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The Saguache Crescent
Saguache , Colorado
March 13, 1930     The Saguache Crescent
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March 13, 1930

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J~ THE SAGUACHE CRESCENT By Kay Cleaver Strahan (~ by Doubleday Doran Co., Inc. VCNU Service EPILOGUE --17- Sam says, bitterly, tiiat the only tiling 1 neeG to explain is the one thing that can ever be explained: how One girl, by changing her clotlms and hy ,rushing hm face, cored turn a houseful of supposedly sensible people ~to a packet of hlitimring, bat-blind Ools for a genero.s period ot time. can explain /fiat, I think: t)ut 1 am going to leave :t until later, and go clear hack to the second ol July, ttle day that Gabrielle reveived the code letter. In her talk wlth John (John says it was in no sense a confession, that It Was nothing but a taunt for us all, a final, regretlcss, high fling of de. fiance) there In his room, during the rweaty mlnates or so that she talked to hire, before she shot herself, ~me tthlngs, which might still ant be clear o ,is, were made [)lain. Also, many 0I Miss MacD,mald's previously formed opinions were directly or in- directly verified. MIss MacDonald ad Said, you remember, tlmt the raurder had been wickedly premedl- tatecL "When ! read that letter." Gahrielle sal(l to John, "'and found myselt pen- niless and planless on a Nevada ranch, I at once made up my mino to ~lll Dantelle, the little fool. and take her place." ~ow she persuaded Danny to ac. cspt the idea of the masquerade, and tf~ change clothes with her. on the firth of July, we do not posltlvely ~ow. is the "hole" that Miss Tilal ~UCDonald mentioned in her puzzle. "-t'o a)y mind, there is little doubt that She gained her way very easily, by rising iier own unl~appiness anti dis- aPPointment as tools with which to ~ePaove Danny's scruples and prod ~)~r Pity. I am sure, remembering t~anny's troubled manner at the time, Jtat s~he consented unwillingly, that ;ida thorougifly disliked the idea, nnd nat she was afraid of its c(mse- qtlences. When the two girls went upstatrs tgeti)er on the afternoon or the faarth ot July, they must have to effect the trunsf, wnmtion. Perllaps then, for a brief minute or "two. the tgllillg did seem amusing to Danny; c~r I know that I iJeard the girls laughing togeHmr, as l Imve men. tioned, when ! was on my errand hPstairs. We do not know, wl}en tim disguise ~ad been COmldeled, by wimt rdretext ~abrlelle lured Danny into the attic, Their trunks were In the attic. There ~l~ld be a dozen Mmple reas.ns why ~a~ny might consent to go up there With her. (;oming downstairs again, ~'abrlelle caught her by the throat and Strangled her, Instantly. 0y means 0t the deadly Jl~:-jitsu hold, which she had learned from her "Strangler" lover, It Is a hold that requires little ~treagth~thougb Gabrlelle's trained agars were strong enough--but much Ilelentlfic skill. Ehe took the earrings from Danny's ~rs---or, perhaps, Danny~had not yet t them on--went to hei" own room, ~ranged her make-up, got into the I'~tp, which completely covered Dan. UFa clothes that site was wearing, PUlled the Idat down over her eyes to COnceal the change in hairdressing, Itacl Walked through the living room, tar us all to see her, at four o'clock. h When Chad went tn the porch wlth sr (this John found out by ihslstent qaeStluning) she told him that Danny hat~ left the house, earlier, by the il~ack waY. That she and Danny had rranged e Joke on the rest of us, to liven the dull afternoon, and asked, ~to help with It hy calling, In~ b aany'a voice to her, when he came ;~ek into the house. Chad did It. hat was why. since he was standing flown by the front floors, the voice ~PPo~ed to come from the upper hall and a strained and an unnatural ~~uaQcl. Gabrielle had reckoned that d, In spite of her request, would too stupid to discover the facts. PrObably she thought that, at any qte, she would be able to impose lileace upon him. It was one of her I~ttaY mlstake~ We think that he t~Uat have known for the remainder ~t the afternoon that Gabrlelle was ~asquerading as Danny. Hls happy mad0 was caused by the fact that Gahrielle bad given him a confidence and had allowed hlm to perform a small service for her. When he saw what had happened, and when he realized that the girl whom he had worshipped was a murderer, he killed himself.. Strange, that in spite of everything, he still laved her enough to leave the confessional note to sldeld her. The men think that he left the note to