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Title: The shadows of a great city: A romantic story

Author: Grace Miller White

Livingston Robert Shewell

Release date: October 24, 2022 [eBook #69224]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: J. S. Ogilvie, 1904

Credits: Demian Katz, Craig Kirkwood, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (Images courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University.)


Price 25 Cents

Shadows of a
Great City



The Shadows of a Great City.


Founded Upon L. R. Shewell’s Famous Play of
the Same Name.


Author of “Driven From Home,” “Joe Welch the Peddler,”
“No Wedding Bells for Her,” “Sky Farm,” “A Midnight
Marriage,” “Souvenir Book of ‘Way Down East’,”
“Why Women Sin,” “Human Hearts,” “A
Ragged Hero,” “From Rags to Riches,”
Etc., Etc.

Copyright, 1904, by
J. S. Ogilvie Publishing Company.

All Rights Reserved by C. B. Jefferson.

New York:
57 Rose Street.




Three children were hopping among the daisies in a beautiful grove near a stone mansion covered with ivy. Their happy shouts and merry laughter filled the air until the birds in the branches twittered back from very happiness.

Two boys and one little girl made up the number, and the girl was clapping her hands wildly, watching the boys as they wrestled in the grass.

The larger of them brought the other down upon his face and made him admit that the match was over.

“I had you foul when I wound my leg about[4] yours,” explained he. “You cannot expect to down a big fellow like me,” and the boy straightened himself with a chuckle.

The girl ceased her laughing and came forward.

“Well, I don’t care, George Benson; Tom’s as good as you are any day. That’s what he is.”

“Nobody said he wasn’t,” contemptuously replied the lad, “but he can’t fight.”

Tom was watching George out of the corner of his eye, trying to determine whether it would be well to go at it again, when the girl spoke:

“Never you mind, Tommy; you come with me, and I’ll ask papa for twenty-five cents, and then we will go to the candy store.”

The boy addressed as George Benson followed Tom and the girl.

“You needn’t be a tight-wad,” exclaimed he; “stingy, stingy, stingy.”

“She ain’t stingy, George,” snapped Tom, “and if you say she is stingy again, I’ll knuckle your pate.”

“Stingy cat Annie, stingy cat Annie,” shouted[5] George loudly. “There now, here’s my head, you knuckle it if you dare!”

With a bound Tom was up on the back of George and was rubbing the curly head with a vengeance. Back and forth they tottered upon the lawn until the girl shouted:

“There, that’s enough now, Tom; just you show him that you can lick him. Now, Mr. George, if you’ll be good, you can go to the candy store with us.”

“Don’t want none of your old candy,” sulkily replied the other. “I wouldn’t eat it fer nothing, and I’ll get even with you, Mr. Tom, for knuckling my pate.”

“Come on now and get even,” exclaimed Tom; “you ain’t the only plug in the world.”

But George did not seem anxious to get even, and he sent a stone flying after Annie Benson and Tom Cooper.

“George can be so mean when he wants to be,” sighed the girl.

“So he can. Now, why didn’t he come to the[6] store after the fight? He had no right to call you stingy.”

“No, for I always give him half of what I have, after he spends his allowance that father gives him.”

They were silent for a few moments, and then the girl continued:

“I sometimes think that George is jealous of you and me, and he ought not to be, for father does as much for him as for any one else, and I am papa’s own child.”

“Of course you are, Annie, while I am only a little boy Mr. Benson was so good to. Never mind, when I get big I’m going to marry you.”

“Oh, you can’t, Tom,” replied Annie, “for I am four years older than you are. You would not want to have your wife boss you, would you, Tom, and I would have to if I was older than you.”

“Oh, not always. I read in a book once,” proceeded Tom earnestly, “about a man and a woman, and she was ten years older than her husband, and they were very happy.”

“Were they, really? I never heard of such a[7] thing. I thought the husbands had to be at least twenty years older than the wife.”

“Pshaw, no, and I’m going to have you for my wife.”

Again there was silence. The girl was about twelve, while the boy, although large for his age, was but eight.

“George said he was going to marry me,” said Annie after a while. “He said that my father was very rich and that he being my cousin ought to have the right to look after my money.”

“George ain’t good enough for you, Annie,” hesitated Tom. “If you won’t tell I’ll tell you something.”

“I promise, and cross my heart,” replied Annie.

“I saw Tom take money from your father’s safe.”

“Oh, Tom, you really didn’t?”

“I really did,” answered the boy, hanging his head.

“How could George be so wicked when papa is so good to him. Why, he has had no father or[8] mother for many years. He and I are the same age. My father and his are brothers.”

The girl’s mouth drooped at the corners and her little face worked painfully, for as much as she scolded her big cousin she loved him.

She never had had a brother, and now to find this young lad whom she had taken into her heart like one should be found wanting was hard to bear.

“You are sure, Tommy dear?” asked she plaintively.

“More than sure, for he offered me five dollars and I wouldn’t take it.”

“Good for you, Tom,” replied the girl, “and for that I’ll marry you when you get to be a man. You are a good fellow, Tommy.”

Annie Benson was the only child of her father, her mother having died long ago.

The millionaire had taken under his control his nephew, who had been left an orphan, also another boy called Tom Cooper, the son of an old friend. These three children had grown up together and were like brothers and sister.


There was much love between them, with the exception of George, who hated Tom Cooper and wanted his cousin to himself.

“I’ll get even with him for knuckling my nut,” grumbled the lad as he watched the other two run away. “I suppose he thinks he’s smart because Annie’s going to buy candy. She ain’t the only one; just look at that coin,” and he took out a handful of money and pretended to show it to some one. “’Taint every fellow that can show a hand like that,” and he ran and jumped over a large gatepost, evidently satisfied with himself.

Annie and Tom in the meantime climbed the mansion steps, and the girl ran ahead, shaking her golden curls in the wind.

She rapped lightly upon the library door and stood patiently until she heard a kind voice call out:

“Come in, little one, come in,” and the gentleman put out his arms and the child sprang into them.

“What does father’s baby want now?” asked he lovingly.


“Some money to go to the store for bon-bons with Tommy. I don’t like Cousin George as much as I do Tom and father,” and here the child hesitated. “I have promised to marry Tom.”

This astounding statement caused the man to throw back his head and give a great laugh.

“You needn’t laugh, father,” said the child, wriggling from his arms and pouting a little; “if Tommy and I want to get married, can’t we?”

Again the rich man chuckled, drawing the child closely and looking into her eyes, and then saying solemnly:

“Do you want to leave your father all alone, without any one to love him?”

How many times in the future did the girl remember these words! How many tears had she shed over the remembrance of the loving embrace he had given her when he told her that she could not give away his baby, that she did not belong to herself and was his own sweet child!

Annie Benson leaned confidently against her father’s breast.

“I’m so glad that you want me, father,” sighed[11] she. “I love you very much indeed, and I’ll tell Tom that I can’t marry him.”

With two coins in her hand and tender kisses upon her lips, the girl scampered out to join the waiting youngster upon the porch.

“Can’t marry you, Tom,” she shouted, “for father says I belong to him and have no right to give myself away.”

“Oh, pshaw, why did you tell him yet? Of course we are too little. Did he laugh?”

“Not only did he laugh,” replied Annie, “but he shouted.”

“Mean of him,” muttered the lad, tears rising in his eyes. “I suppose he thinks because I’m but eight years old that I never will be a man, but, never mind, I’ll show him.”

After that the children got their candy, but neither the boy nor girl seemed to relish it much, and when they reached home Annie’s father was talking with George in the library.

“The master wants to see Master Tom for a few moments,” said the butler.


The little lad tremblingly went to his benefactor.

“You wanted me, sir?” asked he softly.

“Yes. Come here, lad. Would you like to go away to a good school for boys?”

“And leave Annie?” faltered the boy.

“Of course,” replied Benson; “but you don’t always want to be around with girls, do you?”

“Is George going?”


“Then I suppose I’ll have to go,” sobbed Tommy; “but I don’t want to leave Annie.”

“Annie will go to school herself very soon,” said the millionaire, “and then you would be left alone.”

Gloom seemed to settle over the childish hearts in the home as both boys vied with each other for most of Annie’s attention, and Tom won out, for the little girl could not forget that George had taken money from her dear father, and the lad pondered long over his cousin’s changed attitude.


The children all went away to school, the millionaire thinking it best to keep his girl from the two boys, who might captivate her childish heart, but little he thought that his ambitions for her would be dashed to the ground by one wave of the tiny white hand.

For four years the children met only in summer, when the girl went traveling with a chaperone and the boys stayed at home upon the estate. Scarcely ever did they go to New York city to live in the mansion excepting at Christmas, when the family were in the city.

One holiday Annie came home in a different mood than ever before, and her face would color up when spoken to sharply or when surprised.

Her father and the boys noticed the difference, but not one could understand the cause.

She had very little to say to any one, and one afternoon her father called her to his study.

“Little maid,” said he tenderly, “is there anything your father can say to you that will make you any happier than you now are? Even Tommy noticed that you were not your usual self.”


“Tommy is only a child, father,” said the girl impetuously, “and he does not know what it means to think.”

“Neither should you, child,” replied Mr. Benson; “you are but sixteen. What have you in your life to make you so thoughtful, or I might say unhappy?”

“Not unhappy, father, not that,” cried the girl.

“Then, what?”

“Why—why—nothing. I am worried over my studies.”

Mr. Benson sighed. He would have given much to have had his child give him her confidence. Her little heart was completely locked and would not open for his knocking.

“You are positive that you are quite happy?”

“Quite positive.”

“And that you do not want for money?”

“Oh, father dear, all the girls say how generous you are with me.”

“Then there is nothing more I can say, is there?”

He said this pleadingly, because his heart was[15] filled with sorrow for his darling. Suddenly she burst into tears, and the curly head dropped upon his arm and the child wept heartily.

After that there was more sympathy between them.

Annie went back to school with a heavy heart. She knew that she was keeping a weighty secret from her father.

With her hands to her face and tears in her eyes, she stepped from the train.

A young man, handsome, clever and spirited-looking came to meet her.

“Why, darling, have you been crying, and why? Did you not know that you were coming to your sweetheart, and that he would care for you?”

“Aye, dear heart, I know,” sobbed the girl, “but I had to lie to my father, and I love him so dearly, Victor.”

“I know that, dearest, but we are going to tell him just as soon as we are married. I cannot wait any longer.”

Oh, Annie Benson, beloved of your father, had you only told your handsome lover that you[16] would rather wait until your parent had given his consent, how much better your life would have been, but, woman-like, you could not refuse the man you love.

“I wanted to wait,” murmured she softly.

“Then you do not love me,” said the lad sadly; “you could not stay away from me for years if you did care for me.”

“But, Victor, I do love you, indeed I do, but I love father, too.”

“Then you will never be my wife, Annie.”

For a moment the girl stood thinking, and even the angels in heaven wondered if she were going to do what was right.

She simply turned with the love light shining in her eyes, and laid her hand in his.

“My darling, I am yours when you are ready.”

“Then let it be to-day. Do not go back to school, but come with me, and you will never regret it.”

Regret it? Is there ever a sin in the world committed that the sinner does not regret it?

No sooner had the marriage vow been taken, no[17] sooner had Annie Benson promised to love, honor and obey Victor Standish, than she began to regret.

“Oh, Victor, I wish father knew,” said she, “and that I was with Martha at school. The girls will all be expecting me.”

“And you love the girls better than you do me, your own husband?”

“No, no, I love you, Victor, and I will show you what a good wife I can make.”

“And we will write to your father and tell him all about it,” said the lad, “and he will forgive, and maybe I can get something to work at in New York. Would you not like to live with him?”

“Oh, indeed I would. That is all I am worrying about, for my father loves me devotedly, and I would not wound his feelings for the world.”

So a penitent letter, filled with sobbing appeals to forgive her, arrived at the Benson mansion, on Fifth avenue, at the appointed time.

The rich man was sitting alone when the butler brought it. He read it and re-read it, and then sat down to think.


This child, whom he loved better than his life, had without his consent married some no-account.

“Victor, Victor Standish; and who is he, pray?”

Then his anger arose, and this is the letter he wrote in reply:

My Dear Annie:

“To say I was surprised and grieved would not tell my emotion when I read your letter. I have but this to say: When you feel ready to leave this vagabond, and come back to your father, he is ready to receive you. But with him you can never come. I hope I shall hear from you in a sensible way soon. Do not apply to me for money while you are this man’s wife. Until that time comes that you are free from him, I will simply sign myself,

Your Father.”



When Annie Standish read this letter she swooned at her husband’s feet, for she had been so sure that her father would forgive her and tell her to come home immediately, that he would take them both into his heart and home.

Victor Standish took the letter in his hands as he supported his wife’s tottering steps and swore that he would make this father-in-law retract his words and welcome his daughter Annie home again.

As he sat watching her a load of pain seemed to rest upon his heart, for he had brought her to this great agony, and by insisting that she marry him he had separated her from home kindred, and nothing was left to her but him, and he must make up for all, and bring into her life every bit of pleasure in his power.


Annie stirred and opened her eyes.

“It isn’t true, is it, Victor?” cried she. “Oh, I had such a dreadful dream, and I thought that papa wouldn’t forgive me, and the thought was more than I could bear.”

The tears started into the young husband’s eyes. The pale face leaning against his arm was so inexpressibly dear to him.

“Sweetheart,” murmured he, “would you feel that you could not live for your husband, if——”

“Then it is true, it is true. Oh, papa, papa, how could you do so to your little girl,” and the cry that went up from the slender throat was never forgotten by the young husband.

“Don’t, don’t, Annie, you will break my heart.”

After that they were silent, each suffering for the sin committed.

They heard no more from the rich father, and his pride would not bend. When the summer came, and the fall ushered in the red leaves Annie rose from a bed of sickness and brought a little child with her, and with tears in her eyes she whispered to her husband:


“Sweetheart, I shall name her Helen after my mother. I am sure that it will please my father.”

So the wee bit of humanity was christened, and Annie Standish began to be happier.

Still the news of the little child’s birth did not soften the banker’s heart, as he had said that he would not forgive, and forgive he would not.

So the days went by until one afternoon Victor came in with the news that his regiment had been ordered out for active service.

“It will be a chance for me to make a name for you and the baby,” said he lovingly. “Oh, Annie, that is all I want to do, for I have an ambition to make your father change his mind.”

“But, but,” faltered Annie, “you might get killed, Victor, and then what would Helen and I do? There would be no one left to us then.”

The soldier husband kissed away the bright tears which flowed down her cheeks.

“There, there, Annie, we are going to pray that I may come back to you very soon, when the war is over, and, think of it, little wife, I may bring[22] back some stripes upon my sleeve, and you know that will mean honor for us all.”

“And reconciliation with my father,” sighed the girl.

The days seemed to fly between the time he was ordered away and the day that her husband started. Annie’s heart felt now that she had nothing to live for but the dear baby, which had filled up such a large gap in her life. Helen was now nearly two years old, and her mother over eighteen. She looked like a little girl herself, and few would believe that the large rosy baby was the offspring of the childish woman.

For two whole years the wife patiently waited, waited for the home-coming of the soldier. Twice she had written her father, and once had visited his home. She had been told by her cousin George that it was by the command of her father that she was sent from his door almost starving.

Again she waited, but as a reward for her patience there came a message from one of Victor’s companions that he had died after receiving a bullet in his body, and the only thing she had[23] from that foreign country was a little package of her own letters and one partly finished by him to her.

The night she received the package she sat up long after Helen had retired, for the child was too young to understand the mother’s grief.

“If father would only let us come home,” whispered she after re-reading the letter. “I must do something, and my health is growing poorer every day.”

With this thought in her mind all the time, she one morning took her baby and went to her father’s home.

He surely would not send her away when he knew that her husband was dead, and that she and Helen were starving.


She carried the tottering child part of the way.

“Ah, little girl,” pleaded she when they were in sight of the mansion, “won’t you be a good girl and walk now? Mother’s arms are so tired.”

“Helen will walk, mother dear,” answered the child, “but I’se so tired.”


The tears sprang into the mother’s eyes as she heard this plaintive wail.

“Never mind, sweety, there is grandpa’s home, and he will let us come in, and you shall see him.”

The great mansion loomed up mysteriously before them, and the woman shuddered as she looked, for she wondered if the hard-hearted old man would turn his own child from his door again starving.

She slowly crawled up the steps and rang the bell. A strange butler answered and partly closed the door when he saw the rags.

“I want to see Mr. Benson,” faltered Annie.

“Mr. Benson, senior or junior?”

“Oh, senior. He is my father. I must see him to-day.”

The man did not ask her to come in, but shut the door in her face. He went hastily back to the library, and then seeing but an old grey-haired man sitting there he softly closed the door and ran upstairs.

“What do you want?” came the voice from the inside in answer to the slight knock.


“The person is at the door you told me never to allow in,” said the butler.

It took but a moment for George Benson to get down stairs.

“Why, Annie,” said the soft voice, “I am very sorry to see you in this condition, and you shall have money, but do not come in. Your father is so incensed against you that I would not answer for the consequences if you should.”

“Oh, I want to see him, George, so much. Do not turn me away. My child and I are starving.”

“Oh, well, as far as money is concerned, I will give you some, but I am sure your father will refuse you admittance.”

“Ask him, any way, George,” pleaded she.

“Then, wait,” and the man swung gracefully along the hallway.

The wasted old man sitting in the chair looked up as his nephew entered.

“Want me, uncle?” asked the younger man.

“No, George,” replied the old man; “I was just thinking of Annie and wondering if I should ever[26] see her again. Oh, George, do you ever think that she will forgive me for turning from her?”

A dark shadow settled over the handsome young face.

“I’m sure I don’t know, uncle dear. It seems if she were very anxious she would write to you or in some way answer your letters.”

“That’s so, that’s so,” was the reply. “I suppose she is satisfied in her husband’s love.”

“I suppose so.”

With this George Benson came back to Annie and said: “Poor little girl, he absolutely refuses to see you.”

He slipped some money into the woman’s hand, and she turned away with a broken heart.

