THE YELLOW STREAK
OH!” CRIED the girl, “you frightened me! You frightened me! What
do you want here......in this
She was trembling. One slim hand plucked nervously at her dress. Her breath came and went Quickly.
“I saw the curtain move. I thought it was the wind at first. But then I saw the outline of your fingers. And I imagined it was he. . . come back. ...”
“Miss Trevert,” said the boy abashed, "I must have frightened you terribly. I had no idea it was you!” “But why are you hiding here? How did you get in? What do you want in this house?”
She spoke quickly, nervously. Some papers she held in her hand shook with her emotion. Bruce Wright stepped to the desk andturned the bulb of the reading-lamp down into its normal position.
“I must apologise most sincerely for the fright I gave you.” he said. “But, believe me, Miss Trevert, I had no idea that anybody could gain access to this room. I climbed in through the window. Bude told me that, the police had taken aw'ay the key.” The girl made an impatient gesture.
“But why have you come here?” she said.
“Wrhat do you want?”
The boy measured her with a narrow glance.
He was young but he was shrewd. He saw her frank eyes, her cendid, open mien and he took a rapid decision.
“I think I have come,” he answered slowly, “for the same purpose as yourself!”
And he looked at the papers in her
“I used to be Mr. Parrish’s secretary, you know,” he said.
The girl sighed—a little fluttering sigh—and looked earnestly at him.
“I remember,” she said. “Hartley liked you. He was sorry that he sent you away. He often spoke of you to me.
But why have you come back? What do you mean by saying you have come for the same purpose as myself?”
Bruce Wright looked at the array of letter-trays. The marble paperweight had been displaced. The tray in which it had lain was empty. He looked at the sheaf of papers in the girl’s hand.
“I wanted to see,” he replied, “whether there was anything here . . on his desk. . . which would explain the mystery of his death ...”
The girl spread out the papers in her hand on the big blotter.
SHE LAID the papers out in a row and leant forward, her white arms resting on the desk. From the other side of the desk the boy leant eagerly forward and scanned the line of papers.
At the first glimpse his face fell. The girl, eyeing him closely, marked the change which came over his features.
There were seven papers of various kinds, both printed and written, and they were all on white paper.
The boy shook his head and swept the papers together into a heap.
“It’s not there?” queried the girl eagerly.
“No!” said Bruce absent-mindedly, glancing round the desk.
“What isn’t?” flashed back the girl.
Bruce Wright felt his face redden with vexation. What sort of a confidential emissary was he to fall into a simple trap like this?
The girl smiled rather wanly.
“Now I know what you meant by saying you had come for the same purpose as myself,” she said. “I suppose we both thought we might find something, a letter, perhaps, whch would explain why Mr. Parrish did this dreadful thing, something to relieve this awful uncertainty about. . . about his motive. Well, I’ve searched the desk . . and there’s nothing! Nothing but just these prospectuses and receipts which were in the letter tray here. They must have come by the post yesterday morning. And there’s nothing of any importance in the drawers. . only household receipts and wage books and a few odd things like that! You can see for yourself... . ”
The lower part of the desk consisted of three drawers flanked on either side by cupboards. Mary Trevert pulled out the drawers and opened the cupboards. Two of the drawers were entirely empty and one of the cupboards contained nothing but a stack of cigar boxes. One drawer held various papers appertaining to the house. There was no sign of any letter written on the slatey-blue paper.
The boy looked very hard at Mary.
“You say there was nothing in the letter-tray but these papers -here?” he asked.
“Nothing but these,” replied the girl.
“You didn’t notice any official-looking letter on blueish paper?” he ventured to ask.
“No,” answered the girl.
“I found nothing but these.”
The boy thought for a mo-
“Do you know,” he asked, “whether the police or anybody have been through the desk?”
“I don’t know at all,” said Mary, “the first thing he did on arriving last night was to go to the library.’
“I suppose Jeekes is coming back here tonight?”
No, she told him. Mr. Jeekes did not expect to return
WHAT’S HAPPENED SO F AR—Mary
Trevert, charming, young, aristocratic, to secure a comfortable income for her mother, agrees to marry Hartley Parrish, a soulless millionaire, though she loves Robin Greve, a promising young barrister. Parrish is killed by a mysterious pistol-shot in his library just after Greve parted with Mary during a quarrel. Circumstantial evidence would seem to prove that Greve was in the library at the moment Parrish met his death, and it is subsequently discovered that Parrish had made provision in his will that all his ^ property was to pass to Mary in event of his demise. Inspector-Detective Manderton, who personally takes up the case, finally tells Mary ne is satisfied that Parrish shot himself, but hints that Greve’s presence in the library had something to do with driving him to the act. Jeekes, a shifty-eyed, nervous chief secretary for the dead man, discloses to Mary that 1 arrish kept a mysterious woman in France, and he drops a dark hint about Greve being engaged to handle the “legal" end of the blackmail. Greve, continually shadowed by detectives, starts to work on a dim theory of his own, based on mysterious blue envelopes Jarrien received through the mails penodicaVy. Wright, a former assistant secretary in Parrish s office, for whom Greve once did a favor, agrees to enter Parrish’s library to secure another of those letters. While searching Parrish s desk he is surprised by Mary Trevert.
to Harkings until the inquest on Tuesday. Bruce Wright picked up his hat.
“I must apologise again, Miss Trevert,’" he said, “for making such an unconventional entrance and giving you such a fright. But I felt I could not rest until I had investigated matters for myselfI would have presented myself in the ordinary way, but, as I told you, Bude told me the police had locked up the room and taken away the key
Mary Trevert smiled forgivingly.
“So they did,” she said. “But Jay, Mr. Parrish’s man, you know, had another key. He brought it to me.”
She looked at Bruce with a whimsical little smile.
“You must have been very uncomfortable behind those curtains,” she said. “I believe you were just as frightened as I was.” She walked round the desk to the window. “Itwas a good hiding place,” she remarked, “but not much good as an observation post. Why! you could see nothing of the room. The curtains are much too thick!”
“Not a thing,” Bruce agreed rather ruefully. “I thought you were the detective!”
He held out his hand to take his leave with a smile. He was a charming-looking boy with a remarkably serene expression which went well with his close-cropped golden hair.
Mary Trevert did not take his hand for an instant. Looking down at the point of her small black suede shoe she said shyly:
“Mr. Wright, you are a friend of Mr. Greve, aren’t you?” “Rather!" was the enthusiastic answer. “Do you see him often?”
The boy’s eyes narrowed suddenly. Was this a cross-examination?
“Oh, yes,” he replied, “every now and then!” Mary Trevert raised her eyes to his.
“Will you do something for me?” she said. “Tell Mr. Greve not to trust Manderton. He will know whom I mean. Tell him to be on his guard against that man. Say he means mischief. Tell him, above all things, to be careful. Make him go away.... go abroad until this thing has blown over...”
SHE SPOKE with intense earnestness, her dark eyes fixed on Bruce Wright’s face.
“But promise me you won’t say this comes from me! Do you understand? There are reasons, very strong reasons, for this. Will you promise:”
She took Bruce’s outstretched hand.
“I promise,” he said.
“You mustn’t go without tea,” said the girl. “Besides,” she glanced at a little platinum watch on her wrist, —“there’s not another train until six. There is no need for you to start yet. Besides, I don’t like being left alone. Mother has one of her headaches and Horace and Dr. Romain have gone to Stevenish. Come up to my sitringroom!”
She led the way out of the library, locking the door behind them, and together they went up to the Chinese boudoir where tea was laid on a low table before a bright fire. In the dainty room with its bright colours they seemed far removed from the tragedy which had darkened Harkings.
They had finished tea when a tap came at the door. Bude appeared. He cast a reproachful look at Bruce. “Jay would be glad to have a word with you, Miss,”
The girl excused herself and left the room. She was absent for about ten minutes. When she returned she had a little furrow of perplexity between her brows. She walked over to the open fireplace and stood silent for an instant her foot tapping the hearthrug.
“Mr. Wright,” she said presently, “I’m going to tell you something that Jay has just told me. I want your advice. ...”
The boy looked at her interrogatively. But he did not
“I think this is rather important,” the girl went on, “but I don’t quite understand in what way it is. Jay tells
mé that Mr. Parrish i^Tiad on his pistol a sort of stool fitting attached to the end. . you know, the part, you shoot, out of.
Mr. Parrish used to keep his automatic in a drawer in his dressing-room and Jay has often seen it. there with this attachment fitted on. Well, when Mr. Parrish was discovered in the library yesterday, this thing was no longer on the pistol. And Jay says it’s not to l)e found!. ...”
“That’s rather strange!” commented Bruce. “But what was this steel contraption for, do you know? Was it a patent sight or something?”
“Jay doesn’t know,” answered the girl.
“Would you mind if I spoke to Jay myself?” asked the young man.
TN REPLY the girl touched the bell beside the fireplace.
Bude answered the summons and was despatched to find Jay.
He appeared in due course, a tall, dark, sleek young man wearing a swallow-tail coat and striped trousers.
“How are you,
Jay?” said Bruce affably.
“Very well, thank you, sir,” replied the
“Miss Trevert was telling me about this appliance which you say Mr. Parrish had on his automatic.
Could you describe it to me?”
“Well, sir,” answered the man rather haltingly, “it was a little sort of cup made of steel or gun-metal, fitting closely over the barrel. ...”
“And you don’t know what it was for?”
“Was it a sight, do you think?”
“I can’t say, I’m sure, sir!”
“You know what a sight looks like, I suppose. Was there a bead on it or anything like that?”
“I can’t say I’m sure, sir. I never gave any particular heed to it. I used to see the automatic lying in the drawer of the wardrobe in Mr. Parrish’s room in a washleather case. I noticed this steel appliance, sir, because the case wouldn’t shut over the pistol with it on, and the butt used to stick out.”
