\:tiY.i£.æ"l-mWI6 1 1!F- " ,,-&_r.; ., '!B£'" ';.-" '. '.."1! 7':'¡¡fl" -.jgJ?t ""',."11 ?? I" ".., H .. ".. "h. ", .  ? ? THE SECRET OF THE SANDS I x... x-ffix|1914-05-30|The Abergavenny Mail - Welsh Newspapers" /> _. ",,"::."-:;. :,'1m'y.'\ .......'t;>\:tiY.i£.æ"l-mWI6 1 1!F- " ,,-&_r.; ., '!B£'" ';.-" '. '.."1! 7':'¡¡fl" -.jgJ?t ""',."11 ?? I" ".., H .. ".. "h. ", .  ? ? THE SECRET OF THE SANDS I x... x-ffix|1914-05-30|The Abergavenny Mail - Welsh Newspapers
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:1m'y. .t;>tiY.i£.æ"l-mWI6 1 1!F- ,&_r.; '!B£'" '1! 7'¡¡fl" -.jgJ?t 11 ?? I" H "h.  ? ? THE SECRET OF THE SANDS I x. x-ffix ? _— m m M ? By FRED M. WHITE, gg If Author of Tregarthen's Wife," The yVeipht of the Crown," The Edge of the S^vurd," "The Cardinal Moth," A Fatal Dose," &e. sr t ;?-Œmm_m. PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS: I ZIR HORACE AMORY, of Oversands, a highly- esteemed county magnate. VERA, his daughter, DICK AMORY, Sir Horace's scapegoat son, who is on the Stock Exchange. LADY MARIA AMORY, a widow, devoted to Dick. -JOSEPH BASTABLE, a speculator in land, formerly Sir Horace's steward. RONALD BASTABLE, his son, a barrister in London. CHAPTER XIII. I Loud, blustering, and self-important as he was, Bastable could hardly be reckoned as a bully in his own household. He had a poor opinion of women as a whole, and seldom I deigned to consult his wife about anything. But in his secret heart he was proud she was a lady, and, where social observances were -concerned, he was afraid of her. Like most of his class, he was a snob—though he would have resented it had anybody told him so. But for once Joseph Ba,stable v as inclined to show the stuff he was made of. For the last two days he had been moody and irri- table. There was a furtive look about him that puzzled and rather annoyed Ronald. Had it been anybody but his father, he would have said that this was a person who had -done something wrong. The matter culminated at breakfast. The blood flamed into Ronald's face at some re- mark of Bastable's in reply to a question from his wife. Will you recollect that you are speaking to my mother, sir? he said. Bastable's coarse red face flushed. He would have given a thousand pounds of his beloved money to possess that quiet, incisive manner of speaking. He was proud in a way to feel that his son had it. The manner came of breeding, the mixing with people of posi- tion. Bastable understood these things, but he knew that they were not for him. I won't be dictated to by you," he said. "Ashamed of me, I suppose?" At certain moments, almost." Ronald ,said, gently. Just now. for instance." Ba.stable subsided into sullen silence. He ate his breakfast as if he bore it a personal grudge. He tendered a sort of apology to Ronald later. I've had a great disappointment," he muttered. Walk as far as the office with me. If you've nothing better to do, I shall be glad if you will give me a hand with my private correspondence this morning. Can you manage it? 0 "Jve to do all day." Ronald replied. • ?ome along, then. I'm disappointed, my boy. You know how I had set my heart upon & first-cla.ss golf lmk8 for Shoremouth. I am told that a thousand pounds would make ?t of the finest links in the Kingdom. Six thousand pounds for a. club-house with all the taodern luxuries would pay. My idea was to run it m yself. I'd get some golfing sv.-ell and make him secretary. The land as it stands is worth practically nothing. I expected to get it from Amory for a few hundreds. In the course of time I would sell the fringe of those downs at fancy prices for golfers' houses. People would come here from all part.s of the world. But when I approached Aniory, hang me if h" d sell me a yard Perhaps he bad other views," Ronald sug- gested. Not he. It's pure stubbornness. He nuide a personal matter of it. I wanted the lower part of the ground, because it is nearer to the toa-n. But, if necessary, I'm going to build a bridge over the river a few hundred yards above the Red House, so that from the links the town will not be more than a mile. Then I shall use my own land on the far side of the river, and be independent of our stiff- backed friend. I had him in a cleft stick a. or two ago. I was in a