Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font  

The Bradys After a Chinese Princess; Or, The Yellow Fiends of 'Frisco

Francis Worcester Doughty

  Produced by David Edwards, Mary Meehan and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at University, SUL Books in the Public Domain)









  Issued Weekly--By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at the New York, N. Y., Post Office, March 1, 1899. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1911, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C, by Frank Tousey, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.

  No. 658. NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 1, 1911. Price 5 Cents.



  One foggy night a few years since at something after two o'clock, agood-sized motor boat containing five men might have been seen cruisingclose in to the water-front line of lower San Francisco.

  Three of the occupants were big, husky fellows, who sat idly in the boatlooking like men waiting to be called upon to act and prepared for anyemergency.

  A good-looking young fellow in his twenties was attending to engineer'sduty, while astern sat an elderly man of striking appearance andpeculiar dress.

  He wore a long, blue coat with brass buttons, an old-fashioned stock andstand-up collar, and a big white hat with an unusually broad brim.

  Clearly he was the leader of this outfit, whatever their business mightbe out there on the silent bay in the early morning hours.

  He was a man accustomed to command, being none other than theworld-famous detective, Old King Brady, chief of the Brady DetectiveBureau of Union Square, New York.

  And having made this statement, we need scarcely add that the young manin charge of the boat was his partner, Young King Brady, second in skillas a detective only to his great chief.

  The detective had been ordered to San Francisco on special duty by theUnited States Secret Service Bureau.

  Information had been received of the intention of certain Chinamen torun in opium on a large scale, dodging the duty due to Uncle Sam.

  The information, while definite and reliable, was still vague.

  Details were lacking, yet it was known that there was surely going to besomething doing in the line during this particular week, and thatwhatever was done would take place in the neighborhood of the IndiaBasin.

  This made the fourth night the Bradys had been on the watch with threelocal Secret Service men as their aides.

  It was discouraging work.

  Nothing had happened.

  The weak point of the undertaking was the lack of knowledge as to theparticular ship or steamer on which the opium was expected to arrive.

  Two steamers had arrived from China this week, one regular liner and onetramp.

  Three sailing vessels had also come in, all from Chinese ports.

  Yet it was by no means certain that the opium would enter the harbor ofSan Francisco in that way.

  It is quite the custom with captains of English tramp steamers, and alsowith those of sailing vessels, to drop opium overboard in sealed rubberbags while off the Farraleone Islands.

  Such bags are picked up by fishing schooners on hand for the purpose,and by them landed as best they can.

  A close watch for such operations in this particular instance was beingkept by a special revenue cutter outside the Golden Gate.

  The Bradys' orders had to do only with the landing.

  It was supposed that the people connected with some storage warehouse inthis vicinity were and had been for some time standing in with thesmugglers.

  It was particularly desired by the Government to learn who these peoplewere; to catch them red-handed and make an example of them.

  That Chinese capital was back of this crooked enterprise was certain,but there was reason to believe that they were being substantially aidedby others who were not of their race.

  "If the fog would only lift we might be able to do something," remarkedone of the Secret Service men, "but as it is I see little use inremaining here."

  "Patience," replied Old King Brady. "We have to do the best we can, myfriend. I admit that the fog is a nuisance, but I am not giving up yetby any means. Harry, work in a little nearer. We must be close upon theIndia Basin by this time."

  The order was obeyed by Young King Brady.

  After a few moments the wharf line became visible, the fog lifting abit.

  Then suddenly came a break.

  "The basin," said the Secret Service man.

  "I think not," replied Old King Brady. "I think it is only the IslaisCreek Channel. Stop the boat, Harry. We will lie off here for a fewminutes. Perhaps we are banking too much on these hop smugglers runninginto the basin. It may be one of the warehouses on the channel hereafter all."

  Harry stopped the launch accordingly.

  The ebb tide took them back and the fog closed in on the Islais Channel.

  The boat ran against a wharf and the movement was stopped.

  "Shall I pull up, governor?" inquired Young King Brady.

  "No. We will rest as we are," said the old detective. "Quiet, now. Letus listen. I shall not remain long idle here."

  "It isn't the least use," growled the Secret Service man. "There won'tbe nothing doing to-night."

  Old King Brady made no reply.

  This man was a chronic kicker. He had been at it right along.

  But for the fact that he was also known to be a good fighter, Old KingBrady would have dropped him.

  Silence and fog!

  Such was the situation now.

  For fully twenty minutes they remained thus, and the old detective wasjust about to order a move on to the India Basin when voices were heardat no great distance, speaking in some foreign tongue.

  "At last!" breathed Old King Brady. "I told you there would be somethingdoing to-night, boss. Is that Chinese they are talking, Harry?"

  "Sounds so."

  "Sure it is," added the kicker.

  "I'll wake up Alice, then," said the old detective. "This is her job."

  We have not mentioned a woman who, wrapped in a heavy shawl, sat halfreclining at Old King Brady's feet with her head resting on a corner ofthe stern seat.

  This was the noted female detective, Alice Montgomery, who is a fullpartner in the Brady Bureau.

  The daughter of a missionary, born and brought up in China, Alice,besides several other foreign languages, such as German, French andItalian, both speaks and reads Chinese.

  Of course, such an accomplishment was likely to prove invaluable in asituation like this.

  Old King Brady now aroused his female partner and explained.

  But by this time the voices had ceased.

  "Must be that they are in a sailboat," observed the kicker, half aloud.

  "Will you kindly keep quiet," breathed the old detective. "This mist isas good as a telephone. I want to do business to-night if I can."

  After a moment the voices in the mist were heard again.

  Alice listened attentively.

  "Chinese?" whispered Harry.

  "Yes; hush."

