However, at the end of half an hour when we seemed to be getting no further along, Kennedy did not protest at her desire to leave us, “to keep a date,” as she expressed it.
“Waiter, the check, please,” ordered Kennedy leisurely.
When he received it, he seemed to be in no great hurry to pay it, but went over one item after another, then added up the footing again.
“Strange how some of these waiters grow rich?” Craig remarked finally with a gay smile.
The idea of waiters and money quickly brought some petty reminiscences to her mind. While she was still talking, Craig casually pulled a pencil out of his pocket and scribbled some figures on the back of the waiter’s check.
From where I was sitting beside him, I could see that he had written some figures similar to the following:
5183 47395 654726 2964375 47293815 924738651 2146073859
“Here’s a stunt,” he remarked, breaking into the conversation at a convenient point. “Can you repeat these numbers after me?”
Without waiting for her to make excuse, he said quickly “5183.” “5183,” she repeated mechanically.
“47395,” came in rapid succession, to which she replied, perhaps a little slower than before,
“Now, 654726,” he said.
“654726,” she repeated, I thought with some hesitation.
“Again, 2964375,” he shot out.
“269,” she hesitated, “73—” she stopped.
It was evident that she had reached the limit.
Kennedy smiled, paid the check and we parted at the door.
“What was all that rigmarole?” I inquired as the white figure disappeared down the street.
“Part of the Binet test, seeing how many digits one can remember. An adult ought to remember from eight to ten, in any order. But she has the mentality of a child. That is the queer thing about her. Chronologically she may be eighteen years or so old. Mentally she is scarcely more than eight. Mrs. Sutphen was right. They have made a fiend out of a mere child—a defective who never had a chance against them.”
THE LIE DETECTOR
As the horror of it all dawned on me, I hated Armstrong worse than ever, hated Whitecap, hated the man higher up, whoever he might be, who was enriching himself out of the defective, as well as the weakling, and the vicious—all three typified by Snowbird, Armstrong and Whitecap.
Having no other place to go, pending further developments of the publicity we had given the drug war in the Star, Kennedy and I decided on a walk home in the bracing night air.
We had scarcely entered the apartment when the hall boy called to us frantically: “Some one’s been trying to get you all over town, Professor Kennedy. Here’s the message. I wrote it down. An attempt has been made to poison Mrs. Sutphen. They said at the other end of the line that you’d know.”