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The Eagle’s Claws
by [?]

As Philo Gubb boarded the train for Riverbank after recovering the silver loving-cup from the interior of the petrified man, he cast a regretful glance backward. It was for Syrilla. There was half a ton of her pinky-white beauty, and her placid, cow-like expression touched an echoing chord in Philo Gubb’s heart.

Philo felt, however, that his admiration must be hopeless, for Syrilla must earn a salary in keeping with her size, and his income was too irregular and small to keep even a thin wife.

* * * * *

Five hundred dollars was a large reward for a loving-cup that cost not over thirty dollars, it is true, but Mr. Jonas Medderbrook could afford to pay what he chose, and as he was passionately fond of golf and passionately poor at the game, and as this was probably the only golf prize he would ever win, he was justified in paying liberally, especially as this cup was not merely a tankard, but almost large enough to be called a tank.

Detective Gubb hastened to the home of Mr. Medderbrook, but when the door of that palatial house opened, the colored butler told Mr. Gubb that Mr. Medderbrook was at the Golf Club, attending the annual banquet of the Fifty Worst Duffers. Mr. Gubb started for the Golf Club. As he walked he thought of Syrilla, and he was at the gate of the Golf Club before he knew it.

He walked up the path toward the club-house, but when halfway, he stopped short, all his detective instincts aroused. The windows of the club-house glowed with light, and sounds of merriment issued from them, but the cause of Philo Gubb’s sudden pause was a head silhouetted against one of the glowing windows. As Mr. Gubb watched, he saw the head disappear in the gloom below the window only to reappear at another window. Mr. Gubb, following the directions as laid down in Lesson Four of the Correspondence Lessons, dropped to his hands and knees and crept silently toward the “Paul Pry.” When within a few feet of him, Mr. Gubb seated himself tailor-fashion on the grass.

As Philo sat on the damp grass, the man at the window turned his head, and Mr. Gubb noted with surprise that the stranger had none of the marks of a sodden criminal. The face was that of a respectably benevolent old German-American gentleman. Kindliness and good-nature beamed from its lines; but at the moment the plump little man seemed in trouble.

“Good-evening,” said Mr. Gubb. “I presume you are taking an observation of the dinner-party within the inside of the club.”

The old gentleman turned sharply.

“Shess!” he said. “I look at der peoples eading and drinking. Alvays I like to see dot. Und sooch goot eaders! Dot man mit der black beard, he vos a schplendid eader!”

Mr. Gubb raised himself to his knees and looked into the dining-room.

“That,” he said, “is the Honorable Mr. Jonas Medderbrook, the wealthiest rich man in Riverbank.”

“Metterbrook? Mettercrook?” said the old German-American. “Not Chones, eh?”

“Not Jones, to my present personal knowledge at this time,” said Philo Gubb.

“Not Chones!” repeated the plumply benevolent-looking German-American. “Dot vos stranche! You vos sure he vos not Chones?”

“I’m quite almost positive upon that point of knowledge,” said Philo Gubb, “for I have under my arm a golf cup I am returning back to Mr. Medderbrook to receive five hundred dollars reward from him for.”

“So?” queried the stranger. “Fife hunderdt dollars? Und it is his cup?”

“It is,” said Philo Gubb. He raised the cup in his hand that the stranger might read the inscription stating that the cup was Jonas Medderbrook’s.

The light of the window made the engraving easy to read, but the old German-American first drew from his pocket a pair of gold-rimmed spectacles and adjusted them carefully on his nose. He then took the cup and moved closer to the window and read the inscription.