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Scroggs' Bible

His Victims Paid the Professor Back in His Own Coin.

By Jack West

never

on the inner surface. During the early Timused Jimmy, as he gazed

into the days of the college, it had been used for crystal depths of the great bowl measuring rainfall. which the sophomores had re-named, At midnight, twenty pairs of silent but "The Freshman's Bath Tub," probably eager hands removed it to the Fountain of due to the fact that so many freshmen Youth and partly filled it with water. had unwillingly bathed therein.

Then each of the conspirators applied "You're right,” said the Spider in a burnt cork to his face until, as the Spider high, piping voice, "only-only"-he expressed it, they "looked and felt like waited expectantly for the answer. a troop of young devils." Lastly, each

“He's wrong," broke in Fat's coarse donned a mask. voice. “Now, boys, you mustn't mock the

Archimedes Galileo

Galileo Scroggs Professor,” warned Skinny, shaking his

locked his chamber door. finger in a serious mimic of Professor

"What is the matter?" quavered Scroggs himself. Just then a window was slyly raised in

Scroggs, as ten clumsy hands seized him

simultaneously. recitation room number six of Wheaton

“Sh-sh-sh-sh," whispered the Spider, Hall and whose voice should they hear but Scroggs' who was talking to one of

'not a word or we'll cut your throat," and his classes in psychology. It was a thin,

he brandished a wicked looking knife.

"Gentlemen, this is an outrage," began piping, feminine voice, for all the world Scroggs, as he tried to shake off the hands like the Spider's.

that held him fast. "He's right, fellow-students, onlyonly”

"I see it must be your throat,” hissed “He's wrong," chorused the class

the Spider venomously, and Scroggs

caught his breath as the cold knife wearily. Old Archimedes Galileo Scroggs

touched his Adam's apple. expected it that way and they never dis

"No-no-I'll promise silence, he appointed him. The class knew the answer well. It was always the same. He whispered weakly. would ask some catchy question with two

Ten pairs of ready hands and shoeless

feet bore Professor Scroggs to or more possible answers and then which

Fountain of Youth. Once there, they ever way it was answered “was right, only, only—wrong.

He droned the

tied his hands and feet securely, amid "only” out, as if to make the pupil appear

many self-smothered protestations.

“Fellow students—young men" bethe more foolish. There wasn't a phychology student in

gan Scroggs, "you shall every one suffer the college but who would have willingly

for this night. I, Archimedes Scroggs, given his right hand to prove Archimedes'

will have you all up before the Council principle false just once.

of Administration of the College.”

"Shut-up," warned the Spider, in his

ear, “do you want to drown? Be sensible On Agricultural Hill stood a great and we won't kill you." The Spider then cylindrical vat which had been scaled off mounted a dry-goods box provided for in cubic feet, inches and tenths of inches

that purpose.

me, sir:

“Gentleman," he began, “we are met “I weigh one hundred seventy-five, tonight for the worthy purpose of dis- dressed as I now am,” he coughed. proving Archimedes' principle."

"I thought so," replied the Spider. Professor Scroggs groaned and tried "Gentlemen, he displaces two and nineto wriggle out of his bonds, but they held tenths cubic feet of water weighing fast.

sixty-two and four-tenths pounds to the “I know you, young man," he cried

cubic foot, or a total of one hundred aloud, “I know your voice. You shall eighty and nine-tenths pounds of water. suffer- blubblub" —

Since he weighs but one hundred and At a signal from the Spider they had seventy-five pounds, when immersed in quickly plunged him into the Fountain at

the water he is buoyed up by a force the shallow edge. His head bobbed up.

nearly six pounds greater than his spitting and sputtering.

own weight. According to Archimedes'

Principle, he should float, gentlemen. “Now, if you'll be quiet, Mr. Scroggs. Toss him into the middle of the Fountain I'll administer the oath of office with my

and we shall see." new pocket testament. Repeat after

"Nono nono," protested Scroggs.

"This is an outrage. Fellow students, I “'I, Professor Archimedes Galileo

appeal for help help!" Scroggs—with my right hand on God's Holy Word-do hereby promise of my

Splash! In he went. Being tied so own free will that I will NEVER seek

well, he sank quickly beneath the surface, revenge-upon any of the students—who yelling and struggling as best he could. kindly disapprove Archimedes' principle They rescued him at once. Some member

of the faculty might now appear at any before me on the night of May 3rd, 1919, so help me God."

moment. They pulled him to the shallow Professor Scroggs, still sputtering and

water where he cringed, chilled and coughing, meekly took the oath.

thoroughly terrified, supported by Fat and

Jimmy. The Spider was again on the "Sign here, to a statement of this same oath," said the Spider, producing a

dry-goods box.

