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GEYSER JUDITH BASIN TIMES • order to get another. have to go. I'll get this story from you, Craig.\ The New York police are mystified by a * • • • B etill3 of murders and other he ••riiites. 'The day before, in the suburban principal clue to t criminal is the warning letter whieh is sent the victims, signed with a \clutching hand.\ The lat- est it - 11111 Of tIn• mysterious assassin is Taylor I 'mtge. the insurance preablent- His daughter. Elaine, employs Craily Ken- nedy, the famous silent 11w defect' ye, to try to unr:tvel tho mystery. What Ken- nedy me plishes is told by his friend J o T1108011, a lir wspaper man. Enraged at ti , e der, rmined effort with h and Craig KI'llnetly are making to put z.,31 end I'' Ms rkles. the rPitelling I la it8 this strange criminal is knowIt. reti irts to all setts of must diabolical schErnes to pot them out of the way. Each chapter of the story tells of a new plot against their lives and of the way the great de- tective uses all his skill to save this pretty Alrl and himself from death. .,,,,.....,„„.,.......vvvvyv . The .._ Exploits of . Elaine A Detective Novel and a Motion Picture Drama 111 4c , By ARTHUR B. REEVE The Well -Known Novelist and the Creator of the \Craig Kennedy\ Stories _ 11 4 Presented in Collaboration With the Lathe Players and the Eclectic Film Company copyright. 1914, by the Star Company All Foreign Rights Reserved SYNOPSIS. TENTH EPISODE THE LIFE CURRENT. Assignments were being given out on the Star one afternoon, and I was standing talking with several other reporters. in the busy hum of type- writers and clicking telegraphs. \What do you think of that?\ asked one of the fellows. \You're something of a scientific detective, aren't you?\ Wit hoot laving claim to such a distinction, I took the paper and read: THE POISONED KISS AGAIN. Three More New York Women Report Being Kiseed by Mysterious Stranger --Later Fell Into Deep Unconscious- ness --What Is It? I had scarcely finished when one of the copy boys, dashing past me, called out: \You're wanted on the wire, Mr. Jameson \ I hurried ever to the telephone and answered. A musical voice responded to my hurried hello. and I hastened to adopt my most polite tone. \Is this Me Jameson?\ asked the voice - Yes,\ I replied, not recognizing it. \Well Mr. Jameson, I've heard of rei on the Stet - , and I've just had a house, the Clutching Hand had been talking to two of his emissaries, an at- tractive young woman and a man. They were Flirty Morrie and Dan the Dude. \Now I want you to get Kennedy,\ he said. \The way to do it is to sep- arate Kennedy and Elaine—see?\ \All right, Chief, we'll do it,\ they replied. ' Clutching Hand had scarcely left when Flirty Florrie began by getting published in the papers the story which I had seen. The next day she called me up from the suburban house. Having got me to promise to see her, she had scarce- ly turned trom the telephone when Dan the Dude walked in from the next MOM. \fie's coming,\ she said. Dan was carrying a huge stag head with a beautifully branched pair of antlers. Under his arm was a coil of wire which he had connected to the inside of the head. \Fine!\ he exclaimed. Then, point- ing to the head, he added.' \It's all ready. See how I fixed it? That ought to please the Chief. Dan moved quickly to the mantel and mounted a stepladder there by which he had taken down the head. and started to replace the head above the mantel. He hooked the head on a nail. \There he said, unscrewing one of the beautiful brown glass eyes of the stag. Back of it could be seen a camera shutter. \One of those new qui& shutter cameras,\ he explained. Then he ran a couple of wires along the molding around the room and into a closet, where he made the connec- tion with a sort of switchboard on which a button was marked, \SHUT- TER\ and the switch, 'WIND FILM.\ very strange experience. I've had \Now Flirty.\ he said, coming out The -poisoned kiss.\ of the closet and pulling up the shade The woman did not pause to catch which let a flood of sunlight into the my exclamation of astonishment, but room, \you see, I want you to stand went on: \It was like this. A man here—then, do your little trick.