E B L ’ G ’ W’
LARENCE KELLY, popularly
C known in the Chicago underworld
as “the Gentleman Kid." thrust a
cigarette between his lips. struck a
match with his thumbnail and applied
the flame tozthe fragrant “fag," then
settled himself in his seat in the smok-
ing-car of the eastbound dyer and drew
’ n crumpled letter from his pocket. th
A corner of his mouth drew down in a
sneer as he read for the hundredth-odd
time the contents of the nlissive writ-
ten in a scratchy, mlserly hand. The
letter was from his uncle, Adam Jeral-
gen. a retired iinancler who lived in
New York. "I inclose a ticket," it said
“Come to New York so I can
In sullen nnger, the Gentleman l(itl‘s
long, slimllngers closed over the letter
and crushed it, and he stared out the
car window with a hard, set expression
on his face, his dark eyes hall veiled as
if to retain the picture of hate which
his thoughts conjured up. , .
wenty-flve‘years before, Adam J
nlgen had turned on only sister out of,
his comfortable home when she’ married
'l‘om Kelly, ti handsome ticket scalper"
who derived his living from a railroad
in xrhiclxAdam Jernigerl was interested.
Jernlgan had then used his iniluence to
bring about a relentless persecution of. ‘
iii.-4 unwelcome brother-in-law, and hail‘
Llitil they were driven topthe gutter iHlll.k ‘
kt-ily found it drunkards grave. Evoii
2 had appealed to him
lmess overtook her nd sit and lI(l"
tie L‘ , wtre forced to subsist on
cilarit), but he had iiznorod her plozis;
For hail his stony hear: melted in ink
lassing ytars own health
Irokt-n, li'ull list-n conlpellt-id to withdraw,
from public life and live the enllity ex-.
isllnce of LI. in use ' ‘ ‘
hzid .10 eke out'lier
llvinl; i tw-
st tit w atever
land, uliile lier lioy had.l.urned to the,
and become a typical gamrln of
inlnizitory, had once more turned to the
rtalrn 0 t a underworld and had be-
e he was 21.
ame centered like it consuming
fume upon the lonely recluse in '
York, and the first train East had found
Hm journeying thither, with every other
interest in life subordinated to R de.
t’rlt‘(-n his father to 5. druni:nI'd's grave.
Inil “'r('Ck(‘d his ‘mother's life. and had
nude (-1 himself 8. criminal.
I was ha
u snarl, he Iammed the letter into
rt-at rocket and shaved his other hand
(ut. Liinched, before him ‘
er!" he h h on-s .
(littering like the es‘ s of xi. rat.
ilrt." L-id Poison crab!‘
T “its 1' o‘ciocl: in ti.e evening when
he reached the Big City. Thirty min-
tlcs later found him on the steps of his
nir.-le's brown-stone residence uvtown.
11']-atienll)‘ jabbing the door-button.
t man-servant ntlmitlorl
to rest heavily upon him
thin and stooped. Ills
iser, unhenlihlly pale and deeply
had bushy eyebrows, recedlni:
heads of eyes, and a month that was R
n crevice. over Wh it his nvisui
inc to meet. His hair was min and white, ,
sml his skin was the dolor of washou-
cut buckskin. ‘
The recluse drove the man-servant from
the room with a gesture. and, his little
(ye.-I snapping, eyed the 2 tan Kill
I! the youth stood before him. with lull
[rt hand, A disarming smile on ills lips.
' l. wsivli" he said testllyi riounrlimz
on the floor with his cane. "what ill ii?"
The Gentleman Kid lll'OppPI] his gaze
and twlrlt-d his list with slmitlnted bash-
‘'1 :im Clarence Kelly." he sziiil timidly.
which his nephew drew up. The inquisi-
tion which the visitor had tu-en expecting
Lerznn like thn first shots from a enn-
fully ,,,,.,.;.rml umbusli, 'wlint do you (‘O
The Sisttl‘. bliI‘ded’l9(l by ...in...i....;>.- 1
, n ..
came to ii...’ '
for a living. young man?"
