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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 31, 1911, Lethbridge, Alberta 5 T O of A LC H E M I 5iT By Luke Thrice ] j[ K tlnru that .ilrnnijh/ appr.nh tn the imariiiintiini -end iirouglK jcilh fine skill bfi huke 'I'linre in Ihn '�, "Master Kogue" lerict written especially lor thcaa , popes. 4i Ifonrrirlit. lOlO. hr IbP NVw York flcroM To. All riclilj r cpt throiiKli. fiu- all tliidr u-orkliiK "ii d;iy nnd nl.tflit Klilfl.a, And I forgol till* lipy words to n'.y finirirpii (info deposit vnults." i. "'^'on'rp hrnl;p." s.ild Hip mnslpr. |1 "Ilow'd yon fjiioss |tV' eriinipd tlip otlrT. ' r.nrcli i'lnpppd Ills Ijands and (Ma, tliP Japanpsp, flfislipd noiselessly lulo'vipw IlUc n snave demon frmn i\ Irap. "Take liiiii." said the mnstpr. nodding at, "and don't lirlns lilni liai-k here until he's prespnt-alilc - bath, clothes and fpcrt - nnd.'r.-laiulOi.i SiiillPd. l.a.xton would have refused. "I didn't come for a hnndoiit," he lipgan. "Whnfs that?" snapped thp master sharply, "'^'oirrc got straw in your hiilr. nntl look at those shops!'' : "I cHiiie to t*ll yoii BoniPltilnir," Hiild liB.Tlon, floggPdIy finislilng his reninrk. IJut Ota had hlin by the arm with ti R(�Blle, sigrnlflcnnt grip nni ho surrendered. The two disapppflreel Into tlio eagp of the fiiitonintlc elevator nnd Riircli re.sunird his quiet, skilful manipulation of the Ivories. Rstut)lishpd In (be roof nrlior Inter In the evening with the master opposile in e3;iipetant silent e, lapped In tlie erpature comforts once niori*, n clowlnp Coronation between his lips, l.axlon luxnrinted. slglilng con-teiitediy. "There's one thing," he remarked, pro-foatidly; "if wp didn't pel the oilier once I,] n while we wniildn't apprpplalp this. "U's a yarn nearly strong pnongh to Hue up with your owu," was I.nxion's e.\pausive Introductinn. Then, willi una|iproachahip slyness, he added:-"How would it strike ynu In make gnld, d'ye sim-? Heaps nf geld. I'our in. rocks :il ono end and pick out ymir nuggpts by the listfnl at the oiher. liuw does that listen ?" The master sniilpd. "Ualher out of your line, isn't It?" bo asked. "Havo you been going In I'm- alchemy?" "That's it." said T,a\ton readily: "lhal's just -wlial I have beeQ doing. It's a gorid graft, almost. It begins )lke tl).'d to Trofpssor Ifax .Bienkamp,' at the number. The Long Hairetd One. "I swabbed the letter, hut could see no clipck or anything of the kind. I was .lust about to loss it baek when, througii the thin pnppr of the env^iopp. made trausparent by the alcohol. 1 caught some (]uper words. Sonietliing about gold, 'shipments of bars sliould reach Heuver each wpek--supply must lie fed --lowly-will be forthcoming linmedlalPiy for;.' I haven't got the phrases pat, but it was about like timt. I'lic postmark was city. "WpII, other people's correspondeiice nevioniewhprc.' '�'.Vol at lipnver.' I answered boldly. "'.No. Iipiiver Is ntlended to.' hp said, with a quei'r glance. �'\'ou would have to bp most discreet,' he added. ""i'hat's mv business,' I told him, prptty truthfully. "'The I'rofi'ssrn- Is III ii; stairs.' he wpnt on. 'lie mil see no oni but luysi-lf. Keinal'ii here while I acqualut him with the strange ebiiii'-e that has thrown you Into this nfTalr. I fenr-I fear the result in lil.s present eondltlou.' And be \yent out, shaking bis head nnd leaving me alone In the dining room. "I could have seen his bnck mori> willingly If be hnd left Ihiit confounded letter behind, but I despatched mysplf as a dying scpiadron 'Ui an ex-pbi!