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I Spy by Natalie Sumner Lincoln

Part 2 out of 5

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"Trust me," and with a most undignified wink, Miss Kiametia sailed down
upon Mrs. Whitney and Captain Miller. "You can't escape me," she said to
the latter, as he rose on her approach. "You must come and be

"In what way?"

"By my latest fad--palmistry. Come, Minna, well go into the library,"
and laying a determined hand on Miller's arm she led the way into the
cozy room, followed by Mrs. Whitney and the highly amused Senator.
Miss Kiametia was a good organizer, and she marshalled her three
guests into seats by the library table, placing Miller between herself
and Mrs. Whitney.

"Is this a séance?" inquired Kathleen, watching the group from the
doorway. Another of Miss Kiametia's receiving party had taken her place
at the tea-table.

"Come and lend Captain Miller your moral support," called Miss Kiametia,
while his character is being divulged. "No, you are to sit still," as
Miller made a motion to rise. "Kathleen can stand behind us and prompt me
if my deductions go astray; she knows you better than the rest of us."

Kathleen advanced with lagging steps into the room. She had turned
singularly pale, and Miss Kiametia, watching her closely, wondered if
she was taking the game seriously. She stopped just back of Miller's
chair and rested her hand lightly on Miss Kiametia's shoulder as the
latter pulled the electric lamp nearer so that its rays fell full upon
Miller's palm.

"Has the size of the hand anything to do with the subject?" asked Miller,
as the spinster picked up a magnifying glass.

"Don't make suggestions to the oracle," laughed Foster. "Go ahead,

"Your life line is good," pronounced the spinster, "but as it divides
toward the end you will probably die in a country different from that of
your birth."

"Any particular time scheduled for the event?" questioned Miller,
skeptically, but Miss Kiametia ignored the remark.

"This branch from the head line to the heart"--indicating it with a
slender paper-cutter--"denotes some great affection which makes you blind
to reason and danger." She paused irresolutely. "Pshaw! I'm reading from
the left hand, let me see the other...."

"Isn't the one nearest the heart the surest guide?" inquired Miller.

"It is not," with decision, and Miller, smiling whimsically, extended his
hand toward them.

"The right hand of fellowship," he remarked, placing his palm directly
under the light.

"My theory is correct." Miss Kiametia shot a triumphant look at Mrs.
Whitney. "There are always more lines in the right palm than in the left;
and see, here is a wider space between the lines of the head and
life--contact with the world, Captain Miller, has taught you
self-reliance, promptness of action, and readiness of thought. Hello,
what is that on your index finger--a half-moon?"

"Yes." Miller smiled covertly; the spinster's seriousness amused him
immensely. "Isn't that according to Hoyle?"

"No, nor according to Cheiro, either," tartly. "Hold your palm steady so
that I can see more clearly. It's a scar, isn't it?"


Mrs. Whitney and Senator Foster were closely following Miss
Kiametia's words, and neither saw the perplexed frown which wrinkled
Kathleen's forehead as she stared down at Miller's right hand. She
was distinctly puzzled.

"The strength of your own individuality will carry you over many
obstacles," finished Miss Kiametia, giving Miller's hand a friendly tap
with the paper-cutter.

"Read mine next," and Foster held out his right hand.

"Haven't time; besides," the spinster's eyes twinkled, "I know your
character like a book. What is it, Sylvester?" as her colored butler
appeared, card tray in hand. "More visitors? Oh, yes, the Peytons--I
particularly want you to know them, Minna; no, you must not think of
leaving yet," and with her accustomed energy Miss Kiametia whisked Mrs.
Whitney into the drawing-room, Senator Foster following. As Kathleen
stepped toward the door, Miller stopped her.

"Don't go," he pleaded, his voice, though low, vibrating with pent-up
feeling. "Kathleen, my beloved, don't go."

She placed an unsteady hand on the portiere. "I must," she stammered.
"They need me...."

"No, I am the one who needs you. My last chance of happiness lies in the
balance. Kathleen, give me a hearing."

Slowly, reluctantly she turned in his direction. "Be wise, leave things
as they are...."

"I cannot." Miller was white with the intensity of his emotion. "I love
you, love you."

Kathleen's hand crept to her heart as if to still its wild throb.

"Don't, don't"--she looked beseechingly at him. "Have you forgotten..."

"Yes," boldly. "I only realize you are all in all to me."

In the dead silence that followed the ticking of the small desk clock was
distinctly audible.

"Why not leave well enough alone?" she begged, a trifle wildly.

"Because I cannot stand it," huskily. "To see you day after day--Will
nothing I say convince or move you? Am I outside the pale of affection?"

No answer. In the prolonged silence Miller's self-control snapped, and
stepping to her side he drew her in his arms. For a second she struggled
to release herself, then her strength gave way and she leaned limply
against him.

"I am a fool, a fool to listen to you," she gasped, "but I--I--love you
now as I never did before."

With a low cry of unutterable happiness Miller bent his head and their
lips met in a passionate kiss.

The hall clock was chiming six when Mrs. Whitney and Kathleen reached
home. Not waiting for her mother, Kathleen ran upstairs and shut herself
in her own room. Without troubling to switch on the electric lights she
made her way to a chair by the window and flung herself into it.

Love, the all-powerful, had conquered reason. Against her better judgment
she had pledged her faith to Charles Miller. Her heart throbbed high
with hope, and with dreamy, happy eyes she stared out of the window into
the darkness. Slowly she reviewed the events of the past six weeks. Never
intrusive, yet always by her side and at her beck and call, never at a
loss to do and say the right thing, Miller had wooed her in his own
masterful way, trampling down prejudice, suspicion, unbelief, until he
had gained his heritage--love. The specter of the past was
laid--involuntarily Kathleen shivered.

"Is Mademoiselle here?" asked the French maid, peering in uncertainly
from the hall door. She had rapped repeatedly and getting no response
had gone downstairs to look for Kathleen, only to be told that she was
in her own room.

"Come in, Julie, and turn on the electric switch," directed Kathleen, and
blinked as the room was suddenly flooded with light. Without rising she
removed her hat-pins and handed her hat and coat to the maid. "Just the
blue foulard tonight. What have you there?"

"Some flowers, mademoiselle," handing the box to Kathleen. "Captain
Miller left them at the door himself, and seeing me in the hall asked
that I give them to you at once." With a Frenchwoman's tact she busied
herself in getting out the blue foulard and pretended not to see the
blush and smile which accompanied Kathleen's opening of the box. She did
not speak again, helping Kathleen with deft fingers to finish her toilet,
and then stood back to contemplate the effect. "Will mademoiselle attend
the meeting tonight?" she asked.

"No, I am not a member of the Sisters in Unity. I had forgotten the club
was to meet here. Perhaps mother will need you now. Don't wait."

But the Frenchwoman lingered. "Mademoiselle," she began. "Mademoiselle."

"Yes, Julie."

"_Pardon_". Turning abruptly, Julie opened the door and glanced up and
down the hall, then gently closed and locked it. With equal quietness she
bolted the sitting-room door. Watching her with growing curiosity
Kathleen saw that her comely face was white and drawn.

"Listen, mademoiselle." The Frenchwoman was careful to keep her voice
low-pitched. "I dare to speak tonight--for France."

"For France!" echoed Kathleen.

"France." Julie's tone caressed the word. "My country needs your father's
invention--Ah, mademoiselle, do not let him sell it to another."

"He will offer it first to our own Government."

"Will he, mademoiselle? Ah, do not be offended," catching Kathleen's
swift change of expression. "I dare speak as I do--for France; think me
not disrespectful--but others wait to tempt your father."


"I know what I know, mademoiselle. It has gotten abroad that Mr. Whitney
has completed his invention, that tests prove it successful--and,
mademoiselle, this house is watched."

Kathleen looked at Julie incredulously. Had the maid taken leave of her
senses? Between nervousness and anxiety the Frenchwoman was trembling
from head to foot.

"Warn your father, mademoiselle; he will listen to you."

"I will," with reassuring vigor. "Tell me, Julie, what has aroused your

"Many things. When it creeps out that M. Whitney has succeeded, I say to
myself--the Germans, they will be interested. And I wait. Then madame
engages Henry...."

"Henry? The chauffeur?"

"But yes. I do not like Henry, mademoiselle. He is too much in the
house for a chauffeur; I meet him on the stairs, always on his way to
the attic with some message to M. Whitney who works in his studio
there. He laughs and teases me, that Henry, but wait!" Julie's eyes
were blazing. "And that Monsieur Spencer; I trust him not also. Ah,
mademoiselle, do not let him be closeted with your father--he is the
younger and stronger man."

"Julie, are you quite mad?" exclaimed Kathleen, her eyes twice their
usual size.

"No, mademoiselle. I watch; yes, always I watch and listen. Your father
did well to have iron shutters on the windows and new bolts on the door,
but he knows not that I am within call--on the other side of the door."

"Upon my word!" Kathleen's brain was in a whirl. Was Julie's mind
unbalanced? She knew that the Frenchwoman's fiancé and two brothers had
been killed early in the war. Had grief for them and anxiety for her
beloved country developed hallucinations? One thing was apparent--it
would never do to disagree with her in her overwrought condition.
Kathleen laid her arm protectingly about her shoulders and gave her a
squeeze. She was very fond of the warm-hearted Frenchwoman.

"Do not worry, Julie. I will see that father takes every precaution to
safeguard his invention." She hesitated. "I, too, sympathize deeply with
France." "God bless thee, mademoiselle." With a movement full of grace
Julie raised Kathleen's hand to her lips, then glided from the room, her
slippers making no noise on the thick carpet.

