Carton had set his tenacious jaw. “You can go as far as you like, Murtha,” was all he said, with a grim smile.
Murtha looked at him a moment, then his manner changed.
“Carton,” he said in a milder tone, at length, “what’s the use of all this bluffing? You and I understand each other. These men understand—life. It’s a game—that’s what it is—a game. Sometimes one move is right, sometimes another. You know what you want to accomplish here in this city. I show you a way to do it. Don’t answer me,” persisted Murtha, raising a hand, “just—think it over.”
Carton had taken a step forward, the tense look on his face unchanged. “No,” he exclaimed, and we could almost hear his jaw snap as if it had been a trap. “No—I’ll not think it over. I’ll not yield an inch. Dopey Jack goes to trial before election.”
As Carton bit off the words, Murtha became almost beside himself with rage and chagrin. He was white and red by turns. For a moment I feared that he might do Carton personal violence.
“Carton,” he ground out, as he reached the door, “you will regret this.”
“I hope not,” returned the other summoning with a mighty effort at least the appearance of suavity. “Good-bye.”
The only answer was the vicious slam which Murtha gave the door.
As the echo died, the District Attorney turned to us. “Apparently, then, Dorgan did not secure the Black Book,” was all he said, “even supposing Dopey Jack planned and executed that robbery of Langhorne.”
THE SHYSTER LAWYER
That’s a declaration of war,” remarked Kennedy, as Carton resumed his seat at the desk unconcernedly after the stormy ending of the interview with Murtha.
“I suppose it is,” agreed the District Attorney, “and I can’t say that I am sorry.”
“Nor I,” added Craig. “But it settles one thing. We are now out in what I call the ‘open’ investigation. They have forced us from cover. We shall have to be prepared to take quick action now, whatever move they may make.”
Together we were speculating on the various moves that the System might make and how we might prepare in advance for them.
Evidently, however, we were not yet through with these indirect dealings with the Boss. The System was thorough, if nothing else, and prompt. We had about decided to continue our conference over the dinner table in some uptown restaurant, when the officer stationed in the hall poked his head in the door and announced another visitor for the District Attorney.