-,ition of the ground tlcMir, liopbig lo get n line on tlu' game. The iliniiig riioni was dusty, frowsy and plainly fiinilslied. ay the whole gniue. As the other bits, about the shipments, and 'feedhn.: ibe supply .alowly.' they showed bow thoroughly ilie i-otneoi; bitd been taUL'iit t bp usual jiatler. 1 renicMUbered how careful 'AT Wisp had been to espl.aln |i. the 'svudicate' he milked th.-it they must not flon,] tlip cold market all nt once, nnd ihat they must feed Iliclr pridtict by'degrcHS from some natural iioln;. sn iliai litslaut paiilly. 'I'm not capable of handling such a ihing pn'perly myself.' " 'l' belipyp yiJTi. my .-^on.' 1 Raid. I could wpll Imagine how the '1'rofis.-^or' liked taking In annlber parincr at this stage. .\pp:irenily bo hnd picked this one on form as a harin'css fool. "'Vou're to sliiy. of curse.' hp said. 'The "I^ro-fpssor" had a b:id ntiiioU wiieu I told him. But ho cnn'i siai.d and you've only me to deal with, so we're jiractically at your ineri\.' "I never saw a;iyihin.u so refreshingly simple In my life as liiat young ni:iii. He was a gem. 'And of ooui-se you .-Miri very well call the police to throw mo out,' 1 suggested. gave a gesiure of assent. 'You'll get your sharp,' he said. "'Thanks; Ml see to tiint,' I told him. 'Xow wbere'.k the macliiuer" " 'In the cellar.' "'.^nd when do we spring the t-'-reer?' "'Huh?' " 'When does the iut: sliow oi)eu; when do wo exhibit?" " 'tJh, the demimstr.'it'oH Is this pvpning. Vou must hnvp Seen thai In the letter. .Mr. Savage said hp would bo here. He shou'd couie an.v minnte ..ow.' Savage was clenrl.v ihi- wriier of the let(�r. "'Masu'l he seim li before?' 1 ventui'ed. "'No. I-Jp was anxious (Uiough, but our results xvould not hnvp cou\be'ed him. ICverylhliig Is working perfecti) at presem.' He rubbed his hnnds, ns excited as a child nvr ilie prospecl. I fi'lt relieved. At least, no pnynieuls bad yet been made. " 'Ik he going to fork nver to-night?" 1 asked. "'If lie Is saii.-lied he wlll give us ?10,0t)0 to go nhead with-(.'xpi o-os for' further work'--A ja gllng of the base,ii. nt bell inP-rrupted biui. 'There he is now,' he cried, iind rushed to open. "It was twlligiii III the dining room, and I could imike little of .Mr. ^^.lVMge when he was ushercil In. He was a little, stioii man and seemed all on xvires, fussing and siiorilug ami bustling around, asking for the 'Professor.' oamcliig Ibe 'I'rofesstir' when il.o young chap said '.n- wi- ill. 'I'v^ got llvo .uiniites, just five miuules, I'l ;,'ei iliroi'gli with tills,' he snapped. 'Uurry up and let's gi^l li over.' '"The young '"hap .siamnienMl nnd fell all over himself, but I saw now \v !i.v ilie 'ProfesKor' had elioscu him. .No one couid ��i-^,.:"i such an Idiot of bi-ing a crook. He llnally liidica;iMl Ibai Mr. Savage should light himself to the cellar while I nbould come up-slalrs uud help eaiTy down the stricken 'Professor.' In his �agltntlun the iniioceni forgoi to offer an px-plnnatlon for my prpepucp, which spemed to bothpr Savage, for hp kppt ppprlng nt me through the dark. "Thp young chap snapped on the lights ns I followed him up through "be house, empty and bare as a baru, to rh.e second floor. I was curlcros about tiUe 'Pfofessor,' but he wasu't 'AI' WL-je, as I'd rather doped out. He was long nnd thlu and white, wasted to a string, lying on a cot. Only his fierce, burning eyes mox'od behind his wild tangle of hair and beard ii.s we lifted him on e stretcher. He didn't �ay a word or raise a hand, but if he could have reached me with those eyas I'd never have breathed agnlu. Ciod. how thoBO eyes hated me! "We carried him down, tho young chap and I, to the Thp selling was more or les.? famtllBr. The two gas Jets slnnvcd a huge steel cube occupylu.? most of the space unopr Ibe kitciien. Hpavy nlecti'lc cables ccuinected with it through a sv.'ltchbonrd, and thick steel bands operated with -.vorm and screv,' gears on both sides to de|)ress a horizontal lid, now raised on slides. .