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The Bradys Beyond Their Depth; Or, The Great Swamp Mystery

Francis Worcester Doughty

  Produced by David Edwards and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at (StanfordUniversity, SUL Books in the Public Domain)

  Secret Service

  Old and Young King Brady, Detectives.

  _Issued Weekly--By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as SecondClass Matter at the New York Post Office, by Frank Tousey._

  No. 95. New York, November 16, 1900. Price 5 Cents.



  The two desperadoes were completely surprised by thesudden appearance of the two noted detectives. "The jig is up, boys,"said Old King Brady, as he covered his man.]

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  _Issued Weekly--By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as SecondClass Matter at the New York, N.Y., Post Office, March 1, 1899.Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1900, in the officeof the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D.C., by Frank Tousey, 24Union Square, New York._

  No. 95. NEW YORK, November 16, 1900. Price 5 Cents.



  The Great Swamp Mystery.




  "Help! Police! Murder!"

  It was a dark, rainy night in March when this thrilling cry, in a man'svoice, came from a house in West Thirty-sixth street, New York.

  Two detectives were passing along from Seventh avenue, toward Broadway,when the wild appeal brought them to a sudden pause.

  "Hark, Old King Brady!" one of them exclaimed. "Did you hear that cry?"

  "Somebody in distress, Harry," replied the tall, gaunt old man, as heshot a keen glance around. "This is a dangerous neighborhood."

  The stylishly-dressed youth of twenty nodded, felt to see if he had arevolver in his pocket, and pointed at an undertaker's wagon standingin front of one of a row of houses opposite.

  "Queer hour for that fellow to be doing business!" he remarked. "Thereisn't a light in any of that row of houses, yet the undertaker must bein one of them."

  "Help! Help!" came the mysterious voice in smothered tones once more.

  This time the Secret Service men located the sound.

  It came from the house before which the wagon stood.

  "By Jove, the undertaker must be making a job for himself!" exclaimedOld King Brady, pushing his big white hat back, and exposing astrong-featured, smooth-shaven face, in the light of a street lamp.

  He unbuttoned the old blue frock-coat he wore, disclosing a standingcollar and stock, drew out his watch and fob, and added:

  "It's just eight o'clock."

  "Shall we go over and investigate those cries?" asked Harry Brady, theyouth.

  "No, not yet. Get in this area. I see the house door opening."

  They glided swiftly into the area of a flat house, and keenly watchedproceedings.

  Old and Young King Brady, as the pair were called, were the two mostcelebrated detectives in the Secret Service. They were not related.

  On the contrary, they came of different families. But, since the timeJames Brady took an interest in Harry, and taught him his profession,they had been partners, and made themselves dreaded by all evil doers.

  Both were shrewd, brave and daring to a fault, and Harry's ambitionmade him strive to excel his tutor in every way.

  The boy was first to catch view of a man in the open doorway opposite,and he dimly observed that he was tall, thin, dressed in black, wore ahigh hat, and had a mustache and a pair of bushy side-whiskers.

  "Looks like an undertaker," Young King Brady commented in a whisper.

  "He's carrying something," added the old detective. "Ah--it's a coffin,ain't it?"

  "A wooden box shaped like one. There's another man on the other end ofit," said Harry, whose interest was aroused. "They're coming out."

  The second man was a short, roughly-clad negro.

  As they staggered under the weight of the box, the detectives inferredthat it was heavy. The Bradys could now see a rope tied around it.

  The two men carried it down to the wagon, the back doors of which stoodopen.

  Just as they shoved the box into the vehicle, Old King Brady dartedacross the street, and tapped the tall, thin man on the arm.

  He gave a start, a cry of alarm, and wheeled around, glaring at theofficer.

  "What have you got in that box?" demanded the detective, abruptly.

  "My dear sir, really, that is none of your business," replied theother.

  "You are mistaken," said Old King Brady, exhibiting his badge. "I am anofficer. We heard cries of murder emanate from that building, and thisis a singular hour for an undertaker to be removing a corpse."

  The tall, thin man nodded, and smiled blandly.

  Taking something from his pocket, he handed it to the officer.

  "My card, sir," he said, politely. "Name of Solomon Gloom. This is acase of smallpox. House has been quarantined. Here's my Health Boardpermit to remove the corpse. The rule is to take 'em at night."

  He handed over a permit, but it was too dark for Old King Brady to readit.

  "Well," said the officer, hesitatingly, "that part may be all right.Who is dead?"

  "Albert Reid, the old cotton broker, sir. Got him in a metallic casketin this box. Going to take him to the crematory at Fresh Pond."

  "Did he live here?"

  "Yes, sir. You can get the particulars inside, if you like."

  "How do you account for those yells for help?"