\ \an up to me on the street and kissed Just then the bell rang. ute—end--1 don't know how it was— \That must be Jameson,\ she eried. \What have you to say about hie I became unconscious—and I \Noe—get to your corner.\ those?\ she asked cuttingly, didn't come to for an hour --in a hos- With a last look Dan went into the Kennedy, quite surprised, took them pilal—fortunately. I don't know what closet and shut the door, and looked at them. Then he let them would have happened if it hadn't been Perhaps half an hour Intel Clutching fall carelessly on the table and that, someone came to my assistance Hand himself called me up on the I dropped into a chair. his head back in As Craig Kennedy Turns on the Current Elaine's Chest Slowly Begins to Rise and Fall. when I heard the telephone ring. It was Craig. Without a word of apology for his rudeness, which I knew had been purely absent-minded, I heard him say: \Walter meet me In half an hour outside that Florence Leigh's house.\ Half an hour later I was waiting near the house in the suburbs to which I had been directed by the strange telephone call the day before. I noticed that it was apparently de- serted. The blinds were closed and a \To Let\ sign was on the side of the house. \Hello Walter,\ cried Craig at last, bustling along. He led the way around the side of the house to a window, and, with a powerful grasp, wrenched open the closed shutters. He had just smashed the window when a policeman ap- peared. - Hey, you fellows—what are you doing there?\ he shouted. Craig paused a second, then pulled his card front his pocket. \Just the man I want,\ he parried, much to the policeman's surprise. \There's something crooked going on here. Follow us in.\ We climbed into the window. There was the same living room we had seen the day before. But it was now bare and deserted. \Come on,\ cried Kennedy, beckon- ing s us on. Quickly he rushed through the house. There was not a thing in it to change the deserted appearance of the first floor., At last it occurred to Craig to grog his way down cellar. There was nothing there. Kennedy had been carefully going over the place, and was at the other side of the cellar from ourselves when I saw hint stop and gaze at the end the man fled. I thought the Star telephone. It was he—not the Star— a burst of laughter. floor. woeld be interested.\ as I learned only too late. ' Why—that was what they put over \Hide be whispered suddenly to \We are.\ I hastened to reply. \Will • • • • * • • on Walter,' he said. \lie called me its. you give me your name?\ I had scarcely got out of the house, up early this afternoon—told me he We waited a moment. Nothing hap - \Why I ant Mrs. Florence Leigh of as Craig told me afterwards, when had discovered one of these poisoned pened. Had he been seeing things or No. 20 Prospect avenue.\ returned the Flirty Florrie told all over again the kiss cases you have read about in the hearing things, I wondered? papers. Think of it --all that to pull From our hidden vantage we could a concealed camera! Such an claim- now see a square piece in the floor, rate business—just to get nte where perhaps live feet in diameter, slowly they could fake this thing. I sup- open up as thongh on a pivot. pose they've put someone up to say- The weird and sinister figure of a ing she's engaged?\ man appeared Over his head he wore Elaine was not so lightly affected a peculiar helmet %% Rh hideous glass \Put.\ she said severely, repressing eleces over the eyes and tubes that her emotion, \I don't understand. Mr. cenneeted with a tank which he car - Kennedy, how scientific inquiry info teed buckled to his back. _ Quickly he closed down the cover of voice embroidered tale that had caught my \flay.\ I exclaimed hurrying over ear. to the editor's desk. \here's Another Kennedy said nothing. but listened wernan on the wire who says she has intently, perhaps betraying in his face reseited the poisoned kiss.\ the skepticism he felt. \Suppose you take- that assignment.\ \You see,\ she said, still voluble and :he cditor ans•,‘ el ed. sensing a posst. eager to convince hi iii, 'I was only !Sle story. walking on the street. Here—let me I took It with alacrity. figuring out show you. It was iust like this.'' the quickest way by elevated and stir- She took his arm and, before he Race .to reach the address. . volubly ,It was beyond me. \May I use your telephone?