“He told me about her to-day,” replied Harriet. “He had only known her very casually, but she helped him once—loaned him some money when he needed it—–and when he found that she had been a stenographer and wanted to give up the life she had been leading and be straight again, he helped her.
“I asked Sergeant O’Donnell particularly about that, and even he had to admit that there was no evidence whatever to implicate the girl or show that the relations between her and Mr. Torrance had been anything that was not right; and you know yourself how anxious O’Donnell has been to dig up evidence of any kind derogatory to either of them.”
“How are you going to help him?” asked Elizabeth. “Take flowers and cake to him in jail?”
There was a sneer on her face and on her lips. “If he cares for flowers and cakes,” replied Harriet, “I probably shall; but I have another plan which will probably be more practical.”
“The only friends he has.”
So it befell that the next day a well-known criminal attorney called on Jimmy Torrance at the county jail. “I understand,” he said to Jimmy, “that you have retained no attorney. I have been instructed by one of my clients to take your case.”
Jimmy looked at him in silence for a moment.
“Who is going to pay you?” he asked with a smile. “I understand attorneys expect to be paid.”
“That needn’t worry you?” replied the lawyer.
“You mean that your client is going to pay for my defense? What’s his name?”
“That I am not permitted to tell you,” replied the lawyer.
“Very well. Tell your client that I appreciate his kindness, but I cannot accept it.”
“Don’t be a fool,” said the attorney. “This client of mine can well afford the expense, and anyway, my instructions are to defend you whether you want me to or not, so I guess you can’t help yourself.”
Jimmy laughed with the lawyer. “All right,” he said. “The first thing I wish you’d do is to get Miss Hudson out of jail. There is doubtless some reason for suspicion attaching to me because I was found alone with Mr. Compton’s body, and the pistol with which he was shot was one that had been given to me and which I kept in my desk, but there is no earthly reason why she should be detained. She could have had absolutely nothing to do with it.”
“I will see what can be done,” replied the attorney, “although I had no instructions to defend her also.”
“I will make that one of the conditions under which I will accept your services,” said Jimmy.
The result was that within a few days Edith was released. From the moment that she left the jail she was aware that she was being shadowed.
“I suppose,” she thought, “that they expect to open up a fund of new clues through me,” but she was disturbed nevertheless, because she realized that it was going to make difficult a thing that she had been trying to find some means to accomplish ever since she had been arrested.