In this way the trouble left as a legacy by the wicked Colonel came to
an end. Frisco was duly tried, and on the confession of Petronella he
was acquitted. A very meagre report of the proceedings appeared in the
newspapers. In taking down the confession Herrick had not inserted the
fact of Mrs. Marsh’s connection with the matter. Frisco said nothing
to his counsel about the three shots fired after the Colonel was dead.
Therefore the name of Stephen’s step-mother was spared the disgrace of
her mad impulsive act. For obvious reasons the most interesting part
of the case was left untold, and the public never knew the
complications that had ensued in searching for the assassin. Frisco
was tried briefly, was acquitted, and when set free he disappeared.
Where he went no one knew, and no one cared.

By the advice of Dr. Jim, Stephen paid to Belcher and Kidd the reward
that he had promised for the capture of Frisco. Herrick was afraid
that if it was not paid that the two might search into the matter more
particularly than would be agreeable to the feelings of Marsh-Carr.
Stephen saw this danger himself, and gladly sent a cheque for the
money. But Belcher and Kidd will get no more business from Dr.

“And I hope I’ll never come into connection with detective business
again,” said Herrick earnestly, “it is all very well to read about:
but in real life it is not so pleasant. However we have done with it

Certainly he was done with the case, but not entirely with Frisco. One
day the ex-sailor arrived at Saxham, and asked to see Mr. Marsh-Carr.
At the time Stephen was indoors, and luckily for him Dr. Herrick had
not gone out. When the name of Frisco was given the two looked at one
another in surprise. They had hoped never to hear it again.

“Shall I see him, Jim?” asked Stephen doubtfully.

“Certainly. I shall see him also,” replied Herrick, “he can have come
here for no good purpose. But I would rather have him as an open enemy
than striking in the dark.”

The consequence of this speech was that Frisco was shown into the
library. He was glad to see Marsh-Carr and visibly annoyed to find
that the doctor was present.

“My business is private,” said Frisco.

“You must tell it to me in the presence of, Dr. Herrick,” said
Stephen, scenting trouble; “I do nothing without his advice.”

“Worse luck,” growled Frisco, and sat down with a scowl.

Herrick laughed. “You do not seem pleased that you have escaped the
gallows, Frisco,” he said, “or perhaps you are sorry the criminal did
not turn out to be Sidney Endicotte.”

“I don’t care a fig who it was so long as it wasn’t me,” replied the
ex-sailor. “Huh! fancy Carr being shot by an old hag after going
through all the dangers he did. I always thought he’d have a mean

“This is beside the point,” said Stephen, “as I suppose you did not
not come here to criticise my uncle, you had better tell me your

“It’s not pleasant business,” said Frisco coolly.

“So I should expect, seeing that you have come about it,” said the
Squire; “however, I shall be pleased to hear what it is.”

Frisco took a paper out of his pocket.

“I don’t think you will,” said he; “I have here, Mr. Marsh-Carr, the
last will of the Colonel.”

Stephen started to his feet and turned pale. Herrick, who had been
listening intently, struck in: “I suppose it leaves all the money to
you, Mr. Joyce-Frisco?”

“No,” growled Frisco, “and you needn’t Señor. It’s a good will for
you if it’s true what Robin says.”

“And what does Robin say?”

“That you are to marry Miss Bess.”

“That is perfectly true,” replied Herrick coolly, “but I do not see
what she has to do with your business.”

“You will soon Dr. Herrick. The money is left to her.”

“What,” cried Stephen loudly, “Carr has left his money to Bess?”

“You bet. Here’s the will,” and Frisco threw it across the table. “He
said she was the only man amongst the lot of you. See how honest I am
Herrick. I want to make you a rich man ’cause you stood by me in
trouble I never forget a pal, not me.”

Meantime Stephen and Jim were looking over the paper. “Why,” cried
Herrick bursting into a laugh, “it’s not worth the paper it’s written
on. Here is the Colonel’s signature, but there are no witnesses.”