“When did you last notice Mr. Parrish’s automatic?” “It would be Thursday or Friday, sir. I went to that drawer to get Mr. Parrish an old stock to go riding in as some new ones he had bought were stiff and hurt him.” “And this steel cup was on the pistol then?”
“Ob, yes, sir!”
“And you say it was not on the pistol when Mr. Parrish’s body was found?”
“Are you sure of this?”
“Yes, sir. I was one of the first in the room and I saw the pistol in Mr. Parrish’s hand and there was no sign of the cup, sir. So I’ve had a good look among his things and I can’t find it anywhere!”
Bruce Wright pondered a minute.
“Try and think, Jay,” he said, “if you can’t remember anything more about this steel cup, as you call it. Where did Mr. Parrish buy it?”
“Can’t say I’m sure, sir. He had it before ever I took service with him!”
“X TOW I come to think of it,” he said, “there was -L v the name of the shop or the maker on it, stamped on the steel. ‘Maxim,’ that was the name, now I put my mind back, with a number. ...”
“Maxim?” echoed Bruce Wright. “Did you say Maxim?”
“Yes, sir! That was the name!” replied the valet. “By Jove!” said the boy half to himself. Then he said aloud to Jay:
“Did you tell the police about this?”
Jay looked somewhat uncomfortable.
“Well, sir, I thought perhaps I’d better tell Miss Trevert first. Bude thought so, too. That there Manderton has made so much unpleasantness in the house with his prying ways that I said to myself, sir. ... ”
Bruce Wright looked at Mary.
“Would you mind if I asked Jay not to say anything about this to anybody just for the present?” he asked.
“You hear what Mr. Wright says, Jay,” said Mary. “I don’t want you to say anything about this matter just yet. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Miss. Will that be all, Miss?”
“Yes, thank you, Jay.”
“Thanks very much, Jay,” said the boy. “This may be important. Mum’s the word, though!”
“I quite understand, sir,” answered the valet and left the room.
Hardly had the door closed on him than the girl turned eagerly to Bruce.
“It is important?” she asked.
“It may be,” was the guarded reply.
“Don’t leave me in the dark like this,” the girl pleaded. “This horrible affair goes on growing and growing and at every step it seems more bewildering. . . .more ghastly. Tell me where it is leading, Mr. Wright!”
Her voice broke and she turned her face away.
“You must be brave, Miss Trevert,” said the boy putting his hand on her shoulder. “Don’t ask me to tell jou more now. Your friends are working to get at the truth.......”
“The truth!” cried the girl, “God knows where the truth will lead us!”
Bruce Wright hesitated a moment.
“I don’t think you have any need to fear the truth!” he said presently.
The girl took her handkerchief from her face and looked at him with brimming
“You know more than you let me think you did,” she said brokenly. “But you are a friend of mine, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” said Bruce boldly:
“And of his, too!” She did not speak again but gave him her hand. He clasped it and went out hurriedly to catch his train back to Lon-
CHAPTER XVIII The Clue
THAT faithful servitor of Fleet Street, the Law Courts clock, had just finished striking seven. It boomed out the hour, stroke by stroke, solemnly, inexorably, like a grim old judge summing up and driving home, point by point, an irrefutable charge. The heavy strokes broke in upon the fitful doze into which Robin Greve, stretched out in an arm-chair in his living-room, had drop-
He roused up with a start. There was the click of a key in the lock of his front door. Bruce Wright burst into the room.
The boy shut the door quickly and locked it. He was rather pale and seemed perturbed. On seeing Robin he jerked his head in the direction of the courtyard.
“I suppose you know they’re still outside?” he said. Robin nodded nonchalantly.
“There are three of them now,” the boy went on. “Robin, I don’t like it. Something’s going to happen. You’ll want to mind yourself... .if it’s not too late.”
He stepped across to the window and bending down peered cautiously round the curtain.
Robin Greve laughed.
“Bah!” he said, “they can’t touch me!”
“You’re wrong,” Bruce retorted without changing his position. “They can and they will. Don’t think Manderton is a fool, Robin. He means mischief....” ,
Robin raised his eyebrows.
“Does he?” he said. “Now I wonder who told you
“Friends of yours at Harkings asked me to warn you ...” began Bruce awkwardly.
“My friends are scarcely in the majority there,” retorted Robin. “Whom do you mean exactly?”
But the boy ignored the question.
“Three men watching the house!” he exclaimed, “don’t you think this looks as though Manderton meant business?”
He returned to his post of observation at the curtain. Robin laughed cynically.
“Manderton doesn’t worry me any,” he said cheerfully. “The man’s the victim of an idee fixe. He believes Parrish killed himself just as firmly as he believes that I frightened or bullied Parrish into doing it.... ” “Don’t be too sure about that, Robin,” said the boy dropping the curtain and coming back to Robin’s chair. “He may want you to think that. But how can we tell how much he knows?”
Robin flicked the ash off his cigarette disdainfully. “These promoted policemen make me tired,” he said. Bruce Wright shook his head quickly with a little gesture of exasperation.
“You don’t understand,” he said. “There’s fresh evidence......”
"D OBIN GREVE looked up with real interest in his eyes.
His bantering manner had vanished.
“You’ve got that letter?” he asked eagerly.
Bruce shook his head.
“No, not that,” he said. Then leaning forward he added in a low voice:
“Have you ever heard of the Maxim silencer?”
“I believe I have, vaguely,” replied Robin. “Isn’t it something to do with a motor engine?”
“No,” said Bruce. “It’s an extraordinary invention which absolutely suppresses the noise of the discharge of a gun.”
Robin shot a quick glance at the speaker.
“Go on,” he said.
“It’s a marvellous thing, really,” the boy continued, warming to his theme. “A man at Havre had one when I was at the base there, during the war. It’s a little cupshaped steel fitting that goes over the barrel. You can fire a rifle fitted with one of these silencers in a small room and it makes no more noise than a fairly loud sneeze....” "Ah!”
Robin was listening intently now.
“Parrish had a Maxim silencer,” Bruce went on impressively.
“It was fitted on his automatic pistol, -the one he had in his hand when they found him.. .. ”
“There was no attachment of any kind on the gun Parrish was holding when he was discovered yesterday afternoon,” declared Robin positively. “I can vouch for that. I was there almost immediately after they found him. And if there had been anything of the kind Horace Trevert would certainly have mentioned it.... ” “I know. Jay, who came in soon after you, was surprised to see that the silencer was not on the pistol And he made a point of looking for it.... ”
“But how do you know that Parrish had it on the pistol?”
“Well, we don’t know for certain. But we do know that it was permanently fitted to his automatic. Jay has often seen it. And if Parrish did remove it he didn’t leave it lying about anywhere. Jay has looked all through his things without finding it”
“When did Jay see it last?”
“But are you sure that this is the same pistol as the one which Jay has been in the habit of seeing?”
“Jay is absolutely sure. He says that Parrish only had the one automatic which he always kept in the same drawer in his dressing-room. ...”
Robin was silent for a moment.
VERY deliberately he filled his pipe. lit it and drew it until it burned comfortably Then he said slowly: “This means that Hartley Parrish was murdered, Bruce, old man. All through I’ve been puzzling my mind to reconcile the unquestionable circumstance that two bullets were fired—I told you of the bullet mark I found on the upright in the rosary—with the undoubted fact that only one report was heard. We can therefore presume either that Hartley Parrish first fired one shot from his pistol with the silencer fitted and then removed the silencer and fired another shot without it, thereby killing himself, or that the second shot was fired by the person whose interest it was to get rid of the silencpr. There is no possible or plausible reason why Parrish should have fired first one shot with the silencer and then one without. Therefore I find myself irresistibly compelled to the conclusion that the shot heard by Mary Trevert was fired by the person who killed Parrish. Do I make myself clear?” “Pcfectly,” answered Bruce.
“Now then,” the barrister proceeded, thoughtfully puffing at his pipe, “one weak point about my deductions is that they all hang on the question as to whether, at the time of the tragedy, Parrish actually had the silencer on his pistol or not. That is really the acid test of Manderton’s suicide theory. You said, I think, that a rifle fired with the silencer attachment makes no more noise than the sound of a loud sneeze.”
“That’s right,” agreed Bruce, “a sort of harsh, spluttering noise. Not so loud either, Robin. Ph—t-t-t! Like that!”
“Loud enough to be heard through a door, would you say?”
“Oh, I think so!”
Robin thought intently for a moment.
“Then Mary is the only one who can put us right on that point. Assuming that two shots were fired—and that bullet mark in the rosary is, I think, conclusive on that head—and knowing that she heard the loud report of the one, presumably, if Parrish had the silencer on his automatic, Mary must have heard the muffled report of the other. What it comes to is this, Mary heard the shot fired that killed Parrish. Did she hear the shot he fired at his murderer?”
“By Gad!” exclaimed Bruce Wright impressively. “I believe you’ve got it, Robin! Parrish fired at somebody at the window—a silent shot—and the other fellow fired back the shot that Mary Trevert heard, the shot that killed Parrish. Isn’t that the way you figure it out?”
“Not so fast, young man,” remarked Robin. “Let’s
first find out whether Mary actually heard the muffled shot and if so, when.... before or after the loud report.” He glanced across at the window' and then at Bruce.
“I suppose this discovery about the silencer is responsible for the deputation waiting in the courtyard,” he said drily.
“The police don’t know about it yet,” replied Bruce, “at least they didn’t when I left.”
Robin shook his head dubiously.
“If the servants know it, Manderton will w'orm it out of them. Has’nt he cross-examined Jay?”
