“Then came the most villainous part of the whole conspiracy. Reddon, knowing full well that exposure was possible at any time, urged my stepfather to have you kidnaped and hurried off to some part of the world where you could never be found. Even Reddon did not have the courage to kill you. Neither had the heart to commit actual murder. It was while we were at Colonel Randall’s place that the abduction took place, you remember. Mr. Banks and Tom Reddon had engaged their men in New York. These desperadoes came to Boggs City while Tom was here to watch their operations. All the time Mr. Crow was chasing us down Reddon was laughing in his sleeve, for he knew what was to happen during the marshal’s absence. You know how successfully he managed the job. It was my stepfather’s fault that it did not succeed.
“My mother, down in New York, driven to the last extreme, had finally turned on him and demanded that he make restitution to Rosalie Gray, as we had come to know her. Of course, there was a scene and almost a catastrophe. He was so worried over the position she was taking, that he failed to carry out his part of the plans, which were to banish Rosalie forever from this country. You were to have been taken to Paris, dear, and kept forever in one of those awful sanitoriums. They are worse than the grave. In the meantime, the delay gave Mr. Bonner a chance to rescue you from the kidnapers.
“Shortly after reaching New York I quarrelled with Thomas Reddon, and my mother and I fled to California. He followed us and sought a reconciliation. I loathed him so much by this time, that I appealed to my mother. It was then that she told me this miserable story, and that is why we are in Tinkletown to-day. We learned in some way of the plot to kidnap you and to place you where you could not be found. The inhuman scheme of my stepfather and his adviser was to have my mother declared insane and confined in an asylum, where her truthful utterances could never be heard by the world, or if they were, as the ravings of a mad woman.