“Just a moment, Hartley,” she answered, then, lower to her mother, added, “I don’t think it can do any harm, do you, mother?”
“You remember the doctor’s orders, my dear.”
Again the voice called her.
“Hang the doctor’s orders,” the girl exclaimed, with an air of almost masculinity. “It can’t be half so bad as to have him worry. Will you promise not to stay long? We expect Dr. Bryant in a few moments, anyway.”
We followed her upstairs and into Haughton’s room, where he was lying in bed, propped up by pillows. Haughton certainly was ill. There was no mistake about that. He was a tall, gaunt man with an air about him that showed that he found illness very irksome. Around his neck was a bandage, and some adhesive tape at the back showed that a plaster of some sort had been placed there.
As we entered his eyes traveled restlessly from the face of the girl to our own in an inquiring manner. He stretched out a nervous hand to us, while Kennedy in a few short sentences explained how we had become associated with the case and what we had seen already.
“And there is not a clue?” he repeated as Craig finished.
“Nothing tangible yet,” reiterated Kennedy. “I suppose you have heard of this rumor from London of a trust that is going into the radium field internationally?”
“Yes,” he answered, “that is the thing you read to me in the morning papers, you remember, Felicie. Denison and I have heard such rumors before. If it is a fight, then we shall give them a fight. They can’t hold us up, if Denison is right in thinking that they are at the bottom of this—this robbery.”
“Then you think he may be right?” shot out Kennedy quickly.
Haughton glanced nervously from Kennedy to me.
“Really,” he answered, “you see how impossible it is for me to have an opinion? You and Denison have been over the ground. You know much more about it than I do. I am afraid I shall have to defer to you.”
Again we heard the bell downstairs, and a moment later a cheery voice, as Mrs. Woods met some one down in the foyer, asked, “How is the patient to-night?”
We could not catch the reply.
“Dr. Bryant, my physician,” put in Haughton. “Don’t go. I will assume the responsibility for your being here. Hello, Doctor. Why, I’m much the same to-night, thank you. At least no worse since I took your advice and went to bed.”
Dr. Bryant was a bluff, hearty man, with the personal magnetism which goes with the making of a successful physician. He had mounted the stairs quietly but rapidly, evidently prepared to see us.
“Would you mind waiting in this little dressing room?” asked the doctor, motioning to another, smaller room adjoining.
He had taken from his pocket a little instrument with a dial face like a watch, which he attached to Haughton’s wrist. “A pocket instrument to measure blood pressure,” whispered Craig, as we entered the little room.