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at the back of the big motorman, won
unconscious assistant in the experiment dering, with half-stirred fears, if some- instantly changed and in another moment thing had touched his sanity. While the was exhibiting emotion in an ascending growls, mutterings and feminine plaints scale, from surprise, through indignation, behind him gradually subsided, he com- to rage and pain. muned with himself.
"Misery loves company," thought From the beginning of his short walk John, now, however, quite indifferent to from his laboratory up to the present
others' concern in the matter, in his eager time, he could not remember a single liv- search after solution of the mystery. He ing person with whom he had come in shed his glances, like the rain, upon the contact, whose actions had not been, to just and unjust, and the man of rage at say the least, peculiar; and, in the pres- the end of the car soon had a majority ent instance, doubly, trebly, yea multi- of his fellow passengers as companions peculiar. Could it be that he—John in misery.
. Holden-had some weird influence upon The temperature within the car seemed them all? What kind of thing had he to rise with the rising of highly heated become? It seemed as if some atinos- remarks and, very quickly, as Holden phere he carried with him affected men continued his test, human nature's boiland women like a poison in the air, stir- ing point was reached and the contents ring them to strange acts. Impossible! of the car literally bubbled over. There And yet, witness the strange contortions was a crash of broken glass, the doors of the enraged company behind him. were thrown open and the panic-stricken
John stood with bowed head, his eyes occupants tumbled out and along the absently resting upon the motorman's street: The startled and, as yet, uncoat. Suddenly he noticed that the spot scorched conductor rang the bell franupon which his gaze focused was fast tically. As the last passenger made his turning from blue to brown, while a deli- escape the car came to a standstill
, leaving cate wisp of smoke was floating up from John “upon the burning deck whence all
And meantime, the motorman had but him had fled." The last vestige of become a very busy man indeed. He was doubt was removed from his mind. He trying to manage the controller, handle was all that he had surmised and more the brake and rub his back at one and besides. the same time.
But the conductor, confident that the The car was bowling merrily along up sole survivor of the strange fracas must town, bearing its load of puzzled but have been the cause of the stampede from ugly humans. Some of the passengers his car, advanced upon John with firedisembarked at the various corners, figuratively-in his eyes also. Holden others taking their places ; so that when shifted his gaze from an advertisement John turned from the much worried of an asbestos stove-lining, where it had ·motorman, who was now thoroughly been harmless, to the already heated roused to action, the car presented an countenance of the would-be ejector. almost entirely new aggregation of faces. There was an instant pause, then, with a
His idea of his own condition, of the howl of misery, the coin-collector clinched mysterious thing that had occurred and to avoid punishment and dragged John of the powers it had bestowed upon him, toward the wrecked doors. was still far from being convincing. In- Having ideas of his own as to the deed, he could not accept a theory that a proper way of getting on and off a car, thing so utterly, absurdly improbable as Hoiden resisted half-heartedly. The his suspicion now suggested, could hap- brawny conductor, thinking to accelerate pen. But he meant to try it thoroughly. the exit of the trouble-maker, as John Appreciating the fact that his experiment stepped to the street, applied his foot in would no doubt be painful, he salved his no uncertain way. There was an instant conscience with the thought that it was turning of the worm, but as it happened, in the cause of scientific research, and in this case, it was a very athletic worm, fixed his eyes upon the farthest occupant indeed, that turned.
turned. A twist, an upward of the car.
spring, a grip upon the waist-line, and The expression upon the face of his the conductor was over John's shoulder,
flat upon his back in the pavement ooze The assembled crowd, with the usual óf “Beautiful Spring.”
fairness of gatherings of the sort—espeThe exhibition of ground and lofty cially when a police officer is one of the tumbling by Holden's former car-mates, participants—had refrained from interthe sudden stoppage of the car, and the fering, until the fall of law and order. living-picture of the victor vanquished, Being quick to see the benefits which had attracted the attention of the pedes- would accrue from John's downfall—the trians and loafers of the locality Headed officer gaining the credit, and they the
by a police officer from his station fruits thereof-they hurled themselves against the corner hydrant, they advanced into the breach, headed by their local upon our friend en masse.