\ I asked. \Surely.\ she uuswered I called the laboratory. 'Is that you, neck—sol•' Craig?\ I inquired. She said no more, but imprinted a \Yes. Walter.\ he answered. recog- deep, passionate kiss on Kennedy's nizing voice. mouth, clinging closely to him. Be - \Say Craig.\ I asked breathlessly, I fore Kennedy could draw away, Dan \what sort of kiss would suffocate a in the closet, had pressed the but - eeriest \\ ton and the switch several times in MI only answer was an uproarious rapid succession. lieseti from him at the idea. \Th—that's very realistic,\ gasped knew,\ I persisted, \but I've got Craig, a good deal taken aback by the the assignment from the Star—and sudden osculatory assault. Pm out here interviewing a woman lie frowned. about it. It's n11 right to laugh—but look into the case,\ he said, here I Rill. l't'? found a case—names, backing away. \There—there may be dates and plaees. I wish you'd explain some scientific explanation—but— the thing, tbea.\ \Oh. all right. Walter,\ he replied He was plainly embarrassed and indulgently. \I'll meet you as soon as hastened to make his adieux. • • • • • s • knew, B, led him to the sppt on, the :the poisoned kiss' could necessitate I must say that' I could searcels crit- floor near the window which Dan had this sort of thing.\ the tube, but not before a vile effluvi- irize the poisoned hissers taste, for indicated. Meanwhile Dan was lit- She pointed at the photographs ac- mum seemed to escape, and penetrate the woman who opened the door cer- Letting attentively in his closet. cusinglw en to us in our hiding places. As Willy was extraordinarily attractive. \Now—stand there. You are just ••Bille. he b egan. t r yi ng to explain. he moved forward Kennedy gave a \And you really were—put ont by as l it as—only i didn't expect any- \No buts.\ she interrupted flying leap at him. and we tottered a kiss?\ I queried, as she led me into thing.\ \Then you believe that i—\ with a regular football interferences, a neat sitting room. She was pantomiming some one ap- \flow can you, as a scientist, ask me \Absolutely --as much as if it had Proachleg stealthily is bile Kennedy to doubt the camera?\ she insinuated, been by rine of these poisoned needles watched her with interest, tinged with very coldly turning away. you read about.\ she replied confident- doubt. Itehind Craig in his closet. Kennedy rapnLy began to see that ly, hastening on to describe the affair Dan was reaching for the switchboard it was far more serious than he had at first thought. I can and help you out.\ We waited patiently. The bell rang and ' the women hastened to the door, admitting Ken- nedy. \Hello. Walter,\ he greeted. \This is certainly most remark- able case, Craig,\ I said, introducing him, and telling briefly what I had learned \And you actually mean to say that a kiss had the effect—\ Just then the telephone interrupted. \Yes she reasserted quickly. \Ex- cuse me a second.\ She answered the call. \Oh—why —yes, be's here. Do you want to speak to him? Mr. Jameson, It's the Star.\ \Confound it!\ I exclaimed, \isn't that like the old man—dragging me otT thie story before It's half finished in I'll see her.\ but ton. \You see,\ she said advancing quickly and acting her words, \he placed his hands on my shoulders— so—then threw his arms about my How little impression the thing made on Kennedy can be easily seen from the fact that on the way down- town that afternoon he stopped at Martin's, on Fifth avenue, and bought a ring—a very handsome solitaire, the finest Martin had in the shop. It must have been about the time that he decided to stop at Martin's that the Dodge butler, Jennings, ad- mitted a young lady who presented a card on which was engraved the name Miss leforent.e Leigh, 20 Prospect Avenue. As he handed Elaine the card, she looked up from the book she was read- ing and took it. \All right, show Elaine moved Into the drawing room.. Jennings springing forward to part the portieres for her and passing through the room quickly where Flirty Florrie sat waiting lelirty Florrie rose and stood gazing at Elaine, apparentlY very much embarrassed, even after Jennings had gone. \It is embarrassing,\ she said final- ly, \but Miss Dodge, I have come. to you to beg for my love.