Millionaire Benson sat in his library after the departure of his nephew. He wanted his daughter sorely, was willing to forgive her all, even her husband, if she would but return, but there was an evil influence at work about him, and many times George Benson would spend hours in telling him of Annie’s sin.


As he sat there this morning and his nephew had gone, another young man just out of college ran up the stairs and burst into the library.

“Uncle,” said he lightly, “how are you to-day?”

“Pretty well, my boy, pretty well. How are you?”

“Oh, more than well, and I do like my work so much. They say at the bank that I am going to be able soon to take a better position.”

“Bravo, Tom,” cried the old man; “you shall have any position in that bank you can earn; and labor, boy, labor; that is the secret of success.”

“So it is, uncle, and you shall be proud of your boy some day.”

The old gentleman sighed.

“I believe that, Tom,” replied he, “and I would be satisfied with all my children if I could only see my girl. One would think so sweet a character as Annie would forgive her old stubborn father, would they not?”

“Yes,” reluctantly replied the young man.

It is not hard to recognize in this lad the youth who had fallen in love with Annie when he was[28] but a mere child. He had gone to college and graduated. It had been a proud day when he was installed in the bank as one of its employees, and now he was telling his benefactor how willing he was to work hard and climb to the top.

“I wish, too, that you could find Annie,” said the lad, after a time of silence. “It seems as if she would be willing to forgive you, even if for nothing else, for what you could do for them. Have you ever thought, uncle, that she might not have gotten your letters?”

“I have not thought of that, but probably that is it. Could you try and find out for me now?”

“Indeed I could and gladly would,” cried Tom, “and maybe I shall bring her back. Now, where was she when you last heard from her?”

The address was looked up and the old man said:

“Now, if you find them, Tom, bring the whole family back with you.”

Neither the old nor the young man knew that there was a listener at the door, and that a strangely handsome face was peering in with a[29] look of scorn upon the graceful, well-moulded lips.

“So he is going to find her, is he, and make my chances of a fortune not worth a picayune? Well, his time is short in this mansion.”

He stole away, and Tom, with an affectionate embrace, left his uncle.

For a long time the old man sat and dreamed, dreamed of a woman, sweet, in the long ago days when he was young and she was beautiful, dreamed of that time when a little child, with light golden hair, had been born to them, and of their happiness and joy. Then later, when the first shadow fell upon the home and the gentle spirit of his wife took flight and left him.

Then, after that, he had but the little girl, and she had lived and reigned in his heart for sixteen short years, and had gone like a shade of night, but it had been a great deal his own fault. Why did he not overlook the foolish step and try to make something of her husband? As he sat there he slumbered slightly, and then over his mind came a scene of the past. A child, with long curls,[30] flitted before him, and he saw her flying away over the lawn and once in a while she looked back at him, her eyes smiling sweetly and the tiny hand shaking him a farewell, and then another dream as sweet as the last one flitted close upon his brain.

A dignified girl, in a white dress, sat beside him, and he heard his own voice say:

“Tell me, Annie, is there anything I can do to make you happy?” and before he could stop her he saw her fading away and dissolving into the shadows upon the wall.

He lifted his hands and gave a great groan.

“Annie,” murmured he, “come back to your father.”

“What is the matter, uncle?” shouted George Benson. “Why do you mutter in your sleep? There, wake up, a dream is only a dream anyway.”

The old man sat up thoughtfully, and with tears in his eyes said:

“I dreamed that Annie was here, George, and, oh, I want my child, I want my child.”


Impatiently George Benson sat down, for he had not patience with this imbecile old man.

“I would not waste my energy upon the ungrateful girl,” said he, “for she does not seem to care, or why should she not answer your letters? It is shameful for a daughter to be so undutiful.”

There was something in the young man’s tone that caused the millionaire to look keenly at him.

Then he closed his lips upon the words that were about to fall. He was upon the point of confiding how Tom was going after Annie, but the rich man noticed a glitter in the blue eyes, and he said nothing.

Then George spoke slowly:

“Uncle, will you keep to yourself what I am going to tell you?”

“Of course,” responded the rich man; “I have never betrayed your confidence.”


“Then, I will not begin now.”

“Did you know that Tom Cooper thinks that you are going to leave him half your fortune? I saw him just now as he went out, and he said that[32] you had asked him to help find Annie, and that he was not going to do anything like it, but to give you the idea that he was working hard to locate her, and he said that if she kept away from the house that you would leave him half your fortune.”

The old man was rising from his chair slowly.

“Are you telling me the truth?”

“Surely. He said that you two talked over the matter, and that you asked him to aid you in finding the girl, and he said he had given you the idea that he could bring her back to you.”

“So he did,” ejaculated the old man.

“And I fear that he intends to do you wrong, as much as I hate to say it of the fellow whom I have grown up with, but then we could not expect to have him care as much for Annie as I do, not being related to her.”

For a long time the old man sat in his chair muttering to himself. He had grown to love this boy, this very young boy, who had always sent in the best reports from college to him, like his own son even. But the last blow had fallen.


“Annie,” he whispered as he labored upstairs to his bedroom, “I shall never see you again. You have had your revenge now, for I shall not be upon the earth long.”

Then he sent for his nephew after his valet had put him in bed, and said:

“If Tom Cooper comes here, he is to be refused admittance; also notify the bank that he is to be discharged.”

After George Benson heard this he went down stairs, and with a malicious smile upon his face wrote the letter, and as he dropped it in the mail box, he said to himself:

“So you will find the girl, will you, Tom Cooper? We will soon see what your future will amount to.”



The next morning Tom Cooper came whistling into the bank. His future looked so bright, and did he not have his uncle’s permission to find the little lost girl? He went behind the glass window and found a notice upon his desk to call upon the president in his room, and without delay the lad ran into the rear of the building and tapped lightly upon a door marked, “T. D. Dalton.”

“You wished to see me, sir,” and then he stopped, for the grave face before him gave his heart a chill.

“Yes, lad; sit down.”

Tom Cooper slid into the chair, a strange feeling coming over him.

“Have you done anything to offend Mr. Benson?”



“Are you sure?”


“Something has happened then, for I have this in the morning mail.”

Tom took the paper mechanically in his fingers, and there before him was an order to take his position from him, and only yesterday his benefactor had been so pleasant. While he held the letter in his hand he could not help but think that George Benson had been instrumental in his downfall.

He went from the bank to the mansion, only to find that he was barred from there, and Mr. Benson refused to see him, and as he left the steps for the last time in his life a face watched him from an upper window.

“So you are going to throw over my scheme, are you, Tom Cooper? Well, I don’t think so. Now go and starve with my pretty cousin, and do not forget that when you hold a good position it might slip from your fingers before you are aware of it.”


From that day on Tom Cooper could find nothing to do, and he haunted the places of his friends until at last one day he met an old chum upon the street.

“Nothing yet, Cooper?” asked the stranger.

“No, and I am thinking of going to sea for a while. I can take a position and go around the world, and be gone three months, and maybe by that time something will open for me.”

“Sorry,” sympathized the other, “for you had the best prospects of any of the fellows graduating in your class.”

“Well, I haven’t now,” bitterly answered Cooper, “and good-bye, old fellow. When I return I’ll let you know my success.”

After this it was smooth sailing for George Benson. Tom out of the way, and his cousin not to be found, and his uncle sick in bed afflicted with paralysis.

What more could a man want than a fortune at his fingers’ end, and nothing in the way but an old man, with one foot in the grave, and the doctor gave but little hope of his living long.


One morning George Benson had gone out when the doctor arrived, and the good man ran up the stairs and looked into the old man’s chamber without being announced.

There were tears upon the wrinkled face.

“Why, Mr. Benson, are you in such pain?” said the doctor in great sympathy.


“Then what are you weeping for? Tell me; maybe I can help you.”

“No one can do that, Johnson,” replied the millionaire; “I am weeping for my daughter.”

“Your daughter? I did not know that you had one.”

“Oh, yes I have, but I do not know where. She was a good little girl, but married against my will, and for a time I returned all of her letters, and she has since then refused to forgive me.”

“Well, well; this is interesting. Tell me all about it.”

It eased the poor, throbbing heart to tell the painful story.


“And your child has refused to answer you in any way?”


“You are sure that she got the message?”

The old man looked into his physician’s eyes, and remembered that Tom Cooper had asked that same question.

“As sure as a man can be who has to confide his affairs to a third party.”

“And that party your nephew?”


“Would you think me impertinent, my dear Mr. Benson, if I should say that I believe your daughter has never received your letters, and another thing I would ask you: How have you made your will?”

“In my nephew’s favor.”

“And do you think that right to your daughter? What if she never received your letters, or if she had died and left a child?”

“She had a little baby, I know,” sadly replied the old man.

“Then it seems a shame that while you have an[39] own child that you should not at least have her provided for. Think of it, she may be in distress and not know that you have wanted her.”

The old man started up in bed and held out his feeble hand and said:

“Doctor, will you help me? Oh, I beg of you to make it possible for my child to again look into my face, and I shall bless you forever.”

“Then, one thing,” gravely replied the physician, “is that you should make another will immediately, and you should keep the fact from your nephew until after it is over.”

“Will you send for my lawyer now?” tremblingly asked the rich man.

“I want you to witness my will, and swear that I am in my right mind.”

So the telephone was brought into use, and the family lawyer was hurried into the mansion, and for some hours the three men were closeted together, and a servant was brought into the room to witness the will.

They were still there when George Benson came home. He heard that the doctor was still[40] with his uncle, but no one said anything about a lawyer.

“I’ll wait down here until he comes down,” muttered the young man to himself. “I hate to hear uncle complain of his aches and pains, and he is such a bore. I shall be glad when he is dead.”

But he knew not that in that upper chamber a deed was being enacted which would place him upon the pauper list as far as money was concerned.

“I wish you would stay here with me,” said the rich man to the lawyer, “until my nephew returns, and tell him of the change in my will, and I do not think he will mind it much, for he always pretended to care a great deal for his cousin.”

The lawyer smiled sarcastically and answered.

“I shall not leave you, Mr. Benson, and what shall I do with this old will?”

“Give it to me,” responded the rich man, and he took the document in his fingers, and having split it in two asked that it should be burned before his eyes.


After accomplishing this the lawyer sat down and waited, and in the meantime the doctor met the nephew in the hall, and, shaking hands, replied that the invalid was somewhat better.

“He wants to be kept quiet, that is all,” replied the doctor.

“He can have all the quiet he wants, for all of me,” responded the young man with a shrug of his shoulders; “I am not in love with the air of a sick chamber.”

“I have observed that,” dryly replied the doctor.

“Well—well—would you mind if I were to ask a plain question, doctor?” and as the medical man inclined his head, he proceeded with little show of embarrassment:

“You see, my uncle will always be an invalid, will he not?”


“And can you tell approximately how long this lingering disease will last?”

“Then I understand that you want to know how soon your uncle is going to die?”


George blushed at the plain words.

“Well, not exactly that, but when I come to think, yes, doctor, that is it. Will he live long?”

“He may live for some years, but not likely. Certainly not if he is worried in any way.”

“Then he will live forever if all he needs is quiet and lack of worry, as I have taken every burden from him.”

The doctor wondered what this suave young fellow would say when he heard that the will had been changed and he had been forgotten.

“He will probably live as long as you want him to, Mr. Benson,” said the doctor, and then he went down the steps and could but think of the little daughter married to a soldier, and pondered upon the fact that she would be worth a fortune when her father should close his eyes in death.

George Benson ran up the stairs to his uncle’s room, but he did not know that the family lawyer was there.


“Good afternoon,” said he, holding out his hand, the truth never once coming across his mind.

“How are you, uncle?” said he, walking up to the bed.

“Oh, so, so, boy,” replied the sick man. “I have done something which I hope you will think is just. I have made a new will leaving Annie my fortune.”


The cry in the one word was enough to startle each man. The aged invalid raised on his elbow, and looked into the contorted face. The lawyer was thankful that he had stayed, for he believed and told the doctor afterward that he thought George Benson would have killed his uncle if he had not been there.

Without noticing the attorney, he broke out:

“How dare you tell me that? Do you think that I am going to allow you to do anything like that? What did I get rid of that young rascal, Tom Cooper, for, and many others who have[44] stood in my way? You need not think that I am going to let you cut me off without a penny.”

“You’ll let me do what I wish with my money, my own money,” muttered the sick man. “What business is it of yours what I do? You would have had none of it if I had had my child with me.”

George Benson’s face took upon it a terrible expression.

“Oh, you think you are going to see Annie, do you? Well, know the truth, and if it kills you it serves you right, for Annie was here only the other day, begging to see you, and I sent her away starving with her child. She will not see you again, for a thinner girl never applied for alms to any one before.”

“Shame, shame,” cried the lawyer, as the old man toppled back in his bed and covered his face with his hands. “Shame on a man who would torment a dying father. You are a brute, Benson, and I am glad you have been foiled.”

The younger man’s passion had spent itself, and George realized that he had made a bad[45] break; that he had lost his temper and forgotten that he might undo the deed done that day. He turned upon his heel and ran out of the room.

“I do not want to be left alone,” moaned Mr. Benson. “There is no telling what he might do to me in that temper, and to think that my little girl has been here, maybe time and time again, and I did not know it. Oh, my good friend, you must help me find her.”

The lawyer, promising and saying that he would leave instructions with Mr. Benson’s valet and that he would take the new will with him, for fear it would be tampered with, went away.

After that everything known to science and law was done to bring the old man and his daughter together. The doctor gave tonics, and the lawyer advertised for the girl.

George Benson bitterly regretted his rash speech, for he had opened avenues whereby the chance of his regaining his old position was gone.

One day he stole into the library and looked hastily about.

“I’ve got to have money, and I might as well[46] take these diamonds,” he said to himself. “There is no telling how soon I shall be ordered from the mansion. What tommy rot all this bustle is, for they won’t find the girl—or, at least, I hope they won’t.”

Saying this, he slipped his fingers into a private panel in the wall and pulled out a small box and looked greedily at the contents.

“Abe Nathans will give me at least a thousand on these, and let me out of some of the worry he has given me before.”

Out of the room he went slyly, and hid the box in his pocket.

“I am not going to be without money,” said he as he was again in his room safely with the trinkets. “If the old man doesn’t realize that I am to have a certain amount, then I will take it myself.”

Three months had elapsed since Tom Cooper had left the big bank, and nothing had been heard of him, save that he had gone to sea. There were many times the old man felt that he had wronged[47] the boy in sending him away without a word of explanation, but his heart was so full of finding Annie that he had no place for even Tom, and the doctor and lawyer had it so arranged that George could not see his uncle at all. If the old man had only known the truth about his young ward he would have inserted an advertisement for him in the paper.

But not knowing, Tom Cooper was allowed to come into the city without a friend to meet him, and his boat landed one evening just at dusk, and he had not yet received his month’s pay.

So, thinking that he needed a little money, he rolled up a suit of clothes and walked toward the nearest pawn shop.

Before he had done this another young man had gone in the same direction.

He opened the door, the bell sounding through the place.

“Are you here, Abe?” shouted he.

“Comin’, comin’,” was the grunted answer. “Oh, so it is you, Mr. Benson. I hope you don’t want more money.”


“That’s just what I do want,” went on George Benson, “and I brought you the family jewels, though I had a darned hard job to get them. If I had never spied upon the old man I would not have known where they were. Lucky for me.”

“Yes, very lucky, my dear Mr. Benson,” answered the Jew, rubbing his white hands together, “for if you had not had them I should have given you no more.”

“Oh, don’t ring those old changes on me,” stuttered George, “for you know you would give me money if I demanded it.”

“No, sir, no more; no more.”

“Well, well, you’ve got the jewels, so don’t grumble; don’t grumble.”

He held out the box, and the old man took the jewel box greedily in his hands.

“Ah, they are beauties. I well remember them. I was the one who got them for your uncle, and he gave them to his wife Helen, and she was a beauty. Then his daughter got them in her turn, and I suppose you do not hear anything of the girl?”


“No, and I hope to heaven that she is dead. You see in that case I will get the money anyhow.”

“Of course you will,” replied the Jew. “Ain’t your uncle given you all of it before now? You told me he had made a will remembering you and you only.”

“That’s true,” bitterly replied the other; “that’s true, but he did not become paralyzed in his hands, did he? He could change it any time he wanted to.”

“So he could,” responded the Jew, thoughtfully; “but the question is, did he?”

“Yes, he did.”

“Then how am I going to get my money?” asked the other.

“Oh, Abe, for the love of heaven, don’t be so selfish. If I don’t get it then you won’t, but by putting our heads together, I am sure we can circumvent this lawyer and doctor who have seen fit to put their noses in other people’s business, and I’ll show them that it is not safe to meddle with fire if they don’t want to get burned.”



“I don’t see how I can help you any,” ventured the pawnbroker, looking furtively at his companion.

“Well, you can; the first thing I need is money, and I must have it.”

“Go on with your scheme,” said the other, “and don’t always be talking about money. I know that promises don’t amount to much. Now then, what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to keep that girl from her father, and then I am one of the trustees of the money, and if he does not change that part I shall be all right for ready cash as soon as he shuffles off, but I spoke my mind the night he made the new will, and there is no telling what he will do, only that his hands now are useless.”

“Then you care for the funds?” began the broker.


“Yes, until this girl puts in an appearance.”

“Don’t let her appear,” said the other.

“That’s just what I say,” went on Benson laughingly. “I know that I can put her somewhere that she won’t bother me. Now, old man, will you help me, and I’ll see that you are well paid?”

Just at this moment a young fellow with the air of a sailor came in.

“Are you the chump what runs this place?” asked he, going up to the pawnbroker, “for if you are I want to pawn this suit of clothes. They are bran’ new, and ought to give me a little ready cash.”

“I’ll look at them when I get through with this gentleman,” and the broker turned disdainfully away.

Then the two, Tom Cooper and Benson, recognized each other.

“Well, well, Tom, you do look like a typical[52] Jack in earnest. So you’ve come back to try your luck, have you, again upon land?”

“Yes, siree, to get even with you, Mr. Benson,” replied the sailor. “You lied about me; that I know. Now I am going to see just what you are doing, Mr. George Benson.”

