Chicago Ledger, v. XLI, no. 40, Saturday, October 4, 1913.
Miller, Warne, M. D.
3 September 2014
Chicago, Ill. : W. D. Boyce Company
Dime Novel and Popular Literature
Detective Crawley's Nerve; or, Playing a Trump Card / by Warne Miller, M. D. Playing a Trump Card.
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' the same V
’ tured fellow nothing Comes of it: but let
“Until very late?“
“We were making a night of it. First
at a. soiree, and then to sit in at a friend-
ly game with two other wild blades. it
was after three when we started home.”
“Y . on are n on bravely.
Don't stop. You understand that I must
know all if you expect me to be
"Both of us were pretty well strung;
a most men in . that condition are
either Jolly or quarrelsome.
“I k ow that run a fact: and also that
Thorndyke had the reputation of being
exceedingly touchy.’ and ready to get in-
to a row when he had tippled too much."
“Yes: and unfortunately I am inclined
mist way. ith a good-na-
two sour. ugly-tempered men. half-seas
over. get into a quarrel, and nobody can
tell what will happen." with a shudder.
"“’eli,‘ you started home?’
“There was a. conveyance. we
thought we would walk. us
agreed it would do us good. and clear the
cobwebs rom our nddied brains a little.
But that was the sum total of our seeing
alike. We snapped at each other like a
couple of mangy dogs.“ It seemed as if
‘half 3. dozen times we stopped, and dared
each other to fight. Then we would go
on again, mumbling and feeling sore to-
ward each other."
"Yes, Il‘undet-stand. And finally?"
“We must have reached the explod-
ing stage. I have only a dim conception
of our struggling there on the pavement
like a pair of Klikcnny cats. It was
shameful! I don’! believe I ever reached
that low estate before‘: and whether I
live through th or not, I ‘swear I'll
never give the devil another chance to
“Well, what do you distinctly remem-
"VVhiie my mind is still hazy. I can feel
hnd in my drunken
frenzy snatched up whatever came to my
h‘andl,'and smashed the poor follow on the
5 cui ."
CY'EWiP)' said nothing. while he sat and
surveyed his terrorized caller. lie wani-
ed the frightful nature of Van Winkle’!
situation to present itself fully to the
other‘: mind. before he ventured to probe
the mystery. searching or t ose clews
which might always be found by one
clever enough to know where to look.
’ BY WIIOSE ‘HAND?
’ OW, tell me what you did next?"
Van “'inkie brushed his hands
across his face; it was the despairing
gesture of a horrliied man. who would
endeavor to putraway a spectacle that
ghaunted hi and was likely to do so
the balance of his life.
" rd know. I remember wanting
to shriek out. and call the police. Then
mood changed, for by this time I had
become wholly sobcred. A wild desire to
escape now began to tempt me es.
1 must have time to ponder the dreadful
situation over, perhaps find some one to
’ advise me.“
“I was that great a coward. lilr. Craw-
Instead of facing the nlusic like
peace for me. >
a spirit in Ilades as the
dragged by; while I dodged about the
streets. and shuddered every time I saw
a blue coat and brass buttons. A more
(‘ontempiible villain never was born than
I felt then." , ‘
Crutley smiled a trllie, but the other
did not see this. for his eyes were fasten-
ed on e pattern in the rientai rug.
Presently Rudolph spoke again.‘
“I guess I thought of everything that
ever happened to me in my entire life.‘
during that time. Finally I made up my
mind that you were the only man in all
“You're mistaken. Van: that‘: only the
beginning. Now. pay attention to me. and
try to collect your senses, so as to an-
swer my questions the best you know
"How good this is of you, Mr. Crawley!
Really. I didn‘t know but what you
would think it your duty to chase me off
to the station-house just as soon as I
admitted I was with poor Allan."
- ou ‘seem to remember struggling
with him?’ . .
“Oh! yes. I could swear to that." re-
plied the other. avnarently falling to see
how such an uim ssion was apt to tell
heavily against him, if ever he were
placed on trial for the murder of his
“But you do not remember striking
him with any obiect whatever?"
