She stood up, clinging to him; a wild relief, that was based on her confidence in him, in her eyes and face, even while she shook her head.
“No,” she said frantically. “No—I do not know. Tell me, Jimmie! Tell me quickly! You mean at Makoff’s?”
“No! Not Makoff’s—at Spider Jack’s, on Thompson Street!”—he was clipping off his words, still holding her tightly by the shoulders, still staring into her eyes. “You know Spider Jack! Jack’s little novelty store! Ah, you have not learned all of the underworld yet! Spider Jack is the craftiest ‘fence’ in the Bad Lands—and Makoff is his partner. Spider buys the crooks’ stuff, and Makoff disposes of it through the pawnshop—it’s only a step through the connecting back yard from one to the other, and—”
“Yes—but,” she interrupted feverishly, “the package—you said—”
“Wait!” Jimmie Dale cried. “I’m coming to that! If Travers stood in with Makoff, he stood in with Spider Jack. For years Spider has been a sort of clearing house for the underworld—for years he has conducted, and profitably, too, his underground post office. Crooks from all over the country, let alone those in New York, communicate with each other through Spider Jack. These, for a fee, are registered at Spider’s, and given a number—a box number he calls it, though, of course, there are no actual boxes. Letters come by mail addressed to him—the sealed envelope within containing the actually intended recipient’s name. These Spider either forwards, or delivers in person when they are called for. Dozens of crooks, too, unwilling, perhaps, to dispose of small ill-gotten articles at ruinous ‘fence’ prices, and finding it unhealthy for the moment to keep them in their possession, use this means of depositing them temporarily for safe-keeping. You see now, don’t you? It’s certain that’s where Travers left the package. He used the name of John Johansson, not to hoodwink Spider Jack, I should say, but as an added safeguard against the Crime Club. Travers must have known both Makoff and Spider Jack in the old days, and probably had reason, and good reason, to trust them both—possibly, a crook then himself, as he confessed, he may have acted in a legal capacity for them in their frequent tangles with the police.”
“Then,” she said—and there was a glad, new note in her voice, “then, Jimmie—Jimmie, we are safe! You can get it, Jimmie! It is only a little thing for the Gray Seal to do—to get it now that we know where it is.”
“Yes,” he said tersely. “Yes—if it is still there.”
“Still there!”—she repeated the words quickly, nervously. “Still there! What do you mean?”
“I mean if they, too, have not discovered that he was at Makoff’s—if they have not got there first!” he said grimly. “There seems to be no limit to their cleverness, or their power. They penetrated his disguise as a chauffeur, and who knows what more they have learned since last night? We are fighting them in the dark, and—what’s that!” he whispered tensely, suddenly—and leaning forward like a flash, as he whipped his automatic from his pocket, he blew out the lamp.