It was my turn to call Kennedy’s attention to something, now, for standing sidewise as I was, I could see the angles of the building back of him.
“Don’t turn—yet,” I cautioned, “but just around the corner back of you, Langhorne is standing. Evidently he has been watching Mrs. Ogleby, too.”
Kennedy drew a cigarette from his case, tried to light it, let the match go out, and then as if to shield himself from the wind, stepped back and turned.
Langhorne, however, had seen us, and an instant later had disappeared.
Without a word further Kennedy led the way around the corner to the subway and we started uptown, I knew this time, for the laboratory.
He made no comment on the case, but I knew he had in mind some plan or other for the next move and that it would probably involve something at the suffrage meeting at Miss Ashton’s that evening.
During the rest of the day, Craig was busy testing and re-testing a peculiar piece of apparatus, while now and then he would despatch me on various errands which I knew were more as an outlet for my excitement than of any practical importance.
The apparatus, as far as I could make it out, consisted of a simple little oaken box, oblong in shape, in the face of which were two square little holes with side walls of cedar, converging pyramid-like in the interior of the box and ending in what looked to be little round black discs.
I had just returned with a hundred feet or so of the best silk-covered flexible wire, when he had evidently completed his work. Two of the boxes were already wrapped up. I started to show him the wire, but after a glance he accepted it as exactly what he had wanted and made it into a smaller package, which he handed to me.
“I think we might be journeying down to Carton’s office,” he added, looking impatiently at his watch.
It was still early and we did not hurry.
Carton, however, was waiting for us anxiously. “I’ve called you at the laboratory and the apartment—all over,” he cried. “Where have you been?”
“Just on the way down,” returned Kennedy. “Why, what has happened?”
“Then you haven’t heard it?” asked Carton excitedly, without waiting for Craig’s answer. “Murtha has been committed to a sanitarium.”
Kennedy and I stared at him.
“Pat Murtha,” ejaculated Craig, “in a sanitarium?”
“Exactly. Paresis—they say—absolutely irresponsible.”
Coming as it did as a climax to the quick and unexpected succession of events of the past few days, it was no wonder that it seemed impossible.
What did it mean? Was it merely a sham? Or was it a result of his excesses? Or had Carton’s relentless pursuit, the raid of Margot’s, and the conviction of Dopey Jack, driven the Smiling Boss really insane?
THE SOCIETY SCANDAL