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Ex Libris

First published in Amazing Stories, September 1927

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2018
Version Date: 2018-12-09
Produced by Matthias Kaether and Roy Glashan

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Amazing Stories, September 1927, with "The Radio Ghost"

This remarkable story, made so principally by the fact that radio enters into it, is one of the most ingenious we have ever read. The best part about the story, however, is that the radio principles throughout the story are quite accurate. There is nothing fantastic about it, and the thing can be duplicated by any good radio man today. Here, then, is a scientifiction story, thrilling, mysterious, and breath-taking, that we know you will enjoy.


I could not move in time to avoid the heavy chair.

DR. DORP looked up in annoyance when Mrs. Bream came into the room. As was my weekly custom, I had dropped into his study for a short Saturday afternoon's visit, and the talk had turned to our mutual hobby, psychic phenomena. The learned doctor's look of vexation had followed the unobtrusive entrance of his housekeeper during a somewhat heated discussion of that physically elusive but psychologically evident substance which has come to be known as ectoplasm.

"What is it, Mrs. Bream?" he asked, petulantly.

"Sorry to interrupt you, sir, but there's a young lady to see you."

"What is she selling?"

"I believe she wants to consult you professionally, sir."

"Like the book agent who called Wednesday, I suppose. Wanted my opinion of the twelve volumes he was peddling. Well, show her in. We'll soon see."

I rose to leave the room, but the doctor raised his hand.

"Keep your seat, Evans," he said. "I don't expect this interview to be either important or protracted."

I resumed my seat, but rose again immediately as a neatly dressed girl entered the room. She was small, golden haired, and quite pretty. For a moment she glanced at both of us, standing beside our chairs—then evidently decided in favor of the doctor's grizzled Van Dyke.

"I am Greta Van Loan, doctor," she said, addressing him as if sure she had spoken to the right man.

"You recognize me, then?" he asked, drawing a chair forward for her.

She sat down lightly, and with exquisite grace.

"To be sure. I have seen your picture in the papers ever so many times, usually in connection with your investigations of spiritistic phenomena."

The doctor did not appear to feel flattered. In fact, his look was rather one of boredom, as if he expected something unpleasant to grow out of this subtle blandishment. His voice, however, was quite pleasant as he replied.

"Indeed. Will you tell me how I may be of service to you?"

She looked at me, and I developed a most unnecessary feeling. I rose once more, this time firmly resolved to take my leave, but again the doctor detained me.

"Miss Van Loan," he said, "allow me to present Mr. Evans, my friend and colleague. Like me, he is an investigator of the supernormal in psychic phenomena."

Her acknowledgement of the introduction was accompanied by a charming smile that immediately put me at my ease.

"I have heard of your work in connection with that of Dr. Dorp," she said. "How fortunate that I find you two together—especially as my reason for coming to see the doctor has a direct bearing on the very subject that seems to be of interest to both of you. Won't you stay?"

I relapsed once more into my chair.

The doctor, I observed, had pricked up his ears like a hound on a hot trail. He leaned forward in his chair and pressed the tips of his fingers together—an attitude he always assumed when absorbed in a problem that was of intense interest to him.

"Miss Van Loan," he began, "you are not by any chance a relative of my old friend and fellow worker, Gordon Van Loan?"

"I am his niece."

"Indeed. I begin to understand your interest in spiritistic phenomena. Dense of me not to have thought of it before."

"But, doctor, I am not interested in spiritistic phenomena."

"Eh? Not interested? I'm afraid I don't—"

"I have always feared and detested the very thought of meeting or communicating with the disembodied spirits."

"Really, Miss Van Loan, you surprise me," said the doctor. "Your uncle, up to the very time of his death, was an ardent supporter of the spiritistic hypothesis. I have had many a private debate with him on the subject."

"I am aware of that. I, too, have argued the subject with him when it was forced on me. Until three days ago I was as firm an unbeliever as you. But now—I don't know what to think. It seems that my uncle, even in death, has resolved to force his belief upon me."

"You mean that he has appeared to you?"

"I'm not sure, but strange things—terrible, enervating things have happened since I began to carry out the provisions of my uncle's will."

"He left his entire fortune to you, did he not?"

"Yes, but with a provision which I am afraid I won't be able to carry out. He stipulated that I must live in his old home in Highland Park continuously for one year, and that if I should fail to do so everything would revert to my cousin, Ernest Hegel, or in the event of his failure to carry out the provision, to the Society for Psychical Research."

"Your uncle was reputed to be quite wealthy."

"He left something over half a million, most of which was in first mortgage real estate bonds, in addition to the home and estate, which is estimated to be worth at least a hundred thousand."

"Quite a sizeable bequest, and, it seems to me, an ample recompense for the condition imposed with it."

"So I thought too, until I spent a night in that awful house. It was then that I began to realize the full import of his explanation of the reasons for his unusual provision."

"Just what was his explanation?"

"I can give you his exact words. In the last three days they have burned themselves into my very soul. He said: "—for when I return to prove the reality of life after death it is not unreasonable to ask the person who benefits so materially by this will to be on hand to greet me, and to receive and transmit my message of hope and good cheer to the misguided scoffers, who, by their very attitude, prevent their departed loved ones from communicating with them."

"Hem. And have you received the message, or something purporting to be the message?"

"Not exactly, but there have been indications of a strange and terrible presence in that house—an elusive, disembodied entity that, while not a creature of flesh and blood, exercises an uncanny power over material objects as well as living creatures."

"I see. And the manifestations?"

"Ghostly raps, shuffling footsteps in rooms that are untenanted, overturned furniture and broken china, strange sickening odors suggestive of the dank mustiness of the tomb, lights darkened and suddenly lighted again with no evidence of switches or of fuses having been tampered with, the touch of cold hands in the dark, doors opening and closing in the dead of night, the icy breath—"

"The icy breath? What is that?"

"It is the most convincing evidence of my uncle's presence in the house. Although the last three days and nights have been exceptionally warm, even for August, I have felt it, and the servants have felt it—a moving current of air with a dank, charnel odor, as cold as a wind from the icebound Arctic circle. As you are no doubt aware, my uncle was an ardent admirer of the famous Italian medium, Eusapia Palladino. One of the most baffling manifestations which she is said to have produced time and again in the presence of investigating scientists, was the icy breath—a cold breeze that appeared to come from her forehead when she was in a trance. Many scoffed, but none could explain this remarkable phenomenon. My uncle often referred to it in his lectures. He has written several papers regarding it for spiritistic publications."

