Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 21, 1911, Lethbridge, Alberta
TRAN^GRE^^ION By Horace Hazeltine He Stood Transformed N llHr c.vcs oH Ills rouumiMlt.v l.'roinmelln v.-aa s'lfli !i iiinii .'is yi.u ;iir, nr ns 1 nm, or iis Is tlint worthy iieighlifir nf ouf.s. wlium we linvo known so long for n jii"! fiiiil i'liMSi^li'utioiis oillzon. One woulil as goon liavi' siis|i('cU''l ilio parlslV [irleflt iis have sus-p^ctf'fl Croinniclin. Am) no one knew this bcUcr llinii (lid C'rommolln liinisplf, It was tljls kDowie(l(?p In-�lfcd that liml pveiihially rtpqtdod hliiK It was Uils ii!5surance Hint hni\ mi.'kIc for lillii'(r�n.sgrt>ssioM [los-�l,Mo. 'i'liiHigli Ibo. gpsliitory perlM bad t)Cn prolon^fod tlie tpmjiliUioM Imil lioi-n born full grown nnd virile; yet of supli striuiKi'ly nnncciiBtoniort vlsugn as to sliofk aiul iiflrifrbt him. ''ontpmplatlon, liowovor. and iBe familiariiy lliu.s encondfred, had tended, after a ifltio, If noi I" niaUo comply, at least to soften the-Torbiddlng fi�nHires nt his iui|)ul.sp. and so, by do-sreps. In spil(> of a lingering rcpnision, he rcaohed lhe siagre of determination. He would rob Ellery Slepliensnn. � . , Enwrappi;d by the dei'p ?!iftflff\tf; nf lil.'S'"'l1ttle viue ' j;lrt piazza, he .sat Hlono. 'I'lie w.iriii niiiLsnmnicr night was still and breathlefis. Tho niirippltd river which stTPielied in shallow lireiidth before liis door was like a great slab of polished pnrple porphyry, reHeol/iiijr the pale litiht of .slar.s. Now iind agaiu on the black valiin(.'e of tlid privet heflie or amid the fclaeker plliiues ojc the oedaps Hrodles fllfiilly fliekered. To left ticyond fhc hodRp's bordi'r. Iii inasslve jcray Kijhoucjice against the . nlgbt, sky, blotting cint a share of its Inuips. rose the osri.MitntUuis snninier Jionii- of hi.s vii.Mlni; and (j-oninielln, iejinhif; forward 111 his soori'ed and rlr'lcpiy pori-h rliair, refrarded ir Jonjr and intently witi! the qnirkened Inrerest of the Imnjlnent invader. in appearnnee. ns in character, tif was the reverse tif all iirdiiiary fr.n.'f.ptions of the imiIImw. !Tc wai'Vjri ..if tlif law wofiiPy nni-e->nr.!;i;: iittre; :i:\(t .no life had been c eniitlnvnl puiiin;.; lit p. Is wh1.-:h never quip. niet. He "as hiniseif liv.:red to ev:.'-lieulal. Tils o'rn ne^.l- were srnail. rtls wii'e. too. w,i-; ronfeiil ndlh a nd^e.�x^h :i!tle. Hm Lis li-nitfl/ter w;!s nrith.i- .!;.r'>nt loe' '�.-in.�id'r.-iie. *rtie aum of her [leflr'oii't wi^h excef>!ied only !iy ttie c^�Jn'I of her dvflire?. Ai;d 1 hns siie hafi . ome In staiui J'.r her frther as an aniiKaie reninde; ;iay. .n^ ;;n Miinnite i-'lnike -of ids inadeqnaei-. l-'or the olriiiged condilioii.s to wliieh hi.s liiihl � m; r��- w.i.i (],:,� Groniiuelin blaiued Slepnen. he conj.'ratiilale(l himself that the incident had occurred wiien and where it had. He would provide aK'Nnsi. repetition by locking Shop In the tool house. The tool lioii,, hiiiiseir ii much the same manner. .Some regarded p a cnmollment. The les.'s con-si-lenl^nns .-onsidered It a redecibni on their courage If not ini ilietr sagacity; and tliere had been threal.s mild", whlcj) t'roninie.in. thomrh he believed them id>' or Jeco.jp, had nereri lieless reprehended. And now. ihnl which I hen had seemed to biiii too In-iipiitous 10 sppnk of. even In .lest, he was himself .�^��Hlali.^ aboil;' lo perform. Hastily. u;t|: a disliiivi eft'ort of will, he took np liLs! miidleil laiilerii. opened the do-.r Just wide enough t'l oerinit the exit of his own body, aiul closed and rinliiU it nil ilie imprisoned collie. I'assiiig lo the -('.If liacii. striil-Hug his garden paths, billing in .me oi- iinother of his motor cars, driving his ilior..iighiired trotter to a runabout or guiding hl-s thirty foot mi-,.| lanmdi over the river waters. He gHlheri;d toj;eil,(.r , i; the i-i-uinbs of the man's history as gossips i.^d .Iropped tlieiii; lie had been an errand boy, i . ..loiici Imppi-r, a walker, and had Mna' y lu.'de a :'oriuue In Ihe that floor wick filled acridly his n"�ir. v. .\. lighted lamp had been periiilltetl tn die on' unnoted, f'owsltily the person It hiid served had faiioii asleep over a book, and WHS still present. Keurlns in bri'athe. Ie,sl he belrav himself. Crom-nielln striiiiicd his hearing for that which he dreaded; and went shiveringly cold at hi.s reward, (,'learly there came to him the soft umrniiir of a long, dee[i-drawa resplrat ion. Ill craven panic his impulse wn.s for flight, but hit fnllhlpsa nerves denied him. His limbs were powerless. �j'roiu. Iii?j limp lingers his lantern slipped with vir'k)iT.s' note of alarm fn the bare floor at his feel, preci-pitBling disaster. The sleeiier awoke with an exclnmatloii: sprang up and stuinliled toward him through rhi; dark. There was the sudden shock of'thu mall order business by mixing poor i llilii Hie iiniiNi. [��� vlilr of a I iocK aiinniiiieing 1;^ Int.iiiiui i . .. (line broke Iniisidy Inin the siteuce. .uoi i roii.ne in slatted guiltily, nith eM.ry nerve uringle. and tiraiphtened abruptly, with lean haiuli! .