“Now, that is just what has been done. A picture has been taken of a car owned once by Murtha, probably at rest, with perhaps yourself, Murtha, Mrs. Ogleby, and your friend in it. The matter of faking Carton or anyone else is simple. If, with an enlarging lantern, the image of this faked picture is thrown on the printing paper like a lantern slide, and if the right-hand side is moved a little further away than the left, the top further away than the bottom, you can in that way print a fraudulent high-speed picture ahead.
“True, everything else in the picture, even if motionless, is distorted, and the difference between this faking and the distortion of the shutter can be seen by an expert. But it will pass with most people. In this case, however,” added Kennedy suddenly, “the faker was so sure of it that he was careless. Instead of getting the plate further from the paper on the right, he did so on the left. It was further away on the bottom than on the top. He got the distortion, all right, enough to satisfy anyone. But it is distortion in the wrong direction! The top of the wheel, which goes fastest and ought to be most indistinct, is, in the fake, as sharp as any other part. It is a small mistake that was made, but fatal. Your picture is not of a joy ride at all. It is really high speed—backwards! It is too raw, too raw.”
“You don’t think people are going to swallow all that stuff, do you?” asked Dorgan coolly, in spite of the exposures. “What of it all?” he asked surlily. “I have nothing to do with it, anyhow. Why do you come to me? Take it to the proper authorities.”
“Shall I?” asked Kennedy quietly, leaning over and whispering a few words in Dorgan’s ear. I could not hear what he said, but Dorgan appeared to be fairly staggered.
When Kennedy passed out of the Boss’s office there was a look of quiet satisfaction on his face which I could not fathom. Not a word could I extract from him on the subject, either. I was still in the dark as to the result of his visit.
THE DEBACLE OF DORGAN
Sunday morning came and with it the huge batch of papers which we always took. I looked at them eagerly, though Kennedy did not seem to evince much interest, to see whether the Carton photographs had been used. There were none.
Kennedy employed the time in directing some work of his own and had disappeared, I knew not where, though I surmised it was on one of his periodic excursions into the underworld in which he often knocked about, collecting all sorts of valuable and interesting bits of information to fit together in the mosaic of a case.
Monday came, also, the last day before the election, with its lull in the heart-breaking activities of the campaign. There were still no pictures published, but Kennedy was working in the laboratory over a peculiar piece of apparatus.