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Half a Rogue eBook

Harold MacGrath
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about Half a Rogue.

“Set Bolles after him.  Bolles used to be with a private detective bureau.  If there’s anything to learn, he’ll learn it.  There he is now.  Hey, waiter, ask that gentleman looking for a vacant table to come over.  Hello, Bolles!”

“How do you do, Mr. Martin.  Hot day, Mr. McQuade.”

“Sit down,” said McQuade, with a nod of invitation toward the remaining vacant chair.  “Cigar or a drink?”

“Bring me a little whisky—­no, make it an old-fashioned cocktail.  That’ll be about right.”

“Mr. McQuade has a job for you, Bolles, if you’re willing to undertake it.”

“I’ve got some time on my hands just now,” replied Bolles.  “Contract work?”

“After a fashion,” said McQuade grimly.  “Eat your dinner and we’ll go up stairs to my office.  What I have to say can’t be said here.”

“All right, Mr. McQuade.  If it’s dagos, I’ll have plenty in hand in November.”

“I shall want you to go to New York,” said McQuade.

“New York or San Francisco, so long as some one foots the bills.”

“I’ll foot ’em,” agreed McQuade.  “Hustle your dinner.  We’ll wait for you at the bar.”

Bolles ordered.  A job for McQuade that took him to New York meant money, money and a good time.  There were no more contracts till September, so the junket to New York wouldn’t interfere with his regular work.  He had sublet his Italians.  He was free.  A few minutes later he joined McQuade, and the trio went up stairs in a cloud of tobacco smoke.  McQuade nodded to the typewriter, who rose and left the private office.  The three men sat down, in what might be described as a one-two-three attitude:  domination, tacit acceptance of this domination, and servility.

“Do you know Richard Warrington, the playwriter?”

“That snob?  Yes, I know who he is, and I’d like to punch his head for him, too.”

McQuade smiled.  This manifest rancor on Bolles’ part would make things easier than he thought.

“Well, listen.  I’ve just been tipped that big things are going to happen this fall.  That fool Donnelly has queered himself, and is making a muddle of everything he touches.  Senator Henderson is a shrewd man, but he wasn’t shrewd enough this time.  He should have conducted his little conspiracy in his own home and not at a club where servants often find profit in selling what they hear.  Henderson is going to put Warrington up for mayor.”

“The hell he is!” said Bolles.

Martin’s jaw dropped, and the cigar ashes tumbled down his shirt bosom.

“It’s no joke,” went on McQuade.  “If he is nominated, he’ll win.  The people are wanting a change.  If the Henderson people get into the City Hall, I stand to lose a fortune on contracts.  You both know what that means.  Warrington must never get a chance to accept.”

Bolles looked at Martin.  McQuade saw the look, and, interpreting it, laughed.

“These are no dime-novel days.  We don’t kill men to get ’em out of the way.  We take a look into their past and use it as a club.”

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