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THE ADVENTUROUS CAREER OF CONSTANCE DUNLAP
(CtopTTlfht, IT.t, hr th MoClart Ntwpp Syndicate. ) iiTTAKE care of me please please :" X A slip of a tlrl. smartly at tired In a fur-trimmed dress and a chio little feather-tipped hat. hur ried up to Constance Dunlap late one afternoon aa she turned tho corner be low her apartment. It Isn't faintness or Illness exactly-butr-lfe all o haey." summered the girl breathlessly. "And I've forgotten who I am. I've forgotten where I live and a man has been following me on. ever ao long." The weariness In the tona of the last words caused Constance to look more closely at the glrL Plainly she was on the verge of hysterics. Tears were streaming down her pale cheeks and there were dark rings under her eyes, suggestive of a haunting fear of some thing from which she fled. Constance was astounded for the mo ment. Was the girl cray? She had heard of cases like this, but to meet one so unexpectedly was surely disconcerting. "Who hss been following your asked Constance gently, looking hastily over her shoulder and seeing no one. "A man." exclaimed the girl, "but I think he has gone now." "Can't you think of your nameT" urged Constance. "Try." "No." cried the girl. "no. I can't. I can't." "Or your addressf" repeated Constance. "Try try hard! The girl looked vacantly about. "No." she sobbed, "It's all gone-all." Puttied, Constance took her arm and slowly walked her up the street toward her own apartment in the hope that she might catch sight of some familiar face or be able to pull herself together. But It was of no use. They passed a policeman who eyed them sharply. The mere sight of the blue-coated officer sent a shudder through the already trembling girl on her arm. "Don't, don't let them take me to a hospital don't." pleaded the girl In a hoarse whisper when they had passed the officer. "I won't." reassured Constance. "Was that the man who was following you?" "No oh. no," sobbed the girl nervously looking back. "Who was he, then?" asked Constance eagerly. The girl did not answer, but continued to look back wildly from time to time, although there was no doubt that. If he existed at all, the man had disappeared. Suddenly Constance realized that she had on her hands a case of aphasia, per haps, real, perhaps induced by a drug. At any rate, the fear of being sent away to an Institution was so strong in the poor creature that Constance felt In tuitively how disastrous to her might be the result of disregarding the obsession. She was in a quandary. What should she do with the girl? To leave her on the street was out of the question. She was now more helpless than ever. They had reached the door of the apart ment. Gently she led the trembling girl into her own home. But now the question of what to do arose with redoubled force. She hesi tated to call a physician, at least yet, be cause his first advice would probably be lo send the poor little stranger to the psychopathic ward of some hospital. Constance's eye happened to rest on the dictionary In her bookcase. Perhaps she might recall the girl's name to her. If she were not shamming, by reading over the list of women' names in the back of the book. It meant many minutes, perhaps hours. But then. Constance reflected on what might have happened to the girl If she had chanced to appeal to some one who Sad not felt a true Interest in her. It was worth trying. She would do It Starting with "A." she read slowly. "Is your name Abigail?" Down through Barbara, Camilla, De borah. Edith. Faith, she read. "Flora?" she asked. The girl seemed to apprehend some thing, appear less blank. "Florence?" persisted Constance. "Oh. yes," she cried, "that's It that's my name." But as for the last name and the ad ireas she was Just as hazy as ever. Still, here was now something different about "ier. "FlorenceFlorence what?" reiterated Constance patiently. There was no answer. But with the continued repetition it seemed as if some depth in her nature had been stirred. Constancy could not help feeling- that the girl had really found herself. She had rteen and was facing Con stance, both hands pressed to her throb bing temples