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Avenged At Last

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COPYRIGHT, 1890.1 [ COXTINUED. ] CHAfTEH III Tho momia;; after the murdor Vázquez aroso early, m was tlio custom with ovory ono in tho Sonoma valley, and startod out for a rid ■ He did not appoar to havo bad a vcry liad nlght of ÍS and, for a ma'.i ivlio must havo had tho rocollection of a recent murdor evor prosont boforo him. lio was romarkably gelf-po Aftcr loavi:; ; tho party of men vvho wero oseorthig the dead body of Mario Delaro into I he llttle townof San Paola, ho hastonoi to tho railroad depot and sent a nuossago to frionds of his victim's young wifo telling tliem of the horrible oceurrenco and warnin' tbom to be careful in breaklng tho nevvs to her. Ho thon startod back and roached tho littlo. low building, dignificd by the namo of City Hall, a few momvnts aftor the offlecr-i bad arrivod with their chargo. Tho body was placed in a room con nected uith tho hall. aftor which tho coronor was prouiptly notificd, and it was not long uefore the news spread througb the town The body bad hardly been car:lo.d in boforo a sorvant (rom Delaro's house camo rush tng alon in eager liaste on b:s way to the cellar Tho min had gone up to tlie beiroora to cali Dolaro and found that iho door was oponod, tho lamp still burninjwltb a low, flickoring light, but tho bod had nol boon slopton. Enowing his muster's intt-ntion to vlsit the eellar.s on tbo previou ovening, he was now bouml tüllhei Tho man was soon told of the sad news and hastenod back to tho house te inform tho otuer sorvants about it. During tho long liours nf tbat hazy, warm sumra.l'r aftorr.oon thoro was a g.-oat úcji of bus tl e and ox traordlnary oxciUrnont i:i San l'aola. It rcached fnvpr heat. howovor, at Dcïaro's late Homo an J umong the workmen at the cellars. Volasquez undortook tho charge of afTairs in tho placo of Delaro and acted as though ho intonded to run mattera witb a biffh hand. In tli' aftornoon the eoroner called a jury togib3r ani commeni'cJ his ofüci.-.l invustijatlon i:it . tho causo of the -ioaiti. Tho Br t witnosH ■ .! d was Anton Roym:in, wbo "Stiü 'il to tiaving parted with Dolaro on thoprovious night about ten o'clock, near the entranco to the collars, also to flndi'.i him dead among the vinos on the following morniní. Froni tho surroundings of tho murdered man h .s could imagine nothing which wou ld ïndicato by whom tho deed had boon comniitted, but noticed that ho had been Btabbod in tho back. Tho otbor workmen werc then called, but only corroborated Anton's statement. Tlion t:io men who wore present at tho collars on Dolaro called in on that fatiil ni:'!r w: ■ quostloned as to what bad transpiro 1 on that occasion. Thcy cach told the s-auio story, saying that Mr. Dolaro waa in a vory bad temper ovor tho fact tíia: a largo quantity of wino bad beon npollod owing to carolessness on tbe part oí tho man who had charge of it, a:i 1 ihat ho spokp rathor sharply to all of thom "Did bo pis; anry orJs with any ono in partícula;'"" Etsked tho ooronor of tho last witn .. . tiurly Oorman. The man hesuateii before replylag, then sai.l "Yes. ho spotco quite angrily to Anton Reyman. about koop ing a sharpor eyo on tüo iivn " "Were these tbe f'.rst cross words spoken tbatdaj bOtwoen Mr Delaro and AntonV" was tuc auxt uustion. "No," replied ux. ivurkman; "they had several noisy u.ks tuat day and Anton, who U ratliur hot-tompored at times, calúed bacls and said something about undurs tanding bis business, but that lis uoulj not bo responsiblo for the mistaken and carelessness of idle worthless follows hko thoso Mr. Dolaro sotnetitiies oinployud at a busy timo." Thon tho coroner inquircd if Anton ofton showed signa of hot tempor. "Ue gets in a rajo sometimes, whon things Uon't go quito riht, Ijut it soon passes off," was tne response. After thisother witnossos wero called who tostiüed to soveral recent quarrols botween Delaro and Anton, though all insisted that none of these hot-word passages were at ai! serious aiTaira Just about this on'o of the offleers approacliod Antou anJ bent down as thoujfh to examine his clothing. "Whore did yoi get this blood on your overalls?" Bo inquired of Anton. KealiziiiK tbe Horrible purport of tho question. Anton replied: "I got that as I knolt ovar tho body of my dead employer tuis mornlng." was tho roply. "Some on your bhirt, too," said the offleer "Is that the samo shirt you woro last night?" Anlon's quick temper made tho bot blood fly to lus cl.ooks. and tho veins in his nt'Cii distended 3 be anjrrily replied: 'Yes, u ís. hut wq y do you ask sucb insinu; tinT uuontionsV I rcust havo got tho blood on my shirt whon I examincd tho body In my curiosity to sos whethor tho vvound was solf-inflicted Of not" "A pretty thin story, ain't it, coronor?" asked