“We must act swiftly if we are to succeed,” considered Kennedy, his tone betraying rather sympathy with than triumph over the wretched girl who had at last cast everything in the balance to outweigh the terrible situation into which she had been drawn. “To send Miss Lowe for that fatal list of assassinations is to send her either back into the power of this murderous group and let them know that she has told us, or perhaps to involve her again in the completion of their plans.”
She sank back into a chair in complete nervous and physical collapse, covering her face with her hands at the realization that in her new-found passion to save the Baron she had bared her sensitive soul for the dissection of three men whom she had never seen before.
“We must have that list,” pursued Kennedy decisively. “We must visit Annenberg’s headquarters.”
“And I?” she asked, trembling now with genuine fear at the thought that he might ask her to accompany us as he had on our visit to Fortescue’s laboratory that morning.
“Miss Lowe,” said Kennedy, bending over her, “you have gone too far now ever to turn back. You are not equal to the trip. Would you like to remain here? No one will suspect. Here at least you will be safe until we return.”
Her answer was a mute expression of thanks and confidence.
THE MURDER SYNDICATE
Quickly now Craig completed his arrangements for the visit to the headquarters of the real anarchist leader. Burke telephoned for a high-powered car, while Miss Lowe told frankly of the habits of Annenberg and the chances of finding his place unguarded, which were good in the daytime. Kennedy’s only equipment for the excursion consisted in a small package which he took from a cabinet at the end of the room, and, with a parting reassurance to Paula Lowe, we were soon speeding over the bridge to the borough across the river.
We realized that it might prove a desperate undertaking, but the crisis was such that it called for any risk.
Our quest took us to a rather dilapidated old house on the outskirts of the little Long Island town. The house stood alone, not far from the tracks of a trolley that ran at infrequent intervals. Even a hasty reconnoitering showed that to stop our motor at even a reasonable distance from it was in itself to arouse suspicion.
Although the house seemed deserted, Craig took no chances, but directed the car to turn at the next crossroad and then run back along a road back of and parallel to that on which Annenberg’s was situated. It was perhaps a quarter of a mile away, across an open field, that we stopped and ran the car up along the side of the road in some bushes. Annenberg’s was plainly visible and it was not at all likely that anyone there would suspect trouble from that quarter.
A hasty conference with Burke followed, in which Kennedy unwrapped his small package, leaving part of its contents with him, and adding careful instructions.