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it down to Honiton's realisation of the short period of freedom that remained to him. His observant eyes had not failed to notice the growing intimacy between Honiton and Jocelyn Upton, but he was far from a perception of the real relation between them. That was such an unexpected development, even to the two principally concerned, that he could hardly have anticipated it. He had been thinking of Honiton and his dreary future when the man himself entered the cabin. Brown looked up, but did not meet the usual friendly smile that could make Honiton’s face so pleasant to look on, nor was there any answer to his word of greeting. Honiton sat down heavily, and, elbows on knees, sunk his head in his hands. Peter Brown looked at him in dismay. The man was taking his false position desperately to heart, he thought. Placing a kindly hand on the humped shoulder, he rocked his prisoner gently to and fro. “Don’t take it to heart, Honiton,” he said with clumsy sympathy. There was no answer. Honiton did not even look up. The detective removed his hand, and used it to scrape his lean jaw as he stood looking down on his prisoner. He was filled with a pity that he could not express. His imagination pictured Honiton with close-cropped hair—in prison clothes—exercising in a file of beetle-browed criminals. He
had never felt like this for a prisoner before—but then he had never before had a prisoner like this. So long as Honiton had retained his spirits, his careless manner, and his cheery laugh, this aching sympathy had lain dormant, unperceived by himself, and now it surprised him by its intensity. The very fervour of it lifted him from his awkwardness, and gave him words. He sat down beside the tortured man, and placed a long skinny arm round his shoulders. “Cheer up, Honiton,” he Said. “You’ve stuck it well up to now. Forget the future until it comes, and then face it like a man. It may not be so very bad after all. With luck and an easy judge you may get off lightly, and before you know it you'll be out— making a fresh start in life.” Honiton's head sunk more deeply in his hands. He gave no other sign that he heard. “Anything I can do to make it easier for you I'll do,” went on Peter Brown. “I can never forget what you did for me at Waletta. I admit I never expected to see you again, and when you walked in I had the biggest surprise of my life. Honiton, if you had the pluck to do that, you're surely not the man to fail when it comes to taking punishment l’’
shook off the sympathetic arm his head, and returned to the that was 80 far from his hated task of tying a bow. deserts.
The graceless travesty that his Peter Brown was acutely efforts produced was no worse unhappy at his powerlessness than usual, but he sighed again to help, for pity is a poor at his ineptitude as he looked consolation to a man in his at the result. trouble.
There was a knock upon the “I hate to see you flopped door-a light hesitating knock out like this, man,” he ven- that could not be mistaken for tured again, twisting his long the sharp rat-tat of the steward. thin fingers until they hurt. Peter opened the door and saw “I never realised until now Joan Conliffe standing outside, how much you must be suffer- her usually pale face dead white ing, and what an effort it must and fearful. be to show a smiling face all “Come quickly," she said, the time. I thought you must almost in a whisper. “Come be callous. It shows how easy as you are. I mustn't be away it is to misjudge a man.” a moment. He may wake up
Honiton got up and stood before we get back." looking at the floor.
She did not ask for help, so “You're a good sort, Brown," sure of him was she. Peter he said in a flat toneless voice. Brown did not hesitate. He “I believe you'd trust me after picked up his old coat and that affair at Malta."
slipped his arms into it, and “You've played the game joined her in the passage. so fairly that I believe you'd She hurried along in front act square by me so long as of him without explanation, our bargain is in force," replied and opened the door of her own the detective. “More than cabin. The detective followed that I wouldn't expect." her in.
Honiton looked up at him The latch clicked as the door steadily, determination slowly closed, and the sharp sound shaping in his face. For a time was sufficient to arouse the he said nothing, then, with a sleeper. He started up and visible effort, he spoke.
looked wildly out. “I will act squarely by you, “God! They're back again," old friend. Whatever it may he cried, his eyes upon the cost, I can't let you down." floor. “Who broke the string
He exhaled a long breath as and let them loose: I swear though his own words had I didn't. Catch them, Joan, brought him relief, and stepped or they'll crawl out and give briskly to the door.
me away." "I'll see you at dinner, He leapt from the bunk, Brown," he said, and went out and, on his knees upon the quickly.
Peter Brown sighed, shook after the non-existent, whining
them on them a give
own sighed, shoar carpet, grabbe knees upon the e trust I give
said to his
and snarling as the imaginary safely with him here. We'll jewels escaped his clutch, watch and watch "
Brown, ignorant of what had “You're sure, Joan Pergone before, was deeply shocked. haps he's kidded you, so's he The sight of Charlie's wild face could get in.” and staring eyes, the monstrous “Nonsense. You can safely incongruity of his pale blue trust him.” silk pyjamas printed with gay. “I give you my word I am coloured butterflies, his bare your friend,” said Peter Brown, ugly feet with toes doubled striving to give to his words under, and calloused bulbous an earnestness that would conheels upturned, horrified him. vey conviction. “Come, old To him it was indecent that chap, lie down. Your wife the woman should be present. and I will see to everything.”