“I have cudgeied my poor brains the
best I knew how. Just to try and remem-
ber the least thing about that. but it all
seems a bisn i"
n you cannot recollect having seen
‘that fatal brick before the second your
eyes fell upon it. lrinl; there alongside
Thorn-irks. and one end of it covered
with his blood?’
do not remember a thing about it.
And the only conclusion I've been able to
, that at the time I picked it up
I must have been out of my senses far
enough not to realize what I was doing.
V I CHICAGO LEDGEVP - -
But the awful shock of seeing him lying”
there all bloody brought me suddenly to
myself again. But did I say that on]
one end of the brick was stained?" ,
"No. you did not happen to mention it:
but I took note of that fact myself!’
“Wha ave you- seen him lying
there. Mr. Crawley.
Words could notpictnre the astonish-
ment, almos it w ich Van
Winkle cried out in this fashion. Ile
stared at his companion as though once
again he had begun to believe Crawley
must be allied with the spirits of necro-
“Yes. It happened that as I was re-
turning home alter accomplishing cer-
tain matters connected with a very im-
portant case. I stumbled upon the body.
Two night bulls had Just found it. and
were trying to ascertain what it all
"Of course they knew me. and were
only too ,glad
should be done.
amine the situation before they called for
the patrol wagon to carry the dead man
to the stntion.. And in that way natur-
ally I noticed the brick that had caused
speak, how easily‘ would all be cleared
up!" - . .
"Every word you say is the truth,
Crawley, but who can make this same
dumb witness tell the facts? If any man
can, it w be you, my friend. But from
what you say you must have suspected
what brought me here so early, looking
as‘ though had been seeing a ghost 7"
‘I caught a suspicion very soon after ,
you came. In the first place. I remember-
ed that Thorndkys and you were often
"Yes. and while we quarreled when We
otherwise. Why, ! would have done almost
anything for Allan. to think that.
when out of my mind I should be guilty
Di.’ this terrible thing." ‘
"You seem determined to stand for the
tragedy; Rudolph. Nobody has accused
you as yet. but you are apparently ready
to acknowledge the crime, and ake your
- "Because it is utterly impossible that
any one else could have done it. Didn't
I confess to you that we were struggling
at the time. and I felt him slipping down
in a horribly suggestive way. Just as
though the life had suddenly left him!
Ugh! What a. fool, what a dolt I have
been! And now I must take my medi-
lle groaned 'aloud, and clutched the
h chair. If Rudolph lvan
kie had‘sinned much he was cer-
tainly.paying up for it all now. The
sternest apostle of Justice could ask for
no more severe punishmen than the
agony of mind he was enduring.
“Wa There may be,a. gleam of hope
“Oh! bless you for saying that. Mr.
Crawley. It all looks blank to me; but
w to handle these things
better than any living man. What is it
you see to found your hope on. air?"
"Perhaps several things. Let us ex-
amine the that comes to me.‘ And
you yourself have brought it forward. all
unconsciously.” “’ -
. ease tell me. then. ‘You have aroused
just the faintest spark of hope in my
soul. “Tha. "'
“Twice now. in speaking about your
sensations at the time this happened. you
have referred to the fact that you felt
his body slipping rom your embrace as
though life had suddenly been snatched
from its earthly tenement
‘Yes, yes. that is so. And I also said
I would never forget the awful creepy
sensation s.s'the first suspicion that he
had fainted. or was dead. passed over me.”
"Be very sure now-you swear that as
youvciasped him in your arms you felt
his?‘ ’ V
‘Yes. I can take my oath to that. sir!"
"lileaning both arms"
“Certainly. I could not have held him‘
"And if that be true, bray tell me how
you picked up that brick. and delivered
the terribly forceful blow that sank it
into his skull?" ’ -
n Winkle stared arhlm for 9. few
seconds, as though his befogged brain
could hardly grasp the tremendous sig-
nintnnce of that question. Then over his
ghastly though eager face there swept a
Iierce expression of awakening J y.
lie gripped the fingers of the detective.
and squeezed then: like a. savage; not
content with that the almost hysterica
in actually bent his head and kissed’
the back of Crawley‘s hand.
