the pipe which he had laid down. "By the way," he said, "you have a pipe of Margetson's make with an unique beading on it, haven't you?" No, sir," replied Grayson, with a smile. I never had one. They're too dear for me." "It doesn't matter," said Elliot. "I'd an idea I'd seen you with one, and I thought I'd like to look at it. Pipes are rather a hobby of mine. Go and see Webster and get up the particulars he requires." He sat still with knitted brows when Gray- eon left the room. He had no doubt that the latter had told the truth in declaring that he had never possessed one of Margetson's pipes; but, on the other hand, Elliot had undoubt- edly seen one remarkably like the one Harry had shown him on his desk one night. Reach- ing out he rang a bell and sent for his manager. It struck me that the safe was rather crowded the last time I was in it, Watson, and Nesbit was half an hour looking for some old correspondence I asked* for," he -,aid. "If you can spare a few minutes, we'll go and see if a new shelf could be put in." Watson followed him into the general office and lighted a candle when they entered the big safe, which ran along part of the back of it. The higher rows of shelves it was fitted with were occupied by japanned boxea lettered and numbered, and after a few sug- gestions Elliot pointed to the bottom of one tier. "What have you got in those older boxes?" he asked. His manager told him, and Elliot nodded. Yes," he said. What comes next? "Chartering documents in this. The next holds all the papers relating to the loss of the Calabria. Elliot had already glanced at the box last indicated. There was a scratch across the front of it, and, having a retentive memory, he had no doubt it was the one he had seen drawn out on the office floor one night. Who has the keys of these boxes? he asked. Nesbit has one and Grayson the other. The latter stays late now and then." Elliot walked out into the general office and dytrolled towards the rear window. It was open, as it happened, and he looked down casually. "I suppose that's our cistern; I remember being told it was below when I wanted water put into this room," he said. Hadn't you something done to it lately? It would be awk- war.1 to get at." The man went down from this window, And he didn't seem to find it very difficult. He said it would save him the trouble of fixing ladders. Ah! said Elliot, who was enough of a cragsman to see that the feat was possible to anyone with steady nerves, I suppose they're used to that kind of thing. Tell Nesbit he had better get the new shelf fitted." He went back to his private room, and sat down heavily with a set face, which had a hint of fear in it. He had no doubt that Harry had been in the office when he had found Grayson at work that night, and, what was more ominous, that he had been examining the' documents relating to the wreck of the Calabria. Coupling this with the fact that Salter had suddenly disappeared after a visit Harry had paid to the mine in company with a stranger who was probably a marine fire- man, it seemed very probable that Harry had made some suspicious discovery about the los3 of the vessel. As he realised it, Elliot be- came possessed of an almost uncontrollable hatred of the younger man. While he pondered the matter a young ac- countant, who acted as secretary to the new mining company, was shown in. "Jessup and Walters have just been in to see me." he announced. They were not aware that you had come up to town, and 1 only heard that you had done so when I iu- quired by telephone when you were expected. Then I ran across at once." "Well?- said Arnold, impatiently, for the men mentioned were those who Lad visited the mine. Jessup was very blunt; in fact. he demanded his money back. He and Walters hold a good many shares between theiu. I'm inclined to believe that some of the others are only waiting to see how they get on." Elliot laughed harshly. No doubt. If they succeeded in extorting anything, we should have all the rest down on us." Walters had an expert's report on the mine and the quality of the ore. besides an assay statement." added the other. By comparison with the prospectus, I should call them—damaging. The older man showed no surprise. I sup- pose they set out some of their arguments. What's your opinion of the matter? The accountant looked thoughtful, and an- swered, guardedly: "Taking it all round, I'm afraid they could cause us serious trou ble." "It's possible," said Elliot. "What did you tell them?" "I merely said I would lay the'matter be- fore you." "It was the proper thing," said Elliot. You can confine yourself to stating that it has my consideration, if they call again. They will gain nothing by coming here, be- cause I'm going back to the North to- morrow. "They might interview one of the directors. Failing that, they would, of course, have an opportunity of challenging the management of the company at the shareholders' meetiitg. "Which will not be for a good while." Elliot replied. I will arrange for an inter- view with them when I