thinking how much that simme proviso
amounted to, turned once more to his pa-
At the Security 00. he was directed to
.the secretary who had charge of the safe
. deposit vaults below, who was a gray-head-
red old gentleman named Trent.
After reading the note, he looked at Wal-
ford and shook his head. -
“My boy." said be, “you are very young
to be trusted with so vaiuahle,a,matter.
Who are you‘! ,
‘ “I am a senate page, sir."
‘ “II'm! Your name is Edward Waiford'!?
: ‘ D
,‘ The boy departed, and Mr. Baird, little
“ es. si . have here a. hand-bag in
which to place the case."
‘ “ , I suppose it istall right, but I
think the proceeding shows carelessness on
the part of, Senator Baird in choosing so
young a bearer. Come w "
‘ As he turned to follow the secretary to
‘.tht'.v waiting room where patrons of the
ivaults examined theirysafe-deposit boxes.
a man, who appeared to he also
,waiting to do business with the secretary,
Thinking little of this, he went into the
room, leaving his bag on a table in the oili-
cial‘s office. The Baird ox was brought
out, and the jewel case taken therefrom
and given to Ed, who then went with Mr.
Trent to a register in his office. where he
signed ‘an acknowledgment, nrst putting
the case in the hand-bag.
"‘ He was. perhaps. a minute occupied in
‘signing and otherwise preparing to leave.
Mr. Trent still harped on tho imprudence
of sending a mere boy upon so responsible
an errand. ‘
“This may bewrong, sir," said Ed to the
secretary. .“But surelrl am not the one
who is to blame." '
“Yes, yes. I daresay you are right: but
still my mind is not easy. Get on to a. car
1 and make a bee-line for the senator’s
Ask Mrs. Baird to telephone me. gl
not be comfortable until I know she
has received the jewels." v ‘ '
Observing the boy's distressed look over
; a situation he could not help, the old gen-
. tleman made amends by saying‘..
I “There, there. Of course you cannot help
I I it. Only let us knowrthat you have turned
over your charge.” -
When Wslford resumed his charge of the
bag, he noted that the m was no longer
in waiting. Thinking Iittle‘of this, he hur-
V ried out. Being more than anxious to obey
Mr. Trent's warning, and deliver the goods,
he hoardeda passing street car, and in a
little while arrived at the Baird mansion.
To his ring ’
door. Ed, after asking to see Mrs. Baird.
remarked the absence of the farmer door
si Charles is on his vacation. I
am here in his place until he comes back.
This way. please.
He was being taken to Mrs. Baird's pri-
’ vate sitting room, when that lady and Edna
came out and greeted Walford cordially.
especially Edna. '
“I am sure I am delighted to see you both
again. But an old gentleman who gave
me the case at the vaults wants Mrs. Baird
to telephone them that she got the jewels
all right. Mr. Baird also wants a note."
, “How ridiculous!" exclaimed Edna. “If
' they knew you as well as we do they Would
never- Why. what is the matter, moth-
Mrs. Baird, after opening the hand-bag,’
stood staring inside. as if she saw a snake
there, instead of the jewel case.
"It's gone!" exclaimed the mother, look-‘
lng at her daughter and Ed with a scared.
white face. ‘(The jewel-case is not here.”
‘‘ They rushed to her side, and instead of
the case which Walford had placed there
half an hour before, was a. plain red brick.
“YOU ssv YOU nan: THE MAN?”
Quick as lightning it flashed over Ed
that he was responsible for this. At the
same time he recalled the man in waiting
at the safe deposit vaults, who had disap-
. peared all at once.
I But the deadly pallor of‘tbe boy’s face
appealed to the senator's daughter, and as
. , they all three stood looking into the hand-
bag, the young girl's hand stole forward
and clasped that of Walford.
“ h, Ed." she exclaimed, and her tone in-
dicated sympathy more than astonishment.
'e you been separated from that has
since you put the case inside. It was not
“There was a man waiting. I thought, to
see Mr. Trent: but when I turned back
after signing for the Jewel case. he had
disappeared. Mrs. Baird. 1719359 19‘ "5 S9
to your telephone right BWBY-"
’ Mrs. Baird was staring at the hand-bag
. 1 ‘u n Walford began.
