“That was your gun moll who just went out, wasn’t it?” pursued Kennedy with assurance.
“Aw, come off. Whatyer givin’ us?” responded the man half angrily.
“Don’t stall. I know. I’m not one of the bulls, either. It’s just a plain proposition. Will you or won’t you take twenty-five of easy money?”
Kennedy’s manner seemed to mystify him. For a moment he looked us over, then seemed to decide that we were all right.
“How?” he asked in a harsh but not wholly ungracious whisper. “I’ll tip yer off if the boss is lookin’. He don’t like no frame-ups in here.”
“You saw Ike the Dropper go out with that man?”
“The guy with the glasses?”
“The guy with the glasses gave Ike a little package which Ike put into the right-hand outside pocket of his coat. Now it’s worth twenty-five beans to me to get that package—get me?”
“I gotyer. Slip me a five now and the other twenty if I get it.”
Kennedy appeared to consider.
“I’m on the level,” pursued the dip. “Me and the goil is in hard luck with a mouthpiece who wants fifty bucks to beat the case for one of the best tools we ever had in our mob that they got right to-day.”
“From that I take it that one of your pals needs fifty dollars for a lawyer to get him out of jail. Well, I’ll take a chance. Bring the package to me at—well, the Prince Henry cafe. I’ll be there at seven o’clock.”
The pickpocket nodded, slid from his place and sidled out of the joint without attracting any attention.
“What’s the lay?” I asked.
“Oh, I just want that package, that’s all. Come on, Walter. We might as well go before any of these yellow girls speak to us and frame up something on us.”
The proprietor bowed as much as to say, “Come again and bring your friends.”
THE TYPEWRITER CLUE
Ike was nowhere to be seen when we reached the street, but down the block we caught sight of Dr. Harris on the next corner. Kennedy hastened our pace until we were safely in his wake, then managed to keep just a few paces behind him.
Instead of turning into the street where the Futurist was, Harris kept on up Broadway. It was easy enough to follow him in the crowd now without being perceived.
He turned into the street where the Little Montmartre was preparing for a long evening of entertainment. We turned, and to cover ourselves got into a conversation with a hack driver who seemed suddenly to have sprung from nowhere with the cryptic whisper, “Drive you to the Ladies’ Club, gents?”
Out of the tail of his eye Kennedy watched Harris. Instead of turning into the Montmartre and his office, he went past to a high-stooped brownstone house, two doors away, climbed the steps and entered.
We sauntered down the street and looked quickly at the house. A brass sign on the wall beside the door read, “Mme. Margot’s Beauty Shop.”