  "Came from old Reid's crazy son. He didn't want us to cart away thebody. Had a regular fight with him to drive him away. He yelled andfought like a tiger. Really, I thought he'd arouse the wholeneighborhood. Had to lock him in a

  "Who's in the house with him?"

  "No one. We are coming back later, to release him."

  "Just wait here. I'll go in and question him."

  "Certainly, my dear sir, certainly. Sim, wait in the wagon for me amoment and I'll go up and show the gentleman in. But really, sir,you're running a great risk. It's a contagious disease, and----"

  "Oh, I'll chance it," quietly said Old King Brady, as he took a chew oftobacco, and eyed Harry, who was still lurking in the area, opposite.

  "As you please, sir. Come ahead," said Mr. Gloom, and as they went upthe steps into the big front yard, the man called Sim swung himself upon the driver's seat, and took the whip and reins in his hands.

  Beside the undertaker, Old King Brady mounted the front stoop.

  Mr. Gloom seized the knob, pushed open the door and said, affably:

  "Go right in, sir. The hall is dark, but----"

  "Oh, I ain't afraid of that," said the old detective. "I've gotmatches."

  He stepped into the gloomy vestibule ahead of the undertaker, when Mr.Gloom suddenly struck him in the back with both hands.

  The old detective was knocked forward, plunged into the hall and fellupon his hands and knees.

  Quick as a flash the undertaker darted back, slammed the door shut,fastened it with a key already in the lock and rushed down the steps.

  "Go like fury!" he cried, as he sprang upon the wagon.

  But Harry had seen him lock Old King Brady in the house, and was atthat moment rushing across the street toward them, crying:

  "Stop, you scoundrels, or I'll shoot you!"

  He had his pistol in his hand.

  The undertaker saw him and whipped a revolver out of his hip-pocket.

  "Perdition! There's another of them!" he hissed in tones of alarm.

  The next moment he aimed his weapon at Young King Brady and fired.


  The shot echoed loudly through the silent street.

  Up went Harry's hands, and he fell prostrate, with blood streaming froma wound on the side of his head.

  The driver lashed the horse furiously.

  With a snort, the galled beast sprang forward and raced madly along thestreet toward Broadway, from whence a policeman was running.

  "Hello!" yelled the patrolman. "Who fired that shot?"

  "Man lying wounded up the street!" shouted the undertaker.

  Away dashed the policeman to investigate and the wagon kept on to Sixthavenue, swung around the corner and dashed downtown, under the elevatedroad.

  In the meantime, Old King Brady had risen to his feet.

  Realizing that he had been victimized by Mr. Gloom, he tried to openthe door.

  Finding that it resisted all his efforts, he lit a match, and goinghastily into the house, he was astonished to find it empty anduntenanted.

  In the middle of the parlor floor lay a curious-looking dagger, whichlooked as if it had been buried in a human body, and the bare boardswere stained with the same life fluid.

  "There's been a murder committed here," flashed through the detective'smind, as he picked up the knife and put it in his pocket, "and thosemen have carried away their victim's body in that box!"

  He rushed to one of the parlor windows and flung it open, just in timeto see Harry get shot. The sight made Old King Brady frantic with fury.

  "They've killed the boy and escaped!" he roared.

  Then he sprang out the window and landed on his feet in the yard.

  It only took him a moment to reach his pupil's side, and lifting thelimp form in his arms, carried him to the sidewalk, under thelamp-post.

  Here he examined Harry's wound very carefully.

  It was only scalp deep, and the rain beating down on his face revivedhim.

  Before the policeman reached the boy, he had regained his senses, andfound Old King Brady wiping his face and sticking court-plaster overthe cut.

  Most of the neighbors had their heads out their windows to see whatcaused the pistol shot, and the policeman came up panting.

  "Oh!" he exclaimed, recognizing the detectives. "It's the Bradys."

  "Yes. We had a fuss with the driver of an undertaker's wagon," the olddetective explained. "Harry got shot, but it's only a flesh wound."

  "I see. How are you feeling now, Young King Brady?"

  "A little sore, but otherwise all right," replied the boy, pluckilysuppressing a faint feeling, and getting upon his feet. "Where arethey?"

  "I saw that wagon swing into Broadway and dash downtown," said thepoliceman.

  "Are you able to pursue it, Harry?" asked Old King Brady, in restlesstones.

  "I think so," the boy replied. "Ride, if you can. It's a suspiciouscase, Old King Brady. They wouldn't attempt murder to prevent us fromprying into this affair, unless they had a powerful reason for it. Thepoliceman had better search that house while we are gone."

  "Come on then, my boy. I've got evidence that a dark crime was justcommitted in that empty house. We'd better verify my suspicions."

  And they hastened over to Broadway, boarded a car and were rapidlycarried to Fourteenth street, where they alighted to make inquiries.