next come up to town, which is all I can say just now." The accountant went out. and left him sit- ting with- a hand tightly clenched. He had preserved an outward indifference, but he knew that he stood perilously near to disaster. There were several matters connected with the flotation of the company which would not bear revelation, and Harry was obviously fol- lowing up some clue to the real explanation of the wreck of the Calabria. Elliot was threatened on two sides, and, so far as he could see, he could only make a very feeble defence on either. It was, lioweve. Harry's attack he dreaded most, since he fancied he might stave off the other for a time, and per- haps discover some means of meeting it in the meanwhile. CHAPTER XXIV. Harry was strolling along the terrace in front of Low Wood with Alison and her father one cool evening, when a boy on a red bicycle dismounted at the gate and handed him a telegram. A Better come here immediate. Seen him again," it ran, and there followed the name Jackson, and an address in Barrow-in- Furness. Wait a minute," said Harry to the mes- senger, and then turned to Christopher. I've no doubt you have a telegraph form and a railway guide?" When they were brought him Harry flicked over the guide and then filled up the form. Now," he said to the boy, taking out a coin, you would have had to deliver that message at the Golden Fleece if you hadn't noticed me, so there's no reason you shouldn't go on there. Ask Mrs. Bell to put the things she'll find lying in my room into my bag, and then tell Bell to bring his trap here in half an hour. You can hand in the telegram when you go back." The lad went on again, and Harry became aware that his host was looking at him rather curiously. Another of my mysterious journeys," he said, with a short laugh. "Well, I'm in- clined to fancy I'm getting near the end of them, and I won't be sorry when they're over. I may tell you the reason for them some day." I should like to point out that I've asked for no explanation," Christopher answered. Then it savs something for your forbear- ance," and Harry looked straight at him. I may add that events have forced a line of conduct I've no liking for upon me." In the meanwhile you had better come in and have something to eat if you mean to catch the night train," said Christopher, drily. Alison made no comment, but there was no longer any suspicion of the man's object in her mind, and she was unusually gracious to him when they sat at supper. Harry, who ,could still find no reason for it, once more re- joiced at the change in her attitude. By-and-bye his landlord arrived with the trap, and Harry, who spent part of the night in a draughty waiting-room, reached Barrow nearly on the morrow. Jackson, who looked smarter than he had done on the last occa- sion they had met, was waiting at the station, and Harry led him towards an unoccupied seat on the platform. Sit down and get through what you have to say as quick as you cas," he instructed him. You've seen Salter? I have," replied Jackson. He was com- ing off the Devonshire dock just before I wired you, and unless he walked out by road, he's in the town now." "How did you get here?" Furness Railway," said Jackson, grin- ning- I'll let you pay my fare. Had to chuck my job but I thought you'd see me through until I struck another. I was getting tired of it, any way." "We'll go into that afterwards. What about Salter? I'd been making private inquiries from the Whitehaven dock people and old firing friends of mine all along, and at last one of them told me a man like the one I was after had gone donkeyman on a tramp boat as sailed here to load up rails. That was two or three days earlier, and seeing how the account of him tallied, I went after her. Now, she'd gone down the coast with a scratch crew- runners and such; but I've one or two reasons for thinking Salter must have shipped regular for the whole voyage. Well, the boat hauled out of dock to-day, but Salter wasn't on board her. She'd be steaming out by Piel when I saw him." "What could have made him leave her? He'd be anxious to get out of the country." They shipped some firemen and greasers here, and my notion is there was somebody among them who'd sailed with Salter before. Most likely he bolted as soon as he recognised the man." This struck Harry as a probable explana- tion, considering that Salter was wanted by the police on a serious charge. The first thing we have to do is to find him," he replied. "He won't stay here. How could he get out of the town? There's the Manx boat-though he'd hardly go in her the Irish boat, and the trains. There's no cargo, boat sailing the next few days; I've been round the docks to see." Harry nodded, for Jackson seemed to have gone into the matter systematically. I'll leave the boats to you and attend to the trains." he said Wliw's tberp an botol? meres one ciose to," was the answer; and after they had breakfasted and arranged to communicate by telephone Jackson de- parted for the docks. Harry watched a number of trains leave