tho offleer. Tho coronor looked wiso and said thst that was for tho jury to decido. There being no further witnesses to bo examlned tho jury w&re called upon for a yerdlct. It did not tako them long to roaeh a declsion,and in a vory fow moments thoy declared that tho dead man camo to his doath at tho har.ds of an unknown murdoror. Practlcally, however, tho "unknown man" of thoir verdict was a farco, for hey added: "We stronirlv. iidvlsfl.tbat Aniuiï uC'Vín:;!! u:_' hed in cusfouy lor furthor e.tamination boforo a juatlco." Tho sanie day Antón was taken bofore a justice- people in those parta loso no time; in sucb mauors- tor oxamination. It is not necossary to go ovor the (jround coverod bv tho wltnoues aain. Tho same nltaCBSSS whu liud been brought beforo tlio coroner onco more appoared and repeatod tvbat tlicy had already sai J Many minor points wore tnagnifled, bowover, and tho consoqucnce was tuat almost beforo tho full tonor of the situation had mado itsclf folt in Anton's mlnd bo stood cbarged with the tuurdor of .Mario Dolaro. Tho accused rain's distráete;] vvifo had arrived on tho sceno by this timo, and as soon as it was told to hor that hor husband would bo tricd for willful murdcr sho swooned awny. Hut before the order tur Anton's commitment to y.rison couUi be mado out a man arnvod on the sceno for whom evory tio.iv made way as if by instinct. Thi3 was none othc r than Mr. Joel Wilcox, tho richest man in Sonoma County, an nnculturod, gnod-natured, largohoarted, "grosp-my-haud-tight" downEaster. Wllcox had made an immense fortune in California and spent hia days in the valley at a largo r.r.d luxuriously appointcd house wb lot bo luid built In the midst of a. betUlÜful estato IIo knew ovorybody for miles around and hob-nohbed with rich and poor, great and small. Ail met iiim on oqual terms and ho had a good word or a beai-ty laub for evorvl oly Ilis dros; was UDtldy and ui-fitting, owinfr to tbe fact that hc paid very little attention to outward ap]earances. Ele liked a man of his own ilk, bnt he h;.ted, as he said, "th'm as put on airs bc kas tboy'd med a ba o' money." Accomp;i.nyinr bim was Velaaquez, tho man wbom Wllcox despised aboveall the many despicóle pcople he had mot in the course of a lonj lifo-timo. "Hollo," said Wilcox, in bis free and easy manner, to tho justico, "what's up?" He had liko every one elso heard all about tho tragody. but feit bound to give vent to tho stereotype inquiry The old gentleman walked across to tho jusiico anJ sat down beslde him while tbe adniinlstr&tor of law and ordor re la tod to liirn the inoro recent devplopraents cf tho i D When Wilcox h urd tl at Antoa Reyman was charpretl witb xac murdor ho excitedly utnpoJ from liis seat and shouted: "Wby you tniinderin' blocUbcads, you are not poiuir to corainit an honest man liko Rey man lor tho inurder of Mario Dekiro, just beeause he had a few angry worda with bim and liappsned to be the Drst r.ian to foller him out of the cellurs last niht?" "Thorc scoms to bo no alternativo," said the Justico, "hut you may rest assured lio will have a lair trial." "Ah. by God, that ho shall,'" said the blufT Yankee, "if it takes everT cent of money l've pot ;o secure it. Dammit, he's no moro guilty of that crime than his poor little baby is.'" As ho 8 pok e these worda - whether intentionally or bis fflance wandered towards Velasquez. ho was in tho room. and It struck t;i:u that Velastjuez winced. Then he crossed over to Anton and said: "Cheer up old lioy and keepagood heart. If there's any justice in these parts at ail you shall gt it." Thon turnin? to Velasque2, ho said: "And os for you, 1 surjpose now that Delaro is out of tbe way you are pleasod at tho bottom of your liard hoart. You'll be tryin' next to turn tho widow out of her house and homo in order to pet money to throw across tho tables up to Frisco. 1 know more than you think I do about your poínos on, and you can make your mind up rifjht bero that you're not to havo it all your own way. If Mrs. ['claro ever wants protection from s;ch infamous blood-suckors as you sho knows where to find ono." Velasquezlistencdapparentlyquictly, but inwardly full of intsrest. and said as politely as he could: "I fail to comprehend wbat I havo over dono to merit this abuse, Mr. WUci " "Then you can know now that l've got a mihty good reason for my words and you'd botter bo careful." With this they both walleed away. That nibt Anton spent bohind the bars, charged with the droadful crime of murder. CHAPTKR IV. While Anton lay in jail wearily awaitinfj his trial, Velasquez arrived at tho conelu-ion that auout tho best thing he coulJ do was to move out of the valley So tho lawyers were consul tod In regard to Dolaro's estato, and after several disputes a settlemont wan afreed upon. Delaro's sorrowin; wiU Qndlng that the horrible