The Romance of Elaine HTML version

13. The Searchlight Gun
"I don't understand it," remarked Elaine one day as, with Aunt Josephine and myself, she
was discussing the strange events that had occurred since the disappearance of Kennedy,
"but, somehow, it is as if a strange Providence seems to be watching over us."
"Nor do I," I agreed. "It does seem that, although we do not see it, a mysterious power for
good is about us. It's uncanny."
"A package for you, Miss Dodge," announced Marie, coming in with a small parcel
which had been delivered by a messenger who did not wait for an answer.
Elaine took it, looked at it, turned it over, and then looked at the written address again.
"It's not the handwriting of any one which I recognize," she mused. "Now, I suppose I
ought to be suspicious of it Yet, I'm going to open it."
She did so. Inside, the paper wrapping covered a pasteboard box. She opened that. There
lay a revolver, which she picked up and turned over. It was a curious looking weapon.
"I never knew so much about firearms as I have learned in the past few weeks," remarked
Elaine. "But what do you suppose this is--and who sent it to me--and why?"
She held the gun up. From the barrel stuck out a little rolled-up piece of paper. "See," she
cried, reading and handing the paper to me, "there it is again--that mysterious power."
Aunt Josephine and I read the note:
This weapon shoots exactly into the center of the light disc. Keep it by you.--A FRIEND.
"Let me see it," I asked, taking the gun. Sure enough, along the barrel was a peculiar
tube. "A searchlight gun," I exclaimed, puzzled, though still my suspicions were not
entirely at rest. "Suppose it's sighted wrong," I could not help considering. "It might be a
plant to save some one from being shot."
"That's easily settled," returned Elaine. "Let's try it."
"Oh, mercy no,--not here," remonstrated Aunt Josephine.
"Why not--down cellar?" persisted Elaine. "It can't hurt anything there."
"I think it would be a good plan," I agreed, "just to make sure that it is all right."