A door banged open across the street, and four huge dark figures darted out in the direction of Albano’s.
With his finger Kennedy pulled down the other switch and shouted: “Gennaro, this is Kennedy! To the street! Polizia! Polizia!”
A scuffle and a cry of surprise followed. A second voice, apparently from the bar, shouted, “Out with the lights, out with the lights!”
Bang! went a pistol, and another.
The dictograph, which had been all sound a moment before, was as mute as a cigar-box.
“What’s the matter?” I asked Kennedy, as he rushed past me.
“They have shot out the lights. My receiving instrument is destroyed. Come on, Jameson; Vincenzo, stay back, if you don’t want to appear in this.”
A short figure rushed by me, faster even than I could go. It was the faithful Luigi.
In front of Albano’s an exciting fight was going on. Shots were being fired wildly in the darkness, and heads were popping out of tenement windows on all sides. As Kennedy and I flung ourselves into the crowd we caught a glimpse of Gennaro, with blood streaming from a cut on his shoulder, struggling with a policeman while Luigi vainly was trying to interpose himself between them. A man, held by another policeman, was urging the first officer on. “That’s the man,” he was crying. “That’s the kidnapper. I caught him.”
In a moment Kennedy was behind him. “Paoli, you lie. You are the kidnapper. Seize him—he has the money on him. That other is Gennaro himself.”
The policeman released the tenor, and both of them seized Paoli. The others were beating at the door, which was being frantically barricaded inside.
Just then a taxicab came swinging up the street. Three men jumped out and added their strength to those who were battering down Albano’s barricade.
Gennaro, with a cry, leaped into the taxicab. Over his shoulder I could see a tangled mass of dark brown curls, and a childish voice lisped: “Why didn’t you come for me, papa? The bad man told me if I waited in the yard you would come for me. But if I cried he said he would shoot me. And I waited, and waited—”
“There, there, ’Lina; papa’s going to take you straight home to mother.”
A crash followed as the door yielded, and the famous Paoli gang was in the hands of the law.
The Steel Door
BY ARTHUR B. REEVE
It was what, in college, we used to call “good football weather”—a crisp autumn afternoon that sent the blood tingling through brain and muscle. Kennedy and I were enjoying a stroll on the drive, dividing our attention between the glowing red sunset across the Hudson and the string of homeward-bound automobiles on the broad parkway. Suddenly a huge black touring-car marked with big letters, “P.D.N.Y.,” shot past.
“Joy-riding again in one of the city’s cars,” I remarked. “I thought the last Police Department shake-up had put a stop to that.”