“Gentlemen," he said, “Archimedes fountain pen and a flash-light, and un

proved that a body immersed in a liquid tying Scroggs' right hand. "This is black-mail, young man," began weight of the water displaced. Was he

is buoyed up by a force equal to the Scroggs.

right, I ask you?" "Sign here," broke in the Spider

There was no reply and the Spider sternly, indicating the line.

waited the usual five seconds. Scroggs signed without further argu

“Mr. Scroggs, sir, I put the question to ment, his hand trembling from the chilly bath he had just taken. The Spider

you. Was Archimedes right?"

"Yes—yes"— replied Scroggs weakly, carefully deposited the pledge in his vest

"that is, er, I'm not so sure. picket and then turned the flash-light

"The fact is, Mr. Scroggs, Archimedes upon the interior of the tub.

was right, only-only""All right, men, the water in the tub There was a short silence. The Spider now reads four point nine. Just immerse looked from Scroggs to the deep water. Professor Scroggs and we shall see how

“He was—wrong," faltered Scroggs, much he actually displaces."

sadly. “Hold your breath for a few seconds, sir. Under he goes, gentlemen-water In a prominent place on the walls of level is now seven point eight, a displace- the Spider's apartments hangs a faded ment of two and nine-tenths cubic feet. and water stained package of cigarettes Did you hear that, Professor, two point with the seal unbroken. Upon being nine cubic feet? How much do you asked the cause therefor, the Spider will weigh, professor ?"

mutter two words (unless you happen to Scroggs groaned as he tried to shake be a particular friend) and leave you to the water from his long hair.

guess the rest: "Scroggs' Bible."

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Brice? Mabout the big robbery." and the his desk during the hours mentioned, was

diminutive newsboy fairly shoved positive that no one had entered the the flaming headlines before the eyes of private office except Mr. White and his the tall, slender man who had alighted secretary. All of the employees were old from his motor at the entrance to a down and trusted men, and their every movetown office building.

ment was easily accounted for. “Give me all three, Jimmy,” responded Mr. White, and his secretary, went out the quiet voice of his patron, as he ex to dinner together shortly after six, and changed a coin for the papers. Disap at that time the valuables were intact in pearing within the building the man was the safe, Mr. White having personally soon whisked to the twelfth floor, where deposited the collections therein and he let himself into an office the door of turned the combination. Upon their rewhich bore the non-committal words: turn to the office shortly before eight, the “John Brice." Tossing aside his hat and safe door was found to be unlocked. coat, he seated himself before a huge Every article of value in the safe had roll-top desk and gave his undivided atten- disappeared, including some of Mrs. tion to the papers.

White's most costly jewels, temporarily The headlines told of one of the most deposited there for safe-keeping. mysterious robberies in the history of San Brice read the accounts of the robbery Francisco. Money and jewels had been in the different papers, all of which closed stolen from the safe of William White, a with the announcement that a reward of wealthy merchant, under conditions that $10,000 had been offered for the appreseemed impossible.

hension of the thief. The robbery occurred between six and Another chapter to the same old eight o'clock in the evening at a time story," soliloquized the man to himself. when many of White's employees were "I begin to see how it is done," and he still at work. It was the holiday season turned to a drawer of his desk from when business was at its height, and the which he extracted a bunch of clippings. office force was obliged to work over These he read very carefully. time. The safe was located in Mr. “Six robberies within as many months, White's private office, entrance to which and not one of them solved by the pocould be secured only through a room lice." Summoning one of his assistants, occupied by a number of employees, and Brice instructed him to secure each day to which the general public had no access. from the police records a complete state

ment of every theft reported to the de to them that the thief was frightened partment, no matter how insignificant. away before he could locate the valuables Aside from these instructions, the de- which were within easy reach, I am contective made no definite move toward fol- vinced that he got just what he went lowing these instructions. He felt it was after. Moreover, I believe his visit to to be a waiting game, with very slender your house was merely part of a plan to clews, and he intended to play it alone. rob you again later, and if my conjecture As the reports were brought to him

is true, your loss then will not be an daily he scrutinized them carefully, but insignificant one. My interest in this none arrested his attention until one day, affair, apart from a desire to spare you a about six weeks after the White robbery, loss, is to capture a thief who has his eye lingered over a paragraph which recently committed a number of crimes in told of the theft of several small articles

this city and for whose arrest large refrom the home of a prominent banker. wards are outstanding. " According to the report, the thief had

And what is your plan?" quietly been frightened away before he could asked Mr. Goodhew, as the detective secure jewels of great value which were paused for a moment in his recital. near at hand. His loot consisted of a "It is this: With your permission I few toilet articles and a silver picture should like to have the run of your estabframe containing a photograph of Mr. lishment for such length of time as may Goodhew, the husband of the woman be necessary. I am familiar enough with whose boudoir had been entered.

bookkeeping to play the part of an assist"A clew at last!” exclaimed the de ant accountant. This work would keep tective as he finished reading the report.

me near the vault, which is quite imDescending to his waiting motor, Brice portant. My own men will give me all the hurried to the bonding house of Good

outside assistance necessary, and I should hew & Company, where his card gained like no one to know what has passed him instant admission to the private between us." office of its president.