“Well, don’t you monkey in my affairs,” shouted George, “or I will deal with you as I did before. You went from New York because I made it too hot to hold you. Now, be careful.”

“Oh, I suppose you’d like to hurt me all right. I went to see Mr. Benson last night, and they said he was too sick to see anyone.”

“So he is, to see a ragmuffin,” sneered Benson.

“It’s a wonder he harbors you, if he is so very particular,” retorted Tom.

“So you tried to get into the house, did you?”

“Yes, why not? It was my home, the same as yours.”

“Not quite. You always were an interloper, so beware.”

Tom leaned far over and looked keenly at Benson.


“What have you done with Annie Benson?”

“What have I done with her?” replied Benson threateningly. “I don’t know anything about her. She is nothing to me.”

How George Benson would have liked to have told the young fellow that he was the beneficiary to his uncle’s will, but he knew that the boy would find out differently, so he remained silent.

“What happened?” asked Nathans. “Did the old man give you the grand bounce, too?”

“Yes, but not for anything that I did, but because of that villain standing there. I suppose he thought that I would help find Miss Annie and bring her back to her home. Well, that’s what I came back for, Mr. Benson.”

Tom Cooper saw that he was putting the thorns into the other’s flesh, and kept on: “I am going to spend the rest of my days finding that girl.”

Benson walked close to him and looked into his face.

“I want to tell you something, Tom Cooper, you had better go back to sea, for if you don’t I[54] can tell you that there won’t be much show for you if I once get my hands on you.”

“I’m not afraid of you, mister,” shouted Tom, snapping his fingers into George’s face.

“And, what’s more,” he added, “I have made up my mind that you are not playing fair with our little playmate of long ago, any more than you used to play fair when you stole money from her father’s pocket. But I am going to find her if it takes me all the rest of my life.”

“What’s that girl to you?” slowly asked George.

“Nothing, but I cannot forget the times when we were children that she was with us, and now I am sure that she is having a hard time of it, and I am going to find out anyhow.”

Just at this moment a woman came in with a clock in her hand.

“What will you give for this, Abe?” asked she. “Now, don’t be tight about it, for the girl I’m a-selling it for is almost starved to death, and I am going to pay her rent.”

“Oh, you’re like all the rest, Higgins,” blurted the broker, “always got some reason why you[55] should have money, more money than any one else. You would have me in the poorhouse if you had your way.”

“But I must have two dollars for this,” insisted the woman. “Please, Abe, it will save a woman from being turned out.”

“What do I care whether she is turned out or not as long as I don’t have to take care of her?” sulkily asked the broker.

The pawnbroker left the woman for a moment to attend to a boy, who came in with a watch.

“I want to get money on this,” said he.

The broker looked suspiciously at him.

“You stole this?” asked he softly.

“No, sir, I found it.”

“Now, look a-here, Jim Farren, I ain’t got no confidence in what you say. You stole the last thing you brought to me, and I had to give it up to the detective.”

“I didn’t steal that nuther,” sulkily replied the boy.

“Nevertheless, I was out five dollars, and unless you can prove that you got this all right, then[56] you will have to take it elsewhere, and give me back that five dollars.”

“Like fun I will,” replied the boy, and he slouched out.

In the meantime the woman was listening to the spirited conversation between the two other men. She could hear Tom stand up firmly for the girl called “Annie.”

When she saw the pawnbroker go back to Benson and resume his conversation with him, she went up to Tom:

“I heard you a-speaking to the young gentleman about finding a girl by the name of Annie. I know one a-living near me in the next room, and her father is rich. He sent her from home because she married against his will, and she has one little girl named Helen.”

“Helen,” muttered Tom thoughtfully, looking at the woman as if he were trying to bring something into his mind; “Helen, that was the name of her mother. Will you take me to this girl, that I may see her?”

“Sure I will. Let me get this old stick to give[57] me the money I want, and then I’ll go with you.” With this she took the two dollars which the man gave to her begrudgingly, and out of the shop they went, and Mrs. Higgins led the way to her apartment.

But she did not notice that a poor woman walked along the street with her child by the hand. This was one of those cases when it would have been well for the woman to tell of the charity which she was going to bestow, for then the tired sick mother would not have left her home.

She hurried on until she, too, reached the pawnshop and stepped inside, dragging the frail child with her.

She walked to the counter with slow steps and said in a weak voice:

“I should like to pawn this jewel for as much money as you can give me.”

“I cannot give you much,” said the broker, “for it is plated.”

The woman raised her eyes pleadingly.

“You are mistaken,” said she. “My father gave it to me as a pure gem.”


“Then your father was fooled,” said the broker, “for it is nothing but the meanest kind of a plate.”

The woman looked about hastily.

“What will you give for it?” said she weakly.

“Two dollars.”

“Two dollars! Why it cost thousands. I know that you are cheating me. I shall not leave it.”

“Then take it somewhere else, and don’t bother me with it. I’ll be with you in a moment, Benson.”

The woman again looked about.

“What, Benson,” whispered she, and then she caught sight of the cousin who had been the cause of all of her trouble.

“Oh, so you are here, George Benson? Oh, I am so glad to see you. I want to see my father, for I saw in the paper that he was very sick.”

“So he is,” surlily replied Benson, “and he does not want to be bothered with you. Now, keep away from the house, for the servants have had instructions to keep you out.”

“Where is Tom Cooper?” asked the girl.


“Gone to the devil, for all I know,” said Benson, looking at the little bundle upon the floor, which by some great stroke of fate Tom Cooper had left there.

“Oh, I am sure not so bad as that,” said she wistfully. “It is a shame to talk that way of him. Why, George, as a boy he was better than you.”

“Where is your husband?” asked Benson, knowing well enough that he was dead, for he had opened all the letters that had come in her handwriting.


“Oh, then, it was not all honey after you married him, was it?”

“He was good to me, and I believe that you made my father turn from me, and I will go straight to him and tell him that you have kept us apart.”

The pawnbroker came up at this moment.

“Miss, if you have any crying to do, please go out, for I don’t want you in here,” and, saying this, he gave poor Annie Standish a shove and sent her into the street.


“Such people set me crazy,” stormed the old man, “as if my shop was to be a fountain. I hate them all, that’s what I do.”

“That woman makes me feel as if I had nothing to live for,” gasped Benson. “Just you let Tom Cooper see her, and I’ll bet you that my cake will be dough in five minutes, but give me the money.”

“Are you sure that your uncle told you that you could have these diamonds when he was no more? Now, if they should make a search for them and claim that they were stolen, then I would have no chance but to give them up. Now then, out with the truth.”

“Of course he told me that I could have them. Don’t be a fool.”

As the question was being argued the door opened and a detective appeared.

“Nathans,” said he brusquely, “there has been a set of diamonds stolen from Benson’s mansion, and they will probably be brought here, and if so you keep them, for they will be wanted.”

The blood flew into George’s face, and he stepped upon the toe of the pawnbroker.


Nathans feared that the box on the desk would be spied by the detective.

“I’ll watch,” said he after a while, “and if the jewels come in I’ll tell you.”

“All right, and another thing, Benson is dying, and he wants his daughter, and if you should see a poor woman come here to pawn anything don’t let her go away without asking her name, for it might be worth your while.”

“I don’t trouble myself about such people,” said the broker, “but as long as you want me to I’ll keep on the watch.”

He had only turned his back for a moment before the pawnbroker was upon the young man.

“So you think that I was going to pay you a thousand for stolen goods. You are as bad as that Farren. I can’t watch you fellows enough.”

“You’d better give me some money, Nathans. How am I going to do work with nothing? Now then, keep the jewels.”

“No, I don’t want them.”

Suddenly there came into the eyes of the other[62] a light which made Nathans ask Benson what he was thinking about.

“Put that box in that bundle of Tom Cooper, and by that way we will get rid of him.”

“And make it appear that he stole the jewels?”

“And why not?” asked George. “Would it not get him out of the way for at least five years, and if the girl is not found by that time I would not give much for the fortune she would find in the meantime.”

“But how are you going to let the police know that he stole that box?” asked Nathans.

“I’ll skip out and send the police, and then when he comes back you pick a quarrel with him, and when that happens cry out and the police will nab him, and then the searching of his bundle will make it look as if he stole the jewels when he was at the mansion last night.”

“Bravo, old fellow; you’re all right. Here goes,” and into the sailor’s bundle the jewels were slipped, but neither of the men knew that under the counter was a shaggy little head, and that when they were not looking a red hand was[63] slipped to get the bundle and to relieve it of the gems, but the incoming of Tom just at that moment gave him no opportunity and the sailor ejaculated: “Well, old cove, what are you going to give me for these clothes? I went all the way to that old Irish lady’s house, and sure enough the woman wasn’t there. I suppose that she had lit out to raise the dough for grub for herself and babe.”

As he spoke he took up the bundle and shook it lightly.

“Those clothes don’t look like much, for they’ve been wrapped upon the ship, but they’re new, old sport.”

“You needn’t call me such names as that, young man,” said the pawnbroker.

“That’s nothing,” laughed the sailor jovially, “for when a man gets as old and shriveled as you are it shows that he’s been something of a sport in his life.”

The pawnbroker looked furtively about.

“What you want on the clothes?”

“What’ll you give?”


“I’m afraid you stole them.”

The sailor drew up his big form slowly and sent his sleeve up to his elbows.

“Oh, you do, do you? Well, I’ll smash your face if you talk that way to me, you dirty old Jew.”

The pawnbroker had the chance he wanted, for he shouted out loud and his clerk came running in.

“Call an officer, call an officer, for pity’s sake. This man is going to fight me.”

“I wasn’t going to hurt the old swab,” cried Tom as the policeman laid his fingers on his strong arm, “but the fool said I stole that bundle, and it’s my clothes.”

“Well, you come along with me, my young man, for I think I’ve seen you before.”

“Where?” asked Tom.

“In front of Mr. Benson’s home, on Fifth avenue, last night, and there was a great robbery committed there a little later.”



“A robbery?” muttered Tom. “Well, old pard, it wasn’t me.”

While the argument was going on a little fellow slipped like a rat from his hiding place, and would have scurried away but the pawnbroker held him tightly.

“Where were you, you little devil?” whispered he.

“Under the counter.”

“And heard all?”

“Every word.”

“Then keep your mouth shut, and I’ll help you out of the watch scrape.”

The officer saw that there was another prisoner for him.

“Ah, Jimmie Farren,” cried the detective. “You are the youngster that stole that watch? Now come with me.”


“I didn’t steal the watch; I just found it.”

Tom threw back his head and laughed.

“We are innocent, aren’t we, pard? Well, if we have to go with the police, come along like a man, but they will soon ship me, for I am as innocent as a new-born lamb.”

He played his fingers on the end of his nose to the pawnbroker and left the shop, following the detective.

“When I come back, I’ll fix you, you old skate,” said he just as the door slammed in his face.

“Ah, ha, so he will come back, will he? Well I guess he won’t. That was a smart thing that George Benson thought of, and I tell you any one that gets in that man’s path he will knock out quicker than a wink.”

At the station house Tom stood before the captain and gave a history of himself. He told how he was a former ward of Mr. Benson, how he had lived there for many years and then of his sudden dismissal.


“And what are you here for?” asked the sergeant.

“Because he raised a row in a pawnshop.”

“And what were you going to pawn?”

“My clothes in that bundle,” and the sailor pointed to the package in the officer’s hand.

“What’s in it?”

“A new suit of clothes I bought in England, and we landed in town yesterday, and I haven’t drawn any money yet, so had to pawn my clothes.”

“Open the package,” ordered the sergeant.

The officer obeyed and out rolled a small box of velvet which the man picked up doubtfully, and all were looking at the box as the policeman handed it over to the leader.

“What’s this?” he asked of Tom Cooper.

The young sailor was looking at the box in mystified silence.

“I do not know,” said he at last, and there was one in the room who knew that he did not know, for Jim Farren had seen and heard what passed between George Benson and the Jew, and knew[68] that this young man was a victim of their conspiracy, but for his own sake he dared not speak, for there would be a chance for him if he stood in with the old Jew, but he knew that there would be nothing done if he should try to aid the young sailor.

A few words would not be amiss about this young man Jim Farren. Brought up in one of the toughest parts of New York, he had had no influence to aid him into a better life. He would steal and then lie out of it, but this time he had been caught in his own trap. What a fool he had been to go to that shop after pawning a watch which of course would be identified.

He was thus thinking when he heard the sailor say stoutly:

“Well, whether you believe me or not, I did not steal those gems,” and for the first time in his life Jim Farren had an impulse to say, “He did not, for I saw the thief.”


The next day the papers were full of the robbery and the skilful catching of the thief. George Benson went and shook hands with the pawnbroker, and said: “If we had not worked this fellow off of our hands we would have been in a pickle just now.”

When George got home he found that his uncle had sent his lawyer to the inner closet in the library, giving him a design of the room, and the attorney found that the jewels were gone.

It was in this way that the detectives took up the case, and they were located in a pawnshop which belonged to one Nathans.

It gave the name of Tom Cooper, and old Mr. Benson turned upon his pillow with a groan when he found that the boy he had loved and taken care of from a baby had been the serpent that stung him in a most vital place, for had not his Helen, his wife and beloved, worn these precious diamonds about her neck, and had not his daughter, whom he loved, also had them close to her beating heart? For many hours after this[70] revelation was made to him he said nothing, and then he opened his lips.

“It is dreadful to be treated thus. I loved this boy, and was on the eve of sending for him to find out the truth of the matter of a few months ago, but if these gems were found upon him then there can be no excuse for him.”

It was strange that the old invalid did not think it about time to send his nephew from his home, especially after the terrible confession George had made about his daughter, but Benson felt that George was his own flesh and blood, and how could he find it in his heart to turn him away? He had grown more tender since the leaving of his Annie. He would put all the worry out of his mind, with the exception of thoughts of Annie, and for her he would wish until the very air produced vibrations that would bring her back to him.

“Do you really believe, George,” said the lawyer one morning after Tom’s sentence had been passed upon him and he had been sent up for a[71] number of years, “that this young sailor took these gems?”

“I only know,” responded the smooth villain, “as much about the case as you. I do not worry about strangers.”

“Was this young man not a boy brought up with you?”


“Then, he is not a stranger to you.”

“Well, he is no blood relation, and I am not being put through the third degree, am I?”

The lawyer went out with the firm conviction that this young man, with his handsome eyes, knew more about this plot of the diamond theft than he cared to admit.

George Benson threw himself out of the room with an impatient gesture.

“I’ll be glad when the old man is dead,” muttered he as he swung off up the avenue, “for he has such a set of inquisitors about him that they drive me out of my senses.”


When poor Annie staggered out of the pawnshop with her pretty bauble in her fingers she ran into another woman hurrying along.

“Why, you poor darling,” said the warm-hearted newcomer; “you ain’t about this kind of a day, and no warm clothes on? Now, be a good girl and come back home with me. Where have you bin?”

“I’ve been trying to pawn this trinket, but he told me that it wasn’t worth over two dollars. And I know better, for my father gave it to me. Oh, Biddy Roan, if the time ever comes that I can repay you and Mrs. Higgins for your kindness to me, then will I come back and make you comfortable. But now I am going away.”

She turned and made her way toward the other street swiftly, and would not listen to the strong Irish voice that commanded her to return. She walked hastily along until she came to Broadway and took this thoroughfare down and seemed bent upon making a certain point before the turning of the night, but fate seemed to have overtaken this poor woman, and with her heart beating and[73] her lips praying for her father’s forgiveness she swept on, dragging the whining child through the now shadowy streets.

“Oh, mother, I am so tired,” cried the child.

“I know you are, dear little Helen, but be a good girl. We are going to see grandpa.”

“Is he the grandpa that wouldn’t let us in his house?” asked Helen, this time hugging closer to her mother, for the night’s shades brought the chill winds from the sea.

“He did not know, love, how badly we wanted to see him, I am sure, or he would not have turned us away. Now listen, dearest, and you shall have enough to eat before long.”

This was every word true, but, little Helen Standish, it would not be in your grandfather’s mansion that you would eat, but in the awfulness of a prison house. The poor exhausted mother, tired and weary, was swept from the street into the gutter by a heavy truck, and when they picked her up stunned, the policeman said that she was drunk, and she was sent to the Island for three months.


While the papers did not give her name, a small account of the dreadful woman, with her child at her side, and found drunk in the streets, gave a slight vision of some of the other half in New York of whom so little is known by those living in luxury.

But the description of the child and the woman and especially the trinket found in the woman’s fingers, which it was supposed she had stolen, made George seek Nathans.

“I believe that this woman is that Annie Standish,” cried he, “and you must find out. I believe the old man is on his last legs. He will have no opportunity to see his daughter. Now then, if this is she, then we must get the child, and do away with it, and I think the mother has consumption. Now then, you can work in that little thief Farren, can’t you?”


“Give him a thousand dollars for kidnapping the child. Buy off some of the guards to allow him to get away by the river, and then impress upon his mind that if the child is the same he is[75] to see that it falls into the water. It won’t be missed. He regains his freedom and a thousand, and future help if he needs it.”

The pawnbroker thought for a long time.

“What do I get out of all this?” he asked, squinting his eye at his companion. “I must know this.”

“Oh, you’ll have enough. Don’t fear.”

“Then, tell me now,” said Nathans.

“Five thousand.”

“Five thousand?” ejaculated the broker. “Do all the dirty work for you and get a paltry five thousand out of a clean two million? You must think that I am a fool. I’ve loaned you more than that in clean cold cash.”

“Of course, I understand that I should return that also.” The broker walked away.

“I want nothing to do with your scheme.”

“Then, tell me what you do want,” said George almost pleadingly.


“Half! My heavens, man, that is a fortune.”

“I know, and you will have one, too. I don’t[76] intend you to get the cream and leave me the skim milk.”

“Then, if you will drive such a hard bargain, come back, and half is agreed.”

The broker chuckled softly.

“That is more like it,” said he.

“Then you will see the boy,” asked George as he pulled his collar up tightly about his neck.

