“Much better,” reassured Kennedy. “Come on, Baldwin. We can’t have too many on whom we can rely on an expedition like this.”
“Like what?” he asked, evidently not comprehending.
“There’s a clue, they think, to that car of Dr. Wilson’s,” hastily explained Reginald, linking his arm into that of his friend and falling in behind us, as Craig hurried ahead.
It did not take long to reach the subway, and as we waited for the train, Craig remarked: “This is a pretty good example of how the automobile is becoming one of the most dangerous of criminal weapons. All one has to do nowadays, apparently, after committing a crime, is to jump into a waiting car and breeze away, safe.”
We met Garwood and under his guidance picked our way westward from the better known streets in the heart of the city, to a section that was anything but prepossessing.
The place which Garwood sought was a typical Raines Law hotel on a corner, with a saloon on the first floor, and apparently the requisite number of rooms above to give it a legal license.
We had separated a little so that we would not attract undue attention. Kennedy and I entered the swinging doors boldly, while the others continued across to the other corner to wait with Garwood and take in the situation. It was a strange expedition and Reginald was fidgeting while Duncan seemed nervous.
Among the group of chauffeurs lounging at the bar and in the back room anyone who had ever had any dealings with the gangs of New York might have recognized the faces of men whose pictures were in the rogues’ gallery and who were members of those various aristocratic organizations of the underworld.
Kennedy glanced about at the motley crowd. “This is a place where you need only to be introduced properly,” he whispered to me, “to have any kind of crime committed for you.”
As we stood there, observing, without appearing to do so, through an open window on the side street I could tell from the sounds that there was a garage in the rear of the hotel.
We were startled to hear a sudden uproar from the street.
Garwood, impatient at our delay, had walked down past the garage to reconnoiter. A car was being backed out hurriedly, and as it turned and swung around the corner, his trained eye had recognized it.
Instantly he had reasoned that it was an attempt to make a getaway, and had raised an alarm.
Those nearest the door piled out, keen for any excitement. We, too, dashed out on the street. There we saw passing an automobile, swaying and lurching at the terrific speed with which its driver, urged it up the avenue. As he flashed by he looked like an Italian to me, perhaps a gunman.
Garwood had impressed a passing trolley car into service and was pursuing the automobile in it, as it swayed on its tracks as crazily as the motor did on the roadway, running with all the power the motorman could apply.