position to make him sue for terms, but he got to hear about it, confound hi-m I" Do you meaiy in the matter of the Ken- nedy business?" Ronald asked. That's it. But he got to know, or per- haps he anticipated matters. If he didn't, then somebody in my employ betrayed me. I've my suspicions." Ronald flushed uncomfortably. If his father had his suspicions, then somebody would suffer before long. It might be an inno- cent person who had a wife and family de- pendent upon him. "Your suspicions are wrong," Ronald said. "I told Sir Horace myself." Bastable pulled up short in his stride. You-you infernal—I ftiean you idiot:" ho blazed out. "That you should (lare, "You are attracting attention," Ronald said. quietly. People are staring at you. My dear father, it has been your fancy to make me what you call a gentleman. I am grateful to you for that. But then you have afforded me a training that places us as far apart as the poles. No doubt, from your point of view, it is quite legitimate to take advantage of Sir Horace. You regard it as business. But tlrose who taught me my code would regard it as a dishonourable trans- action. I think they are right. I felt ashamed of you when you told me what you were going to do. Therefore, T took the first opportunity of warning Sir Horace. I am glad to know that I have been of assistance to him. Bastable contested the point no further. He was always conscious of a sense of meanness end inferiority when Ronald spoke to him like that. In an odd way he felt that Ronald was right. The boy might be a fool. he might have a poor head for business, but he knew the ways of the world, and more than once the older man had benefited by that knowledge. Conscious, perhaps, that he had gone too far, Ronald sat down with the intention of <loing a good morning's work. He often helped his father in this way. There was a mass of correspondence to deal. with, and Ronald slogged steadily at it. He was think- ing of nothing but the work in hand when he etumbled upon a letter that staggered him. He read it twice If "481, Lincoln's Inn Yard. London. C4 Dear Sir,—We have carefully considered yours of the 13th instant, and regret that we cannot see our way to regard your views as correct. "According to the correspondence before 'us. both from yourself and Mr. Arthur Bowen, it is clear that our late client was misled as to the nature of the securities. We are unfortunately unable to consult Mr. Richard Amory, who at present is on the Continent and 'likely to be away from London for some time. After careful consideration and investiga- tion we are forced to the conclusion that our late client has been the victim of what looks remarkably like systematic fraud either on the part of *Mr. Bowen or Mr. Amory. We are not prepared in the present state of affairs to say who really is the guilty party, but unless we have some satisfactory assurance from you in the course of the next, week we shall place the matter in the hands -of the proper authorities. We are not disposed to admit that Mr. Bowen has been the victim of a gang of des- peradoes on the contrary, we are inclined to think that a close examination of affairs will disclose something highly ingenious in the way of a fraud. Mr. Bowen was kidnapped from hisloffice on a certain date; he. vanished early in the afternoon, and this being so. it is odd that we should have received a letter from him the next day posted in London on the day of the alleged outrage. It may be argued that the letter was posfed before the raid on his office, but this is disproved by the -envelope which contained the letter, which envelope we enclose herewith. You will see that it bears the 9.40 p.m. postmark, and that it was posted in the West Central district. Kindly return it at your convenience. In view of this significant fact, we shall he glad to have a call from you as soon as "Sponsible.