The clock struck one as Ralph still sat in his chair, wondering what all this meant, and what might be expected to happen next. To hear that a real, live Rackbird was in Paris, that this outlaw had threatened his sister, that the police had been watching for him, that he had sworn to kill Cheditafa, and that night had tried to do it, amazed him beyond measure.
At last he gave up trying to conjecture what it meant. It was foolish to waste his thoughts in that way. To-morrow he must find out. He could understand very well why his sister had kept him in ignorance of the affair in the Gardens. She had feared danger to him. She knew that he would be after that scoundrel more hotly than any policeman. But what the poor girl must have suffered! It was terrible to think of.
The first thing he would do would be to take very good care that she heard nothing of the attack on Cheditafa. He would go to the police office early the next morning and look into this matter. He did not think that it would be necessary for Edna to know anything about it, except that the Rackbird had been arrested and she need no longer fear him.
When Ralph reached the police station, the next day, he found there the portier of the hotel, together with Cheditafa and Mok.
After Banker’s examination, to which he gave no assistance by admissions of any sort, he was remanded for trial, and he was held merely for his affair with the negroes, no charge having been made against him for his attempt to obtain money from their mistress, or his threats in her direction. As the crime for which he had been arrested gave reason enough for condign punishment of the desperado, Ralph saw, and made Cheditafa see, it would be unnecessary as well as unpleasant to drag Edna into the affair.
That afternoon Mr. Banker, who had recovered his breath and had collected his ideas, sent for the police magistrate and made a confession. He said he had been a member of a band of outlaws, but having grown disgusted with their evil deeds, had left them. He had become very poor, and having heard that the leader of the band had made a fortune by a successful piece of rascality, and had married a fine lady, and was then in Paris, he had come to this city to meet him, and to demand in the name of their old comradeship some assistance in his need. He had found his captain’s wife. She had basely deceived him after having promised to help him, and he had been insulted and vilely treated by that old negro, who was once a slave in the Rackbirds’ camp in Peru, and who had been brought here with the other negro by the captain. He also freely admitted that he had intended to punish the black fellow, though he had no idea whatever of killing him. If he had had such an idea, it would have been easy enough for him to put his knife into him when he met him in that quiet street. But he had not done so, but had contented himself with telling him what he thought of him, and with afterwards