“Yes,” and true to his promise the Jew crossed the river and presented himself at the prison door.

“May I see a young man in whom I am interested by the name of Farren? He was put in for theft.”

“And a bird he is, too,” said the officer in charge.

“Let me see, do I know you?” hesitated the Jew, looking into the officer’s face.

“I guess you do, Mr. Nathans, for I am the man that took the sailor and Jim from your shop. My partner is here, too, Arkwright, only he is too darn nice to live. I wouldn’t want to ask him to do a job for me if I wanted one done.”


And the officer winked his eye laughingly.

After the thick-headed Jew had gotten it through his brains what it meant, he was glad that the man had given him this hint, for had he not come to try to bribe Arkwright, but this timely hint was enough, so he said:

“If you wanted something done in this burg, who would you go to?”

“Not to Arkwright,” was the answer, and he made a very wry face.

“To whom, then?”

“To me.”

“And is it possible for you to allow a prisoner to escape?”

“If you should buy up my partner also,” said the man.

“And which one is he?” asked the Jew eagerly.

“I’ll show you. There now, don’t be in a hurry. Let me make the proposition to him while you see the boy. Is it Jim that you want to get out?”

The Jew nodded slightly just as the boy jumped into the room.


“Well, Jim,” said the Jew, holding out his hand; “how are you doing?”

“Pretty much as I please,” replied the lad.

“Then you don’t want to leave this place?” and the Jew looked closely at him.

“Oh, wouldn’t I like to get back to New York!” cried he sharply. “Just you give me the chance,” sighed he.

“Well, the chance is yours.”

“How?” gasped the youngster.

“By doin’ exactly as I tell you. Now, don’t get mixed up with any one else in this game, or they might mix you up. Understand?”

“I should tink I did, mister. Now, tell me about it, and no kiddin’.”

A whispered conversation went on while the bribed guard kept his ears shut, waiting for the time that money should open them.

“The same day that you were placed in here a woman was brought here with a child. I want you to escape and take the kid with you and accidentally drop it off the boat. Understand?”

“Oh, I am to kill the kid, is that it?”


“No, it will kill itself, if you leave it in the water long enough.”

“Just let it slip off the bark, is that it?” asked Jim.

“Yes, that’s it.”

“But, where’s the boat to come from?” asked Jim, interested in his own safety, “and how much dough am I to get for this?”

“One thousand dollars and your freedom.”

“Hully Gee, but that would set me up in business. I guess I’ll take it, mister.”

“Then you are to wait until I send you a chart. Do you see that man sleeping there? He will aid you. He says that you have been trying to escape.”

“Yes, I dug my way out t’other night, but found that I was in another cove’s cell. He just lay there and let me dig and then laughed at me fer my pains.”

“Never mind, Jim; now you can laugh at him for his pains,” said the Jew.

Inside a little book which the Jew handed, with[80] a show of reverence, to the convict were some fine files and the like to aid him to escape.

“The warden thinks it’s a prayer book that I brought you,” said the Jew. “Now hide the things away, and don’t let any one into your secret.”

Just as they were talking in a low tone the warden ushered in a woman.

“If it ain’t Biddy Roan, me cousin,” said Jim, trying to hide his head. “I don’t want her to see me,” but see him she did, and the good Irishwoman had to go over the whole death scene of the poor mother of Jim, who had died since he came to the prison.

“Now then, Jim,” said she, “if you ever get out and want to be a good fellow, you just come to my place of business. I’ve got a house on the river side, and you’re welcome for your poor mother’s sake, and you may take care of my boats for the payment of your board,” and Biddy Roan, who had been visiting the sick woman upstairs, hurried out of the prison with tears in her eyes.



Arkwright and his fellow detective, Hammond, for their clever piece of work in bringing the sailor to trial for the theft of the jewels, and the Farren fellow for the pawning of a stolen watch, were both given higher positions in the prison at the Island. They were much pleased with the work, knowing that a higher prestige was carried with the job. Hammond was a fellow who could not be trusted, but Arkwright was the soul of honor, and he had a position next to that of the warden. In fact, there were strong talks of making him warden if anything should happen to the man now in charge.

He was coming down just as Nathans was finishing his talk with Jim. The Jew heard Arkwright calling from the stairs.

“You give Mrs. Standish anything she wants.[82] I do not believe she will last long, and if anything should happen to her suddenly you call me. Do not let anyone have the little tot until I have been notified.”

The Jew started as he heard these words.

It meant so much to him, and so much to the man for whom he was working, as well as the little mite of a child who was waiting for the death of its mother in the upper ward.

Little did Annie Standish know that in the mansion on Fifth avenue that day a great funeral had been held, and that the father she had hoped to see had given up his fight, and that George Benson followed him to his grave as the only mourner. Little did she realize that a gigantic scheme was afloat to ruin her child and to make her life of no value. She was too sick to realize, even if it had been told her, and could only now and then open her eyes and look at the good Mrs. Higgins, who had followed her over, and to squeeze the red hand of her friend, Biddy Roan.

As Mr. Arkwright left her the good man felt that she was not long for this world, and that she[83] would leave her child soon, but his heart beat happily when he thought that for the little one there were happier days, as there was lots of money for her, but little Helen was too young to know what money meant.

As the good Arkwright called out his commands to the attendants he spied the Jew.

“You here yet?” said he slowly.

“Yes, I’ve been talking to Jim. I hope you don’t mind. I brought him the prayer book his mother sent him.”

“Oh, no, I don’t mind, but it’s a new business for you, that’s all, Nathans.”

“Not so new,” growled the other, a guilty flush rising to his forehead. “I have always felt for these poor fellows over here, but have never known of one before.

“But have you ever heard anything of the woman you were looking for, the poor one with a wealthy father?”

“We have,” said Arkwright, rubbing his hands, “but the mother is ill unto death, and the child will live to make the best of the money.”


“Then, its people were rich?” asked the Jew, his eye shining, as he wanted to be very sure that the child upstairs was the little heiress. He wanted to know that he was not paying out a thousand for nothing. He cared not a picayune if Jim stayed in prison all the rest of his days, but he wanted to get the child whose mother was the daughter of the millionaire Benson, and there must be no mistake.

“Rich,” replied Arkwright, as he held the large gate open for the Jew to pass through; “I should think so. They have more money than they know what to do with,” and as the Jew walked away he waggled his beard after the manner of his race.

“I have you right where I want you, Arkwright,” said he to himself. “You think that the child’s life is worth a great deal, and I will show you that there is no one who can balk me and George Benson without failing in their plans.”

When Biddy Roan was with Annie Standish upstairs there was a pathetic scene. The sick[85] woman had heard the news of her father’s death. “Biddy,” she said plaintively, “I know that I shall not live until the morrow. Now, there are none of my people who care a cent for me or the child, and I want you to promise me that you will take my Helen, remember her name is Helen Standish, and take her with you.”

“Now, now, honey,” soothed the Irishwoman, “you need not be so worrit over this child, nor over yourself, for I am a-thinking that you’se is a-going to get well. But if you’se shouldn’t I will take your darling to my house, and there will be no better mother in the world than I will be to the likes of her.”

Annie Standish smiled faintly, for she knew this, and had she not had evidence of the goodness of the woman’s heart?

“Listen, Biddy, until I charge you with something. My father is dead, and he has left his fortune to my cousin, so I think. Now then, don’t you let him know of my child’s existence, for if he does he may do her some terrible harm.”

“Then he shan’t know of it, honey. Now you[86] just take a good look at the darling and go to sleep.”

Biddy went to the child’s crib and picked the little one up in her arms.

“Come and give a kiss to you’se poor mother, me darlint,” said she softly, “and then you’se can snooze again to sleep. Now then, be a good girl.”

The little one whined, for sleep had closed her eyelids and the tired child was worn out with her prison play.

“Mother’s precious baby,” said the mother sleepily; “I will hold her, Biddy, for a little while, for she is so sweet.”

“But it will tire you to death,” cried the Irishwoman. “Now then, you let me put her back on her own little bed, and you both try and sleep.”

Biddy crept out and left the mother and child alone, and as she passed out she muttered a prayer for the sick woman and for the welfare of her little child.

Darkness had settled over the prison, and not[87] a sound was heard but the whispering of two men.

“I got to get this chart of the prison in to Farren on my beat,” said one, “and then I’m going to turn in.”

“You had better be careful that you don’t take his place. It’s worth more than a hundred to do such a job as this.”

“I know, but when you can’t get no more, what youse going to do? I tried to raise yours and mine. Now then, a hundred goes a long ways filling up seven hungry mouths like I have home.”

“Just so,” retorted the other, and they subsided into silence.

In a cell a young man was lying as quiet as a mouse, and his breath was coming in short pants, as if excitement was overcoming him.

He heard the tramp of feet, and soon a hand was shoved through his cell bars and a paper was extended to him.

“Here is the chart. Be careful, and don’t forget about the baby.”

The long fingers covered over the paper, and[88] the youth lay down again, this time breathing easier, and he realized that there was much to do before the morning should dawn. Many a man had escaped from this place, only to again be taken by the guards before they could get into New York.

For a long time he lay thinking, and he could hear the guards talking in a low tone nearby, but his heart was even then quickening in its beating, for another thought had come into his mind.

Once he remembered doing a mean thing to a fellow being. Stealing from the rich was just in the sight of Jim, but to do a trick unjust and unkind was not his way. He knew that this baby killing was to be the meanest thing of his life. If it were not for blessed freedom he would back out in a moment.

Suddenly he sat up and whispered loudly:

“Tom Cooper.”

All was silent.

“Tom Cooper,” he said, this time a little louder.

Another voice came from the other cell.

“Yes, what is it?”


“Listen, for I cannot speak too loudly. I want to take you out of this place to-night. Do you want to go?”

There was an evident stir in the opposite cell.

“How can you take me out?” said the voice.

“Here, I will throw you a file, and you cut through your cell door, and I will do the same, and I have friends who are going to help me. Now, don’t wait too long.”

If any one had been listening they would have heard the distinct buzzing of two tiny files making their way through the steel bars in the cells of two convicts.

When the task was over Tom Cooper stood a free man in the corridor.

“How are we going to leave this place?” asked Tom in a low voice.

“By a boat. I don’t know how to manage one, but you do, and the river is high. Now then, we’ve got to run for it. You are not to say a word, for there is to be but one missing, and I’m letting you into my good luck, for I’m thinking that you[90] were put in here unjustly, and some day I’ll tell you all about it.”

Tom was too interested to listen to more, and he hastily asked the way to the boat.

“Oh, it’s all right, but, listen, somebody is coming.”

Saying this, both jumped into their berths, and Arkwright ran again through the corridor.

“I could have sworn that I heard voices,” said he in a whisper. “I suppose I am worried, seeing that boat, but I think some fisherman has left it there.”

Tom and Jim had hardly taken a breath until they heard the re-echoing of the officer’s heavy boots upon the floor.

“Come now,” he said in a low tone, “let’s get out of here.”

“All right.”

“I’ve got to go upstairs,” said Jim slowly, looking at Tom to see what he would say as to the revelation he was going to make. “I have a kid up there, and I’m not going to leave it behind.”

“Your own?”


“You bet, ’taint no right in the world,” said Jim; “but long as ’tis here, and I’m to blame for it, I’m going to take it along.”

Tom Cooper put out his hand and grasped the other’s hand in his.

“You’re a dandy,” cried he; “I’m glad to know you. Hurry and get the kid, or we may be seen.”

“Don’t utter a whisper, and I’ll be down in a minute. The babe is just above us here. Lucky I got it to-night, or there would be no chance to-morrow. I heard they were going to move it to another building.”

“Hurry then, Jim,” again said the sailor.

Jim could not but wonder how he was going to explain the drowning of the child, and if the sailor would take it like he did and think that as long as his freedom depended upon it it was all right. Jim hated to do it, but he had promised, and then, too, the kid was so little.

He hurried up the steps, and looked cautiously about.

There was the mother lying as if dead upon the bed, and opposite her was the child.


With a sly motion of his hand he slipped a saturated handkerchief under the child’s nose, and she slumbered on peacefully.

The mother murmured once, “Helen,” in her sleep and the convict heard and went on. He could see the death damp upon the brow of the mother. He knew that it would not be long before she would be outside the gates of the immortal and demanding admittance.

Jim was superstitious and he ran down the steps as if the devil were in his trail.

The boys thought their troubles were all over, when they heard a great voice calling them:

“Wait a moment, there are two of you.”

“Shut up, Hammond,” snarled Jim, “I’m taking the father of the kid. Get some more money from Nathans; he’s good for it.”

Again there was silence.

“Hist, there is another.”

“Who?” called Jim.


“Then we are lost,” cried Jim, lying flat down upon the baby, and Tom following suit.


“Have you seen anyone?” they heard the deep voice of the guard from the south gate.

“No,” growled Hammond.

“Then I suppose all my worry was for nothing, but I thought that this boat meant something; but I think it must belong to some fisherman.”

“Of course it does, for heaven’s sakes go and let a fellow snooze.”

Arkwright muttered something about not snoozing on duty and said out loud:

“If I thought that boat meant anything I’d turn it adrift.”

“And keep some poor fellow upon the Island all night?” said Hammond, the bribed guard, who with his mate was watching for fear their little plan might be noticed.

“Well, that would be mean. I don’t think it amounts to shucks, so I’ll go along and let you boys attend to your business.”

As soon as he was gone the convicts were up and off again and down to the river like two shadows, and the great gates were closed again.


Into the boat tumbled Tom, and he took the child from his companion’s arms.

“It’s a girl, ain’t it, Jim?” he asked as he placed it upon the seat still sleeping.


“How old?”

“I’ll be blest if I know. My memory ain’t no good, even as far as my kid goes. But I wasn’t going to leave it behind.”

“I admire you for taking her,” said Tom as he whirled the boat into the dark night, and the shadows of the prison walls dropped into the longer one of the night, and the boys were well upon their way to freedom.

In the shadow Jim took a card from his pocket.

“Can you read that, pard?” said he just as a great whistle blew from the prison. But Tom had been able to see Biddy Roan’s address, and heard Jim say that she was a good woman and wanted him to come to her place. But the terrible thundering of the whistle and the bright lights upon the shore made the boys put to the oars with greater grip than ever.


When they were out of danger Jim commenced to play about the baby’s neck, mumbling to himself.

“I’m going to take this off,” murmured he.

“What?” asked Tom, stopping a moment.

“Going to take this trinket from the child. I am going to give her a bath.”

“Oh, not to drown her?” said Tom in a terrified tone.

“Yes, unless she can make her tracks in the water.”

“Why, no child that age can swim,” said Tom, again putting his hand upon his companion’s arm.

“Then her chance isn’t worth what ours is,” replied Jim brutally.

“You would murder your own child? Oh, man, I implore you do not do this thing.”

Tom had a tight hold of Jim.

“Nevertheless, I am going to do it,” cried Jim, “and you listen here, the price of our freedom is that we should shut this kid’s wizen, and I promised,[96] and now that I let you in on the game I don’t expect you to balk me.”

The two were staring at each other through the awful darkness.

“I swear you shall not kill it,” cried Tom, and with that the two struggled fiercely together. Every time Jim came near the baby he tried to kick it off in the water. But Tom would effectually keep him far enough away from it.

But Jim gave a peculiar wrench to Tom’s arm, and the poor fellow was suffering with a dislocated shoulder. He saw the convict pick up the baby, and throw it into the water, and then grasp the oars and row away. From the depths Tom thought he saw a sweet childish face, and for a moment he hesitated and then cast himself into the water.

In an instant he had the child by the arms and had swung her up onto his back sailor-like and was making for the shore.

The last that Jim saw of the sailor he was pulling with great strokes for land with the child clinging to his back.


“Let him go,” muttered the convict, “and may the black devil go with him, but I’m darned glad that the kid didn’t die, although I did my prettiest.”



When Tom realized that he had the child safely in his arms and was climbing up the rocks upon the East River his heart beat with delight. He felt that his freedom was given him that he might save the little maiden from a death which she did not merit.

He was repeating over to himself the name of the widow, Biddy, whom we have met before.

The woman had given the card to Jim, not knowing that it would fall into the hands of another convict.

She was sitting, just getting ready for bed, and muttering to herself: “It does seem strange that the poor mother has to die in the prison. I suppose, as she ain’t got no friends, there ain’t no use sending her into the world. But that’s a pretty baby.


“She ought to be a queen,” Biddy added as she turned out the light and jumped into bed.

This woman kept a small boathouse, with some half-dozen boats to rent, and took in small washings from the sailors upon the tugs in the river, and from this she made a good living and had managed to put by a little. She had but one friend, and that was the venerable Mrs. Higgins, and it was through the woman on the Island that these two women had met.

This night Biddy had come late from the prison, leaving poor Annie Standish nearer the grave than the good woman thought it possible to be.

“I will go in the morning again,” said she, “and I hope the bairn will be in better spirits.”

Then she tumbled over in the bed. Suddenly she raised her head. She heard a light tapping upon the window pane, and it seemed almost like the ticking of a clock.

Biddy listened again. It certainly was a signal of distress. She went cautiously to the window and looked out.


There was the shadow of a very tall man, and he was tapping upon her window.

“What do you want?” cried she loudly, knowing that no one could hear but the man.

“I want help for a poor wet child,” was the answer, and Biddy Roan’s door was thrown open, despite the fact that she stood in her night gown.

Tom Cooper staggered into the room under the weight of the heavily-breathing child.

“Where did you get it?” asked Biddy suspiciously, looking at the prison stripes.

“I will tell you the truth,” and Tom began at the beginning and told the story from the time he had had a part in it.

“You see, if I had not saved her, the child would have been drowned.”

“And Jim Farren was the boy who started to do this trick. Let me see him again, and I’ll pull his claws for him.”

“You won’t be bothered with him, I have a notion,” said Tom, “for he wouldn’t dare to stay about here.”

Biddy was undressing the wet child.


“And I was but telling her dying mother this day that I would care for her and see that her cousin did not harm her.”

“Yes, I have an idea,” said Tom, as he was shivering with the cold, “that it was this same cousin who found out about the child and wanted her out of the way.”

