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- The War Terror - 1/65 -


THE CRAIG KENNEDY SERIES

THE WAR TERROR

BY ARTHUR B. REEVE

FRONTISPIECE BY WILL FOSTER

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

INTRODUCTION I. THE WAR TERROR II. THE ELECTRO-MAGNETIC GUN III. THE MURDER SYNDICATE IV. THE AIR PIRATE V. THE ULTRA-VIOLET RAY VI. THE TRIPLE MIRROR VII. THE WIRELESS WIRETAPPERS VIII. THE HOUSEBOAT MYSTERY IX. THE RADIO DETECTIVE X. THE CURIO SHOP XI. THE "PILLAR OF DEATH" XII. THE ARROW POISON XIII. THE RADIUM ROBBER XIV. THE SPINTHARISCOPE XV. THE ASPHYXIATING SAFE XVI. THE DEAD LINE XVII. THE PASTE REPLICA XVIII. THE BURGLAR'S MICROPHONE XIX. THE GERM LETTER XX. THE ARTIFICIAL KIDNEY XXI. THE POISON BRACELET XXII. THE DEVIL WORSHIPERS XXIII. THE PSYCHIC CURSE XXIV. THE SERPENT'S TOOTH XXV. THE "HAPPY DUST" XXVI. THE BINET TEST XXVII. THE LIE DETECTOR XXVIII. THE FAMILY SKELETON XXIX. THE LEAD POISONER XXX. THE ELECTROLYTIC MURDER XXXI. THE EUGENIC BRIDE XXXII. THE GERM PLASM XXXIII. THE SEX CONTROL XXXIV. THE BILLIONAIRE BABY XXXV. THE PSYCHANALYSIS XXXVI. THE ENDS OF JUSTICE

INTRODUCTION

As I look back now on the sensational events of the past months since the great European War began, it seems to me as if there had never been a period in Craig Kennedy's life more replete with thrilling adventures than this.

In fact, scarcely had one mysterious event been straightened out from the tangled skein, when another, even more baffling, crowded on its very heels.

As was to have been expected with us in America, not all of these remarkable experiences grew either directly or indirectly out of the war, but there were several that did, and they proved to be only the beginning of a succession of events which kept me busy chronicling for the Star the exploits of my capable and versatile friend.

Altogether, this period of the war was, I am sure, quite the most exciting of the many series of episodes through which Craig has been called upon to go. Yet he seemed to meet each situation as it arose with a fresh mind, which was amazing even to me who have known him so long and so intimately.

As was naturally to be supposed, also, at such a time, it was not long before Craig found himself entangled in the marvelous spy system of the warring European nations. These systems revealed their devious and dark ways, ramifying as they did tentacle-like even across the ocean in their efforts to gain their ends in neutral America. Not only so, but, as I shall some day endeavor to show later, when the ban of silence imposed by neutrality is raised after the war, many of the horrors of the war were brought home intimately to us.

I have, after mature consideration, decided that even at present nothing but good can come from the publication at least of some part of the strange series of adventures through which Kennedy and I have just gone, especially those which might, if we had not succeeded, have caused most important changes in current history. As for the other adventures, no question can be raised about the propriety of their publication.

At any rate, it came about that early in August, when the war cloud was just beginning to loom blackest, Kennedy was unexpectedly called into one of the strangest, most dangerous situations in which his peculiar and perilous profession had ever involved him.

CHAPTER I

THE WAR TERROR

"I must see Professor Kennedy--where is he?--I must see him, for God's sake!"

I was almost carried off my feet by the inrush of a wild-eyed girl, seemingly half crazed with excitement, as she cried out Craig's name.

Startled by my own involuntary exclamation of surprise which followed the vision that shot past me as I opened our door in response to a sudden, sharp series of pushes at the buzzer, Kennedy bounded swiftly toward me, and the girl almost flung herself upon him.

"Why, Miss--er--Miss--my dear young lady--what's the matter?" he stammered, catching her by the arm gently.

As Kennedy forced our strange visitor into a chair, I observed that she was all a-tremble. Her teeth fairly chattered. Alternately her nervous, peaceless hands clutched at an imaginary something in the air, as if for support, then, finding none, she would let her wrists fall supine, while she gazed about with quivering lips and wild, restless eyes. Plainly, there was something she feared. She was almost over the verge of hysteria.

She was a striking girl, of medium height and slender form, but it was her face that fascinated me, with its delicately molded features, intense unfathomable eyes of dark brown, and lips that showed her idealistic, high-strung temperament.

"Please," he soothed, "get yourself together, please--try! What is the matter?"

She looked about, as if she feared that the very walls had eyes and ears. Yet there seemed to be something bursting from her lips that she could not restrain.

"My life," she cried wildly, "my life is at stake. Oh--help me, help me! Unless I commit a murder to-night, I shall be killed myself!"

The words sounded so doubly strange from a girl of her evident refinement that I watched her narrowly, not sure yet but that we had a plain case of insanity to deal with.

"A murder?" repeated Kennedy incredulously. "YOU commit a murder?"

Her eyes rested on him, as if fascinated, but she did not flinch as she replied desperately, "Yes--Baron Kreiger--you know, the German diplomat and financier, who is in America raising money and arousing sympathy with his country."

"Baron Kreiger!" exclaimed Kennedy in surprise, looking at her more keenly.

We had not met the Baron, but we had heard much about him, young, handsome, of an old family, trusted already in spite of his youth by many of the more advanced of old world financial and political leaders, one who had made a most favorable impression on democratic America at a time when such impressions were valuable.

Glancing from one of us to the other, she seemed suddenly, with a great effort, to recollect herself, for she reached into her chatelaine and pulled out a card from a case.

It read simply, "Miss Paula Lowe."

"Yes," she replied, more calmly now to Kennedy's repetition of the Baron's name, "you see, I belong to a secret group." She appeared to hesitate, then suddenly added, "I am an anarchist."

She watched the effect of her confession and, finding the look on Kennedy's face encouraging rather than shocked, went on breathlessly: "We are fighting war with war--this iron-bound organization of men and women. We have pledged ourselves to exterminate all kings, emperors and rulers, ministers of war, generals--but first of all the financiers who lend money that makes war possible."

She paused, her eyes gleaming momentarily with something like the militant enthusiasm that must have enlisted her in the paradoxical war against war.

"We are at least going to make another war impossible!" she


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