The Gentleman Kid had fortified him-
self against the ordeal. He hid a gleam
that appeared momentarily in his eyes
an e at ease, answered: ,
“I have worked at a number of things
-generally in positions of trust."
‘'0 W at nature," ’
“Collecting, private detective work and
as 3. conrluctorf’
e truth, He h
for cautious owners of gam-
bling houses, and had conducted avidly
curious tourists on slumming expeditions
thru Chicagifs tenderloin, which was to
iilm like an open book. ,
"Ever been in trouble?" ‘
ny bad habits?"
‘N . . .
“Let me see your hands."
The Gentleman Kid confidently put out
hls’harids. He had learned the art of
like-up f m in variety actress. and had
prepared himself for this eventuality by
drawinS:'deceiving lines on the palms of
his ’:hands ‘and ' Just enough
griiilt-"around the edges of his finger-
,- “(-'l’lll) Him.
nails to cover the soft texture of his
“They look like the hand
charlie." said ie recluse cunning 3-.
“Oh. no." laughed the Gentleman Kid.
with an inward Jeer at the obvlouanoxs
of the trap: “it takes years to beuiino a
mechanic. 1 had only begun to serve an
apprenticeship (0 fl bollermaker when I
got your letter
rm; recluse drummed thoughtfully on
the llenti of his cane Willi his thin, lirlny
living relative?" ,
llt negative and smiled engaizingly
"Never thought of it.‘
rorizoiit-n that my mother had ll broillcr
til I received your l
rmmie iii tter rt-(‘Oil rct ion
"in. 3-nu know why:'I tiir'noti'yotir
s of a me-,
x-nu‘ know that you are my only
if‘ mm-ii liy
- at drop of the in
L D G E R p
tr:-ither out, twenty-four years ago?" he
asked sha reaching for the drawer
His elbow brushed a decanter of will
ter that rested on the table-to!) beside
strni-igled cry. his body
rulsed, and he clutched at his heart.
But almost before the (‘ientlemiin Kid’.s
ejaculation of surprise, fell from his lips,
the old man had rawn a vial from n.
pocket of his dressing-gown, uncorked
it to his mouth.
left him immedi-
“Digitalis. he sat lerkily. “Only
thing to stop heart attack. Vvould die
. . didn't . . . have it. All
seemed .to have recovered, but the
attack had left traces on his ft-at
entleman Kid's eyes silulnted
craftily as he watched the other return
the Vial to his pocket.
‘I always keel) the digitalis handy,"
explained the recluse, his voice strong
"When ‘anything startle.-a me
and I feel 3 spasm coming on. I swallow
edlclne and it restores my
heart to normal action."
"But suppose the attack came on at
couldn't find the vial?"
asked the Gentleman Kid innocently.
"Would your man-servant get to you in
time to srivc you ’.
'l‘hs‘recluse chuckled drylv.
"l a d slinpson home at night. so his
moving about won't disturb .me. ,But 1
nlways keep the vial onva. stand at the
side ofymy bed.‘ soil can reach it with
Shouiul I he Recluse.
a single movement. Nowmto return to
our discussion." womsh locyk that
had crept into his face a moment before
the spasm of pain seized him returned.
lie opened the drawer of the table and
extracted therefrom a long. soiled en-
"elope. show You why I turned
your mother out of the house when she
-With trembling link:-rs he
drew from the envelope a slip or fnllpd
lilue paper and held it out, fluttering, be.
The Gentleman Kid bent forward and
zziw at a Fllanfe that the slip of puppi-
unii p. rancelt-tl check for a. tliuu;-and
dollars. drawn on a local trust company
twcnlbfour years before and siirnc-d by
"That check was taken from my (leak
by your father the day before he mar-
ri mo he so i 0 recluse
"It wasrnshetl by him and he
, steal downstairs.
. very sirnpleness, the idea was marvelous,
.,'tonlght. Should the recluse have
pdrtunity to look up his nepllew‘s past,
‘ Tvrhich gave forth no squeak, lie ope
‘V. thedoor and passed out.