“That’s it, and now, lad,” and here Biddy looked at the sailor with pity in her eyes, “what are you going to do, go back to the Island?”

“Not if I can help it. I was put in on a false charge, for a crime I never committed. Now then, what can you do for me?”

“I can fix you up so that you won’t be known by your own mother if you had one a-living, but now you get into this old dress of mine and climb to the loft and sleep as long as you want to, and I will see to the child. I’ll throw these old clothes of yours into the river and let the stripes sink in the presence of the stars.”

Biddy laughed and Tom re-echoed it, for indeed he had found a friend. He did as he was bidden, and the warm feathers felt sweet to the[102] cold body, and the sun had been shining a long time before Tom Cooper opened his eyes to the light of day.

When he did come down in the morning he found a large-eyed child looking into his face.

She was fingering a little locket which Tom had seen Jim trying to wrench from the baby’s neck when he went after him, and he picked it up in his fingers and read:

“To my darling Annie, from her father.”

Then Tom Cooper knew that he stood in the presence of his benefactor’s grandchild. He took a solemn oath that he would watch over and care for her until some one had a better right.

Biddy went to the city that day, leaving the boathouse closed, and purchased a suit, hat, shoes and other things needed by a man, and with the outfit she bought a wig and a set of whiskers.

“You’ll wear these for a long time,” said she slowly, “for then you won’t give away your identity, for if you should do that you would be taken back to the Island.”


So they lived on and on for many a year. The little Standish child was no more than a baby when she was first brought to the boathouse, but upon this beautiful summer morning when this story again opens she is sitting upon a porch swinging in the hammock.

Biddy had arranged the house so that now it comfortably held three, and Tom had a good position and came home every night. Often after the child went to bed the man and woman would gravely talk over the future of the little girl, whom they had both grown to love.

She was humming softly to herself, when Biddy came out and spoke to her.

“I suppose you are thinking about to-morrow, ain’t you, little one?” began she. “Just think, you are twenty years old—quite a young lady, I vow.”

“Of course, I’m a young lady, auntie,” said the girl, “but I want Cousin Tom to treat me just the same. You know if he thought I was too big he might not take me on his lap.”

Biddy laughed softly.


“Oh, arrah,” said she with a sigh, “if the girl ain’t in love with that Tom, false whiskers and all. I wish she could see the beauty of his face without them, and she would fall in love with him all over again. Biddy Roan, if you weren’t everything that’s homely in the world you might take a turn at love yourself.”

She ironed vigorously, and then went to the porch again in answer to Helen’s call.

“I say, auntie,” said the girl, “how is Tom my cousin, on my mother’s side or my father’s?”

“Your mother’s,” said the woman shortly.

“And what——”

“Now don’t you try to pump any secrets out of me, you sly little fox; you wait until your cousin comes home; then you ask him. He’s more able to tell you about yourself than I am.”

“Then I’ll wait, Aunt Biddy,” said the girl. “Then, if you are my aunt, and Tom is my cousin, you must be the same relation to him as you are to me.”

The Irishwoman stared with a love-light shining in her eyes.


“I told you not to worry your little head,” said she, “for when Tom comes home you can ask him everything you want to.”

So the girl had to be silent. She swayed softly to and fro, and after a while she sank into a sleep.

It might be well while the girl is sleeping and the quiet summer sun is shining upon a peaceful river, to go back a while to that night fifteen years ago when Tom Cooper had saved the child in the river.

Jim Farren sailed down the stormy river toward Hell Gate. He was no sailor, but he steered his boat as best he could. Then for a long time after he was in the sea, he knew not what to do. He had not dared to go toward the city, for fear of being tracked, although he knew that Biddy would take him in.

But Biddy’s welcome must wait until there was a better chance of not being detected.


He watched every light, fearing that one might be a boat to pick up the escaped convicts, who had long ago been missed.

It was the puffing of a great steamer that made him rise high in his boat and give screams that rang over the water. Soon he saw the great searchlight turn in his direction and then drop. He hastily skinned off his clothes and dropped them into the sea. He knew that his head looked badly, for it had been only so lately shaved. But this had been his day for a hair cut, so that there was a little growth upon his head.

Soon he saw a boat lowered, and before time had elapsed long enough to tell the story, the convict was in the steamer and nestling in a warm sailor’s bed, and steaming out for a foreign country.

There was nothing that could have suited Jim better. When he arose after a few days’ illness there was no sign of New York and not a shadow of the walls that had covered him so long.

He did not try to come back to his native city for fifteen years, and then one day Jim Farren,[107] not much changed in appearance, turned his face homeward and landed in New York, just one day before the twentieth birthday of sweet Helen Standish.

“I’m going to see Biddy Roan to-morrow,” said he to himself as he went along and picked out the familiar landmarks. “She will be glad to see me for my mother’s sake. Poor mother, you never knew that your boy would make his way about the world like that. I wonder whatever became of the kid and the cove that saved her. That was a plucky piece of business on his part. I’d like to shake hands again just for the sake of old times.”

Saying this, the man entered some of the Bowery saloons which he had long ago visited and sat for some hours pouring the whiskey into his stomach.

Now Tom Cooper had come home. His heart was singing in his breast, for had he not a great deal to live for? He was sure that his little ward[108] loved him in a way. Of course she could not care for him in the way he did for her, but then, it was something to feel her smooth white hands upon his face, and feel her innocent kisses showered there. He did not find the girl in when he reached the boathouse. Biddy was making biscuits and singing.

“You are as happy as I am, Biddy,” said the man as he put down his oars upon the dock, and came into the house.

“Of course I’m happy,” replied the woman, “and why should I not be? Why, Tom, have any two people any more reason to be happier than we are? Think of it, Nellie loves us both, and we are saving money by the quart, and our darling is a lady.”

“I don’t want her too much of a lady,” said the man gravely.

“Well, you can’t help her being a lady,” stormed Biddy, “for she is born and bred in the bone a lady, and that’s all there is to it.”

“Ah, yes, Biddy, that way, I know, but don’t[109] get into her head notions that she must marry a rich man, will you?”

Then the woman laughed.

“Why don’t you come out with it, man?” said she, “and tell me all about it? I know that you love this girl, and it’s all right.”

Tom’s dark head dropped down upon his hands. He loved this good Irishwoman, and also the little girl, just as Biddy had said.

But he was years older than Nellie, and there were so many finer-looking fellows in the city. Then, too, there was that stain upon his name which he could not erase unless he could find the man who stole the jewels and placed them in his bundle, and that was so long ago that there was no possible chance.

Just as they were talking they heard a girlish laugh. Nellie had gone out in her own little boat, which Biddy had given her, and was returning for supper.


Her happy laughter could always be heard before the girl came in sight.

“Now you tell her, Tom, all about herself,”[110] argued Biddy, “for if you don’t there is no way for you to ask her to marry you.”

Again the man shuddered.

“I cannot tell her I found her in prison,” said he, with a very white face, “for then she would ask me how I came there.”

“Tell her anything, but to-night, if you want her, is your chance. She has more lovers stringing here after boats than you can count upon your fingers and toes.”

Tom stood up with a great resolution.

“I’ll tell her now,” said he slowly.

He went out of the house and stood in the sunlit porch. Just behind the great hill beyond he could see the last of the sun sinking to rest. His heart beat with foolish excitement, for he feared this girl could not love him as he did her.

“Halloa, Tom,” shouted she. “Oh, I’m so glad you are home. What makes you look so grave? Oh,” and the girl did not wait for the man’s answer, “I have had such a daring time. Where do you think I’ve been, way down to Hell Gate, and almost went into the rapids.”


By this time she had placed her oars into the boat and clasped the chain firmly in its staple.

The man’s face grew white as he heard these words.

“My heavens, Nellie, you must not go to such dangerous parts of the river. You might have been killed.”

“Would you have cared very much, Tom?” said Nellie, stopping and holding her hands out; “I want my dear ones to care very much.”

The man’s answer for an instant was to crush the white hands in his and draw the girl close to him.

“Would I care, Helen Standish?” cried he, leading her into the house. “More than I can tell you. Let’s have our supper, and then I’ve got a story to tell you.”

“One of your fairy stories, Tom?” laughed the girl. “I always liked them when I was a little girl, and what a wilful child I was, wasn’t I?”

“You were a sweet child, Nellie,” said Tom, “and now Biddy is calling saying that her biscuits will be cold if we don’t go to supper.”


The meal was hardly over before Nellie broke out: “What makes you people so awfully quiet to-night? Is it your fairy story, Cousin Tom?”

“Yes, it’s the story he’s got to tell you, Nellie,” commented Biddy.

“Tom is one of those chaps who wants to think a long time before he leaps.”

“But I’m ready to leap now, Biddy,” replied Tom appealingly, “and I cannot have more than——”

“Oh, all right, I’ll go,” replied Biddy, with her head up very high, “but I’m coming in when you takes the leap. It’ll take you an hour to get ready.”

But Tom was not listening to Biddy’s chatter. He was looking deep into Nellie’s eyes, and the girl felt in her heart that something was coming, that there would be a change in her life after to-day.

She bowed her head upon Tom’s hands as she saw the color creep into his face and mount high to his forehead.



For a long time there could be nothing heard but the ticking of the clock, and the loud breathing of Nellie’s pet cat, in whose soft fur the girl had entwined her fingers. The other hand was enclosed in Tom’s.

“I am not your cousin, Nellie,” he said deliberately after a while.

“Not my cousin? Then who are you, and who am I?” This startled exclamation brought the tears to the man’s eyes.

“Oh, dear,” Nellie added as she saw that Tom was not answering, “I’ve treated you just like my cousin, kissed you many times, and——”

“I hope you will kiss me many times again,” said Tom, his tones having taken on a deepness which caused the tender face of the girl to flood with color.


“But I want to be a relation to you, Tom, dear,” cried the girl sharply.

“And so you shall, darling,” said Tom.

“I’m glad of that,” was the satisfied reply. “Now go on with the—the—fairy story, Tom.”

“Then once upon a time——”

And here Tom stopped. How was he going to describe that dreadful prison without telling her all about it? His pride forbade that.

“Well, once upon a time,” answered Nellie impatiently.

“There was once a beautiful island——”

And again Tom paused.

“Oh, I remember it,” cried Nellie. “It was all ivy windows, with shutters, iron shutters, and—and——” Here she rubbed her forehead and added: “A great stone wall all about it; is that what the castle was, Tom?”

Biddy had ventured back. By the terrible expression upon Tom’s face she feared he would tell the whole story.

“That’s it, darling, that’s it. I remember the castle myself.”


Tom drew a long sigh as he had passed the only breaker safely thus far.

“It was a very hard castle to get into,” ventured Nellie as if struggling for a better memory.

“But a worse place to get out of,” said Biddy with a poke at Tom’s ribs.

He gave her a dreadful look and he went on hastily.

“There was a beautiful little girl brought to this island, and that child was you, my Helen.”

Tom was leaning over the table and looking into Helen’s eyes.

The startled expression hurt him much, for he feared the girl would call to her mind what kind of a castle they were living in, but without a word she put out her slender arms and drew the dark head down to her lips.

“There’s a sweet kiss, Tom.”

Biddy smacked her lips suspiciously, as she always had to do something. She did not want to cry, and Tom did look so solemn.

“Then I lived there in that island?” asked Helen.



“Was there anybody living there beside us?”

The question was so innocent and sweet that Tom thought his heart would break, and Biddy again came to his rescue.

“Anybody else? Well, I should think so. I was there half the time myself. And there were more people on that beautiful island than you’d ever expect to see in such a small island again.”

Tom looked reproachfully at Biddy.

“Yes,” said he slowly, “I lived there myself.”

“Oh, did you now?” laughed Nellie, “and I did, too. Wasn’t it romantic?”

“Very,” replied Tom, giving a dreadful look at Biddy.

“What did you do there, Tom?” asked the girl.

This was hard to get over, but Biddy, with her Irish wit, was not to be stumped in such a matter.

“Sure, me darlint, he worked for the government.”

“Oh, I’m sure that was a lovely position, for I often see the soldiers go by, and they work for the government, don’t they, Tom?”


This was too much. Tom groaned in spirit, but again Biddy came to the rescue.

“Tom always groans when he thinks of how near you got killed over there, don’t you, Tom?”

The man bowed his head. Biddy was a darling anyway.

“Then do hurry and tell me how I came with you, and who my father is and my mother, for I will know, Tom.”

“And so you shall, my darling Helen, you shall know.”

“One dark night I left the island with another fellow——”

Tom could not go on, and Biddy took up the thread.

“And the bold, bad boy had you in his arms, and our Tom saw him trying to throw you in the water, and when he did it Tom jumped in after——”

Nellie stood up with a cry.

“I remember it all,” said she slowly, “all about the island, a sick woman, and you taking me from the water. That was nice, Tom, the way you[118] crawled up the rock with me clinging to your back.”

The man made no answer, and Nellie went around and took his hands in hers.

“I’m your girl forever, ain’t I, Tom? I want to always be with you. Are you telling me this story so as to send me away from you to my relatives?”

There was a pathos in the girl’s voice that wrung the tears from her listeners. Tom did not reply for a moment.

Nellie turned quickly to Biddy.

“Oh, Biddy, who is going to have me? I want to stay with you and Tom.”

She dropped upon a chair, and Tom Cooper regained his voice.

“God forbid, my darling,” cried he, “that you should ever be with any one in the world but your own Tom and Biddy. No, little Helen Standish, you have no relatives to whom Biddy and I will ever give you. You belong alone to us.”

“Oh, I am so glad—oh, so happy,” and the girl[119] rubbed her face against the whiskers without which she had never known her Tom.

“And now I am going to place something about your neck which was yours many years ago, this little locket which was your mother’s.”

Helen Standish took the trinket, and lifted it tenderly to her lips.

“I’ve never known another mother but you, Biddy, and no other friend but Tom, but pardon me if I weep for my dead mother.”

She rose to her feet, and walked away toward the window, where the night shadows were falling. Her heart beat gratefully for these two good people who had taken her into their lives and home.

“Tom,” she began without looking at him, “I can remember many times I have been naughty and seemed ungrateful to you, but will you believe that all my life I have loved you better than any one else?”

There was the big Irishwoman waiting for her turn, and her little sob drew Nellie’s attention.

“And you, too, my own Biddy. I do not deserve[120] all you have done for me. I have always meant to be a good girl, but have failed miserably.”

“Now, now, my pretty darlint,” sobbed Biddy, “don’t you go and make your hearties cry. We both loves you, and there ain’t nothing to forgive, is there, Tom?”

“No, indeed,” and then such a longing came over him that his heart seemed suffocated, and he wanted to take the girl in his arms and press her to his bosom, and something in his face seemed to tell the girl of his wish.

“Say it, Tom,” whispered she, oblivious of Biddy’s presence.

“I love, I love you, my own darling, and I want you to be my own little wife.”

They looked into each other’s eyes solemnly, and Biddy crept to a chair and sat down.

Nellie walked to her lover and laid her hands in his.

“I shall count it one of the greatest honors of my life to be your wife,” said she, “and I love you, Tom Cooper.”


Then they talked, Biddy leaving them alone, and Tom explained everything save that the island was a prison. Her mother was given the highest of eulogies.

“I knew her when she was a little girl, although she was older than I. I loved her very dearly. Now then, you have one second cousin living, but your mother did not want to have him ever see you, or to let him know of your existence. He has the fortune which you ought to have.”

“My fortune?” asked Nellie wonderingly.

“Yes,” and slowly the girl understood why this same cousin should want to get her out of the way and should want to kill the little child who had never done him any harm.

As they were finishing their love-making Biddy came in with a great noise.

“If you children won’t mind,” said she, giving Tom a wink, “I’m going to bed; I’m so tired.”

“We won’t mind, will we, Tom?” put in Nellie; “I’ve a great deal to say to Tom before I go to bed.”

Biddy, with a yawn, went to her room, saying,[122] as she closed the door: “Now, don’t sit up all night, my children.”

It amused Nellie to hear Biddy call Tom a child, for he was many years her own senior, and there could not be over a few years between her lover and Biddy.

“We’ll go to bed as soon as the sun goes down,” laughed Tom.

In fact it was dark, but Biddy had always had the habit of going to bed so early and getting up at an unusual hour that Tom was always making sport of her.

“I wanted to ask you something, Tom,” said Nellie, after Biddy’s door was tightly closed. “What makes you wear those long whiskers? Most men shave them off, don’t they?”

Tom thought a moment.

“Well, I guess it’s habit,” said he slowly. He wished he could take them off and show her the handsome face beneath, but he could not, for it would require an explanation about wearing the grizzly hair upon his face.

“Oh, you know I do not care,” replied Nellie,[123] “for I love you just the same, but I just wondered; that’s all.”

For a long time they were silent. They were each whispering to their own heart what a happiness had been found.

A man slouched along close to the river. His hat was on one side, and his hands were in his pockets.

Every boathouse he came to he read the name upon the top, as evidently he was looking for some one.

Suddenly he stopped before an unusually pretty house, with the boathouse below.

“Biddy Roan,” he read on the sign.

“The old dear lives here,” said he out loud. “Oh, I know she will be glad to see me again after all these years for my mother’s sake, if not for my own.”

Then he knocked at the door.

“Who is there, do you suppose, Tom?” asked Nellie softly; “it is late for any one to come for boats.”


“Yes, but we will soon find out.”

He went to the door, and opened it, when a man stepped in, but halted as he saw a beautiful girl standing there.

“Does Biddy Roan live here?” asked the stranger.


“Well, may I see her? Tell her an old friend has come back from abroad and wants to see her. Will you tell her, cove?”

“Let me,” whispered Nellie, and she went to the bedroom door. But before she opened it she heard an ejaculation from Tom’s lips.

The stranger was staring at her lover with a crafty expression in his eyes, while Tom was looking like death.

She did not say a word to Biddy, but ran back to Tom.

“What is it? Do you know this man, dear Tom?”

“I once knew him, Nellie,” said Tom, eyeing his former companion with an expression of hatred.

