“Then take them both,” said Mr. Scovill promptly. “That’ll make matters simpler yet. You say they have no relatives and are now away in school? Nothing could be easier. We’ll build a room they can’t get out of once they’re in, and when it’s finished you invite them to your house for a visit. They’ll think they’re coming to see you, but it’s out there to that house they’ll go and they’ll not come back in a hurry. In the meantime you get hold of those stocks and bonds, sell them and put the money in this venture and come out a rich man. When you’re ready to clear out of the country you can let the girls out, and they won’t be any worse off than when they went in—except that they won’t have a cent.”
Bit by bit the plan was perfected. Mr. Thurston took a sudden interest in his orphan wards to the extent of writing to the school where they were attending and asking when it closed for the summer. When he was informed that school closed the last week in May, he invited the two girls, Genevieve and Antoinette Rogers, to spend the first weeks of their vacation at his home. He had not seen either of them since they were little children. They graciously accepted the invitation.
But on the day they were to arrive, Mr. Thurston found that some private business of his very urgently required his presence in another city, and left Mr. Scovill to see to the landing of the birds in the trap. Mr. Scovill met the unsuspecting girls at the train, explaining with many expressions of regret the enforced absence of their guardian, took them to dinner in a fine hotel and showed them the sights of the town with all the cordiality of a sincere friend of their host, who was doing his best to make up for his not being there. He won their hearts completely. They were simple girls who had been brought up in a strict church school, and the sights and sounds of the large city were all wonderful to them.
Now, thanks to Mr. Scovill’s activities, the trap was all set. The tower was built with its room at the top without any door and its barred window, and the deaf-mute was installed on the place and given instructions to act as guard to two girls who were mentally unbalanced. Furnishing the room in violet was the last touch of his cunning brain, because he knew the depressing effect it would have on the inmates. He gave strict orders to the keeper to remove any sign of a bright color, as this might cause them to become violent.
Mr. Scovill had left directions for his automobile to be at a certain place at half-past four to convey them to the house in the country. Now, for reasons of his own, Mr. Scovill did not wish to be the last one seen in the company of the two girls in case his plans should go wrong and some one would start an inquiry for them. Therefore, he gave his driver private instructions to drive like the wind with two girls who should be placed in the car, and under no condition to let them out of the car.