  The voices ceased.

  Chinese never hold continuous c
onversation like other people.

  They say what they have to say and let it go at that.

  This time the voices seemed to come from a greater distance.

  "What are they talking about?" the old detective asked.

  "They are trying to find the Islais Channel," whispered Alice. "Theythink they have missed their bearings."

  "Therein they are quite mistaken. The Islais Channel is right here.Didn't catch the name of any street or warehouse?"


  "Or person?"

  "The name Volckman was mentioned."

  "Good! It may prove a valuable clew. Let us wait and listen. To attemptto overhaul them in the open bay would be useless, but once they enterthe channel, we have them bottled up."

  "I wonder what sort of a craft they are in?" queried Harry.

  "It can't be either a rowboat or a launch," replied the old detective,"and it is hard to see how they can get around with a sailboat on anight like this, yet that must be what it is."

  "There is a breeze springing up now," observed the kicker.

  He had scarcely spoken when the voices were heard close to them.

  Evidently the ebb tide was taking the smugglers, if such they were,their way.

  They were now speaking loud and rapidly.

  "Draw your revolvers, boys, and be ready," breathed Old King Brady. "Weare liable to be discovered at any moment."

  Alice sat listening.

  "They are the smugglers, all right," she presently whispered.

  "Sure?" asked Old King Brady.

  "Yes. They say----"

  "Never mind, Alice, unless it is something important."

  Still the voices continued.

  The smugglers appeared to be passing the launch in the direction of thechannel.

  "Listen!" whispered Alice, as they presently ceased. "This is important.One said: 'We must hurry if we expect to save the princess. She can'tstand it much longer.'"

  "What can that mean?"

  "The name of their boat, perhaps."

  "Do you think so?"

  "Frankly, I don't. It seemed to me as if they were speaking of aperson."

  "Then they must have a woman with them. Perhaps some Chinese woman theyare smuggling in."

  Suddenly a loud voice exclaimed in English: "Here's your channel now,you Chinks!"

  "Allee light! Allee light! Hully up now," came the reply.

  The breeze had increased. The fog was lifting a little. Certain soundswere heard that indicated a sailboat going about.

  "Shall I start up?" asked Harry.

  "Not yet," was the reply. "Let them get well into the channel, then wewill close in on them."

  The voices died away; the time to move had come.

  "Now," said Old King Brady. Immediately the "chug-chug" of the motormade itself heard.

  "Bear right down upon them," ordered the old detective; "a little briskaction will put us on the right side of this outfit, I hope. Alice, youget down in the boat."

  Alice, brave girl that she is, protested that she was willing to takeher chances with the rest, but Old King Brady sternly repeating theorder, it was obeyed.

  A few moments of anxious suspense and a large sailboat loomed up out ofthe mist right ahead of them.

  Instantly Old King Brady turned a powerful electric flashlight upon it.

  In the boat were several boxes and bales. One box seemed particularlylarge.

  If this was filled with opium, Old King Brady knew that it must be veryvaluable.

  There were three Chinamen in the boat and one white man.

  "Lower your sail and surrender!" thundered Old King Brady.

  The white man appeared about to obey, but one of the Chinameninterfered.

  The other two immediately discharged their revolvers at the launch.

  The shots flew harmlessly past them, but it made the old detective vexedto think that he had not been the first to open fire, which he and theothers by his command now instantly did.

  Whether any one was hit or not it was impossible to tell, but all fourmen at once sprang overboard and, abandoning their boat, struck out forthe south bulkhead of the channel, which was no great distance away.

  "We win!" cried the old detective. "No more firing, boys. I had just assoon they would escape."

  They pushed on to the abandoned boat.

  The mist closed in on them and the swimmers were lost to view.

  Making fast to the boat, the kicker sprang aboard and lowered the sail.

  "A good haul, Mr. Brady," he exclaimed. "There are thousands of poundsof hop here, but what do you suppose is in this big box?"

  "That remains for us to discover," replied Old King Brady. "Is itheavy?"

  "Very," replied the kicker, weighting the box.

  "Never mind now. Make fast and we will pull around to the Indian Basin.I shall touch nothing until we are at the Government stores."

  The kicker obeyed, and was just about to step back into the launch, whenOld King Brady, ordering him to remain where he was, he sat down on thebig tin box.

  Instantly he jumped up again, exclaiming:

  "Good heavens! There is some one alive in this box!"

  "Ah! The princess!" cried Alice.

  "What did you hear?" demanded Old King Brady.

  "Some one spoke. There it goes again! It's a Chinaman."

  "Or a woman! Alice, do you think you can get aboard the sailboat withouttumbling into the bay?"

  "Why, certainly," replied Alice, and she stepped aboard the sailboatwith the kicker's aid.

  "Is any one in the box?" she called.

  "Yes. Help! Save me! I am dying in here!" came the answer in Chinese.

  Alice instantly repeated the words.

  "We must make a landing right here on the bulkhead in front of thesewarehouses," declared Old King Brady, and he gave Harry ordersaccordingly.

  Loaded down as the sailboat was, it would have been both difficult anddangerous to attempt to open the bulky box on board.

  Indeed, in order to get at it properly, a good portion of the contentsof the boat would have to be removed in any case.

  "Ask her who she is and how she came to be there, Alice," the olddetective called; adding:

  "I am assuming that it is a woman."

  "Yes, it's a woman," replied Alice, and she put the question.

  "She says she is the Princess Skeep Hup," Alice called.

  "Ask her how she came to be in the box."

  But when Alice put the question there came no reply.

  "I'm afraid she has fainted!" said Alice, "or, indeed, she may be dead."

  "A mystery!" cried Harry. "The mystery that came out of the mist."