xt7jws8hf70t https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7jws8hf70t/data/mets.xml Buck, Charles Neville, b. 1879. 1923  books b92-178-30418575 English Doubleday, Page, : Garden City, N.Y. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Alias Red Ryan  / by Charles Neville Buck ; frontispiece by Walter De Maris. text Alias Red Ryan  / by Charles Neville Buck ; frontispiece by Walter De Maris. 1923 2002 true xt7jws8hf70t section xt7jws8hf70t 
 


        BOOKS BY
 CHARLES NEVILLE BUCK


 ALIAS RED RYAN
 A PAGAN OF THE HILLS
 DESTINY
 THE BATTLE CRY
 THE CALL OF THE CUMBERLANDS
 THE CODE OF THE MOUNTAINS
 THE KEY TO YESTERDAY
 THE LIGHTED MATCH
 THE PORTAL OF DREAMS
 THE ROOF TREE
THE TEMPERING
THE TYRANNY OF WEAKNESS
WHEN BEAR CAT WENT DRY

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"I wanlted to tell yoa all of that-before some one else did."

 




Alias



RED



RYAN



         BY
CHARLES NEVILLE BUCK




       ft:S



     FRONTISPIECE
         BY
    WALTER DE MARIS




 GARDEN CITY    NEW YORK
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE  COMPANY
         1923

 


















































                  COPYRIGHT, 1923, BY

             DOUBLEDAY, PAGE  COMPANY

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUtDING THAT OF TRANSLATION
I-NTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDINAVIAN

        COPYRIGH1T, 1922, BR STREET  SMITH CORPORATION

               PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES
                          AT
         THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, N. Y.

                      First Edition

 















  ALIAS
RED RYAN

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    ALIAS RED RYAN

P ATROLMAN MAHAFFEY could see an il-
      luminated clock as he stood at the corner
      discussing with an acquaintance the evils of
prohibition as he conceived them. By that circum-
stance he was able to fix the hour of the evening defi-
nitely in his mind when it came to making a report.
  "Besides anything else ye might say-and there's
plenty, such as makin' hypocrites out of dacint men
an' women, look at what it does for us," he observed
gloomily. "Here with th' paapers howlin' about
crime waves, with two fur warehouses robbed on me
own bate in wan week of time, an' all an' all, we've got
to spind our energies nosin' out bootleggers an
  He broke off abruptly, bending attentively for-
ward, and when his companion started to voice his
lugubrious agreement, the officer raised an imperative
hand for silence.
  "Stop!" he exclaimed. "Wasn't that a shot I heard
         It didn't sound like a blowout nor yet an
exhaust explosion     .   Hist! there it is again
       that way    . .   . sure, it's a pistol
barkin' !"
  Officer Mahaffey wheeled and went running to-
                       1

 

2             ALIAS RED RYAN
ward the sound, and as he went other noises came
to his ear, so he began shrilling on his whistle for
reinforcements, and loosening the buttons of his great-
coat over his own holster.
  He had to run east to Broadway, up Broadway and
around the next corner to his left, and by that time
the first alarming sound had been augmented into
a chorus of shouting pedestrians and an outcry of
confused excitement.
  From farther down Broadway came the roar of a
motorcycle cop making for the same objective and
along the street were running other figures, yet Pa-
trolman Mahaffey was the first uniformed man to
reach the spot, and that was a tribute to his fleetness
of foot as well as his eagerness of spirit.
  He saw a car flirt round the corner into Sixth
Avenue before he reached the door about which
civilian-clad men were beginning to cluster, and he
knew that that car, which he was quick to associate
with the crack of guns, had made its escape.
  Then, panting, he reached the door of a building
whose number and business sign in gilt letters he
instinctively noted and registered without pausing.
To the half -frightened and morbidly curious men who
clung there like flies about a sticky saucer, he gave
the force of his elbow, and the curt command:
"Gang-way there! Let me through!"
  They let him through, for his face was red and his
chin thrust out and his hand gestured with a ready