as if to keep her head from bursting. Constance had assisted her off with her coat and hat. and now the sartorial wreck of her masses of blond hair was apparent "I suppose." she cried incoherently, "I'm Just one more of the thousands of Hrls who drop out of sight every year." Constance listened In amaxement As '.he spell of her Influence seemed to calm he overwrought mind of the girl there succeeded a hardness in her tone that .vas wholly out of keeping with her youth. There was something that -reathed of a past where there should wen uuininjc our inn ihAiigt - L VI a a. i Tell me why. soothed Constance with an air that invited confidence. j ine gin looked up and again passed! her hand over her white forehead with Its mass of tangled fallen hair. Some how Constance felt a tingling sensaUon of sympathy in her heart. Impulsively he put out her hand and took the cold moist hand of the girl. "Because." ehe hesitated, struggling now with re-flooding consciousness, "be cause I don't know. I thought, per haps" she added, dropping her eyes, "you could help me." She was speaking rapidly enough now. "I think they have employed detectives to trace me. One of them is almost up with me. I'm afraid I can't slip out of the net again. And I I won't go back to them. I can't I won't." "Oo back to whom?" queried her friend. "Detectives employed by whom?" Constance was surprised. Least of all had she expected that "Why won't you go home?" she prompted as the girl seemed about to lapse into a sort of stolid reticence. "Home?" she repeated bitterly, "Home? No one would believe my story. I couldn't go home, now. They have made It impossible for me to go home. I mean, every newspaper has published my picture. There were headlines for days, and only by chance I was not recog nized." She was sobbing now convulsively. "If they had only let me alone! I might have gone beck, then. But now after the newspapers and the search never! And yet I am going to have revenge some day. When he least expects it I am going to tell the truth and" She stopped. 'And what?" asked Constance. , "Tell the truth and then do a coward ly thing. I would" "You would not!" blazed Constance. There was no mistaking the meaning. "Leave It to me. Trust me. I will help you." She pulled the girl down on the divan beside her. "Why talk of suicide?" mused Con stance. "You can plead this aphasia I have just seen. I know lots of newspaper women. We could carry It through so that even the doctors would help us. Remember, aphasia will do for a girl nowadays what nothing else. can do." "Aphasia!" Florence repeated hastily. "Call it what you like weakness any thing. I I loved that man not the one who followed me another. I believed him. But he left me left me In a place across In Brooklyn. They said X was a fool, that some other fellow, perhaps better, with more money, would take care of me. But I left I got a place In a factory. Then some one In the factory became suspicious. I had saved a little. It took me to Boston. "Again some one grew suspicious. I came back here, here the only place to hide. I got another position aa waitress In the Betsy Ross Tea Room. There I was able to stay until yesterday. But then a man came In. He had been there before. He seemed too Interested in me, not in a way that others have been, but in roe my name. Some how I suspected. I put on my hat and coat. I fled. I think he followed me. All night I have walked the streets and ridden In ears to get away from him. At last I appealed to you." The girl had sunk back Into the soft Pinows or me couch neside her new friend and hid her face. Softly Con stance patted and smoothed the wealth of golden hair. "You-you poor little girl," she syra- pathlzed. Then a film came over her own eyes. "New York took me at a critical time in my own life." she said more to herself than to the girl. "She sheltered me, gave me a new start. What she did for me she will do for any other person who really wishes to make a fresh start in life. I made few acquaintances, no friends. Fortunately, the average New Yorker asks only that his neighbor leave him alone. No hermit could find better and more complete solitude than in the heart of this