And sure enough, on the evening of the second day a jailer came and said: “You’re to be let out.” And Peter was ushered thru the barred doors and turned loose without another word.
Peter went to Room 427 of the American House and there was McGivney waiting for him. McGivney said nothing about any suspicion of Peter, nor did Peter say anything—he understood that by-gones were to be by-gones. The authorities were going to take this gift which the fates had handed to them on a silver platter. For years they had been wanting to get these Reds, and now magically and incredibly, they had got them!
“Now, Gudge,” said McGivney, “here’s your story. You’ve been arrested on suspicion, you’ve been cross-questioned and put thru the third degree, but you succeeded in satisfying the police that you didn’t know anything about it, and they’ve released you. We’ve released a couple of others at the same time, so’s to cover you all right; and now you’re to go back and find out all you can about the Reds, and what they’re doing, and what they’re planning. They’re shouting, of course, that this is a `frame-up.’ You must find out what they know. You must be careful, of course—watch every step you take, because they’ll be suspicious for a while. We’ve been to your room and turned things upside down a bit, so that will help to make it look all right.”
Peter sallied forth; but he did not go to see the Reds immediately. He spent an hour dodging about the city to make sure no one was shadowing him; then he called up Nell at a telephone number she had given him, and an hour later they met in the park, and she flew to his arms and kissed him with rapturous delight. He had to tell her everything, of course; and when she learned that Joe Angell was a secret agent, she first stared at him in horror, and then she laughed until she almost cried. When Peter told how he had met that situation and got away with it, for the first time he was sure that he had won her love.
“Now, Peter,” she said, when they were calm again, we’ve got to get action at once. The papers are full of it, and old Nelse Ackerman must be scared out of his life. Here’s a letter I’m going to mail tonight—you notice I’ve used a different typewriter from the one I used last time. I went into a typewriter store, and paid them to let me use one for a few minutes, so they can never trace this letter to me.
The letter was addressed to Nelson Ackerman at his home, and marked “Personal.” Peter read:
“This is a message from a friend. The Reds had an agent in your home. They drew a plan of your house. The police are hiding things from you, because they can’t get the truth, and don’t want you to know they are incompetent. There is a man who discovered all this plot, and you should see him. They won’t let you see him if they can help it. You should demand to see him. But do not mention this letter. If you do not get to the right man, I will write you again. If you keep this a secret, you may trust me to help you to the end. If you tell anybody, I will be unable to help you.”