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



pistol. Inside the door, which stood wide, he found
himself in a narrow hallway, and that, too, contained
several idle onlookers-unless they were participants
now posing as accidental arrivals.
  " Get in that door with ye  .  . . All of ye, and
snap into it," commanded the patrolman, herding
them ahead of him and sweeping with a swift glance
the room upon which the hall gave. He heard the mo-
torcycle chug to a stop outside, and recognized that
reinforcements were at hand, should he need them.
  The picture that met his eye through that door
frame made him catch his breath for a moment, then
he stepped in and considered it.
  The room was the office of a wholesale fur ware-
house, and this made the third robbery bearing the
same bold trade-mark that had afflicted his beat in
the last ten days-but this was the first that had
added murder to theft, and for an instant the police-
man felt jarred with the shock.
  There were, besides the casuals he had driven
ahead of him, two men in that room, or three if you
counted the dead man.
  There could be little doubt about his being dead,
even in advance of a closer examination. The set of
the eyes in the upturned face told that story to
Mahaffey's experience; that and the very proclama-
tion of lifelessness in the huddle of the still-bleeding
figure lying so awkwardly crumpled on the floor be-
side a desk.



3

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



  On the boards there near the centre of the space
lay an automatic pistol, and though it burned smoke-
less powder the acrid stench of nitrate came freshly
sharp to the nostrils.
  Of the two living men, one sat in a chair, collapsed
and tousled-perhaps wounded or perhaps exhausted
with struggle, and the other stood looking on, a tall,
thin, elderly man with a pistol still clenched in his
fist.
  As Mahaffey took in these details brother officers
came through the door and he heard the clang of
an arriving patrol wagon, and a curt order outside,
"Don't any of you people go away. Some of you'll
be wanted to tell what you know."
  It is a cardinal rule of narrative that the story
should start at its beginning, pursue its course di-
rectly, and arrive concisely at its conclusion. That
rule is in general axiomatically correct, yet there are
-times when a story does not begin at the seeming
beginning, but runs forward and back from a centre.
This is one of those stories, for the scene that had
broken with such startling suddenness on the eyes
of Patrolman Mahaffey was in reality a thing whose
root and development lay back, some years back, in
a soil entirely different, and into that anterior phase
one must go to follow it with understanding.
  The start of the trail upon which the policeman
came that night was a happening in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, and its time was before the war.



4


 

CHAPTER I



O     UT of the crater-bowl of the stadium came
        the upleap and down-dying of eruption from
        a score of thousands of human throats, but
to the blanketed braves in the locker room it was
like the reverberation of artillery pounding away
perfunctorily beyond their range.
  There in their mole-skin armour, between halves of
the season's first game, these men who carried, in
heavy responsibility, the football honour of Harvard,
were more poignantly alive to the sharp staccato
of a single voice raised in the same walls with them-
selves-the voice of the head coach, impassioned
with exhortation and accusing violence.
  The volume that eddied up and down out there
was only such sound as boils and simmers out of a
gigantic caldron of humanity between its moments of
interest-the noisy whiling away of an interval with
brass bands and cheer clubs and college yells. In-
side, the head coach was using his single voice as a
scourge and sharp-rowelled spur on the crimson
cohort.
  "It's no excuse to say that our line-up to-day isn't
the same line-up we'll send against Yale or Prince-
                        5

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



ton, " declared the stinging voice. " This game is the
first of the season  . . . It's Harvard's answer
to all the questions as to what Harvard has this
year  .     . It's the unveiling and exhibition
of what we've built up. The press is looking on
the scouts from New Haven and New Jersey are
looking on  . . . the world is looking on!"
  The head coach broke off as if something like de-
spair had choked him, then he threw back his head
and his eyes spurted jets of blaze.
  "The world is looking on and what has it seen so
far The first half is over and Harvard hasn't
scored  .    .   Harvard has been held by a team
that came as a sort of scrub time-filler
Harvard has been held by a college that felt flattered
at the chance to come here and get drubbed by us
      -  The first half is over and the score is
nothing-nothing  . . . You men go back onto
that gridiron with disgrace staring you in the face
unless you wipe out that first half and show ten
times what you've shown so far. The football world
came here asking, 'What has Harvard to show us'
and your answer up to date is, 'A squad of weak-
fish'! "
  Again he paused, and raked the circle of young
giants who squatted grimly silent under his verbal
lash-grimly silent but welted and stung of heart and
conscience.
  "We might have expected them to uncork some



