THE CHAMBER OF DEATH

The silence that followed Janet’s declaration was broken by the tramp of
feet along the connecting passage, followed by an abrupt knock upon the
door.
The Persian opened it, glanced without, and then stood aside.
“Bring him in, Dirrag,” he said.
Slowly the little band of warriors entered, bearing between them a limp
form which they laid gently upon a couch.
The Colonel’s face, as his staring eyes fell upon his son, was gray and
haggard, but the old gentleman seemed to have exhausted his capacity for
being surprised. Mrs. Osborne, with a shudder and a sympathetic moan,
turned away weeping, but Janet crept close to the couch and gazed in
mingled fright and horror upon her brother’s motionless form.
“Is he dead?” asked the Colonel, hoarsely.
“Not yet,” replied Dr. Warner, his hand on Allison’s heart; “but he is
dying.”
“Where did you find him, Dirrag?” asked the Khan, in a quiet voice.
“In the vizier’s garden, your Highness. He was attacked by Agahr’s
slaves, who likewise slew their master’s own daughter, Maie.”
The wounded man groaned, slightly moving his head.
“Stand back, all of you!” commanded the Colonel, with a sudden accession
of his old brave spirit. And as they obeyed he himself approached the
couch, a look of stern resolution upon his face. “Allison must speak, he
must clear up this mystery before he dies.” NORFLOXACIN
The Persian motioned all the warriors save Dirrag to leave the room.
Then he drew from his robe a small phial and forced its contents between
Allison’s set lips.
In a moment the young man groaned again, and then slowly opening his
eyes, gazed vacantly upon the group around him.


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“Allison,” said his father–firmly, but in a tone less harsh than
before–“here is Howard Osborne, whom I always have accused of forging,
seven years ago, my check for twenty thousand dollars. He claims that he
is innocent.”
Allison moved restlessly, his eyes wandering from face to face as if in
search of some one who was not present.
“I–I believe Howard is innocent,” he answered, with much difficulty.
“Who was the culprit, then?”
The wounded man stared back into his eyes, but made no reply.
“They say you are dying, my son,” continued the old man, gently, “and if
you have done wrong–if you have ever deceived me–now is the time to
confess all, and clear the name of an innocent man.”
Allison made a motion with his hand, wearily.
“Where is Maie?” he asked, “and why do you keep the place so cursed
dark?”
The doctor placed an arm under his head, raising it slightly.
“Tell me, Allison,” pleaded the Colonel, “who forged that paper? Who was
it, my son?”
“Why,–I did it, father.–It’s all over, now–only twenty thousand–not
worth–fussing about. Maie! Are you there, my Maie?”
With the words he made an effort to rise, and a crimson stream gushed
from his mouth and nostrils. The doctor laid him back upon the cushions,
while the Persian sought to stay the hemorrhage with his handkerchief.
But Allison was spent. His limbs twitched nervously once or twice, and
after that he lay still.
The harem of the Khan had become a chamber of death.