Left alone Kathleen picked up her box of flowers and walked thoughtfully
into her sitting-room. Her interview with Julie had depressed her. As she
passed her desk she saw a note addressed to her lying on it, but
recognizing Sinclair Spencer's handwriting she tossed it down again
unopened. It would keep to read later. She walked over to the pier glass
and began to adjust the flowers which Miller had sent her. More
interested in his note which accompanied his gift, she had at first taken
them for violets, but looking more closely at the corsage bouquet she
found it contained cornflowers. Again she read his note:


"I send you the harbinger of spring, of hope, of happiness. Ever fondly
your lover,


Back to Kathleen's memory came a vision of waving wheat in a field on the
outskirts of Berlin and scattered among the grain grew the
cornflower--_Kaiser blumen_. She raised her hand to her hot cheeks. How
came Miller to send her flowers which he knew were connected with that
past he so ardently wished forgotten?



Whitney scanned the long drawing-room and library beyond in comic
despair. The furniture of both rooms, which opened out of each other,
had been carried into another part of the house, and in its place were
rows on rows of gilt chairs, while in the bow window stood an
improvised platform.

"Can I get you a seat, sir?" asked Vincent, placing a pitcher of ice
water and tumblers on the speaker's table.

"No, thanks; my days as parliamentarian are over, thank the Lord. I have
learned, Vincent, that when the Sisters in Unity hold an election it's
safer to be on the other side of the bolted door."

"Yes, sir." Vincent removed a cherished Sevres vase from its customary
abiding place on the mantel and tucked it carefully under his arm. "Miss
Kathleen is looking for you, sir. I think I hear her in the hall now,
sir," and he hastened into the library as Kathleen stepped into the

"Where have you been since dinner, Dad? I went from the top of the house
to the bottom looking for you."

"Had to go over to the drugstore to get a prescription filled. Can I do
anything for you?"

"Yes. Come and spend the evening with me," she coaxed.

Whitney laughed. "Can't, my dear. I have important work ahead of
me tonight."

"It must wait until tomorrow," coaxingly, stroking his cheek softly. "I
don't like these lines, Dad. Your health is more to be considered than
your work."

Whitney's air of tolerance turned to one of determination. "You are
wrong; my work is of primary importance. It's only a matter of hours now,
Kathleen; then I can loaf for the rest of my days."

She shook her head. "Unless you take rest you cannot stand the strain.
Mother tells me you worked all last night and far into the morning."

"My brain is clearer at night, and I have always required very little
sleep." He frowned with growing impatience. "There is no use discussing
the subject." He spoke in a tone which forbade further argument.

"Dad," Kathleen lowered her voice and moved closer to him, "has it
occurred to you that--that people are unduly curious about your

Whitney eyed her keenly. "It has," he admitted tersely, "and I have taken
precautions." He stared at the clock and frowned impatiently. "Nearly
eight--the meeting will commence soon; let's get out of here."

"Wait, Dad," Kathleen laid a restraining hand on his shoulder. "I cannot
bear to think of you alone in the attic--so far away from--"

"Sisters in Unity--the very best of reasons for going to the attic--"

"Let me come with you," eagerly. "I'll bring my own work and not say a
word to you. I'm nervous, Daddy, I--I don't want to be by myself
tonight--and there's something I want to--to--" her voice broke.

Whitney glanced at Kathleen in surprise. What had come over her?

"Oh, come along," he agreed roughly. "Only remember, I won't be tormented
with small talk."

Kathleen's eyes brightened with relief as she accompanied him into the
hall. As they appeared the elevator door opened and Mrs. Whitney stepped
out into the hall.

"Why, I thought you were lying down, Kathleen; you said that you were
too tired to come in later to our club meeting and hear Senator Foster's
address on 'Peace,'" she exclaimed, and not waiting for an answer, turned
to Whitney. "Can you spare me a moment, Winslow? I wish your advice," and
with a quick tilt of her head she indicated the small reception room on
the left of the front door. "Come in here."

"Certainly, Minna. Don't wait for me, Kathleen," but the girl paused

"Shall I go to the studio?" she asked.

"No, you cannot get in; the door is locked. Go to your sitting-room and
I'll stop for you on the way to the studio."

"Honest Injun, Dad?" And her father, nodding vigorous assent, watched her
go up the stairs, then with a brisk step entered the reception room.

"How charming you look, Minna!" he exclaimed, in honest admiration.

"You think so?" and Mrs. Whitney dimpled with pleasure. "I do want to win
the election tonight--and clothes count for so much in woman's politics."

"I back you to win against all comers," and Whitney gave her shapely
shoulder a loving pat as he stooped to kiss her. "What is the matter with
Kathleen tonight? Her behavior troubles me."

His wife laughed softly. "She is suffering from an old complaint--she
is in love."

"What!" Whitney stared at her in blank astonishment. "With whom?" and
sudden, sharp anxiety lay behind the abrupt question.

"I suspect--Captain Miller."

"Miller? That silent--" Whitney checked his impetuous words. "Miller?
Good Lord!"

"What can you tell me about Captain Miller?" Her feminine curiosity was
instantly aroused at his quick change of expression.

"Just what I have seen of him and nothing more. He never talks of

"Such a relief," sighed Mrs. Whitney. "There is Randall Foster--talks
always of his own achievements. Wait until Kiametia Grey marries him. I
sometimes wonder...."

"I can't see that we are directly concerned with that romance," broke in
Whitney with characteristic impatience. "What's your opinion of Miller?"

"I rather like him; he's very agreeable, good-looking, and seems to have
plenty of money...."

"Then you...."

"Favor his suit? Yes," tranquilly.

"But, heavens, Minna, you know nothing about Captain Miller's past."

"You can inquire about it; in fact, I think it is your duty to do so. He
calls here entirely too frequently not to be asked his intentions."

"What the--" Whitney reddened angrily and his voice rose. "A nice task
you put before me. I dis--"

"Sh!" Rising hurriedly, Mrs. Whitney laid a warning hand on his
arm. "There's the bell, and this room is needed for the cloaks.
Where is Julie?"

Paying no attention to her husband's apparent desire to say something
more, Mrs. Whitney stepped into the hall. Whitney stood in deep thought
for a brief moment, then hastened after her, but his hope to slip
upstairs unseen was frustrated. Miss Kiametia Grey, enveloped in a heavy
fur coat, promptly hailed him and as he stood chatting to her in the hall
the front door again opened and Henry, the chauffeur, who had been
requisitioned to assist Vincent, ushered in Sinclair Spencer.

"Good evening, Mrs. Whitney," Spencer's loud cheery voice boomed through
the hall, and under cover of his jovial manner he scanned Whitney and his
wife. Had Kathleen spoken to them of his proposal of marriage that
morning and her refusal? "Just dropped in to see your husband, Mrs.
Whitney; hadn't hoped for the pleasure of seeing you. Hello, Whitney.
Evening, Miss Grey." But the spinster, with a stiff bow, slipped past the
lawyer and into the reception room without seeing his outstretched hand.
Spencer's florid complexion turned a deeper tint as he met Henry's blank
stare, but a covert glance at the Whitneys convinced him that they had
not seen Miss Kiametia's rudeness.

"Do take Mr. Spencer upstairs, Winslow," suggested Mrs. Whitney, as the
chauffeur opened the door to admit more guests. "I have a meeting of my
club tonight, Mr. Spencer, and therefore..."

"Certainly, certainly; please don't let my presence put you out," with a
courteous bow. "Come on, Whitney, let's go up to your studio," and he
followed his host into the elevator.

Whitney stopped the car at the first bedroom floor. "We will be far
more comfortable in my wife's boudoir than in my studio," he said. "Go
ahead, Spencer, first door to your right. I'll stop in my bedroom and
get some cigars."

Glancing curiously about the large attractive hall, Spencer entered the
daintily furnished boudoir, and was examining the many water colors and
photographs which hung on the walls, when Whitney came in carrying a
cigar box and a tray containing Scotch and vichy.

"That's some of Kathleen's work," he explained, observing that the
lawyer had picked up a miniature of Mrs. Whitney. "She is clever with
her brush."

"Very clever," agreed Spencer enthusiastically. "There is no one,
Whitney, whom I admire as I do your daughter," drawing a lounging
chair near the table on which his host put the tray. "Why does
Kathleen avoid me?"

"Does she?"

"She does," with bitter emphasis. "And it cuts--deep."

"You are supersensitive," protested Whitney politely. "I do not for a
moment believe Kathleen would intentionally hurt your feelings."

Spencer did not answer at once, and chafing inwardly at being kept from
his work in the studio, Whitney glared first at his guest and then at the
clock, but the hint was lost.

Suddenly Spencer's right fist came down on the table with a resounding
whack. "Kathleen turned me down this morning." Whitney's eyes were
riveted on his guest but he said nothing, and Spencer continued
earnestly. "I want you to use your influence...."

"No." The monosyllable was spoken quietly, but the gleam in Whitney's
eyes was a silent warning. "We will leave my daughter's name out of the
discussion. Was there anything else you wished to see me about? If
not...." and he half rose.

Instead of answering Spencer lolled back in his chair and, taking his
time, lighted a cigar.

"Your note for twenty thousand dollars is due in ten days," he announced.
"Are you prepared to take it up?"

There was a protracted pause before Whitney spoke. "Are you willing
to let me curtail your note with a payment of five thousand
dollars?" he asked.


Whitney's hand closed spasmodically over the bottle of whiskey, and he
was livid with anger as he glared at the younger man. Spencer's good
looks were marred by signs of recent dissipation, and the coarse lines
about his thin lips destroyed the air of refinement given him by his
well-cut clothes. Whitney cast a despairing look about the room, at the
pretty knick-knacks, pictures, and handsome furniture--all indicated a
cultivated woman's taste. How his wife loved her belongings!

With the curtailing of his income through the shrinking and non-payment
of dividends, he had drawn upon his principal and--keeping up
appearances was an expensive game. Every piece of property that he owned
was heavily mortgaged, and every bit of collateral was already deposited
to cover notes at his bank. Slowly Whitney's fingers loosened their grip
upon the bottle of whiskey.

"Well," and his voice cut the stillness like a whiplash. "What is your
pound of flesh?"

Spencer knocked the ash from the end of his cigar into the tray with care
that none should fall upon the polished mahogany table top.

"Kathleen might reconsider--eh?" suggestively. "And--eh--there is your
invention--_your latest invention_."