pugilistic celebrity. Holden, his eyes But when the officer had arrived with- scorching and withering the flesh wherin range of the disturber's fiery eyes, ever they rested, had at last crossed the there was a pause, and a waving of Rubicon of the law. Missiles of every hands as though he, too, had interrupted description were aimed at him; some of a swarm of bees en route. With a which took effect on the windows of the whoop and a blow of his club—which, car—a few only reaching their intended had it landed, would have put an end to mark. this narrative, and sent its hero to the The increasing crowd was rapidly hospital—he protected his face with his assuming the nature of a mob, when the arms, and sprang into the fray. John object of their displeasure seized the only side-stepped, and the blow was wasted. opportunity offered. He sprang across Another vicious blow, which grazed his the platform of the car, and by means shoulder, and grievous to relate, the rep- of well directed blows, augmented by a resentative of the law, being the recipient few unsportsmanlike but necessary kicks, of a vigorous blow under the ear, from was clear of his enemies and flying up the the now thoroughly aroused John, de- street in the direction of his refugescended to the muddy street, and, in the home. vernacular of the street, "took the count.” With howls, the pursuit opened, but John, who had not trained upon free- whelmingly that he stole guiltily and lunches and beer, as had the majority of dinnerless to bed that night, and he spent his trailers, was soon opening his lead. a miserable night. He slept poorly and At the first cross-street below his destina- awoke much earlier than usual. And tion he turned up and was lost to their after a lonely breakfast served in his view.
room and while he turned his back upon After that, a few alleys and back his kindly housekeeper, he sent for the streets crossed brought him to his own only man he dared to trust with his secret. neighborhood; and when he dropped Dr. Joseph McGregor was the right over into his own little back yard, he sort, and when he was ushered into gave a great gasp, wilted down upon a John's room Holden felt it. He entered friendly convenient soap-box and offered into no preliminaries with this good up silent thanks.
friend. Keeping his eyes averted from It being rather an unusual way for the doctor's face, John handed him a copy Mr. Holden to enter his home, her of “The Morning Ochre,” which he had majesty, the cook, was disposed not to been trying to read, and the front page admit him, until he had identified him- of which resembled a shot-gun target self. In the excitement of the chase he with scorched perforations. had forgotten his strange affliction, and Dr. Joe read aloud-in letters four strode into her kitchen with the fire of inches high-this awful announcement: battle dying down in his eyes, but with that other fire, breeder of trouble, and IS NEW YORK CURSED ? mystery of mysteries, still thoroughly alive. When the cook sailed into range
A Spotted Plague Appears in This City ! she caught a cross-fire instead of delivering a broadside, and retired from action, much warmer but no wiser.
MEDICAL FRATERNITY PUZZLED ! He reached his room without further mishap. After divesting himself of his The detailed account underneath had soiled and torn clothing, he donned his
not been as severely punctured as the lounging robe and dropped into an easy headings, owing to the fact that John had chair almost exhausted. Picking up his flung the paper from him in disgust, oldest, choicest pipe, he began a close
when these burning words of freak-jourcommunion with himself.
nalism met his eyes. His friend was en“Mr. John Holden a disturber of the
abled to continue without trouble. peace? The gentlemanly, popular Mr.
"Yellow fever or small-pox seem Holden, a law-breaker, a common street
trivial diseases when compared with brawler, and a fugitive from justice?"
this new Terror, which is no reHis physical self shrunk down in the specter of persons, striking old or chair at the accusations of his mental one,
young, at home or abroad." and at the thought that he might have
Here followed as detailed an account been recognized, he felt a momentary hot
as could be obtained from the various rush of shame over the episode.
sources at the command of the omnipresRecovering his mental balance pres
ent reporter. Following this article was ently, however, the pipe-loading pro
another equally disturbing, in bold-faced ceeded. Picking up a silver match-box great primer: tracting one, was astounded to see the Brutal Assault of a Car-Conductor contents burst into flames in his hand. He sprang to his feet in alarm, and Well Dressed Ruffian Pummels Offihastily closing the box, thereby extinguishing the fire, sank back into his chair, cer Grady into Unconsciousness unnerved and trembling.
and Makes His Escape "Guod Lord!” he groaned. "Supposing I was employed in a powder-inill!"
No Arrests His enormous capability for making trouble bore down on him so over- At the conclusion the doctor dropped the paper and looked at John inquiringly. disclose my findings; for I must confess, Our friend seemed to be deeply inter- your case staggers me, and I'll have to ested in watching the trees grow in the go to men higher up in the profession for park; but, feeling the doctor's gaze, he light upon the matter." related the events of the past thirty hours So it came about that the next day saw without reservation.
