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America, and the letter it go to every Tontino in San Francisco before it finally reach him.

"One moment," interrupted Brooks. "What was old Pasquale doing all this time?"

"Papa?" Camarillo's voice rose a note. "Oh, poor Papa he go all to pieces. The sight of blood scare him, I guess. He go over in a corner and sit down and begin to cry like bambino. He very old and the shock make him what you call simple. He don't remember anything about what happened there that day. He don't remember anything at all, or anyone, except Rosa, and Rosa -My how she love that old man!"

"I see. Go on with the story. What happened next?"

"Well, Rosa she have nothing to say. She just look and look at Ambetti there on the floor. And Papa he was—But I tell you about him. So I see I must think for all and I say: 'Rosa, we have to go away from here you and Papa and I. First we go to the bank and get this check cashed. Then we go find a train to take us to that uncle of yours out in the West.' By and by I make her understand and she put on her hat and coat, and she gets Papa's hat and coaxes him to come with us, and we all go out and lock the door behind us."

"But why, since you were willing to admit the crime, did you make the trip out here with them? Why not have confessed at once?"

The violinist shrugged his slim shoulders and his hands waved dramatically.

"They were so helpless-like little children," he explained. "Someone he must look after them."

Brooks thought for a moment.
"Does Tontino know?"

"Yes, I tell him everything when we first come. Tontino he has big heart. He say, 'Well, you better stay here and play in my restaurant until they get you.' So I stay, and every night Rosa and Papa sit in the corner and listen."

"Camarillo, you stabbed Ambetti simply in defence of the old man, didn't you? The act was not premeditated?"

"No, I-I never think to kill him." Again Brooks was lost in thought. "Well," he said suddenly, looking directly into the other's eyes, "of course you are due to be run in sooner or later and taken back East for trial, but I'll tell you something-There is not a jury in the country that is going to convict you. I am not a detective, as you thought, I am a lawyer from Philadelphia out here on business.

"I saw your picture in the papers and the accounts of the murder. When I came here tonight I recognized you; the girl and the old man over there proved

it. I am not a criminal lawyer, but when the time comes, if you wish, I'll take your case. I have a theory of my own about the whole affair. Because you care enough for the girl to be willing to give your life to shield her father, I will keep quiet. But you are innocent. Pasquale killed Ambetti!"

THE REAL HERO
(Continued from Page 43)

We stopped at a garage. I looked after the gas and oil, while Tom got in touch with the sheriff.

Racing on again, Tom said. "Sam'll get 'em. He has a keen scent for speedin' gasoline."

As we tore into the next town, we sighted the flame-tinted racer halted in the street, the center of a curious throng.

I laughed triumphantly. It was obvious that Duval had raced into a speeder's trap. He was caught.

Betty, glancing back, recognized us. She spoke hurriedly to her companion. Duval tooted a warning. The men blocking the roadway scattered hastily. The red car shot out like a fire-rocket flinging through space.

The laugh was on me.

"I'll get 'em!" Lawson yelled to the sheriff, and was after them on the wings of speed. Excitement gripped us; I coiled my lariat and strained forward ready to spring.

The red car disappeared behind a sharp turn in the road. But we caught sight of it again as we rounded the curve on two wheels. Duval was tearing across a wooden bridge which spanned a swollen stream.

What happened next came so quickly that it left us gasping with horror. The center span collapsed under the racing car, precipitating it into the torrent. Duval had failed to notice the warning sign staring at him in bold black letters:

DANGER, FLOOD-SLOW Down. "God!" groaned Tom, as he brought his car to a stop on burning brakes. "Quick, Bob!" we must save 'em."

As I ran out onto the broken bridge my mind worked rapidly, though my heart was weighted with a sickening fear. I knew that Betty could swim, and I had noticed that she stood up to jump as the auto nosed downward. But would she be able to clear that dragging impediment before it crashed into the water? I halted at the gap and looked down into the river. A circle of swirling tide lay directly below me. I flung my lariat to Tom, and leaped into the stream. As I came up, gasping and blinking, I heard Duval's frantic cry for help, and realized suddenly that the actor could not swim. I shouted Betty's name, and she answered me with.

"Save him, Bob! Save him—"

My vision cleared and I saw Betty swimming shoreward, one arm supporting the terrified Duval. In his frenzy he clung to her, hampering her effort. He was dragging her down when I forced him to break his clutch. He sank like a water-soaked log.

"Save him!" cried Betty.