“Yes,” said P.ruce. “But he got nothing out of him about this. Manderton seems to have put everybody’s back up. He gets nothing out of the servants....” “If Parrish had had this silencer for some time, you may be sure that other people know' about it. These silencers must be pretty rare in England. You see an average person like myself didn’t know what it was. By the wray, another point which we haven’t yet cleared up is this: Supposing we are right in believing Parrish to have been murdered, how do you explain the fact that the bullet removed from his body fitted his pistol?”
“That’s a puzzler, I must say!” said Bruce.
“There’s only one possible explanation, I think,” Robin went on, “and that is that Parrish was shot by a pistol of exactly the same calibre as his own. For the murderer to have killed Parrish w'ith his own weapon would have been difficult without a struggle. But Miss Trevert heard no struggle. Fora murderer and his victim to have pistols of the same calibre argues a rather remarkable coincidence, I grant you. But then life is full of coincidences! We meet them every day in the law. Though I admit, this is a coincidence which requires some explaining......”
HE fell into a brown study which Bruce interrupted by suddenly remembering that he had had no lunch. For answer Robin pointed at the sideboard.
“There’s a cloth in there,” he said, “also the whiskey, if my laundress has left any, and a siphon and there should be some claret—Mrs. Bragg doesn’t care about red wine. Set the table and I’ll take a root round in the kitchen and dig up some tinned stuff.”
They supped off a tinned tongue and some pate de foie gras. Over their meal Bruce told Robin of his adventure in the library at Harkings.
“Jeekes must have collected that letter,” Bruce said. “Before I came to you, I went to Lincoln’s Inn Fields to see if he was still at Bardy’s—Parrish’s solicitor, you know. Continued on page 36
The Yellow Streak
Continued from page 27
But the office was closed and the place in darkness. I went on to the Junior Pantheon, that’s Jeekes’ club, but he wasn’t in. He hadn’t been there all day, the porter told me. So I left a note asking him to ring you up here ...”
“The case reeks of blackmail,” said Robin thoughtfully, “but I’m wondering how much we shall glean from this precious letter when we do see it. I am glad you asked Jeekes to ring me up, though. He should be able to tell us something about these mysterious letters on the blue paper that used to put Parrish in such a stew—hullo, who can that be?”
An electric bell trilled through the flat. It rang once . twice. . . and then a third time, a long, insiatent peal.
“See who’s there, will you, Bruce?” said Robin.
“Suppose it’s the police. ...” began the boy.
Robin shrugged his shoulders.
“You can say I’m at home and ask them in,” he said.
He heard the heavy oaken door swing open, a murmur of voices in the hall. The next moment Detective-Inspector Manderton entered the sitting-room.
Mr. Manderton Lays His Cards on the Table
THE detective’s manner had undergone some subtle change which Robin, watching him closely as he came into the room, was quick to note. Mr. Manderton made an effort to retain his old air of rather patronising swagger; but he seemed less sure of himself than was his won’t. In fact, he appeared to be a little anxious.
He walked briskly into the sitting-room and looked quickly from Bruce to Robin.
“Mr. Greve,” he said, “you can help me if you will by answering a few
With another glance at Bruce Wright he added:
Bruce, obedient to a sign from Robin, said he would ring up in the morning and prepared to take his leave. Robin turned to the detective.
“There are some of your men, I believe,” he said coldly, “watching this house. Would it be asking too much to request that my friend here might be permitted to return home unescorted?”
“He needn’t worry,” replied Manderton with a significant smile; “there’s no one outside now. . . .”
They watched Bruce Wright pass into the hall and collect his hat and coat. As the front door slammed behind him the detective added:
“I took ’em off myself soon after seven o’clock!”
“Why?” asked Robin bluntly.
Mr. Manderton dropped his heavy form into a chair.
“I’m a plain man, Mr. Greve,” he said, “and I’m not above owning to it, I hope, when I’m wrong. For some little time now it has struck me that our lines of investigation run parallel. .. .” “Instead of crossing!”
“Instead of crossing—exactly!”
“It’s a pity you did not grasp that very obvious fact earlier,” observed Robin pointedly.
Mr. Manderton crossed one leg over the
other and, his finger-tips pressed together, looked at Robin.
“Will you help me?” he asked simply. “Do you want my help?”
Mr. Manderton nodded.
“Allies it is!”
Robin pointed to the table.
“It’s dry work talking,” he said. “Won’t you take a drink?”
“Thanks, I don’t drink. But I’ll have a cigar if I may. Thank you!”
THE DETECTIVE helped himself to a cheroot from a box on the table and lit up. Then, affecting to scan the end of his cigar with great attention, he asked abruptly:
“What do you know of the woman calling herself Madame de Malpas?” Robin pursed up his lips rather disdainfully.
“One of the late Mr. Parrish’s lady friends,” he replied. “I expect you know that!”
“Do you know where she lives?” pursued the detective, ignoring the implied question.
A flicker of interest appeared for *n instant in Mr. Manderton’s keen eyes. “You’re sure of that?”
“Certainly,” answered Robin.
“Who told you?”
“Le Hagen—the solicitor, you know. He acted for this Malpas woman on one or two occasions.”
“When did she die?”
“Six or seven months ago.. .
“Did Jeekes know about it?”
“Jeekes? Do you mean Parrish’s secretary? It’s funny your asking that. As a matter of fact it was through Jeekes that I heard the lady was dead. I was in Le Hagen’s office one day when Jeekes came in and Le Hagen told me Jeekes had come to pay in a cheque for the cost of the funeral and the transport of the body to France.”
“This was six or seven months ago, you say? I take it, then, that any allowance that Parrish was in the habit of making to this woman has ceased?”
“I tell you the lady is dead!”
“Then what would you say if I informed you that Mr. Jeekes had declared that these payments were still going on.... ” Robin shrugged his shoulders. ^
“I should say he was lying “I agree. But why?”
“Whom'did he tell this to?”
Robin repeated the name in amazement. “I don’t understand,” he said. “Why on earth should Jeekes blacken his employer’s character to Miss Trevert? What conceivable motive could he have had? Did she tell you this?”
“No,” said Manderton. “I heard him tell her myself.”
“T'vO YOU mean to tell me,” persisted U Robin, growing more and more puzzled, “that Jeekes told Miss Trevert this. offensive and deliberate lie in your presence!”
“Well,” remarked Mr. Manderton slowly, “I don’t know about his saying this in my presence exactly. But I heard him tell her for all that. Walls have ears you know—particularly if the door is ajar!” .
He looked shrewdly at Robin, then dropped his eyes to the floor.
‘Tie also told her that Le Hagen and you were in business relations.. . . ”
Robin sat up at this.
“Ah!” he said shortly. I see what you're getting at now. Our friend has been trying to set Miss Trevert against me eh? But why? I don’t even know this man Jeekes except to have nodded ‘Good morning’ to him a few times. Why on earth should he of all men go out of his way to slander me to Miss Trevert, to throw suspicion... ”
He broke off short and looked at the detective.
Mr Manriprtnn caressed his big hlaek
“Yes,” he repeated suavely, ' you were saying ‘to cast suspicion’ _
The eyes of the two men met. Then the detective leaned back in his chair and blowing a cloud of smoke from his lips, said: . . , . , .
“Mr. Greve, you ve been thinking ahead of me on this case. What you’ve told me so far I’ve checked. And you re right. Dead right. And since you’re, in a manner of speaking, one of the parties interested in getting things cleared up,
I’d like you to tell me just simply what idea you’ve formed about it. . .”
“Gladly,” answered the barrister. “And to start with let me tell you that the ease stinks of blackmail... ”
“Steady on," interposed the detective. “I thought so, too, at first. I’ve been into all that. Mr. Parrish made a clean break with the last of his lady friends about two months since; and, as far as our investigations go, there has been no blackmail in connection with any of his women pals. Vine Street knew all about Master Parrish. There were complaints about some of his little parties up in town. But I don’t believe there’s a woman in this case...”
“I didn’t say there was,” retorted Robin. “The blackmail is probably being levied from Holland. A threat of violence was finally carried into effect on Saturday evening between 5 and 5.15 p.m. by someone conversant with the lie of the land at Harkings. This individual, armed with an automatic Browning of the same calibre as Mr. Parrish’s, shot at Parrish through the open window of the library and killed him—probably in selfdefence, after Parrish had had a shot at
“OTEADY there, whoa!” said Mr.
ij Manderton in a jocular way clearly expressive of his incredulity, “there was only one shot.. .” ,.
“There were two" was Robin s dispassionate reply. “Though maybe only one was heard. Parrish ^ had a Maxim silencer on his gun......”
Mr. Manderton was now thoroughly
“How did you find that out?” he
“Jay, Parrish’s man, came forward and volunteered this evidence ...”
“He said nothing about it when • I questioned him,” grumbled the detective.
“You’re a terror to the confrmed criminal, they tell me, Manderton,” he said, “but you obviously don’t understand that complicated mechanism known as the domestic servant. No servant at Harkings will voluntarily tell you anything.
Mr. Manderton, who had stood up, shook his big frame impatiently. ti
“Explain the rest of your theories, he said harshly. “What’s all this about blackmail being levied from Holland?
Then Robin Greve told him of the letters written on the slatey-blue paper and of their effect upon Parrish and of the letter headed “Elias van der Spyck & Co., General Importers, Rotterdam which had lain on the desk in the library when Parrish’s dead body had been found.
Manderton nodded gloomily.
“It was there right enough, he remarked. “I saw it. A letter about steel shipments and the dockers’ strike, wasn t it? As there seemed nothing to it, I left it with the other papers for Jeekes, the Secretary chap. But what evidence is there that this was blackmail?