"And living creatures, you say, have been affected?"

"Yes, Sandy, my Airedale terrier, has not been himself since he entered the house. He has bristled and growled repeatedly, for no apparent reason. Although he has always been a most friendly and playful pet, he now slinks about the house like some vicious creature of the jungle, or mopes in corners, avoiding all human companionship and barely tasting food and water. This morning he snapped at my hand when I attempted to pat his head—something he has never done before. The servants, too, have seen, heard and felt the things that have affected me, but being spiritualists, they glory in them rather than fear them. Man and wife they have worked for my uncle for the past ten years, the man acting as gardener, chauffeur and butler, the woman as cook and housekeeper."

"And your cousin, Ernest Hegel. Is he, too, stopping with you at present?"

"No. Cousin Ernest sailed for Germany last Saturday. He is American representative for a Berlin dye and chemical manufacturer, and was sent for by his concern."

"Then he is a German citizen?"

"His father was German, but he was born in America, hence he is an American citizen. His mother, like my father and Uncle Gordon, was American, of Holland Dutch descent. Part of his education was received at Heidelberg, and he took a post-graduate course in chemistry and bacteriology in Vienna. When the war broke out, his sympathy for the land of his father was what turned my uncle against him."

"And consequently made you the preferred heir?"

"I think that has something to do with it, although I disagreed as thoroughly with Uncle Gordon in his pet hobby, spiritism, as Ernest did on questions of our international relations."

"Do any of the manifestations you speak of occur in the daytime?"

"None, except the queer behavior of my dog."

"Hem. You have stated a very interesting case, Miss Van Loan. I, for one, will be very glad to investigate the phenomena which have been troubling you."

"And I will be glad to go, too, if you want me," I said.

The young lady seemed pleased. "I hope that I may have the help of both of you—and soon," she said earnestly. The doctor turned to me. "How about going this evening?" he asked. "Suits me."

"Good. We can drive out easily in an hour. You may expect us about dusk, Miss Loan." "You know the address?"

"I have visited your uncle several times, and he has also been my guest here."

"To be sure. I have heard uncle Gordon speak of you. Goodby, until dusk—and thank you, much."

OUR drive, that evening, through the red-gold light of the waning afternoon, was both pleasant and uneventful. After a sultry day in the loop, it was refreshing to ride through the cool, tree-shaded north shore suburbs. Dr. Dorp, as was his wont when on the trail of a new mystery, was in the best of spirit—laughing and chatting gaily.

We arrived in Highland Park just at dusk, and presently turned into a narrow driveway which circled through a heavily wooded estate. At first no house was visible, but presently, as we wound through the darkest and gloomiest copse we had yet encountered, it came unexpectedly into view—an ancient brick homestead of the Dutch Colonial type, with gables that drooped despondently, and chimneys surmounted by double tiles that stood out against the background of gray sky like headless torsos with arms upraised to heaven.

As we drew up before the entrance, the noise of the doctor's motor ceased, and from just beyond the background of trees, there came a throbbing, pulsating murmur which had not previously been audible to us, announcing the proximity of Lake Michigan.

Scarcely had we set foot on the porch, when the door opened silently and a gray-haired, white-jacketed man with burning gray eyes that looked out from hollow recesses in a pale, wrinkled, and cadaverous countenance, stood aside, hand on latch, for us to enter. So loathesome in appearance was this deathlike creature that I had a feeling of repugnance even at the thought of permitting him to take my hat in his bony, claw-like hands.

After disposing of our hats, he conducted us to a commodious living room, tastily furnished, where we were greeted by our charming hostess. Then he silently withdrew, closing the door after him.

Although she maintained a brave, calm demeanor, I noticed that the hand of Miss Van Loan was trembling as I took it in mine. The doctor, also, must have noticed this, for he quickly transferred his long, slim fingers to her pulse.

"Has anything happened?" he asked consulting his watch.

"Nothing yet, but I have been oppressed by a horrible feeling which I cannot explain. I have worried, too, for fear something might prevent your coming."

"You are a very brave young woman," he said, pocketing his watch and releasing her wrist, "but you have been under exceptionally severe nervous strain. Just now you are beginning to feel the reaction. Your heart, however, is good, and I believe another night of it can do you no permanent injury. Were this not the case, I should advise you to immediately leave this house, despite the tremendous financial stake involved."

"But, doctor, do you think the—the presence, can be driven out in one night?"

"That is my hope. I have a theory—"

His speech was suddenly interrupted by a noisy rattling of the door knob—the very door which the servant had silently closed a few minutes before.

"It is coming!" said the girl breathlessly, a note of terror in her voice.

The three of us watched the door silently—intently. It opened, revealing the dimly lighted hallway, in which no living creature was visible. For a moment it remained open as if someone were standing there with a hand on the knob. Then it closed with a bang.

I felt a prickly sensation in my scalp, then started from my tracks at the sound of a throaty rumble behind me.

"That is Sandy, my Airedale," explained the girl, "hiding in the corner behind the davenport. He always growls when it comes."

"I believe he scared me worse than it" I said with a nervous laugh, sinking back on the davenport, relieved by the realization that the noise, at least, had been earthly.

"It is now in the room," said the girl. "Don't you feel a strange presence?"

"Not yet," said the doctor gravely.

We waited breathlessly for the next manifestation. For several minutes the only sounds I could hear were those which drifted through the two open windows, one on each side of the fireplace—the clatter of frogs, the piping of nocturnal insects, the incessant muffled roar of the surf on the beach, and the occasional call of a night bird. Then a heavy poker, which had been leaning against the fireplace, clattered to the tiles, slid across them, and progressed with a queer jerky motion across the rug to the center of the room. It remained there for a moment, then twirled around and came straight toward me, still with the same jerky motion. When it seemed about to strike my feet I drew them up, half expecting the thing to leap at me.

Despite this singular and, to me, inexplicable phenomenon, Dr. Dorp maintained, unruffled, his look of complete absorption. The girl, however, was manifestly alarmed.

"Be careful, Mr. Evans," she said tensely. "I'm afraid it may hurt you."

Somehow I did not want to appear cowardly in the eyes of this girl. The heavy poker which had performed such amazing antics now lay quiescent, and apparently quite harmless, at my feet.

Simulating a calmness which I was far from feeling, I bent over and picked the thing up. I was examining it minutely, half expecting to find some mechanical attachment which would prove the whole thing a hoax, when it was suddenly and forcibly jerked from my grasp. It thumped to the floor, then spun half around and traveled jerkily back to the fireplace.

