He shook his heavy fist over me—I believe the clerks thought he was going to strike me, for they came hurrying toward us. But I saw Jacqueline approaching, and, without another word, Leroux turned away.
Jacqueline caught sight of his retreating figure and her eyes widened. I thought I saw a shadow of fear in them. Then the memory was effaced and she was smiling again.
I instructed the store to call a messenger and have the suit-case taken at once to the baggage-room in the Grand Central station.
“Now, Jacqueline, I’m going to take you to lunch,” I said. “And afterward we will start for home.”
Outside the store I looked carefully around and espied Leroux almost immediately lighting a cigar in the doorway of a shop. I hit upon a rather daring plan to escape him.
Carson’s offices were in a large modern building, with many elevators and entrances. I walked toward it with Jacqueline, being satisfied that Leroux was following us; entered about twenty-five yards before him, and ascended in the elevator, getting off, however, on the floor above that on which the offices were.
I was satisfied that Leroux would follow me a minute later, under the impression that we had gone to the Northern Exploitation Company, and so, after waiting a minute or two, I took Jacqueline down in another elevator, and we escaped through the front entrance and jumped into a taxicab.
I was satisfied that I had thrown Leroux off the scent, but I took the precaution to stop at a gunsmith’s shop and purchase a pair of automatic pistols and a hundred cartridges. The man would not sell them to me there on account of the law, but he promised to put them in a box and have them delivered at the station, and there, in due course, I found them.
But I was very uneasy until we found ourselves in the train. And then at last everything was accomplished—our baggage upon the seats beside us and our berths secured. At three precisely the train pulled out, and Jacqueline nestled down beside me, and we looked at each other and were happy.
And then, at the very moment when the wheels began to revolve, Leroux stepped down from a neighbouring train. As he passed our window he espied us.
He started and glared, and then he came racing back toward us, shaking his fists and yelling vile expletives. He tried to swing himself aboard in his fury despite the fact that the doors were all shut. A porter pushed him back and the last I saw of him he was still pursuing us, screaming with rage.
I knew that he would follow on the nine o’clock train, reaching Quebec about five the following afternoon. That gave us five hours’ grace. It was not much, but it was something to have Jacqueline safe with me even until the morrow.
I turned toward her, fearful that she had recognized the man and realized the situation. But she was smiling happily at my side, and I was confident then that, by virtue of that same mental inhibition, she had neither seen nor heard the fellow.