“This,” said Robin, and showed the detective the sheet of blue paper with its series of slits. “Manderton, he said, “these letters written on this blue paper were in code, I feel sure. Why should riot this be the key? You see it bears a date. Nov. 25. May it not refer to that letter? I found it by Parrish s body on the carpet in the library. I would have given it to you at Harkings but I shoved it in my pocket and forgot all about it until I was in the train coming up to town
1R MANDERTON took the sheet of paper, turned it over and held it to the light. Then, without comment, put it away in the pocket of his jacket. ‘If Parrish killed himself, Robin nt on earnestly, "that letter drove n to it. If. on the other hand, he was irdered, may not that letter have conned a warning?” .
T should prefer to suspend judgment dl we’ve seen the letter. Mr. Greve, d the detective bluntly, "we must get it m Jeekes. In the meantime, what kes you think that the murderer (to Low up your theory) was conversant with ; lay of the laud at Harkings?” ‘Because," answered Robin, “the irderer left no tracks on the grass or wer-beds. He stuck to the hard gravpath throughout. That path, which is from the drive through the Rosary the gravel path round the house just der the library window, is precious hard
to find in the dark especially where it leaves the drive as at the outset it is a mere thread between the rhododendron bushes. And, as I know from experience, unless you are acquainted with the turns in the path, it is veiy easy to get off it in the dark, especially in the rosary, and go blundering onto the flower-beds. And I’ll tell you something else about the murderer. He—or she—was of small stature—not much above five foot six in height. The upward diagonal course of the bullet through Parrish’s heart shows that....”
Mr. Manderton shook his head dubiously-
"Very ingenious,” he commented. “But you go rather fast, Mr. Greve. We must test your theory link by link. There may be an explanation for Jeekes’ apparently inexplicable lie to the young lady. Let’s see him and hear what he says. The grounds at Harkings must be searched for this second bullet, if second bullet there is, the mark on the tree examined by an expert. And since two bullets argue two pistols in this case, let us see what result we get from our enquiries as to where Mr. Parrish bought his pistol. He may have had two pistols. ..”
“If Parrish used a silencer,” remarked Robin, quite undisconcerted by the other’s lack of enthusiasm, “and my theory that two shots were fired is correct, there must have been two reports, a loud one and a muffled one. Miss Trevert heard one report, as we know. Did she hear a se-
“She said nothing about it,” remarked the detective.
“She was probably asked nothing about it. But we can get this point cleared up at once. There’s the telephone. Ring up Harkings and ask her now.”
“Why not?” said Mr. Manderton and moved to the telephone.
'T'HERE is little delay on the long-distance lines on a Sunday evening and the call to Harkings came through almost at once. Bude answered the telephone at Harkings. Manderton asked for Miss Trevert. The butler replied that Miss Trevert was no longer at Harkings. She had gone to the Continent for a few days.
This plain statement, retailed in the fortissimo voice which Bude reserved for use on the telephone, produced a remarkable effect on the detective. He grew red in the face.
“What’s that?” he cried assertively. “Gone to the Continent? I should have been told about this. Why wasn’t I informed? What part of the Continent has she gone to?”
Mr. Manderton’s questions, rapped out with a rasping vigour that recalled a machine-gun firing, brought Robin to his feet in an instant. He crossed over to the desk on which the telephone stood.
Manderton placed one big palm over the transmitter and turned to Robin.
“She’s gone to the Continent and left no address,” he said quickly.
“Ask him if Lady Margaret is there,” suggested Robin.
Mr. Manderton spoke into the telephone again. Lady Margaret had gone to bed, Bude answered, and her ladyship was much put out by Miss Trevert gallivanting off like that by herself with only a scribbled note left to say that she had gone.
Had Bude got the note?
No, Mr. Manderton, Sir, he had not. But Lady Margaret had shown it to him. It had simply stated that Miss Trevert had gone off to the Continent and would be back in a few days.
Again the detective turned to Robin at his elbow.
“These country bumpkins!” he said savagely. “I must go to the Yard and get Humphries on the ’phone. He may have telegraphed me about it. You stay here and I’ll ring you later if there’s any news. What do you make of it, Mr. Greve?"
"It beats me,” was Robin’s rueful comment. ‘And what about the inquest? It’s for Tuesday, isn’t it? Miss Trevert will have to give evidence, I take it?. .”
“Oh,” said Mr. Manderton, picking up his hat and speaking in an offhand way, “I am getting that adjourned for a week!”
“The inquest adjourned! Why?”
' I 'HERE was a twinkle in the detective’s -*• eye as he replied: “I thought, may-
be, I might get further evidence....”
Robin caught the expression and smiled.
“And when did you come to this decision, may I ask?”
"After our little experiment in the garden this morning," was the detectives prompt reply.
Robin looked at him fixedly.
“But, see here,” he said, “apparently it was to the deductions you formed from the result of that experiment that I owe the attentions of your colleagues who have been hanging round the house all day. And yet you now corne to me and invite my assistance. Mr. Manderton, I don’t get it at all!”
“Mr. Greve,” replied the detective, “Miss Trevert tried to shield you. That made me suspicious. You tried to force my investigations into an entirely new path. That deepened my suspicions. I believed it to be my duty to ascertain your movements after leaving Harkings. But then I heard Jeekes make an apparently gratuitously false statement to Miss Trevert. with an implication against you. That, to some extent, cleared you in my eyes. I say ‘to some extent’ because I will not deny that I thought I might be taking a risk in coming to you like this. You see 1 am frank!....”
The smile had left Greve’s face and he looked rather grim.
“You’re pretty deep, aren’t you?” was his brief comment.
The Code King
MAJOR EUAN MACTAVISH was
packing. A heavy and well-worn leather portmanteau, much adorned with foreign luggage labels, stood in the centre of the floor. From a litter of objects piled up on a side table the Major was transferring to it various brown paper packages which he checked by a list in his hand.
The Major always packed for himself. He packed with the neatness and rapidity derived from long experience of travel. As a matter of fact he could not afford a man servant any more than he could allow himself quarters more luxurious than the rather grimy bedroom in Bury Street which housed him during his transient appearances in town. The remuneration doled out by the Foreign Office to the quiet and unobtrusive gentlemen known as King’s Messengers is, in point of fact, out of all proportion to the prestige and glamour surrounding the silver greyhound badge, an example of which was tucked away in a pocket of the Major’s blue serge jacket hanging over the back of a chair.
“Let’s see,” said the Major addressing a large brown-paper covered package standing in the corner of the room, “you’re the bird-cage for Lady Sylvia at The Hague. Two pounds of candles for Mrs. Harry Deepdale at Berlin: the razorblades for Sir Archibald at Prague: the Teddy bear for Marjorie: polo-balls
for the Hussars at Constantinople—there! I think that’s the lot! Hullo, hullo, who the devil’s that?”
With a groaning of wires a jangling bell tinkled through the hall (the Major’s bedroom was on the ground floor.) Sims, the aged ex-butler, who, with his wife, ‘did for’ his lodgers in more ways than one, was out and the single servant maid had her Sunday off. Euan MacTavish glanced at his wrist-watch. It showed the hour to be ten minutes past nine. A flowered silk smoking coat over his evening clothes and a briar pipe in his mouth he went out into the hall and opened the front door.
It was a drenching night. The lamps from a taxi which throbbed dully in the street outside the house threw a gleaming band of light on the shining pavement. At the door stood a taxi driver.
“There’s a lady asking for Major MacTavish,” he said, pointing at the cab. The Major stepped across to the cab and opened the door.
“Oh, Euan,” said a girl’s voice, “how lucky I am to catch you!”
“Why, Mary,” exclaimed the Major, “what on earth brings you round to me on a night like this? I only came up from the country this afternoon and I’m off for Constantinople in the morning!”
“Euan,” said Mary Trevert, “I want to talk to you. Where can we talk?” The Major raised his eyebrows. He was a little man with grizzled hair and finely cut, rather sharp features.
“Well,” he remarked, “there’s not a soul in the house and I’ve only got a bedroom here. Though we’re cousins, Mary,
my dear, I don’t know that you ought to
“You’re a silly old-fashioned old dear,” exclaimed the girl, “and I’m coming in. No, I’ll keep the cab. We shall want it!”
“All right,” said the Major helping her to alight. “I tell you what. We’ll go into Harry Prankhurst’s sitting-room. He’s away for the week-end anyway!”
LIE TOOK|Mary Trevert into a room off t the hall and switched on the electric light. Then for the first time he saw how pale she looked.
“My dear,” he said, “I know what an awful shock you’ve had
“You’ve heard about it?”
“I saw it in the Sunday papers. I was going to write to you.”
"Euan,” the girl began in a nervous hasty way, “I have to go to Holland at once. There is not a moment to lose. I want you to help me get my passport
“But my dear girl,” exclaimed the Major aghast, “you can’t go to Holland like this alone. Does your mother know about it?”
The girl shook her head.
“It’s no good trying to stop me, Euan,” she declared. “I mean to go anyway. As a matter of fact Mother doesn’t know. I merely left word that I had gone to the Continent for a few days. Nobody knows about Holland except you, and if you won’t help me I suppose I shall have to go to Harry Tadworth at the Foreign Office. I -came to you first because he’s always so stuffy....’’
Euan MacTavish pushed the girl into a chair and gave her a cigarette. He lit it for her and took one himself. His pipe had vanished into his pocket.
“Of course I’ll help you,” he said. “Now tell me all about it!”
“Before. . . .this happened I’d promised Hartley Parrish to marry him,” began the girl. “The doctors say his nerves were wrong. I don’t believe a word of it. He was full of the joy of life. He was very fond of me. He was always talking of what we should do when we were married. He never would have killed himself without some tremendously powerful motive. Even then I can’t believe it possible....”
She made a little nervous gesture.