great city." Constance looked pityingly at the girl before her. "Why can't you ten them," she sug gested. "that you wanted to be Inde pendent, that you went away to make your own living?" "But-they my father Is well off. And they have this detective who follows me. He will find me some day for the re-ward-and will tell the truth." "The reward?" "Yes a thousand dollars. Ion't you re member reading" The girl stopped abort as If to check herself. "You you are Florence Gibbons!" gasped Constance as with a rush there came over her the recollection of a famous unsolved mystery of several months before. The girl did, not look up as Constance bent over and put her arms about her. "Who was he?" she asked persuasively. "Preston-Lanalng Preston." she sobbed bitterly. "Only the other day I read of his engagement to a girl In Chicago beautiful, in society. Oh I could kill him," she cried, throwing oit her arms passionately. "Think of it He-rich, powerful, respected. I poor, almost crasy an outcast Constance did not Interfere until the tempest had passed. "What name did you give at the tea room?" asked Constance. "Viola Cole." answered Florence. "Rest hre." soothed Constance. "Here at least you are safe. I have an idea. I shall be back soon." The Betsy Ross was still open after the j rush of tired shoppers and later of busi j ness women to whom this was not only restaurant but a club. Constance en- tered and sat down. -is the manager in?' wajtress she asked of the "Mrs. Palmer? No. But. If you Care to wait. I think she'll be back directly." As Constance sat toying absently with some food at one of the tnowy white tables, a man entered. A man in a tea room is an anomaly. For the tea room is a woman'a Institution, run "by women for women. Men enter with diffidence. II -Hie Afc and seldom alone. This man was quite evidently looking for some one. His eye fell on Constance. Her heart gave a leap. It was her old enemy, Drummond, the detective. For a moment he hesitated, then bowed, and came over to her table. "Peculiar places, these tea rooms." ob served Drummond. Constance was doing some quick think ing. Could this be the detective Florence Gibbons had mentioned? "The only thing lacking to make them complete," he rattled on, "Is a license. Now, take those places that have a ladles' bar that do openly what tea rooms do covertly. They don't reckon X V. A ' : " V rO$r "Ton will tell your employer we intend to make use of the with the attitude of women. This 1s New York not Paris. Such things are years off. I don't say they'll not come or that women won't use them but not by that name not yet." Constance wondered what his cynical inconsequentialitles masked. "I think It adds to the Interest," she observed, watching him furtively, "this j evasion of the laws." Drummond was casting about for some- thing to de and. naturally, to a mind like his, a drink was the solution. Evi dently, however, there were degrees of bresennees, even in tea rooms. The Betsy Ron not only would not produce a la beled bottle and an obvious glass but stoutly dented their ability to fill such an order, even whispered. "Russian tea?" suggested Drummond cryptically. "How will you have it with Scotch or rye?" asked the waitress. "Bourbon." haxarded Drummond. When the "Russian tea" arrived it was In a neat little pot with two others, the first containing real tea and the second hot water. It was served virtuously In tea cups, so opaquely concealed that no one but the clandestine drinker could know -what sort of poison was being served. Mrs. Palmer was evidently later than expected. Drummond fidgeted after the manner of a man out of his accustomed habitat And yet he did not seem to be Interested really in Constance, or even in Mrs. Palmer. For after a few mo ments, he rose and excused himself. "How did he come here?" asked herself over and over. Constance ; AS far as she could reason it out. there could be only one reason Drummond was clearly up with Florence. Did he also know that Constance waa shielding her? The more she thought of it, the more mm she shuddered at the tactless way In which thx, detective would perform the act of "charity" by discovering the lost girl- and pocketing