"What made you drop it?" asked the doctor. "Wasn't hot, was it?"

When I told him that it had been jerked from my hands, he seemed surprised.

"Are you sure you didn't just drop it from—ah—nervousness?"


"Hem. Strange."

We sat for several minutes without incident. Then I noticed that the lights were growing dim. I concentrated my gaze on the filaments of the reading lamp beside me. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, they were losing their incandescence.

Presently the room was in darkness, save for the dim twilight which came through the two windows. I could barely discern the figures of my two companions, blending with the shadowy outlines of the chairs in which they sat. A strange, musty odor assailed my nostrils. I felt a cold touch on the back of my hand, and automatically jerked it away. Then a breeze, icy cold, chilled me to the marrow. The dog growled ominously.

A light thud, as if some object had fallen, attracted my attention to the center of the room. Scarcely crediting the evidence of my senses, I saw a pale, luminous figure rising from the floor. The thing was irregular in outline, and swayed this way and that as if wafted by eddying air currents. Taller and taller it grew, until, when it had reached a height of nearly six feet, it bore some resemblance to a human figure shrouded in a white, filmy material.

Although my flesh crept and chills chased each other up and down my spine, I remembered that I was here to investigate this thing, and rising, forced myself to walk stealthily toward the center of the room. As I approached the grim wraith it grew taller, towering menacingly above me, and a queer, sickening odor became momentarily stronger—an odor which might have been produced by a combination of the fumes of brimstone with the offensive effluvium of putrefying flesh.

By the time I was within two feet of the thing I was nearly strangled by its horrible stench, but I had made up my mind to test its solidity at last, and stretched out my hand to touch it. The hand encountered no resistance. Moving it horizontally, I passed my hand clear through it from side to side. By this time my eyes were watering so badly from the effect of the acrid fumes that I was scarcely able to see. Then the lights flashed on, completely blinding me for a moment with their brilliance. A moment later I was able to see clearly.

A cry from Dr. Dorp aroused me.

"Quick, Evans," he said," the girl has fainted. We must get her into the open air."

He was endeavoring to lift her himself, but found her weight too much for him. Being his junior by some thirty-five years, and of a rather more substantial build, I found her slight form no burden whatever.

"Open the doors, doctor," I said. "I'll do the rest."

I had lifted the girl from the chair, and was turning toward the door, the doctor meanwhile advancing to open it. Before he could do so, however, the latch rattled, and the door swung open by itself. Quick as a flash, the doctor sprang out into the hall, peering this way and that.

"Nobody here," he said. "Come on."

I followed him down the hallway, this time close at his heels, with the girl still lying limply in my arms. He extended his hand, about to open the door which led to the front porch, when the knob turned, and this second door was opened as if by some invisible presence. Once more the doctor sprang forward, only to find the porch untenanted.

I laid the still unconscious girl in the porch swing, at the behest of the doctor, who informed me that she would regain consciousness more quickly in a reclining position.

"Now fan her with this magazine, Evans," he instructed, handing me a copy of Science and Invention which he had taken from the porch table. He felt her pulse for a moment. "She'll be all right in a few minutes. I'm going back to that room and have a look around. Keep fanning until she is fully revived."

Interested as I was in the phenomena which were taking place, I was glad of this brief respite and a chance to inhale some fresh air. The girl, unconscious, was free from the sway of fear for the time being, and I knew from the reassuring manner of the doctor that she was in no danger. While I continued to ply the improvised fan I could hear the doctor, or someone, moving about the house.

Presently the girl's eyelids fluttered, and she began talking—her words disconnected and broken like those of one in a dream.

"Saw it—saw—spirit—Uncle Gordon. Must be—be his—ghost. Saw—put arm—through it."

Lightly I placed my hand on the smooth, cool forehead. Then she opened her eyes and looked earnestly into mine.

"What—what was I saying?" she asked, apparently quite bewildered.

"You fainted," I replied. "Don't worry. Everything is all right."

"But where is Dr. Dorp?"

"Just went in the house to look around. He'll be out in a few minutes, no doubt."

WE waited a full twenty minutes, but still the doctor did not appear. Miss Van Loan had taken one of the wicker porch chairs, assuring me that she had fully recovered. I was sitting in another. All sounds in the house had ceased, and I began to feel some apprehension for the doctor's safety.

"Do you mind staying alone for a few minutes?" I asked. "I should like to go and see if my friend is all right."

"I'll go with you," she replied, rising.

"Are you sure you are strong enough?"

"Of course. Oh, I do hope nothing happened to him. I should never forgive myself."

We met the pale houseman in the hall.

"Where is the doctor, Riggs?" she asked.

"I don't know, ma'am. I heard someone goin' up the stairs a while ago. Might have been him."

"You haven't seen him?"

"No ma'am. I come in just now to ask if you would be aneedin' of me any more this evenin'. I feel sort of tired like, after—"

"I know, Riggs. You haven't had much rest for the last three nights. You may go."

"Thank you, ma'am."

We ascended the stairs, the steps of which creaked weirdly under our weight. I could readily understand why Riggs had been able to hear them from the service quarters.

At the top was a long hallway with a door at one end, a window at the other, and two doors on either side.

Miss Van Loan opened the first door at our right, and we entered a bedroom daintily furnished in cane and ivory, with light blue hangings and spreads.

"This is my room," she informed me. "We have four bedrooms, each with a private bath and clothes closet."

I looked into the bath and clothes closet, but both were untenanted. Then we passed to the next room. This was furnished in burled walnut, with light green the prevailing color. No sign of the doctor here. The next room, which was just across the hall, was furnished in massive oak, with a taupe and maroon color scheme. Somehow it seemed thoroughly a man's room.

"This belonged to Uncle Gordon," said the girl. "It was in that bed that he died."

I looked at the bed and somehow the gray and maroon of the bolster and spread reminded me of blood trickling over a sacrificial slab of granite. With this thought came an inexplicable feeling of horror which I could not shake off.

"IT is back!" said the girl, suddenly, a note of terror in her voice. She must have had the same feeling as I, at the same time, although nothing startling had happened—at least nothing that either of us could perceive with the aid of our five senses. The bathroom was empty, and I had started for the door of the closet, when the lights suddenly went out. Once more I was conscious of the peculiar, dusty odor I had detected in the room below. The girl shrieked. Then as if in answer to her cry, I heard a hollow groan and five distinct raps, apparently coming from the direction of the bed.

