“Arrest that woman,” pointed Kennedy. “She is the poisoner. Either as wife of Burroughs, whom she fascinates and controls as she does Edith, she planned to break the will of Quincy or, in the other event, to administer the fortune as head of the Eugenics Foundation after the death of Dr. Crafts, who would have followed Eugenia and Quincy Atherton.”
I followed the direction of Kennedy’s accusing finger. Maude Schofield’s face betrayed more than even her tongue could have confessed.
THE BILLIONAIRE BABY
Coming to us directly as a result of the talk that the Atherton case provoked was another that involved the happiness of a wealthy family to a no less degree.
“I suppose you have heard of the ‘billionaire baby,’ Morton Hazleton III?” asked Kennedy of me one afternoon shortly afterward.
The mere mention of the name conjured up in my mind a picture of the lusty two-year-old heir of two fortunes, as the feature articles in the Star had described that little scion of wealth— his luxurious nursery, his magnificent toys, his own motor car, a trained nurse and a detective on guard every hour of the day and night, every possible precaution for his health and safety.
“Gad, what a lucky kid!” I exclaimed involuntarily.
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” put in Kennedy. “The fortune may be exaggerated. His happiness is, I’m sure.”
He had pulled from his pocketbook a card and handed it to me. It read: “Gilbert Butler, American representative, Lloyd’s.”
“Lloyd’s?” I queried. “What has Lloyd’s to do with the billion-dollar baby?”
“Very much. The child has been insured with them for some fabulous sum against accident, including kidnaping.”
“Yes?” I prompted, “sensing” a story.
“Well, there seem to have been threats of some kind, I understand. Mr. Butler has called on me once already to-day to retain my services and is going to—ah—there he is again now.”
Kennedy had answered the door buzzer himself, and Mr. Butler, a tall, sloping-shouldered Englishman, entered.
“Has anything new developed?” asked Kennedy, introducing me.
“I can’t say,” replied Butler dubiously. “I rather think we have found something that may have a bearing on the case. You know Miss Haversham, Veronica Haversham?”
“The actress and professional beauty? Yes—at least I have seen her. Why?”
“We hear that Morton Hazleton knows her, anyhow,” remarked Butler dryly.
“Then you don’t know the gossip?” he cut in. “She is said to be in a sanitarium near the city. I’ll have to find that out for you. It’s a fast set she has been traveling with lately, including not only Hazleton, but Dr. Maudsley, the Hazleton physician, and one or two others, who if they were poorer might be called desperate characters.”