“That’s one of those fellows who was in the truck,” he declared, “and that’s Craig in the stern! We’ve got him this time. Say, Captain, it’s that tug I want. Never mind about the steamer. Catch it and I’ll make it a hundred dollars!”
The man swung round the wheel, but he glanced at Quest a little doubtfully.
“Say, what is this show?” he asked.
Quest opened his coat and displayed his badge. He pointed to the Inspector.
“Police job. This is Inspector French, I am Sanford Quest.”
“Good enough,” the man replied. “What’s the bloke wanted for?”
“Murder,” Quest answered shortly.
“That so?” the other remarked. “Well, you’ll get him, sure! He’s looking pretty scared, too. You’d better keep your eyes open, though. I don’t know how many men there are on board, but that tug belongs to the toughest crew up the river. Got anything handy in the way of firearms?”
“You don’t need to worry,” he said. “We’ve automatics here, but as long as we’re heading them this way, they’ll know the game’s up.”
“We’ve got her!” the captain exclaimed. “There’s the ferry and the first of the steamers coming down in the middle. They’ll have to chuck it.”
Right ahead of them, blazing with lights, a huge ferry came churning the river up and sending great waves in their direction. On the other side, unnaturally large, loomed up the great bows of an ocean-going steamer. The tug was swung round and they ran up alongside. The man with the beard leaned over.
“Say, what’s your trouble?” he demanded.
The Inspector stepped forward.
“I want that man you’ve got under the tarpaulin,” he announced.
“Say, you ain’t the river police?”
“I’m Inspector French from headquarters,” was the curt reply. “The sooner you hand him over, the better for you.”
“Do you hear that, O’Toole?” the other remarked, swinging round on his heel. “Get up, you blackguard!”
A man rose from underneath the oilskin. He was wearing Craig’s clothes, but his face was the face of a stranger. As quick as lightning, Quest swung round in his place.
“He’s fooled us again!” he exclaimed. “Head her round, Captain—back to the Durham!”
The sailor shook his head.
“We’ve lost our chance, guvnor,” he pointed out, “Look!”
Quest set his teeth and gripped the Inspector’s arm. The place where the Durham had been anchored was empty. Already, half a mile down the river, with a trail of light behind and her siren shrieking, the Durham was standing out seawards.
THE INHERITED SIN
“Getting kind of used to these courthouse shows, aren’t you, Lenora?” Quest remarked, as they stepped from the automobile and entered the house in Georgia Square.