“Then came into play another arm of the System,” she replied. “They tried to make sure that she would disappear. They tried the same arts on her that they had on me—this man and the gang about him. He played on her love of beauty and Madame Margot helped him. He used the Montmartre and the Futurist to fascinate her, but still she was not his. She let herself drift along, perhaps because she knew that her family was every bit the equal socially of his own. Madame Margot tried drugs; first the doped cigarette, then drugs that had to be forced on her. She kept her in that joint for days by force; and there where I went for relief day after day from my own bitter thoughts I saw her, in that hell which Miss Kendall now by her evidence will close forever. Still she would not yield.
“I saw it all. Maybe you will say I was jealous because I had lost him. I was not. I hated him. You do not know how close hate can be to love in the heart of a woman. I could not help it. I had to write a letter that might save her.
“Miss Kendall has told me about the typewritten letters; how you, Professor Kennedy, traced them to the Montmartre. I wrote them, I admit, for these people. I wrote that stuff about drugs for Dr. Harris. And I wrote the first letter of all to the District Attorney. I wrote it for myself and signed it as I am—God forgive me—’An Outcast.’”
The poor girl, overwrought by the strain of the confession that laid bare her very soul, sank back in her chair and cried, as Miss Kendall gently tried to soothe her.
Dorgan and Ogleby listened sullenly. Never in their lives had they dreamed of such a situation as this.
There was no air of triumph about Kennedy now over the confession, which with the aid of Miss Kendall, he had staged so effectively. Rather it was a spirit of earnestness, of retribution, justice.
“You know all this?” he inquired gently of the girl.
“I saw it,” she said simply, raising her bowed head.
Dorgan had been doing some quick thinking. He leaned over and whispered quickly to Ogleby.
“Why was she not discovered then when these detectives broke into the private house—an act which they themselves will have to answer for when the time comes?” demanded Ogleby.
It seemed as if the mere sound of his voice roused the girl.
“Because it was dangerous to keep her there any longer,” she replied. “I heard the talk about the hotel, the rumour that someone was using this new French detective scheme. I heard them blame the District Attorney—who was clever enough to have others working on the case whom you did not know. While you were watching his officers, Mr. Kennedy and Miss Kendall were gathering evidence almost under your very eyes.