Inrd thniswl:1Ii.:.ecTn.eni7 Yes. well.
after leavi your office I made n ‘bee-line‘
forhere asrgrou suggested. Mrs. Bnirtfi
‘just opened the ball’. and instead o " e
,je“.c1.c-age, only a red brick was inside.
“2Vho are you?" came back‘ sharp and
5 . .
“I and Ed Wallord. who signed for and
took away the hand-bag, supposed to con-
tain the Jewel case." ‘
“I e your assurance. Ask Mrs. Baird
herself to step to the phone." -
“ use come. Mrs. Baird," said Ed. with
the note of an unuttered sob in his voice.
‘lie won't talk to me. Oh. this is awful!‘
he added in is minor tone to himself.
“Come, mother." urged Edu taking the
bag and dragging Mrs. Baird towards the
telephone. “Mr. Trent wants to talk to
you right awa ."
While the mother, still with a while,
scared face, was led to the instrument. Wal-
ford noticed that the footman who had
let him in was peering through the por-
tieres. not as if about to enter. but furtive-
When he caught Ed's eye, he withdrew,
whereat the boy stepped to the entrance
and looked-around the hall, but the man
corner, was ou earshoL
Ed went quickly around the reception hall.
and satisfied himself that the fellow was
not within earshot, then he returned to the
others at the phone, after drawing the pur-
tieres apart, so that a broad view was to be
has of anyone approaching through the
Mrs. Baird was listening and replying
excitedly through the instrument, while
Edna, who had noted Walford‘s departure.
smiled at‘him reassuriugly, as if to in-
timate that she understood.
‘You say you have the man," continued
the senator's wife, “and that he won't tell
what he did with the Jewels?"
An indistinct humming denoted to Wal-
ford that Mr. Trent, or someone else, was
replying at some length.
“I am so glad." said Mrs. Baird into the
phone. “Year-yes. It was perfectly right
to call up Mr. Baird. who will go there,
no doubt. as soon as he can get away."
Another unintelligible murmur followed.
Again ‘Mrs. Baird began: '
“We have every confidence in the integ-
rity of this page. He is the son of our old
friend. and we have known the family for
What? Yes. He passed it to some-
say? Yes-yes. I hope he
was followed and caught! Don't know!
oh, What a pity!” ‘
Durin this half-puzzling conversation,
Walford stood. palpitating. while Edna had
again taken his hand, and was listening
w im. . ‘ ‘,
Suddenly Mrs. Baird turned ‘to her
“Edna someone is wanted to identify the
man they now have in charge of the pri-
vate detective employed by the Safe De-
posit Co. They have telephoned your fath-
er, but it is not likely he can get away in
time. I cannot leave now. for I will have
callers here at any. minute until four
o'clock, and to-night we go to the embassy
reception. Suppose you go. Edna. Ed can
take you in a cab. unless you prefer our
A great burden was lifted from poor Wal-
ford's heart. Mrs. Baird, whatever the out-
come of this affair. did not seem to hold
Ed to blame, or-would she consign Edna
to his care so freely?
‘But Edna herself was much astonished,
and replied to her mother:
What good would
my going do? i
“They want to identify this man. who is
the one Ed saw walling. It appears the de-
tective noticed him hanging about, and saw
him after Ed's departure pass or try to
pass something to another party that got
away. It may be Robert."
"‘Oh. mother! Robert was so correct a
servant. Well, I will go. if Ed will take
me in a cab. Will you, Ed?" -
Just then in came the new footman,
Charles. that Vlfalford saw "peering through
the drawn poriieres.
“ y all-means. Miss Edna." he whis-
pered; “but Iet‘me talk to this fellow a
Charles was about to address Mrs. Baird.
when Walford spoke up.
“I saw you looking in here a few minutes
ago, but you vanished when I reached the
hall. Where did you go?"
Charles was undoubtedly confused, but
he addressed Mrs. Baird.
“The Honorable Dudley Ford and lady
are in the front drawing-room. madam.
What am I to say?"
“Answer this young man nrst. Then tell
me what you mean by l>I')'ll1E “D011 WY
movements?" retorted the lady, severely.
“I-I did not mean to pry upon anybody,
ma’am," stammered Charles, quite i1:ibber-
gasted by the acute situation‘! “I think the
Mha young man must have been mistak-
“l was not mistaken.‘ said Ed steadily.
