“Who the hell are you?”
“Well, if I answer your questions, perhaps you will answer mine. I am McAdams of the City Hall Station, Chicago, and I know exactly what I am here after. So the best thing you guys can do, is cough up. Who’s that girl who has been working with you?”
Hobart glared sullenly, but made no response.
“You’ll not answer?”
“Oh, go to hell!”
“All right, old top. She is in this house somewhere, and can’t get out. Somers, look around a bit; try behind those curtains over there.”
The officer stepped forward, but at the same instant the draperies parted, and two girls stood beside each other in the opening, framed against the brighter glare of light beyond—two girls, looking so alike, except for dress and the arrangement of their hair, as to be almost indistinguishable—Natalie white faced, frightened, gazing with wide-open eyes on the strange scene before her; the other smiling, and audacious, her glance full of defiance. It was the voice of the latter which broke the silence.
“Am I the one you want, Mr. Bob McAdams?” she asked clearly. “Very well, I am here.”
McAdams stared at them both, gulping in startled surprise at the vision confronting him, unable to find words. Then his eyes fixed themselves on the face of the speaker.
“What!” he burst forth. “You, Del? Great Scott! your name was Hobart, wasn’t it? Why I never once connected you two together. Is—is this guy your father?”
“I don’t know about that,” she returned indifferently. “It is a matter of argument I believe. However, Bob, what’s the odds now? I am the one you’re after, Mister fly-cop; and here I am.”
She walked forward, almost proudly, her eyes shining, and gazing fearlessly into his. He stepped back, one hand extended.
“No, Del, this must be a mistake. I—I can’t believe it of you, you—you are not a crook.”
“Oh, yes I am,” she insisted, but with a tremor in the low voice. “I’ve never been anything else, Bobby boy—thanks, thanks to that thing down there.”
Natalie still remained poised uncertainly in the door-way, scarcely realizing what was occurring before her; she saw suddenly a familiar face, and held out her hands.
“Oh, Matt, what is it?” she cried. “Is—is it all over?”
“Yes, all over, dear; these are police officers.”
“And that—that girl? She looks so much like me. Who is she? do you know?”
West clasped her hands tightly, his voice sunk to a whisper.
“She is your sister, Natalie,” he asserted soberly, “Your twin sister.”
Her unbelieving eyes swept to his face.
“My sister; my twin sister? But I had none.”
“Yes, but you did,” he insisted gently. “You never knew it, but Percival Coolidge did. This was his devilish scheme, plotted years ago when you were born. Now here is the end of it—the girl is your sister. There is no doubt of that.”