The door of the closet which I had not searched was not more than a foot from the head of the bed. I could still see it, though indistinctly, by the dim, gray light which came in through the window. Although I am not superstitious, a nameless dread assailed me at the thought of approaching nearer to that bed in which the former owner of the house had breathed his last. I hesitated, berating myself for a coward and weakling—then forced myself toward the door.

As I did so, I heard more raps, not quite so pronounced as formerly, then another moan, and sounds like those of a person gasping for breath. On reaching the door, I turned the knob, but found it locked. Then my fingers touched a key just below it. I turned this with difficulty. It seemed that either the lock was stuck, or something was resisting my efforts. Releasing the key, I once more attempted to open the door. Before I could turn the knob, however, the door again locked itself. From somewhere nearby, I heard a sound which plainly resembled the death rattle!

Once more I succeeded in unlocking the door, although the key was bent in the process. Then, holding the key with my left hand, I turned the knob with my right, and applied my shoulder to the door. Someone, or some thing, was pushing against it on the other side. At first I only succeeded in moving it a fraction of an inch. Gathering my strength for a supreme effort, I forced it wide open. As I did so, a rush of icy cold air enveloped me from head to foot. Hot and perspiring from my exertions as I was, it chilled me to the marrow. My teeth chattered, and I shivered as if I had suddenly been immersed in ice water.

Within the closet all was black, as no light reached it from the window. Holding one foot against the door, which was still resisting my efforts, I lighted a match. It went out almost as soon as I struck it, but I had seen enough. Beneath a mound of clothing, evidently snatched from the hooks on the wall, lay a human figure.

Stooping, I succeeded in grasping a foot and ankle. Then I dragged the body with its accompanying mound of clothing, from the closet. By this time my fingers were so numbed with cold that I could scarcely use them. I took my foot from the door, and it closed with a vicious bang.

Miss Van Loan had apparently recovered, in some measure, from her fit of terror, for she came up beside me.

"What is it? What did you find in the closet?" she whispered, peering at the shapeless thing which lay there in the dim, gray light.

Without taking time to reply, I hastily removed the pile of miscellaneous clothing from the body. Then my hand touched a cold forehead—a hairy face.

"Open the door, quickly!" I ordered. "My God, I'm afraid we have come too late."

She promptly did as she was bidden, while I gathered the cold, still form of Dr. Dorp in my arms. Then I staggered out of the room, across the hall, down the creaking stairway, and out upon the porch, the girl following. As I laid the doctor in the swing where I had deposited the mistress of the house less than an hour before, the lights flashed on once more.

"Rouse the servants," I said. "Telephone for a doctor. Then bring hot water, towels, blankets, hot-water bottles—and some brandy."

While she was gone, I alternately slapped, kneaded and rubbed the cold flesh of my friend. She returned in a few minutes that seemed like hours, with two hot-water bottles and an armful of towels. Behind her toddled a stout, round-faced woman in a red kimono, with a steaming kettle of water in one hand and a bottle and glass in the other.

We applied the various articles with better will than skill, and a moment later Riggs appeared in bathrobe and slippers carrying four thick woolen blankets. Another ten minutes elapsed before we succeeded in even warming the flesh of our patient.

"We haven't any brandy, so I brought a bottle of Uncle Gordon's whiskey," said the girl. "Do you think we had better give him some?"

"Not yet," I replied. "It might strangle him if he has enough life left in him to strangle."

The rumble of a motor sounded in the driveway, and two bright headlights flashed on the porch. A coupé pulled up with shrieking brakes and a young man, carrying a small satchel, got out and dashed up the steps.

"This way, Dr. Graves," called the girl, beckoning him to the swing where my friend lay.

"Why, it's Dr. Dorp!" said the young physician, taking the pulse of my friend. "What happened to him?"

"Asphyxiation," I replied, "and exposure to extreme cold."

Dr. Graves took a stethoscope from his case and used it for a few moments.

"The doctor has sustained quite a severe shock," he said, "but he is doing nicely now. There is nothing I can give him or do for him at this stage which will help matters. Fresh air and warmth are our best allies now."

MY friend regained consciousness five minutes later. He immediately recognized Dr. Graves, who had attended a number of his lectures before members of the medical fraternity, and had entered into discussions with him.

While the two were talking, the housekeeper went in for some hot water, lemon and sugar for a toddy. She had only been absent for a few minutes when we were all alarmed by the sound of barking and snarling within the house, punctuated by piercing screams.

Dr. Graves was the first to reach the door, where he paused. I attempted to force my way past him, but he stayed me with his arm.

"Get back, woman!" he shouted to someone within. "Get back and close the door. The creature is mad."

At the far end of the hall, I saw the stout wife of the house man apparently rooted to the floor by horror. Just in front of her, the Airedale, growling and snarling savagely, was rapidly demolishing the upholstering of a beautiful antique settee. The hairy jaws of the creature were flecked with white foam, and the eyes were bloodshot and unnaturally luminescent from extreme dilation of the pupils.

Seeing the peril in which the poor woman was placed, I caught up one of the porch chairs and rushed past the doctor. The dog took no notice of me until I swung at it with the chair. Then it dodged with surprising dexterity and leaped for my throat, just as two of the chair legs were shattered against the floor. I managed to elude it by quickly crouching behind the chair back, so that it passed clear over my head.

It was up again in an instant, however, and I had all I could do to protect myself from its leaps by fencing with the remains of the chair. Almost before I was aware of it, the beast had backed me into the living room. Then, to my horror, the door closed, and the lights winked out.

I shall never forget the battle I fought in that dark room. That which had been a shaggy creature of flesh and bone in the light, had become a pair of burning orbs, set in a shadowy form, that leaped, snapped, and snarled in a manner which was twice as terrifying as its former attacks had been when each move was completely visible. Now I was guided only by the movements of the luminous eyes, whereas I had previously been able to forecast each hostile move or leap by the crouch or muscular tension which preceded it.

Using the chair as a shield, I eventually managed to circle back to the door. With one hand I attempted to turn the knob, while I manipulated the chair with the other. The door was locked. I immediately felt below for the key, recalling that it had been there earlier in the evening. It was gone!

My canine adversary made a determined leap that forced me to one side. Then someone pounded on the door, and I heard the voice of Dr. Graves.

"Unlock the door, Mr. Evans. I have a gun and electric torch."

"There is no key on this side," I replied. Then I caught a glimpse of a light flashing through the keyhole and wondered what had become of the key.

"It must have fallen to the floor on that side," said the young doctor. "I cannot find it in the hall."