shield the rest of us. rather than to shield her. I do apt believe IL She had planned to go straight around the house and re:enter It through the back door. Martha's be- ing by the rabbit hutch was something she had not counted on. It was neces- sary to distract Martha's attention, and to get her to come at once Into the house. She gave her the monkey bracelet. As she did so, probably be- cause of the act of k,'ndness, Martha made one of her frequent mistakes and called GabrieIle "Danny." Gab- rlelle told John (concerning Martha. John also questioned her insistently) that she then showed Martha the poison in the charm, and told her that it was a love pollou that would nmke Chad love her, "like a lady," tf she would swallow it, and never tell any- one anything about it. Martha out of Ore way, Gaby must have run quickly around to the hack of the house and up the back stair- way. To toss the liar and wrap on the nody, replace the earrings, scatter tim pipe ashes over tim beetled i)ag (l declare to goodness, i can nn)re easily think of her lying there in her white silk dressing gown, than I can think of her, brushing those pipe ashes up, from somewhere, ,n order to save them for that purpose), and drop the tatting shuttle there, re- quired not more than one or two min- utes of time. Another two or three minutes to wash her face thoroughly and to (louse on some of Danny's per- fume, and she was coming downstairs again, with the headache that neces- sitated the drawing of the curtains-- to make her safety a bit safer, Just at firsL She told John that those few min- utes when abe had to walk tllrough the room, make the trip around the house, and get upstairs again, were the only moments of fright tiler she had had, from the lirst to the last. Once safely established in the role of Danny, she said, she knew that she had nothing to fear. ! think, however, that there were otheJ times when she was afraid. 1 am certain that real fear was there in her room, that day, when the en- gagement ring dropped fronl her fin- ger. Timugh I believe that tier fear. then, was caused wholly from super- stition, and not from any dread that the sltght difference between her hands and Danny's hands might be n atl( ed. I am sure that her fear for John. on the fourth of July. was real enough She knew that each minute he was away, longer than th~ time necessary for the trip, was a minute lost from the perfect alibi she had so mistaken- ly tried to arrange for him by sending Gabrialle Caught Her by the Throat and Stranglad Herr. , him away from the ranch. She had not known that Danny's fingers had closed on the stair's tread~ When Joim c~me in the back way she was afraid that it would be remembered Internes It was--and that some one would suspect--as Hubert Hand did suspect--that John had carried the body in at.that time. She had counted on her note to Danny, and on the fact that, as Dan- ny, she was downstairs within tea or twelve minutes after the time we bad seen Gaby walking down the path and bad heard Danny's voice calling after her, to prove her own inno- cence They, and the gentleness of Danny's disposition, did this to per- fection. Her original plan had been to prove that Sam was the nmrderer. With Sam out of the way, and with John in possession of his fortune, she had thought, 1 suppose, that she would have no trouble In persuading John to leave the Desert Moon. But site was afraid of the idea. Knowing Joim's devotion to Sam, s~e could not reckon. with any sureness, how disgrace and sorrow might affect John. [t was too big a rlsk to take, unreservedly. So, though she picked .the quarrel with Sam, strewed the pipe ashes on the bag, put the key in the fireplace. wrote on the photograph, site left loopholes in the shapes of ti~e many other false clews. It is only my own notion that, if she had not thought the definite accusation of Sam, which she made during the session on the fifth of July, was necessary to protect John, she would trace backed out. by that time, and not have made it. It Is again only my nothm that the request, which she put in Imr note to Danny, to have Danny take her body to San Francisco for crenmiiou, was made because she thought that It would be desirable fol lied to he able to leave tile ranch at once--perhaps for several weeks. Mrs. lticker's ex pre~ed suspicion pr~bahly made her realize the wisdom of returnhle as rapidly as Possible to the Desert Moon. Gabrlella Canneziano was a horn crhninal. Almost all of i~er life trod heen spent among criminals. She knew their ways, and sile knew lhe ways of