the reward. If her family only knew, how eagerly f,. . ,. , . . . . , . they might let her come back In her own way. She looked up the address of Ever- ett Gibbons while ehe was waiting a half-formed plan taking definite shape In her mind. What she did must be done quickly, Here at the tea room at least Florence, . .v T-,v.t , . or rather iola. was known. Perhaps the best way. after all. was to let her he discovered here. They could not deny that she had been working for them ac ceptably for some time Half an hour later, Mrs. Palmer, a hustling business woman, came In and the waitress pointed her out to Con stance. "Did you have a waitress here named Mola Cole?" began Constance watching keenly the effect of her inquiry. "Yes," replied Mrs. Palmer in a tone of interest that reassured Constance that if there were any connection between Prummond's presence and Mrs. Palmer. It was wholly on ha .uir,i, disappeared last night A most peculiar girl bu a splendid worker." ! "She has been ill." Constance hastened i to explain. "I am a friend of hers. I , have a business downtown and could not come around until tonight to tell you that , she will be back tomorrow If you will ; take her back. I "Of course 111 take her back. I'm j sorry she's 111." and Mrs. Palmer bustled nut lnt , w '--i. noi umeeuriKiy uut , ry pnysicai rorce but by circumstances merely because that was her manner. j iertorant of her rights, afraid to break Constance paid her check ind left the ! away again? tearoom. So far she had succeeded. The1 or wa ft ct.u. , . next thing she had planned was a visit ened' sL Vm ! t k V ' .had hrPat to Mr. Gibbons. That need nor tk, lontr 8ne C?Ul1 not b"lleve Nothing for she . .r .u "' Her Idea was merely to pave the way! The Gibbons she found, lived in a large house on one of the numerous side streets from the Park, In a neighborhood that was in fact something morn than merely well-to-do. Fortunately she found Evtrett Gibbons in and was ushered int ) his study, where he sat poring over some papers and en joying an after-dinner cigif. "Mr. Gibbons." began Constance, "I be lieve there is a one thousand dollar re ward for news of tho whereabouts of your daughter. Florence.'" "Yes." he said in a colorless tone that betrayed the honelons of tl inna- search. "But we have traced down so i many raise clews that we have given up iujjt:. omce me aay she went away, we have never been able to get the slightest trace of her. Still, we welcome outside aid." "Of detectives?" she asked. "Official and private paid and volun teer anybody." he answered. "I my self have come to the belief that she is 1. c . 1 i dead, for that is the only explanation cftn think of for her long silence.'' tone''1 ded'" "'' Constanc8 ,n "Not dead?" he repeated eagerly, catch- ,ng at ev"n such a straw aa n unknown woman might cast out "Then you know" "No," she Interrupted positively, "I cant tell you any more. You must .ou other I wiU let ' "When?" j "Tomorrow, perhaps the next day. 1 j WL'? cal1 you on tne telephone." ' Sn0 r05" nnd made a hasty adieu before jthe nian wno nt4 bcPn prematurely aged j might overwhelm her with questions and tra't down her resolution to carry the imntr inroutin as the had seen best. : Cheerily, Constnnce turned the key in i the lock of her door. new Federal Mann act." There was no light and somehow silence smote on her ominously. the Florence:-' she called. There was no answer. Not a sign indicated her presence. There was the divan with tv, niii,.,. disarranged as they had been when she I len. ine rurnitura was in the same position am hufni'd tlA.fll -i from nn " .l-" y ao "e,u Florence had disappeared: s went to the door again. All seemed ! "sh Jhere- If any had entered it !" - ""r" urau,e ne admitted ror there were no marks to Indicate th.i the lock had been forced. She called up the tea room. Mrs. Palmer was very sympathetic, but there had been no trace of "Viola Cole" there yet "Tou will let me know if you pet any word?" asked Constance anxiously. surely. came back Mrs, cordial reply. Palmer's A hundred dire possibilities crowded through her mind. MIgrht Florence be neia somewnere SOmewnftr am m "whtla . v . . . . " cnc not ,"u,a nappened