“How long had he been there when I came along?”
“Oh, for some time, but don’t interrupt, please. You can ask questions afterward. When I saw you talking to the man I knew it must be all right, and I was beginning to think he was a detective.
“Then I noticed another man sneaking along. He, too, hid behind a tree, next to the first man. I thought this was queer until I remembered you told me that detectives usually hunt in couples, and I thought he was another officer from headquarters. I thought so until mother, who, it seems had been looking out of her window in the front room upstairs, called to me.
“She asked me if I had seen the two men come along, and, when I said I had, she wanted to know if I didn’t think there was something queer about the second man. I said I didn’t notice particularly, but just then the man stepped out into the light, and I had a good look at him.”
“Was there anything suspicious about him?”
“There certainly was!” exclaimed Grace, earnestly. “As soon as I saw him I thought sure it was my father. He had his back toward me, and he looked exactly like papa. Mother saw it, too, and she cried out. Just then the man turned and I saw he was smooth-shaven, and his face didn’t look a bit like my father’s.
“Then I saw you and that other man—Mr. Sullivan, I then knew him to be—step into the light. I saw he was going to hit you, and I raised the window and called. I wanted to ask you to see who the second man was—the one who looked so much like my father. I called, but you didn’t seem to hear.”
“I heard you,” replied Larry, “but I couldn’t stop. I wanted to take after the man—the same man you were suspicious of. I traced him through the park.”
“Did you find him? Who is he? Where is he? Is he—is he? Oh, Larry, don’t keep me in suspense——”
“I’m sorry to have to tell you he isn’t your father,” Larry replied, gently, as he saw the girl’s distress. “But I think he knows where your father is. He goes by the name of Mah Retto, and I helped save him from the wreck of a vessel on the Jersey coast. See, I found this in his room, a little while before he disappeared,” and he held out to Grace the torn envelope with her name on it.
“My father’s writing!” she exclaimed.
Larry heard some one descending the stairs and coming toward the library.
CAPTAIN TANTRELLA ARRIVES
“Grace! What is the matter?” exclaimed a woman’s voice, and looking up Larry saw Mrs. Potter.
“Nothing, mother,” replied the girl. “This is Mr. Larry Dexter. He just brought me some news. Oh, mother, that wasn’t papa we saw out in the street!”
“I knew it, dear, as soon as I saw his face.”
Larry felt rather uncomfortable, for Mrs. Potter and Grace showed signs of emotion.
“I was telling your daughter,” he said to Mrs. Potter, “that I think I have located the man who knows where your husband is.”