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SEMI-MONTHLY MAGAZINE description of a Mrs. Despard who was said to be an intimate friend of Sinclair. Clare had already suspected that tho fourth member was Dclroy him self. Neither of tho men could he found at their apart ments, so tlint Claro decided to turn her attention for the i rcsen I to Mrs. Despard. Mrs. Despard, sho soon found from Gossip, had come from no one knew where, but with letters suf ficiently good to admit her to at least a substratum of society. Gossip had it also that Mrs. Despard was reputed to one much of her dashing good looks to a beauty parlor, the Futurist Beauty Shop, as it was called, managed by a Mademoiselle Fleurette. Moro than that, tho inquisitive public went on to say that Mrs. Despard had been undergoing a com plete treatment at the hands of the "Futurists.'1 At least that was tho explanation of her frequent pres ence there and of her recommending the place on every occasion. AS far as Clare could find out, Mrs. Despard was- not a bad-looking woman and it was diilicult to see how she expected to he improved by cosmetics that would lighten her complexion, bleaches that would flaxen her hair, tortures for this, that, and the other defect, real or imagined. Still, the fact remained that recently sho hail dropped out of her social life altogether. Some had said that she had gone to Europe; others to a sanitarium to rest after a hard season. But it was clear that in reality she was living obscurely in New York, apparently making daily and long visits to tho Futurist Hcauty Shop. At least that was what Gossip said. Tho mention of the beauty parlor of Mademoiselle Flcurette interested Clare. Sho opened' the tele phone book to look it up. It was on the street and near tho same corner where the cab had stopped the night before. Clare quickly seized tho clew for what it might be worth. She would go there, determined even on a thorough course of "decorative surgery" if it should prove necessary in the pursuit of Norma. Tho Futurist Beauty Shop was indeed all its name implied n templo of tho cult of beauty up to, if not ahead of, tho minuto in its effort to sntisfy what was moro than health, wealth, and happiness, tho fundamental feminine instinct for personal beauty. As Claro stepped out of tho private elevator, a delicate scent as of attar of roses smote lightly on her and thero was an exotic warmth in tho nir. Everything, from the electric bulbs buried deep in clusters of amber flowers to the artificial leaves on tho dainty green trellises, tho little diamond-pnnod windows, tho pure white enamel tables of the mani cures and inviting wicker chairs and couches, be spoke rest and good taste. Thero were cosmetic surgeons who were dangerous to lifo and limb in the practice of their "art." Hut as far as Claro could judge, Fleurctte's only real ability seemed to' bo in putting on make-up in a most attractive, and, if desired, plausible manner. Madcmoisello Fleurette hurried forward to greet her. Well-groomed was the first expression that flashed over Claro'a mind. Sho was a creature of re inforcements from her puffy masses of dark hair to her gown which looked liko a mould into which she had been cast, with nothing to spare. There was a faint yellow tingo to her complexion that was pat ently as artificial as her Fronch heels nnd clocked stockings that shono beneath the slash in the dra peries of her gown. Madcmoisello and everything in her shop had a "tono" that was peculiarly and startlingly chic. It took Clare but an instant to see that she had carried tho somewhat hideous influence of the unconven tional Cubist and Futurist art even into dress nnd the beauty parlor. There was nothing that Claro had ever heard of from Paris or London too extrav agant for Madcmoisello to lie. capable of tinted faces, odd eyes, dimples that would last for a few hours, perfume injected into the skin itself. "I 'in all unstrung," confided Clare, with an ns sumcd languor as sho dropped into a chair, "A late supper after theater and all that sort of thing." Mademoisollo nodded knowingly. "With her usual histrionio ability Claro had struck the light note in stantly. Sho could bo as blase as the most jaded. "A Turkish bath, massage, something to tone you up, my dear," Fleurette advised, leading Clare gently on. With alert eyes Claro went patiently through tho process of freshening, first in the steamy white room, then n deliriously cool shower, gentle mas sage, and at last rest. On a chaise lounge near