I again succeeded in maneuvering to a position in front of the door. Then I tramped about in front of it until my shoe struck a hard object. Stooping, I picked it up, and rejoiced to find that the doctor had been right. Again using one hand to manipulate the chair, I inserted the key in the lock and managed to turn it, though with considerable difficulty.

"Turn the knob," I shouted, "and push."

The knob turned, and the door opened behind me. A beam of light shot past me, for a moment illuminating the hairy face and dripping fangs of the brute. Then a shot rang out, the light faded from the luminous eyes, and the beast sank slowly to the floor, blood gushing from its mouth and nostrils.

"Good shot, doctor," I said, turning and releasing my hold on the battered chair. To my surprise I saw Miss Van Loan holding the flashlight in one hand and a smoking pistol in the other, while great tears trickled down her cheeks.

"You!" I cried.

"I was holding these while the doctor went for a ladder," she said. "He was going to try to help you by climbing up to the window. Then I heard you call. Poor Sandy."

"Too bad you had to kill your pet," I replied, closing the door and relieving her of gun and torch.

"W-wasn't it horrible?" she sobbed. "B-but I had to do it. He might have k-killed you."

I was about to thank her for having saved my life when the young doctor suddenly came up from the basement, dragging a stepladder. Seeing us standing there in the hall, he laid it down and joined us.

"You have been rescued, I see," he said.

"Most bravely," I replied.

"Did the beast bite or scratch you?"


"Are you sure? Sometimes a wound goes unnoticed in the heat of combat. Perhaps I had better look you over. I am reasonably sure the dog had hydrophobia."

He forthwith examined me with the aid of the flashlight. I had not known it before, but my left coat sleeve was torn, and my arm was bleeding where the sharp fang; had raked it.

"Infected," he said, "and of course I have no serum with me. Come out on the porch."

On the porch, he made a ligature with a towel and a pair of long scissors. Then he took a bottle and some cotton from his case and drenched the wounds with silver nitrate.

"Better come to the hospital with me at once for a serum treatment," he advised. "It may save your life."

"But I can't leave my friends " I began.

"Nonsense," interrupted Dr. Dorp, who was sitting up, although still muffled in a blanket. "Miss Van Loan and I will be all right here on the porch until you get back."

"Of course," said the girl. "You have put your life in sufficient jeopardy as it is, Mr. Evans."

Thus admonished, I got into the coupé with the young doctor, and we set out for the hospital.

"Queer thing the way that door shut and locked itself," he said, when we emerged on the smooth paving of Sheridan Road. "The key must have been half turned in the lock when the wind blew it shut. The jar locked it and shook out the key."

Although I did not feel that his explanation of the phenomenon was a true one, I decided not to debate the matter with him, as it was evident that Miss Van Loan did not want it known among her acquaintances that there were strange goings on in her home.

"It was odd," I agreed.

"Too bad that the lights had to go out just when they did, too," he went on. "A most unfortunate coincidence."

"It was," I said, with mental reservations.

AN hour later at the hospital, my wound was dressed and a considerable quantity of serum injected into my blood stream. Then I called a cab which got me back to my friends shortly after midnight.

I found Dr. Dorp dozing in one of the porch chairs with a blanket around him, and Miss Van Loan, completely exhausted, asleep in the swing.

"Better try to get some rest in one of these chairs," said the doctor. "There is nothing further we can do until morning."

I was not loath to follow his suggestion, and soon drifted into a fitful, dream-haunted slumber from which I did not thoroughly awaken until the slanting rays of the morning sun struck me full in the face.

For a moment I sat there, blinking in the bright light, trying to remember where I was. Then the sound of a low cough from the doorway caused me to turn. I beheld the cadaverous face and angular form of Riggs.

"Good morning, sir," he said.

"Good morning, Riggs."

"Will you have your bath hot or cold, Sir?"

"The colder the better."

"Thank you, sir."

A few moments later I was shaving with a razor which Riggs informed me had belonged to his late master, while a sizable column of cold water roared into the tub. While I bathed and dressed, the houseman repaired the rent in my sleeve. A half hour afterward, feeling greatly rested and refreshed, I went down to breakfast. Miss Van Loan met me in the dining room where places had been laid for two.

"Dr. Dorp left early this morning for the city," she informed me. "He asked me to have you wait here until his return this afternoon."

"He could not have set me a more pleasant task," I replied, receiving my cup of coffee from the hand of my charming hostess. "Did he mention what urgent business took him to the city?"

"Something about some investigations he wished to make, and some paraphernalia he would need for tonight," she said. "He was in a great hurry. Wouldn't even stop for a bite of breakfast."

"That is his way," I replied, "when engrossed in a particularly interesting investigation. He will probably neither eat nor drink until the mystery has been solved."

"And will that be soon?"

"I believe it will."

"Just what is your opinion, Mr. Evans, of the things you saw last night?"

"I'm afraid," I replied, "that my opinion at this time is not of much value. Frankly, I have been mystified. I have theories, of course, but they are, after all, only theories."

"Do you believe it was the ghost of Uncle Gordon that we saw in the living room last night?"

"I don't believe in ghosts."

"Then what was it? What could have caused it? What could have caused doors to lock and unlock, to open and close without the touch of human hands? What could have caused the intense cold—the poker to creep across the floor as if it were alive? What drove my dog mad with fear?"

"The dog," I replied, "showed symptoms of hydrophobia."

"That is what Dr. Dorp thought, although he was not sure. He took the carcass with him, wrapped in a sheet, for examination."

"Then his opinion confirms that of Dr. Graves."

"I don't see how poor Sandy could have gotten it," she said. "He hasn't been near any other animal, and I understand he would have to be scratched or bitten by one to become infected."

"The examination will show whether or not he had hydrophobia, and I hope he hadn't," I replied, "for a very personal reason. Just how he contracted it, of course, may never be known."

"For your sake, I too hope that he didn't have it. You are in grave danger, are you not, from that bite?"

"Not so bad as all that. A comparatively short time ago it was the equivalent of a death warrant to be bitten by a rabid animal. Modern science, however, has made death from hydrophobia a rarity when treatment is administered in time."

THE remainder of the day was spent quite pleasantly, strolling about the grounds and on the white, foam-edged beach, or lolling on the large, comfortable porch.

We had dinner at six, and I was enjoying a cigar in the swing shortly thereafter, when I heard the throb of a motor in the driveway and the big car of Dr. Dorp came into view.