6

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



trick offensives," went on this battle-chaplain
fiercely, "but they had no right to hold Harvard
with their defense  . . . That defense ought
to have been torn open and frayed ragged
It must be torn ragged yet . . . Let's see.
Carson's ankle is sprained, isn't it Sevens goes in
at right end     . . and, for God's sake, re-
member Harvard is a university, not a prep school !"
  The moment of agonized suspense hung intoler-
able-and for no other man in stuffed armour was
that agony so tautly cramping as in the heart of
Barbour Sevens.
  To Sevens the fact of being at Harvard at all had
never lost its tincture of miracle. Always it had
seemed a dream from which he must presently awake
to find himself thrust back into the twilight dulness
of such poverty as prohibits a college career. Yet
he was here, working his way through his course,
and though only a sophomore, he had made the
team. Now he was being ordered into action. Men
in hundreds who could buy and sell him with their
pocket money would have given years of life to be in
his place to-day, but a sense of overwhelming responsi-
bility thrust at him like capsizing puffs of gale. If
lie made good for one hour this afternoon he might
construe his success as an augury. He might make
other dreams come true all along the future and
he stood trembling like an overwrought thorough-
bred at the starting barrier.



7

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



  "If you men don't redeem yourselves this half,"
dogmatized the head coach with desperate finality,
"you'll make a laughing stock of Harvard, of your-
selves-and me    .    .   You'll junk traditions
that have been fought and sweated for through years
and, as for myself, I don't see how I can go on with
football any longer. They may have some trick of-
fensives. Don't give them a chance to spring them-
Smash into 'em and tear 'em open. Their defense
oughtn't to hold us."
  Then, clasping his blanket about him and with
giddy spots swimming before his eyes, Barbour
Sevens found himself trotting out with the squad
onto the field where the drenching yellow of the sun
dazzled him and floods of sound from twenty thou-
sand throats submerged him.

  A young man with carroty hair who occupied a
position of vantage in a central section of the stands
realized that he was bei g addressed by a stranger
and looked inquiringly up.
  "You've got an empty seat each side of you," de-
clared the youth who had bent toward bim-"and
at ten o'clock this morning I ran all over town trying
to get one more in this section. They told me every-
thing was sold out-had been sold for days."
  The red-haired one grinned amiably. "Looks like
they lied to you," he made response. "Or else some-
body took sick or died or got locked up."



8

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



  " What I had in mind-I mean to say, " hazarded
the other in some embarrassment, "would you mind
moving into the next seat and letting this lady and
myself take the other two-unless somebody claims
them We've got two big hats in front of us. "
  The red-haired young man grinned even more
amiably than before.
  " Sure, " he exclaimed heartily. " Move right in and
make yourselves at home. It's all Jake with me-
and the game's half over now."
  A censorious eye might have marked that the
hospitably minded onlooker was not dressed in the
best of conservative taste, and a censorious ear might
have found both his inflection and diction uncultivat-
ed. His cut of raiment leaned emphatically toward
the bizarre and his neck was shaved. Idiosyncrasies
of costume may be condoned, but Brummel himself
could not get by with a shaven neck.
  This young man's face was freckled in consonance
with the oriflamnme of his hair, but his eyes were blue
and large and they seemed pools of disarming appeal
and angelic innocence.
  Just now they appeared more concerned with the
audience than the contest itself. It was as though,
in the vast and florid variety of that human kalei-
doscope, the mind behind the eyes found a more
palatable and gratifying food for thought than in the
intricacies of this game which was to its players as
serious as a crusade.