Holden and his faithful man, WilliamDoctor Joe scattered words of doubt in whom he had confided-comfortably and disbelief along the wayside of John's ensconced in quarters safely removed tale, until the narrator, in order that his from the bustle and roar of the city. friend should be convinced beyond pos- To a man of John's habits it was no sible skepticism, turned his eyes squarely great hardship, this spending the days upon him. With a yell Doctor Joe tum- upon the water or along the beach, rebled backward over his chair and turning at night to dine, smoke and retire straightway became a strong believer. early. But the utter loneliness of it, cut
When he had recovered he seated him- off from human companionship-except self, muttering in grieved tones, “If the for William, with whom he could con
eyes are really windows of the soul, verse, but not look upon—was somewhat yours must be a blooming blast-furnace. depressing. So, when Doctor Joe ran up
John did not reply. It seemed un- one afternoon to spend the night John necessary.
shut his eyes and literally welcomed him “Strangest case I ever run across,” re- with open arms. marked the doctor, comfortingly. Then, After dinner—at which they sat side after a pause, he asked abruptly, "I be- by side, in order that their glances might lieve you own a comfortable little place not conflict—they adjourned to the situp the sound,' eh?"
ting room; where, in easy chairs drawn John nodded despondently.
up before the open drift-wood fire, Doctor “Now, a man of your fiery spirit,” con- Joe gave a full and exhaustive diagnosis tinued Doctor Joe, "should have a wider of John's peculiar affliction. scope. With Long Island sound on one "Your case, old man, is one of the hand and a deserted beach on the other, strangest of my whole medical experiI think it would be wise, at just this time, ence, so much so, indeed, that I've inif you took your man and journeyed up terested three of the most prominent men for a bit. I'll run up in a day or so and in their different lines of the profession
on the Western Hemisphere. It is their put out from the yacht and watched it opinion that the experiment which has curiously as it made its noisy way in. Its ended so disastrously for you, whether occupants were a lady and gentleman. the results of the chemicals, the exact As the launch approached he recognized proportion of the solution, or the manner. in the gentleman a man of authority in in which they were combined, has caused yachting circles, whom he had met upon a thorough phosphorizing of the retina, several occasions in the city. The young and established a powerful attraction for lady-and John could now see that she light-waves.
was young-was unknown to him. As "Now, light, being to a certain extent his piercing eyes were harmless at long heat, the continued storage of light would range, and it seemed ages since he had naturally tend to produce considerable seen such a vision of loveliness, the lonely caloric. This, under great excitement, man, sheltered from their view by a cluswhether pleasureable otherwise- ter of weather-beaten spiles—sat and would be still further aggravated by the feasted his eyes upon her. increase of the temperature of the body The launch ran in at the other end of in the same ratio as the increase.”
the old dock-out of John's sight, and was He paused, in order that these technical evidently beached on the sand; while the terms might soak in gradually, then con- yachtsman disembarked and walked hurtinued :
riedly away over the knoll. “At the point where this compound Our undiscovered friend sat silently, has become sufficiently heated by light puffing away on his pipe, and for a time saturation to cause activity, atoms are all was peace and quietness. Suddenly thrown off along the line of the sight for he heard exclamations of alarm from the a short distance, causing combustion at solitary occupant of the boat. Rising to the point of focus. You know how a his feet he saw the treacherous little burning-glass works, don't you?"
craft, the beaching of which had eviJohn assented mournfully.
dently not been secure, drifting rapidly "Well, you're a human burning-glass, out into the dangerous fog. so to speak. In fact, you're the only With John's appearance on the beach example of animated fireworks in the
the young lady redoubled her vocal efworld.”
forts. As the distance was widening with John groaned dismally.
alarming rapidity he saw that nothing but “We've come to the conclusion,” added heroic measures would avail.
Off came Doctor Joe, “that a powerful counter- shoes and coat and into the ice-cold irritant might relieve you ; but we'll have sound he plunged to the rescue. to figure out a way of administering it
As he pushed through the water he without cremating the patient.”
lost sight of the drifting boat at interThe intelligence, not being conducive to vals, owing to the oily swell and, during sound slumber, caused our friend to one such interval, his ears were stricken spend another sleepless night. He arose by a piercing scream. He was rapidly early, saw Doctor Joe take his departure overtaking the boat, but at this evidence for town and, with his fire-proof friend, of a new complication, he straightened his pipe, and a downcast heart, started up up in the water. What he saw made him the beach.
put forth all the strength he had. The He had gone a long distance from young lady, in attempting to propel the home before his unpleasant reveries were boat closer to the swimmer, had tripped broken in upon by the rattle of chains, as and gone over the side. a large steam yacht came to anchor. He When John, straining every muscle, could dimly make out her shape through came up with the boat, he found its forthe gray mist which was fast settling mer passenger clinging to the side, undown upon the water as she swung to able to clamber in. With chattering the tide.
teeth she resigned herself to our friend's Lighting a fresh pipeful he sat down guidance, and he, through his fuller upon the string-piece of a dismantled knowledge of such things, climbed in wreck of a boat-landing and looked out from the opposite side, and proceeded to upon the scene. He saw a small launch rescue her in proper fashion.