in such a short I i revenge Chnge resolulion t i The recollection of all the stories ' she . hal r,ad recently crossed her imuu. Louia ii oe a case of a case of ri v,i rr. " ijhu given no evidence of be ing a "dope" fiend. allPrhaP9 some one had entered, after She thought of the so-called "pois oned needle" cases. Might she not have been spirited off in that wy' Constance had doubted the stories She knew that almost any doctor would say that It was impossible to Inject a narcotic by a sudden Jab of a hypodermic syringe. That was rather a slow, careful and deliberate opera tion, to be submitted to with patience. Yet Florence was gone! Suddenly it flashed over Constance that Drummond might not be seeking the reward primarily, after all. His first object might be shielding Pres ton. She recollected that Mr. Gibbons had said nothing about Drummond. T" U . 1 1 1 j, ' " I ! either ti he " SJ ' I Ilia V ' I i . r i . fc "u,l"ng ior me reward, he would care little how much Florence suffered. j He might be playing both ends to Hiiuacu. Cl! . . - V. - . .. -'c iang inn elevator Den. "Has anybody called at my apa irt- iiiriit wnwe i was out?' she asked. xesm. A man came here." "And you let him up?" "I didn't know vou were out. Tou see I had just come on. He said he was to meet some one at your apart - ment. And when he pressed the buzzer, the door opened, and I ran me elevator down again. I thought it was aa right, ma am "And then what?" stance breathlessly. inquired Con- "Well, In about five minutes my bell rang. I ran the elevator up again, and, ivalting-, was this man with a girl I had never seen before. You understand I thought It was all right he told me he was going to meet some one." j "Yes yes. I understand. Oh, my God, it I had only thought to leave I word not to let her go. How did she 1 look?" "Her clothes, you mean. Ma'am?" "No her face, her eyeB?" "BegnW your pardon, I thought jshe was well. er, acted queer j seared daed-like." jou didn't notice which way they went, I suppose?" "No ma'am, I didn't." Constance turned back nain into her empty apartment, heart-sick. In spite of all she had planned and done, she was defeated worse than defeated. Where was Florence? What misrht not happen to her? She could have sat down and cried. Instead she passed a feverishly restless night. All the next day passed, and still not a word. She felt her own help lessness. She could not appeal to the police. That mitrht defeat the very end she sought. She was single handed. For all she knew, she was flphtinK1 the almost limitless power of brains and monev of Pi-eton in quiry developed the fact that Preston himself wan mtmrln.l t, in I 'V, - an - - ' , ins udii v t-o. i line ii u m k a i n f- u was on me point or making the jour ney to let him know that some one at least was watching- him. But, she re flected, if she did that she might miss the one call from Florence for help without finding any word Iate that night the buzzer on her door sounded. It was Mrs. Palmer henseif, with a letter at last, written on roiiph paper in pencil with a trem bling hand. Constance almost llteraly pounced on it. "Will you tell the lady who was so kind to me that while she was out seeing you at the tea room, there was a call at her door? 1 didn't like to open it, but when I asked who was there, a man said It was the steam fitter she had asked to call about the h ea t. "I opened the door. From that moment when i saw his face until I came to myself here I remember nothing. I would write to her, only I don't know where she lives. One of the bell-hoys here is kind enoutch to smuggle this note out for me ad dressed to the Betsy Koss. "Tell her please, that I am at a place In Brooklyn, I think, railed Lustgarten's she can recognize it be cause It Is at a railroad crossing pteam railroads, not trolleys or ele vateds. "I know you think me craiy. Mrs. Palmer, but the other lady can tell you about It. Oh, it was the same horrible feeling that came over me that night as before. It isn't a dream; it's more like a trance. It comes in a second usually when I am frightened. I suddenly feel ner vous and shaky. I lose my hearing. Part of the time it Is as though, I had a paralytic