\ Elaine looked at her nonplused. \Yes she continued, \you do not know it, but Craig Kennedy is infatu- ated with you.\ She paused again. then added, \But h.. is engaged to me.\ Elaine stared at the woman. She was dazed. She could not believe it. \There is the ring,\ Flirty Fiords added, indicating a very impressive paste diamond. Quickly she reached into her bag and drew out two photographs, with- out a word, handing them to Elaine. \There's the proof,\ Florrie said simply, choking a sob. Elaine looked with a start. Sure enough, there was the neat living room in the house on Prospect avenue. In one picture Florrie had her arms over Kennedy's shoulders. In the other, apparently, they were passionately kissing. Elaine slowly laid the photographs on the table. \Please—please Miss Dodge—give me back my lost love. You are rich and beautiful—I am poor. I have only my good looks. But—I-1 love him— and be—loves me—and has promised to marry me.\ Florrie had broken down completely and was weeping softly into a lace handkerchief. She moved toward the door. Elaine followed her. \Jennings—please see the lady to the door.\ Back In the drawing -room, Elaine seized the photographs and hurried into the library where she could be alone. Just then she heard the bell and Kennedy's voice in the hall. \How are you this afternoon,\ Ken- nedy greeted Elaine gayly. _ Elaine had been too overcome by what had just happened to throw it off so easily, and received him with studied coolness. Still. Craig, manlike, did not notice it at once. In fact, he was too busy gazing about to see that neither Jen- nings, Marie nor the duenna Aunt Jo- sephine were visible. They were not and he quickly took the ring from his pocket. Without waiting, he showed it to Elaine. Elaine very coolly admired the ring, as Craig might have eyed a specimen on a microscope slide. Still, he did not notice, lie took the ring, about to put it on her finger. Elaine drew away. Concealment was not in her frank na- ture. She picked up the two photographs. \Very well,\ he said with a touch of impatience, \if my word is not to be taken—I-111—\ Ile had seized his hat and stick. Elaine did not deign to answer. Then, without a word, he stalked out of the door. • 4 • • • • • Kennedy was moping in the labora- tory the next day when I came in. \Say Craig,\ I began, trs tag to over- come his fit of blues. Kennedy, filled with his own thoughts, paid no attention to me. Then he jumped up. \By George—I will,\ he muttered. I poked my head out of the door in time to see him grab tip his hat and coat and dash from the room, put- ting his coat on as he went. \He's a nut today,\ I exclaimed to myself.. Though I did not know yet of the quarrel, Kennedy had really struggled with himself until he was willing to put his pride in his pocket and had made up his mind to call on Elaine again. As he tntered he saw that it was really of no use, for only Aunt Jo- sephine was in the library. \Oh Mr. Kennedy.\ she said inno- cently enotigh, \I'm so sorry she isn't here. There's been something trou- bling her, and she won't tell me what it is. But she's gone to call on a young woman, a Florence Leigh, I think.\ \Florence Leigh!\ exclaimed Craig with a start and a frown. \Let me use your telephone.\ her in, .lennings. I had turned my attention In- the laboratory to a story I was writing. It was the work of only a moment for us to subdue and hold him, while Craig ripped off the helmet. It was Dan the leide. \What's that thing?\ I puffed, as ( helped Crate with the headgear. \An oxygen helmet, - he replied. 'There must tic air down the tube that cannot be breathed.\ Ile went over to the tube. Carefully he opened the fop and gazed down, starting back a second later, with his face puckered up at the noxious odor. \Sewer gas,\ he ejaculated, as he slammed the cover down. Then he added to the policeman: \Where do you suppose it comes from?\ \Why replied the officer, \the St. James viaduct --an old sewer—is some- lehere about these parts \ Kennedy puckered his face as he gazed at our prisoner, lie reached down quickly and lifted something off the man's coat. \Golden hair,\ he muttered. \Elaine's!