1 od bless you for that ray of
hope. If only it would appear that I am
innocent of th aw ul crime. I would
shout for joy, and lead a different life.
There is a chance then‘! If both my arms
were tight around poor old Allan, I
couldn't possimly have picked up that
thing and struck him, could I?"
"Hardly. And in the beginning I was
careful to ask if you recollected seeing’
that rick before
stained with h
“It is the truth. I pledge You my Word!
And I would confess to it if I knew any-
thing contrartwise. lilr. Crawley: you be-
lieve that don’t you?” '
"Yes I do, Van. For you seemed to be
trying the best you knew to understand
ust how you had done it; W Gut ever
once trying to avoid the penalty. Now
that you realize what I am lirlving after,
do you still stick to the same story?"
“More than ‘ever. I was positively
grappling with him at the time. Both
my arms were around him. Why, it it
hadn't been so. he would have fallen in a
heap. As it Was. I lowered him to the
The detective nodded his head. He
seemed satlslled that he had made no
mistake in his diagnosis; for an up-to-
date sleuth finds it tust as necessary to
form an opinion as to the cause and na-
ture of the disease he is about to at-
tack. as any physician ever can.
“ hard. Rudolph. It
Once more. think
means everything to you. bile you
were strulrlcling with Thorndyke in that
half-drunk:-n manner, can you remember
any one approaching you?"
"No. w no one.”
“Still. you were at the lime in hardly a
condition to see very much. And again.
possibly some one might have crept up
behind your back without your being any
the tvlscr?” . '
Van Winkle appeared to consider this.
“It might possibly be so, but all the
same I doubt it. sir." he replied presently.
.‘ e . you are a queer fellow, I mus
say. it strikes me tha V
men who. with their life trembling in the
balance, would not be constrained to seize
upon‘the fiimsit-st hope. and magnify it.
And yet here you say you doubt whether
such a thing could have happened. I
must say that you love the truth, no mat-
er how weak you may have been in
other respects. son."
"But I didn't see any one: and while
what you say might be possible. it
strikes me as improbable. But you know
better than and I'm content to
hoping and praying I may crawl out of
this horrible pit Without too much dis-
ace for my people.”
“Then did you hear any sound besides
what you and Thorndyke might have
made while srui‘l‘llll2‘?"
He saw Van yvlflnkle start. and show
sudden interest. -‘
“Why. Yes. I did. now that you mention
“Ah! what was its character in a gen-
erai way?" - 4
"I thought I heard a gruff voice call
out: but up to now the thing had utter-
ly passed from my mind. You see, I was
wholly wravvr-d up in trying to realize
how I did that foul thing: and I never
once allowed myself to suspect there
might be another."
“Well, I am positive that there. was
another person near you. right then and
there: and t is gain to be my part of
the lab to discover his identity."
"Y yes. how you cheer me up when
you say that. I can never thank you
enough. Mr. Crawleyf‘.
“Don't fry-yet. Wait until we make
King,” by Weldon .7. Cobb.
during the next year.
i To Ledger Readers
Look out for the leaders in next week's Ledger, “BETWEEN
won1:.1>s;' or HOW AN AVIATOR WON," and “THE HIDDEN
comm; 61-, A sasxm rnom: nmu."
stories and you must not miss them. - .