9

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



  Another thought also dwelt with him. So long
as he sat in the densely crowded tiers, flanked by
empty spaces, he had felt vaguely and rather uneasily
conspicuous-as if he were surrounded by a margin
unshared by his fellows-and, since he knew a cir-
cumstance connected with those two empty spaces,
which was a secret of his own, this had given him
concern.
  The young man with the carroty hair had needed
only one seat and had only set out to procure one,
but the gentleman whose pocket he had picked in the
elbowing press just outside the gates had had three
held together by one rubber band, so that, to all
intents and purposes, they were inseparable. Red
Ryan had deftly abstracted them from the pocket
where they reposed, and though they constituted a
plethora, it seemed inconsistent with the policy of
wisdom to attempt a partial restitution.
  Now with the stubborn, sweating resolve and fe-
rocity of bull-dogs in a pit, a crimson team and a blue-
stockinged team plowed and battled and struggled
on the white-striped green below, while from base to
rim of the huge bowl of masonry reigned a babel and
a pandemonium of gladiatorial exhortation. To
Red Ryan it was all somewhat confusing. " What
kick do they get out of it" he silently questioned
himself. "Now a coupla husky lads in the ring
or a fair field of selling-platers comin' home close-
bunched-I could get that, but this Willy-boy



10

 
ALIAS RED RYAN



lynching bee it looks cuckoo to me. What's it all
about, anyhow"
  He had not come idly, and he sat patient but un-
thrilled. When the game ended, his own activities
would begin. When the crowds surged down into the
field, spilling and cascading over the walls of the
stadium, and milling about in howling mobs-then
and not till then would Red Ryan's purpose in com-
ing declare itself in action.
  Then he would mingle, howling dervish-like with
the howling crowds, and if his gift of craftsmanship
did not forsake him, he would emerge enriched in
treasure and currency, self-endowed with the jewels,
watches, and purses of the capitalist class. Mean-
while, with the slightly disdainful aloofness of alien
interests, he watched the strenuous entertainment of
the capitalist class.
  If certain finesses of gridiron achievement escaped
him, other observations he made more confidently.
With the accuracy of a Maiden Lane appraiser, he
placed valuation on the diamond in the scarf of the
florid man one row forward, and even on the mesh
bag of the pretty young lady whose rosy lips were so
excitedly parted just to his left-the girl to whose
escort he had gallantly surrendered his extra seats.
  Red Ryan was from the Middle West, but he had
outgrown it. The bulls out there, both harness and
plain clothes, had so embarrassed him with their
close attentions that he had emigrated East, where his



11

 
ALIAS RED RYAN



incognito was still intact. He stood now on the
threshold of that larger world.
  The girl with the mesh bag came almost hysteri-
cally to her feet and shrieked, if one may use for so
musical an outburst of excitement such a prosaic
descriptive. She was only a kid, Red reflected, but
she sure was an eyeful! Now she stood frenziedly,
yet not ungracefully, jumping up and down and
waving a crimson pennant while her starry young
eyes broke into a sparkle of naive delight.
  Also, she dropped her mesh bag.
  "Who is he" demanded the girl, hoarse from her
shouting, "Who is he"
  "That, " her escort declared, his too-casual manner
proclaiming him close of kin, "is Pudge Blackwell-
I thought everybody knew Pudge." His superior
calm dropped suddenly away. " By gracious, he made
his gain, too-on the first down. Go on, Harvard!"
  " I don't mean Pudge, " objected the girl imperious-
ly. "Of course I know him. I mean the man who
followed him through and broke up the tackle. He
deserves all the credit."
  "Oh, " the escort enlightened her absentmindedly.
"That's Barb Sevens-a soph   . . . first year
on the team  .  . . looks like a comer, though,
doesn't he"
  "He's wonderful," breathed the girl. "Ab-so-
lutely! "
  Red Ryan retrieved and stored away in his coat

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



pocket the forgotten mesh bag, but as he annexed this
windfall he grunted contemptuously.
  "It's a cinch there ain't no valuables in it, " he
told himself. "Still, you never can tell."
  The bedlamites grew more maniacal. The gyra-
tions of the cheer-leaders became more fantastic,
hut Red Ryan, intuitive in gauging crowd psy-
chology, recognized a slackened morale of weakened
confidence and he grinned.
  "These Haw-vard rooters are kiddin' themselves,"
he shrewdly reflected. "Their steam roller's gone
blooey-and they're bally-hooin' to keep their noive
up.
  Perhaps he even laughed derisively, for the gentle-
man with the diamond scarf pin which Red estimated
roughly at two carats turned and glared truculently
at him.
  Over the crimson-decked sectors of the stadium,
as if in fulfilment of prophecy, settled an ominous
tendency to quieting             the quieting of
premonition and gloom. The visitors, who had no
moral right to menace so powerful a machine, had
uncorked a bottle of effervescent surprises. With
only a few minutes left to play, they were holding
like a Macedonian phalanx. They were still power-
less to score, of course, but their cup of glory would
brim over if, without scoring, they could hold their
mighty adversaries to a like ineffectualness.
  The sunset sky glowed through the western open-