\ A moment later hl seized the man and shook hint rougrY- \Where Is she—tell me?\ he de- manded. - The roan snarled some kind of a re- ply, refusing to say a word about her. \Tell me,\ repeated Kennedy_ \Humph!\ snorted the prisoner, more dose -mouthed than ever. Kennedy was furious. As he sent the man reeling away fron, him he seized the oxygen helmet and began petting it on. There wag only one thing to do—to follow the clue of the golden strands of hair. Dowt into the pest hole he went, his Ii' ad protected by the oxygen helmet. As he cautiously took one step after another down a series of iron rungs inside the hole he found that the a - a - ter was up to his chest. At the bot- tom of the perpendicular pit wan a narrow, low passageway leading off. It was just about big enough to get through, but he managed to grope along it. The minutes passed as the police- man and I watched our prisoner in the cellar by the tube. I looked anxiously at my watch. \Craig!\ I shouted at last, unable to control my fears for him. No answer. By this time Craig had come to a small, open chamber, into which the viaduct widened On the wall lie found another series of iron rungs, up which he climbed. The gas was terrible. As he neared the top of the ladder he came to a shelf -like aperture in the sewer chamber, and gazedeabout. It etas horribly dark. He reached out and felt a piece of cloth. Anxiously he pulled on it. Then he reached further Into the darkness. There was Elaine, unconscious, ap- parently dead. In desperation Craig carried her down the ladder. With our prisoner we could only look helplessly around. \By George, I'm going down after him,\ I cried in desperation. \Don't do it,\ advised the police- man. 'You'll never get out\ One whiff of the horrible gas told me that he was right. \Listen.' said the policeman There was, indeed, a faint noise from the black depths below us. A rope alongside the rough ladder began to move, as though some one was pulling it taut. Ile gazed down. \Craig! Craig!\ I called. \Is that you?\ No answer. But the rope still moved. Perhaps the helmet made it impossible for him to hear. Ile had struggled back in the swirl- ing current almost exhausted by his helpless burden. Holding Elaine's head above the surface of the water and pulling on the rope to attract my attention, he could neither hear nor shoet, lie had taken a turn of the rope about Elaine. I tried pulling on it. There was something heavy 011 the other end, and I kept on pulling. At last I could make out Kennedy dimly mounting the ladder. The weight was the unconscious body of Mete which he steadied as he mount- ed the ladder- I tugged harder and lie slowly came up. Together, at last, the policeman and I reached down and pulled them out. _ We placed Elaine on the'cellar floor, as comfortably as was possible, and the policeman began his first aid mo- tions for resuscitation 'No—no 7 - cried Kennedy. \Not here—take tier up where the air is fresher.\ With his revolver still drawn to overawe the prisoner, the policeman forced him to aid us in carrying her up the rickety flight of cellar steps. Kennedy followed quickly, unscrewing the oxygen helmet as he went. In the deserted living room we de- posited our senseless burden, while Kennedy, the helmet off now,' bent over her. \Quick—quick!\ he cried to the offi- cer. :'An ambulance!\ \But the prisoner,\ the policeman indica ted. \hurry—hurry; I'll take care of him,\ urged Craig, seizing the police- man's pistol and thrusting it into his pocket. \Walter help me.