“After he.... did it,” she went on, “I found this letter or. his desk. It came to him from Holland. I mean to see the people who wrote it and discover if they can throw any light on.... on... . the affair...”
She had taken from her muff -a letter folded in four, written on paper of a curious dark slatey-blue colour.
“Won’t you show me the letter?”
“You promise to say nothing about it to anyone?”
He nodded. “Of course.”
TX7TTHOUT a word the girl gave the ’ ’ letter. With slow deliberation he unfolded it. The letter was typewritten and headed:
“Elias van der Spyck & Co. General Importers, Rotterdam.”
This was the letter:—
“ELIAS VAN DER SPYCK & CO. “GENERAL IMPORTERS “ROTTERDAM “Codes
“Liebleris 25 Nov.
“Dear Mr. Parrish,
“Your favour of even date to hand “and contents noted. The last delivery “of steel was to time but we have had “warning from the railway authorities “that labor troubles at the docks are like“ly to delay future consignments. If you “don’t mind we should prefer to settle the “question of future delivery by Nov. “27. as we have a board meeting on the “30th inst. While we fully appreciate “your own difficulties with labour at “home, you will understand that this is a “question which we cannot afford to “adjourn sine die.
pro ELIAS VAN DER SPYCK & CO.”
The signature was illegible.
Euan MacTavish folded the letter again and handed it back to Mary.
“That doesn’t take me any farther,”
“They haven’t seen it,” was the girl’s
reply. “I took it without them knowing. : I mean to make my own investigations about this. . . .”
“But my dear Mary,” exclaimed the little Major in a shocked voice, “you can’t 1 do things that way. Don’t you see you may be hindering the course of justice? ; The police may attach the greatest importance to this letter.. .”
“You’re quite right,” retorted the girl, “they do!”
“Then why have you kept it from them?’ Mary Trevert dropped her eyes and a little band of crimson flushed into her cheeks.
“Because,” she commenced. “liecause. . . .well, because they are trying to implicate a friend of mine... ”
The Major took the girl’s hand. “Mary,” he said, “I’ve known you all your life. I’ve knocked about a good bit and know something of the world, I believe. Suppose you tell me all about it . ... ”
Mary Trevert hesitated. Then she said, her hands nervously toying with her muff :
“We believe that Robin Greve—you know whom I mean—had a conversation with Hartley just before he. . . .he shot himself. That very afternoon Robin had asked me to marry him but I told him about my engagement. He said some awful things about Hartley and rushed away. Ten minutes later Hartley Parrish committed suicide. And there was someone talking to him in the library. Bude, the butler, heard the voices. This afternoon I went down to the library alone. . . to see if I could discover anything likely to throw any light on poor Hartley’s death. This was the only letter I could find. It was tucked away between two letter-trays. One tray fitted into the other and this letter had slipped between. It seems to have been overlooked both by Mr. Parrish’s secretary and the police...”
“But I confess,” argued the Major, “that I don’t see how this letter, which appears to be a very ordinary business communication, implicates anybody! at all. Why shouldn’t the police see it?..
“Because,” said Mary, “directljr after discovering it I found Bruce Wright, who used to be one of Mr. Parrish’s private secretaries, hiding behind the curtains in the library. Now Bruce Wright is a great friend of Robin Greve’s and I immediately suspected that Robin had sent him to Harkings particularly as’ “As what?....”
“As he practically admitted to me that he had come for a letter written on slateyblue official looking paper.”
The girl held up the letter from Rotter-
“All this,” the girl continued, “made me think that this letter must have had something to do with Hartley’s death.
“Surely an additional reason for giving it to the police!. ...”
Mary Trevert set her mouth in an obstinate line.
“No!” she affirmed uncompromisingly. “The police believe that, as the result of a scene between Hartley and Robin, Hartley killed himself. Until I’ve found out for certain whether this letter implicates Rohin or not I shan’t give it to the police.
“But, if Greve really had nothing to do with this shocking tragedy, the police can very easily clear him. Surely they are the best judges of his guilt. . .”
AGAIN a touch of warm colour suffused the girl’s cheeks. Euan MacTavish remarked it and looked at her wistfully.
“Well, well,’’ he observed gently, “perhaps they’re not after all!”
The girl looked up at him.
“Euan, dear,” she said impulsively, “I knew you’d understand. Robin and Hartley may have had a row but it was nothing worse. Robin is incapable of having threatened—blackmailed—Hartley, as the police spem to imagine. 1 am greatly upset by it all. I can’t see things clear at all: but I’m determined not to
give the police a weapon like this to use against Rohin until I know whether it is sharp or blunt, until I have found out what bearing, if any, this letter had on Hartley Parrish’s death... ”
Euan MacTavish leant back in his chair and said nothing. He finished his ligarette, pitched the butt into the fender and turned to Mary. He asked her to let him see the letter again. Once more he read it over. Then, handing it back to her, he said,—
“It’s all so simple-looking that there may well be something behind it. But, if you do go to Holland, how are you going to set about your enquiries?”
“That’s where you can help me, Euan dear,” answered the girl. “I ws:r to find somebody at Rotterdam ' l o will help me to make some confidential enquiries about this firm? Do you know anyone? An Englishman would be best, of course. ...”
But Euan MacTavish was halfway to the door. (i
“Wgit there,” he commanded, till I telephone the one man in the world who can help us.”
He vanished into the hall where Mary heard him a; the instrument. t
“We are going round to the Albany, be said, “to see my friend, Ernest Dulkinghorn, of the War Office. He can help us if anyone can. But, Mary, you must promise me one thing before we go. you must agree to do what old Ernest tells you. You needn’t be afraid. He is the most unconventional of men, capable of even approving this madcap scheme of yours!”
“I agree,” said Mary, “but how you waste time, Euan! We could have been at the Albany by this time!”
In a first-floor oak-panelled suite at the Albany overlooking the covered walk that runs from Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens, they found an excessively fair, loose-limbed man whose air of rather helpless timidity was heightened by a pair of large tortoiseshell spectacles. He appeared excessively embarrassed at the sight of MacTavish’s extremely goodlooking companion.
“You never told me you were bringing a lady, Euan,” he said, reproachfully, “or I should have attempted to have made myself more presentable.”
HE looked down at his old flannel suit and made an apologetic gesture which took in the table littered with books and papers and the sofa on which lay a number of heavy tomes with marked slips sticking out between the pages.
“I am working at a code,” he explained.
“Ernest here,” said MacTavish, turning to Mary, “is the code king. Your pals in the Intelligence tell me, Ernest, that you’ve never been beaten by a code The fair man laughed nervously. “They’ve been pulling your leg, Euan,” be said.
“Don’t you believe him, Mary,” retorted her cousin. “This is the man who probably did more than any one man to beat the Boche. Whenever the brother Hun changed his code, Brother Ernest was called in and he produced a key in one, two, three!”
“What rot you talk, Euan!” said Dulkinghorn. “Working out a code is a combination of mathematics, perseverance and inspiration with a good slice of luck thrown in! But isn’t Miss Trevert going to sit down?”
He cleared the sofa with a sweep of his arm which sent the books flying on to the floor.
“Ernest,” said MacTavish, “I want you to give Miss Trevert here a letter to some reliable fellow in Rotterdam who can assist her in making a few enquiries of a very delicate nature!”
“What sort of enquiries?” asked Dulkinghorn bluntly.
“About a firm called Elias van der Spyck,” replied Euan.
“Of Rotterdam?” enquired the other sharply.
“That’s right! Do you know them?” “Fve heard the name. They do a big business. But hadn’t Miss Trevert better tell her story herself?”
MARY told him of the death of Hartley Parrish and of the letter she had found upon his desk. She said nothing of the part played by Robin Greve.
“Humph!” said Dulkinghom. “You think it might be blackmail, eh? Well, well, it might be. Have you got this letter about you? Hand it over and let’s have a look at it”.
His nervous manner had vanished. His face seemed to take on a much keener expression. He took the letter from Mary and read it through. Then he crossed the room to a wall cupboard which he unlocked with a key on a chain, produced a small tray on which stood a number of small bottles, some paintbrushes and pens and several little open dishes such as are used for developing photo-
graphs. He bore the tray to the table, cleared a space on a corner by knocking a pile of books and papers on the flo'or and
set it down.
“Just poke the fire!” he said to Euan
From a drawer in the table he produced a board on which he pinned down the letter with a drawing-pin at each corner Then he dipped a paint brush into one of the bottles and carefully painted the whole surface of the sheet with some invisible fluid.
“So!” he said, “we’ll leave that to dry and see if we can find out any little secrets, eh? That little tray’ll do the trick if there’s any monkey business to this letter of yours, Miss Trevert. That’ll do the trick, eh, what?”
He paced the room as he talked, not waiting for an answer but running on as though he were soliloquising. Presently be turned and swooped down on the board.
“Nothing,” he ejaculated. “Now for the acids!”
With a little piece of sponge he carefully wiped the surface of the letter and painted it again with a substance from another bottle.
“Just hold that to the fire, would you, Euan?” he said, and gave MacTavish the board. He resumed his pacing but this time he hummed in the most unmelodious voice imaginable:
“She was bright as a butterfly, as fair as a queen
“Was pretty little Polly Perkins of Paddington Green.”
MacTavish’s voice broke in upon the pacing and the discordant song.
Dulkinghom snapped out the question.
“No result!” said Euan. He handed him the board. ''
Dulkinghom cast a glance at it, swiftly removed the letter, held it for an instant to the electric light, fingered the paper for a moment and handed the letter back
“If it’s code,” he said, “it’s a conventional code, and that always beats the
expert......at first. Go to Rotterdam
and call on my friend, Mr. William Schulz. I’ll give you a letter for him and he 11 place himself entirely at your disposal. Euan will take you over. Holland is on your beat, ain’t it, Euan? When do you go next?”