honest peol~le toward them. Consequently, site was too clever to drop her disguise, even for a minute, In San Francisco. When, on the afternoon of tile fourth of ,July, Silo had come downstairs as I)anny, side had come resolved from tirol time forth to he Danny, tn thought and' in deed, up to the level best of tier ability. That she never doubted ider ability to turn from black to wldte within the space of an hour, is a splendid example of Miss MacDonald's c'on-tentlon concerning the egotism of criminals. Miss MacDonald says that tier first real clew was the one i gave to her when ! sald that no one, except Gaby herself, Wild would do such a wicked tiding, had ever been on the raneh. If she had-been on the ranch, she might have committ~d tim murder. She had all three of the primary mo- tives for murder: love, revenge, and greed. The unique feature In this case--Miss MacDonald says that each case has Its unique feature--was that the murdered girl had beet] a duplicate twin. Tile hazy, Incomplete notion. Miss MacDonald says, had Just come into her mlnd: she had not begun to ac- cept It, she was only allowing It. dim- ly, to take form. when I returned to the room that day with my hand full of letters written by Danny. Hand writing, as surely as fingerprints, Miss MacDonald says, proves identity. She asked me, straight, whether I ned seen Danny writing the checks and addressing the envelopes. I an- swered, straight and positively, that I had. (And Miss MacDonald had warned me that people often thought that they saw things they did not see. ) l had not. I had seen the person whom I supposed was Danny writing cheeks and addressing e elopes. I had ,turned my back on her. and had walked to the door. when she called after me anti gave me the envelopes containing the checks. Danny herself had written those checks and had addressed those en- velopes on the third of July. ()wing to all the furore that had been going on in the house that day, she had left her desk before she bad torn the cheeks from her checkbook, and imd never gone back to It tO finish her task. It is possible that Gabrlelle had deliberately arranged that, also: but I think not. At any rate, she had had the checks in her possession, and Itad waited for a date that had a three, or an eight 1. it. to produce them. Circumstances and 1 played well Into her ilands that day; she had only to Insert a one In front of the three to make me her fool Miss MacDonald, as you idave seen. blames herself and not me for tim mistake. She says that she .~hould have known better than to believe me: or, to quote her exactly, she should have "doubted your accuracy of ob- servation." But. not until the morn Ing that we found Daniel Cannezlano murdered did It occur to her to doubt it. She says that it was not clairvoy- ance, not intuition, not even common sense, that it was nothing but a mem. dry that took her. tbat morning, straight back to the idea that Gabrlelle Cannezlano could be the guilty person. Oddly. tl~ conviction had come to her before we fmmd Canneziano's body. Sitting across the table from Ga- brieHe, posing as Da ay, that morn. ing at breakfast, she had thought, idly, of the breakfast that she anti Danny had had together in the dining car. She had taken her chair, that morning, Just as Danny had handed the order Slip for her breakfast to the waiter. Too vaguely to be certain that it was really a memory, sire seemed to see that slip of paper cov. ered with writing. Just then, with UNDER FORCE W~'le--'Tm going to l;is~,~ you. even it S ander protest." She--"It will l~e ~tler an anesthetic, if you ever do." Just So Happened "How did you eome to quarrel with your friend?" "He threw a glass of beer at me, then a bottle--I threw the bottle back and soon we found ourselves quar- reling." The Lowdown Mrs. Pryer.-I nevgr size people up by the clothes they wear on tim street. Mrs. Guyer--Oh, I never do~ Give me a line full of clothes 'every time, my dear, A Great Druggist's One Fault Two druggists were talking about one of their confreres w'ho had died. "He was a great druggist." said one. "He was." admitted the other. "but don't you think he made his chicken salad a little too saltyT" Masterpieces "I saw some genuine home~pun things at Jones' house last night." "How interesting! What were they ?" "Spider webs." the aroma of coffee In her nostrils, and with Imr iced grapefruit and rolls In front of her. she remembered that It was the same breakfast both she and Danny had had that morning. Would such a small order cover an order slip wlth handwriting? Not, it