The Gold of the Gods
1. The Peruvian Dagger
"There's something weird and mysterious about the robbery, Kennedy. They took the
very thing I treasure most of all, an ancient Peruvian dagger."
Professor Allan Norton was very much excited as he dropped into Craig's laboratory
early that forenoon.
Norton, I may say, was one of the younger members of the faculty, like Kennedy.
Already, however, he had made for himself a place as one of the foremost of South
American explorers and archaeologists.
"How they got into the South American section of the Museum, though, I don't
understand," he hurried on. "But, once in, that they should take the most valuable relic I
brought back with me on this last expedition, I think certainly shows that it was a robbery
with a deep-laid, premeditated purpose."
"Nothing else is gone?" queried Kennedy.
"Nothing," returned the professor. "That's the strangest part of it--to me. It was a peculiar
dagger, too," he continued reminiscently. "I say that it was valuable, for on the blade
were engraved some curious Inca characters. I wasn't able to take the time to decipher
them, down there, for the age of the metal made them almost illegible. But now that I
have all my stuff unpacked and arranged after my trip, I was just about to try--when
along comes a thief and robs me. We can't have the University Museum broken into that
way, you know, Kennedy."
"I should say not," readily assented Craig. "I'd like to look the place over."
"Just what I wanted," exclaimed Norton, heartily delighted, and leading the way.
We walked across the campus with him to the Museum, still chatting. Norton was a tall,
spare man, wiry, precisely the type one would pick to make an explorer in a tropical
climate. His features were sharp, suggesting a clear and penetrating mind and a
disposition to make the most of everything, no matter how slight. Indeed that had been
his history, I knew. He had come to college a couple of years before Kennedy and
myself, almost penniless, and had worked his way through by doing everything from
waiting on table to tutoring. To-day he stood forth as a shining example of self-made
intellectual man, as cultured as if he had sprung from a race of scholars, as practical as if
he had taken to mills rather than museums.