“Tomorrow,” said the King’s Messenger. “The boat train leaves Liverpool Street at ten o’clock.”
“You’ll want a passport,” said Dulkinghom, turning to the girl. “You ve got it there? Good. Leave it with me. You shall have it back properly vised by 9 o’clock tomorrow morning. Where are you stayin’? Almond’s Hotel. Good. I’ll send the letter for Mr. William Schulz with it!”
“But,.” Euan interjected mildly, after making several ineffectual efforts to stem the torrent of speech, “do you really think that Miss Trevert will be well advised to risk this trip to Holland alone . Hadn’t the police better take the matter
in hand?” * _
“Police be damned!” replied Dulkinghorn heartily. “Miss Trevert will be better than a dozen heavy-handed, heavyfooted plain clothes men. When you get to Rotterdam, Miss Trevert, you trot along and call on William Schulz. He 11 see you through.”
THEN, to indicate without any possibility of misunderstanding, that his work had been interrupted long enough, Dulkinghom got up and, opening the sitting-room door, led the way into the hall. As he stood with his hand on the latch of the front door Mary Trevert asked him, “Is this Mr. Schulz an Englishman?” “I’ll let you into a secret,” answered Dulkinghom, “he was. But he isn’t now! No, no, I can’t say anything more. You must work it out for yourself. But I will give you a piece of advice. The less you say about Mr. William Schulz and about your private affairs generally when you are on the other side, the better it will be for you! Good night—and good luck!”
Euan MacTavish escorted Mary to Almond’s Hotel.
“I’m very much afraid,” he said to her as they walked along, “that you’re butting that pretty head of yours into a wasps’ nest, Mary!” ,
“Nonsense!” retorted the girl decisively. “I can take care of myself!” "If I consent to let you go off like this,” said Euan,“it is only on one condition.. ..
I “Moist, Very moist,”
j “It would,” said Mr, Faucitt., indul-
gently. “1 confess that, happy as I 1 have heen in this country, there are 1 lines when I miss those wonderful London days when a sort of cozy brown mist hanys over 1 he streets and the cavemen's ooze with a perspiration of mud and water, and you see through the haze the yellow glow of the Bodega lamps shining in the distance like harbor lights.
: Not,” said Mr. Faucitt, “that I specify : tiic Rudoya to the exclusion of other and equally worthy hosieries. I have passed just as pleasant hours in Rule’s and Short's. You missed something by not. lingering ¡ in England, Rally.” i “1 know I did pneumonia.”
j TV/fR. FAUCITT shook his head re| * proachfully. “You are prejudiced, my
dear. You would have enjoyed London if you had had the courage to brave its superficial gloom. Where did you spend your holiday? Paris?”
“Part of the time. And the rest of the while I was down by the sea. It was glorious. I don’t think I would ever have come back if I hadn’t had to. But, of course, I wanted to see' you all again. And I wanted to be at the opening of Mr. Foster’s play. Mrs. Meecher tells me you went to one of the rehearsals.”
“Í attended a dog fight which I was informed was a rehearsal,” said Mr. Faucitt severely. “There is no rehearsing nowadays.”
“Oh, dear! Was it as bad as all that?” “The play is good. The play—I will go further—is excellent. It has fat. But the acting!...”
“Mrs. Meecher said you told her that Elsa was good.”
“Our worthy hostess did not misreport me. Miss Doland has great possibilities. She reminds me somewhat of Matilda Devine, under whose banner I played a season at the old Royalty in London many years ago. She has the seeds of greatness in her, but she is wasted in the present case on an insignificant part. There is only one part in the play.
I allude to the one murdered by Miss Mabel Hobson.”
“Murdered!” Sally’s heart sank. She had been afraid of this, and it was no satisfaction to feel that she had warned Gerald. “Is she very terrible?”
“She has the face of an angel and the histrionic ability of that curious suet pudding which our estimable Mrs. Meecher is apt to give us on Fridays.”
“Oh, poor Ger-—poor Mr. Foster!” “I do not share your commiseration for that young man,” said Mr. Faucitt austerely. “You probably are almost a stranger to him, but he and I have been thrown together a good deal of late. A young man upon whom, mark my words,
• success, if it ever comes, will have the worst effects. I dislike him, Sally. He is, I think, without exception the most selfish and self-centered young man of my acquaintance. He reminds me very much of old Billy Fothergill, with whom I toured a good deal in the later eighties. Did I ever tell you the story of Billy and the amateur who—”
Sally was in no mood to listen to the adventure of Mr. Fothergill. The old man’s innocent criticism of Gerald had stabbed her deeply. A momentary impulse to speak hotly in his defense died away as she saw Mr. Faucitt’s pale, worn old face. He had meant no harm, after all. How could he know what Gerald was to her?
CHE changed the conversation abrupt^ ly. “Have you seen anything of Fillmore while I’ve been away?”
"Fillmore? Why yes, my dear, curiously enough I happened to run into him on Broadway only a few days ago. He seemed changed--less stiff and aloof than he had been for some time past. I may he wronging him, but there have been times of late when one might almost have fancied him a trifle upstage. All that was done at our last encounter. He appeal'd glad to see me and was most cordial.”
Sally found her composure restored.
¡ Her lecture on the night of the party had evidently, she thought, not been wasted. Mr. Faucitt, however, advanced another theory to account for the change in the Man of Destiny.
“I rather fancy,” he said, “that the softening influence has been the young man’s fiancée.”
“What! Fillmore’s not engaged?” “Did ho not write and tell you? I suppose he was waiting to inform you when you returned. Yes, Fillmore is betrothed. The lady was with him when we met. A Miss Winch. In the profession, I understand. He introduced me. A very charming and sensible young lady I thought.”
Sally shook her head: “She can’t be.
Fillmore would never have got engaged to anyone like that. Was her hair crimson?”
“Brown, if I recollect rightly.”
“Very loud, I suppose, and over-dressed?”
“On the contrary, neat and quiet.” “You’ve made a mistake,” said Rally decidedly. “She can’t: have been like that. I shall have to look into this. It does seem hard that I can’t go away for a few weeks without all my friends taking to beds of sickness and all my brothers getting ensnared by vampires.”
TT WAS not till the following Friday that Rally was able to start for Detroit. She arrived on the Saturday morning and drove to the Hotel Statler. Having ascertained that Gerald was stopping in the hotel and having phoned up to his room to tell him to join her, she went into the dining room and ordered breakfast.
She was pouring out her second cup of coffee when a stout young man of whom she had caught a glimpse as he moved about that section of the hotel lobby which was visible through the open door of the dining room, came in and stood peering about as though in search of someone. The momentary sight she had had of this young man had interested Sally. She had thought how extraordinarily like he was to her brother Fillmore. Now she perceived that it was Fillmore himself.
“Why, Sally!” His manner, she thought, was nervous—one might almost have said embarrassed. She attributed this to a guilty conscience. Presently he would have to break to her the news that he had become engaged to be married without her sisterly sanction, and no doubt he was wondering how to begin. “What are you doing here? I thought you were in Europe.”
“I got back a week ago, but I’ve been nursing poor old Mr. Faucitt ever since then. He’s been ill, poor old dear. I’ve come here to see Mr. Foster’s play. ‘The Primrose Way,’ you know. Is it a success?”
“It hasn’t opened yet.”
“Don’t be silly, Fill. Do pull yourself together. It opened last Monday.” “No, it didn’t. Haven’t you heard? They’ve closed all the theatres because of this infernal Spanish influenza. Nothing has been playing this week. You must have seen it in the papers.”
“I haven’t had time to read the papers. Oh, Fill, what an awful shame!”
“Yes, it’s pretty tough. Makes the company all on edge. I’ve had the darndest time, I can tell you.”
“Why, what have you got to do^with it?”
-piLLMORE coughed. “I —er—oh, I * didn’t tell you that. I’m sort of— er—mixed up in the show. Cracknell— you remember he was at college with me— suggested that I should come down and look at it. I shouldn’t wonder if he wants me to put. money into it, and so on.” “I thought he had all the money in the
“Yes. he has a lot, but these fellows like to let a pal in on a good thing.”
“Is it a good thing?”
“The play’s fine.”
“That’s what Mr. Faucitt said. But Mabel Hobson!...”
Fillmore’s ampie fare registered emo-
“She’s an awful woman, Sally! She can’t act, and she throws her weight about all the time. The other day there was a fuss about a paper knife---”
“How do you mean, a fuss about a paper knife?”
“One of the props, you know. It got mislaid. I’m certain it wasn’t my fault.-” “How could it have been your fault?” asked Sally wonderingly. Love seemed to have had the worst effect on Fillmore’s mentality.
“Well—er—you know how it is. Angry woman—blames the first person she sees. . This paper knife. ...”
Fillmore’s voice trailed off into pained silence.
“Mr. Faucitt said Elsa Doland was
“Oh, she’s all right,” said Fillmore indifferently. “But”—his face brightened and animation crept into his voice;— “hut the girl you want to watch is Miss Winch. Gladys Winch. She plays the maid! She’s only on in the first act, and hasn’t much to say except ‘Did you ring, madam?’ and things like that. But it’s the way she says ’em. Sally, that girl’s a genius! The greatest character actress in a dozen years! You mark my words, in a darned little while you’ll see her name up on Broadway in electric lights.. Personality? Ask me! Charm? She wrote the words and music! Looks?” “All right! All right! I know all about it, Fill. And will you kindly inform me how you dared to get engaged without consulting me?”
Fillmore blushed richly. “Oh, do you know?”
“Yes. Mr. Faucitt told me.” “Well—”
“Well, I’m only human,” argued Fill-
“I call that a very handsome admission. You’ve got quite modest, Fill.”
