A rap on the door interrupted Kirby. A young man walked into the room. He was a good-looking young exquisite, dark-eyed and black-haired. His clothes had been made by one of the best tailors in New York. Moreover, he knew how to wear them.
James Cunningham, Junior, introduced him to Kirby as his cousin Jack. After a few moments of talk the broker reverted to the subject of their previous talk.
“Kirby was just telling me that he has come to Denver to meet Uncle James,” he explained to his brother. “Some difficulty with him, I understand.”
Jack Cunningham’s black eyes fastened on his cousin. He waited for further information. It was plain he was interested.
“I’m not quite sure of my facts,” Lane said. “But there’s evidence to show that he has ruined a young girl in his office. She practically admits that he’s the man. I happen to be a friend of her family, an’ I’m goin’ to call him to account. He can’t get away with it.”
Kirby chanced to be looking at his cousin Jack. What he saw in that young man’s eyes surprised him. There were astonishment, incredulity, and finally a cunning narrowing of the black pupils.
It was James who spoke. His face was grave. “That’s a serious charge, Kirby,” he said. “What is the name of the young woman?”
“I’d rather not give it—except to Uncle James himself.”
“Better write it,” suggested Jack with a reminiscent laugh. “He’s a bit impetuous. I saw him throw a man down the stairs yesterday. Picked the fellow up at the foot of the flight. He certainly looked as though he’d like to murder our dear uncle.”
“What I’d like to know is this,” said Lane. “What sort of a reputation has Uncle James in this way? Have you ever heard of his bein’ in anything of this sort before?”
“No, I haven’t,” James said promptly.
Jack shrugged. “I wouldn’t pick nunky for exactly a moral man,” he said flippantly. “His idea of living is to grab all the easy things he can.”
“Where can I see him most easily? At his office?” asked Kirby.
“He drove down to Colorado Springs to-day on business. At least he told me he was going. Don’t know whether he expects to get back to-night or not. He lives at the Paradox Apartments,” Jack said.
“Prob’ly I’d better see him there rather than at his office.”
“Hope you have a pleasant time with the old boy,” Jack murmured. “Don’t think I’d care to be a champion of dames where he’s concerned. He’s a damned cantankerous old brute. I’ll say that for him.”
James arranged a place of meeting for luncheon next day. The young cattleman left. He knew from the fidgety manner of Jack that he had some important business he was anxious to talk over with his brother.
It was five minutes to ten by his watch when Kirby entered the Paradox Apartments. The bulletin board told him that his uncle’s apartment was 12. He did not take the self-serve elevator, but the stairs. The hall on the second floor was dark. Since he did not know whether the rooms he wanted were on this floor or the next he knocked at a door.