\ the was trying the ordinary methods of resuscitation. Meanwhile the offi- cer had hurried out, seeking the near- est telephone, while we worked madly to bring Elaine back. Again and again Kennedy bent and outstretched her arms, trying to in- duce respiration again. So busy was I that, for the moment I forgot our prisoner. But Dan had seen his chance. Noiselessly he picked up the old chair In the room and with it raised was ap- proaching Kennedy to knock him out. Before I knew it myself Kennedy had heard him. With a half instinc- tive motion he drew the revolver from his pocket and, almost before I could see it, had shot the man. Without a word he returned the gun to his pock- et and again bent over Elaine, without so much as a look at the crook, who sank to the floor, dropping the chair from his nerveless hands. Already the policeman had got an ambulance, which was now tearing along to us. Frantically Kennedy was working. A moment he paused and looked at me—hopeless. Just then, outside, we could hear the ambulance, and a doctor and two attendants hurried up to the Geer. Without a word the doctor seemed to appreciate the gravity of the case. He finished his examination and shook his head. \There is no hope—no hope,\ he said slowly Kennedy merely stared at him But the rest of us instinctively removed our bats. Kennedy gazed at Elaine, overcome. Was this the end? It was not many minutes later that Kennedy had Elaine in the little sit- (ing room off the laboratory, having taken her there in the ambulance, with the doctor and two attendants. Elaine's body had been placed on a couch, covered by a blanket, and the shades were drawn The light fell on her pale face There was something incongruous about death and the vast collection of scientific apparatus, a ghastly mock- ing of humanity tlow futile was it all in the presence of the great de- stroyer! Aunt Josephine had arrived, stunned, and a moment later Perry Bennett. As I looked at the sorrowful party Aunt Josephine rose slowly from her position on her knees, where she had been weeping silently beside Elaine, and pressed her hands over her eyes, with every Indication of faintness. Before any of us could do anything, she had staggered into the laboratory itself. Bennett and I followed quick- ly. There I was busy for some time getting restoratives. Meanwhile Kennedy, beside the couch, with an air of desperate deter- mination, turned away and opened a cabinet. From it he took a large coil and attached it to a storage battery, dragging the peculiar apparatus neat; Elaine's couch. To an electric light socket Craig attached wires. The doctor watched hint in silent wonder. \Doctor.\ he asked slowly as he worked, \do you know of Professor Leduc of the Nantes School of eledi- cinel,\ \Why—yes answered the doctor, \but what of him?\ \Then you know of his method of electrical resuscitation.\ \Yes—but;'—he paused, looking ap- prehensively at Kennedy. Craig paid no attention to his fears, but, approaching the couch on which Elaine lay, applied the electrodes. \You see,\ he explained, with forced calmness, \I apply the anode here— the cathode there.\ The ambulance Burgeon looked on excitedly, as Craig turned on the cur- rent, applying it to the back of the neck and to the, spine worked, rsome minutes the machine ed. Then the young doctor's eyes began to bulge \My - heavens!\ he cried under his breath. \Look!' Elaine's chest had slowly risen and fallen. Kennedy, his attention riveted on his work, applied himself with re- doubled efforts. The young doctor looked on with increased wonder. \Look! The color in her face! See her lips!\ he cried. At last her eyes slowly fluttered open—then closed. 'Would the machine necceed? Or was It just the galvanic effect of the current? The doctor nn 'iced it and Elaine Confronts Kennedy With the \Poisoned Kiss\ Photographs, placed his ear quickly to her heart. His face was a study ia astonishment. The minutes sped fast. To us outee:e, who had no idea whet was transpiring in the other room, the minutes were leaden -footed. Aunt Josephine, weak but now herselt again, was sitting nervously. Just then the door opened. I shall never forget the look on the young ambulance surgeon's face as he murmured under his breath, \Come here—the age of miracles k• not passed—look!\ Raising his finger to indicate that we were to make no noise, he led us into the other room. Kennedy a'as bending over the couch. Elaine, her eyes open now, was raz- ing up at him, and a wan smile flitted over her beautiful face. Kennedy had taken her hand, and as he heard us enter, turned half way to its, while we stared in blank won- der from Elaine to the weird and complicated electrical apparatus. \It's the life current,\ he said sim- ply, patting the Leduc apparatus fri'ch his other hand. 0'0 BM CONTTNUMD.)