that day. but there was no sign of Salter, and it had been dark some time when he walked back to the station with Jackson If he's still here he'll probably try to get off by this train, as it's the last," said Harry. "I expected all along that he'd wait for night, I'll get tickets for Carnforth, and then we'll keep a look-out from some quiet place." They moved towards a spot from which they could watch the booking-office un- observed, and stood there w'uk' ,he passen- gers began to gather bt'"c?:'t '? fi.ekering lights. A fresh north-west br?c?. which drove the white smoke of the blast fnrnaces and rail mills before it, blustered across the town and swept the station, and the clusters of figures drew into the shelter of the build- ings and left the platform clear. Still there was no sign of Salter when the train, which would stop three or four minutes, came clat- tering in. Harry grew feverishly anxious as he waited while two minutes slipped by. and then he started and felt inside his jacket as a man passed beneath the lamp in front of the booking-offiee. That's him," said Jackson, and then, noticing Harry's action, asked: What have you got in there? A fountain pen and a sheet of foolscap," taid Harry. Jackson looked astonished, and iL-rrv ex- plained, with a dry smile: If Salter proves amenable, I expect the next man I have to deal with would sooner face a loaded pistol. 'Don't move we'll get on just as the train goes. Salter disappeared the moment lie had left "the ticket window, and the guard had waved his lantern when he hurriedly crossed the platform and scrambled into a corridor coach. Harry frowned as he noticed the latter fact; but he waited until the engine panted and the carriages commenced to move. Then at the last moment he made a dash for the footboard of one and wrenched a door open amidst the warning cries of the porters. It's the wrong end; he's further along," gasped Jackson, when they stood in the corri- dor while the lights of the station vanished behind a bridge. Just so," Harry answered. .11 If we'd :tried the 'other entrance, it's quite possible we'd have landed on the line; I saw him at the door. It's lucky he's chosen what seems to be an almost empty coach." Passing two unoccupied compartments, they entered a third, where a man stood fac- ing them with a savage frown. His expres- sion suggested that Harry's precaution had been a wise one. Sit down," said the latter, sternly. It won't pay yon to make a disturbance; you'd only force us to stop the train. Keep near the cord, Jackson." .Salter, seeing no help for it, did as he waa f.tdden, and Harry fixed his eyes on him. Now," he said, "I'm going to talk, and to begin with, I've no doubt a description of you has been circulated among the Lancashire police; but whether Lll hand you over to them at Ulverston largely depends upon your- self. I'd better state that I'm not interested in your exploit on board the Coronet. It's the wrecking of the Calabria I want to talk about. "I didn't put her on the reef," said Salter, shortly. Harry looked at him with determined eyes. Don't bluff. I'll give you credit for being tough, but you're in my hands. To clear the ground, I'll mention that I've been in the Calabria's engine-room in a diving-dress, and I'll tell you what I discovered there, if it's necessary. In the meanwhile, I'll say this Captain Elliot rang for full speed astern shortly before the Calabria went on the reef, and that order was never obeyed. I'm ac- quainted with your reason for disregarding it; it was the result of the conspiracy between you and your employer. It's 011 that point I want your testimony." On the whole, Salter looked slightly re- lieved. This had, after all, no connection with the matter the police Jhacl against him. Well," he said, what will you give for it? Harry's eyes blazed, and he leant forward with a fist clenched, hoarse with passion. You make terms with me, you unutterable brute!" he cried. You blackened my father's name; in a manner you're responsible for his death. Now you're going to clear him; but if there were any other means of doing it I'd never have given you the opportunity. Unless I have a clear statement of your share in the matter, I'll hand you over to the authorities at Ulverston." "And if I let you have it?" I promise nothing, but it's possible that I'll merely leave the carriage with your signed statement in my pocket. My decision will' depend upon what I think of the ac- curacy of the confession. I've means of check- ing it." It was with strong reluctance Harry adopted this attitude. He would greatly have preferred to hand the man over to the police, but that would have destroyed his only hold on him-Salter would speak to preserve his freedom. The latter said nothing for a few moments. and Harry. glancing back through the window, saw a blaze of lurid radiance leap up into the moonlit sky. It sprang from the crown of a blast furnace, and it was already some distance away. You had better make up your mind at once," he added, with portentous-quietness. Are