“By Jove, Walter,” I heard him exclaim. “What do you think of that—a robbery below the deadline—and in Langhorne’s office, too.”
I hurried out of my room and glanced at the papers, also. Sure enough, there it was:
Door Into Office of Langhorne & Westlake, Brokers, Forced and Safe Robbed.
One of the strangest robberies ever perpetrated was pulled off last night in the office of Langhorne & Westlake, the brokers, at-——Wall Street, some time during the regular closing time of the office and eight o’clock.
Mr. Langhorne had returned to his office after dining with some friends in order to work on some papers. When he arrived, about eight o’clock, he found that the door had been forced. The office was in darkness, but when he switched on the lights it was discovered that the office safe had been entered.
Nothing was said about the manner in which the safe robbery was perpetrated, but it is understood to have been very peculiar. So far no details have been announced and the robbery was not reported to the police until a late hour.
Mr. Langhorne, when seen by the reporters, stated positively that nothing of great value had been taken and that the firm would not suffer in any way as a result of the robbery.
One of the stenographers in the office, Miss Betty Blackwell, who acted as private secretary to Mr. Langhorne, is missing and the case has already attracted wide attention. Whether or not her disappearance had anything to do with the robbery is not known.
“Naturally he would not report it to the police,” commented Kennedy; “that is, if it had anything to do with that Black Book, as I am sure that it must have had.”
“It was certainly a most peculiar affair if it did not,” I remarked. “There must be some way of finding that out. It’s strange about Betty Blackwell.”
Kennedy was turning something over in his mind. “Of course,” he remarked, “we don’t want to come out into the open just yet, but it would be interesting to know what happened down there at Langhorne’s. Have you any objection to going down with me and posing as a reporter from the Star?”
“None whatever,” I returned.
We stopped at the laboratory on the campus of the University where Craig still retained his professorship. Kennedy secured a rather bulky piece of apparatus, which, as nearly as I can describe, consisted of a steel frame, which could be attached by screws to any wooden table. It contained a lower plate which could move forward and back, two lateral uprights stiffened by curved braces, and a cross piece of steel attached by strong bolts to the tops of the posts. In the face of the machine was a dial with a pointer.
Kennedy quickly took the apparatus apart and made it up into two packages so that between us we could carry it easily, and at about the time that Wall Street offices were opening we were on our way downtown.