This only lasted a moment, however; for he stopped, gestured passionately, seized a pad of paper and began to write. While he was thus engaged, Ashton-Kirk said to Pendleton in a low tone: "Remain here for a moment." Then slowly, carefully, the investigator made his way toward the window through which Miss Vale and Locke were to be seen.

I always admired your art." An eager look came into the prisoner's face. "I thank you," he said. "It is not many who will remember in me a man who once did worthy things. I am young," with despair, "yet how I have sunken." "It is something of a drop," admitted Ashton-Kirk. "From a position of first violin with Karlson to that of a street musician. How did it happen?"

"When did it occur?" "Sometime since midnight." There was a silence. Miss Vale arose and began to pace the room. The long white cloak that had draped her fell away; she wore a ball dress and her arms and shoulders shone splendidly under the lights. "How did you hear of it?" asked Ashton-Kirk. There was a scarcely perceptible hesitancy; then she answered: "Through the newspapers.

"Was it not possible for your father to duplicate the plans?" "At an earlier time it would have meant but a few weeks' application at most. But at this period the thing was impossible. The last long debauch seemed to have sapped his intellect; it also was the direct cause of his death." "I see," said Ashton-Kirk. "I took the matter up with Hume at once," went on the young man.

I will not say what is der place it stands in front of; that is not my business." "McCausland's gambling house, perhaps," suggested Ashton-Kirk. The big German looked more relieved than ever. "Ach, so you know about dot place, eh? All ride. Now I can speak out and not be afraid to do some harm to nobody." He lowered his voice still further.

She paused for a moment; Ashton-Kirk clasped his knee with both hands and regarded her with interest. "It was a sort of subdued fierceness," continued Miss Vale "as though he were setting his face against some invisible force and defying it. When he mentioned our happiness that was to be, I could see his hands close tightly, I could read menace in the set of his jaw.

"I wonder," said Miss Vale, looking at the book, "if you are an admirer of Ibsen." And as he nodded, she proceeded with a slight smile. "I know that he is scarcely the usual thing for a spring morning. But there are times when I simply can't resist him." "He's a strong draught at any time," said Ashton-Kirk. "But his tonic quality is undoubted."

"The most sprawling dialect seemed a simple matter to him; Greek and the oriental tongues were no more trouble in his case than the 'first reader' is to an intelligent child." She had spoken with Mrs. Stokes-Corbin over the telephone. Mrs. Stokes-Corbin was related to Ashton-Kirk, and her information was kindly but emphatic.

"So," said Pendleton, in a queer sort of voice, "she doesn't wish to speak to me." "Not over the wire no. But she wants you to come to her at once. She desires to hear all about what she calls the wonderful way we have handled this case, and she wants to hear it from you." Ashton-Kirk looked at his watch. "It is now 10:45. You can get there by eleven if you rush."

He began fumbling with the lantern as Locke disappeared; but Ashton-Kirk said to him: "You need not light that. We can see very well. And, on second thought, you need not wait, either. We can introduce ourselves to Professor Locke without troubling you further." "Thank you, sir," said the man, vastly relieved. "They all have queer dispositions, you see, and I don't like to trouble them."