—Yours faithfully, HEBEPATH AND BUTLER." I f I lie, firm w. familiar to C: It. w.i.s that of one of the most i;> mineiit- coiuoaiiies of solicitors in the Ciiy of London. Tho letter was vague i:t its way. vet there v,a- a eoid suggestivenees about it L'¡t Ronald did not like. He read it again aid again; he could think of nothing else for the time. it was incomprehensible, though the hint of a threat was plain. In some way his father had been mixed up in route transaction that this respectable firm of solicitors re- gard ad with disapproval—or worse The tangle was growing still more intricate. The more Ronald tumbled with the ravelled words the mor-* complicated the knots be- came. One point, however, was perfectly clear, no fatal result had followed the spirit- ing away of Arthur Bowen. Without doubt he had posted that letter hours after at- tack upon him in his office. Somebody might have found the letter and dropped it into the box, but that "-its unlikely. The postmark was plain. Whoever posted the letter had forgotten this, or had reckoned upon its being unnoticed. It was seldom that a postmark stood out so legibly as the one on the envelope Ronald was holding in his hand. How did his father come to have dealings with these people? What had he done to cause Herepath and Butler to write to him in this offensive manner? He had admitted that he had followed the "Safe Mystery with in- terest, but had said nothing to suggest that he was himself associated with any of the leading characters in the drama. Ronald was still pondering over the puzzle when his father returned. He was in high spirits he had got the better of somebody, and expanded accordingly. There was a spreading smile on his face as lie took the letter from Ronald's hand. "I am afraid I am not competent to deal with fhis, the latter said. The smile faded from Bastable's face as he read. He grew flabby, and Ronald saw his hand was shaking strangely. I'll attend to this myself," he said. It's —it's a private matter, and I am sorry you opened it. I daresay you wonder-" It would be strange if I didn't," Ronald safd. You never told me you were in any way mixed I-IL)-- Wilitt do i-olt mean by mixed up?" Bas- table demanded. Anybody would think that I was one of a gang who set about Bowen. I couldn't ay anything for the simple reason that my lips were sealed. Bowen has done n good deal of business for me in conn.eti(m with investments which 1 desire the -hnïyer." 1 here should know nothing about. lhe boasted secrecv of a lawyer's office is all bosh. I -va; I fool enough to guarantee an account for I Bowen, and it looks as if he had been robbing .his clients." CHAFER X i V, t "These people are acting for trustees?" Ronald asked. Tli at' it. mv bov. Some client of Mr. Bowen's is dead. and the trustees have em- ployed another firm of solicitors. So far that is pretty plain. Bowen has been using my name to a greater extent than Iw was entitled to. I'll run up to town to-inorrow and put these people in their proper place. Still, it's deuced odd about Bowen." Yerv." lion a Id said, drily. "I see that Dick Amory is mixed up in the business too. Were you aware of that? ,tt l teii iinl)atl- Bastable displaved Úgn" of sullen impati- ence. l'in ijol "in thewitness-box," lie mut- tered.ould think you were cross-examining me. As I know a good deal about Bowen. it is only natural 1 should be aware that young Dick Amory acted as his broker. There is no mystery about it so far as I am concerned, my boy. I'll see tnese people to-morrow. When I come back I may have something to tell you." Ronald left the office later in a thoUghtLul frame of mind. Dick Aniory's danger was closer than the hitter imagined. It \v«-> clear that the suspicions of Herepath and Butler were around. Failing Boweil. they would call on Aniory to produce Ins boons u^ uvi-Uv he showed his race. It would be necessary (o see Dick without delay. Ba.-?,ttvbfc was p:?.ng up ?" down his office moodily, lie ..as alone, ?d the m?k was dropped. TJw letter had mad a deep impression upon him. Af.hrhe?h.d pondered the matter, he rang his bell savagely. •• Has John Turk been here to-day lie ^Yes, s i r. the 'clerk r,-I)Iie(l. ha? Ye. "it' t!lt" clerk Tfplied. He. ha;¡ been waiting a long time to sec J™- ile, Bastable waved his hand ?np-nently Ihe door of the oHic. opened, and a little old man entered with a furtive air. He was dressed 111 seedy, shinv black clothes, his boots were down at heel, and his sodden white face and red nose told their own story. With it tll, however, be had the vague appearance of hav- iug started life under happier auspices. Weil, Johll," Bastable