It was approaching midnight when Whitney stepped alone into the hall. The
hum of voices rose from the room below; evidently Vincent had neglected
to close the drawing-room doors, or else the Sisters in Unity needed air.
Listening intently, he judged from the direction of the voices that the
women had not gone into the dining-room.

Whitney walked toward the elevator, paused, then continued down the hall
and without rapping entered Kathleen's sitting-room. But he stopped on
the threshold on beholding Kathleen sitting before her desk with her head
resting upon its flat top, sound asleep. By her side lay paint box and
brushes and a half-completed miniature of Captain Miller. Without
disturbing her, Whitney crept softly from the room.



It was a very much flurried Vincent who admitted Senator Randall Foster,
and helped him off with his overcoat.

"They're still argufying," he said, indicating the closed drawing-room
doors with a jerk of his thumb. "I'll get word to Mrs. Whitney, sir, that
you have come."

"No, no, don't interrupt the meeting," hastily interposed the Senator. "I
may be a few minutes early. Can I see Mr. Whitney?"

"Yes, sir, certainly, sir. Come this way," and Vincent moved toward the
elevator shaft. "I don't believe Mr. Whitney has gone to his studio, yet,
sir; he never takes anyone there, and I haven't seen Mr. Spencer leave."

"Mr. Spencer?" Foster drew back. "Is he with Mr. Whitney?"

"Yes, sir, so Henry told me."

"After all, I don't believe I'll disturb Mr. Whitney, Vincent. Is there
some place I can wait downstairs?"

"Yes, sir, the reception room." The butler led the way to it "I'm afraid,
sir, you'll find it very uncomfortable in here, sir," looking at the
racks of coats and cloaks, "but"--brightening--"here's a copy of the
evening paper; Mr. Whitney must have left it; and this chair, sir--"

"Yes, yes, Vincent, thank you, I'll be all right." Foster took possession
of the solitary uncovered chair. "This is an excellent opportunity of
reading over my speech. Be sure and let me know, Vincent, the instant I
am wanted in the drawing-room."

"Surely, sir. I'll tell Mrs. Whitney that you are here, sir," and
Vincent retired.

Inside the closed drawing-room and library the atmosphere was surcharged
with electricity. Miss Kiametia Grey, who had locked horns with her
opponents on numerous subjects, sat back, flushed and victorious; she was
beginning to feel the fatigue incident to having borne the brunt of the
discussion, and was secretly longing to have the meeting adjourn to the
dining-room where she suspected Mrs. Whitney had provided a bountiful
supper. She felt the need of refreshments, if only a Roman punch.

Mrs. Whitney was also feeling the strain. She had designated a sister
official to occupy the chair when the nominating speeches were in order,
and was awaiting the announcement of the result of the ballot with inward
trepidation. Her composed manner and smiling face won Miss Kiametia's
admiration; she was herself of too excitable a temperament to keep her
equanimity unimpaired, and she watched Mrs. Whitney's calm demeanor and
unruffled poise, conscious of her own disheveled appearance. She missed
Kathleen; the latter's presence had become an almost virtual necessity to
the spinster. Despite the disparity in ages, their tastes were similar,
and both had a keen sense of humor. It had added zest to the spinster's
enjoyment of the season's gayeties to have Kathleen with her, and she had
watched the girl's gradual absorption in Captain Miller with lynx eyes.
The obliteration of Sinclair Spencer as a possible suitor had filled her
with delight. But she had seen Spencer in the house that very night. What
did that mean? What was he there for? Surely, Kathleen had not....

A stir in the back of the room recalled Miss Kiametia's wandering
thoughts, and she leaned eagerly forward to hear the report of the
chairman of the tellers. Mrs. Whitney was elected and Miss Kiametia had
also carried the day. Round after round of hearty applause greeted the
announcement, and as it died out the two successful candidates for first
and second place in the organization stepped to the platform. But after
expressing her thanks, Miss Kiametia again resumed her seat among the
members, while Mrs. Whitney took up the duties of presiding officer.

As the regular business of the meeting drew to a close one of the members
rose, and on being recognized announced that she had a resolution to
offer, and read in a high singsong voice:

"Be it resolved that this organization of Sisters in Unity indorse the
peace movement, and that it use its wide influence to check the tendency
toward militarism which injudicious and misguided Americans hope to foist
upon the American public."

Applause greeted the speaker, and a gray-haired woman across the room
demanded recognition from the chair.

"I would like to say a few words in favor of that resolution," she began,
finally catching Mrs. Whitney's attention. "Our wars with England, our
mother country, were but as the wrangle of relatives. The leaders in the
warring nations in Europe today are all related. Let us keep clear of all
international entanglements. Let us have peace. Through peace this
country has achieved greatness. Peace and prosperity go hand in hand.
Peace uplifts; war retards. Militarism is a throw-back to feudal days. On
its lighter side, militarism is an appeal for gold lace and brass
buttons. A man puts on our uniform because it is a thing of show, in
other words, conspicuous ..."

"Madam chairman!" Her face flaming, an irate woman arose. "No, I don't
care whether I'm in order or not; I will be heard--Mrs. Lutz is quite
right, the United States uniform _is_ conspicuous, and has been
conspicuous on many a bloody battlefield since 1776. The uniform is
honored alike in court and camp in every nation of the world."

As she sat down pandemonium reigned. Instantly Miss Kiametia was on her
feet, and her strident call, "Madam chairman, madam chairman," rose
repeatedly above the hubbub. Mrs. Whitney pounded for order and gave the
spinster the floor.

"I rise to a question of information," explained Miss Kiametia, in tones
which echoed through the rooms. "Is this an indignation meeting or an
assemblage of Sisters in Unity?" she demanded, and sat down. In the
comparative quiet that ensued, the peace resolution was seconded and
passed by a small majority.

Mrs. Whitney stepped to the edge of the platform. "Senator Randall
Foster has very kindly consented to address us tonight," she said. "So
distinguished a lawmaker needs no introduction to this organization. Mr.
Senator," as Foster entered through the door held open for him by
Vincent, "we invite you to the platform."

Bowing his thanks, Foster joined Mrs. Whitney and immediately began one
of those adroit, well-worded addresses which had made him a marked man
in the Senate. "I come to you a special pleader," he continued, with
growing earnestness, "to spread the gospel of peace. It is your
privilege to weld public opinion, and opinion can be as a yoke upon a
man's neck. In this free America opinion governs. Jingoes would try to
plunge us into war. When a boy is given an airgun, his first impulse is
to go out and shoot it off. Arm the men of this country and their
impulse will be the same. A small standing army does not tend to
militarism; its size does not lend itself to the issuing of imperative
mandates; and mandates, ladies, lead to war.

"It is especially a woman's duty to demand peace. In war, upon the woman
falls the suffering and the sacrifice. The lover, the brother, the
father, the son may find honorable death upon the field, but at home the
woman pays. God pity the woman left desolate and alone, her loved ones
sacrificed on the altar of militarism!

"And mothers? What of your children and the fate of yet unborn
generations? Are they brought into the world to be tools of militarism?
Lift up your voice for peace; carry the message, 'Peace on earth' to the
very portals of Congress. Make any and every sacrifice, but guard your
man child."

As Foster stopped speaking enthusiastic applause broke out, and a rising
vote of thanks was given him. As the gratified Senator stepped down from
the platform he found himself by Miss Kiametia's side.

"I did it to please you, Kiametia," he whispered, holding her hand
tightly. "Have I earned one kind word?"

Miss Kiametia favored him with a quick expressive look and a faint blush.

"You are a staunch friend," she said warmly, and Foster brightened.
"Only--only why did you lay such stress on the 'man child'? Nearly all
are spinsters in this peace organization."



Heavy clouds hung low and not a star was visible. The darkness was
intensified by the gleam of distant city lights, for in that section of
Washington lying to the southwest of Pennsylvania Avenue a defective fuse
had caused the dimming of every electric light in the vicinity. Far up on
one of the roofs a man, crouching behind the meager shelter offered by a
chimney, blessed the chance which fortune provided.

Crawling on hands and knees, he cautiously made his way to the edges of
the roof, on which he had dropped from the higher building next door, and
looked down. His eyes straining in the darkness, every sense alert to
danger, he scanned intently each window ledge and cornice. No hope there.
Not even a lead pipe or telephone wires afforded a hold for desperate,
gripping fingers. Unlike the building adjoining on the south, the new
house had no party wall, and a gulf too wide to jump separated it from
its northern neighbor. The sheer drop to the garden beneath was suicidal.

The man lay for a few seconds striving to collect himself. He could not
return the way he had come. He would be caught like a rat in the trap
with the arrival of dawn, if not before. Perhaps his pursuers were on his
trail already. The thought spurred his numbed body to action, and lifting
his head he glanced along the flat roof. Toward the center of it rose a
box-like structure with apparently an arched skylight above it. A little
distance away from the structure, he distinguished the outlines of what
appeared to be a scuttle. Warily he approached it, and using every
precaution to make the least possible sound, he attempted to raise the
scuttle. A long sigh of relief escaped him as he succeeded. The scuttle
was not locked.

He paused long enough to glance keenly about him. There was no sign of
another human being, but a sound smote his ear. Someone was moving on the
pebbled roof of the building he had just left. Without an instant's delay
he groped about until his feet touched the rung of a ladder, and drawing
to the scuttle behind him, he made his way down the ladder.

On reaching the bottom he paused in indecision. He could make out nothing
in the inky blackness, and with every sense alive to danger, he waited.
But apparently his entrance had disturbed no one, and taking heart of
grace, he pulled out a tiny flashlight and pressed the button.

The light revealed a large attic partly filled with trunks and worn
furniture. A large wine closet, the bottles shining as the light fell on
them through the slat partition, occupied one part of the attic, while a
wall partition, with closed door, ran across the entire western side. To
his right, the man made out the head of a narrow staircase. He was making
his way to the staircase when his acute hearing caught the sound of a
softly closing door on the floor below and approaching footsteps.

