“Can I help you, ma’am? “asked the elevator starter, seeing her perplexity.
“I want Sykes and Barton, Scenic Sign Painters,” she said, positively enough; “but there are so many S’s, I can’t seem to find them!”
“All right, ma’am; here they are. Sixth floor, Room 614.”
“Thank you,” the old lady said, and entered the elevator he indicated.
She seemed preoccupied, and made no move to leave the car, until the elevator man spoke to her twice.
“This is the floor you want, lady,” he said. “Room 614. That way, just round that first corner.”
Miss Ames started off in the way he pointed, and stood for a moment in front of the door numbered 614.
Then, with a determined shake of her thin shoulders, she opened the door and walked in.
“I want to see Mr. Hanlon,” she said to the girl at the first desk.
“No; but say it is Miss Ames—he’ll see me.”
“Why, Miss Ames, how do you do?” and the man who had so interested the beholders of his feat in Newark came forward to greet her. “Come right into my office,” and he led her to an inner room. “Now, what’s it all about?”
The cheery reception set his visitor at ease, and she drew a long breath of relief as she settled herself in the chair he offered.
“Oh, Mr. Hanlon, I’m so frightened—or, at least, I was. It’s all so noisy and confusing down here! Why, I haven’t been downtown in New York for twenty years!”
“That so? Then I must take you up on our roof and show you a few of the skyscrapers—”
“No, no, I’ve not time for anything like that. Oh, Mr. Hanlon —you—have you read in the papers of our—our trouble?”
“Yes,” and the young man spoke gravely, “I have, Miss Ames. Just a week ago to-day, wasn’t it?”
“Yes; and they’re no nearer a solution of the mystery than ever. And, oh, Mr. Hanlon, they’re still suspecting Eunice—Mrs, Embury—and I must save her! She didn’t do it—truly she didn’t, and—I think I did.”
“Yes, I truly think so. But I wasn’t myself, you know—I was —hypnotized—”
“Hypnotized! By whom?”
“I don’t know—by some awful person who wanted Sanford dead, I suppose.”
“But that’s ridiculous, Miss Ames—”
“No, it isn’t. I’m a very easy subject—”
“Have you ever been hypnotized?”
“Not very successfully. But no real hypnotizer ever tried it. I’m sure, though, I’d be a perfect subject—I’m so—so psychic, you know—”
“Bosh and nonsense! You know, Miss Ames, what I think of that sort of thing! You know how I played on people’s gullibility when I used to do that fake ’thought-transference’—”
“I know, Mr. Hanlon,” and Miss Ames was very earnest, “but, and this is why I’m here—you told me that in all the foolery and hocus-pocus there was, you believed, two per cent of genuine telepathy—two per cent of genuine communication with spirits of the dead”