stroke of the tongue. The next day, perhaps. It la gone. But while It lasts it is terrifying. It's like walking into a new world, with everybody, everything strange about me." The note ended with a most pa thetic appeal. Constance was already nervously putting on her hat. "You are going to go there?" asked Mrs. Palmer, "If I can locate the place." she an swered. "Aren't you afraid?" Inquired the other. Constance did not reply. She osten tatiously slipped a little ivory-handled revolver into her handbag. "It's a new one," she explained finally, "like nothing you ever heard of before, I guess. I bought it only the other day after a friend of mine told me about it." Mrs. Palmer was watching her close ly. "You--you are a woridrfu! woman," she burst out fin illy. "It !';n't gnod business, it isn't irood sense." Constance stopped shot t in Iter pre parations for the sen r h "What are, business and fense compared to the j the life of " She checked herself on the very point of revalintr the girl's real name "Nothing." replied Mrs Palmer. "T j had already mad up my mind to go1 with you before I t-poke if you will let me." j In a moment the two understood i each other better than after years of j casual aequatnta nee. j Back and forth through the mazes ' of streets and car across tho river th" ea, asKing veneo questions or e.verv wearer of a uniform, until at last thev found such a place as Florence had des cribed in her note. There, it teemed, had sprur.g up a little center of vice. While reformers were trying to clamp down tight the "lid" in New York, all the vicious ele ments were prying it up.here. Crushed ir. one place, th--y rose at;ain in another. There was the electric sign "Lust garten." Kven a cursory glance t-li them that it Included a saloon on the first floor, with a sort of a danr hall ard eecond-rato cabaret. Ahov that was a hotel. The windows were darkened, with awnings pulled r'ewn, even on what must have been in the day time the shady side. "Shall we gOin? Are you game?" asked Constance of hr companion. "I haven't gone so far without con sidering that," replied Mrs. Palmer, somewhat reproachfully. Without a word Constance entered the door down the street followed by her companion. A negro at the little cubby hole of an office pushed out a register at them. Constance signed the first names that came into her head, and a moment later they were on their, way up to a Dig double room on the third floor, led by another, younger Then she thought bitterly of the me or ,,wide , , n'cn. "led false hopes she had raised in th dc- I could cive then because h.- spairing father of Florence Gibbons, j I hecan to , " V m"' And wh'" It was maddening. P.e-thev n Vh 1 8,rn,n of th" Several time, during- th day Con- men--he cast me aside VvT ,h"" h" stance dronned Into the Het-v r!,!; .. asino j.Ke a squeezed negro. ARTHUR B. REEVE ! ' -. till C I. , . . bell-bov HT.-V tney entered the 'wm. "I'm th v.m i disconcerting reply ma'am." wts h i , i mean the mh.,. . , ' ' -v stance, hazarding ' j the day time " on" replied i-o!-- the 0!i8 who Is hero -mere ire ain't no ma'am ' ' b ill, nth.. . "Could you rUlf,.. i a tea room i . " not" fr me nt ; interrupted Consta r tomorrow." J tho Iron seem.i hot""' strlii,n" whh. The bov turned from his , U,V ' , "round abrupt:-. I -""met h me: u,.;0 Vv all n of dofn mg U.:e tin. He ' would elicit quiet! v "heeled about -.;,. J. lne lr, knob. Is hand fi i a r ( on thL Do VO'I w.int f. she' In?"' ha n.L i Know i rootr ' onMar.c o;.,M1, , h Palmer sunn......... n.ir. io.,. Mr? She ho 'I':"1. 11 a lit tl t'e cre., thin. "Ix-clm the Kory-Hand'.c, treasury not. of ' 'her tie white nart ..." , lnal cause, rand h...,, ... . " l'y - J ' l u ail the "s," she iws of optics nanrt. Pressing it into h). "Forty-two . wu n tne ha' h,e ;,u:nv - her dow the hall, aroun. el the ma'am. bov whisper Ami don't tn . . i.-dps nak, I told vr,i omirne down th y ce.i ?p,l k, ha!', had w-aro- ,.,. two w men Wer- re.-tion iook'n.' , ln rrw1te d'. - C"'1 numbers. a round the :u-n tVV' 'rPl of ,; of m : Throi'h s transot. v .. ' '-om8 they could hoe t .