The Mystery of Mary (Chapter 9, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 9

It was about this time that the firm of Blackwell, Hanover & Dunham had a difficult case to work out which involved the gathering of evidence from Chicago and thereabouts, and it was with pleasure that Judge Blackwell accepted the eager proposal from the junior member of the firm that he should go out and attend to it.

As Tryon Dunham entered the sleeper, and placed his suit-case beside him on the seat, he was reminded of the night when he had taken this train with the girl who had come to occupy a great part of his thoughts in these days. He had begun to feel that if he could ever hope to shake off his anxiety and get back to his normal state of mind, he must find her and unravel the mystery about her. If she were safe and had friends, so that he was not needed, perhaps he would be able to put her out of his thoughts, but if she were not safe----He did not quite finish the sentence even in his thoughts, but his heart beat quicker always, and he knew that if she needed him he was ready to help her, even at the sacrifice of his life.

All during the journey he planned a campaign for finding her, until he came to know in his heart that this was the real mission for which he had come to Chicago, although he intended to perform the other business thoroughly and conscientiously.

Upon his arrival in Chicago, he inserted a number of advertisements in the daily papers, having laid various plans by which she might safely communicate with him without running the risk of detection by her enemy.

If M.R. is in Chicago, will she kindly communicate with T. Dunham, General Delivery? Important.

Mrs. Bowman's friend has something of importance to say to the lady who dined with her October 8th. Kindly send address to T.D., Box 7 Inter-Ocean office.

"Mary," let me know where and when I can speak with you about a matter of importance. Tryon D., Record-Herald L.

These and others appeared in the different papers, but when he began to get communications from all sorts of poor creatures, every one demanding money, and when he found himself running wild-goose chases after different Marys and M.R.s, he abandoned all hope of personal columns in the newspapers. Then he began a systematic search for music teachers and musicians, for it seemed to him that this would be her natural way of earning her living, if she were so hard pressed that this was necessary.

In the course of his experiments he came upon many objects of pity, and his heart was stirred with the sorrow and the misery of the human race as it had never been stirred in all his happy, well-groomed life. Many a poor soul was helped and strengthened and put into the way of doing better because of this brief contact with him. But always as he saw new miseries he was troubled over what might have become of her--"Mary." It came to pass that whenever he looked upon the face of a young woman, no matter how pinched and worn with poverty, he dreaded lest she might have come to this pass, and be in actual need. As these thoughts went on day by day, he came to feel that she was his by a God-given right, his to find, his to care for. If she was in peril, he must save her. If she had done wrong--but this he could never believe. Her face was too pure and lovely for that. So the burden of her weighed upon his heart all the days while he went about the difficult business of gathering evidence link by link in the important law case that had brought him to Chicago.

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