"I'll save you first," I emphasized, as I flung my arm about her slim body. I was perfectly indifferent to that fool actor's fate. If a man of his age couldn't swim, let him drown.

Tom's sonorous voice floated down to me.

"Here comes the rope, Bob. I'll pull her up Save the hero-"

There were several excited men on the bridge.

The lasso cut through the air and struck the water with a swirling splash. I slipped the noose over Betty's shoulders and told her to keep afloat with the hand stroke. As they drew her away, I dived for Duval, and brought his inert body to the surface. He sagged, a lifeless weight; still there might be a fighting chance for his life. I swam toward the shore with my helpless burden.

Shouting voices told me that Betty was safe. My heart offered up a prayer of thanksgiving. I didn't want to give Duval back to the girl, but I couldn't let him die like a rat in a trap. It was a strenuous pull; but I was stout of body, and strong armed. At last, after a valiant effort, I reached shallow water and stumbled blindly to my feet. Eager hands relieved me of the dragging body. I crawled wearily up the bank, too exhausted to give interest to the actor. Suddenly the sun flecked behind a purplish mist, and night descended upon me, pitch black.

As

fearfully ashamed of my weakSI struggled back to consciousness ness, I heard a loved voice speaking, like the music from celestial harps. "Bob, darling; my hero!"

I opened my eyes in a surge of joy; Betty's arms were around me; my head was pillowed on her breast"Sweetheart," I murmured.

"I'm so happy, Bob," sobbed Betty.

I had a thought of Duval. "Is that actor all right?"

"He's sitting up, and taking notice that his car is resting on the floor of the river," sneered Betty. "He has no thought of you or me. His concern is for that machine."

"I love you, dear. Will you marry me?"

"Yes," she whispered, tenderly.
"Seal your promise with a kiss."
She laid her soft red lips on mine—
My joy was complete. I had won!

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IOIS ATKINS is another Berkeleyan. She lives in a tiny house perched high above the town on the slope of one of the brown hills which rise above the university. From her windows one looks far out through the Golden Gate to the wraith-like shadows of the Farallones -this on a clear day-or down upon the fog streamers which drift in between the headlands.

JAY G. SIGMUND-why, this is a regular "old home week!" Sigmund is a regular contributor to Overland from his lowa-Cedar Rapids-home. He writes that a new volume, his third, will be in press shortly-and something very different, he says, from his other two. "Hard, bare little lyrics-which point. out the ugliness of the Middle West cornbelt people's lives." Hard and bare they may be but Sigmund's verse has always the beauty of philosophy if no other.

SAIMI JOHNSON is a new singer for whom Overland predicts much. By birth she was a fellowtownsman of Mary McLane, but left the smoky hills of Butte at the age of four. Inasmuch as her life has been spent in Redwood Valley, up in Mendicino County, California may justly claim her. She is now a student at San Jose Junior College.

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ALICE L'ANSON is a native daugh-
ter of San Francisco, but now resident
in Tucson. She is an old contributor
to Overland. Poetic expression is hers
by inheritance as her father-a pioneer
prospector and mining engineer of the
West-was himself a poet, publishing
in 1891 a book of verse through Put-
nam's Sons.

DON W. FARRAN is of Iowa. His
love for the gypsy folk dates back to
earliest recollections, a time when as
a small boy he determined to travel with
a band of them as far as their national
burying ground at Algona. Even the
punishment administered-he was caught
before he reached the next town-does
not seem to have dimmed his affection
for this romantic people.

CRISTEL HASTINGS of Mill Val-
ley is one of Overland's frequent con-
tributors and needs but slight introduc-
tion. She's a business woman by occu-
pation; a writer in odd moments. Her
verse and scenic articles have found
place in publications throughout the
country.

THOMAS DURLEY
DURLEY LANDELS
hails from London, England, with the
degrees of B. A. and M. A. of London
University. His present home is in Cali-
fornia's beautiful Santa Clara valley,
where he is in charge of the Los Altos
Union Church. He is the author of
several volumes.

EUNICE MITCHELL LEHMER
is a comparatively new arrival in the
poetic world, as she has been publishing
only in the past two years. She is a
member of that earnest group of poets
which works under the banner of the
California Writers' Club. Her home is
in Berkeley.

JOSEPH UPPER adds "Harris" to
the name when he signs his letters. His
verse has appeared in various poetry
journals and he is an author of short
stories, as well. Of himself he says
modestly, "I am one of the great neg-
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helps to fill up the nation's capital."

(Continued on page 96)

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