While the others were gathered about Haughton, we stood in the next room, out of earshot. Kennedy had leaned his elbow on a chiffonier. As he looked about the little room, more from force of habit than because he thought he might discover anything, Kennedy’s eye rested on a glass tray on the top in which lay some pins, a collar button or two, which Haughton had apparently just taken off, and several other little unimportant articles.
Kennedy bent over to look at the glass tray more closely, a puzzled look crossed his face, and with a glance at the other room he gathered up the tray and its contents.
“Keep up a good courage,” said Dr. Bryant. “You’ll come out all right, Haughton.” Then as he left the bedroom he added to us, “Gentlemen, I hope you will pardon me, but if you could postpone the remainder of your visit until a later day, I am sure you will find it more satisfactory.”
There was an air of finality about the doctor, though nothing unpleasant in it. We followed him down the stairs, and as we did so, Felicie, who had been waiting in a reception room, appeared before the portieres, her earnest eyes fixed on his kindly face.
“Dr. Bryant,” she appealed, “is he—is he, really—so badly?”
The Doctor, who had apparently known her all her life, reached down and took one of her hands, patting it with his own in a fatherly way. “Don’t worry, little girl,” he encouraged. “We are going to come out all right—all right.”
She turned from him to us and, with a bright forced smile which showed the stuff she was made of, bade us good night.
Outside, the Doctor, apparently regretting that he had virtually forced us out, paused before his car. “Are you going down toward the station? Yes? I am going that far. I should be glad to drive you there.”
Kennedy climbed into the front seat, leaving me in the rear where the wind wafted me their brief conversation as we sped down Woodbridge Avenue.
“What seems to be the trouble?” asked Craig.
“Very high blood pressure, for one thing,” replied the Doctor frankly.
“For which the latest thing is the radium water cure, I suppose?” ventured Kennedy.
“Well, radioactive water is one cure for hardening of the arteries. But I didn’t say he had hardening of the arteries. Still, he is taking the water, with good results. You are from the company?”
“It was the radium water that first interested him in it. Why, we found a pressure of 230 pounds, which is frightful, and we have brought it down to 150, not far from normal.”
“Still that could have nothing to do with the sore on his neck,” hazarded Kennedy.
The Doctor looked at him quickly, then ahead at the path of light which his motor shed on the road.
He said nothing, but I fancied that even he felt there was something strange in his silence over the new complication. He did not give Kennedy a chance to ask whether there were any other such sores.