-, uiu could see no litrht H. no i.nt ck then" mi. zrmr voice. believe tl,,t I neve- "iir ramilv wl'l i nere was a Hninar,', 'T V. a moment of utience. Th. to ' Kt r.-l n crl , famili.i: onstance. kT,..L -me truth'" s "He knew .' 'aimed Mtterl I 1 . 1. ,1 . . ' a !'.! Of till l . , ,.iw .i fcnoii tim 1 iked p tv f i .. ..!.,,!, ... i .1 I l il t ""n"-lle. theato.s. ox" hriKht lights, nipht life - . a ronianfii- a i o -i., ' t enien t . Krl with whom all that w as renre.s.i o, . Knew it," flm repeated, rahdnir the tone stood TJl'- C- under Morence Gibbons a piece of prorty :.'h' hV?,h" ''f'1 in- rtere.Jtha was the idea. IUscover her y8- hot first to thrust her into the llf'f would not go into it herself- anv HCr('1,t h,M" "-""""V beforehand an thing to save the precious reputa tion of one man. HnV7n,".ri10U",d thtr VO," truth? Haven't you read it often enough? Instead of hoping you wll! return they pray that you are dead " He hissed the words out. then adde.l "" prerer to think that dead. Why damn it I they that belief for comfort:" 'onstance had eelsd Mrs you i turn re to Palmer oy me arm. and. notlno- In concTt !!rV.v!lrW both thp,r whts against the thin wooden door. it yielded with a crash. Inside the room was dark. IndlKtfnctly Constance could make out two figures, one standing, tlw oth er seated in a deep rocker. A suppressed exclamation of sur prise was followed by a hasty Iwrige of the standing figure toward her Constance reached quickly into her handbag and drew out the little ivory handled pistol. "Bang:" it spat almost lrrto the man's face. Choking, sputtering, the man gTopd a minute, blindly, then fell on the floor and frantically tried to rls. again and call out. The words seemed to stick In his throat. "You you shot him?" gasped n woman'a voice which Constance now knew was Florence's. "With the New German Secret Serv Ice gun." answered Constance quietlv keeping it leveled to cow any assist ance that might hn brought, "it blinde and stupefies without killing - a hu! letless revolver intended to check and render harmless the criwilnal instead of maiming him The cartridges con tain several chemicals that combine when they are exploded and form a vapor which blinds a man and put him out. No one wants to kill such a person as this " She reached over and switched on the lights Th man on the floor wns Drnm- mond himself ! "You will fell your real employer, i Mr. Preston," she added cortempfu : ously, "that unless ho agree to our Mi. rv ,f h!- inpemrnt with Florence marries her. and tillows tier to Mart .in undefended action for divorce, we i intend to make of the new federal Mjfnn Act - wiih a Jail ent-nce for ' hot h of you." j Iirummond looked up sullenly. st!!l Mirkmg nnd choking. "And not a word of this until the unit is filed. Then we will the re porters not h-. T'ndersta nd "Yes," he muttered, etlll clutching his throat. An hour later Con-rance, was at the telephone 1n her own apartment. "Mr. Gibbons? I must apologize for troubling you at this late, or rather "heVlVn:,w,hun.t:.d. lines or thf city1 eat ly hour. Hut I promised you some two women travel- i tiling which I could not fulfill until jnov. . This is the Mrs. I) mlap who called on you tho other day with a l clue to your daughter Florence. I have found her yes working as a :' waitress in the Betsy Ross Tea Room. not a word to anyone r.ot even ' to her mother. No not a word. You can pee her tomorrow at my apart : ment. She is going to live, with me ! for a few days until well until we !et a few little matters straightened out." ' Constance had Jammed the receiver back on the hook hastily. Florence ';;hbon, wild-eyed, trem ; Mir.g. imploring, had flung h-;r arms j about her reck. I "No no no," ehe cried. "1 can't. ; I won't." With a force that was almost mas I uline, Constance took the girl by both shoulders. 1 "The one thousand dollar reward which comes to me." said Constancy decisively, "will help us straighten out those few little matters with Pres- ton. Mrs. Palmer can stretch the ', time which you have worked for her." I Something of Constance's wiii I seemed to he infused into Florenca Gibbons by force of suggestion. "And remember," Constance addd In a tense voice, "for anything after your ; elopement It's aphasia, aphasia. apha sia.