“Senator Henderson is looking for a candidate for mayor this fall. Mind, not a word to a soul, not even to John,” this warning addressed principally to Mrs. Jack.
“The Honorable Richard Warrington,” said Patty, musing. She rolled the words on her tongue as if testing the sound of them.
“That’s it,” laughed Warrington. “The Honorable Richard Warrington!—sounds like Lord Mayor of London!”
Every Eden has its serpent, sooner or later. Thus, having futilely tried the usual gates by which he enters Eden to destroy it, this particular serpent found a breach in the gate of politics.
McQuade and Martin entered a cafe popular for its noon lunches. It was hot weather in July, and both were mopping their bald foreheads, their faces and necks. The white bulldog trotted along behind, his tongue lolling out of his mouth and his eyes heavy. The two men sat down in a corner under an electric fan; the dog crawled under the table, grateful for the cold stone tiling.
“What do you know about this fellow Warrington?” asked McQuade, tossing his hat on one of the unoccupied chairs.
“The fellow who writes plays?”
“Yes. What do you know about him?”
“Why, he used to peddle vegetables and now he owns a swell place on Williams Street.”
“Not that I know of. I never go into Pete’s myself. It wouldn’t be good business. But they tell me Warrington used to drop in once in a while, when he was a reporter, and choke his salary to death over the roulette table.”
“Doesn’t gamble now?”
“Not in any of the joints around town.”
“Oh, I guess he boozes a little; but he’s hard-headed and knows how to handle the stuff.”
“Women?—Roast beef, boiled potatoes and musty ale for two.”
“Actresses.—Say, make mine a beer.—A gay buck in New York, I understand. Used to chase around after the Challoner woman who married Bennington.”
“Nothing here in town?”
“Haven’t paid any attention to him. I guess he’s straight enough these days.”
“Tip Pete off to-day. The police will make a raid Saturday night. The ministers have been shouting again, and two or three losers have whined.”
“All right. But what’s all this about Warrington?” asked Martin, whose curiosity was aroused.
“I’ll tell you later.” The waiter returned with the platters of food, and McQuade ate without further comment or question.
Martin ate his meat in silence also, but he was busy wondering. Warrington? What had interested the boss in that swell? Humph!
These men ate quickly and digested slowly. McQuade took out two fat black cigars and passed one to Martin, who tore off the end with his teeth.
“I want to find out all there is to know about Warrington. I can’t explain why just now; too many around.”