13

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



ings of the stadium masonry and the Crimsons, stung
to a last, superhuman effort, braced every nerve to
the tautness of its breaking point. As if driven be-
yond their own powers by the forces of tradition they
went, from centre-field to three-yard line, battering
their way in short but consistent gains, and the ball-
their ball-lay close to the chalked frontier of victory.
  Between them and a touchdown lay that narrowed
interval of tramped sod and a human wall that had
given back doggedly, stiffening as it went, until now,
like human mortar, rigidly set, it, likewise, braced
itself for final ordeal.
  Between Harvard's determination and its achieve-
ment, or its frustration, lay also two minutes of
playing time, rigidly guarded and limited by official
stop-watches. The spirits of the home rooters
blazed up in capricious hope from their ashes. Again
they were on their feet, amid soaring volumes of deep-
throated thunder.
  Barbour Sevens, rankling as though the disgrace
of the scoreless board had been all his own, clenched
his teeth in a grimed, bloodied, and sweating face,
while he crouched with the tigerish ferocity of a
single purpose. His nerves were quivering and his
pulses hammering. All consciousness was merged
and fused into one fiery passion-eagerness and the
determination of eagerness-
  The forces were hurled together in new collision,
the retaining wall of flesh bent back a little, a very



14

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



little, but no breaches were rammed through its
integrity.
  Once more if they held as well-and the ball
would go to the visitors on downs.
  "Last down and one yard to gain!"
  There came again the staccato barking of signals
and Sevens knew that the play was to make its assault
around his end! The lines crouched panting close to
the earth, the ball was snapped, and Harvard leaped
to a single impulse. There was the thud of human
impact, the hoarse gasping breath of struggle, the
straining of massed conflict-and then a deafening
roar from the compassing walls of the stadium. The
ball had gone over for a touchdown!
  Pandemonium, chaos, indescribable babel of horns
and whistles and above them all the solid artillery roar
of countless throats. Barbour Sevens straightened
up, reeling, gasping, but translated to a seventh
heaven of happiness. There could not be more than
a few seconds of play left. Harvard would kick the
goal-and then    ! He could hardly stand, but he
rocked on his feet jubilantly.
  Then fell the devastating bolt of calamity.
  At first it couldn't be grasped. It was too in-
credible but the sharp whistle-blow, the whispered
consultation, and then the grim-faced finality of the
referee as he took the ball and began pacing back
five yards, told the story with a merciless baldness.
  Harvard had been penalized. Harvard had for-



15

 
ALIAS RED RYAN



feited the touchdown and the ball. The play would
be resumed with the visitors in possession, five yards
away.
  Then in absolute corroboration of these disastrous
and impossible things came the curt verdict of
officialdom.
  "Harvard's right end was offside. Middletown's
ball. "
  Sevens was the right end. The penalty that had
robbed Harvard of spectacular triumph in the final
and conclusive minute of struggle lay squarely at his
door. Disgrace engulfed him. He stumbled back,
sobbing, with his body racked and shaken in spasm
after spasm of anguish. He knew nothing else clear-
ly until the whistle blew and then he threw himself
flat where he stood, clawing at the mud.
  Unequipped with such erudition as clarified the
situation to his understanding, Red Ryan failed to
grasp its full and tragic meaning.
  " It gets by me, " he muttered to himself as he shook
his head in mystification. "A likely lad in the prize
ring ain't supposed to sob himself to death because
he only gets a draw when he claimed a decision. He
climbs through the ropes and plasters a piece of
beefsteak over his bum lamp an' that's that-but
these highbrow sports lays down on the ground an'
kicks an' screams. It gets by me."
  His position enabled Red to reach the field with
the first breaker of the human tide that spilled over