said, with a. cer, tain rude good humour, "have yon come to take up ihat little c liche of yours. .»sir," Turk said, meekly. under- stand that you Tile.I e,)t!ld I)Ilt "Well perhaps 1 do. Perhaps I could put Something ill your v,av. We will postpone that trifling matter for the present. Must people would have prosecuted you over that affair. And to try it on with me ot f al- people Tur'l- I'm afraid I had (triiikitig, ur( eaid, humbly. Dritiliiig Of course you had. What eh:1 have vou done the last score of years? Witli vour brains, vou should have made a fortune bv this time. But, even as it is, you are to oc trusted to a. certain extent. John. Never even in vour most expansive moment have you been known to betray a secret. Have you got that paper for me?" Turk glanced cautiously around him. It was as if he suspected the furniture of having ears. He crept across to the door and satis- fied himself that it was fast. Then he drew a. long slip of blue paper from his pocket and handed it to Bastable. The latter regarded it long and carefully through his glasses. He only wore these on special occasions, but lie seemed to need them now. He nodded a surly approval. ■■ Verv good, John," he said; "very good indeed. Here are the five pounds I promised vou. Now go away, and try to save this monev for once." Turk went his wav unsteadily, and Bast- able locked the slip of paper in his private safe. Then he forced himself rigidly back to his business routine and wrote till lunch- time. He partook of his frugal meal at the club, after which he went m far as the oiffoes of Amory and Sons, a.nd asked for a few mo- ments with Sir Horace. ♦ The latter was disengaged, and would see Mr. Bastable at once. Sir Horace smiled blandly as his enemy swaggered into his pri- vate ofifce. As to the little matter we discussed the other day," Bastable suggested. The matter we discussed?" Sir Horace Mked, vaguelv. Oh, you mean the Kennedy mked, I h?d forgotten that in the procure of other business. I understand that the accept- ance was in the hand's of your London agents? It's in my pocket at the present moment," Bastable said, bluntly. Really, now That is interesting, Mr. Bastable. Let me see—didn't I say I should be glaki to take it up as soon as possible ? Twenty thousand one hundred and fifteen pounds, nine Rhillings and four pence, I fancy. Will you be so good as to touch the bell for me? Thank you." J Si* HorMc a. few wnrfls • Sheet ot not-epaper anti nanciea it to the cierK who came in responds to the summons. The subordinate came back a few minutes later with a pile of rustling banknotes and a hand- ful of gold and silver. I fancy you will find that correct," Sir Horace said. I should like you to count it, so as to make quite sure. Then I will trouble toll for the bill." Bastable lfuttered over the notes gravely. He did not know whether to be glad or sorry. He-had half expected an appeal for time to pay. Still, if he were deprived of this re- venge, he had another consolation. He was pertain the money belonged to Sir Hora-ce' clients. When the crash came, it would be a resounding one. On the whole, he could afford to wait. All the samo he pnru-'l with the bill with great reluctal1,¿. n'! li;El it grudgingly in his hand. "You can't eat your cake and have it," Sir Horace smiled. "Thank you." I'll throw it on the fire," Bastable said, Urith some show of good nature. Indeed you will do nothing of the kind, my dear sir," Sir Horace replied. In its way that paper is an asset. For all you know to the contrary, I may have borrowed the money to meet it, and my creditors may insist upon seeing the acceptance as a receipt. What a suggestion to come from a man of business like yourself Sir Horace spoke in tones of mild reproach, but the words brought the blood flaming into Bastable's face and anger into his eyes. He read some subtle meaning in the speech. With unsteady hand he grabbed up the notes a,nd gold avid tossed the bill on the table, and then, with a surly nod, strode out of the office. Sir Horace watched him with a calm, cyni- cal smile on his lips. The smile was still there as In sat with the slip of blue paper in li.s fingers. He had the air of a man who had i r of a man w h o I-t-tkl gained seme coveted