“Ah! you see that do you,” said Frisco with a chuckle, “that’s so. But
I tell you that if my milksop had married the girl–my fool-son Robin
I mean–there would have been witnesses, and the will would have been
proved in law.”

“I daresay,” said Stephen who sat down again with a recovered colour,
“well, even if this will had have been genuine I should not have
minded. There is no one I would give the money to sooner than Dr.

“Stuff and nonsense!” cried Jim, although he reddened with pleasure at
this tribute of friendship, “as if I or Bess would have taken a penny
of it. Oh! I see what your game was Frisco. You wanted Robin to marry
Bess, and then you would have got witnesses to this will, and taken
the money from Stephen. Is that so?”

“That is so,” rejoined Frisco leaning back, “as the fool could not get
the girl, I tried the other plan of stopping Marsh going to the vault.
That failed because of you Dr. Herrick. If it had not been for you I’d
have had that money.”

“You confess your villainies very coolly,” said Marsh-Carr sharply,
“do you know that I can lay you by the heels for that assault.”

“Oh, no you can’t. T’was Santiago struck you. You can’t prove that I
had anything to do with it. And,” said Frisco impudently, “you would
not if you could. Remember, I held my tongue about—-”

“Yes! Yes,” said Stephen hastily, “it was good of you to say nothing
about my unhappy mother. I am so far indebted to you–”

“Ah! that’s just what I’ve come about.”

“What do you mean?” asked Jim sharply.

“Lord! Doc, you ain’t half sharp enough. I want the Squire here to
give me a thousand pounds to start afresh. I and Robin are going back
to the States, and we want something to begin life on.”

“That is only fair,” put in Stephen eagerly, “I am—-”

“Wait a bit,” said Jim, “let us hear on what grounds Frisco asks you
to do this.”

Frisco was quite ready to show grounds. “Well in the first place I
held my tongue about Mrs. Marsh firing at the dead body.”

“Yes. I owe you something for that,” said Stephen flushing and

“In the second,” said Frisco raising his finger. “I brought you that
will unwitnessed so that you can still keep the money. If Robin had
got the girl I shouldn’t have done that. My name as one witness and
Santiago as another, and where would you be?”

“Santiago was never in this house,” said Herrick, “and a will has to
be signed when the testator and the witnesses are together.”

“Oh, I’d have arranged all that. My own signature you could not
dispute as I was Carr’s right-hand man. I’d have paid Santiago half a
year’s income to sign. He’d have done it like a shot. And the will
would have stood any test then.”

“That is true enough,” said Herrick reflectively, “so long as the
Colonel’s signature was right the rest was easy. Where did you get
this will?”

“It was on his table. He must have been fooling with it when the old
woman Petronella shot him. It was about this will that Mrs. Marsh made
such a fuss, only she thought the money was to be left to me.”

“Ah! You let that out yourself.”

“Being drunk,” said Frisco with a laugh, “well I took away the will
and afterwards thought to use it, by marrying Robin to Bess Endicotte.
But you see Mr. Marsh,” he added turning to Stephen, “I did not have
the witnesses names put, so you keep the money instead of handing it
over to Miss Bess.”

“Whether he had done so or not,” cried Dr. Jim hotly, “Bess would not
have taken it. The money is rightfully Stephen’s.”

“Ah! That brings me to the third point,” said Frisco unmoved, “I
worked for that money. I went through hot and cold and danger to get
it. Half of it should have been mine. But Carr had the whip hand of
me, so I’m out of it. Now gentlemen, I know where that câche is. If
you’ll give me a thousand to fit out an expedition we’ll cry quits. I
and Robin are going to get more treasure. Carr didn’t take away the

“But remember that the Indians are warned,” said Herrick, “they have
very likely removed the rest of the jewels.”

“That’s what I’ve got to find out,” said Frisco, “and Robin is coming
along with me to be made a man of. Well, these three points, Mr.
Marsh, are clear enough. I ought to have half the money, but as you
have the upper hand, I ask a thousand pounds–as my right.”

“I certainly think you are entitled to that much,” said Stephen, “what
do you say, Herrick?”

“I’m with you, Steve. Give him the money.”