associations of tho district would be too much for her, resolved to sell evcry thinf; and move to Santa Rosa where her friends an had long resided. In all her negotiatlons and othor business m-.itters, sho was ably assisted and Indeed truided by Joel Wilcox, and this proved a fortunato arrangement for her. For a woman with no moro knowlcclgo of law and business than Mrs. Delaro would h:ive been a pliablo tooi in the hands of so unprincipled and crafty a man as Velasuuez. The estáte, uu-Hiding tbo wino cellars and evory thing connected wit!, it, was suld. and, after all tho final details ware Mitled, Velasquez recoívod a chock for very noarly tho same amour.t he bad ajfrued upoa witb Mario Delaro oa tbe nlgbt of tho murder. llo lost no time In biddinj "Goodbye" to tho Valley, bendir.;; bis stops towrd tiis old haunts in Frisca [lisstay thore was not of long duration, for bo b:c:imo foarful th;it Anton Ueyman mlgbt bo acquittod of tho charco of morder, followin, which Impetuous Joel Wilooi would. undoubtodly, malio matters r;ithor unploasant for bim, if bis wbcroaboutl trere te'jown. So ba roalisod on all valuablo papcr3 , in hi ■ on and startod East Nearly a monta olapsod between tho onactmci'.t of tlio vinoyard tragedy and tho timo of Loon Volasquez'a final disappearaace trom tho Sonoma valley. With tliü iisnsiunco and advies of Jool Wilcox. Mra. Dolaro u-as preparing to dispo house and leavo tho district. Thauks to tho old Yankoe'a businoss tact, sho found Chat She had sufficiont money 1 e f t from the iirococds of tho salo to Icocp tier in comfort for a numbor of years Still slio was anxious to bo rid of thü houso also. In any case she would havo boon compellod tosell ltshortly afterward, for on tho twentietb of tho month, thirty days after Dolam's iloath, a notico wasservcd on the exocu tor of tbo estáte to tho offect that a for ($,VJ,000) öfty-thousand dollars i'.rawn in favor of Loon Velasquoz ttiU digcounted by hiin in San Francisco, waiiduo and must be paid in three duys. This tUrow a now hght on affairs, and Mrs. Dolaro was amazod. Why had her husband piven VclasquM a noto at thirty days for such an amount of moRoy? öhe was uttcrly unablo to solvo the riddlo. and at OHC0 souht hor old friend for aid. This is what old Jool Wilcox, tbo mlllionaira, said about it: "You kin dopend upon it, Mrs, Dolaro, that thero is more in this than you or I know at present. This noto that's a lyin' in the bacil for you to moot was drawn on the n glit that my friend Mario was murderod, and I'm as sure that it'sfot sutütiiin' lodo with that dirty work as I am that Auton Itoyman is innocent oí it all. Ti, e note'll bev to bo mot, but lt'11 knook a big hole in what you got out of tho sale o' the vincw.vl to do it So when you're ready to sf II your houso don't go to anybody el e. I'il buy it and pivo you a fair price for it." Mrs. Dolaro was much stirred by old Wilcox's words, and it was with a blanched face that sho looked up at tho big millionaire, and said: "Mr. Wilcox, do you thinli for one moment that Loon Velasquoz bad any thinsr todo with the death of my poor busband?" "Yes I do," was tho roply, "and whafs more l'm poin; to flnd out just how tnuch he did hov to do with it, or my name ain't Jool Wilcox." "I don't like to think this without somo jrood srrounds for the belief," said the beau ti ful woman; "but 1 will arouso myself at onco. I am unusually quiot and do not as a rulo jump at conclusions; but when my husliand was cruelly taken from me it soomed u thouh my honrt hal b"en forcibly torn from lts place in be rei laeed by a spirit of revpnge llonccforth my duty aball bc ;. flnd Mttrio'8 aluyer I. too, do not believe Anton Eeyraan ruiit.v, but - " hLre her voice becarnc choked with erootion and passion. Tho quiot. pas■ÍT6 nature of the lady was fast fadinfr befo:e the hot southorn blood of an aroused woman, and n tvi with flashing ' , pantin [ breath sho earnestly cxchiimed: "ƒ wiü find his murderer, and may the blossed Virgin have mercy on him when I do - for I will havo none. " Jool Wilcoi promised that ho would leavo no stono unturnod, bui as Reyman's trial was to come oí! in about ten days he must po to San Francisco and interview the brokers, soas to find out all he could ahout Velasquez's recent actions. "That is the clew I must follow," he said to thü widow. "In the moantime, you, of course, will koep your eyes and ears opon to all that transpires in this immedlate neijhborbood." Such was the compact which Joel Wilcox and the w:dow of Delaro entered into tbat mg-tit. and through many wcary yoara of minlod hopos and clis:ip;ioi;-.i:::i ut. lüej kopt tho one aim in constant view Tho n.'xi mornmg Joel Wilcox star' i Francisco, to learn whut hecoul! :. .üney which Vulasque? íi I üd tue noto. [TO BE CONTINVED. I


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