treasure at a small out- lay. The document was cancelled and done with; it could have been destroyed in the ordinary course of events, but Sir Horace put it away in the corner of his safe. A la bonne heure," he murmured. This has been a great day for me." A clerk was standing by his elbow with a visiting-card in his hand. The gentleman wants to see you, Sir Horace," he said. "Shall I ask him in?" Sir Horace nodded vaguely. The card bore the name of the Due de Villier. There was no address on the card, nothing to denote the nationality of the caller. lie came in pre- sently, a tall man of some fifty years of age, with grizzled hair and tanned features. He had the right air about him, as Sir Horace recognised at a glance. You will pardon my intruding upon vou in business hours," the stranger said. "I am staying with my friends at Sands Castle, and I niotorl-cl over to-day. You are perhaps not aware that I am a sort of connection of vours by marriage." .Really, Duke, Sir Horace smiled. In what way, may 1 ask? Well, you see, Lady Amory. your uncles widow, is my cousin, for some years we have lost sight of one another entirely. As I hap- pened to be in the neighbourhood, I thought I would look her up." l'Ifased to meet you, I am sure," Sir Horace said. It is rather a singular thing, but I have always been in the dark as to the antecedents of Lady Amory. She—well, she is a little peculiar and sensitive, you under- stand." ie Duke calmlv. 44 Quite Mad," the Duke said. calmly. Quite mad. poor thing. She married your uncle against the wishes of the family. There was a good deal of ooolnjs.s on both sides, .and poor Maria was ultimately forgotten. She and her I husband lived abroad, did tliev not ?, "• Almost entirely, till my uncle (Jitd. I saw my aunt for the first time' after his death. She was left to nie as a legacy, so to speak. It was sufficient for me that she was a lady. you understand. We asked no questions; indeed, it would have been useless to do so." Quite so," the Duke murmured, sympa- theiicallv. "1 will toll you the whole sad story at a more fitting opportunity. You may blame me for not giving that poor creature's claim on us common consideration, especially as Maria and myself were such friends at one time. She was really fond of me, and if I could ee her- My dear Duke, of course you shall," Sir Horace -sa:d, hospitably. You are staying here some time? My movements are uncertain," De Villier replied. "I have the Castle practically to myself for the next day or two. and-" Then come and dine with us this even- ing," Sir Horace suggested. By motor, this can hardly be more than half an hour from the Castle. If you would not mind put- [ ting ceremony on one side, my daughter and I would be glad to see you." •"That is exceedingly kind of yon," the Duke said. "It is all t he more kind because I deserve no consideration at your hands. I will come with ph-i.sure. If I may venture to ask another favour, I should like to meet my poor relation alone—I mean. I shall be grate- ful if yon CMI anange for her to be in the dr;twitig-r<K>m when I am announced and be- fore your daughter is present. I am sure you will appreciate this suggesiion of mine, Sir Horace. It. may sound sentimental." "Xotut all," Amory replied. "Itrcficcis great credit on you. I am sure that my daughter will fall in with the idea. We dine a L, With a smile and a handshake, the DP! E departed. It wanted a few minutes to eight ,N-jit-n his car pulled up before the portico at Oversands. At first sight it looked as if the dn.v,inv.wom were untenanted, but a ?lim figure NVI)i,' ?. WU'l gems, came from one of the big windows as D V¡!ikr fl,k)tn tile i)e Ladv Aniory regarded him with her calm, vague si rutiny for a moment, then her face flamed red, and fro;n red changed to white again. She pressed her hand lo her side and staggered backward*. The Duke managed to catch her. •• I got your message, Maria. he said. I eimir as soon as possible. Courage, my dear, courage So they have followed you to England? Ladv Amory elnng to her eomoanion. /the vague look had left her eyef<, which were clear and natural. You have come at last," she whispered. Thank lleav„n, you have corns lit last

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