Casting a hunted look about him, he spied a closed closet door. He doused
his light while making his way to the closet, and jerked open the door,
at the same time throwing out his right hand, the better to judge the
depth of the dark closet. His groping fingers closed on cold steel. His
heart lost a throb, then raced madly on, as he clung weakly to the metal.
An elevator shaft, and he had mistaken it for prison bars!

For a second his chilled body was shaken with hysterical desire for
laughter; then his strong will conquered. He had not forgotten the
advancing footsteps. A desperate situation required desperate chances.
Stepping back he closed the outer door of the elevator shaft and pressed
the button for the elevator. Which would reach him first--the person
creeping upstairs or the automatic electric elevator?



Mrs. Whitney sat up in bed and contemplated her husband reproachfully as
he entered her room.

"Have you been working all night?" she inquired.

Whitney nodded absently as he stooped to kiss her. "Now, don't worry,
dear; work will not injure me. I've just had a cold shower and feel ten
per cent better, and all ready for my breakfast. You are the one who
looks tired; that's a very becoming cap you are wearing, but you need
more color here," pinching her cheek. "I don't like to see you so pale.
Were the Sisters in Unity as strenuous as ever?"

"Just about--but, Oh, Winslow, I was elected...."

"That was a foregone conclusion, you modest child." Again Whitney kissed
her. "Congratulations, my darling, though why you should want it...."

Mrs. Whitney laughed good-naturedly. "I'm too happy today to argue the
question," she broke in.

"Kiametia Grey frightened us all last night by fainting ..."

"Fainting! Kiametia? I thought she was as tough as a horse?"

"So she is usually, but she has been doing too much socially, and late
hours do not agree with a woman of her years."

"She isn't so old," protested Whitney.

"She is older than I, and I'm not so young," Mrs. Whitney, whose years
sat lightly upon her, jerked a dainty dressing-gown about her shoulders.
"Kiametia did faint and when she came to, declared it was the overheated
atmosphere of the rooms and the continuous talking which had upset her."

"Well, you must admit, Minna, the Sisters are famous for noisy
discussions. Kiametia is generally able to hold up her end of an
argument. I am sorry she had to give in to superior numbers," Whitney
laughed. "You'll never convince me that she fainted."

"She did, too; and felt so badly that I persuaded her not to go home, but
to spend the remainder of the night in our blue bedroom."

"Good heavens!" Whitney gazed blankly at his wife. "Did she--did ..."

"No, she did not stay there," pausing dramatically. "She found Sinclair
Spencer sound asleep in the bed." She waited expectantly for her
husband's comment, but getting no reply, she burst out, "What was he
doing there--how came he to be there?"

"I was foolish enough to offer him whiskey." Her husband seated himself
carefully on the edge of the bed, "Spencer had been drinking before he
came to see me, and a very little more made him tipsy. I was fearful that
if I took him downstairs he would try and break up your meeting, so
persuaded him to go and lie down on the bed in the blue room."

"Sometimes, Winslow, for a thoughtful man, you ball things up
dreadfully," sighed Mrs. Whitney. "Why did you select that room? You
always put your friends in the hall bedroom."

"Never gave the matter of the rooms a thought." Whitney moved restlessly;
he hated to see a woman cry, and his wife looked perilously upon the
point of tears. In spite of his assertion that he did not miss the loss
of sleep, his nerves were not under full control. Ordinarily not a
drinking man, he had stopped on his way from his bedroom to help himself
to the small amount of Scotch left in the bottle.

"Such a scene as I had with Kiametia," groaned Mrs. Whitney sighing
dismally at the recollection. "Finally, I convinced her that I knew
nothing of Mr. Spencer's presence, and she consented to sleep in the
hall bedroom."

"I'm glad Kiametia discovered Spencer in time." His chuckle developing
into a laugh, Whitney rose and walked to the door. "It's no crying
matter, my dear. Kiametia will be the first to enjoy the joke."

"If it had been anyone but Sinclair Spencer!" Mrs. Whitney shook her head
forlornly. "She has developed an intense dislike for him."

"And Kiametia is usually a woman of discernment." His sarcasm passed
unheeded, and he opened the hall door. "Hurry and dress, Minna, I'll wait
for you in the dining-room. Heavens! What's that?"

A muffled cry, long drawn out, agonizing, vibrated through the stillness.

Spellbound, husband and wife eyed each other, then Whitney stepped into
the hall just as Miss Kiametia tore out of her bedroom.

"What is it?" she demanded. "Oh, stop it, stop it!" clapping her hands
over her ears as the cry rose again.

"It comes from the elevator shaft, sir," panted Vincent, appearing up the
stairs, Henry, the chauffeur, close at his heels. Without moving, Whitney
stared stupidly at the two servants, and it was Henry who laid a
trembling finger on the elevator button. As they heard the automatic car
come to a standstill on the other side of the closed mahogany door there
was a second's pause; then Miss Kiametia, summoning all her fortitude,
laid her hand on the door knob and pulled it open. A horrified
exclamation escaped her as her eyes fell upon Kathleen, whose bloodless
face was pressed against the iron grating of the inner door, to which she
was clinging for support.

"Let me out," she pleaded, her eyes dark with horror. "Let me out."

At sight of his daughter Whitney recovered himself. "Stand back,
Kathleen," he directed. "Then we can slide open the door." He had to
repeat his words twice before she took in their meaning. Releasing her
hold upon the grating, she covered her face as if to shut out some
terrifying spectacle. As Henry pushed back the door, she collapsed into
her father's arms.

"Bring Kathleen in here," called Mrs. Whitney from her doorway, where she
had stood, too frightened to move. "There are smelling salts on my
bureau. What can have brought on this attack of hysterics, Kiametia?"

"The Lord knows. Perhaps the machinery's out of order and she's been
stuck between floors." The spinster, suddenly remembering her extremely
light attire, backed toward her room.

Whitney, reentering the hall, caught her words. "Go to Kathleen, Minna;
she asked for you," and as his wife turned back into her bedroom, he
added, "See if there is anything wrong with the elevator, Henry."

Obediently the chauffeur stepped through the narrow entrance to the
elevator and into the steel cage. The next instant he turned an ashy face
toward his companions.

"Look!" he gasped. "Look!" And his shaking hand pointed to that part of
the elevator concealed by the solid wall of the shaft from the view of
those standing in the hall. With one accord they crowded into the
elevator, and a stricken silence prevailed.

Crouching on the floor at the far end of the shallow cage was Sinclair
Spencer. The rays of the overhead electric lamp, by which the cage was
lighted, showed plainly the gash in his throat, while crimson stains on
his white shirt added to the ghastly tableau. Death was stamped upon the
marble whiteness of his upturned face.

"Good God!" Whitney reeled back and but for Vincent's arm would
have fallen.

"Here, sir, sit here, sir," and the butler half lifted him to a chair in
the hall. "Go get whiskey, Henry," noting the pallor of Whitney's face.
"Quick, man!"

"Telephone for a doctor, Vincent," directed Miss Kiametia, pulling
herself together. She had been the first to bolt out of the elevator. "I
will stay with Mr. Whitney until you get back," and flashing her a
grateful look, the butler, relieved to have responsibility taken from his
shoulders, fled downstairs after Henry.

Miss Kiametia laid trembling hands on Whitney's bowed shoulders.

"It's awful, Winslow," she stammered. "Awful!"

As he paid no attention to her, but stared vacantly at the floor before
him, she paced to and fro, always careful, however, never to go in the
direction of the elevator. The exercise brought back some semblance of
self-control, and her eyes were beginning to take on their wonted snap
when Whitney rose unsteadily and stepped toward the elevator. Miss
Kiametia's voice stopped him on its threshold.

"I wouldn't go in there again," she advised. "Wait until the
coroner comes."

"The coroner?" staring stupidly at her.

"Yes, hadn't you better send for him?"

Whitney's hands dropped to his side with a hopeless gesture. "The
coroner," he muttered. "God help us!"

"Winslow!" Mrs. Whitney appeared in the doorway, tears streaming down
her white cheeks. "Kathleen is completely unnerved; come and help me
quiet her."

At that moment Henry arrived, tray in hand. "I couldn't find the whiskey,
sir," he explained, breathless with hurry. "But here's some cognac, sir.
Let me pour it out," and he handed a filled liqueur glass to Whitney, who
swallowed the stimulant at a gulp.

"Shouldn't mind having some of that myself," announced Miss Kiametia.
"Bring the tray here, Henry," walking over to a table. "And, Winslow,
take a glass to Kathleen; it will do her good. Henry, did Vincent
telephone for the doctor?" she added below her breath, as Whitney and his
wife disappeared in the latter's bedroom and closed the door.

"Yes, Miss Grey, but he was out. So Vincent rang up the hospital and
the coroner."

"Good." Miss Kiametia debated a moment whether or not to take more
cognac, and ended by refilling her glass. "Stay right in this hall,
Henry; don't leave it for a moment until the doctor comes. I'm going in
to dress."

As the door closed behind the spinster, Henry stood in deep thought, then
pouring out a glass of cognac he hastily drank it. Setting down the
glass, he tiptoed over to the elevator, but one look at the still figure
crouching with head thrown back and sightless eyes turned to the ceiling
sent him back into the center of the hall. Drawing out his handkerchief,
he mopped his damp forehead.

From Mrs. Whitney's bedroom came the murmur of voices, and Henry,
darting a quick, searching look about the empty hall, slipped over to
the door and applied his ear to the keyhole. The sound of approaching
footsteps and voices warned him of the arrival of the physician, and
when Vincent appeared, followed by two men, he was standing on guard
near the elevator shaft.

A quick word of explanation sufficed, and then the younger of the
newcomers entered the elevator. He recoiled at sight of Spencer, then
advancing tested the dead man's pulse and heart.

"This is a case for you, Penfield," he exclaimed backing out into the
hall, and without a word the coroner took his place beside Spencer. The
young physician turned to Vincent. "Didn't you tell me that someone was
ill and required medical assistance? Mr. Spencer is dead; I can do
nothing for him."