Frisco chuckled while Stephen wrote out a cheque for the amount. When
the ex-sailor placed it in his pocket he stood up to go. “Well,
gentlemen,” he said, with some sort of emotion, “I thank you for this
treatment. You are both white men. I have behaved badly, but this
makes all square. I can tell you one thing, Mr. Marsh, that you will
have no further trouble about the money. Even if the Indians knew,
they would do nothing to you, now that Carr has gone. As to the plan,
I daresay his body by this time is–well no matter. I go out of your
life gentlemen, so does Robin–to be made a man of. There remains
Santiago. He won’t trouble you. I’m going to shoot him when I drop
across him in Mexico.”

“You can do what you like there, Frisco. I daresay another crime won’t
matter much to you.”

“It wouldn’t be a crime but an act of justice. He played me a dirty
trick, Dr. Herrick. However, I’m off. You won’t shake hands so I don’t
offer. So long gentlemen both,” said Frisco walking towards the door,
“and may you live long and be happy. As to that devil Carr–” Frisco
spat and then departed. They never saw him again.

A year later information came through a newspaper, stating the fate of
an expedition that had gone into the interior of Peru. The Indians of
the Cordilleras had attacked the camp and the three white men who led
the expedition were killed. Their names were Joyce, alias Frisco, his
son Robin, and a Mexican called Santiago.

“Poor Robin,” said Herrick when he read this to his wife, “he was a
mean little scoundrel, but I’m sorry that he came to such an end. As
to Santiago, Frisco must have made it up with him and taken him to
look after the treasure. Well, the whole three are dead. Let us forget

But this is anticipating. On the evening of the day when Frisco
appeared, Stephen announced to the assembled Biffs that Dr. Herrick
intended to accept half the income of the wicked Colonel with the
permission of Bess. Jim was on his feet at once. “Come,” he cried,
very red, “I intend to do nothing of the sort. What rubbish are you
talking, Steve.”

“I only ask Bess to read this paper,” said Stephen and gave Bess the
incomplete will.

“Ah! true,” replied Herrick, “it is only fair that she should decide
for herself. But I’ll have no part in the matter.”

“The Colonel going to leave his money to me,” cried Bess, “well I
never heard such nonsense Stephen. As if I would take a penny from
you, or Ida.”

“I told you so,” cried Dr. Jim triumphantly, “I knew Bess would think
the same as I. Hurrah! Bess, kiss me.”

“Is this a proper will, Steve?” asked Ida looking at the paper.

“No. Frisco brought it here to-day to cause trouble. But as you see
there are no witnesses, so it is not valid.”

“And yet you want to offer me half the money.”

“Take it, Bess,” cried Ida, “I am sure Stephen and I can live well on
four thousand a year.”

“I won’t,” said Bess, “these were the Colonel’s intentions–very kind
I’m sure. But even if the will were legal I should not accept. Jim, am
I not right?”

“Perfectly right, darling. You and I will make our own way.”

“It’s all nonsense,” said Stephen, “you must take some money. It is
only fair that the Colonel’s intentions should be respected in some

There was a great deal of argument. Finally Bess and Dr. Herrick
agreed to take one thousand a year for life. “There,” said Ida kissing
her sister, “I hope that is all right.”

“And now Jim will go away,” said Stephen gloomily.

“Not until the year’s end, and until the money is firmly in your
possession,” was the reply of the doctor, “remember you have some
months’ visits to pay to that vault. Even though Frisco has gone we
must carry out the will.”

“And at the end of the year?”

“I’ll establish myself in practice somewhere,” said Dr. Herrick,
“perhaps in Beorminster so as to be near you. Bess can then go on
writing for the ‘Weekly Chronicle.'”

“Indeed, I shall write a novel,” cried Bess, “I want a London fame.”

And so it was settled. For a year Herrick remained at “The Pines” with
the Squire. Then there was a double wedding. Ida and Stephen came back
to live in the Wicked Colonel’s house, and Dr. Herrick and his bride
established himself in a comfortable mansion in Beorminster. He became
immensely popular, and also having married into a county family, he
was much sought after by the county invalids. Frank and Sidney were
left at Biffstead and Flo came home to keep house for them.

