“Then you think it is a good tip?” asked Kennedy.
“Decidedly, although without the letter I should not have started there, I think. Still, as nearly as I can gather, there is a rather nondescript crowd connected in one way or another with the Montmartre. For instance, there is a pretty tough character who seems to be connected with the people there, my investigators tell me. It is a fellow named ‘Ike the Dropper,’ one of those strong-arm men who have migrated up from the East Side to the White Light District. At least my investigators have told me they have seen him there, for I have never bothered with the place myself. There has been plenty of work elsewhere which promised immediate results. I’m glad to have a chance to tackle this place, though, with your help.”
“What do you think of the rest of the letter?” asked Craig.
“I think I could make a pretty shrewd guess from what I have heard, as to the identity of some of those hinted at. I’m not sure, but I think the lawyer may be a Mr. Kahn, a clever enough attorney who has a large theatrical clientele and none too savoury a reputation as a local politician. The banker may be Mr. Langhorne, although he is not exactly a young man. Still, I know he has been associated with the place. As for the club-man I should guess that that was Martin Ogleby.”
Kennedy and I exchanged glances of surprise.
“As a first step,” said Kennedy, at length, “I am going to write a letter to Betty Blackwell, care of the Little Montmartre—or perhaps you had better do the actual writing of it, Miss Kendall. A woman’s hand will look less suspicious.”
“What shall I write?” she asked.
“Just a few lines. Tell her that you are one of the girls in the office, that you have heard she was at the Montmartre—anything. The actual writing doesn’t make any difference. I merely want to see what happens.”
Miss Kendall quickly wrote a little note and handed it to him.
“Then direct this envelope,” he said, reaching into a drawer of his desk and bringing out a plain white one. “And let me seal it.”
Carefully he sealed and stamped the letter and handed it to me to post.
“You will dine with us, Miss Kendall?” he asked. “Then we will plan the next step in our campaign.”
“I shall be glad to do so,” she replied.
Fifteen minutes later I had dropped the letter in the drop of a branch of the general post-office to ensure its more prompt delivery, and it was on its way through the mails to accomplish the purpose Kennedy may have contemplated.
“Just now it is more important for us to become acquainted with this Little Montmartre,” he remarked. “I suppose, Miss Kendall, we may depend on you to join us?”
“Indeed you may,” she replied energetically. “There is nothing that we would welcome more than evidence that would lead to the closing of that place.”