Without answering, Vincent tapped on Mrs. Whitney's door, and Whitney's
voice bade him enter. "Dr. Hall, sir," announced the butler. "Want him to
come in, sir?--Yes, sir; this way, Doctor," and he pulled to the door
after the physician. The elevator drew Vincent's eyes as a magnet draws
steel, and he started violently at sight of the coroner beckoning to him
from its entrance.

"Call up Police Headquarters," directed Penfield. "Tell them I am here,
and ask to have Detective Mitchell and three plain-clothes men sent over
at once. Be quick about it," and his peremptory tone caused the agitated
butler to hasten his usually leisurely gait. Henry started to follow him,
but the coroner called him back. "Explain to me exactly what happened
when Mr. Spencer was found," he said, stepping into the hall.

The tale lost nothing in Henry's telling, and Penfield was gnawing his
fingernails, a trick he had if perplexed, when Vincent escorted the
detective and plain-clothes policemen into the hall. The coroner rose
with alacrity.

"Glad you could come, Mitchell," he said. "Let me put you in possession
of all facts so far known," and he repeated all that Henry had told him.
Mitchell listened in silence; only the gleam in his eyes attested his
interest, as his face remained expressionless. And that gleam deepened as
he stepped into the elevator and examined Spencer. When he came out he
was wrapping his handkerchief around a knife. Exchanging a glance with
the coroner, he turned to Vincent.

"Show my men over the house," he directed, "and you," addressing
Henry, "inform Mr. Whitney that Coroner Penfield and I would like to
see him at once."

"I am here." Whitney, who had entered the hall unnoticed a second before,
joined the group. "What can I do for you?"

"Answer a few questions," and Penfield, observing the strain under which
he was laboring, pushed a chair in his direction. "Sit down, Mr.
Whitney." He turned back to Henry. "You need not wait," and the chauffeur
reluctantly went down the stairs. The coroner waited an appreciable
moment before again speaking to Whitney. "Was Mr. Spencer visiting you?"
he questioned.

"Only for the night."

"When did you see him last?"

"About midnight."

"And where was that?"

"In the bedroom across the way," pointing to it, and the detective
crossed the hall and entered the room, the door of which was closed.

"And what was Mr. Spencer doing the last time you saw him?" asked the
coroner, with quiet persistence.

"Falling asleep," tersely. "Spencer was drunk," added Whitney after a
pause. "His behavior led me to believe that he would intrude upon my
wife's guests if he went downstairs, so I suggested that he spend the
night here." Whitney drew a long breath, "Is Spencer really dead?"


Whitney shrank back in his chair; he had aged in the past hour, and he
was conscious that his hands were trembling. "I feared so," he muttered,
"I feared so. Can"--clearing his throat--"can Spencer be moved?"

"Not just yet; there are certain formalities to be gone through with
first." Penfield paused to make an entry in his notebook. "Of course,
there will be an autopsy--at the morgue. Oh, Mitchell," as the detective
returned, "have you any questions to ask Mr. Whitney?"

Before answering the detective drew up a chair near Whitney. "I am
told your daughter's screams aroused the household," he said. "Can I
see Miss Whitney?"

"No, you must wait until she is composed; the doctor is just
administering an opiate," replied Whitney hastily. "Kathleen has been
through a most harrowing experience."

"I see." Mitchell drummed impatiently on the arm of his chair. Whitney
eyed the two men askance. Their manner, combined with the events of the
morning, was telling on him. At any price he must break the silence--he
could endure it no longer.

"I wish to God," he exclaimed, "Spencer had chosen any other spot to kill
himself in than our elevator!"

The coroner was the first to reply. "The wound was not self-inflicted."

"What!" Whitney sprang to his feet. "Do you mean--Spencer was murdered?"

"Yes." Both men never moved their gaze from Whitney's ashen face. "Were
all members of your family on good terms with Mr. Spencer?"

"They were," Whitney moistened his parched lips, and only the detective
caught his furtive glance behind him.

"Did anyone beside your immediate family spend last night in this house,
Mr. Whitney?" he asked.

"No--yes," confusedly. "Miss Kiametia Grey...."

"Winslow"--Mrs. Whitney, fully dressed, stepped into the hall from her
boudoir. "Pardon me," with a courteous inclination of her head as the
coroner and Mitchell rose. "Winslow, I've asked the servants, and they
tell me she has disappeared...."

"She? Who?" chorused the three men.

"Julie, my French maid."



Charles Miller was generally an early riser, but the head waiter at the
Metropole was surreptitiously scanning his watch before giving the signal
to close the dining-room doors, when the Captain walked in and took his
accustomed seat at a distant table. Miller had but time to glance at the
headline, "Stormy Cabinet Meeting Predicted at White House Today," in his
morning newspaper, when eggs and toast were placed before him. His
attentive waiter poured the hot coffee and placed cream and sugar in his
cup without waiting for instructions.

"Eggs all right, sir?" he asked anxiously, a trace of accent in his
pleasant voice.

"Yes, thanks." Miller looked at him casually. "I haven't seen you before;
where's Jenkins?"

"Transferred to the café, sir," smoothing a wrinkle out of the tablecloth
as he spoke. "I'll try to give satisfaction, sir."

Miller nodded absently. "Oh, it's all right," he said, stifling a yawn,
and propping his newspaper against his coffee pot, ate his breakfast
leisurely, so leisurely that the other habitués of the hotel had finished
their breakfast and departed before he pushed back his chair. Turning, he
signed to his waiter to bring his check, and not appearing to do so,
watched his approach with keen interest.

"Been a steward, haven't you?" he inquired.

"Yes, sir." The waiter pocketed the tip with alacrity. "Hamburg-American
Line, sir."

"Thought so." Miller signed his name with careful attention to each
stroke of the pencil. "How many of you are employed here?"

"Eight, sir. The lines are tied up; we must have work, and it's hard to
get good berths, sir, with so many ships interned."

"Quite so," Miller rose. "Your name--?"

"Lewis. Just a moment, sir," as Miller started to cross the deserted
dining-room, "Shall I reserve the table for you for luncheon, sir?"

"Luncheon?" Miller reflected. "I rather think not."

"Thank you, sir." The waiter's manner was apologetic. "I asked, sir,
because, sir, today the Cabinet officers lunch here, and...."

"They require your undivided attention?" mildly. "I quite
understand--Ludwig." Their eyes met, then Miller turned on his heel.
_"Auf wiedersehen"_ he exclaimed under his breath, and the waiter's
stolid expression changed to one of relief.

Miller, who had checked his overcoat and hat before entering the
dining-room, wasted no time but entered a public telephone booth. When he
emerged he was whistling cheerily, and the doorkeeper watched him hail a
street car with curious eyes.

"Always running in and out," he muttered. "It beats me when he sleeps."

First stopping at a florist's and then a jeweler's establishment, Miller
bent his footsteps toward the Portland, and to his satisfaction found
Senator Foster enjoying a belated breakfast in his apartment.

"I'm glad to discover a man keeping later hours than I" he remarked,
accepting the chair Foster pulled forward. "You must have an easy
conscience to sleep so late in the morning."

"Or enjoyed the devil of a night--er--mare." The Senator's face was
flushed and his strong voice husky. "You mistake; this is luncheon, not
breakfast Keep me company? No?" Foster pecked viciously at his lamb chop.
"I've no appetite at all. Caught a beastly cold at the Sisters in Unity
meeting last night. Cough all the time--beastly climate, Washington."

"Why stay here?"

"Oh, Congress...."

"But that adjourned three weeks ago."

Foster frowned, then smiled. "A woman's whim--we are not always
independent, Miller"--a shrug completed the sentence. "Change your mind
and have some Scotch?"

"No, thanks." Miller drew his chair closer to his companion, and lowered
his voice. "I called this morning, Senator, to ask some questions about
Winslow Whitney."

Foster's smile vanished, and the glance he shot at Miller was sharp.

"It depends on the questions," he began stiffly, "whether they are
answered or not."

"Quite right," with unruffled composure. "I shall ask nothing which
cannot be answered with propriety." Miller ceased speaking to light a
cigarette. "All Washington knows Whitney is a man of wealth"--his keen
eyes detected the sudden alteration in Foster's expression--"of standing
in the social and business world, but has he achieved success as an

"Yes," was the instant and unqualified response, and Miller's eyes
lighted, but it was some seconds before he put another question.

"Are you familiar with his latest invention?"

"You mean his camera for use in aeroplanes?"

"Yes. Do you think it has any hope of success?"

"I believe so; Whitney declares the experiments are entirely

"Have you seen results of the tests?"

"Whitney showed me views of New York City and its environs taken from an
aeroplane. They were--wonderful--" the Senator puffed nervously at his
cigar--"perfect maps."

"Indeed?" Miller made no effort to conceal his eager curiosity. "At what
height were they taken?"

"Ah, that I do not feel at liberty to disclose. How, when, and where this
new camera can be utilized is of interest to all military men; but as
Whitney's friend, I could not divulge details he may desire kept secret,
even if I knew them."

"Pardon me, I thought you his most intimate friend...."

"I am, but not his confidant. And as his friend, I cannot discuss his
private affairs with you."

"I don't agree with you there." Miller tossed his cigarette stub into the
iron grate. "Would it not be a friendly act to place Whitney in a
position to coin money?"

"Ah, so that is why you take an interest in his invention?" Foster
laid down his cigar and contemplated his companion closely. "You wish
to buy ..."


"Is the purchaser to be the same for whom you are collecting horses and


Foster did not answer at once, and Miller, without seeming to do so, took
silent note of the handsome appointments of the dining-room. The silver
service on the sideboard, the cut-glass decanters and liqueurs seemed
somewhat out of place in a bachelor apartment. Somewhat puzzled, Miller
looked more fully at his host, hoping to find an answer to his unspoken
doubts. Careful of his dress, deportment, and democracy, Foster had early
gained the sobriquet "Dandy," but there was nothing effeminate in his
spare though muscular form, and his long under jaw indicated bull-dog
obstinacy. Confessing to fifty, Foster did not look his age by ten years.