He drove up to the curb, and I saw that he had four men with him. Each was carrying a large package covered with khaki. The packages were placed on the porch, and the doctor presented his four companions, as Mr. Easton, civil engineer, Mr. Brandon, electrical engineer, and Messrs. Hogan and Rafferty, detectives. At a sign from the doctor, the two detectives immediately strolled out into the shrubbery.

"We're going to make a few preparations for the show this evening," he said, addressing me. "Want to come along?"

"Of course."

"All right. Each man grab a bundle. We haven't much time before dark."

I took up one of the khaki-wrapped packages, which was far from light, and each other man did likewise. The doctor led the way around the house, and down to the beach.

Directly behind the house we unwrapped two of the packages. One proved to be a set of surveyor's instruments which the civil engineer quickly assembled. The other looked very much like a radio set with its loop aerials and dials, although there was no speaker or head-phone with it. The radio set was placed on a small folding table, and Mr. Easton sighted from that point, while I acted as roadman and Mr. Brandon as chainman. We measured off a distance of two thousand feet in a straight line along the beach, the doctor following with the other package. At that point, the other radio-like machine was assembled and placed on a folding table. We left Mr. Brandon with this machine, and went back to the first one.

"Now, Evans," said my friend. "You and Mr. Easton go back to the house and keep Miss Van Loan company. As soon as it begins to get dark go into the living room and occupy the same positions as last night. Mr. Easton has a false beard with him, and will be disguised to look like me. Caution Miss Van Loan, when she is inside the house, to address Mr. Easton by my name. Do not, under any circumstances, tell her this while you are in the house. When you hear my motor racing outside, come out. Mr. Easton will remain. Rafferty will then go in to take your place. Is everything clear?"


We found Miss Van Loan on the porch, and I whispered our plans to her while Easton adjusted his whiskers. He was about the same build and height as the doctor, and thus disguised, bore considerable resemblance to him.

We chatted on the porch until dusk, then went into the living room and took our seats. Presently the door opened and closed as on the night before. Then the lights went out. Hearing a rustling sound near the door, I looked, and saw the gleaming print of a human foot forming on the carpet. In a moment another had formed in front of it while the rustling sound continued. The first footprint disappeared and a third formed in front of the second. It was as if some invisible entity were walking toward the center of the room, leaving luminous tracks which disappeared each time a foot was lifted.

The footprints stopped, and drew together, side by side, in the center of the room. Then there was a slight thump, and a wispy form, similar to the one we had seen the night before, began to materialize while the two footprints slowly faded. The thing reached a height of more than six feet, wobbling this way and that as if scarcely able to support its own weight, while the horrible odor we had noticed the night before permeated the room.

Suddenly the lights flashed on, and the apparition disappeared. Noticing that there was something glistening on the floor where the thing had stood, I went over to investigate. There was a small pool of clear, foul-smelling liquid rapidly soaking into the rug. As I bent over to examine it I heard a cry of warning from the girl and a quick movement behind me. I turned, but could not move in time to avoid the heavy chair which was rushing toward me. It knocked me flat, fell over me, righted itself, and came back, apparently bent on my destruction. I managed to roll oui of its way and get to my feet, but it promptly chased me to the davenport, behind which I took shelter.

"Holy mackerel!" exclaimed the pseudo Dr. Dorp.

The chair, apparently realizing that it was baffled, swung about and quickly returned to its place in the corner.

The phenomena, thus far, including the materialization of the spectre, had taken a little more than half an hour. I heard the sound for which I had been listening—the roar of the doctor's motor.

"A remarkable chair, doctor," I said. "The thing rather fagged me. I think I'll step out on the porch for a breath of cool air."

The door obligingly opened for me when I left the room. The front door, however, was already open. Rafferty was standing on the porch.

"Go on down to the car," he whispered. "The doctor's waitin' for you."

I went, and climbed into the front seat beside the doctor. Detective Hogan was in the back seat. We whirled away with moaning gears.

The doctor handed me a folded map.

"Open this, will you, Evans?" he requested. "Hold it beneath the dash-light. I don't want to miss the road."

I opened it, and found it was a detailed map of Lake County. A large triangle had been traced on the paper, its smallest angle resting on a spot marked with an X, apparently some eight miles due west of our present location.

"Does X mark the spot where the body was found?" I asked, as we spun around onto Sheridan Road on two wheels.

"It marks the spot where I expect to find the source of Miss Van Loan's troubles," replied the doctor. "It isn't far, as the crow flies, but there is no through road to it. We have a roundabout trip of about sixteen miles ahead of us."

WE continued north on Sheridan Road for nearly four miles. Then we swung west at Highwood, continuing in this direction for about eight miles. Turning south on the Milwaukee road at Halfday, we covered another three miles of road before the doctor slowed his terrific pace.

"Take the wheel now, will you?" he requested, "and drive slowly."

We changed places, and I started off at a speed of about ten miles an hour. The doctor lifted a small portable radio set from behind the back seat, adjusted the tuning dials, and slowly moved the loop aerial back and forth until there was an angry buzz from inside the machine. He then continued to slowly turn the loop aerial as we moved along, apparently with the purpose of keeping it in a position where the machine would buzz the loudest.

I noticed that, at first, the direction of the loop only made a very slight deviation from the direction in which we were going. Gradually, however, the deviation grew greater until the loop stood at right angles to our course. We were, at the moment, passing the entrance to a lane, which led to a farm house set back about half a mile from the road. As we continued past the lane the aerial gradually straightened out toward our course.

About a thousand feet beyond the entrance to the lans was a brightly lighted filling station. We stopped there, left the car in charge of the service man, and started across the fields. When we had gone a short distance, the doctor handed me an automatic pistol.

"I hope we won't have to do any shooting," he said, "but it's safer to be prepared."

It took us all of ten minutes to reach the farm house. It was in darkness, except for one of the rear rooms, which was dimly lighted. Admonishing us to tread carefully, the doctor led the way around the house. As we rounded the rear porch, I saw that a four-wire aerial had been stretched between the gable of the house and the barn. A wire connected to the aerial, led down into the dimly lighted rear room.

Instructing us to stay where we were, the doctor crept stealthily up on the porch and peered through the window. For five minutes at least he stood there, looking into that room while we waited below. Then he turned and beckoned to us. Neither Hogan nor I lost any time in getting up to the window. I'm sure he was as curious as I to learn what was going on in that room.