She, her courage restored by Between them they got him his support, bent and tried to back to his bunk, and there raise her husband from the ensued the ghastly farce of floor.
collecting the imaginary dia“Come on, Joan, help,” he monds from the floor under cried. “They slip through my Charlie's frenzied directions. fingers."
Gradually he quietened as they “Never mind, Charlie," she humoured his delusion, until said quietly. “Get back to at last he saw no more, and bed. I'll gather them up for lay back exhausted. you. Come."
Joan held his hand, and “You won't let any of them again he dropped into a give you the slip! They're so troubled sleep. damned quick, and as cunning Peter Brown, meanwhile, had as hell."
been thinking deeply. It was “No, no, Charlie. Come.” plain that the accusation of
“ All right, old girl. You're the theft of Lady Pilth's jewels a good sort. Put them in a had worked upon Conliffe's box and hide them. If he sees mind until he had become them I'm done."
convinced of its truth. It So far he had taken no was that, and that alone, that notice of Peter Brown. His had driven him to the exeyes had been too intent upon cessive drinking that had led their own delusions. He saw to this. If only he could be him now, and clung to his wife convinced of his own innocence in fresh terror.
he might be brought back to “He's got me, Joan. Keep sanity. him off-keep him off! I He caught Joan Conliffe's never meant to do it !”
eyes fixed on him question“No, no, Charlie,” said Joan ingly. She removed her hand soothingly. “He has come to gently from her husband's, help us keep him out. He is a and crossed silently to Peter friend. You can sleep quite Brown.
“What is to be done ” she not understand the look of whispered hopelessly.
fresh horror that came into “ You cannot stay with him her eyes at his words. He -like this,” replied Brown. assumed that she thought he, “ We must tell Captain Spedley too, had lost his balance. and arrange for a steward to “Don't be afraid," he said nurse him."
reassuringly, under that im. “No, no," whispered Joan, pression. “I can get them, “That would make him worse. though I didn't want to do He would be sure to think he it if it could have been had been caught. I must avoided." stay with him. I have quieted The mistaken knowledge that him twice yet I am afraid.” she held, that he was a thief,
“Then I must stay too. had never really come home to You cannot be alone with him. her. It was in the past-away But first I want to try an from her experience of him. experiment. If I can only But Lady Pilth's jewels! And convince him that he is in- he spoke calmly of the pronocent -- it might pull him duction of them, as though he round. Will you watch him had no shame in his guilt. for a few minutes ? I shall She looked at him with a dumb not be long away. He is sleep- horror. ing more quietly now."
“I shall be back almost at “ What do you mean to once," he said. “I hate to do ” asked Joan, a strange leave you alone with him, but fear coming into her mind. this means so much, if it will
“Bring the real diamonds !” only work.” whispered Peter Brown.
He slipped from the cabin, He knew nothing of what she and closed the door noiselessly had been told earlier, and could behind him.
(To be continued.)
SOME months ago my daugh- welcome guest; but heaven ter, who is rather of an acquisi- preserve me from a monkey, tive disposition, suddenly elec- which, for all I knew to the trified me at the breakfast contrary, might be expected to table by the following an- eat and sleep inside the house. nouncement
Moreover, the beast bites. “Father, I have quite made “Well, if you really want a up my mind to buy either a goat, I'll give you one." monkey or a goat.”
“A nice Nanny - goat, As the young lady has a father?" weird habit of getting her own “It certainly won't be a way, I forbore to argue the Billy," I responded, having point, and at once plumped many years ago had a far too for the latter animal. A goat, intimate acquaintance with an I reflected, would be kept in evil-smelling patriarch of the its proper place — the stable tribe, who went by the name or a shed-and would eat of “Sweet William.” The very grass and superfluous vege- charming and hospitable family tables; also it might on occa- to whom William belonged sion act as an additional safety- kept him—80 I was once invalve for the feelings of my formed for old association's much-respected but somewhat sake. My own experience of short - tempered housekeeper, association with the old warrior who, when anything goes criss- was that he left his taint on cross in the household, finds hands and clothes for a solid consolation in dosing my two fortnight. long - suffering dogs, who, “You'll have to milk the strange to relate, simply adore creature," I presently reher. I may add that I have marked. been informed on good au- “Oh! I shall love to milk thority that the dogs really her, and-you'll buy the milk.” play the part of whipping- As the result of a telephonic boys to myself—in other words, communication with a friendly that I am the real culprit, as auctioneer, I reaped the followhaving interfered with the ing information : housekeeper's province. In 1st. That ours being a goaty fact, “Quidquid delirant reges, district, a good many of plectuntur Achivi.” All I can · the animals came into the say is, that so long as the local market. good lady does not interfere 2nd. That owing to the War with my internal economy, I and other causes, the price am content to let her have her for Nanny-goats ruled high, own way either with dog-or and I might have to pay goat. A goat, then, might as much as two guineas be a tolerable if not wholly for a good specimen.