her reclined a woman tak ing her favorite nepenthe, coffee with a safo comple ment of veronal. Languidly she nodded to Clare. "Isn't it delightful to rest up here 7" Claro assented, but her quick eyes had told her that while this woman was of the typo sho was not tho one she was looking for. Suddenly her attention wns arrested by a muflled voice on the other side of a low partition. Some one was talking over tho telephone. Whether it was her suspicion that the voice wns disguised or the fragments of the conversation itself, Clare strained her attention to catch the drift of t lie conversation. "Everything . . . arranged . . . lovely . . . tell you all . . . Moutniartre at four . . ." Clare could not sec the speaker, but there was something in the voice that set her thinking. As she sank back again on her cushions, Clare longed to explore the beauty parlor, to leave the rest room and go down the nnrrow corridor prying into A quickly suppressed lo,ok of surprise crossed the other's face. "Sho has gone to Europe, I believe." "Indeed? I thought 1 saw her at the Charity Boll last night." Fleurette shrugged her shoulders. "It must have been some 0110 else." Tho conversation was at an end, but Clare knew that the woman had lied. There was some mystery here. How much did she know of it 1 A HALF hour later, her head still in n whirl from the drug she had inhaled, Clare hurried from the templo of heauly. Her first thought was to discover what was in that cigarette which had aroused in her a sensation of which she did not dicain she was capable. She went directly to Dr. Lawsou. While she waited, the next step was clear in her mind. Who was to meet whom at the Montinartre? At Dlroy ruihed at her, Clare whipped an automatic from her handbag and corered him the secrets of tho little dressing rooms that opened into it, each with its dainty bed, dresser, nnd mirror. What did they conccnl? Whose was the mysterious voice? Rather than incur suspicion just yet she de cided to wait. Thero was a feeling of luxurious well-being as she lolled back in the deep recesses of her chair. A maid brought n little silver box of cigarettes on n tray. Claro selected one and lighted it. From it exhaled a delicious odor. Another whiff, and she knew that to finish it would be disastrous. A subtle warmth had begun to steal over her already. Sho could feel a strange, dreamy, reckless sensation tingling in every organ, as if she were floating along on a sea of voluptuous happi ness. With a start she gripped herself thero in tho haze of her day vision she saw the face of Billy Lawson, in one fleeting moment ! HASTILY, whilo no one wns looking, she crushed the lighted end of the doped cigarette on the nsh tray and stuffed the rest into tho pocket of her bath robe. Tho possibilities of that gold-tipped cigaretto dazed her. "ITow do you feel now?" asked Fleurette. "Much better, thank you," smiled Clare, looking up. ''I am almost afraid of myself." There wns n pause. "I supposo you have a large clientele?" "Yes, indeed. Many of the most exclusive." "Oh," exclaimed Clare taking tho lead she had opened, "do you know Mrs. Despard?" She must find out. It wns of absolute importance. Tho opening of the laboratory door broke in on Claro's revery. "You '11 be interested to know, Clare," remarked Billy, seating himself beside her, "that the cigarette you brought to mo contains a good-sized portion of cannabis indica, Indian hemp hashish." "Hashish?" she exclaimed. "Yes," Lawson answered; his attention on the trim lines of her figure and tho alert sparklo of her eyes quito'as much ns on what ho was saying. "A fresh fnd from Pnris, where several establishments, I hear, aro in operation." "What does it do?" sho asked naively. "It 's one of tho most singular and least known of narcotics," he answered frankly. "In small quantities it has a stimulating and exhilarating ef fect. In largo doses it produces a dreamy state, verging on catalepsy, with motor and sensory dis turbances of the spinal cord, really a sort of hysteria. An overdose might produce insanity. It is very ac commodating it can be taken as a powder, n liquid, or a solid; smoked, chewed, eaten as a confection, or ns a drjnk. But, to put it in plain English, in any case tho user is no longer master of his thoughts, but the servant." "Why," exclaimed Clare eagerly, "it is just tho thing to rouse tho wild demi-raondaine instinct that lurks in tho back of the heads of some romantic girls." "Exactly. It has a marked tendency for excitiug the passions."