16

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



like dark water from a bursted reservoir. Just be-
fore him was the gentleman with the two-carat scarf
pin, and both found themselves drawn by the eddy-
ing currents into a narrowing circle about the group
of sweating and begrimed warriors in red. One of
these seemed to have become suddenly bereft of
reason, and to be in the hands of volunteers who
sought to restrain his ravings.
  With one forearm flung across his face and his
body shaken by sobs, Sevens was fighting off the
men who sought to comfort him; to wrap him in a
blanket against the raw evening chill; to set him
on his feet and lead him away.
  In the excitement that seethed like a swarm of bees
about that axis, Red Ryan did more than add his
voice to the chorus of volunteered and futile comfort-
ing. With a dexterity that bespoke a finished art,
he freed the diamond scarf pin from its fastenings at
the gentleman's stout throat, and, opening the clasp
of the mesh bag in his pocket, slipped it safely into
that receptacle.
  Then, as they had dragged the figure of the still
raving Sevens to his feet, someone forcibly threw
an overcoat over his shoulders and several hands
reached out to button it in place. This was ap-
parently because the young man, in his bereft state
of mind, could not be persuaded to keep a blanket
about him. In these offices of gratuitous helpfulness,
Red Ryan charitably collaborated. He laid ready



17

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



hands on the distracted Sevens, along with others who
had better right, and included himself in the escort
in which was also numbered the gentleman whom he
had just robbed.
  In this fashion he could make more rapid progress
toward the gates and it was at the congested
channels of the exits that Red hoped to reap his full
harvest.
  But as he was progressing in this fashion, none too
rapidly through the pressed humanity, Red looked to
the side, and had his features not been well schooled,
they must have betrayed a deep and surprised con-
cern. As it was, a scowling shadow darkened the
clear innocence of his eyes, for a few paces away were
two men, whose glances were on him, and one of the
faces was known to him of old. In that room on the
second floor of the City Hall, in Louisville, Kentucky,
where the Chief of Detectives conducts his inquiries,
Red and this man had held sundry conferences and
none of them had been of Red's seeking. "Wot
th' hell," he growled now, without sound. "Wot
th' hell's old Danny Maher doin' here"
  What Danny Maher was doing at the instant was
speaking low into the ear of his companion, whom
Red rightly guessed to be a local member of the
same craft as Danny.
  "Keep an eye on the sorrel-topped lad," he sug-
gested. "Him that's helping carry off the football
lad. He'll bear watching. "



18

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



  "Never saw him before," commented the Boston
detective. " What is he A common dip "
  "He's a dip, but he ain't no common one," replied
the Louisvillian. " He's one of the cleverest kids
that ever worked the Middle West and South. I
wouldn't put it past him to have some sparklers in
his clothes right now  .     but it's at the gate
he meant to work fastest-until he saw me."
  Maher spoke thoughtfully and rather in the spirit
of tribute to ability than with any rancor of hostility
in his voice. "He started out as a gay-cat ahead of
a yegg outfit, and developed into the headiest
pickpocket we ever had down our way. We've
never been able to send him over the road for it, but
we're pretty sure he's done some high-class second-
story work, too."
  "Want to pick him up" inquired the local bull,
and Maher shook his head.
  "I don't know of any call that's been sent out for
him lately, but since he's here it's just as well for
you to know his face. I'll send you the dope on him
and his Bertillon record when I get back. It might
come in handy some tine."



19


 

CHAPTER II



N      ONE of that conversation was overheard by
        Red Ryan, yet in his imagination he could
        accurately divine its trend of text and treat-
ment, and a deep gloom enveloped him.
  "If I was this Willy-boy," he made mental observa-
tion, "I reckon I'd lay right down in the dirt an' sob."
  The day's work, with all its promise, lying ahead,
was stultified. What he had so far gathered in was
only a reminder of greater possibilities-and now
even those beginnings became a mnenace to his safety.
If these plain clothes bulls decided to "pick him up, "
as was the informal way of such gentry as they with
such other gentry as he, he must above all be found
empty-handed. That "ice" nipped out of the scarf
was treasure trove and its abandonment cost him a
pang, yet he did not hesitate. With a dexterous
gesture, and with a face that betrayed no emotion,
Red slipped the mesh bag and its contents into the
side pocket of the overcoat that draped itself loosely
over the shoulders of the sobbing Harvard end.
Then, as the group neared the turning to the locker
rooms, the carroty-haired youth detached himself
and proceeded toward the exit gates.
                       to