"I shall have to ponder your question, Miller." As he spoke Foster rose.
"Frankly, I've been striving to interest our Government in Whitney's
invention, and that is one of the things which has kept me in Washington.
Suppose we go and see Whitney now. I know that he is anxious to dispose
of his invention--he is hard pressed for money,''

"Indeed!" The pupils of Miller's eyes contracted suddenly. "Possibly
Whitney will give me a hearing, and I need not offer"--he stopped,
looked at his cigarette case, returned it to his pocket, and followed
Foster out of the room--"a large sum," he finished, helping the Senator
into his overcoat.

Foster laughed shortly. "You will get no bargain. Whitney's politeness is
on the surface; underneath he is as hard as nails, and suspicious--" The
Senator's cough cut short his speech and echoed down the corridor as he
closed the door to his apartment. "Won't even let me look at the camera,
much less let me examine the lens, specifications, drawings, plate, et
cetera. In fact, refused to give me any details, although he knows I must
have the information so as to interest others in his invention."

"But surely he has had the camera tested thoroughly?"

"Oh, yes. It has leaked out that the lens is so powerful and the
mechanical parts of the camera so perfect that maps of the country taken
at a remarkable height depict fortifications to the minutest detail. No
one knows the method employed to bring about such a result. That is the
secret locked inside Whitney's studio and his brain. Whitney is a genius,
and unlike others of his ilk, is extremely modest about his own
achievements. He covers his real nature under a mantle of eccentricity. I
doubt if his wife and daughter really gauge his capabilities." A violent
fit of coughing interrupted him, and he did not speak again for some
minutes. As the elevator reached the ground floor, Foster saw his
chauffeur standing near the office. "My car at the door?" he asked, as
the man approached.

"Yes, sir," touching his cap. "Will you drive, sir?"

"Not today, too much cold, don't want pneumonia. Jump in, Miller." Foster
signed to him to enter first. "Take us to the Whitneys', Mason," he
directed, and sprang into the tonneau.

Five minutes later they stopped in front of the Whitney house, and
directing his chauffeur to wait, Foster accompanied Miller up the steps,
but before either could touch the bell, the door was opened by Vincent
whose white face brightened at the sight of the Senator.

"Step right in, sir," he begged. "The master was just telephoning for
you, sir." Vincent paused and looked doubtfully at Miller. "Did you wish
to see Miss Kathleen, sir?"

"Yes," taking out his visiting card.

"Miss Kathleen is sick in bed." Vincent appeared still more confused, but
Foster, standing somewhat in shadow, caught Miller's look of alarm which
the butler missed.

"What is the matter with Miss Kathleen?" demanded Miller, and there was
no mistaking the feeling in his voice and manner.

"She had a shock, sir, a most awful shock." While speaking Vincent
tiptoed toward the library; he felt that he could never make a loud noise
in that house again. "An awful shock," he repeated. "We all felt it."

"What do you mean?" Foster laid an impatient hand on the old
servant's shoulder.

"Why, sir, he's dead...."

"Whitney?" The question sprang simultaneously from Foster and Miller.

"No, no, sir. Mr. Sinclair Spencer, sir. He was murdered"--Vincent
shuddered as the last word crossed his lips.

His hearers stared stupidly at each other, and then at the butler. "Who
murdered him?" asked Miller, the first to recover speech.

"We don't know--they say Julie; leastways we only know for positive that
Miss Kathleen was with him ..."

Miller turned first white then red, and an angry gleam lit his eye as he
stepped nearer the agitated servant.

"That will do. Go tell Mr. Whitney we are here," and his tone caused
Vincent to hurry away in deep resentment.

Foster gazed dazedly at Miller. "What can have happened?" he asked. "Was
Spencer so foolish as to bait Winslow ..."

"Careful," cautioned Miller, his quick ear detecting a footstep in the
adjoining drawing-room. An instant later Miss Kiametia Grey stepped into
the library.

"Thank goodness you have come," she exclaimed, darting toward Foster.
"I've wanted you so much ..."

"My darling"--Foster, forgetful of Miller's presence, clasped her hand in
both of his.

"There--there--this isn't any time for sentiment," and Miss Kiametia's
chilly tone recalled the Senator to the fact that they were not alone.
Looking a trifle foolish, he dropped her hand and stepped back.

"What can I do for you?" he asked, coldly. "You said you needed me."

"Well, so I do, as legal adviser," with unflattering emphasis. "Good
morning, Captain Miller; I did not recognize you at first. I suppose you
have both heard of Sinclair Spencer's tragic death."

"Yes, but none of the particulars," answered Miller. "And also that
Kathleen is ill. Do tell me how she is," and though he strove to conceal
his anxiety, his manner betrayed his emotion to the sharp-eyed spinster.

"The doctor gave her an opiate," she said quickly. "She will be herself
again when she awakes. Her condition does not worry me." She hesitated,
shot a quick furtive look at Miller's intent face, and added: "But I am
alarmed by the mystery surrounding Sinclair Spencer's death."

"Tell us the details," urged Foster.

"Details," echoed the spinster. "There are none. We were awakened this
morning by Kathleen's screams, rushed into the hall and found her in the
elevator with Sinclair Spencer's dead body. She appeared completely
unstrung, could make no coherent statement, and when the doctor came, was
given an opiate." She paused and looked hopelessly at the two men. "We
know no more of the murder than that."

"We must wait until Kathleen awakens," said Whitney, and Miss Kiametia
started violently at the sound of his voice; so absorbed had the others
been in her remarks that his quiet entrance a few minutes before had
passed unnoticed. "I trust that she will then be more composed."

"Did she say nothing to you and Minna when you were with her before the
doctor arrived?" questioned Miss Kiametia, smothering her eagerness with

"Nothing that made sense." Whitney ran his fingers through his gray hair
until it stood upright. "She babbled Spencer's name, alternating with the
moaning cry, '_Kaiser blumen_.'"

"'_Kaiser blumen_!' What in the world--" The spinster checked her hasty
speech on catching sight of Detective Mitchell loitering just inside the
library door. "Do you want to see Mr. Whitney?" she asked, raising her
voice a trifle, and all turned to face the detective as he advanced
toward them. Bowing gravely to Senator Foster and Captain Miller,
Mitchell stopped opposite the spinster, but his first remark was directed
to Whitney.

"Your wife tells me, sir, that the French maid, Julie, has been in your
employ over four years."

"She has," acknowledged Whitney, making no effort to conceal his
impatience. "Will you kindly postpone your questions, Mitchell, until
later; I desire to converse with my friends now."

"I will intrude but a moment longer." Mitchell slipped one hand inside
his coat pocket. "When will it be convenient, sir, for you to take me
into your studio?"

Whitney looked at the detective as if he did not believe his ears.

"Why the devil should I take you through my studio?" he thundered, his
anger rising. "I take no one there--you understand, no one."

"Pardon me, these are exceptional circumstances. As an officer of the law
it is my duty to examine the entire premises where a crime has been
committed. On reaching your attic, I found the door leading to your
studio locked, and I have come downstairs, sir, to ask you to take me
into that room."

"And I absolutely refuse."

"In that case, sir," there was a steely glint in Mitchell's eyes
which betokened trouble, "I shall send for a locksmith and have the
bolt forced."

"Wait," Foster laid a restraining hand on Whitney's shoulder as the
latter made a hasty step in the detective's direction. "I assure you,
Mitchell, that the so-called studio is Mr. Whitney's workshop; he is, as
you no doubt know, an inventor." Whitney opened his mouth to speak, then
closed his jaws with a snap. "Mr. Whitney is now engaged upon a most
important invention. It is quite natural that he does not wish...."

"It is hardly a matter of wishes, Mr. Senator," broke in Mitchell. "A
murder has been committed here, and it is imperative that everything be
done to apprehend and convict the criminal."

"Ha!" Whitney's snort was almost a triumphant challenge. His altered
demeanor did not escape the shrewd eyes watching him so keenly. "So you
think I murdered Spencer?"

"I have not said what I think," retorted the detective brusquely. "Come,
sir, we are wasting time; take me over your studio at once."

Whitney's haggard face reddened with anger; twice he opened and shut his
mouth, then thinking better of his first impulse, he turned on his heel.

"Follow me," he directed ungraciously. As he stepped toward the doorway
he looked back and encountered Miller's intent gaze. The Captain's gray
eyes, their devil-may-care sparkle dampened by anxiety for Kathleen,
broad forehead, and firm mouth inspired confidence. He looked a man whose
word could be relied on. Whitney, harassed by conflicting doubts, and
agonizing apprehensions, acted on impulse. "Come with us, Captain. We'll
be right back, Kiametia; you and Foster wait for us here."

By common consent the three men avoided the elevator and walked up
stairs. On reaching the attic, Whitney made at once for his studio and
inserting keys in the double lock turned the wards, and opened the door.

"Go in," he said, and waited until the two men had preceded him in the
room, then entered and closed the door, shooting the inner bolt. The
detective looked around as the faint click of the metal caught his ear.
"Force of habit," explained Whitney. "Hurry and make your examination,
Mitchell; I wish to rejoin my friends downstairs as quickly as possible.
Have a seat, Captain?"

But Miller declined, and stood watching Mitchell as he made a thorough
search of the apartment. Nothing escaped his attention, and such
furniture as the room boasted was minutely scrutinized, even the Cooper
Hewitt lights and cylinder arc lights being switched on to assist in the
examination. Models, large sink, darkroom, cabinets, tool chest, drawing
tables, and small chemical laboratory were subjected to a thorough
search. Miller's silent wonder grew; nowhere did he perceive a model
resembling a camera, or the camera itself.

Whitney, sitting astride an ordinary wooden chair, followed the
detective's movements with sardonic amusement, which now and then found
vent in a grim smile. Whitney's expression was not lost upon Miller, who,
finding him a more interesting study than Mitchell, watched him intently
while appearing to be deeply engaged in examining an elevator model.

