The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 101

at liberty.

Before dawn he swore the gardener and chauffeur to silence, and at
breakfast announced his intention of leaving that day for New York
to seek a commission as correspondent with an old classmate, who
owned the New York Evening National. At the hotel Barney inquired of
the proprietor relative to a bearded stranger, but the man had had
no one of that description registered. Chance, however, gave him a
clue. His roadster was in a repair shop, and as he stopped in to get
it he overheard a conversation that told him all he wanted to know.
As he stood talking with the foreman a dust-covered automobile
pulled into the garage.

"Hello, Bill," called the foreman to the driver. "Where you been so
early?"

"Took a guy to Lincoln," replied the other. "He was in an awful
hurry. I bet we broke all the records for that stretch of road this
morning--I never knew the old boat had it in her."

"Who was it?" asked Barney.

"I dunno," replied the driver. "Talked like a furriner, and looked
the part. Bushy black beard. Said he was a German army officer, an'
had to beat it back on account of the war. Seemed to me like he was
mighty anxious to get back there an' be killed."

Barney waited to hear no more. He did not even go home to say
good-bye to his family. Instead he leaped into his gray roadster--a
later model of the one he had lost in Lutha--and the last that
Beatrice, Nebraska, saw of him was a whirling cloud of dust as he
raced north out of town toward Lincoln.

He was five minutes too late into the capital city to catch the
eastbound limited that Maenck must have taken; but he caught the
next through train for Chicago, and the second day thereafter found
him in New York. There he had little difficulty in obtaining the
desired credentials from his newspaper friend, especially since
Barney offered to pay all his own expenses and donate to the paper
anything he found time to write.

Passenger steamers were still sailing, though irregularly, and after
scanning the passenger-lists of three he found the name he sought.
"Captain Ernst Maenck, Lutha." So he had not been mistaken, after
all. It was Maenck he had apprehended on his father's grounds.
Evidently the man had little fear of being followed, for he had made
no effort to hide his identity in booking passage for Europe.

The steamer he had caught had sailed that very morning. Barney was
not so sorry, after all, for he had had

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