Had not this same sneaky fellow almost killed[125] his darling? Had he not taken the dainty child fresh from its mother’s bosom and thrown it into the water?

“Tom Cooper!” he was heard to mutter.

“Yes, I am Tom Cooper, and you are——”

“Jim Farren. Don’t bother to wake Biddy to-night, but tell her her cousin called to see her, a cousin on our mother’s side.”

With this he gave a horrid laugh and sped out of the door, and Tom sank down upon a seat, and his heart felt in his bosom like a lump of lead.

“Who is that man?” asked Nellie pointedly.

“He is the man who threw you from the boat, and, Nellie, if he should come to-morrow while I am away and they ask you to go with them, would you go? I knew he recognized you, for he looked hard at the locket on your neck. He tried to steal it from you that night in the river.”

Helen Standish showed her force of character as she took Tom’s large head in her hands and kissed him.

“I would no more think of leaving you, Tom,[126] than I would to leave Biddy, nor half as quick, for you are going to be my husband, are you not?”

“Oh, Nellie, those words make me so happy, but what if they should offer you a great fortune?”

“Without you, my darling, I would not take it, for I want only this little family circle. Don’t worry about that, you cannot get rid of your sweetheart so easy.”

“God forbid that anything like that should ever happen.”

Then they left each other, and little Nellie, with a happy, singing heart, crawled in beside Biddy.

But not so with Tom Cooper. He could see close to him a great shadow rising before him, and could feel the shiver of the cold bracelets about his hands.

Of course, this fiend would tell George Benson where he was, and what would there be left for him but to finish out a term in prison, but there was a possibility that Biddy would know some way out of the trouble.

He opened his bedroom door cautiously at the[127] first peep of day, and there stood Biddy in her night clothes.

“Biddy,” whispered Tom, “did Nellie tell you about the man that came here last night?”

“No, sure she didn’t, I was asleep when she came to bed.”

“Jim Farren was here.”

“Bad cess to him,” cried Biddy, “what in the devil’s name did he want now? I thought he was dead.”

“So did I,” commented Tom.

“But you needn’t be afraid of him,” said Biddy consolingly. “He won’t dare peach on you, for that would bring him into trouble, too.”

“Oh, yes, he will,” replied the man, “for he did not get the reward which was to have been his at the death of the child. Now if he can get her into the villain’s hands he will get the amount which was coming to him.”

“Now you are worrying over nothing, Tom. Be cheerful, and we will go to some other place, for this ain’t the only home in the world.”

“But, Biddy,” argued Tom, “you cannot give[128] up your home for my sake, and you have spent the best of your days here.”

He had come near the woman then, and they were looking into each other’s eyes.

“I don’t care fer that,” said she, “and if you think you and Nellie’s a-going away and leave this poor Biddy Roan, then youse is mistaken.”

“God bless you, my own Biddy,” ejaculated Tom. “Then this morning we three will pack our things and we’ll go away, and if Nellie has to know the truth then will I tell her.”



The night before, when Jim Farren recognized the man and the girl, he was delighted, and he argued to himself that no harm could come to him while he had such influential friends as Nathans and Benson, and that if he got into trouble they would extricate him. He hurried along with his hands still in his pockets.

“It’ll be me chance to get even wit’ this cove for cheating me out of the money, only that I’m glad that der goil ain’t dead, and she is a sweet-looking piece of humanity.”

But there was no compunction in his heart as he said this. He had no scruples in breaking up a beautiful home now, taking a warm-hearted lover from his sweetheart. Especially should this man have been anxious for Tom to escape, knowing[130] that he was innocent, but Tom had taken away his chances of a fortune and a business.

He made his way to the fashionable quarter of the city, and rang the bell at the Benson mansion. It was a long time before there was an answer, and then the butler put his head outside.

“Is Mr. Benson in?” asked Jim.

“No,” and before he could ask when he would be in, the door was slammed and locked in his face.

Then he pondered what he would do. Of course Tom Cooper would try and get away, and he would take the girl with him, and there was a fortune for her in the will of her grandfather.

Thinking this, Jim thought there was no time to lose, so he went to the telephone.

“Is this the police headquarters?”


“Is there a man there by the name of Arkwright?”

“Yes; do you want to talk with him?”


“All right, go ahead, there’s his wire.”



“Arkwright, is this you?”


“Well, this a fellow that knows where there is an escaped convict.”

“Who? And who are you?”

“Never mind who I am, but you just watch the boathouse of Biddy Roan, on the river. Tom Cooper is there with the Standish girl, whose mother died in prison.”

“You don’t say so,” cried the detective. “Have you been to see Mr. George Benson?”

“Yes, but the cove ain’t in. Now then, what are you going to do?”

“Ask you to come here and go with me to Mr. Benson’s.”

“Well, you must promise not to ask me any questions about myself,” said Jim, “or else I won’t come.”

“Don’t worry. You put me on the track of that girl, and I’ll make you all right.”

So Jim went to police headquarters, thinking he was doing a great stroke of business, and it[132] was late in the night when Arkwright called up the Benson mansion.

“I want to speak with Mr. Benson.”

“He has retired.”

“Never mind, call him to the wire. I want to speak with him. This is the police headquarters.”

George Benson responded immediately to the call.

“This is Arkwright. May I call upon you at your home immediately? I have found trace of your cousin, Helen Standish.”

When the detective did come in answer to Benson’s reply in the affirmative, he found the rich man pale with fright. The fifteen years that had passed had whitened the locks about his forehead, and his eyes had taken upon them a crafty expression, and no one could ever hold their attention long at a time.

“Maybe you are mistaken,” said he when Jim Farren gave the history of his call upon his Cousin Biddy.

“I’d know that girl by the jewel about her neck,” said the thief.


“I don’t believe it,” stubbornly replied Benson.

“Nevertheless I am going to investigate this matter,” said Arkwright, “and if she is there you will be relieved of your burden in taking care of her fortune.”

Benson’s face darkened, as he was just beginning to think it time to apply to the court to make the money over to him as the next heir, but now there would be another delay. If this little fool of a convict had only come to him before going to the police there would have been a chance to silence the girl forever if it proved that she was living, but with Arkwright on the trail Benson would dare to do nothing.

“What are you going to do?” he asked tremblingly.

“Be there at the peep of day and arrest this Tom Cooper and place Helen Standish in your hands, as the law left you her guardian.”

Benson drew a long breath. What could he want more? His conscience troubled him so that he thought everybody knew of his evil intentions.[134] He breathed again peacefully and said with a genial smile:

“You could not please me more than to bring my cousin to me, and I shall be glad to make a statement of her fortune to her.”

“We all know you have done your best, Mr. Benson,” said the detective, “and I hope that you will have many a happy day with your relation. You will go with me in the morning?”

“Yes, and I think I will have Mr. Nathans there to identify the sailor, as you know the goods were taken to his place to pawn.”

“All right, I’ll leave that with you.”

There was after that a long conversation over the ’phone between Benson and Nathans.

The Jew agreed to come in the morning and meet the trio, and he would swear away the freedom of Tom Cooper.

Nellie turned uneasily upon her bed. It had been her custom for many years to sleep late in[135] the morning, Biddy refusing to break the slumber of “the sweet young thing,” and telling Tom when he argued that it was for the girl’s good that she should be made to work, that it was the place of an Irish Biddy to do hard work, and that Nellie should sleep.

But this morning she could not rest. She heard the whispering and talking between her two friends outside, so she got up and dressed just as Tom was taking a lot of papers from an old trunk.

“What are you doing, Tom?” asked she curiously.

Tom raised his head and the girl hardly recognized her lover.

“Something has happened to you,” she ejaculated. “I know, Tom; don’t shake your head at me.”

“We are going away from here, Nellie,” said he hoarsely, “you, Biddy and I.”


“Because we have enemies who are going to[136] take you from us. There, don’t look frightened, but we are afraid of your cousin.”

“How can he take me if I do not want to go?” asked Nellie.

“The law might say that you should go,” answered Tom.

“I’d like to hear them say that I was to leave you and Biddy.”

“Tom, now don’t scare that child. You’re not going from us; get on your things, for you and Tom are to go before me.”

Hardly had these words escaped from Biddy’s lips before there was a knock at the door, and the Irishwoman saw the red face of her cousin peeping in at the door.

“You nasty spalpeen,” cried she, trying to make a grab for his head, “what are youse doing here? Get out wid youse.”

“I have some friends with me, Biddy, calling upon Mr. Cooper, and the pretty young lady.”

“Nellie, will you go in the bedroom, dear?” asked Tom, but the detective raised his hand.


“I want the young lady to remain. What I have to say is of great importance to her.”

Nellie looked mystified, and Benson was gazing with his soul in his eyes at the pretty face. There was a sweetness about her that made him think of her mother, and there was also something that made him acknowledge to himself that he should some time love this girl.

“What have you to say to Miss Standish?” began Tom Cooper, with a sickening feeling at his heart.

“She is the granddaughter of the dead millionaire Benson, and this gentleman here is her cousin. You are one of the greatest heiresses in New York, my dear young lady.”

The detective bowed low before Nellie, but still the mystified expression remained in the deep blue eyes.

“And this gentleman,” said Arkwright sarcastically, coming nearer Tom, “is an escaped convict, whom I shall have to ask to accompany me to the station house.”

Light seemed to break upon Nellie’s mind, but[138] she strenuously denied the charge, keeping a tight hold of her lover.

“You have made a mistake,” cried she. “Tom never did a wrong thing in his life, and I am going to be his wife.”

“But you cannot, my dear Miss Standish; you are a minor, and cannot have your own way for a whole year yet.”

“Nevertheless I am going to be his wife, am I not, Tom? Tell me that they have made a mistake, and that you are not what they are trying to prove you.”

The man did not speak.

“Tell me, Tom, was that island in the fairy story—was that Blackwell’s Island?”


This one word fell from the man’s lips as if all hope had left him, and he knew that they would tear from him his darling, and that he would spend the rest of his days in prison.

Benson now came forward, trying to take Nellie’s hand in his.

“My dear little cousin, you cannot again be[139] taken from me. I have searched the city for you, and now you shall take your position in life, and be the rich girl you ought to be.”

“I do not want to go with you,” said she mournfully.

“But you must.”

“I will not.”

The more she contemplated the step the more she shuddered, and she did not intend that Tom should be taken from her.

“Miss Standish, listen to me,” and Arkwright went close to her; “now the law has left you in the charge of your cousin. Mr. George Benson was left by the terms of your grandfather’s will, the one trustee who should look after you personally. I suppose if he had known that you did not want to be with him your relative would have changed his wishes, but now that he is dead you will have to be satisfied with the arrangements, and as far as this man is concerned,” pointing to Tom, “I know him to be an escaped convict, and I shall have to ask him to accompany me.”


“I am this young lady’s guardian,” put in Tom obstinately.

“Self-appointed,” sneered Arkwright, “but that will not hold. Then, too, you will be in a cell before night.”

“Oh, no, no, Tom, tell me all about it, sweetheart.”

“I will, Nellie, and remember what I am telling you is as true as my love for you. I was arrested for a crime which I did not commit. I did not steal your grandfather’s jewels, and that man knows it.”

He brought out the last words with a jerk, and pointed his finger at Benson.

George started toward him, but Arkwright detained him.

“I believe you, Tom,” said Nellie simply, “and as long as I live I shall believe you are innocent.”

“But that will not prevent your going with your cousin.” The detective said this as he fastened the bracelets upon Tom’s wrists.

“I won’t go unless Biddy can go, too.”


“Well, she cannot,” said Benson, looking crossly at the Irishwoman.

“Then, I stay right here. Do you understand? And I would like to see any law drag a girl twenty years old to a place that she simply won’t go. Now, gentlemen, what are you going to do?”

This was a sticker, and George Benson and the detective talked in low tones, while Nellie placed her arms about her lover’s neck.

“Don’t you worry, Tom, about going, for you won’t be there long. Now then, when you go away you are to write to me every day, and I will to you, and just as soon as I find a good lawyer you shall be free.”

“We have decided to allow you to take your friend Biddy with you for a while,” said the detective affably, “if, when Mr. Benson finds a lady of your own rank, you will be satisfied to allow this woman to go.”

Nellie plumped herself down again in her chair.

“I won’t agree to any such thing. Biddy’s been my mother for years, and if Mr. Benson[142] doesn’t want her in his house, then I won’t go. I don’t want a lady of any different rank than myself, and Biddy is my choice. So there.”

Tom smiled at her from his corner, and the sight made Benson furious.

Again the two gentlemen conferred, while Nathans took it upon himself to argue with the girl.

“Look a-here, Mr. Jew,” cried Nellie, “you just mind your business. No one has asked you to live with my Biddy, and Mr. Benson needn’t live with us either. If I have all the money you say I have then I can make a home for Biddy and me until I can get my Tom out.”

Again George ground his teeth. He would soon make this girl realize that he was her guardian, and he would commence right then.

“Helen, there will be a time in your life when you won’t want to associate with these people, and then you will be glad that I insisted that you come unencumbered into your beautiful home. You may bring Biddy with you for a while, but please do not think of that man again.”


He pointed at Tom with his white index finger, and the girl’s eyes followed in that direction.

The expression of pain that crossed her lover’s face hurt the girl’s heart. She slipped down at his feet, and placed her arms about him.

“Tom, I love you; don’t you let those beasts of men make you believe otherwise. What are you doing?”

“Taking off this,” and saying these words, the young fellow pulled his false whiskers and mustache from his face.

“Well, my soul, Tom, how very handsome you are!” cried Nellie. “If I had known this before I would have taken several peeps at you as you are now.”

“We have heard enough rot,” ejaculated Benson. “Now, young lady, when will you come to my home?”

“To her home, you mean, Benson,” corrected the detective.

“Well, what’s the difference? I shall stay with her until she is married, and maybe she will be satisfied to——”


The rest of the words were lost to Tom, but he imagined what they were, and his cheek flushed and the blood seemed to burn his life away.

As Arkwright was placing the hat upon the rearrested convict, Tom turned to Jim:

“I suppose you did not tell your aunt about this affair?”

“Yes, I did, sir, and because I told on you and the girl, I got scot free, sir.”

“Scat,” cried Bridget, “or I’ll pull your scraggy hair out of your little impudent head, you dirty spalpeen.”

“Well,” said Nellie, taking Tom’s hand in hers as he was being taken away, “I wish you all to understand that here stands a girl whom you say is worth a million dollars. There stands a man whom I love. I shall spend every one of those millions of dollars to prove him innocent, and then we can come back here to live with Biddy after he is out of prison and we are married.”



It seemed to take all the life out of poor Tom when he found himself being taken back to prison. While he had perfect faith in Nellie, still he hated the evil influence of her cousin. But he did not yet know the girl who loved him, and did not realize that no influence in the world could make her untrue to him.

He went moodily into the same cell that he was placed in before, this time hoping that his darling would be true to him.

The morning at last arrived when Nellie should leave the boathouse that had sheltered her so long.

She was arranging her hair slowly when Biddy said: “Are you very sure, me darlint, that you want your old Biddy with you in youse elegant home?”


Nellie dropped the hair which had twined about her fingers, and looked at her foster mother.

“Well, if you don’t go with me, then I won’t go either,” and Nellie sat down and commenced to cry.

“There, there, honey,” soothed the woman. “Don’t you take on so; your Biddy would follow you to the ends of the earth. But I don’t want you to be ashamed of me.”

“That I could never be,” said Nellie, “and when Tom gets out of prison, then we’ll all go abroad, for I shall have enough money for all of us.”

“Oh, I’m delighted to be with me darlint,” replied Biddy. “I only hope you can find a lawyer who will help you get poor Tom out.”

“I meant what I said,” averred Nellie later, while thinking deeply, “that I would spend my last cent to get him free.”

“And may your efforts be blessed by heaven,” sighed Biddy.

“I am constantly praying,” said Nellie, “that I will be shown some way to aid him. Don’t you see the poor fellow is so helpless shut there in[147] that cell, and although I am going to see him, I know that I shall be broken-hearted to come away without him.”

As they were speaking, a beautiful span of horses and a liveried driver drove to the boathouse.

“Is this Miss Standish?” asked the servant. “I was sent for you and Miss Biddy.”

The haughty nose of the coachman turned up slightly as he said this, and Nellie noticed it, and she vowed inwardly that the man’s place should be filled by another more worthy before long. Already the determined Nellie had taken the reins in her own hands.

“I must take my cat,” said she at the last minute, and when Biddy demurred, saying that the man driving the carriage might not be pleased with a cat in the beautiful carriage, she broke out and said:

“Then let him lump it if he don’t like it. I’ll take my cat if I want to and not ask my servant.”

“Oh, Nellie,” gasped Biddy, “don’t call that[148] lovely man a servant. He really looks so handsome and dignified.”

“He won’t long if I sic Tabby on him. Would you like to see her scratch at that wool?”

“Hush, Nellie,” begged Biddy; “there, come now, and we’ll climb in.”

The old boathouse was closed until Biddy should have a chance to rent it, and she turned the key in the lock with a sigh, as for years she had made this place her home.

The carriage bowled gently down through the streets, and Helen Standish tripped up the steps from which, when a child, she and her mother were turned away, but the beautiful girl now going to take up her own, remembered nothing of the starvation her poor little mother had gone through with. All of her days had been spent in bliss and happiness, with this same old Irishwoman sitting sedately beside her, with the Tabby in her arms.

“I am here to greet you,” said George Benson as he led the girl into her future home. “I am so pleased that you are where you belong.”


But this girl would not have believed this story had she seen this man when he was alone in his room. His face was pale and shadowed with care.

“If I can only make her understand that she must not consult any lawyer, but allow me to manipulate her affairs it will be all right, but the moment she demands a settlement I’ll do away with her, for it will be my only salvation. I wonder if she would marry me.”

“Well, how do you like this room?” asked Nellie of Biddy in an upper bed-chamber, ushering her foster mother through half a dozen rooms and halting at the last one. “I suppose they think I’m going to sleep alone, but I’ll give them to understand that I won’t. What’s the use of being rich if one cannot do as they wish to?”

“And you don’t love your old Biddy less for all the money you have, me darlint?” cried the woman.