The Rev. Pentland Corn gave up his charge of the Parish, and went out
to the East as a missionary. No one could understand the reason for
this folly–as they called it–save Herrick. He understood only too
well, and his was the last hand Pentland Corn clasped when he left
England for India. His place was taken by a young and amiable rector,
who will probably marry Flo Endicotte. Then Frank will have to keep
the house himself or marry in self-defence.

As to Sidney, the queer boy. Herrick took that young gentleman in hand
and tried to make him a healthy man. He made him ride, shoot, swim,
and indulge in all manner of out-of-door sports. At first Sidney
rebelled, but as he was really fond of Herrick he began to take kindly
to the regime. The consequence was he became more of a boy in a few
months, and actually began to eat meat. Herrick watched over him with
the greatest care and gradually Sidney lost his unpleasant faculty of
“seeing things.” He went to college, and there he now is, becoming
rapidly more of a normal person. Once he met with a Theosophist who
told him, after hearing his story, that he had sunk the spirit in the
flesh and blamed Herrick severely. In fact, this gentleman took a
journey to Saxham to see and expostulate with Herrick on the
wickedness of debasing the psychic gifts of the boy.

“I would rather see him a healthy man,” said the doctor impatiently,
“in what you say there may be a good deal. But the boy is now in
better health and easier to live with.”

“Ah! you do not deserve to have such a person in the family,” said the
theosophist, “but your work will not endure for ever. You have made
Mr. Endicotte eat meat, and materialised him. But in a few years he
will recover his gift. It will be stronger than ever.”

“Then I hope he won’t come here,” said Herrick, “I have every respect
for persons so gifted, but I don’t like them. To have one at your
elbow, who sees into the future and foretells death, and is always
seeing creatures of the air is horrible.”

“You are a sceptic, Dr. Herrick.”

“No. I think there are many things of which we know nothing–I mean in
regard to what we talk about. But for my part I want to do my duty in
this life and leave all these occult things to people who like them. I
should like my brother-in-law to act likewise. However, he is in good
health now, and I should be sorry to see him relapse into the state he
was when I first met him.”

Thereupon the Theosophist sighed and departed. All the same he is
keeping a watch over Sidney, and should the boy again develope the
clairvoyant faculty, he will be made better use of, by those who

And then a happy day came when in Stephen’s arms was placed a boy.
Bess Herrick placed him therein. “Do you know who this is?” she asked.

“My son and heir,” replied Stephen, bending over the infant, “what
else, or who else should he be?”

“The first the very first really innocent creature who has been in
this house for close upon a century.”

“That is complimentary to us all Bess,” said her husband who had
entered the room, “but what if he is?”

Bess looked solemn. “I think he is the guardian angel of Ida and
Steve, to keep away the evil spirit of Colonel Carr.”

“Come now Bess, you are not like Sidney. You have not seen—-?”

“I have seen nothing Jim. But the village people are already making a
legend about the Wicked Colonel. They say he walks. I hope, now that
this innocent child is here, that they will leave off inventing such
horrid things. I don’t want ‘The Pines’ to have the reputation of
being haunted. And you know how stories grow, Jim.”

“I know this,” replied Dr. Herrick, “that Carr was murdered in a room
which has vanished into thin air. If his ghost walks anywhere it must
be in the Pine wood. There is no call for him to haunt this place.”

Some one repeated this saying of Herrick’s, and what he had said in
jest was spoken of in earnest. In a few months it was commonly
reported that the Wicked Colonel had been seen in the Pine wood,
surrounded with a red glow, significant of the habitation his spirit,
for its sins, dwelt in. In vain more sensible people laughed at this
tale. It came to be firmly believed in, and it was said that when any
misfortune was about to befall the Marsh-Carr family, that the shade
of the Colonel appeared.

“It is the penalty of greatness,” said Dr. Jim to Stephen, “a county
family is not really respectable until it has its private ghost.”

And in this way Wicked Colonel Carr became a tradition.