We have on hand many splendid stories Awaiting publication. Among
“Complies 1:11.! of 1:‘s.te,”W by Emma Howard Wight; “The Unwritten
Law,” by J’. G. Ilowser; “Anti-Gravity Airship Company," by scephgn
A. Cox; “Loaded Dice,” by Will Lisenbee; “Beauty and the Beast," by
Granville Osborne; “Treasures of the Mountains," by Thom“ 1!, Mont.
ford; “The Princess Zithena,” by.A. Id’. Freeman; “The Young circus
We could enumerate many more, but have not the space. We want
to assure the Ledger readers that it will be distinctly worth while for
them to subscribe for this paper, or continue tsking it from our agents
They are great, thrilling
r - V ‘g
some sort of discovery. You must go to
your rooms. and to bed. If you hnd a
few tiny stainsof blood on your g
ments do nothing to wash them out: for
that would appear to be evidence of
gull " .
“I understand, sir. And you want me
to remain quiet until I hear from you; or
else they come to take me before the
"Yes; but you will not be troubled very
soon. I syliall see to that. To hark back
again to that minute when you were
tussling with Allan: could you give m
any idea as to what direction the shout
“I could not. Sir." .
.“’.l‘heu you have no recollection as to
whether it came from back of you, to one
side. or even above?”
“Not if I were placed on my oath could
I say more than that I seemed to hear a
startled cry; and then I felt him grow
limp in my grasp, as I hugged him in my
drunken fashion.” ,
“Do you know whether Thorndyke had
any enemies?“ ’
“I never knew it‘if. he did. He was a
very. attractive chap, you understand,
and had many friends; both among the
men of our set, and the women as well."
"Do‘you now whether he was paying
attentions to any lad ‘in particular?"
“Well, perhaps I could hardly say that,
the daughter of old General Tremaine.
But then it was also known that Doris
was as good as engaged to Jack Jenks."
mean John Alexander Jenks,
the young electrician. who i beginning
to make a. name for himself in scientiilc
circles. and who has worke ar-
coni on some of the Wizard's great in-
ventions. ' ‘ .
-' ‘fWhy. yes, that is the man. and a fine
fellow. too. I e wii1,rnake Doris a good
husband." mumbled Van Winkle, not
noticing the frown that had come upon
the detectives brow.
Crawley had reason for looking grave.
since he remembered distinctly that he
had met that same.John Jenks Just five
night ofiicers examining
5nd.’ c r ,
CHAPTER III. .
AN OUTIJAWED WITNESS.
OMETIMES the most trivial incident
may assume‘ stupendous proportions,
when taken in connection with other
n across the young in-
ventor st three o'clock in the morning. he
had spoken to him in passing. and
thought no'more of the accidental meet-
ing. But since learning that he and
Allan Thorndyke both loved the same
girl, whom Crawley also chanced to know
weltering in his own blood, was terribly
' es, and harking instantly back to the
incident. the detective remembered now
doing the same-looking after him!
an expression of apprehension he had
seen on the face of the young man, who
seemed destined soon to become famous
as a. second Tesla, an Edison, or :1 Mar-
coni? It certainly might be deemed such.
in the light of more recent developments.
Despite all that Van Winkle had said,
it was possible for some one to have
crept up to the struggling pair.
Neither of them at the time chanced to be
in a condition capable of noting such a
‘ The-thought was thrilling. almost be-
yond belief; for if all,he knew and hail
heard about John Jenks were true, he
was 2. young man in ten thousand, utter-
ly incapable of perpetrating such a hor-
rible thing as this. And yet. who can say
what temptation might not come to a
man whose sweetheart was in danger of
being stolen. through the superior at-
tractions of a much more handsome and
t any rate this was s. clew worth fol-
IOWHIE‘ “D. Innocent or guilty. the mm e-
ments of John Jenks during the latter
part of the night just. assed must pos-
sess new interest for t is man of claws
"Do ou want to ask me anythim-'
more, Mr. Crawley?" ' ‘
"Only this. Have you ever heard that
Jenks made any threat toward Thorn-
"Great Cesar! You don't sumw" ‘'9
would ever be low enough to attemvt
that offers. Please answer my times on-
“Do you demand itf‘ as if reluctant to
“I certainly do. ‘Have you any 79150“
to believe that Thorndyke and JBHKS
. Allan told me he wouldn't be
surprised if he had trouble with limits
ns day. You see. that was his
He simply couldn't help being