“Please, Mr. Kennedy,” pleaded Armstrong.
“No,” interrupted Craig, before the drug fiend could finish. “That is final. I must have the name of that place.”
In a shaky hand Armstrong wrote again. Hastily Craig stuffed the note into his pocket, and ten minutes later we were mounting the steps of a big brownstone house on a fashionable side street just around the corner from Fifth Avenue.
As the door was opened by an obsequious colored servant, Craig handed him the scrap of paper signed by the password, “A Victim.”
Imitating the cough of a confirmed dope user, Craig was led into a large waiting room.
“You’re in pretty bad shape, sah,” commented the servant.
Kennedy nudged me and, taking the cue, I coughed myself red in the face.
“Yes,” he said. “Hurry—please.”
The servant knocked at a door, and as it was opened we caught a glimpse of Mrs. Garrett in negligee.
“What is it, Sam?” she asked.
“Two gentlemen for some heroin tablets, ma’am.”
“Tell them to go to the chemical works—not to my office, Sam,” growled a man’s voice inside.
With a quick motion, Kennedy had Mrs. Garrett by the wrist.
“I knew it,” he ground out. “It was all a fake about how you got the habit. You wanted to get it, so you could get and hold him. And neither one of you would stop at anything, not even the murder of your sister, to prevent the ruin of the devilish business you have built up in manufacturing and marketing the stuff.”
He pulled the note from the hand of the surprised negro. “I had the right address, the place where you sell hundreds of ounces of the stuff a week—but I preferred to come to the doctor’s office where I could find you both.”
Kennedy had firmly twisted her wrist until, with a little scream of pain, she let go the door handle. Then he gently pushed her aside, and the next instant Craig had his hand inside the collar of Dr. Coleman, society physician, proprietor of the Coleman Chemical Works downtown, the real leader of the drug gang that was debauching whole sections of the metropolis.
THE FAMILY SKELETON
Surprised though we were at the unmasking of Dr. Coleman, there was nothing to do but to follow the thing out. In such cases we usually ran into the greatest difficulty—organized vice. This was no exception.
Even when cases involved only a clever individual or a prominent family, it was the same. I recall, for example, the case of a well-known family in a New York suburb, which was particularly difficult. It began in a rather unusual manner, too.
“Mr. Kennedy—I am ruined—ruined.”
It was early one morning that the telephone rang and I answered it. A very excited German, breathless and incoherent, was evidently at the other end of the wire.