"Isn't this the design copied in building your elevator, Mr.
Whitney?" he asked.

"Yes; that is the model I made when the elevator was built. It was one of
the first installed in a private residence in Washington."

"It is somewhat different from others that I have seen," commented the
detective, replacing a bottle carefully on a shelf. "The cage is so very
shallow in depth and so long in width."

"I had to cut my coat according to my cloth," curtly. "This house is very
old and the outer walls are of unusual thickness, also the inner ones,
which accounts for the peculiar shape of the elevator. The brick shaft
had to be built to conform to the walls and staircase. I also invented
that safety air brake catch," he added, as Miller ran the elevator to the
top of the shaft and released the cage with a sudden jerk. The elevator
slipped down a flight, then automatically adjusted itself and stopped.

"A clever idea," said Miller admiringly. "When I first used your
elevator, Mr. Whitney, I was struck by its unexpected capacity to hold
six people. Its shallowness is deceptive."

"That's so." Whitney stared at the clock suggestively. "Kathleen, as a
child, used to slip in unseen, and as the majority of the people enter
the elevator facing the floor button plate with their backs to where she
stood, she gave her governesses many scares."

The detective stopped to examine the elevator model carefully, and
pressed the button marked "Attic." "Persons entering the elevator
instinctively pull to the inner door with their left hand and push the
floor button with the right, and they would be standing with their backs
to where Spencer lay," he said.

"And anyone could have started the elevator without knowing of his
presence," put in Miller softly, and the detective nodded assent.

"You have no floor indicator connected with the elevator, Mr. Whitney,"
commented Mitchell thoughtfully.

"No." Whitney rose abruptly. "Finished your search?" Not waiting for a
reply he prepared to leave, and a covert sneer crossed his lips as he
asked, "Found anything criminal?"

"Only these bottles," indicating the shelves near the laboratory.
"There's enough poison here to kill a regiment."

"And only for use in photography," Whitney busied himself in adjusting
shades which the detective had raised or lowered the better to see the
room. "Rather a commentary on the laws governing the sale of poisons,
Mitchell; can't buy them at a druggist's, but any man, woman, or child
can go into a photographic supply store and buy any quantity of deadly
poison and no questions asked."

"Perhaps," was Mitchell's sole comment, as he removed a stopper from a
blue glass bottle and sniffed at its contents.

"Hm! You are of an inquiring turn of mind." Whitney's eyes contracted
suddenly. "May I remind you that Spencer, whose death you are
investigating, was stabbed."

"With a dull knife," answered Mitchell, setting down the bottle. "And it
must have taken muscular force to drive the knife home."

Whitney was suddenly conscious of both men's full regard, and his thin,
wiry figure stiffened. His eyes snapped with pent-up feeling.

"Is a man to be convicted of crime because it is physically possible for
him to commit murder?" he demanded harshly, and not waiting for an answer
unbolted the door. "I fear, Mitchell, you have wasted both my time and
yours. Remember this, sir." He stepped directly in front of the
detective. "Those making a charge must prove it. Now go."



Miss Kiametia Grey waited until the sound of Whitney's, Miller's and the
detective's footsteps had died away down the hall before addressing
Senator Foster.

"Suppose we sit over there," she suggested, indicating a large
leather sofa, and not waiting for his assent, walked over to it and
seated herself.

The sofa stood with its back to one of the windows, and from its broad
seat its occupants would have a complete view of the attractive library
with its massive furniture, huge old-fashioned chimney, and
bookcase-lined walls. Foster, following Miss Kiametia, was startled by a
glimpse of her face as she stepped into the sunlight whose merciless rays
betrayed the new lines about her closely compressed lips. A touch of
rouge enhanced her pallor. Suddenly conscious of his intent regard she
seated herself, turning her back squarely to the light.

"Sit there," she exclaimed pettishly, pointing to a Morris chair which
stood close to the sofa. "I prefer to have the person I'm talking to
face me." Without remark Foster made himself comfortable, first, however,
pulling down the shade to protect his eyes from the glare of sunlight.

"We can't be overheard," began Miss Kiametia. "At least I don't think we
can," and her sharp glance roved inquiringly about the room. "What was
Sinclair Spencer doing in that elevator?"

"Going downstairs," hazarded the Senator, "or up."

"Or waiting."

"Eh?" Foster shot a quick look at her. "Waiting? What for?"

"That is what we have to discover," and Miss Kiametia sat back and folded
her hands.

"Yours is hardly a reasonable supposition. People do not usually wait in
elevators, Kiametia."

"There's no law against it," was her tart reply. "I have very good reason
to believe Spencer was _not_ going out of the house."

"May I ask what that reason is?"

"He wore no shoes," and for an instant a smile hovered on her lips as she
caught his startled expression. She was woman enough to enjoy creating a
sensation, and it was not often that she surprised the Senator.

"Is that so!" he exclaimed thoughtfully. "That puts a somewhat different
complexion on the matter."

"It does. Why was Sinclair Spencer gallivanting about this house in his
stocking feet?"

Foster played with his watch chain. "Upon my word, I don't know," he
replied at last.

"Well, you might hazard a guess." But Foster's only answer was a negative
shake of his head. "Pshaw! use your imagination--suppose Spencer was
unduly inquisitive about Winslow's invention--"

"Stop, Kiametia!" Foster held up a warning hand. "You are treading on
dangerous ground. Be sure of your facts before suggesting that a man of
Winslow's known integrity is involved in--murder."

"How you men do jump at conclusions," grumbled Miss Kiametia. "I believe
Julie, the maid, killed Spencer because she found him snooping around
where he had no business to be."

"Why should the maid play watchdog?"

"Because she's French, stupid; and I believe, firmly believe, Sinclair
Spencer was in the pay of Germany. Both he and the maid were after
Winslow's invention, one to steal, the other to protect."

"You have astonishing theories." Foster leaned back and regarded her in
silence, then resumed, "Suppose you give me an exact account of what
transpired this morning."

He listened with rapt attention to the spinster's graphic description of
the finding of Kathleen and Sinclair Spencer in the elevator.

"Strange, very strange," he muttered, as she brought the recital to an
end. "How did Kathleen come to enter the elevator without seeing its

"You take it for granted that Spencer was dead at that time?" asked
the spinster.

A look of horror crept into Foster's eyes. "Kiametia, what do you mean to
insinuate? Your question implies--"

"Nothing," hastily. "I only want you, with your sane common sense, to
kill an intolerable doubt. Kathleen cannot--_cannot_ know anything of
this crime."

"If you doubt, why not ask Kathleen how and when she came to be in the
elevator with Spencer's dead body?"

"Kathleen is still under the effects of the opiate, and you heard what
Winslow said a few minutes ago about her behavior before the
physician's arrival."

"Don't worry." Foster laid a soothing hand on hers. "Kathleen's condition
is not surprising under the circumstances; the shock of finding
Spencer's dead body was quite enough to produce hysteria and irrational
conduct. When herself, her explanations will clear up the mystery.
Therefore, why harbor a doubt of her innocence?"

"If you had seen the expression of her eyes," exclaimed Miss Kiametia.
"It betrayed more than shock and horror. If ever I saw mental anguish
depicted, a naked soul in torment, I saw it then. God help the child!"
She paused and stared at Foster. "Why should Kathleen betray such
emotion? Sinclair Spencer was less than nothing to her."

"He was very attentive," said Foster slowly. "I have even heard it
reported last fall that they were engaged."

"Engaged? Fiddlesticks!" Miss Kiametia's head went up in a style
indicative of battle. "Imagine Kathleen caring for a man who openly
boasted he had held the best blood of America in his arms--she isn't that
kind of girl!"

"Come, Spencer wasn't so unattractive," protested Foster. "I hold no
brief for him; in fact, some of his business transactions were shady; but
upon my word, he was exceedingly good-looking, and if I remember rightly,
you encouraged him to come to your apartment."

"I've done some remarkably stupid things occasionally," said Miss
Kiametia composedly. "That was one of them."

"Kiametia!" called a voice in the hallway, and the next moment the
portières parted and Mrs. Whitney walked into the library. "Oh, there you
are, my dear; I feared you had gone. I am so glad to see you, Senator,"
clasping Foster's extended hand warmly. "Winslow and I both hoped you
could come to us. We want your advice."

"I am entirely at your disposal." As he spoke, Foster dragged forward a
comfortable chair. "Sit here, Mrs. Whitney; you look quite done up," and
his sympathetic tone and manner brought tears to her hot, tired eyes.

"It is such a comfort to see two such dear friends," she said, looking
gratefully at them. "And to talk to you openly, away from those dreadful
detectives. I haven't had an opportunity to speak privately to Winslow.
Detective Mitchell is his shadow."

"A little brief authority," Foster shrugged his shoulders. "How is

"Sleeping, thank God!" Mrs. Whitney lowered her voice. "I really feared
for her reason before the doctor came. I could not soothe her, or quiet
her wild weeping." She stopped to glance hastily over her shoulder.
"Vincent said something about Captain Miller having called--is the
Captain here?"

"He has gone upstairs with your husband and Detective Mitchell," answered
Foster. "Tell me, Mrs. Whitney, was Sinclair Spencer visiting you for any
length of time?"

"Oh, no; his stopping here last night was quite unexpected; in fact so
unexpected to me that I accidentally put Kiametia in the same room
with him."

"I didn't stay there," hastily ejaculated the spinster, crimsoning. "The
moment I saw him in bed, I fled."

"Was he asleep?" questioned Foster; Miss Kiametia had not told him these
details in her description of events at the Whitney residence.

"I presume so; his eyes were closed--thank goodness!" she added under
her breath, and quickly changed the subject "Any news of Julie's
whereabouts, Minna?"

"Apparently not; I telephoned to Police Headquarters half an hour ago,
and the desk sergeant said they had found no trace of her."

"Where is your maid's bedroom, Mrs. Whitney?" asked Foster.

"She rooms with the cook on the third floor."

"What does the cook say about Julie's disappearance?"