“When Mrs. Baird went to the telei>1!0"9- I
saw you plainly. peeping through the drawn
curtains. I went out in the hall and look-
ed carefully. but you disappeared.
Then! I drew back the porticrcs and-that
The senator's Wife regarded her substi-
tute foolman for a moment. then bade him
any in ihe callers lhat she would see them
in :1 minute. if they would kindly remain.
Charles shipped out of sight, casting a
look of dislike and suspicion at Walford M
Meantime Edna was getting on her hat
and Jacket. Ed drew close to Mrs. Baird
l“Please have that fooiman watched, Mrs.
Baird. It is mighty good of you to show
such confidence in me during the pressure
of this loss. But it is much more important
not to let any possible clew slip. by which
the guilty may be caught and forced to dis-
"You are right. Ed. I will have our but-
ler posted in a minute. ‘it is painful to lose
ten thousand dollars’ worth of Jewelry in
this way; but if it never was recovered.
don't think for an instant that we have lost
our regard, or confidence in your honesty
or good character." -
. “Bless you. Mrs. Baird. for those words!‘
The drawn features of the boy brightened.
“But I would be less than grateful did I
not see that every clew, as it shows it-
self, should be instantly secured and fol-
lowed. I will not rest satisfied until I see
that Jewel-case restored intact to its right-
ful owner." -
“That will all come right. Ed. Good-
She left him hastily while his eyes mois-
tened as he thought how good these peo-
ple were in this. his first great trial in the
warfare o . . '
e and Edna found themselves
alone together in the cab. on the way back
to the safe deposit vaults. the pleasure that
alone with the nicest girl he knew. was
dulled by the thought of what’ had Just
She looked at the boy a little shyly at
ilrst. then divining what was making him
so silent. she turned on him with:
“Do you know, sir, that you are quite a
dull escort? Why is that?”
' “ suppose this disappearance of the
jewel-case has scared me. . But how good
it is for your mother and you to still ‘place
such conndence in me now. I-I-ob. Miss
Edna! It must be found; or I will never
hold up my head again.‘
“Now, aren't you the silly boy! 01' course
it will be found. I feel sure of it-there!
Now say‘ something nice to me.”
“I think you are the best girl I ever met
-and the sweetest. is that nice enough?”
rew still nearer
to him, and for the third time took his
hand. “Do you think mother and I can
ever forget that, in all probability. you
saved father's life, and that we have known
you and your folks many. many years?”
It was impossible-for the poor fellow to
resist so much winning consolation from
such a source. lie laughed almost like his
old self again, and would have returned her
gentle advances in kind. when the cab drew
up at the Security Building once more.
nozva SPEAKS our mm mm.
Inside in the odices there was consider-
able excitement. ed
These included the company's private de-
tective. Mr. Sharp. Captain Jones, of the
city bolice, in plain clothes. and Mr. Chil-
ion. one of the security‘s vice-presidents.
Mr. Trent. who knew Edn shook hands.
but when he saw Walford again he shook
thought I had seen the last of you, but it
seems I have-not."
“Mother said you wished someone to
come here to identify a man.” began Edna.
“She knew that father would not be able to
leave the Capitol, nor can she come her-
self. So she sent me with Master Wal-
ford. who thought he was bringing us the
Jewel case. and-here we are.‘
“From what your father telephoned we
thought that one of the two men we have
here is, or was, a servant in the senator's
This from the police captain. who was in-
specting Walford after the manner of the
police when viewing suspects. ‘
“Um-ah-yes," began Trent fussily. “I
guess you wi do. Miss Edna. Having
caught one of them in possession of the
goods, an identification of his "companion
police captain were of one and the same
mind as regarded Walford.
But the latter was again all excitement.
and now broke out with:
“I[are two men bcen caught, and are the
“You may accompany us, if you please.
Miss Edna.” said Mr. Trent. lsnorlm; Eds
queries completely. While ‘'19 mlliaifl WOV-
ed forward in such n way as to hinder Wal-
ford‘s further progress. should‘ he attempt
To all this Edna had not been blind. and
she nt once spoke up.