’ H. high,
forged my name to it! I demanded that
.your mother leave him, but she said she
loved him and coul ."
, "Why. didn‘t you have him arrested?"
askedthe Gentleman Kid, with feigned
“ ecause-because,” hissed the recluse,
“revenge was mine; not the law's!"
entleman Kid nodded slowly.
“! untlerstand,'’,he said quietly. careful
to keep from creeping into his voice the
wave of rage and hate that surged up
Within him. Vengeance was yours; not
law !" . "
"But," continued? the recluse, less
harshly, "your mother suffered more than
I had intended. For that I wish to make
things stand now, you are
make your home here w .
He touched a button on the tabl and,
after a moment, the man-servant entered
i room in response 0 t e summons.
"SimD5.0n," instructed the recluse, “show
my nephew to at room upstairs."
Simpson‘ bowed and id way to-
ward, the hall. The Gentleman Kid rose
with art unfathomable look in.his dark
eyes. bade his uncle good-night in a care-
fully controlled voice, and followed the
servan . -
HIE Gentleman Kid, stretclied‘.nt full
smoking the last of his third package of
cigarettes, harkened for the sounds that
would tell of the departure of the m
servant for the night. ‘ - ‘ A
' A plan, suggested by the recluse‘s heart
attack that evening, had taken
‘the Gentleman Kid's brain and now stood
,2>ut complete in every detail.
he told himself, and he smiled in appre-
ciation of his cunning. The smile grew;
. Not 3. soul in the world but what would
think the old rnlser had come to his end
naturally“ . . , .
And he must accomplish his purpose
reformatory record would
cause him to change his plans. . .
‘ The mellow chimes of 9: c1ock,sonle-
Where in the depths of the house tolled
‘Fifteen minutes later there was :1
sound of muflled footsteps in the lower
hallway, and the lock on the front door
Pinching out the fire of his cigarette.
the Gentleman Kid got up on his 2 .
lle had taken off his shoes before lying
uick, firm twist of the knoix.
no paused for
were three doors along the passagewns‘.
two on the left and one on the right.
Careful not to make any betraying noise.
the searnlier cussed to the door on the
right, bent, and put ills ear to the kc)‘-
ie. Some sixth sense told him that
this was the right mom. Cuutlously he
‘led the door. 7
The lock gave, and he pushed the door
vented. the heavy hinges from groaning.
.stc-Dried across the threshold and
peered round him.
,In the farther corner of the room stood
canopied white but be. e in
linlt-open, screened Window. Beneath
the window stood a. low stand. A shaft
of pale moonlight slanted across the bed.
.an the intruder made 0 a. sleeping
form wrapped in the bedclotlics. Warlly
he avllroached it.
But suddenly he halted and his heart
as a. slight noise came
from the hallway behind im. lit‘
glanced iisckward over his shoulder, but
Cmlld see nothing. The sound was not
repeated, and deciding that it had only
llt'Pn mused by-.n mouse running along
"30 hall. he crossed to the bed.
As he gazed down upon the dimly out-
lined head upon the pillows, the Gentle-
rrnn Kid's hatred welled up within him.
At last the hour of his revenge had come.
Wealth-exverytnlng was his . . .
He noted in a. glance that the recluse-’s
medicine-vial rested on the stand within
easy reach of the sleeper. in
light revealed it to be half full of at
empty the vial and restore it. to its
tormer position, or keep it ill his hand
and make the recluse plead for it.
decided on the latter course.
sl1dd9h1Y. Without warning‘, he st‘i<‘1i
- form reclining on the bed fl. gimp
blow with his hand and utteml it loud
cry . ,
On the instant the sleeper bolted to
a sitting Position, but With head bent so
irsnadow fell across his features, lie
save A strangled coulzh, his body became
convlused. and one
throat. While the other
for the vial on the stand.
A gloating laugh fell from. the Gemin-
Kid‘s ll He held out the vial.