“We’ll check up on that first. Chances are ten to one we’re barkin’ up the wrong tree. Right away we’ll have a look at the Wyndham register.”
They did. The Wyndham was a rooming-house rather than a hotel, but the landlady kept a register for her guests. She brought it out into the hall from her room for the Wyoming men to look at.
There, under date of the twenty-first, they found the name they were looking for. Oscar Olson had put up at the Wyndham. He had stayed three nights, checking out on the twenty-fourth.
The friends walked into the street and back toward the Paradox without a word. As they stepped into the elevator again. Lane looked at his friend and smiled.
“I’ve a notion Mr. Olson had a right interestin’ trip to Denver,” he said quietly.
“I’ll say he had,” answered Sanborn. “An’ that ain’t but half of it either. He’s mighty apt to have another interestin’ one here one o’ these days.”
THE BRASS BED
The rough riders gravitated back to the fire escape. Kirby had studied the relation of his uncle’s apartment to the building opposite. He had not yet examined it with reference to the adjoining rooms.
“While we’re cuttin’ trail might as well be thorough,” he said to his friend. “The miscreant that did this killin’ might ‘a’ walked out the door or he might ‘a’ come through the window here. If he did that last, which fork of the road did he take? He could go down the ladder or swing across to the Wyndham an’ slip into the corridor. Let’s make sure we’ve got all the prospects figured out at that.”
Before he had finished the sentence, Lane saw another way of flight. The apartment in front of Cunningham’s was out of reach of the fire escape. But the nearest window of the one to the rear was closer. Beneath it ran a stone ledge. An active man could swing himself from the railing of the platform to the coping and force an entrance into that apartment through the window.
Kirby glanced up and down the alley. A department store delivery auto was moving out of sight. Nobody was in the line of vision except an occasional pedestrian passing on the sidewalk at the entrances to the alley.
“I’m gonna take a whirl at it,” Lane said, nodding toward the window.
“How much do they give for burglary in this state?” asked Sanborn, his eyes dancing. “I’d kinda hate to see you do twenty years.”
“They have to catch the rabbit before they cook it, old-timer. Here goes. Keep an eye peeled an’ gimme the office if any cop shows up.”
“Mebbe the lady’s at home. I don’t allow to rescue you none if she massacrees you,” the world’s champion announced, grinning.
“Wrong guess, Cole. The boss of this hacienda is a man, an’ he’s in Chicago right now.”
“You’re the dawg-gonedest go-getter I ever threw in with,” Sanborn admitted. “All right. Go to it. If I gotta go to the calaboose I gotta go, that’s all.”