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A Woman Intervenes   By: (1850-1912)

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First Page:

A WOMAN INTERVENES

BY

ROBERT BARR

AUTHOR OF

'IN THE MIDST OF ALARMS,' 'IN A STEAMER CHAIR,' 'FROM WHOSE BOURNE,' ETC.

WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY HAL HURST

1896

TO

MY FRIEND

HORACE HART

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

'I HAD NO INTENTION OF INSULTING YOU' Frontispiece

WENTWORTH SHOWED HER HOW TO TURN IT ROUND

MISS JENNIE ALLOWED HIM TO ADJUST THE WRAPS AROUND HER

'OH, YES! YOU WILL STAY,' CRIED THE OTHER

SHE WALKED ALONE UP AND DOWN THE PROMENADE

SHE SPRANG SUDDENLY TO HER FEET

'YOU HAVE A PRODIGIOUS HEAD FOR BUSINESS'

EDITH LONGWORTH HAD SAT DOWN BESIDE HIM

CHAPTER I.

The managing editor of the New York Argus sat at his desk with a deep frown on his face, looking out from under his shaggy eyebrows at the young man who had just thrown a huge fur overcoat on the back of one chair, while he sat down himself on another.

'I got your telegram,' began the editor. 'Am I to understand from it that you have failed?'

'Yes, sir,' answered the young man, without the slightest hesitation.

'Completely?'

'Utterly.'

'Didn't you even get a synopsis of the documents?'

'Not a hanged synop.'

The editor's frown grew deeper. The ends of his fingers drummed nervously on the desk.

'You take failure rather jauntily, it strikes me,' he said at last.

'What's the use of taking it any other way? I have the consciousness of knowing that I did my best.'

'Um, yes. It's a great consolation, no doubt, but it doesn't count in the newspaper business. What did you do?'

'I received your telegram at Montreal, and at once left for Burnt Pine most outlandish spot on earth. I found that Kenyon and Wentworth were staying at the only hotel in the place. Tried to worm out of them what their reports were to be. They were very polite, but I didn't succeed. Then I tried to bribe them, and they ordered me out of the room.'

'Perhaps you didn't offer them enough.'

'I offered double what the London Syndicate was to pay them for making the report, taking their own word for the amount. I couldn't offer more, because at that point they closed the discussion by ordering me out of the room. I tried to get the papers that night, on the quiet, out of Wentworth's valise, but was unfortunately interrupted. The young men were suspicious, and next morning they left for Ottawa to post the reports, as I gathered afterwards, to England. I succeeded in getting hold of the reports, but I couldn't hang on. There are too many police in Ottawa to suit me.'

'Do you mean to tell me,' said the editor, 'that you actually had the reports in your hands, and that they were taken from you?'

'Certainly I had; and as to their being taken from me, it was either that or gaol. They don't mince matters in Canada as they do in the United States, you know.'

'But I should think a man of your shrewdness would have been able to get at least a synopsis of the reports before letting them out of his possession.'

'My dear sir,' said the reporter, rather angry, 'the whole thing covered I forget how many pages of foolscap paper, and was the most mixed up matter I ever saw in my life. I tried I sat in my room at the hotel, and did my best to master the details. It was full of technicalities, and I couldn't make it out. It required a mining expert to get the hang of their phrases and figures, so I thought the best thing to do was to telegraph it all straight through to New York. I knew it would cost a lot of money, but I knew, also, you didn't mind that; and I thought, perhaps, somebody here could make sense out of what baffled me; besides, I wanted to get the documents out of my possession just as quickly as possible.'

'Hem!' said the editor. 'You took no notes whatever?'

'No, I did not. I had no time. I knew the moment they missed the documents they would have the detectives on my track... Continue reading book >>




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