-V draining funnel over a fixed metal basin occupied one end. a mas.sive. cylinderlike arrangement the i.nLer. It was u good plant, .sompllilng like Wise's. The Mysterious Cube. "Savage was fuming nud fretting around �� we placed the 'Professor's' stretcher nlougslde the machine, lie came running up lo tho white, old man, and Ihpii, for Ilie llrst time, I got a flash of his face. The next liist.iiii I ducked around to the oilier side of the cube, making toward the rear stairs that led up into the kitchen. The 'Professor' had hooked n poor vicilm Ravage wns one of the 'Syndicate' fliat 'Al' Wl.^e had plu''kpd the time I helped lilin. I hoped be hadn't seen me. I rather think he did, hut he began to Uillc nervously with tho 'Professor' nnd I sneaked away. ".\s I got to the stairs the yoiinjf chap came down, carrying the boxes of pyrites and an armful of Jlttle bags and bottU's. He set the pyrites aside, but under the direction of the 'Professor,' and while Savage fussed and piled around, sticking his head under the lid to foel and watch, he begun to pour various Ingredients Into the crucible from the top of the ciilie. I dldu't follow very closely. 1 wns busy stealing up the roar stairs lo make m.v getaway When the young chap had finished Savage went back and bent over the prostrate, mollonlPHs llgure ou the slrelcher. 1 caught nothing from the mumble of their coiiversntlon. Savage was getting more and more pxclleri ~J thought 1 knew why-Jerking and txvltchlng and moiqilug his round, rod faep. I crouched at the top of the slnlrs to see tho last of it. The young tdiap, at a from llie 'Prul'e.s.s'ir,' crossed to the switchboard and threw several handles. Presently a dull, red glow grew In: aide the cube, and a low, hutuming note of motors arose. "The three watehod in silence, broken only by Savage's shuttling and rising excitement, until the Intense glow tlooileii the cellar. Then the 'Prof.'S^u-,' a weird, giiuut, unearthly llgure, In the slranyi- light, suddenly raised himself to a sitting posiure, his fierce eyes glertiuing wlih a fire of their owu. He spoke witli dlMlcnlty, sloxvly and hoHo'viy. It was ebher great ill-ting or he was a lougli old boy to go on with hU game In such n coiulllliyu. " '.Mr. Savage,' he said, 'you are privileged lo be /ire.seiit at a di'iuonstratlon of an Invention liiat can Hccomiiii.sli all things. There Is power lu that cube to crush nations, ujiroot and desiroy Ibe economic and industrial fabric of the world. If used sjiavliigly It can give one man or any gToui) of men loiiipj.e mastery of ihc'huninu race. It can uiodure, wltiuuit limit, the r<;cognized standard of wealLp.' H.-.' reached under bis (livers and drew out a long, sienib'r, crystal phial with a silver lop, parily tilled v,-i;h a sparkling puriile fluid. 'Hei-p,' he said, impre;isivel.''. Isu sinipl;,, 'is tljo vital substance, the secret of my discovery, kampinm, the pioju.u'lies of which are beyond my own detUiltlon excepi thai il will accomollsli what men have sought in vain to accomplish throughoiu the ages, the rcUu-Ing of the b.-iser mel.'ils inio gold.' "ilia voice was like a bass viol string, gently sung by the bow. I was on iii hini, but he had me hypnotized. 