Seated on a long bench before an instrument board which contained a bewildering array of dials, buttons and levers, was a short, bull-necked man. He wore a close-cropped, bristling pompadour, a thin, fiercely upturned moustache, and an immense pair of thick lensed, horn rimmed spectacles. A set of headphones covered his ears, and his pudgy hands worked incessantly with the levers, dials and buttons on the board before him. The only light in the room came from a panel of frosted glass which was just above the instrument board. On the panel, which the operator constantly watched, was a very clear shadow picture of the living room I had quitted only a short time before, in the home of Miss Van Loan.

From where I stood I could see Miss Van Loan and the pseudo Dr. Dorp seated just as I had left them, while Rafferty, who was impersonating me, was staging a quite lively wrestling match in the center of the room with the chair which had proven so hostile toward me earlier in the evening.

At a sign from Dr. Dorp, we drew our weapons and tiptoed to the door. It was locked, and the key was in place, but Hogan opened it quickly and silently with a small tool which he carried for the purpose. Before he was aware of our presence we had the operator surrounded and covered. The doctor jerked the phones from his head, and said:

"Hands up, Mr. Hegel. You are under arrest."

His look of surprise and alarm was quickly followed by a sullen frown as he thrust his pudgy hands aloft.

"Arrest? For what?" he demanded belligerently.

"Nivver mind for what, my old buckaroo," said Hogan, snapping the handcuffs on his wrists. "I've a warrant in me pocket that covers ivverything from interferin' wid the radio reception on the north shore down to attempted murder. Come away wid yez now, and don't try no shenanigans, or be the lord Harry, I'll quiet yez wid this gun butt."

SOME two hours later, having left Hegel in the care of the proper authorities, we were gathered in the living room of the Van Loan home—the girl, the two engineers, the two detectives, Dr. Dorp, and I. All were seated but the doctor, who stood before the fireplace. He cleared his throat and looked around with his well known lecture room air.

"Now that the author of the strange phenomena which have confronted us in this house has been apprehended," he said, "explanations, and such further investigations as are needed to completely clear up the mystery, are in order.

"You are all aware that the manifestations we have witnessed were under the control of an operator established in an old farm house eight miles west of here, and that the mechanism he used was a powerful and complicated radio set. In order that you may thoroughly understand how Ernest Hegel was able to make inanimate objects react to our movements as if they were endowed with minds, let me explain that he could both see and hear what was going on in this house as well as if he had been here in person. Planted in this very room in such a clever manner as to escape notice except by the most careful scrutiny, are powerful lenses which acted as his eyes, and microphones which served as his distance ears. If Miss Van Loan does not mind a slight mutilation of her walls in the interests of our investigation, I will disclose one of each."

"I should like to see them, doctor," said Miss Van Loan.

The doctor took out his pocket knife and opened it. Then he walked to the wall opposite us and scrutinized it very carefully. Presently he held the point of the knife to a small spot which resembled thousands of other spots on the mottled pattern of the wall paper, and said:

"Can you see this opening?"

We all replied that we could not, and crowded around him As we drew close to it a small hole about the diameter of a lead pencil became visible by concentration on the spot touched by the knife. Unless we had been deliberately searching for it, it is probable that it would have gone entirely unnoticed, due to its location on one of the dark spots in the pattern of the paper itself.

"This," said the doctor, "is one of Hegel's eyes." He lightly tapped inside the hole with the point of his knife and we heard it click against some hard substance. Then he cut a square of paper and plastering from around it, disclosing a black box which bore a close resemblance to a small camera with a tiny lens in front. Taking a small screw driver from his pocket, he removed the front of the box, the back of which was covered with row on row of small, circular affairs which he described as photo- electric cells.

"Each cell," he said, "responds, according to the strength of light or shade which strikes it through the lens, with a different wave length. These various wave lengths are combined and transmitted from a common antenna. At the receiving station, the process is reversed, and this image is built up on ground glass by various vibrating light beams. For a thorough description of this process, which I will not go into here, I refer you to the book, Radio for All. There are four 'eyes' like this one in this room alone. Every other room in this house is as thoroughly equipped.

"And now for the ears."

He examined the wall until he found another hole, into which he thrust the knife blade. Then he removed another square of wall paper and plaster, revealing one of those instruments with which we were all familiar—the microphone.

"As this instrument needs no explanation," he said, "I will now show you how our friend Hegel managed to lock, unlock, open and close doors from a distance of eight miles."

He walked to the door and opened it.

"This door," he said, "shows no signs of having been tampered with in any way, yet I am convinced that there are at least two electric wires connecting it with the current which Hegel tapped somewhere in front of the meter—I have not yet discovered where."

With his screwdriver, he removed the bottom hinge, while we crowded around him. Then he started to remove the top hinge, but found that the first screw he tried would not turn. Abandoning it, he removed all the other screws, then inserted the screwdriver beneath the hinge, and pried. The hinge came loose, but revealed the fact that the screw had been soldered to the metal back, and to a heavy wire which now protruded from the wall. The whole thing had been insulated with electricians' tape, and the block of wood in which it was fastened had been cut out, surrounded with sealing wax, and replaced. He next removed the other side of the hinge from the door, and found it similarly connected and insulated, the wire leading to the interior of the door.

Having cut the wire with a pair of pliers, the doctor laid the door on its side and removed the lock and latch. Both were controlled by an ingenious arrangement of electromagnets. The return current, he found, was through round-headed, insulated contact screws, one on the door, and one on the door jamb against which it fitted.

He next turned his attention to the bottom of the door. It was evident at a glance, that a long strip of wood had been removed, replaced with glue, sanded and varnished. Using his screwdriver as a chisel, he pried up the strip of wood, and removed from the cavity behind it a heavy bar of iron.

"Now," he said, "if you will follow me to the basement I will show you the mechanism which acted on this bar of iron, causing the door to open or close."

WE filed down into the basement behind him, and he led the way to a point directly beneath the living-room door. The ceiling was covered with plasterboard, a block of which he removed. Fastened to the floor in a semicircle was a string of large electromagnets.

"All of these magnets," he said, "were caused to act in their turns by impulses of varying wave lengths which closed and opened their circuits. Naturally they pulled the bar of iron although separated by two heavy layers of wood, as there is no insulation which will stop magnetic waves, thus closing or opening the door at the will of the operator. The poker and the heavy overstuffed chair were caused to travel about the room in the same manner, the latter probably having iron bars inserted in the legs, by utilizing other electromagnets fastened beneath the floor and concealed by this plasterboard.