you going to use the statement against me?" Salter inquired. "A little reflection should show you that it doesn't matter much what I do with it. If you succeed in evading the police, the fact that they would have two charges against you instead of one wouldn't count. If you refuse to confess, you won't have a chance of escap- ing them. Get on with the story, and be as concise as you can." When I was "lief engineer of the Cala- bria I agreed with her managing owner, Mr. Arnold Elliot, to tamper with her engines in a way that might cause her loss," Salter began. State the consideration you were to receive." Salter did so reluctantly, and proceeded to recount how he had once or twice stopped the vessel in dangerous proximity to the Pacific coast of British Columbia, but had been com- pelled to restart his engines for fear of ex- citing his subordinates' suspicions. In each case, he added, her master's skill and cool- ness saved the vessel from being driven ashore. In the meanwhile Harry wrote hastily with the paper spread on the bottom of his valise, and Jackson leant forward. listening with eager interest in his eyes, and a short. blackened pipe in his mouth. The tram was a fast one, and the confused rattle and clatter made a curious accompaniment to the story as it swept on between the moonlit More- cambe sands and the quiet green hills. The lamp overhead burnt steadily, and the light fell on Harry's set brown face and tightly- closed lips as he guided the flying pen. At length Salter came to the evening of the wreck, and paused a moment, while Harry thankfully relaxed his fingers, as a row of blinking lights and a line of platform, with its seats and baggage-trucks, flashed by. Grange," he said. "If we're not through when we reach Carnforth, you'll miss the North-Western train. Get on, and don't go into many details about the engines. J can supply them." It was blowing fresh—dead on shore," said Salter. "There was haze and a big roll of a sea on, and as she was pitching her pro- peller out and the engines were hammering badly, I was at the throttle. A reef lay to lee of us—I'd got our position from the mate- and I screwed her down to half-speed when I thought we were near enough. Captain Elliot called me up and expostulated. I told him I'd jar her propeller off or knock out a cylinder-head if 1 gave her full steam, and we had words about it. He was violent, but per- fectly sober. Going half-speed, she drove in closer to the reef, and bv-and-bye, when a crosshead began to knock, I slowed her more. I knew there was a risk, but it was a rising tide, and I thought she'd work over the reef and hold out long enough for us to get the boats out in a partial lee." How was it the crosshead was loose?" Harry asked, sharplv. It had got a little hot before I took the throttle, and l drove off the third engineer, blaming him for the thing, and slackened the brass more than was needed. I didn't report that \e'(l again reduced speed to the skipper. Soon after there was a shouting on deck-a. greaser off watch callcd out that we were going slap ashore—and I got the signal for lou( l k-,r, and hard astern. The shouting got louder, and the men began to bolt out of the stokehold and engine-room—it's possible I could have kept them there if I'd wanted. The gong called for hard astern again, but I didn't v»vers#> link' and in a .not hex moment sli« went on witn a Dang. men i stoppeo tne engines, started the bilge pump, told some- body to put the donkey on. and went up on deck. Found her down by the head, with the sea breaking over her. By-and-bye she drove across the reef. I managed to get the fire- man's boat off with some of the passengers, and she went down as we were pulling clear. You had better acld-it's a solemn fact-that I never expected a loss of lif*. I'd figued out the rise of water from the mate's chart, and I thought the pumps would hold her up a little after she'd hammered over." He stopped, and Harry took out his watch as the train swept with a sudden clamour across a bridge. We'll be in Carnforth very shortly," said the' latter, holding out the ctosely-written double sheet. "Take the pen and sign this." Salter did so, and Harry beckoned to Jack- son. Put your name and last address Iiere. lIe added his own signature, and Salter looked at him with something like a smile. It won't hold. You're too interested, and I could prove animus against the fireman." It will serve my purpose," said Harry, shortly. I could prove your signature, if necessary; they've got it at the Board of Trade. In a few minutes I'll get out of this carriage and, most reluctantly, leave you to your own resources. Shortly afterwards the slowing train ran into a station, and Harry, who signed to Jackson, gr-t out without another word to Saiur. A North-Western train was standing on another line, v.ith clusters of passengers hurrying towards it, and the two sat down and waited until the engine startd and the lighted carriages sli(, past them. I think we had better look for an hotel,'5 said Harry. (20 ç concluded.)