was certain, with the neat nandwrlt. lug that had made out those checks and addressed those envelopes. Right then she resolved to lose no more time; to gel as soon as possible, a sample of the handwr{tlng of the glrl who was sitting across the table from her. Cannezlano's murdeL discovered in the next half hour, strengthened her vague suspicions Into as much of a eertalnty as she ever allowed herself before she Imd positive evidence. As 1 have wrltten, she spent the following week In efforts to get that evhlence; at last, fearlng that she was suspected, she detailed the task tO me. You have seen how l failed. How Gahrlelle ai once saw througl~ my trick of attempting to disable my right hantl hy l)urning it; and how, realiz- ing Ihat she was t'rapped, she'had ruu upstairs, firsl tp satisfy her hing- ing to he herself agaln, even for a few brief nmments, then to tauni John. and. finally, to take her own life. For I ~ifink, In spite of iler denials to John, that she killed Iderself be. cHuse she knew that silo was trapped. though Imr vanity arid tier-audaclt.x held to the end. "1 knew I shmzld lave no trouhle in makirlg you believe that silly doll story," siie said. "It was the truth, I knew, too~ that the dlck would read the code letter. She was so slow about it, that ! had to steal It to make I~er do it. It was time, you see. for the gentle Danielle's story to be veri- fied. "Don't fancy that i had overlooked the nmtter of the hamlwriting. I'm apt a fool. I thought of it before i killed the girl. There were a dozen ways I could have gotten around It-- could yet get around it. If necessary, I could even have disabled my own rlght hand. 1 had rather planned, at first, to do that. But, later, l found that ! loved my pretty little white hand better than ! had supposed, Just as i have discovered that I loved the gay Gaby better than I had supposed --so well. indeed, that I have decided that death as Gaby is Infinitely prefer- able to life as the shiny nosed Danlelle. I have seen this coming. I have not cared. "l got rid of that cur, Cannezl,no, not because I was afraid of hlm, but beeause Ire tried to double-cross me. ! had prpmlsed to do much for hlm, after you nnd I were married: and he would have sold me out for a few thousand dollars. He came here. hoping that Danny might pay him a pretty sum for Ills silence about my past. He knew hls mutt,,ns.' She would have been fool enough to have done It ; poor slain sister stuff; na)re to be plt|ed than blan:ed--all that. you know. He should have played with me, instead of against me. i had a few old scores to settle with him. Most of my rage about the money was because I had thought it would be such good fun to get the best of him. And i dld--so that is all right. I hld In his room early that evening. [t was frightfully amusing to watch him locking his door and his windows to make his sleep a safe one. It was. I did the Job so neatly that he never woke al all. "For that matter, It bus all been amusing, You have all bees such utter fools. But I am tlred of It sow, ()it. very tired, l'artlclflarly, I am tlred of my cruel plan to destroy the gay Gaby by burying her alive. I am going now to do It In a swifter, kinder way." Sum Insists that her success, even for so short a time. is an Indictment agalnst all of us; rlmt It 81rows tltat none of us was capable of looking deeper titan clothes and face paint. I do not agree with him. Gabrlelle was a p~ffesslonal actress. She had lived wlth Danny long enough to learn all her ways, her mannerisms, her habits #a conversathm. She did not dupe Chad, who loved her. and who was an expert in voices. She dld nnt dupe Cannezlano, who had known hoth of the girls all their lives. The murder Itself," by Stupefying us all with horror, with fear. with sus- plelons, did mueh'to help her. But without that ddlllng of our percep- tions, i think that the imposture would have been suecessfut. At the time of the murder, the two girls had been on the ranch with us less than two months. Strangers sever get much deeper than surfaces in so short a time. There was oothlng remark- able, it seems to me. about her bein~ able. quite easily, to deceive all of us, with the single, glaring exception of John. When John came home trom Rat. tall, on the fourth ot July, he was faced with the apparent fact that Danny, In the coarse of a few hours, bad changed essentially. That was wlaat had bothered him so; what lind made him Jerk his head, and blink his eyes. and complain of a touch of sun Jolm had never recognized, much less admitted to himself, that FIT