"She is as mystified as the rest of us; declares Julie went to bed at the
same time she did, and that when she awoke this morning, the covers on
Julie's bed were thrown back. Thinking Julie had preceded her downstairs,
she dressed and attended to her usual duties. It was not until I rang for
Julie that the other servants realized that none of them had seen her
this morning. Not one, apparently, has the faintest idea as to when she
disappeared, and where."

"So!" ejaculated Foster unbelievingly. "I imagine the police will jog
their memories."

"Let us hope they will succeed in finding Julie," snapped Miss Kiametia.
"I confess the situation is getting on my nerves. If she committed the
murder, she should suffer for it. If not, she should come forward and
prove her innocence."

"It is essential that Julie be found," agreed Foster. "For my
part, I...."

"Beg pardon, sir," and Vincent approached. "This note has just come for
you," presenting his silver salver to the Senator. "There's no answer,
sir. The clerk at the Portland sent the messenger here with it, as it was
marked 'Immediate.'"

With a word of apology to his companions, Foster tore open the envelope
and hastily scanned the written lines.

"I must leave at once," he announced, carefully placing the note in his
leather wallet. "I had forgotten entirely that I had an important
business engagement. Please tell Winslow, Mrs. Whitney, that I will come
back this evening; and you must both count on me if there is anything I
can do for you."

"Won't you wait for Captain Miller?" asked Miss Kiametia, concealing her
disappointment at the abrupt termination of the interview.

"Miller? I'm afraid not. Please tell him I was called away and that I
leave my touring car at his service."

"If you plan to do that, may I get your chauffeur to take me home?" asked
Miss Kiametia quickly.

"Why, of course; I only wish that I could accompany you." Foster
wavered, he desired most ardently to see the spinster alone, but the
note was urgent, and considering the source, could not be ignored.
"Good-bye." Shaking hands warmly with Mrs. Whitney and Miss Kiametia, he
hastily departed.

Foster's appointment consumed over an hour, and on leaving the
government building where it had taken place, he walked aimlessly through
the city streets, so deep in thought that he gave no heed to the
direction he was taking. His absorption blinded him to the appearance of
an inconspicuously dressed, heavily veiled woman who, at sight of him,
shrank back under cover of the archway leading to a movie theater, until
he had passed safely up the street. She was about to step out on the
sidewalk again when the sight of a man walking rapidly down the street in
the direction Foster had disappeared, caused her to remain in partial
concealment. The woman peered at the last man irresolutely, while
pretending to examine a gaudy, flaring poster of the movie, one hand
pressed to her rapidly beating heart. Coming to a sudden decision, she
hastened after him, and nearing an intersecting street, overtook him.

"Captain Miller," she called timidly, and at sound of his name, Miller
turned toward her.

"Yes?" his hand raised toward his hat at sight of a woman. "You
called me?"

"Yes, Captain." She drew nearer. "You do not recognize me, but"--sinking
her voice--"I am Julie."

"Julie?" he echoed.

"_Oui, monsieur_," in rapid French. "Mademoiselle Kathleen's maid. Ah,
monsieur, for the love you bear her, advise _me_ now. It is for her sake,
not for mine."

The Captain eyed her intently. "I don't catch your meaning," he said, in
her native tongue.

"You have surely heard, Captain, of the death of that devil,
Spencer"--Behind her veil, the Frenchwoman's eyes sparkled with rage.
"Well, Captain, his death was--justified."

"I have no doubt of it," agreed her companion. "But, in the eyes of the
law, it will be termed...."

"Murder." Her white lips barely formed the word, and she glanced
fearfully behind her. Her half-conscious action recalled the Captain to
their surroundings, and he, too, glanced up the street. Apparently they
had it to themselves; in that unfrequented part of the city there were
few passers-by. The Captain's eyes narrowed; he preferred never to be
conspicuous; a crowded street was more to his liking.

"Suppose we move on," he suggested, but the Frenchwoman held back.

"I have spent all the morning at the moving pictures," she said. "There
it is dark. Let us find another."

"Very well; we can talk as we go," and the Captain suited his step to
hers. "And suppose also that we confine our remarks to English."

"As monsieur pleases." She half repented her impulsive act. She had
intrusted her secret to another. Would that other prove loyal? A faint
shiver crept down her spine, and she pressed one mitted hand over the
other. "I seek seclusion, monsieur, because--I know too much."

"'A little knowledge'"--the Captain did not finish the quotation. "Let us
turn down here," and not waiting for her consent, he piloted her up a
side street. "You do not, then, wish to make a confidant of the police?"

"_Non, non, monsieur_," lapsing again into rapid French. "I think only of

A sudden gleam lighted the Captain's eyes. "Kathleen," his voice lingered
on her name. "You think she is in danger?"

"I do, monsieur, in great danger. Did I not see"--she paused in her
hasty speech and bit her tongue; one indiscretion was leading to another.
"It matters not what I saw, monsieur--I am sometimes nearsighted."

"In that case, your eyes will be examined if testifying in a trial for
murder," and he smiled covertly as he saw the fear tugging at her
heart-strings. "Enough, Julie; I will respect your confidences. You
know--how, I do not inquire--of my deep affection for Mademoiselle

"Who would not love her?" broke in Julie passionately. "So generous, so
fearless and loyal! Ah! she will be faithful to France--she will guard
her father's secret--aye, even to the bitter end."

"Hush! not so loud," admonished the Captain, laying a steadying hand on
her arm. "Let me think a moment." Totally unconscious of the tears which
fell one by one on her white cheeks, the excited Frenchwoman kept step
with him in silence for three blocks; then the Captain roused himself.
"You are willing to shield Mademoiselle Kathleen at all costs?" he asked.

"_Oui, monsieur._"

"And you think you can best accomplish that result by avoiding the

"_Oui, monsieur_."

"Have you money?"

"A little, monsieur." She turned her troubled countenance toward him. "I
cannot travel far."

"It is wiser not to travel at all." The Captain slackened his walk before
an unpretentious red brick residence. "The landlady of this house takes
paying guests and asks no questions. Here you can remain _perdue_," with
emphasis, "and no one inside will trouble you; but be cautious, Julie,
how you venture on the street day or night."

"But, monsieur"--Julie drew back--"I do not fear for myself, only for
mademoiselle, and I like not to be indoors all day. The police, they will
only trouble me with questions should I return to the Whitneys."

"If you do not return to the Whitneys, Julie, the police will think
you guilty."

"Me, monsieur?"


"But--but--" stammered the Frenchwoman, overwhelmed. "I have committed no
crime. I but left because I could not bear to tell what I know."

"Your departure is construed as a confession of guilt." The Captain bent
his handsome face nearer hers. "It is only a question, Julie, of the
depth of your affection for Mademoiselle Kathleen. Are you willing to
shield her at all costs?"

The Frenchwoman faltered for a second, then drew herself proudly erect.
"_Oui, monsieur_. Mademoiselle was kind to me when I lost all--my lover,
my brothers died for France. There is no one who cares for me now but
mademoiselle. I shall not betray her."

"Good!" The Captain wrung her hand. "Come," and he led the way into
the house.



Barely pausing to dip his pen in the inkstand, Charles Miller covered
sheet after sheet of thin paper with his fine legible writing. As he
reached the final word he laid down his pen and stretched his cramped
fingers and gently rubbed one hand over the other. For the first time
conscious of the chill atmosphere, he rose and moved about the room.
Stopping before the steam heater to turn it on, he walked back to his
desk and carefully read what he had written, correcting a phrase here and
there. Finally satisfied with the result, he selected an envelope and
placing the papers inside, sealed and addressed it. For a second he held
the envelope poised over the unstained blotting-paper, then raising it
gently, breathed on the still wet ink. At last convinced that it was dry,
he placed the envelope in the pocket of his bathrobe, and picking up his
pajamas went into the bathroom which opened out of his bedroom, and
closed the door.

Five seconds, fifteen seconds passed, then the long curtains before the
window alcove gently parted and a man looked into the empty room. With
head and shoulders protruding he waited until the sound of running water
reached his ears, then advanced softly into the room. The desk was his
objective point, and his nimble fingers made quick work of sorting its
meager contents. His search was unrewarded; there was not a scrap of
incriminating writing in any drawer, and the neat pile of blotting-paper
was untouched.

The intruder's expression altered; curiosity gave way to doubt. Without
wasting time he replaced every article where he found it, pausing
occasionally to listen to the sound of splashing coming from behind the
closed bathroom door. Convinced there was no immediate danger of
interruption from that quarter, he walked swiftly to the closet and
minutely examined Miller's clothing. Just as he was leaving the closet a
box-shaped leather bag marked "Underwood" attracted his attention, and
pushing aside a bundle of soiled underclothing, he knelt down and
inserted a skeleton key in the lock, and after a second's work, forced
back the wards and opened the lid of the box. The typewriter it contained
proved uninteresting, and putting back everything as he had found it, he
returned to the window by which he had entered. Pushing it open, he
climbed out on the ledge and, closing the window behind him, by the aid
of ropes swung himself over to a near-by fire escape and disappeared
inside a room opening from it.

The slight sound occasioned by the closing of his bedroom window was
drowned in Miller's cheery whistle as he emerged from the bathroom.
Refreshed and invigorated by his bath, he switched off the lights and
climbed into bed.

The sunlight was streaming in the windows when he awoke, and it was a
full minute before his sleepy senses grasped the fact that someone was
pounding on the hall door. Hastily donning his bathrobe, he turned the
key and opened the door. Henry, the Whitneys' chauffeur, was standing on
the threshold.

"May I have a word with you, sir?" he asked.

"Certainly, come in," and Miller, conscious of his negligé attire and
that two pretty women were passing down the hall, precipitously retreated
into his bedroom. "Shut the door after you." He waited until his order
had been followed, then demanded impetuously: "How is Miss Kathleen?"

"Better, sir."

"Thank God!" The fervid exclamation escaped him unwittingly, and a faint
tinge of red stained his cheeks as he met Henry's attentive regard. "Did
you give her my note?"

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