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- A Fascinating Traitor - 1/66 -


Produced by Carrie Fellman.

A FASCINATING TRAITOR

AN ANGLO-INDIAN STORY

By Col. Richard Henry Savage

CONTENTS.

BOOK I. OUT OF THE DEAD PAST.

I.-A Chance Meeting at Geneva

II.-An Offensive and Defensive Alliance

III.-"And at Delhi What Am I to Do?"

IV.-The Veiled Rosebud of Delhi

V.-A Diplomatic Tiffin

BOOK II. "A DEVIL FOR LUCK."

VI.-The Mysterious Bungalow

VII.-The Price of Safety

VIII.-Harry Hardwicke Takes the Gate Neatly!

IX.-Alan Hawke Plays His Trump Card

X.-A Captivated Viceroy

BOOK III. PRINCE DJIDDIN'S VISIT TO ENGLAND.

XI.-"Do You See This Dagger?"

XII.-On the Cliffs of Jersey

XIII.-An Asiatic Lion in Hiding.

XIV.-The Council at Granville

XV.-The French Fisher Boat "Hirondelle"

BOOK I. OUT OF THE DEAD PAST.

CHAPTER I.

A CHANCE MEETING AT GENEVA.

"By Jove! I may as well make an end of the thing right here to-night!" was the dejected conclusion of a long council of war over which Major Alan Hawke had presided, with the one straggling comfort of being its only member.

All this long September afternoon he had dawdled away in feeding certain rapacious swans navigating gracefully around Rousseau's Island. He had consumed several Trichinopoly cigars in the interval, and had moodily gazed back upon the strange path which had led him to the placid shores of Lake Leman! The gay promenaders envied the debonnair-looking young Briton, whose outer man was essentially "good form." Children left the side of their ox-eyed bonnes to challenge the handsome young stranger with shy, friendly approaches.

Bevies of flashing-eyed American girls "took him in" with parthian glances, and even a widowed Russian princess, hobbling by, easing her gouty steps with a jeweled cane, gazed back upon the moody Adonis and sighed for the vanished days, when she possessed both the physical and mental capacity to wander from the beaten paths of the proprieties.

But--the world forgetting--the young man lingered long, gazing out upon the broad expanse of the waters, his eyes resting carelessly upon the superb panorama of the southern shore. He had wandered far away from the Grand Hotel National, in the aimlessness of sore mental unrest, and, all unheeded, the hours passed on, as he threaded the streets of the proud old Swiss burgher city. He had known its every turn in brighter days, and, though the year of ninety-one was a brilliant Alpine season, and he was in the very flower of youth and manly promise, gaunt care walked as a viewless warder at Alan Hawke's side.

He had crossed over the Pont de Montblanc to the British Consulate, only to learn that the very man whom he had come from Monaco to seek, was now already at Aix la Chapelle, on his way to America, on a long leave. He had wearily made a tour of the principal hotels and scanned the registers with no lucky find! Not a single gleam of hope shone out in all the polyglot inscriptions passing under his eye! And so he had sadly betaken himself to a safe, retired place, where he could hold the aforesaid council of war.

The practical part of the operations of this sole committee of ways and means, was an exhaustive examination of his depleted pockets. A few sovereigns and a single crisp twenty-pound Bank of England note constituted the rear guard of Alan Hawke's vanished "sinews of war." The young man briefly noted the slender store, with a sigh.

"Twenty-five pounds--and a little trumpery jewelry--I can't ever get back to India on that!" He seemed to hear again the rasping voice of the vulpine caller at Monte Carlo: "Messieurs! Faites vos jeux! Rien ne va plus! Le jeu est fait!" And, if a dismal failure in Lender had been his Leipsic, the black week at Monaco had been his long drawn-out Waterloo! "I was a rank fool to go there," he growled, "and a greater fool to come over here! I might have got on easily to Malta, and then chanced it from there to Calcutta!"

The sun's last lances glittered on the waters gleaming clear as crystal, with their deep blue tint of reflected sky, and liquid sapphire! The gardens were becoming deserted as the loungers dropped off homeward one by one, and still the handsome young fellow sat moodily gazing down into the rushing waters of the arrowy Rhone, as if he fain would cast the dark burden of his dreary thoughts far away from him down into those darkling waters. But thirty-two years of age, Alan Hawke had already outlived all his wild boyish romances. The thrill with which he had first set foot upon the land of Clive and Warren Hastings had faded away long years gone! And, Fate had stranded him at Geneva!

As he sat, still irresolute as to his future movements, the dying sunlight gilded the splendid panorama of the whole Mont Blanc group. Rose and purple, with fading gold and amethystine gleams played softly upon the far-away giant peak, with its noble bodyguard, the Aiguilles du Midi, Grandes Jorasses, the Dent du Geant, the sturdy pyramid of the Mole, and the long far sweep of the Voirons. But he noted not these splendors of the dying sun god, as he stood there moodily defying adverse fate, a modern Manfred. "I might with this get on to London--but what waits me there? Only scorn, callous neglect!" His eye fell upon the statue of Jean Jacques, lifted up there by the sturdy men who have for centuries clung to the golden creeds of civil and religious liberty--the independence of man--and the freedom of the unshackled human soul. "Poor Rousseau! seer and parasite, fugitive adventurer, the sport of the great, the eater of bitter bread--the black bread of dependence! I will not linger here in a long-drawn agony! Here, I will end it forever, and to-night!"

There were certain visions of the past which returned to shake even the iron nerves of Alan Hawke! Face to face now with his half formed resolution of suicide, the wasted past slowly unrolled itself before him.

The brief days of his service in India, an abrupt exit from the service, long years of wandering in Japan and China, as a gentleman adventurer, and all the singular phases of a nomadic life in Burmah, Nepaul, Cashmere, Bhootan, and the Pamirs.

He smiled in derision at the recollection of a briefly flattering fortune which had rebaptized him with a shadowy title of uncertain origin. Thus far, his visiting card, "Major Alan Hawke, Bombay Club" had been an easily vised passport, but--alas--good only among his own kind! He was but a free lance of the polished "Detrimentals," and, under this last adverse stroke of fortune, his poor cockboat was being swamped in the black waters of adversity. He had staked much upon a little campaign at the Foreign Office in London. The cold rebuff which he had received to there had carried him in sheer desperation over to Monaro and incoming onto Geneva, he had "burned his ships" behind him. Ignorant of the precise manner in which his clouded reputation had stopped the way to his advancement in the English Secret Service, he remembered, even at the last, that a few letters were due to those who still watched his little flickering light on its way over the trackless sea of life. For hard-hearted as he was,--benumbed by the blows of fate, his heart calloused with the snapping of cords and ties which once had closely bound him--there were yet loosely knit bonds of the past which tinged with the glow of his dying passions--the unforgotten idols of his adventurous career!

He rose and walked mechanically along the Qua du Mont Blanc with the alert, springy step of the soldier. "Once a Captain, always


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