"It shall be as you say," responded Mr. Mr. Goodhew stood very high in the Goodhew.' business life of San Francisco, his firm "By the way, Mr. Goodhew, is there handling many of the largest bond issues any particular time during the month on the Coast. Owing to an accident when you have on hand a larger amount suffered many years before, he walked of money than usual?” with difficulty, and was seen but seldom

"It depends largely upon the particular by the general public. He went to and bond issue which we are selling. For from his home in a closed motor, rarely instance: We expect a great demand for visited the clubs of which he was some municipal bonds which will be member, and rather shunned coming into

offered next week, at which time we shall contact with people. His was the brain

doubtless have a large amount of cash to to plan work to be carried out by others,

store in our vaults." and consequently few knew him inti

When Mr. Goodhew reached his office mately, except his business associates and the next morning, he found awaiting him family friends.

a somewhat bent, mild-mannered old man When Brice entered, he saw seated at a

who appeared to have always occupied a broad, flat desk, a man of medium height, position of refined servility. He asked to slightly gray hair and well-trimmed beard. be introduced to the employes as Chris A pair of fine dark eyes looked out in a

Heidel and to be treated as one of them. questioning, though not unfriendly man The advent of a new clerk was taken

Taking the proffered chair, Brice as a mere incident of the business, and lost no time in stating the nature of his Chris Heidel settled down into a model visit.

subordinate who did whatever he was told "Mr. Goodhew," he said, "I have just to do in a quiet competent way. Little read the police report of the theft of some attention was paid to him by his associof your wife's articles. Though it seemed ates, but he, without showing any out

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own life.

ward signs of attention, watched keenly But a strange transformation took place all that transpired around him. In this in the humble Chris Heidel, for no sooner way more than a week passed, and the had the limping figure disappeared within day fixed for the sale of the municipal the vault than his own form straightened bonds arrived. The crowds were greater up and walking quickly toward the vault than expected, and all day long they he took his position near the door just thronged before the railing eager to ex

outside the line of vision of one coming change their earnings for the engraved out. bonds. From his desk the detective So quietly did he move that he atwatched the thronging public, and the tracted very little attention. He did not conviction grew in his mind that today he have long to wait, for within a few minmust be all ears and eyes.

utes the broker again appeared in the About four in the afternoon Mr. Good- light and turned to go toward his office. hew summoned him to his office to say

Instead, he looked into the barrel of a that he had just received an urgent tele

revolver and was brought upright by the phone call to come home, that his wife sharp command: "Hold up your hands!" had met with an accident and his presence The startled clerks looked on in amazewas needed at once.

Mr. and Mrs. ment for a moment before they could Goodhew were known to be exceedingly collect their wits, and then a murmur of devoted to each other, and in speaking of anger and menace broke out among them, the occurrence the broker could not con for they thought they were witnessing ceal his anxiety and was for rushing off the hold-up of their own employer. Had at once.

The detective, however, re not a couple of men rushed forward from quested him to wait for a moment while among the crowd of bond buyers, the dehe called up his home. In a minute he tective might have had difficulty in was talking directly to Mrs. Goodhew. holding his prisoner and protecting his She reported her health to be excellent and disclaimed any knowledge of a call “Here, boys,” the detective cried, being made for her husband to addressing the two men who pressed forhome. To better assure Mr. Goodhew. ward to his aid, "handcuff this man.' Brice gave him the receiver and when Then turning to the murmuring employees, the conversation was ended, he said in a he tore the wig from his head and exdecisive voice:

plained who he was. His next move was "Mr. Goodhew, the game is growing to call up the club and ask Mr. Goodhew warm, and in order for us to catch our to return. man we must seem to play in his hands. When the broker appeared and conIt will be necessary for you to obey the fronted his bogus counterpart he could summons to leave your office, and to stay scarcely believe his eyes, so clever was away until I call you. Suppose you go to the fellow's disguise. The prisoner had the Pacific Club and remain there until I already been searched and his pockets phone you. Then leave the rest to me. were found to contain bank notes of large

Dropping his decisive air for the docile denominations taken from the vault. A demeanor of the humble accountant,

call had also been made for the police Brice returned to his desk and a few wagon, which arrived closely upon the minutes later Mr. Goodhew left his office.

heels of Mr. Goodhew. Brice had disShortly after his departure, the bent, limp- patched one of his own

men to the ing form of the broker was again seen to

telephone office in an attempt to locate enter the door and walk slowly to his own

the point from which the message to Mr. office. Almost immediately thereafter he

Goodhew had come. reappeared in the outer office and limped While the police were in the midst of toward the vault, disappearing within its their examination of the prisoner at the dark confines. The clerk, whose duty it station house, Brice's assistant returned to was to watch the vault looked up as he report that through over-confidence the saw some one approaching, but recog man had called from his own apartment nizing his employer, resumed work. on Knob Hill.

A hasty search of his

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