“All right, sir; but I would wish Master
Walford to go along, for). lie noticcd
things at our house that look suspicious on
the part of a substitute foolman who has
been with us only a few days. lle also saw
one man here that dissppcared while his
and Mr. 'l‘rrnt‘s backs were turned. You
may have that man, and-and?‘
“Just so. my dear young 'lu.dy,“ said -
Trent. ‘but both Sharp and the captain
think he. In some way. may be acting-er
But be got no further, for Edna, her eyes
blazing. confronted all three. and also the
vice-president, Mr. Chilton.
“You may all think what you please, but
you will never make Senator Baird’: family
think or believe that Edward Walford
would do a wrong Lhing. knowing it was
wrong-there! " -
Poor Ed. however outraged in feeling,
knew that at present, and before these
people, he should maintain silence.
Dut when Edna said this. facing them
all. the sorely tried boy resolved then and
there. that she was a noble-hearted Kiri:
and that if she ever cared for him at all in
the future. be-would continue to be worthy
of such regard. by not abusing it.
But. Edna had not yet finished, by any
‘We have known the Walford family at
the chamber last winter."
Mr. Chilton prickcd up his cars at-this,
while the police captain and Sharp scratch-
ed their heads at making such an error.
“So you are the brave lad who seized
that crank!‘ said Chilton. seizing Wal-
ford's hand. “Really the s e""
“N0. 1 only knocked his arm up," return-
cd Ed, fairly bewildered at this sudden
c ange. “But Mr. Baird himself was at
him by that time. You are making too
much of this. areu‘t you!”
They all insisted on shaking his hand.
while Ed cast such a droll look at Edna.
between gratitude to lfbr and mystlfication
at the total chlnge on the part of these
others. that she flashed him a kuowin
look, then turned her head to hide a laugh.
After that there was no further trouble
whatever. Even Mr. Trent came round and
said that if he had known that Walford and
the hero of the crank ep ode were one
and the same. he would have enlerlalncd
no doubts whatever concerning lValford's
resolution or trustworthy capacity.
“Thank you, sir.". said Walford. “I am
sure the papers made too much or that 3:.
I I-1 hope they won't make so mur
of this blunder of mine." he added drolly.
“it might more than offset the over-credit
given me then." . .
Edna laughed again when Ills heard Calv-
lain Jones gravely assure the boy not to
“The police never make mistakes of that
kind, my lad. Now. Mr. Trenl. let us show
these fellows to our young friends. and see
what the result will be.‘
“Have you truly not the jcwcls safe. slr'."‘
ventured Ed. as they all. lc by Sharp.
moved to a strong room where the men
captured were being temporarily guarded
by a couple of policemen.
"We have the jewelry, all supposablr in-
tact, back again.“ remarked llton.
“thanks to the vigilance of Detective Sharp
and the professional knowledge of the cap-
tain. who happened to visit our ofilces on
private business at the time.”
Ed mentally gave thanks at lhls confir-
mation. and addresscd his thoughts to the
coming interview with the arrcsted men.
The strouga-oom attached to the vaults
happening to be empty. the prisoners had
been temporarily placed there. pending fur-
ther proceedings. In one of these Ed at
once identiiled the man that he had seen
waiting when the boy received the case of
“That is the man who was here when I
left your office.” said he to Mr. Trent.
‘Why, I do believe this is our Robert!‘
remarked Edna at once. pointing at 1118
person,” remarked Sharp. ‘I saw the oth-
er fellow pass him something in the res-
tibule outside We arrested the other fel-
low. though this chap got away for the
“Ilow did you nnd him so quickly!" ask-
ed Edna. ’
“Easy as eating. miss. I simply put one
of our-clerks on his trail until they met
an officer. Then your Robert. as you call
him. was collared and brought back."
Captain Jones was rencctivcly studying
the face of the man that Ed had recog-
nized. lie now turned to Mr. Chilton:
‘There is somclhing about thst,n1:m
which ought to be familiar to me, yet is
not. What can it be"
Meanwhile Wnlford had never removed
-his look from the man‘: half-averted fare.
as he sst.isolaied and handcuffed in a
The 57.-note page now stepped forward.
“I am pretty sharp-eyed sometimes, cup-
laln. Let me sce if I cannot help your
with the words the boy seized the man's
full board and gave it violent wrench be-
fnro anyone could stop him.‘ The man
ycllc."i with pain. but the board came off
all wght. though carrying more or less of
the fellou"s skin with it.
‘By George!” Cnniztin
cominr: forward. “l mu:
h o h:u'e soon
that this board might be false. liow are