"While we are here we may as well clear up the mystery of the luminous footprints, for I see the removal of this square of ceiling has already disclosed a part of the mechanism. You will observe here, a glass tube, above which there are two lead plates. The top plate is movable, and is connected with an electromagnetic device for moving it. In the bottom plate is cut in miniature, the shape of a human footprint. The glass tube is what is known as a Crookes Tube, and the rays which emanate from it when an electric connection is established are known as X- rays. Although these rays are, in themselves, invisible, some of them have the property of making certain substances phosphorescent. The rays which have this property can be cut off by a lead screen of the correct thickness. One of the substances which can be rendered luminous is sulfide of zinc, and is probably the one used, although I have not yet had an opportunity to verify this. The substance, whatever it may be, has probably been ground into exceedingly minute particles and rubbed into the rug above our heads. A luminous footprint can thus be made to appear on the rug by the simple expedient of turning on the current in the Crookes Tube and sliding back the upper plate in such a manner that the toe prints will first be visible, then the ball of the foot, and finally the heel. I'm sure that if we remove more squares of plasterboard we will find a row of these contrivances about two feet apart, leading to a point beneath the center of the room, where two of them will be found side by side. For the present, however, we will go upstairs to continue our investigation in other directions."

WHEN we were once more in the living room, the doctor asked for a stepladder, and Riggs was sent to bring one. When he brought it, the doctor placed it in the center of the room and climbed up to where the central lighting fixture projected from the wall.

"In this fixture," he said, "are concealed one of the sources of the icy breath, and also the source of the ghastly and foul smelling spectre which rose from the center of the floor on two succeeding evenings. You will observe that the entire fixture, central hemisphere and surrounding collar, appears to be made from frosted glass. The central hemisphere from which the light emanates is glass, but the surrounding collar is of metal covered with a white substance. That white substance is common frost."

So saying, he scraped off a quantity of the frost and handed it down to us for our inspection.

"Please take special notice of the designs on this collar," he said, "for they are particularly well suited for the purposes for which our friend Hegel intended them—a series of circles, each about an inch from the other, reaching entirely around the collar. I will now do by force what the builder of this device previously did by mechanical means, controlled by radio."

He took the screwdriver and, reaching up, inserted the end and pried at one of the circles. It came open, revealing the fact that it was a small hinged trap door. What surprised us the most, however, was the fact that a small white globe fell out of it and broke on the rug.

"Switch off the lights for a moment," he said.

Someone pressed the light switch, and all of us saw the now familiar vision of a spectre materializing from the floor.

"Turn them on," he ordered.

They were turned on once more.

"The ghost," he said, "is nothing more than a mixture of foul- smelling gases, one of which is slightly phosphorescent. This mixture, as you will observe, is visible in the dark but invisible in the light. The gas is imprisoned in small thin globes of ice which shatter when they strike the rug, and melt in a few seconds, leaving no trace other than a few drops of water which quickly evaporate or are absorbed by the rug fibres. These globes are kept in a small refrigeration plant which is just above my head, and which is probably quite thoroughly insulated against heat. The intense cold in this plant is produced by a substance which is not new to science, but the use of which for this particular purpose is quite new. The substance is frozen CO2 or carbon dioxide, and when expanded into a gas it is identical with the substance that gives zest to soda water and bottled beverages. It has a temperature of 114° below zero, Fahrenheit, and evaporates to a dry gas without going through the intermediate liquid state with which we are familiar in most substances.

"The cold air and gas from this refrigerating chamber, when propelled into the room by small, noiseless fans through others of these hinged openings which do not contain the gas balls, creates the phenomenon of the icy breath. It can also create the illusion of a light touch from a cold hand, as I have proved experimentally. The slight breeze moving the small hairs on one's hand or arm gives the sensation of one having been lightly touched while the coldness of the breeze makes it appear that one has been touched by something cold. The closet, in which I came so near being asphyxiated and frozen to death, is equipped with a similar refrigeration plant, and it is probable that we shall find more of them which have not been used, in other rooms.

"The matter of the lights going out and again being turned on will be settled as soon as we can find the radio controlled rheostat and switch which operates them. Is everything clear?"

"You have not explained what it was which drove my dog mad," Miss Van Loan reminded him.

"Your dog," he said, "had hydrophobia. As I found a bottle of the virus which produces this disease in the house occupied by Mr. Hegel, I don't think it at all remarkable that the dog was infected. No doubt it was acquainted with and friendly toward your cousin, who found an opportunity to inoculate it when it was ranging on your estate. The queer behavior of the dog, thereafter, is common to all animals that contract the disease. In my opinion the dog was inoculated three or four days ago. It would certainly have died within a few hours, had you not shot it when you did."

"What I cannot understand," said Mr. Brandon, the electrical engineer, "is how Mr. Hegel found the time or opportunity to install this complicated array of electrical equipment. Mr. Van Loan, I understand, had only been dead a little more than a month."

"I made a few investigations today which cleared up that point," replied the doctor. "It is a matter of common knowledge that Gordon Van Loan died from cancer of the stomach. Mr. Van Loan was not aware that he had this disease, although both his niece and nephew had been apprised of the fact nearly a year before his death by the family physician. They had also been informed that an operation would be fruitless and fatal, and were told almost to the day just how long their uncle would live.

"Last winter, in the vain hope that he might better his condition, Gordon Van Loan went to Florida for a three months' stay, taking his two servants with him. Some time before, the nephew had left in a huff after Mr. Van Loan, in a fit of anger, had disclosed to him the contents of the will he had made. Being in possession both of the knowledge of the will and the probable length of time his uncle would live, Hegel laid his plans for winning the estate. Just before Mr. Van Loan left for Florida, he visited him, saying that he was out of a job and penniless, and asking that he might be given something to do in order that he might earn some money. The house was badly in need of cleaning and decorating, and, as he had good taste in this line, he was permitted to oversee the work of papering, painting, and varnishing while his uncle was away, asking in return only a very small salary and the privilege of rooming in the house. His uncle turned over the keys of the house to him, paid him his salary in advance, and established credit with a firm of decorators.

"Hegel's supposed trip to Europe was, of course, only a blind to hide his recent operations here. Are there any more questions?"

"Yes," said Mr. Easton. "Now that Hegel has been apprehended, what can the law do with him? What charges can be placed against him?"

"He will be charged with robbery, resisting an officer, and attempted murder. You see he robbed a radio and camera shop after stealing a small truck, in order to get equipment for this elaborate installation, which his slender means would not permit him to buy. A police officer on night duty saw him just as he was leaving the shop, but Hegel wounded him with a revolver shot, and escaped. As he left finger prints, and the stolen articles will be easy to identify, there is no possible way for him to escape final and certain conviction."