“Indeed I do not,” said Nellie; “the only thing concerns me now is my dear Tom.”

“Oh, you’ll get him out all safe,” said the woman; “don’t you worry about that.”

“Well, how can I help it,” asked Nellie, “when I know that dear fellow is languishing over on that Island for something he did not do? Now then, Biddy, did you ever see any man look as handsome as he did when he took off those whiskers? The horrid things; I never knew how they disfigured him until I had seen him without them.”

“Aye, he is a beauty,” added Biddy. “I knew that you would admire him. Now, darlint, tell me where I shall hang my bonnet. I don’t know what to do in these big rooms.”

“Oh, put it anywhere, Biddy,” cried the girl, looking about. “So this used to be my mother’s room. I am going to see if there is anything that ever belonged to her about.”

For hours the young girl searched among the several rooms which her cousin had told her belonged[151] to her mother, when suddenly she came upon a little closet tightly locked.

With a set of keys which she had found she opened it, and before her glistening eyes were a number of things which evidently belonged to a little girl.

A broken French doll, with one eye gone, grinned at Nellie from the corner. In a chair in the middle of the small room was another doll made of rags, and it still showed signs of childish teeth.

The long stringy hair which hung over the dirty face brought the tears to Helen’s eyes. She sat down upon the floor and began to cry.

“Why, darlint,” cried Biddy, “and you are a-crying. I wouldn’t look at them little things if they make your heart ache. Come to your Biddy’s heart.”

“Oh, Biddy, Biddy, I can’t help but cry over my mother. I wish she had lived and been with us. Oh, how hard fate was to her when she had such a home as this to die in a dreadful prison.”

“Well, well, it must have been the Good Father’s wish,” cried the woman, “or it would not[152] have happened. Now, cheer up, dear, and be happy.”

“But, look at this little doll,” said the girl sorrowfully; “she must have loved this one, for she has used it so much.”

“So she has, sweet, but she did not want her own little girl to cry over it.”

“But she didn’t have any nice mother like you, dear,” said Nellie.

“Just in this great house all alone with her father. A girl needs a mother, Biddy.”

“Aye, so they do, and I thank heaven it was given to me to be one to you, my sweety.”

“And you have been more than that to me,” whispered the girl.

“Oh, Biddy, if I only had my Tom now, I would be the happiest girl in the world.”

“Then why don’t you go and see a good lawyer, and maybe he will help you to get him out?”

“I don’t know who to go to.”

“And I wouldn’t ask Mr. Benson either,” said Biddy with a curious wink of her eye. “You remember what Mr. Tom said, don’t you?”


“Blaming my cousin for his arrest?”

“That’s it; he was to blame for the lad’s trouble.”

“You need not fear, Biddy, that I shall go to him, for he has done enough harm.”

At this moment the servant came to the door, and said: “Mr. Benson would like to see Miss Standish in the library.”

Nellie found her cousin sitting, looking very glum, at the side of the writing table.

“You sent for me?” asked she with dignity.

“I did. Be seated.”

She waited, before speaking again, for him to proceed.

“You are a very young girl to have the responsibility of so much money.”

“I know,” replied Nellie quickly, “and that is the reason why I miss Tom so much. He never has allowed me to have any responsibility.”

Her companion bit his lip ferociously, and the sight gave Nellie intense delight.

“He will be of no service to you, my dear, for many years to come.”


It was Nellie’s turn to bite her lip, for she knew the truth of his statement.

“I cannot reconcile myself to the thought that Tom Cooper ever did such a thing.”

“Nevertheless he did, and you may take my word for it, for I saw the bundle he had the diamonds hidden away in.”

“I would have to have his word for it,” said the girl with flaming cheeks and rising from her chair.

“Be seated,” ordered Benson, “and we will avoid unpleasant subjects.”

She sank again into her chair and listened.

“I wanted to know if you wish me to manage your business for you for a while yet, for it will be some time before you are of age, and I am your trustee.”

“Of course, you are to do as you have done. I desire it. Is that all you wish me to say?”

“Yes,” he replied with a gratified smile.

He walked to the door with her and impulsively took her hand in his.


“Child,” said he, “I want you to grow fond of your cousin. I have your welfare at heart.”

The tears sprang into her eyes as she heard this.

But, saying nothing, she ran quickly upstairs and threw herself into Biddy’s arms.

“Oh, my, Biddy, that man drives me crazy. He is always bringing to my mind that I cannot have Tom for so many years; grow fond of him, never, even if he is my own cousin.”

The decision that she would see a lawyer on her own account made her restless until one afternoon she ordered the carriage and drove down Broadway.

“I want to stop at Wanamaker’s,” said she to the coachman, “and you wait for me. I have much shopping to do.”

Without waiting to purchase one article, she went through the store into the rear street and took a car.

There was something always in the attitude of the servants that made her think that she was being spied upon, and certainly if the man[156] thought she was buying girlish trash she would be free to do as she had planned.

She stopped in front of a tall building and disappeared inside.

“I want to see Mr. Campbell,” said she at a law office.

A young man bowed before her, and she thought by the expression of his face that she could trust him. Starting from the beginning of her mother’s life as far back as she knew, she told the story. Then, coming down to the present, she related her fears about her lover.

“He is innocent,” declared the girl, “and you may name your own price if you will help me to get him out of prison.”

The young lawyer could not but admire the girl. She could give him but meagre knowledge of Tom’s trouble, but names were added, so that he could get his own evidence.

“And I do not want you to ever write me. I am suspicious of my cousin and those pretending to be my friends, and as long as they think that I[157] am doing nothing for Tom I am safe, but I fear the consequences otherwise.”

The lawyer promised and soon the eagle-eyed coachman, who was being paid by Benson to keep his eye upon his young mistress, saw the girl emerge from Wanamaker’s, and wave her finger at him from the distance. She had been gone just two hours.

“Home,” was all she said.

“Biddy,” whispered Nellie, after she and the woman were in bed, “you told me to look up a lawyer, and I did it to-day. I did not buy any of those things I said I did.”

“No?” inquired the woman.

“Indeed not, I simply went into a store and out the back door, and let the carriage wait for me in front. Why, do you know I fear even the eyes of Brown. When he drives me anywhere, he always looks as if he were memorizing the number of the place. But how contentedly he waited until I came out of the store, and he was nearly asleep upon the box.”

Biddy shook the bed with hearty laughter.


“You’ve got the brain,” said she softly, and then they fell asleep.

Old Nathans was so angry about the coming of Nellie upon the scene that he stormed every time he came to the Benson home.

“You are a fool,” raved he, “a perfect fool. Long ago you ought to have settled this affair, instead of calling upon me for such large amounts. Now then, unless you get some of that girl’s money or get her out of the way, we will both be ruined. She is a crafty witch.”

“Yes, but does not take a step that she is not watched.”

“Maybe she fools you.”

“Not much; I am paying the servants well.”

“Women are not to be trusted,” commented Nathans, “for when you think you know just what they are doing that is the time you get fooled.”

Benson made no reply to this.

“The only thing I want,” went on the Jew[159] angrily, “is some of the money I’ve let you have the past fifteen years and before that time. Now, get a hustle on yourself, and don’t keep me waiting any longer. I should think with that Tom out of the way it would be easy enough to put her out of our path.”

“You tried it once,” said Benson, “and utterly failed.”

“Yes, but you remember that Tom Cooper was not then in jail.”

“Oh, yes, he was,” tantalized Benson.

“Well, I mean that he was with her. Now he is not.”

“There is some truth in that,” replied the other, “but I have my own opinion that we have gone to the length of our tether, and she may outwit us after all.”

“Oh, that little Bowery tough was at the shop the other day, and asked for his reward for finding the girl and the man. I just laughed at him, and told him to scoot.”

“That’s right,” answered Benson. “We won’t give him any thousand; it is too hard to get.”


“So ’tis, but aren’t you afraid he’ll squeal on us?”

“His word wouldn’t be much,” scoffed Benson. “If he comes to me I shall soon give him a piece of my mind.”

Just at that moment there came a rap at the door, and the servant announced:

“Mr. Jim Farren.”



“Halloa, Jim,” said Nathans, “have you come to worry the good gentleman?”

“I’ve come for what’s due me!” growled the boy.

“Due you? Nothing is due you. Don’t think you can demand a sum of money and then get it. What have you done for us?”

“Got you the girl, and pointed out Cooper. You and Benson wouldn’t have known about them if it hadn’t been for me.”

Nathans shrugged his shoulders.

“Heap you did for us. Look, the girl’s saddled upon her cousin for no telling how long, and Cooper is only serving a term which does us no good.”

Jim cackled a funny little laugh.


“Pooh,” said he. “I wouldn’t give five cents for that girl’s chance of life if you two got your hands upon her. Poor little thing, she is too pretty to be with men like you.”

He crossed his legs and puffed out smoke from a vile-smelling cigar.

“Don’t get too personal, young fellow,” said the Jew, “but there, there, Benson, I’ll leave you with this young degenerate. Young fellow, if you had made a finish of the job you began fifteen years ago, you would not be in the position you are in now, and we would be able to hold our heads up with the best of them.”

“Well, now all you have to do is to twist the girl’s neck like this,” and the villain screwed his fingers deftly around, “and then we three could be rich.”

He squinted his eye to one side as he said this, and the Jew gave a great gasp.

“You’ve got a nerve, young fellow, that exceeds anything I have ever seen. Now then, I’ll leave you to settle with Benson.”

All this time George Benson said nothing, but[163] was looking curiously at the miniature man. Jim Farren was of under size, with a brutal-looking face. After the Jew had gone the escaped convict looked his question and Benson said suddenly:

“Don’t you think you’ve a good nerve to come here and ask to get a certain sum of money you did not earn? If you had not interfered with our arrangements fifteen years ago and helped that sailor to escape you would have been all right now. He would still have been serving a sentence and the girl would be dead. You had better go away.”

“I’ve been seeing my Cousin Biddy,” said the man, thinking to gain time.

“Well, you had better leave this house, and don’t come around whining to me. If you had had any sense you would have kept that Arkwright from my heels. I dare not take a step for fear he will hound me.”

The man looked again sharply at Benson.

“I suppose you mean that you cannot kill the girl without it being found out?”

“Hush, wretch, you talk too loud.”


“I am thinking my voice will be heard outside this wall if something isn’t done soon,” replied Jim.

“Oh, you do, do you? You are trying to threaten me, are you? Well, don’t do that, for it won’t work.”

“Oh, won’t it? Well, we will see. Now then, are youse going to give me that money?”


“Not one cent?”

“No, not even a half a cent, and if you try anything we will send you up for the rest of your term.”

“Listen, Mr. Benson. Some folks situated like I am ain’t any too particular how they live when they don’t have no money. I don’t know but as I’d lief be at Blackwell’s as here in the city, but maybe I rather be there if I could get even with men what has done me an injustice.”

Benson’s face had grown white to his ears, and he had no hold upon his temper. He rose suddenly to his feet, and Jim, thinking it best to get out, ran into the hall.


There he met Biddy sailing down the stairs. This woman had improved herself a great deal since coming in a mansion to live, and she eyed her cousin with great scorn.

“Jim, why are youse about here with that dirty face? Seems to me youse might have some thought for me. Now, get out of here and don’t come again until it can be clean.”

“He’s gone back on me,” said Jim, pointing his finger to the library door.

“Glad of it,” said the woman; “you are both as bad as you can be. I hope you will find your way to jail for being so mean to our little girl when she was small. If she were not an angel she would not let any of you people in the house.”

“Oh, wouldn’t she?” cried he. “Well, she’d better not get too flip, for Mr. Benson runs this house.”

“Who said he did?” asked the Irishwoman, her blue eyes fastening upon the man keenly.

“He did,” replied Jim, looking toward Benson’s door.

Biddy muttered something about things going[166] topsy turvy and that she would tell Nellie her mind, and Jim walked out.

He slouched along the street with his hands in his pockets. His idea was to think of some way he could get even with Benson without running any risk himself.

One afternoon Nellie was sitting writing her daily letter to Tom. Her mind had left the sheet before her, and with her eyes fixed upon the ivy-covered church opposite she tried to weave a day dream which would bring her happiness. How many weary months had passed since her Tom had gone to prison, and each day her cousin became more insufferable and she hated him more and more. He had constantly persecuted her with his attentions.

It would be well to cite a little episode which had happened only a few days before. Benson had gotten it into his mind that Biddy interfered with Nellie as far as he was concerned; that is,[167] influenced her against him, so he determined to banish the woman from the house, and with this intention he set about finding a woman who would take Biddy’s place.

One morning he sent a peremptory message to Nellie to come to him in the library, which was his favorite place to meet her.

“Helen,” said he, rising at her entrance, “you will listen to what I am going to say to you, and know, please, before I begin, that it is for your own good that I speak.”

“Then do not hesitate,” replied the girl with so much sarcasm in her voice that the man’s face flooded with color.

“Please do not use that tone to me,” said he sternly.

“Very well,” and Helen sank gracefully back into her seat.

“Helen,” and Benson commenced in low, measured tones, “you are much younger than I am, but that is no reason why I should not care for you or you for me. I am only your second cousin.”


The man paused a moment, and Nellie, thinking it incumbent upon her to speak, said:

“I do not see what you mean.”

“This,” replied Benson. “Nellie, I love you. I want you to be my wife, and because I do love you I desire that you should come under good influence, and I require that you should allow Biddy to leave this house. It is a shame to keep her here.”

The girl’s face changed color. She did not speak and allowed him to go on.

“I believe this woman exerts a bad influence over you, for she is not a lady and could not be made into one, no matter how hard she would try, nor whatever was done for her. I have hired you a good woman to take her place, and have notified Biddy to leave to-night. I allowed you to bring her with you because you were coming into a strange house. Will you be good enough to say something, and not sit there looking at me like that?”

Still the girl was silent, while a mixture of emotions were arising in her breast. This man[169] had taken such a hold upon her, had constituted himself her husband without her consent, and would send away her beloved Biddy, and——

Here her thoughts changed their current, and she thought of the man in the prison cell. Marry George Benson—never. Let Biddy go out of her life, delightful, droll old Biddy, whom she loved? No, she would go, too, then.

Seeing that she was not going to speak, and hoping that she had taken his words as they were meant, the man arose and opened the door which opened into his private office.

“Miss Wallace, will you please come in?”

An angular-looking woman, with an evil eye, and who looked fixedly at Nellie, glided into the room.

“This is your new companion, Nellie,” said Benson genially, “and I know you will like each other. Now you will take her to your suite of rooms, Helen, and show her where she is to sleep.”

It was now time for Nellie to speak. She rose like a young empress and faced her guardian.


“You have gone a little too far,” said she, throwing back her head haughtily; “just a little too far——”

But before she could say anything more the woman had taken her by the arm and whispered:

“We shall be the best of friends. There is nothing Miss Standish can ask me to do that I will be unwilling to try.”

Nellie shook off the white fingers.

“Don’t touch me,” shivered the girl; “I will not have you near me, do you understand? I won’t have you in my Biddy’s place. I will bid you good-night, Mr. Benson, and say that when I am twenty-one, I shall come back and you shall leave this house, but now, to-night, do you hear,” and the girl bent far forward and looked into the man’s eyes, “do you understand, I am going back to the boathouse with my Biddy.”

With this sweeping statement, she flung herself out of the room, and fled upstairs, and she no sooner came near the door but she heard the sound of sobs. Opening it, she saw Biddy down[171] upon her knees beside a trunk throwing her things in promiscuously.

“What are you doing, Biddy?” asked the girl sternly.

“Mr. Benson has told me to leave, and, darlint, it is better for you. I am not a lady, he says, but I loved you, child; I loved you.”

“Biddy, listen to me. Are you going back to the boathouse?”


“Then I am going with you. I just told Mr. Benson, too, and also said to that vixen in a black dress, who he said was to be my companion, that I would have nothing to do with her.”

“Did you tell him that?” and Biddy sat down upon the floor and ceased her sobbing and looked at her darling.

“I did, and I’m going with you, Biddy. I told him I would come back when I was twenty-one and take charge of the house, and until that time he could reign here with the companion he had chosen for me.”

Saying this, she had commenced to tear the[172] things out of the closet. But a knock caused her to cease.

Benson was standing looking at her with a pleading expression in his eyes. He hated to admit that he could not tame this very young girl, and that she would take no wish of his into consideration, much less an order.

“What are you doing, Helen?” asked he, looking about the room.

“Getting ready to go with Biddy. I suppose the new companion will need these rooms.”

“Don’t be foolish, Nellie,” commenced the man. “You are to stay in your home, for it is not to be thought of, your leaving it.”

“Then if I stay, Biddy shall stay, too.”

Benson hesitated. The dark eyes under the shock of golden hair were flashing at him their challenge.

“Then,” said the man slowly, “let Biddy stay. I did not think you would take any such drastic measures. I hope you won’t regret it.”

“But she will,” he muttered as he made his way downstairs and dismissed the new woman, who,[173] with a very dark smile upon her face, laughed him to scorn for his indecision.

“I should like the managing of that young girl for a little while,” said she slowly, “and I think I could bring her to time.”

“Leave your address. I may need you,” replied Benson, as he showed her the door.

And now this day Nellie was writing her experience to Tom.

“As if I could live here without Biddy, Tom,” wrote she. “And with the woman he hired for my companion. You have no idea how repugnant she was to me. Oh, Tom, is this misery never to cease? Now I have but a little money to do as I want to with, but, my beloved, it won’t be long before I can spend all the money I wish. Then for freedom for you and happiness for me.”

This letter was received at the prison and the warden congratulated Tom upon having such a[174] constant little sweetheart, but the tone of the missive was anything but satisfactory to Tom. He believed that Biddy would be sent away and Nellie would be left alone with Benson.

He thought of this so long that the idea seemed to set his brain on fire, and he could see his darling going through all sorts of things and tortures to make her give over the money to Nathans and her cousin. He pictured in his mind this woman, who had been brought to take the place of the faithful Irishwoman, who had been his and Nellie’s friend since their terrible experience in the river fifteen years before. He suddenly made up his mind to escape that night from the prison.

