“No.” The forehead under the red thatch wrinkled in thought. “He said he seen him come in here or next door, an’ he came up the steps. But nobody could have got in without some of youse seein’ him. That’s a lead pipe.” The officer pushed any doubt that remained from his mind. “Only a muddle-headed Swede.”
“It was good of you to come. It makes us feel safer to have officers like you. If you’ll give me your name I’ll call up the precinct captain and tell him so.”
The man in uniform turned beet red. “McGuffey, Miss, and it’s a pleasure to serve the likes of yuh,” he said, pleased and embarrassed.
He bowed himself out backward, skidded on the polished floor, and saved himself from going down by a frantic fling of arms and some fancy skating. When he recovered, his foot caught in a rug and wadded it to a knot.
Nora giggled behind her fingers, but her mistress did not even smile at the awkwardness of Patrolman McGuffey.
“Thank you so much,” she said sweetly.
A CONTRIBUTION TO THE SALVATION ARMY
While Beatrice Whitford waited in the little library for the Arizonan to join her, she sat in a deep chair, chin in hand, eyes fixed on the jetting flames of the gas-log. A little flush had crept into the oval face. In her blood there tingled the stimulus of excitement. For into her life an adventure had come from faraway Cattleland.
A crisp, strong footstep sounded in the hall. Her fingers flew to pat into place the soft golden hair coiled low at the nape of the neck. At times she had a boylike unconcern of sex; again, a spirit wholly feminine.
The clothes of her father fitted Lindsay loosely, for Colin Whitford had begun to take on the flesh of middle age and Clay was lean and clean of build as an elk. But the Westerner was one of those to whom clothes are unimportant. The splendid youth of him would have shone through the rags of a beggar.
“My name is Clay Lindsay,” he told her by way of introduction.
“Mine is Beatrice Whitford,” she answered.
They shook hands.
“I’m to wait here till my clothes dry, yore man says.”
“Then you’d better sit down,” she suggested.
Within five minutes she knew that he had been in New York less than three hours. His impressions of the city amused and entertained her. He was quite simple. She could look into his mind as though it were a deep, clear well. There was something inextinguishably boyish and buoyant about him. But in his bronzed face and steady, humorous eyes were strength and shrewdness. He was the last man in the world a bunco-steerer could play for a sucker. She felt that. Yet he made no pretenses of a worldly wisdom he did not have.
A voice reached them from the top of the stairs.
“Do you know where Miss Whitford is, Jenkins?”