“Does look curious,” replied Dr. Blake, “but of course you can be trusted to discover that! But about Annette?”
“Something’s a little wrong there,” responded Rosalie. “Quiet, and dopey, and strange. That,”—her voice fell to soft contemplation,—“is another thing to find out.”
“We must get her out of there!” he exploded; “away from that vampire!”
“Well, that’s what I’m takin’ your money for, ain’t it?” responded Rosalie.
After they parted Rosalie Le Grange stood on a corner, among the push-cart peddlers and the bargaining wives, and watched Dr. Blake’s taxicab disappear down Stanton Street.
“Ain’t it funny?” she said half aloud, “that a smart young man like him never thought to ask whose room it was I found the trap in?”
THE STREAMS CONVERGE
Bulger, trailing whiffs of out-door air, had dropped into the Norcross offices to join the late afternoon drink. He sat now sipping his highball, tilted back with an affectation of ease. Norcross, in his regular place at the glass-covered desk, laid his glass down; and his gaze wandered again to the spire of Old Trinity and then, following down, to the churchyard at its foot. Had he faced about suddenly at that moment, he would have surprised Bulger in a strained attitude of attention. But he did not turn; he spoke with averted glance.
“You never asked me, Bulger, how I was making it with that medium woman.”
Bulger took a deep swallow of whiskey and water that he might control his voice. When, finally, he spoke, he showed a fine assumption of indifference.
“Well, no. Can’t say I’m heavily interested. When I found for you the best medium that money could buy, I decided that my job was done. Of course,” he added, “I was complimented to have you tell me—what I’ve forgotten. If you want to consult a medium, it’s really none of my business. How the Lusitania does loom up at her dock out there!”
Norcross let his eyes wander in search of the Lusitania, but his mind refused to stray from the vital subject.
“You’ve no business to be indifferent, Bulger. When you come to my age, you won’t be. Martha says it’s the most important thing. And she’s right—she’s right. What’s the ten or twenty years I’ve got to live in this world, compared with all that’s waiting us out there? Of course,” he added, “I don’t know much about your private life; I don’t know if you have another part of you waiting.”
“Who’s Martha?” enquired Bulger.
“No one in this world,” responded Norcross. “She’s a control now—Mrs. Markham’s best control.” Norcross jumped up, and began to pace the floor in his hurried little walk. Bulger did not fail to notice that, within a minute or two, a heavy, beady perspiration came out on his face and forehead. The room was cool; the railroad king was old and spare. Nothing save some struggle of the inner consciousness could produce that effect of mighty labor.