And escape he did. He slipped out of his place in the line of men and hid behind a large pile of lumber where some carpenters were at work. One man had taken off his suit of blue overalls, and thrown it down upon the boards, and instantly Tom had put this on, and had calmly walked out of the gate with the set of carpenters.

When he once was in the open air his thoughts immediately went to Helen. He would change[175] his clothes, and then satisfy himself how his sweetheart was getting along.

Helen Standish was growing impatient, and her twenty-first birthday was fast crowding upon her—that time when she would be her own mistress.

This thought often haunted both Benson and Nathans. The Jew had tormented Benson with his fears and worryings.

“You’ve got to marry that girl or put her out of the way,” commanded the Jew, and Benson knew this to be a fact, for was he not involved to such an amount that he could not stand under the strain much longer?

So this evening he sent for his ward, and said to her:

“My dear Helen, I am going to ask you a question. Will you marry me? I love you, and I beg you to be my wife.”

The girl rose to her feet. Her eyes narrowed[176] into just a squint, for she seemed to be measuring his strength against hers. There was something so strong in her feelings to-night. Was she not twenty-one to-morrow and mistress of her own fortune? And did it not mean freedom for her Tom?

“I thank you, my cousin,” said she, bowing low, “but I will have to decline the honor. What is more, to-morrow I will want my home to myself, as I am thinking of making several changes among the servants. And then, my lawyer says that you should hand me a statement of all the moneys spent since my grandfather died, and then please turn my property over to me.”



Then this slip of a girl had outwitted him after all, and had hired a lawyer without his knowledge or consent.

“You cannot mean what you say, Helen,” he said presently.

“Every word,” was her short answer.

“Then I shall have to make arrangements to-night. You will have to excuse me.”

While he was saying this, Nathans was ushered into the room as the girl went out by another door.

“I was just wanting you, Nathans. The girl has stepped over the traces, and has asked me to leave here to-morrow, when she becomes of age, and asks for control of her property.”


“Then she dies to-night,” decided the Jew. “You cannot give her any statement or I will be without the money you have borrowed of me. Now is the time to get rid of her.”

“I don’t know how.”

“I do. You send for her, and let me teach you a thing or two.”

As Nellie went out she heard the bell give a long ring, and waited in the hall to see who it might be. Arkwright, the detective, walked in.

“Miss Standish, Miss Helen, wait, I want to speak with you particularly. Is Tom Cooper here?”

Nellie staggered back against the wall.

“He has escaped from the prison, and is being traced toward here. He went as far as the sailor’s boathouse, and then further track of him was lost. Now then, little girl, if he is here tell me, for it will be better for him. I have been working upon his case for a long time; in fact, ever since you became fond of him, and it may be that he will be released. Don’t keep him hidden, Miss Standish.”


“He is not here; honestly he is not,” answered the girl.

“I believe you, child,” replied the detective, “and will say this much: Lately I have had reason to believe that the Jew who keeps the pawnshop in which your lover was arrested is a fraud, and he was the one who lodged a complaint against Cooper. But I cannot buy him over. Now my idea was that you were to listen and hear anything that might be said between your cousin and the Jew which would lead to the discovery of the man who stole the jewels.”

“I shall be too glad,” breathed the girl. “I believe that my lover is suffering for another’s crime. What you can do for me I will gladly pay for.”

“Then help yourself by listening.”

“Oh, won’t you stay here to-night, Mr. Arkwright? I think something is going to happen, and if it does I shall need you.”

“Then I shall stay,” said he, for what man could withstand such eyes and such pleading?

“I shall hide in here, then,” said he, “and if[180] Tom Cooper comes here will you trust me with his future?”

And the girl promised.

It was Biddy’s business to put the family silver away in the vault every night, and this evening Benson could not get her out soon enough.

“Will you hurry, Irish?” said he insultingly, as he and the Jew laughed.

“I am hurrying,” said she, “as fast as I can.”

“And I want to tell you another thing, Biddy,” commanded Benson, “I saw your cousin Jim about here this evening, and if I see him again I shall hand him over to the police.”

The woman started visibly.

“It isn’t my fault that he comes,” said she, shoving one after another of the heavy plates inside. “Here, I will get the rest.”

“No,” replied Benson, “not now; I am in a hurry to finish with Mr. Nathans. You can come in later.”

As the woman went into the dining-room she came upon her cousin.

“Jim,” commenced she, “you’d better not let[181] Mr. Benson see you about here, for he said he would give you over to the police if he did.”

“I’d like to see him,” replied the man sneeringly.

“Well, youse know that he can, for he is strong and mighty. Now, for the sake of your mother, straighten up and be a good man.”

“Too much trouble, Biddy,” was the answer.

Then his eyes fell upon the heavy silver upon the table.

“Plated?” asked he, lifting one up.

“No, and you put it down,” commanded Biddy, “your fingers are light enough to even let that heavy dish stick to ’em.”

With this she went out with another load and deposited it near the library, grumbling that a woman was not allowed to do her work in any season at all.

Jim, with a sudden thought, hid in the pantry.

“I’ll get into the safe to-night,” whispered he to himself, “and get even with that cove by lugging away the best of the plates.”

Saying this, he subsided like a thief while waiting[182] until the lights were turned out, and then to set about his work.

In the meantime Nellie was listening to the murmured conversation in the library.

The voice of her cousin came clear to the girl’s ear.

“I say we are ruined, and there’s no use sending for her and arguing the matter, and she simply hates me, and you can’t take a girl like her and marry her against her will.”

“I will not listen to such a thing as giving her a statement of her account,” said the Jew.

“We will have to,” said Benson again.

“Another thing,” and by close peeking Nellie could see Nathans lean over toward her cousin to see the effect of his words, “they have gotten onto the fact that there was something crooked about that jewel story which we trumped up against Tom Cooper, and that little minx had all the police force upon the trail. Even Arkwright came to me about it.”

“Then she must die,” said Benson, standing up.

“That’s what I have said,” repeated the Jew.


“But how to manage it,” cried the other; “how to manage it.”

“Send for her,” laughed the Jew, “and I will try again to get her life like I did that time fifteen years ago.”

“Yes, and now Tom Cooper is in jail that is some consolation, and if we could fix her that is all we would want.”

Just then there came a sound, and both men turned.

A girl with flashing eyes stood before them.

Nellie Standish, too brave for her own good, was ready to make a strike for her lover.

“You have confessed your crime, and here goes for calling the police.”

She pressed the electric button, but instantly the Jew had her in his arms and had crushed her into the vault and shut the door upon her. Her stifled cry did not reach the ear of anyone.

“Now,” said Nathans, “there is but one thing left. Go to the top of the house. Get the girl’s jewels, and then burn the house about her ears,[184] and no one will ever discover her loss, but will think that she perished in the flames.”

With trembling steps the men went out together, but they did not see a sly figure watching them. Jim ran into the library and tried to open the vault. He succeeded in pulling the heavy door open and a figure panting for breath dropped out upon the floor.

“Oh, somebody give me breath to breathe,” gasped she. “Please, please.”

The two men were running down the steps making their way to the street when they heard Helen’s voice.

“She is not dead, Benson,” cried Nathans; “come, we will finish her with this,” and he waved a revolver over his head.

But when they turned into the library they came face to face with Tom Cooper.

He wrenched the revolver from the Jew’s hand, but Benson drew another.

“You think that you can save her, fool; you shall both go to the Kingdom Come. Now then——”


But Arkwright was there. He put out his hand and drew the weapon from Benson.

“I am here,” said he quietly.

“Oh, Tom, they tried to kill me,” cried the girl, clinging to her lover, “and I heard them say that they put the jewels in your bundle the night you were arrested.”

“It’s a lie,” growled the Jew.

“A deuced lie,” repeated Benson.

“No, ’taint, mister,” said a voice, and Jim Farren wriggled out from behind a large rack where he had crawled when he saw the white figure fall out upon him. He thought that a ghost was in the house.

“’Taint no lie,” he went on leeringly, “I saw them do it that night, cove, in the pawnshop, and ’cause I knowed you was innocent I helped you to get out.”

“What will you do, Mr. Detective, if I turn State’s evidence?” said the cringing Nathans; “I do not want to go to jail.”

“We have enough evidence without yours, my[186] fine Jew,” said Arkwright, “and you will go where you belong.”

Nellie was languishing in her lover’s arms. She looked into his face and whispered:

“Oh, my sweetheart, think of one year ago to-day; what terrible things have happened since then.”

“I know, beloved, but now that the troubles are past, we will be happy.”

Biddy insisted that she be allowed to return to her boathouse, and after many arguings Nellie consented, only stipulating that she should have the house nicely fixed up and a lot of new boats, and that Biddy should take in no more washing.

“Nellie, darlint,” said Biddy the day she was making ready to leave the mansion home, “would you care if I should take Jim to live with me? He promises to be a good man and will give up drinking and being a tough.”

“I have no objections, Biddy, unless he fills your old days with worry. You tell him that I[187] said that if he were a good fellow both Tom and I would help him along.”

There was a quiet marriage between a man and a very pretty woman. The minister kissed the charming little bride and wished her many happy years. But Nellie noticed that he looked curiously at the bridegroom’s closely-shaven head. Of course, Tom would not wait for his happiness. He persuaded Nellie that the sooner they were married the better. All that the girl wanted before her marriage was to see the two men who had tried to ruin her life, dealt with according to law and then she consented to get married.

Biddy Roan “LOOK AT ME NOW.”

As they were driving home through the cool night air, Nellie was resting in the arms of her lover and husband, and he whispered softly: “Beloved, if it had not been for you, I should still have been in prison. But, thanks to my dear sweetheart, I have her now for a dear little wife.”

Slowly they drove along toward home, and suddenly[188] Helen looked up with a shudder, which was immediately followed by a smile.

“Tom, dear,” murmured she, “if there ever was a man who deserved a good home and wife, it is you, for all your life you have been shrouded by ‘The Shadows of a Great City.’”



Old Secrets and New Discoveries


Old secrets.

This book is a combination of six books, each complete in itself, and which were formerly published at 25 cents per copy. Following are the titles of the six books contained in OLD SECRETS AND NEW DISCOVERIES:

This Book Tells how to make persons at a distance think of you—Something all lovers should know.

It Tells how you can charm those you meet and make them love you.

It Tells how Spiritualists and others can make writing appear on the arm in blood characters, as performed by Foster and all noted magicians.

It Tells how to make a cheap Galvanic Battery; how to plate and gild without a battery; how to make a candle burn all night; how to make a clock for 25 cents; how to detect counterfeit money; how to banish and prevent mosquitoes from biting; how to make yellow butter in winter; Circassian curling fluid; Sympathetic or Secret Writing Ink; Cologne Water; Artificial Honey; Stammering; how to make large noses small; to cure drunkenness; to copy letters without a press; to obtain fresh-blown flowers in winter; to make good burning candles from lard.

It Tells how to make a horse appear as though he was badly foundered; to make a horse temporarily lame; how to make him stand by his food and not eat it; how to cure a horse from the crib or sucking wind; how to put a young countenance on the horse; how to cover up the heaves; how to make him appear as if he had the glanders; how to make a true-pulling horse balk; how to nerve a horse that is lame, etc. These horse secrets are being continually sold at one dollar each.

It Tells how to make the Eggs of Pharo’s Serpents, from which, when lighted, though but the size of a pea, there issues from it a coiling, hissing serpent, wonderful in length and similarity to a genuine serpent.

It Tells of a simple and ingenious method for copying any kind of drawing or picture. And more wonderful still, how to print pictures from the print itself.

It Tells how to perform the Davenport Brothers’ “Spirit Mysteries,” so that any person can astonish an audience, as has been done. Also scores of other wonderful things which we have no room to mention.

OLD SECRETS AND NEW DISCOVERIES contains over 250 solid pages of reading matter, and is worth $1.50 to any person; but it will be mailed to any address on receipt of only 25 cents. Postage stamps taken in payment for it the same as cash. Your money back if book is not as advertised. Address all orders to

P. O. Box 767. 57 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.


Two lovers.

in selling books to you, is to have you feel that you are getting your money’s worth. We therefore desire to call your special attention to the following

Four Books in ONE,

which If

You are Courting,
You want to Court, or
You want to be Courted,

you should obtain at the earliest possible moment:

HOW TO WOO: WHEN AND WHOM, which gives full and interesting rules for the etiquette of courtship, the time and place for conducting the same, and some good advice as to the selection of your partner for life.

COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE, which tells how to win the favor of the ladies, how to begin and end a courtship, and how to “Pop the Question;” and also gives full information in regard to the invitations, gifts, ushers, bridesmaids, conduct of the wedding ceremony, etc., etc.

THE LOVER’S GUIDE, which gives the flirtations of the handkerchief, parasol, glove, fan and napkin; also, the language of flowers; how to kiss deliciously; and a cure for bashfulness.

THE POPULAR LETTER WRITER, which tells how to write business, social, and love letters, giving numerous examples of all.

This valuable work, containing the four books above mentioned, is issued in one volume under the title HOW TO WOO, and it will be sent to any address, postpaid, upon receipt of 25 cents in U. S. postage stamps or money. Address all orders to

P. O. Box 767. 57 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.


Am having a swell time.


I would be better off.

That the Fad of To-day is Collecting Post Cards?

We want to call your attention to Ogilvie’s Packet No. 1 of Comic Post Cards, and Peerless Packet No. 1, each Packet containing 25 of the best collection ever made. They are printed in four colors, and we guarantee entire satisfaction or the money will be refunded. No collection of cards will be complete without this set, and the price is very low. We will send any five cards for ten cents, or any 15 cards for 25 cents, or either Packet containing 25 cards for 35 cents, by mail, post-paid, to any address. In order to give you a little idea of the fun and humor on these cards we give herewith a list of the subjects:

List of Subjects in Ogilvie’s Packet No. 1.

1 Am having a swell time.

2 Am having a corking good time.

3 Am on a flying trip.

4 Arrived safe.

5 Am too busy to write.

6 Am having a large time.

7 Am expecting to have my hands full.

8 Can you come over soon?

9 Coming in with the tide (tied).

10 I would be better off.

11 I expect to make a hit soon.

12 I am being detained.

13 I’m having a rousing time.

14 I’m all to the Mary.

15 I’m taking a month off.

16 I’m feeling down in the mouth.

17 I am on the jump.

18 I may not see you again.

19 I am living The Simple Life.

20 Just between you and me.

21 Things are humming.

22 Things are very quiet here.

23 We are stopping here.

24 We can’t get over it.

25 We are stirring things up.

List of Subjects in Ogilvie’s Peerless Packet No. 1.

26 Am still on the mend.

27 Am leading a dog’s life in—

28 Am taking things easy.

29 Going for a drive.

30 Have stepped down to—

31 Have not had time to write.

32 Have a great deal on my mind.

33 Have been working over-time.

34 Have been seeing the sights.

35 Hope you did not take offence.

36 “It” stands to reason.

37 I made several purchases.

38 I nearly had a fit.

39 I am under the weather.

40 I was very much disturbed.

41 If the hotel bill was only all.

42 I just slipped down to—

43 Just a few words to let you know—

44 The family circle.

45 You can imagine my surprise.

46 We are having barrels of fun.

47 We are creating quite a sensation.

48 We are living high.

49 Will be gone for some time.

50 Will take the train for—

Order Cards by the Number, and Address all Orders to

P. O. Box 767. 57 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.

A Hundred Ways
of Kissing Girls;

Two lovers.

When we write an advertisement and tell you we have something extra good—a real LIVE novelty—we mean what we say. The fact that we sell our goods to the same people all the year around is proof positive that we please our customers. This new book “A Hundred Ways of Kissing Girls,” is a novelty and entirely unique in every way. To give you some idea of this book we herewith give a complete list of the many titles into which this subject has been divided: What to Expect; L’Envoi; History of the Kiss; How to Kiss a Girl; Origin of the Kiss Under the Mistletoe; Who Kissed First, Adam or Eve; They Kiss Even in England; Revelations of a Newly Wed; A Kissing Soup Party; Asking for a Kiss; How the Widow was Consoled; Lackawanna Jack’s Ideal Kiss; Value of a Kiss; The Stage Kiss; The Kiss Analyzed, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox; How Kisses may be sent by mail; Way to Kiss a Girl; Kisses a la Gibson; Kissing Games; Kisses that Brought Good and Bad Luck; Mouth to Kiss; An Unwilling Kiss; Kissing Jokes; A Black Kiss; Kisses Have Been Called; Kissing Don’ts; Kissing by Telephone; Lip Culture; Kissing Trees; Evolution of Kissing, etc.

☞ This book is fully illustrated with 16 handsome half-tone reproductions from photographs taken from life, illustrating different ways of kissing, and posed especially for this book. We will send this book by mail, postpaid, to any address upon receipt of 25 cents in stamps or silver.

SPECIAL. With every order is included a phototype of THE GIRL WHO’S NEVER BEEN KISSED—alone worth ten times the price of all.


P. O. Box 767. 57 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.


We desire to call your attention to the following list of novels, written from the Popular Plays which are being presented in various parts of the country. They contain about 200 pages each, with illustrations from the Play, and are bound in handsome paper cover printed in five colors.


MONTANABy Grace Evelyn Thorne
THE DEVILBy Ferenc Molnar
TENNESSEE TESSBy Charles E. Blaney
LUCKY JIMBy Arda LaCroix
THE MILLIONAIRE and the Policeman’s WifeBy Olive Harper
DION O’DAREBy Charles E. Blaney
FIGHTING BILL, Sheriff of Silver CreekBy Olive Harper
CONVICT 999By Grace Miller White
A MARKED WOMANBy Grace Miller White

The above books are for sale by Newsdealers and Booksellers everywhere, or they will be sent by mail, postpaid, to any address for 25 cents each, or any five books for $1.00. Address all orders to

J. S. OGILVIE PUBLISHING CO., 57 Rose Street, New York.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Illustrations have been moved to paragraph breaks near where they are mentioned.

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in the original publication, except that obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

The following change was made:

p. 187: Biddie Roonan changed to Biddy Roan in the illustration caption.