 
ALIAS RED RYAN



  There, when the detectives arrived, they found
him standing reflectively and with all the disarming
seeming of innocence. Flight appeared far from his
thoughts as, with a nod from the Kentuckian, the
official pair approached him.
  "Hello, Red," accosted Maher affably. "Meet
Mr. Dennis  .     . Mr. Dennis is a headquarters
man here in Boston. "
  "Pleased to meet yer," said Red, with a certain
coolness of reserve, and the Bostonian inquired,
"What was the name I didn't get it. "
  "Which one do you go by now, Red" inquired
Danny, still affably. " Red Ryan's the one we
generally use on the blotter-but the monikers change
from time to time, don't they, Red"
  "Red Ryan'll do," responded the youth equably.
"Nobody ain't got nothin' on me now, an' I don't
need no monikers."
  "Oh, by the way, Red," it was Maher who spoke,
"I'm not accusin' you, y'understand, but you're in a
crowd an' you used to work fast in crowds-maybe
     " he broke off on an upward inflection of inquiry.
  The young man nodded. He even grinned a little,
since some informal justification was what he himself
just now considered prudent.
  "Frisk me," he invited. "Go as far as yer like."
  Maher "frisked" him with a swift but efficient
touch of searching fingers. He realized that the
pickpocket had not been caught red-handed this

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



time, and his nod was, for the time being, a clean bill
of health. So having passed through the customs,
at the cost of a sacrifice play as it were, Ryan
was free to proceed and he proceeded. Already t[e
crest of the crowd wave had flowed bv, and with it the
crest of his own opportunity. He dared not even
linger at the fringes, and his day was spoiled.
  "Hell!' he growled wrathfully, as for a moment
the innocent eves darkened into a fury of guile.
"Hell! Now I've got ter blow ther damn burg."

  By certain nightmare progressions that stood out
in his memory only as lurid and tortured dreams,
Sevens had passed the hour and a half that took him
through shower, rubdown, and dressing, and finally
left him mercifully alone in his own room. He sat
there now with the light turned on, staring ahead out
of eyes dazed and suffering. le had in the very
fever of over-eagerness betrayed Harvard, and to
him the disgrace which the head coach had expounded
was actual and crushing. This was the largest world
he had known in his nineteen years of life, and to-day
this world had tested him, proving his failure. Op-
portunity had come to him and he had spoiled it.
His augury of future triumph had burned into the
ashen and dismal conviction of predestined failure.
Overwrought, bruised, and exhausted, his tragedy
was real. No tempest of the future could shake
him more actually than he was just now shaken.

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



Serious-minded from a childhood surrounded with
drab economies, he did not expect opportunity to
comie to him radiantly or often  . . . and a
great one thrown away spelled despair.
  As lie sat inert by the book-littered table of his
room, a brisk rap soutided on his (hoor-- a sound
w hich he did not answer because it failed to penetrate
the blanketing fog of his intensive mib:erv. Thiein
the door opened and a big-bodied, cheery-eyed young
fellow let himself breezily in. He stood for a moment
looking at the hulking despondence of the seated
figure, then came over and clapped a hand on its
shoulder.
  "Buck up, old hoss,' exclaimed this new arrival.
"You were just out of luck  . . .Your crimne
was only that you snapped into it a tenth of a second
too quick."
  At the touch and the sound of the voice Seven-,
started violently, and then wvith a churlishness that
was wholly foreign to his normal character, lie
growled:
  "I don't want to talk to anybody. I want to be
left adone."
  "Forget it," retorted the other. "I came to get
my best overcoat. I'm going out to a party to-night
--and I need it."
  "Your overcoat" Sevens repeated the words in a
dazed voice and then, as if groping through the mists
of lethargic half-dreams, he nodded dully and pointed

 

ALIAS RED RYAN



to a worn couch where the coat had been flung
down.
  "There it is, I guess, " he said in a monotone.
"I didn't know whose it was or where it came from.
When I came in here I-" He pressed a hand rough-
ly across his f