He had certainly changed for the better since their last meeting. It was as if some one had punctured him and let out all the pomposity. If this was due, as Mr. Faucitt had suggested, to the influence of Miss Winch, Sally felt she could not but approve of the romance.
“I’ll introduce you some time,” said Fillmore. „
“I want to meet her very much.
“I’ll have to be going now. Tve got to see Bunbury. I thought he might be in here.”
“The producer. I suppose he s breakfasting in his room. I’d better go up.
“You are busy, aren’t you! Little marvel! It’s lucky they’ve got you to look after them!”
FILLMORE retired, and Sally settled down to wait for Gerald, no longer hurt by his manner over the telephone. Poor Gerald! No wonder he had seemed upset.
A few minutes later he came in.
“Oh, Jerry darling,” said Sally, as he reached the table. “I’m so sorry. 1 ve just been hearing about it.”
Gerald did not seem interested either by the news of Mr. Faucitt’s illness or by the fact that Sally, after delay, had at last arrived. He dug a spoon somberly into his grape-fruit.
“We’ve been hanging about here day after day, getting bored to death all the time. The company’s going all to pieces. They’re sick of rehearsing and rehearsing when nobody knows if we’ll ever open. They were all keyed up a week ago, and they’ve been sagging ever since. It will ruin the play, of course.^ My first chance! Just chucked away.’
Sally was listening with a growing feeling of desolation. She tried to be fair, to remember that he had had a terrible disappointment and was under a great strain. And yet—it was unfortunate that self-pity was a thing she particularly disliked in a man. Her vanity, too, was hurt. It was obvious that her arrival, so far from acting as a magic restorative, had effected nothing. She could not help remembering, though it made her feel disloyal, what Mr. Faucitt had said about Gerald. She had never noticed before that he was remarkably self-centered, but he was thrusting the fact upon her attention now.
“That Hobson woman is beginning to make trouble,” went on Gerald, prodding in a despairing sort of way at scrambled eggs. “She ought never to have had the part; never. She can’t handle it. Elsa Doland could play it a thousand times better. I wrote Elsa in a few lines the other day, and the Hobson went right up in the air. You don’t know what a star is till you’ve seen one of these promoted clothes props from the Follies trying to be one. It took me an hour to talk her round and keep her from throwing up her part.”
“Why not let her throw up her part?” “For Heaven’s sake talk sense,” said Gerald querulously. “Do you suppose that man Cracknell would keep the play on if she wasn’t in it? He would close the show in a second, and where would I be then? You don’t seem to realize that this is a big chance for me. I’d look a fool throwing it away.”
“T SEE,” said Sally shortly. She had * never felt so wretched in her life.
“By the way,” said Gerald, “there’s one thing. I have to keep jollying her »long all the time, so for goodness’ sake don’t go letting it out that we’re engaged.” Sally’s chin went up with a jerk. This was too much. “If you find it a handicap being engaged to me—”
“Don’t be silly,” Gerald took refuge in pathos. “Good God! It’s tough! Here am I, worried to death and you—” "I know, I know. But you never told me you were glad to see me.”
“Of course I’m glad to see you.” “Why didn’t you say so, then, you poor fish? And why didn’t you ask me if I had enjoyed myself in Europe?”
“Did you enjoy yourself?”
“Yes, except that I missed you so much. There! Now we can consider my lecture on foreign travel finished, and you can go on telling me your troubles.”
Gerald accepted the invitation. He spoke at considerable length, though with little variety. It appeared definitely established in his mind that Providence had invented Spanish influenza purely with a view to wrecking his future. But now he seemed less aloof, more open to sympathy. The brief thunderstorm had cleared the air. Sally lost that sense of detachment, and exclusion which had weighed upon her.
“Well,” said Gerald at length, looking at^his watch, “I suppose I had better be
“Yes, confound it. It’s the only way of getting through the day. Are you coming along?”
“I’ll come directly I’ve unpacked and tidied myself up.”
"See you at the theatre, then.”
Sally went out and rang for the elevator to take her to her room. . . ■
THE rehearsal had started when she reached the theatre. On the stage Elsa Doland, looking very attractive, was playing a scene with a man in a derby hat. She was speaking a line as Sally came in:
“Why, what do you mean, father? “Tiddly-omty-om,” was the ^ derbyhatted one’s surprising reply. “Tiddlyomty-om;. . .long speech ending m ‘find me in the library.’ And exit,’ said the man in the derby hat, starting to
For the first time Sally became aware of the atmosphere of nerves. Mr. Bunbury, who seemed to be a man of temperament, picked up his walking stick, which was leaning against the next seat, and flung it with some violence across the house. “For God s sake!” said Mr. Bunbury.
“Now what?” inquired the derby hat, interested, pausing halfway across the stage.
“Do speak the lines, Teddy,” exclaimed Gerald. “Don’t skip them in that sloppy way.”
“You don’t want me to go over the whole thing?” asked the derby hat
“Not the whole d—-—thing?”queried the derby hat, fighting with incredulity.
“This is a rehears_l!” snapped Mr. Bunbury. “If we are not going to do it properly, what’s the use of doing it at all?”
This seemed to strike the erring
Teddy, if not as reasonable, at any rate as one way of looking at it. He delivered the speech in an injved tone and shuffled off. The atmosphere of tenseness was unmistakable now. Sally could feel it.
Elsa Doland now moved to the door, pressed a bell, and, taking a magazine from the table, sat down in a chair near the footlights. A moment later, in an-
swer to the ring, a young woman entered, to be greeted instantly by an impassioned bellow from Mr. Bunbury: “Miss Winch!”
THE new arrival stopped and looked out over the footlights.
“Hello!” said Miss Winch amiably.
Mr. Bunbury was profoundly moved. “Miss Winch, did I or did I not ask you to refrain from chewing gum during rehearsal?”
“That’s right. So you did, admitted Miss Winch churpmily.
‘Then why are you doing it?”
“CHALI. 1 say my big speech now?'’
^ inquired Miss Winch over the foot-
“Yes, yes! Get on with the rehearsal. We've wasted half the morning.’’
“Did you ring, madam?” said Miss J Winch to Elsa, who had been reading her magazine placidly through the late ¡ scene. _ i
The rehearsal proceeded, and Sally watched it with a sinking heart. It , was all wrong. Novice as she was in things theatrical, she could see that. | A shrill, passionate cry from the front row, and Mr. Bunbury was on | his feet again Sally could not help i wondering whether things were going particularly wrong to-day or whether j this was one of Mr. Bunbury’s ordinary mornings.
i “Oh, gee!" said Miss Hobson, ceasing ! to be the distressed wife and becoming j the offended star. "What’s it this time? , i "I suggested at the last rehearsal, | and at the rehearsal before that and the rehearsal before that, that on that line you should pick up the paper knife and toy negligently with it. You did it yesterday, and to-day you’ve forgotten it again.”
"My God!” cried Miss Hobson, wounded to the quick. "If this don’t heat everything! How the heck can I toy negligently with a paper knife when there’s no paper knife for me to toy negligently with?”
“The paper knife is on the desk.” “It’s not on the desk.”
“No paper knife?”
“No paper knife. And it’s no good I picking on me. I’m the star, not the assistant stage manager. If you’re going to pick on anybody, pick on him.” The advice appeared to strike Mr. Bunbury as good. He threw back his head and bayed like a bloodhound.
There was a momentary pause, and then from the wings on the prompt side there shambled out a stout and shrinking figure, in whose hand was a script of the play and on whose face, lit up by the footlights, there shone a look of apprehension. It was Fillmore, the Man of Destiny.
A LAS, poor Fillmore! He stood in ' ■«■*the middle of the stage with the lightning of Mr. Bunbury’s wrath playing about his defenseless head, and Sally, recovering from her first as: tonishment, sent a wave of sisterly commiseration floating across the theatre to him.
And as she listened to the fervid elo! quence of Mr. Bunbury, she perceived that she had every reason to be. FillI more was having a bad time.
¡ “I assure you, Mr. Bunbury,” bleated the unhappy Fillmore obsequiously, “I placed it with the rest of the properties after the last rehearsal.”
“You couldn’t have done.”
“1 assure you I did.”
“And it walked away, I suppose,” said Miss Hobson with cold scorn, pausing in the operation of brightening up her lower lip with a lip stick.
A calm, clear voice spoke. “It was taken away,” said the calm, clear voice. Miss Winch had added herself to the symposium. She stood beside Fillmore, chewing placidly. It took more than raised voices and gesticulating hands to disturb Miss Winch. “Miss Hobson took it,” she went on in her cozy, drawling voice. “I saw her.”
CENSATION in court. The prisoner, ^ who seemed to feel his position deeply cast a pop-eyed glance full of gratitude at his advocate. Mr. Bunbury, in his capacity of prosecuting attorney, ran his fingers through his hair in some embarrassment, for he was regretting now that he had made such a fuss. Miss Hobson, thus assailed by an underling, spun around and dropped the lip stick, which was neatly retrieved by the assiduous Mr. Cracknell. Mr. Cracknell had his limitations, but he was rather good at picking up lip sticks.
“What’s this? I took it? I never did anything of the sort.”
“Miss Hobson took it after the rehearsal yesterday,” drawled Gladys Winch, addressing the world in general, “and threw it negligently at the theatre cat.”
Miss Hobson seemed taken aback. Her composure was not restored by Mr. Bunbury’s next remark.
"In future, Miss Hobson, I should be glad if, when you wish to throw anything at the cat, you would not select a missile from the property box. Good Heavens!" he cried, stung by the way fate was maltreating him, “I have never experienced anything like this before.
I have been producing plays all my life, and this is the first time this has happened. I have produced Nazimova. Nazimova never threw paper knives at cats.”
