Nick Carter, Detective: The Solution of a Remarkable Case

CHAPTER XII.
BRINGING THREADS TOGETHER.

It would have been an easy matter for Nick to have captured the two men then and there, but from his standpoint it was not good judgment to do so.

Eugenie La Verde's murderer was still unknown, and these men would be very valuable, at large, in helping him to solve the mystery.

They were going directly to the house in Forty-seventh street, and he could arrest them there at any time, when he had used them all he cared to.

As soon as the negress expired, the captain walked calmly from the room, leaving the corpses of his two victims there without an atom of remorse.

Nick followed, not by leaving the house the way he had entered it, but by going directly in the path of Captain Philip.

Morgan had the horse and buggy nearly ready, and his companion helped him to finish the task.

"Climb in," said the captain.

"What are you going to do with the other horse since we don't need him?"

"Leave him. He is worthless, anyway."

"But he will starve."

"Let him."

"At least set him loose."

"Bah! Chicken! Climb in, I tell you. I have no time for trifles."

Morgan obeyed, and Nick shuddered at the wanton cruelty of the two men.

Nevertheless they had unwittingly done him a service, for he was now provided with a means of returning to the city without walking.

He had no thought of following them, for he knew where to find them when he wanted them.

In the meantime he had something else to do.

After waiting long enough to give them a good start, he brought the other horse out of the stable.

There was an old harness in the barn, which he adjusted after some trouble.

In his pocket was the missing nut for the open buggy, and he was soon bowling along the road at a rapid pace.

He did not stop at Weehawken, but continued on to Hoboken.

There he gave the horse in charge of a liveryman with instructions to keep it until called for, and hurried to New York.

He went straight to the house of Inspector Byrnes.

"Inspector," he said, when the chief had admitted him, "there were two murders committed to-night by the men I have been pursuing. They are also the ones who know all about the killing of Eugenie La Verde! The bodies of their victims are now lying where they left them in a house not far from the Palisades."

"You're a marvel, Nick. Tell me where the house is and I'll wire the Jersey police."

Nick did so, but added:

"Don't make the case too hot till I say the word. Tell Chief Murphy, in Jersey, that you know who the murderer is, and that you will hand him over before the week is out. In the meantime I don't want to scare my man."

"Good."

"Two more things."

"Well?"

"Will you go with me in person to arrest the murderer of Eugenie La Verde?"

"I will; when?"

"To-morrow night. Come to my house at eight."

"I'll be there. Now the other thing."

"An order from you to let me see the prisoner I took to headquarters. I want to talk with him."

"Now?"

"Yes."

The order was quickly filled out, and Nick lost no time in reaching headquarters in Mulberry street.

He was shown at once to Tony's cell.

"Do you know me, Tony?" he asked.

"No. I don't know niggers."

"Don't, eh? Well, I know you, and I want to ask you some questions."

"Ask 'em."

"Why do you feed your sister's murderer?"

"To keep him alive."

"I should think you would rather kill him."

"Bah! Why? I would rather strangle the man who killed my pet cobra."

"You would, eh? What would you do if I brought you face to face with that man?"

"Anything you ask."

"Let me see you feed the murderer of your sister, Eugenie and I will do it."

"How do you know she was my sister?"

"Never mind. I do know it."

"He must be fed soon, or he will starve, or else leave the house."

"Will to-morrow night do?"

"Yes, but he will be cross."

"Are you afraid of him?"

"I? No. He dare not hurt me."

"Very well. To-morrow night I will take you there, and I promise you that you shall be brought face to face with the man who shot your cobra."

"With my hands free?"

"Yes."

"Who are you?"

"Does that matter, if I keep my word?"

"No."

"Good-by then till to-morrow night."

Promptly at eight o'clock on the following night Inspector Byrnes was at the house of Nick Carter.

In a few words Nick related the entire story of his adventures from first to last.

Then, while the chief waited, Nick hurried to headquarters and got Tony.

The strangler was kept securely handcuffed on the street, but Nick, who had again assumed the guise of the negro, assured him that he would be set free when once the house in Forty-seventh street was reached.

When the house was reached, Nick, much to Tony's astonishment, entered by the secret passage-way under the steps.

He had asked Tony what food he should provide for the murderer, and the strangler had assured him that he had some concealed in the house.

So they entered.

Leaving the others in the, cellar, Nick went silently up stairs and found that the captain was there alone. He was sitting calmly in the back parlor, reading a paper, as unconcerned as though he owned the house.

Nick made a slight noise to attract his attention, and the captain looked up quickly.

Then, pistol in hand, he rose and went toward the hallway, where Nick was waiting in the dark for him

As soon as the captain was in reach, Nick seized him.

He had no time to use his weapon, and in a twinkling he was thrown upon his back upon the floor, and handcuffed, and anklets were locked around his ankles,

"There, Captain Philip, that settles your hash, I think," said Nick, pleasantly.

The captain did not say a word. He did not even curse. He was calm, and evidently trying to think of a plan of escape.

When Nick returned to the cellar a surprise awaited him, for he found that Inspector Byrnes had captured Morgan in almost the same manner.

He had heard him coming through the secret passageway, and had nabbed him before he knew what had happened.

The two men were securely fastened together in the back parlor.

"Now, Tony," said Nick, "we will feed the murderer. Come."

"Don't let him see you," said Tony.

"No. We will keep out of sight."

"Take off these bracelets."

Nick removed them and Tony led the way up stairs.

"Where is the food?" asked Nick.

"In the same room; hidden away."

"Ah!"

"Well, go ahead."

Tony led the way to the door of Eugenie's room.

There, he paused and listened.

Presently he opened the door, passed in quickly and lighted the gas.

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