"The woman shook him time of the strikes, when his money was gone." "Well, isn't that what you wanted?" Mrs. Ducharme nodded her head slowly. "She made him bad. He drinks, awful sometimes, and whenever I say anything, he says he's going back to Peory, to that woman." Alves waited for the expected request for money.
I left the meeting and went directly to my room in Soho, without even taking the trouble to observe whether I was watched or not. There I stayed all night, and in the morning quitted Soho as Ducharme, with a gray beard and bowed shoulders, walked west to the Imperial Flats, took the lift to the top, and, seeing the corridor was clear, let myself in to my own flat.
He was not personally known to me, nor I to him, but if I may say so, Paul Ducharme was well thought of by all the rest of those present. I had learned a great lesson during the episode of the Queen's Necklace, which resulted in my dismissal by the French Government. I had learned that if you expect pursuit it is always well to leave a clue for the pursuer to follow.
"Didn't Miss M'Gann stay?" he asked remorsefully. "I sent her away with Dr. Leonard. And our old Ducharme has gone out to one of her doctor's services. She is getting queerer and queerer, but such a good soul! What should I have done without her! You sent her to me," she added tenderly. They sat down by the open window within sound of the gentle, healing rain.
Miss Preston ain't got back from school, she's late to-day." Sommers walked into the bare sitting room and sat down, while Mrs. Ducharme leaned against the door-post, fingering her apron in an embarrassed manner. "I've got cured," she blurted out at last. "My eye was awful bad, and it's been most a week since you sent me here." "Did you follow my treatment?" "No! I was out one afternoon after Mrs.
"Well, that's all there is to it, isn't it?" Sommers asked, half amused. "You can't keep him away from the other woman. Now you are a sensible, capable woman. Just give him up and find a place to work." Mrs. Ducharme shook her head sorrowfully. "That won't do. I just think and think, and I can't work. He was such a nice man, so gentlemanlike and quiet, so long as she stayed away.
'Garçon! he shouted harshly, 'bring me four absinthes. What will you drink, Ducharme?, 'A café-cognac, if you please. 'Bah! cried Simard; 'better have absinthe. Then he cursed the waiter for his slowness. When the absinthe came he grasped the half-full glass and swallowed the liquid raw, a thing I had never seen done before.
The woman took the brief note which he scribbled after examining her, and said dejectedly: "She won't want me long no one does, least of all Ducharme." Sommers laughed. "Guess I better go straight down," she remarked more hopefully as she left. He should have taken the woman to the cottage, he reflected after she had gone, instead of sending her in this brusque manner. He had not seen Mrs.
Perhaps he can get you something to do. Simard was overjoyed, and two hours later, as Eugène Valmont, I received him in my flat, and made him my assistant on the spot. From that time forward, Paul Ducharme, language teacher, disappeared from the earth, and Simard abandoned his two A's anarchy and absinthe. The Clue of the Silver Spoons
Preston of care, I'll give you good wages. Not a word to her, mind, about that. And when you want to hunt Ducharme, just notify Mrs. Preston and go ahead. Only see that you hunt him in the daytime. Don't leave her alone nights. Now, let's see your eye."