PUNISHMENT Jillson~"What are you going to try to do to the fellow wire stole your there was the sllghtest similarity b~ tween the two girls. Consequently. in spite of a change, Danny must he Danny; she looked like Danny, she talked like Danny, and we all said that she was Danny. John believed. He at once set the fact of Danny's change against the fact of Gaby's murder--and there he stuck fast ; too loyal to go further; too dismayed to retreat. He did not believe tiiat Dan- ny had killed Gabrielle. He had known Danny too well to harbor such a belief. He was forced to hellene that she knew who had done IL Con. sequently, her aceusatlon of Sam eouhl be noti)lng but a wicked accusation. Only--Danny could apt be wicked. The mystery was a torture which Danny's presence intensified unbear- ably; so he avoided her; and, unable to blame her for anything, blamed himself and hated himself for hls sus- picions and for his failing loyalty. I'll venture, though It can be only S "1 Am Going Now to Do It in a Swift. er, Kinder Way." venture, that the realization of his In. terest in Miss MacDonald, and hts Inability to be rid of it. was another "cause for John's befuddlement. That Interest. of course, has all dls- appeared for the present. Though he despised himself for it. John might trove been untrue to a changed, living Danny ; might, in the end. have Jilted her meanly. John is male. But to a Danny who is no longer living, John, now, must always be true. John is young, i reckon he has fine honest plans for being faitlrful to her mem- ory for the remainder of his life, Miss MacDonald is also young, and lovely, and heart whole. She has promised to eome and vtslt us for a month next June. Just nnw, with out thermometers at fifty below zero, and our ehilblatn~ burning, and the coyotes piercing the nights with their lank, long, frozen screeches, and the cold old owls al- ways grieving forth their mournful "chuck-a-lop. whoo, whoo, wboo's" June looks mighty far away. But, five fingers and a thumb, and site wlll be here, smelling of sunshine and tasting like smiles; painting our deserts with rainbow colors for us aa far as the eyes can see; spreading sunsets that catch you right np into their mldsts; offering dawns that share their youth with you and that make you believe all over again In thlngs which you had long ago stopped believing. Now ! don't know shucks about romance; but l have a notion that June, In our northeast- ern Nevada, stirs up whole batches ot the stuff. ! am counting on her to serve It. fresh and sweet, this year. it Isn't June, though, and It Isn't romance that 1 am trusting for the final chore: It is something more last- ing than either, something sturdier, something for which I cannot find a name. But 1 know that It Is lnduce'd by a mixture of long years of right living, and clean tblnklng, and sanity, and courage; so I am expecting It to chmr away the shadows from the Desert Moon and leave IL rldtng high as It used to ride, hlgh and proud, a brave, shining thlng In pur valley. [THE END.] Much to Learn About Heart It is only 300 years since William Harvey gubilshed his discovery of the circulation of the blood, in 1628. In these three centurZes we have learned that its operation Is that of a pump. Each expansion draws into the left ventricle, one of the four ebambers of the heart, about four tablespoonfuls of blood, which has completed its seven. mtnute circuit of the body and has been supplied with fresh oxygen by the lungs. The blood passes through the four chambers, being forced out Into the arteries through the right auricle. And that is about all we really know about the heart. There is still much to learn why and how Infections and nervous diseases affect Its muscles and its valves, throw It out of rhythm mad tend to shorten its usefulnees. wife?" Blllson--"Golig to try to make hhn keep her." Far Into the Night "And did he live to tell the tale?" asked the listener, after the story of the traveler's amazing adventure bad been told. "Oh, yes," replied the story teller, "He's done nothing else ever since." Needed a Night Watch Mr, Newrleh was giving Instructions for changing the la4'out of his garden. taming? 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It ac~s instantly ; re- lief Is quick, and very apparent. All gas Is dispelled; all sourness is soon gone; the whole ~ystem is sweetened. Do try this perfect antl.acld, and re- member it Is Just as good for children, too, and pleasant for them to take. Any drug store has the genuine, pre- 'crlptlonal product. P HMMagn iI]L Ps ilk. a