It was Betty Blackwell at last, struggling against the drugs that had been forced on her, half conscious, but with one firm and acute feeling left—resistance to the end.
Kennedy had dropped on his knees before her and was examining her closely.
“Open the windows—more air,” he ordered. “Walter, see if you can find some ice water and a little stimulant.”
While Craig was taking such restorative measures as were possible on the spur of the moment, Miss Kendall gently massaged her head and hands.
She seemed to understand that she was in the hands of friends, and though she did not know us her mute look of thanks was touching.
“Don’t get excited, my dear,” breathed Miss Kendall into her ear. “You will be all right soon.”
As the wronged girl relaxed from her constant tension of watching, it seemed as if she fell into a stupor. Now and then she moaned feebly, and words, half-formed, seemed to come to her lips only to die away.
Suddenly she seemed to have a vision more vivid than the rest.
“No—no—Mr. Ogleby—leave me. Where—my mother—oh, where is mother?” she cried hysterically, sitting bolt upright and staring at us without seeing us.
Kennedy passed the broad palm of his hand over her forehead and murmured, “There, there, you are all right now.” Then he added to us: “I did not send for her mother because I wasn’t sure that we might find her even as well as this. Will someone find Carton? Get the address and send a messenger for Mrs. Blackwell.”
Sybil was on her knees by the bedside of the giri, holding Betty’s hand in both of her own.
“You poor, poor girl,” she cried softly. “It is—dreadful.”
She had sunk her head into the worn and dirty covers of the bed. Kennedy reached over and took hold of her arm. “She will be all right, soon,” he said reassuringly. “Miss Kendall will take good care of her.”
As we descended the stairs, we could see Carton at the foot. A patrol wagon had been backed up to the curb in front and the inmates of the place were being taken out, protesting violently at being detained.
Further down the hall, by the “office,” Dorgan and Ogleby were storming, protesting that “influence” would “break” everyone concerned, from Carton down to the innocent patrolmen.
Kennedy listened a moment, then turned to Clare Kendall.
“I will leave Miss Blackwell in your care,” he said quietly. “It is on her we must rely to prove the contents of the Black Book.”
Clare nodded, as, with a clang, Carton drove off with his prisoners to see them safely entered on the “blotter.”
“Our work is over,” remarked Kennedy, turning again to Miss Kendall, in a tone as if he might have said more, but refrained.
Looking Craig frankly in the eye, she extended her hand in that same cordial straight-arm shake with which she had first greeted us, and added, “But not the memory of this fight we have won.”