And now, with his mind made up to his course of action, an intense impatience to put his plan into effect, an irritation at the useless twistings and turnings of the car that had latterly become more frequent, took hold upon him. How much longer was this to last! They must have been fully an hour and a half on the road already, and—ah, the car was stopping now!
He straightened up in his seat as the machine came to a halt—but the man at his side laid a restraining hand upon him. The car door opened, and one of the men got out. Jimmie Dale caught an indistinct murmur of voices from without, then the man returned to his seat, and the car went on again.
Another half hour passed, that, curbing his irritation and impatience, was filled with the conjectures and questions that anew came crowding in upon his mind. Why had the car made that stop? It was rather curious. It was certainly a prearranged meeting place. Why? And these clothes that he now wore—why had they made him change? His own had not been very badly torn. The reason given him was, on the face of it now, in view of what he now knew, mere pretence. What was the ulterior motive behind that pretence? What did this package, that had already cost a man his life to-night, contain? Who was the chauffeur? What was this death feud between the Tocsin and these men? Did she know where the Crime Club was? Who and where was John Johansson? What was this box that was numbered 428? Could she supply the links that would forge the chain into an unbroken whole?
And then for the second time the car slowed down—and this time the man on the seat beside Jimmie Dale reached up and untied the scarf.
“You get out here,” said the man tersely.
Had it not been for the stop the car had previously made, for the possibility that he might have obtained a glimpse outside when the door had been opened, the scarf over his eyes would have been superfluous; for now, with it removed, he could scarcely distinguish the forms of the three men around him, since the window curtains of the car were tightly drawn. Nor was he given the opportunity to do more, even had it been possible. The car stopped, the door was opened, he was pushed toward it—and even as he reached the ground, the door was closed behind him, and the car was speeding on again. But where he could not see before, it took now but a glance to obtain his bearings—he was standing on a corner on Riverside Drive, within a few doors of his own house.