1 didn't care if i iiev,er made my getaway. The '' bad Wisp baekpd off the board for finish and method. The young chap wns cbarmsd to stone, mouth open. It occurred to me non- that he lirobably believed every word of It. The 'Professor' would be Just wily enough to have such an as.slstant. Savage was in a distresslug pllghl. His coat v.'iis flying open. He was working his handkerchief overtime. His little, pig eyes were set with a glassy store In his flusiereil. shiny face. He kept Jigging around on his heels, fairly bursting with emotion, holding himself in check only by the physical contortions he went through wiih Rage, the appetite of a vastly liifful soul fear, feroilous acquisitiveness, were tearing at his vitals. "'My discovery of kumpluui was partly accidental, partly the result of a lifetime of study,' resumed the ProfpsBor.' 'I harp prodttced, flmilly, abont as anMlA of It. sufficient, ro��rlily, to mannfncttire tilsteen too* of pure gold from twenty tou� of the componnd which you have seen fused In tlie crucible. That compound, roDslstIng of certain olieap and avniiabla mataJs, costs less than |600 a ton. The Lure of Gold. ^ *' 'There Is no need to go Into the chemical or technical aspects of the process. You cnn readily verify all the statements I ma-ke. You have watched my assistant place the preliminary material In the cube. He will next lower the lid and subject the molteti mass to a considerable pressure. Then, by the plUDgcr device nt the end, also my own Invention, he will force a tiny drtip of karoplum Into the crucible. The result wlll be a combination and disintegration of the elements In the mass which I iremain powerleas to iinalyze. A terrific convulsion wlll take place within the steel cube, which Is constructed to withstand enormous strain from the released gases. After the subsidence of the miniature upheaval the opening of a comple.K valve xvlll allow pure, molten gold to flow Into that bnsin, in a proportion, as I have said, of about four parts to five of the base metals.' "1 thought Sa^-agp would fly apart. The fat, fleshy little man raised a hand to hl� mouth, and I saw tlia teeth sink Into the wrist as he made one more desperate nnd successful effort to hold himself In check. " This phial," continued the Professor's' even, musical voice, 'contaln.s all the knmpium in existence. It Is, beyond a doubt, the most potent substanca knoxvn, containing forces a thonsand times more won-derfnl aud strange tlian those of radium. Its action on the mpt.ils. In conjunction with the pressnre, and a rapid, vibratory movement of the mass, induced by the motors, la to readjust the arrancement of tha molecules to that of gold. " 'My own part In this experiment la henceforth to be made easy. I am an old man. I have spent my last penny in the researches of fifty years. I havo absolutely provetl the theory and practice of alchemy. 1 hare made gold by the pound. But I am at the end of my resources. Others, the first of whom wlll he yon, Mr. Savage, must now come to my aid If the work is to go on. I have earned my raward. " 'Whan I have satlsfleil you I shall expect liberal advances for the construction of a new and larger machine. From the flrst products of that machine I shall arqnlre real property to an extent that wlll Insure me Inxnry and plenty for the rest of my days. I Insist upon this us a safeguard, for the indiscriminate nse of the Inrention would make the poaactsloa of monetary wealth uaeieae. After that you may have fan control to proceed as you see lit. I shall furtier agree to furnish you with the formnia for kamplum. Which wlll remove all limits to your action If I were younger I would not relinquish tho command. Once my Itiventlon held out the lore of power to nw, power such ns no dream of Tamerlane, no mad vision of world empire ever approached. Now I am old. Give me comfort and reat TiMt la all I seek.' "He was magniflcent, the old Professor.' as ha stretched oitt his thin, wasted arm and held tha ptital towar