The Bat eBook

Avery Hopwood
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 178 pages of information about The Bat.

“Well, you’re not,” said the chief decidedly.  “I’ve still some little respect for my own intelligence and it tells me to get all the work out of you I can, before you start wild-goose chasing after this—­this bat out of hell.  The first time he’s heard of again —­and it shouldn’t be long from the fast way he works—­you’re assigned to the case.  That’s understood.  Till then, you do what I tell you—­and it’ll be work, believe me!”

“All right, sir,” Anderson laughed and turned to the door.  “And—­ thank you again.”

He went out.  The door closed.  The chief remained for some minutes looking at the door and shaking his head.  “The best man I’ve had in years—­except Wentworth,” he murmured to himself.  “And throwing himself away—­to be killed by a cold-blooded devil that nothing human can catch—­you’re getting old, John Grogan—­but, by Judas, you can’t blame him, can you?  If you were a man in the prime like him, by Judas, you’d be doing it yourself.  And yet it’ll go hard —­losing him—­”

He turned back to his desk and his papers.  But for some minutes he could not pay attention to the papers.  There was a shadow on them —­a shadow that blurred the typed letters—­the shadow of bat’s wings.

CHAPTER TWO

THE INDOMITABLE MISS VAN GORDER

Miss Cornelis Van Gorder, indomitable spinster, last bearer of a name which had been great in New York when New York was a red-roofed Nieuw Amsterdam and Peter Stuyvesant a parvenu, sat propped up in bed in the green room of her newly rented country house reading the morning newspaper.  Thus seen, with an old soft Paisley shawl tucked in about her thin shoulders and without the stately gray transformation that adorned her on less intimate occasions,—­she looked much less formidable and more innocently placid than those could ever have imagined who had only felt the bite of her tart wit at such functions as the state Van Gorder dinners.  Patrician to her finger tips, independent to the roots of her hair, she preserved, at sixty-five, a humorous and quenchless curiosity in regard to every side of life, which even the full and crowded years that already lay behind her had not entirely satisfied.  She was an Age and an Attitude, but she was more than that; she had grown old without growing dull or losing touch with youth—­her face had the delicate strength of a fine cameo and her mild and youthful heart preserved an innocent zest for adventure.

Wide travel, social leadership, the world of art and books, a dozen charities, an existence rich with diverse experience—­all these she had enjoyed energetically and to the full—­but she felt, with ingenious vanity, that there were still sides to her character which even these had not brought to light.  As a little girl she had hesitated between wishing to be a locomotive engineer or a famous bandit—­and when she had found, at seven, that the accident of

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Project Gutenberg
The Bat from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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