“Well, I hate cats,” said Miss Hobson as though that settled it.
“I,” murmured Miss Winch, “love little pussy; her fur is so warm, and if 1 don't hurt her she’ll do me no—”
“Oh, my heavens!” shouted Gerald Foster, bounding from his seat and for the first time taking a share in the debate. “Are we going to spend the whole day arguing about cats and paper knives? For goodness’ sake, dear the stage and stop wasting time.”
Miss Hobson chose to regard this intervention as an affront. “Don’t shout at me, Mr. Foster!”
"I wasn't shouting at you.”
"If you have anything to say to me, lower your voice.”
“He can’t," observed Miss Winch. “He’s a tenor.”
“Nazimova never—” began Mr. Bun-
Miss Hobson was not to be diverted from her theme by reminiscences of Nazimova. She had not finished dealing with Gerald. “In the shows I’ve been in,” she said mordantly, “the author wasn’t allowed to go about the place getting fresh with the leading lady. In the shows I’ve been in the author sat at the back and spoke when he was spoken to. In the shows I ve been in—”
SALLY was tingling all over. This reminded her of the dog fight on the Roville sands. She wanted to be in it, and only the recognition that it was a private fight, and that she would be intruding, kept her silent. The lure of the fray, however, was too strong for her wholly to resist it. Almost unconsciously she had risen from her place and drifted down the aisle so as to be nearer the white-hot center of things. She was now standing in the lighted space by the orchestra pit, and her presence attracted the roving attention of Miss Hobson who, having concluded her remarks on authors and their legitimate sphere of activity, was looking about for some other object of attack.
“Who the devil,” inquired Miss Hobson, “is that?”
Sally found herself an object of universal scrutiny, and wished that she had remained in the obscurity of the back rows. “I am Mr. Nicholas s; sister,” was the best method of identification that she could find.
“Who’s Mr. Nicholas?”
“I’m through!” announced Miss Hobson. It appeared that Sally’s presence had in some mysterious fashion fulfilled the function of the last straw.
“Hello, Sally,” said Elsa Doland, looking up from her magazine. The battle, raging all round her, had failed to disturb her detachment. “When did you get back?” ., , , ,
Sally trotted up the steps which had been propped against the stage to form a bridge over the orchestra pit.
The late debaters had split into groups. Mr. Bunbury and Gerald were pacing up and down the central aisle, talking earnestly. Fillmore had subsided onto a chair.
“Do you know Gladys Winch?” asked Elsa.
Sally shook hands with the placid lodestar of her brother’s affections. Miss Winch on closer inspection proved to have deep gray eyes and freckles. Sally’s liking for her increased.
“Thank you for saving Fillmore from the wolves,” she said. “They would have torn him in pieces but for you.” “Oh, I don’t know,” said Miss Winch. “It was noble.”
“I think,” said Sally, “I’ll go and have a talk with Fillmore. He looks as though he wanted consoling.”
She made her way to that picturesque
To be Continued
And almost eighty-five per cent, of that comes from California. California is the home of the dried fruits because of its wonderful orchards and its glorious cloudless days of golden sunshine.
When we think of more than five hundred million pounds, more than sixty pounds of dried fruit to every man, woman and child in the entire Dominion, we realize something of the immensity of the dried fruit business of California.
A few years ago Spain was world famous for its raisins. Today California produces three pounds of raisins to every pound raised in Spain.
Gradually we are coming to a realization of the value of this sun-sweetened grape, the raisin. We recognize it now, as a substantial food, as substantial a food, in fact, as a cut of beefsteak or a plate of vegetables. We recognize it, too, as a dessert, a dessert that can be prepared in
a hundred different ways. And still again we recognize it as a confection, a confection infinitely more pleasing to the taste and healthful to the system than candy. A cluster of raisins is not only a satisfactory confection for an adult but is a safe and sane confection for the child. It builds while it pleases, it nourishes while it satisfies that craving for sweets.
The rajsin is a food that may well be added to any diet because of one particular quality it possesses. That quality is “iron.” The raisin contains more “iron” than does any other fruit. And iron, as you know, is one of the important chemical elements of our bodies.
While the body of the average healthy person contains only one-tenth of an ounce of iron this almost infinitesimal quantity is so necessary to the maintenance of health that the lack of sufficient iron in the system almost instantly makes itself evident by lack of ambition in the individual so deficient, by pale cheeks and flabby muscles and by a general run-down condition of the body.
Value of Iron to Us
THE WORK of iron within the body is peculiar, and vitally important. First
of all it is the coloring agent, giving color to our blood and to vegetable life, which likewise cannot exist without it. Iron acts as the carrier of oxygen within the body and a deficiency of iron means improper metabolism—as metabolism, or the turning of our food into flesh, blood, bone and living, pulsing creatures, cannot continue without oxygen.
The benefits the body derives from iron are many, as it acts directly upon the blood, purifying and enriching it, giving it a vitality that it can draw from no other source. As the blood acts as the purifying agent for the entire system it is easy to understand why iron exerts a stimulating and cleansing influence upon the whole body.
Another dried fruit that is rich in iron is the prune. This valuable chemical element is also found in dried apples, dried apricots, figs, dates and other dried
The richest source of iron however is spinach and other greens. Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and chard are also rich in this valuable quality.
But we must not think of dried fruits, and especially the raisin, as an iron conveyor only. It is far from that. It is a hearty food, a sweet and a medicine all
The raisin is a food of high energy-producing value, a single ounce of raisins (about ten good zed raisins) producing onè hundred calo, es of food value. (The calbrie, by the way, is merely a unit of measurement, being the unit that measures the amount of heat a food creates within the human body. As we have said before heat and energy are synonomous within the human body and those foods, such as carbohydrates and fats, that create heat also,; create energy and are known as the body fuels. Therefore the calorie is a unit used to measure the fuel value of a food.)
The fuel requirements, or requirements of energy and heat producing foods, of the human being, are listed below, according to age, sex and activity. (In a subsequent article full explanation of the food requirements of the body will be given).
Thus we see that the average man or woman at normal work—such as office work or light housework—requires less than the equivalent in food value of two pounds of rasin every twenty-four hours. And thus we see, too, why it is that healthy children hard at play and adults engaged in heavy work, often find it helpful to eat a light mid-morning or mid-afternoon lunch, often accompanied by a glass of milk.
If we would realize that children are forever craving candy because they need nourishment during the day we would do much toward solving the problem of improper feeding, for we would then give them nourishing food instead of sweets. Substitute fruit for undesirable sweets.
Raisins are tasty and sweet for the same reason that they are high in food value— because they are seventy-five per cent carbohydrate. Sugar is carbohydrate and carbohydrate is a pure energy and heat producing element. When the sun sets to work on the luscious grape he does some marvelous things. First of all he instils into that fruit a supply of oxygen—then he sets about to turn the juice and pulp into a delicious sweet—raisin sugar. Raisin sugar is hydrolyzed grape fluid and is technically known as fructose and lévulose—a type of sugar found in hortey. It is partly digested, so to speak, and does not require the same work by the system as is necessary to convert other forms of sugar into glycogen—which is the form
in which carbohydrates are stored in the body.
Eat More Dried Fruits
THE raisin is valuable for other reasons than its percentage of carbohydrate and iron—as it is well supplied with other elements so essential to our health— calcium, the mast important of all chemical elements entering the human body, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and chlorine.
The other dried fruits contain the same valuable properties as the raisin, but in a rather lesser extent. However, they have their use in the diet, and it should he a wide and frequent one.
In Canada the consumption of dried fruits is not what it should be—not by one half. Canadians eat on the average about six pounds of dried fruits a year. Fifteen pounds per capita would not be excessive. A dish of a half dozen large stewed prunes with a liberal helping of cream is enough to furnish half a breakfast. Remember that! Dried fruits are hearty food—and they are valuable food, too.
Before leaving the subject of raisins it may be well to call attention to the fact that as with many other economical and delicious foods, the Europeans are far wiser with regard to the use of dried fruits than are the Canadians or their neighbors south of the line. In England, as many of us will recall, the average family consumes five pounds of raisins per capita, while here and in the States two pounds per capita is the average consumption. But this fault is being remedied as we learn what our European cousins already know—the real value of dried fruits.
There are two ways of drying fruit— in the sun and by the use of artificial evaporators. Sun-drying on a commercial scale is possible only where there is a long season without rainfall or heavy dews. This condition automatically
point* »út ( at.furnia as Niture’s dienen spot r - thi«. w:.r’g. an 1 c in*» jaintly pract i-.i’ix all the sun dried fruit that reaches us is from the golden statp.
TV growth o[ the dried fruit industry in California is therefore natural and one can understand ho,v, within a score of years, this single state ha* developed from a small follower of Spain in the production of raisin i to the colossus of this industry, today producing almost ten times as mnnv raisins as its European competitor. Raisin production throughout the world indicates whpre California stands in this industry. The figures listed below are official:
Raisin Production in Different Countries During a Normal Year
Spain 31,350,000 lbs
Australia 18,000.000 lbs
Turkey (Sultanas/ 11,000,000 ibs
California 250,000,000 lbs
There are thousands upon thousands of acres of wonderfully-productive grape orchards in California whose product in the past has gone into the making of wine. This industry has been wiped out. Thousands of acres of these vineyards will be turned to the production of raisins, and thousands of others will be replanted to other fruits. This means greatly increased production of dried fruits—a desirable development when one realizes the value of these foods.
Dried fruits are not recommended to replace the use of fresh fruits. Nothing can do that—nothing would be more foolish to attempt. But dried fruits can be given a wider use in our diets with beneficial results and they can, and should, be substituted for candies and other sweets.
A knowledge of the value of dried fruits will help us improve our diet, add many delicious dishes to our menus and cheapen the cost of our food.