-I,.idling Irird '01 the arms of his rlnir. Ilui. us iii -i quick sne.'.--s i-ion of sirok;�s the hour midnight was '�ignalled, he. Mulled grimly behind ilie masking dark, commanded his resolnrlon, stood up. and with a deep orenth lifted his small, Indecisive chin and squared his narrow, lirooping shoulders. Another momcut a;id he siepped from tlie piazza to the gravelled walk and then.-e to the lawn and moved away under the cedar=, a shadow beneath shadows, coming eveutually abreas'. nf the privet lieilee. Here lie gained a closer, less iiit.->rrnpted view of the uear side of the Stephenson dwulling aurl s,i w ii dark from roof to plinth, freeplng luoug the fringe of turf that divided the groumis from t'l � sand.v river beach, hugging tho gloom of the ai'hing foliage, lie niade sure that the windows of the impo.'-ing Colonial columned front showed no glimmer .if liglit. .At the far corner of the grounds, turning in Ids left, lie dodged stealthily from shrub to shrub, iiilb Ihe third f,ide of the house came blankly into \ ieu There remained now only tlie rear to be Inspected, but he had determined on Ihls as his point of en- I'h.'i'.' nil'- here a ilitle ;;rovo .if yoiiii;; plum trees. .\ he h fionc'ii a enn\eniciii ..-nicid fnr lili approach ., i|]i. I.a.k .if Ilie hoisc. .\e\eri hele';-! he moved till ,r..ii-i>, V. ;ili rapidly beiillng hi'iiii. His i.roje.-t �1,1 II,,u i.ecniii,. insti:iii. and Iliiii ^^llicll ill theory li.ol ii|.|fii)id -inipte aud ea^y b.'gan to l.iom iiig with 11 I ilgi'i a 1 pi s^ibie I'a i iiii", tin 11.....dge nf Ihe grove he )iause.| ami ran his uiize lip ami dnw II lhe tiigti. gray wail of the sleeidng ilue.'liiiL'. The wimlnws �ere. without e.\ieptlon, d:iik. From all but one iln- red and white awnings liad tteen riuised. This .ne was on lhe second floor, direciiv above lhe treliised kitchen porch, nnd Hie |.nver.-d .-iwiiiiig so oliKi.'ured it that Crommelin could leit ;ei; whcih.ir the sash was up or dowa. In his ner\ous trepidation he could fancy .Stephen--nij, lUiiiicIf sleepless bi'.-nuse of the heat, sitting be-�^ide i!n> rear si'iiwnrd windnw watching through the gloom. U'hai if those iliscernliig ej es siiould pick his tigi|i-c I'lit of Lhe black'.' Wliat if. as he crawled up the three porch steps, a revolver should flash iu quick lepnr; aud he should drop deati or roo wounded lo stagger aswiy, and so bo discovered and hi.s fainlly forever disgraced'.' lie stiiod a long while looking up at that window. (Mice he ilioiigiii he saw sometliluK nliite move lliere ;ind diew back In e.Kiess of fear. Hut after a time his reason iirevalled. He chid himself for cowanl-|,-e. lie rivalled once again Hie iirgeiiey of his nwd. Ill' reviewed the occasions on which this man, his table, with Us eucirciiug chairs, and reached at length hl,s goal. The Fight in the Dark. W txh Infinite caution lie had proceeded thus far. measuring each step with iiand extended against collision wifii furiiliiiri'; paushig each second wlih alert ear to catch the slightest warning sound. .\nd now. with one foot across the throsliold of ihe siudy, he came to a full halt; aiTested not by sight or hearing, but by smell. 'The reek of u smoking U'erosene So contending they moved In a circle. t coming from the direction of the scene o� tlie assault. A lawyer himself, be realized fully the Importance of such evidence. What a fool be had been to fancy that because of a past blameless record, a past honorable and unquestioned standing, suspicion's fluger would be turned aside! It was as if some cunning and malignant Nemesis bad first tempted him and then trapped him. At every turning he bad left behtod him, like the "hares" In a paper chase, the marks of his trail. iq his little, plainly furnished sitting room, alone now with his threatened safety, bis jeoparded liWrfy, the opened telegram in bis shaUnc Qngers, the last feeble, tottering props of hUi courage broke and crumbled, and he fell prey to an overwhelmingly poignant anguish of spirit. It was not only th.it he had tried and failed, not only that he had yielded to temptation to meet the inevitable disgrace, but that it had now, nt the very Instant ot hla undoing, been prov, .Mr, Crommelin. He left this ring of yours in my hand. 1 recognized It at ouca, from tlie cut of the (.'rouiiuelin arms in that book of 'County Kamllles' which I think a relative Of yours compiled. .Mr James C'rommolin, wasn't it?"